Focusing especially on the history of the MX program, this book examines the process of U.S. weapons procurement decision making. The authors demonstrate that strategic and general political factors (as opposed to bureaucratic concerns) play a far more decisive role in the decision-making process than is indicated in previous studies of weapons procurement. They also point to the significant contributions of congressional and public debate in influencing U.S. policy concerning weapons procurement. The authors conclude that the pattern of decision making with regard to the MX reflects a change that began in the 1970s and thus will be significant in explaining procurement policy in the decade ahead.
Foreword -- Preface -- Introduction -- The Bureaucratic Politics Paradigm for Procurement Decision Making -- Bureaucratic Politics and Procurement Decisions -- Issues and Actors -- A Peek through the Window of Vulnerability: Shall We have a New ICBM? -- A Peek through the Window of Vulnerability: What Shall Be the Basing Mode? -- Foreign Policy and the MX Decision -- Mxing it up in the Great Basin -- MX Decision Making -- From the Origins of MX to Two Decisions for Acquisition -- Congress and MX -- The Public Arena and MX -- The Reagan Basing-Mode-of-the-Month Club -- Conclusions -- Epilogue