[Skip to Content | Skip to Navigation | Skip to Lesson Index]

[ASPC Main Menu | Help | Back | Next]

Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Foundations of Doctrine | Air Corps Tactical School | WWII—Europe | WWII—Japan | WWII—Nuclear Weapons | Cold War Doctrine | Massive Retaliation | Cold War Technology | Flexible Response | The SIOP | Korea | Korean Command Structure | Korean War Aftermath | Prelude to Vietnam | Objectives in Vietnam | Vietnam War 1965–1973 | Rolling Thunder—Objectives | Rolling Thunder—Restrictions | Rolling Thunder—Outcome | Command Arrangements | Route Package System | Khe Sanh | Airpower at Khe Sanh | LINEBACKER II | Post-Vietnam Assessment | AirLand Battle | Impact of AirLand Battle | Operation EAGLE CLAW | Operation URGENT FURY | Goldwater-Nichols Act 1986 | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Flexible Response

Voice: When President Kennedy took office in 1961, he modified Eisenhower’s policy of Massive Retaliation and adopted a stance of Flexible Response. This policy included the use of conventional forces in war and offered alternatives to total nuclear war. The alternatives consisted of an increase in conventional weapons systems and introduced the concept of limited nuclear war. Both President Kennedy and his successor, Lyndon Johnson, determined that effective military power meant stronger conventional military forces and nuclear options short of global nuclear war. Flexible Response marked a shift away from the previous policy of Massive Retaliation. While Kennedy believed nuclear deterrence remained paramount, he also understood that limited wars and low intensity conflicts should be fought with conventional weapons.

Action: Screen begins with a picture of President Kennedy giving a speech. The following bullets are shown in support of the narration:

[Back: Cold War Technology | Next: The SIOP]