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Graduated Mobilization Response: A Key Element of National Deterrent Strategy

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On 15 September 1987, the National Security Advisor to the President made development of a mobilization doctrine and system based on graduated response to early warning one of the seven priority National Security Emergency Preparedness NSEP goals to be achieved by 1989. In the classic construct, mobilization is the act of preparing for war or other emergency through assembling and organizing national resources. It is the process of marshalling industrial, economic, infrastructure, human, and government resources needed to support responses to national security threats and domestic crises. The purpose of Graduated Mobilization Response GMR is to provide the National Command Authorities a range of political, economic, and military options that will assist in the management of a national security crisis. These options are designed with two goals in mind first, to improve deterrence and avoid war and second, to prepare for war should it come. From the mid 1950s to the late 1970s national security policymakers probed worst case scenarios like a nuclear attack on the U.S., or a short warning attack on NATO Europe. Such narrow strategic thinking left no opportunity for capitalizing on Americas vast economic strength. It also ignored more likely crises, including natural disasters or terrorism which could destroy substantial portions of our defense and economic infrastructure, a sudden requirement to support an ally or client state in a conflict, a need to respond to technological breakthrough or abrogation of arms control treaties, and other wartime scenarios like a small, short war a small war of indefinite length along, major war with early warning.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Intelligence

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