Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on April 6, 1969 · Page 12
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 12

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 6, 1969
Page 12
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an EDrnuN# As time goes on, record shows Robert S: McNamara lost some, won some fcy rftED S. BOFFMAN AP Military Writer WA&HmG'TON - One by one* some key judgments m«te by Robert S. Mc- Naiftara during his long domination of U.S. defense policy hav« unraveled or come un- def raw fire. Hdweter, McNamara's en- fofrttnent of civilian control at the Pentagon and his landmark budgeting reforms geeffl likely to live on as a shining legacy of his record tenure as secretary of defense. It is a year since McNamara left the Pentagon to become president of the World Bank, and: —Intelligence reports indicate the Russians have just about caught up with the United States in intercontinental ballistic missiles, five years after McNamara decreed a 1,054 ceiling on U.S. ICBMs. The former defense chief once said, "The Soviets have decided that they have lost the quantitative race, and they are not seeking to engage us in that contest." —The House Armed Services Committee is investigating a costly Army tank project pushed by McNamara as a joint U.S. -West German development. The six-year-old project has a history of problems. -The "McNamara Wall," a $1.8 billion schema for laying an anti-infiltration barrier across South Vietnam, was a flop, although some of the sensors developed for it have been used to advantage to detect North Vietnamese infiltration through Laos, from Cambodia and across the Demilitarized Zone. —THE C5A (GALAXY, a giant transport plane developed under a McNamara contracting innovation intended to hold down price, has escalated by at least $1.2 billion. Questioning senators are investigating. Also, first delivery of the C5A has slipped six months. —The Air Force's Fill fighter plane still is plagued with difficulties. A 13th Fill, center of a dispute since its drawing board inception as the>TFX, has been lost. The Pentagon, under Capitol Hill prodding, has dropped the Navy Fill version, and the Navy is developing a replacement. —Army authorities say helicopter production has only recently recovered from the effects of a McNamara - Ordered cutback in 1965. The reduction had been decreed only a few months before the United States entered the Vietnam war with its troops. —McNamara's design for a 150,000 - man Army National Guard and Reserve select force ready for deployment eight weeks after mobilization has fallen far short of expectations. Authorities say denial of funds to continue extra training and draw-off of equipment to Vietnam were responsible. Some military officers and other critics contend the passage of time and events show that McNamara was a giant who nevertheless did make some judgment errors. But there are many in the Pentagon who counter that budgeting and reorganization reforms instituted under McNamara made his seven years as defense secretary the outstanding period in Pentagon history. They predict these reforms will last. SECRETARY of Defense Melvin R. Laird, the Nixon administration's Pentagon chief, has publicly acknowledged his admiration of reorganization actions McNamara took. Some of those steps in volved centralizing for efficiency such activities as intelligence, communications and general procurement. Perhaps significantly, there is no sign that Laird is changing McNamara's basic budgeting approach, which discarded the old system of splitting the budget among the armed services and substituted a program under which Pentagon programs were planned on a functional basis, looking five years ahead. During the presidential campaign, candidate Nixon promised to "root out" what he called the whiz kid approach to defense planning. AA anniversary to hear TV star A prominent television star and Hollywood actor will address a special meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous Saturday in celebration of the organization's 26th anniversary in Arizona, it was announced yesterday. Bill R., chairman of the event, said the anniversary celebration will be held at 8 p.m. in St. Francis Xavier Parish Hall, 4715 N. Central. The meeting is open to AA members, their friends and thofe interested in alcoholism, the chairman said. California City staff sued for 812 million LOS ANGELES (UPI)-The dewlopers of California City, a Kern County community, were named in a $12 million suit Friday. They were charged with "fraud and deceit." Eighty persons or firms were named. The suit claimed Uw defendant* made "great Illicit profit* by perpetrating fraud" In the selling of land in the community, 8-A The Arizona Republic Phoenix, Sunday, April 6,1969 ROBERT S. McNAMARA But Laird is using the systems analysis organization for rational studies underpinning decisions, and he has kept on one of the McNamara "whiz kids" as acting chief of that organization. Possibly McNamara's most significant contribution — one that is generally acknowl- edged even by those who question his record on other grounds—was his establish* ment of unquestioned civilian authority. "McNamara succeeded in getting control over the defense establishment," said one high civilian official who has served under a series of defense chiefs. ALTHOUGH the Nixon administration has promised to listen more to senior military advice, Laird has shown he intends to keep a firm hand on everything — and the McNamara precedent will help him carry it off. Some of McNamara's military hardware decisions which caused great furor have held up well, and the controversy has died. out. Over strong Air Force and congressional objections, he persuaded President John F. Kennedy to cancel the Sky- bolt 1,000-mile range missile in late 1962. McNamara held that delays, rising costs, unreliability and advances in other weapons made the airplane- launched missile a liability. McNamara alto defied Congress in junking the B70 bomber, a 2,000-mile-an-hour airplane. At the time he acted, cutting the project to only two planes in 1964, the defense chief said it would be "a serious waste of the nation's resources" because, in his opinion, it would be vulnerable to sophisticated Soviet defenses. Although $1.5 billion had been spent on the B70, McNamara estimated his decision probably saved the United States another $8.5 billion. Parks department schedules trail ride Guided trail rides through the Superstition Mountains are scheduled for April 19 and 20 by the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department and the Arizona State Horsemen's Association. Each all-day trip will cover 14 miles and begin at 8:30 a.m. with cowboy coffee. Horses may be rented and additional information obtained from the County Parks and Recreation Department. the Vietnam war, and particularly limitations he imposed on the aif war against North Vietnam, probably brought him the most bitter criticism ffom senior mUitary officers and hawks in general. THOSE WHO claim the air war could have been successful In forcing North Vietnam to the conference table earlier argue that McNamara's policy of carefully controlled application of air power per* mitted the North Vietnamese to adjust their defenses and national psychology to the attacks. Critics have called this policy "gradualism" and it split McNamara from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As in the case of the helicopter production slash, members of Congress complained that McNamara was not sufficiently foresighted in gearing up for the fighting in Vietnam. They blamed him for reported bomb shortages, which at one point made the Defense Department buy back at more than 10 times the original price some 750-pound bombs which had been sold to the Germans as surplus. Navy admirals, who for years sought heavy appropriations to modernize the aging fleet, now bitterly blame McNamara for deferring adequate modernization so long that prices have climbed almost vertically. For years, the Navy warned that the Russians were building a big and formidable fleet of advanced sub- tj marines, but MeNtmara MM [ down on prftpe&ls to expand the U.S. attack tubmariAft force. ^ The final Johnson adminifcL. tration defense budget, sent 3 "' to Congress in January, ac* r *- knowledged that the Navy** was right and said, "Mora*, and better attack submarines may be required in mid- and late 1970s than have previously thought sary." 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