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Thomas S. Gates Jr.
|3rd Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing
May 6, 1976 –May 8, 1977
| Gerald Ford
|George H. W. Bush
|7th United States Secretary of Defense
December 2,1959 –January 20,1961
|Dwight D. Eisenhower
|James H. Douglas Jr.
|Neil H. McElroy
|8th United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
June 8,1959 –December 1,1959
|Dwight D. Eisenhower
|Donald A. Quarles
|James H. Douglas Jr.
|54th United States Secretary of the Navy
April 1,1957 –June 8,1959
|Dwight D. Eisenhower
|William B. Franke
|William B. Franke
|9th United States Under Secretary of the Navy
October 7,1953 –April 1,1957
|Dwight D. Eisenhower
|William B. Franke
Thomas Sovereign Gates Jr.
|March 25,1983 76) (aged
|Thomas Sovereign Gates (father)
|University of Pennsylvania (BA)
|United States Navy
|World War II
Thomas Sovereign Gates Jr. (April 10,1906 –March 25,1983) was an American politician and diplomat who served as Secretary of Defense from 1959 to 1961 and Secretary of the Navy from 1957 to 1959,both under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. During his tenure as Secretary of Defense,he established a task force to set nuclear target priorities. He also authorized U-2 reconnaissance flights,including the flight of Francis Gary Powers.
Later in his career,he served as the Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing,appointed by President Gerald Ford.
Born in Germantown,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania,Gates was the son of Thomas S. Gates Sr.,an investment banker and lawyer who was president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1930 to 1944,and his wife,Marie ( née Rogers) Gates.Gates graduated from Chestnut Hill Academy,an all-male private preparatory school in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania,in 1924. He was then accepted into the University of Pennsylvania,where his father was serving on the university's board of trustees. At Penn,Gates managed the Penn Quakers football team and was a member of the school's basketball team,where in March 1928,he was arrested along with 16 other students with charges of inciting a riot after Penn defeated Princeton to become Intercollegiate League champions. A member of Zeta Psi fraternity,and the Phi Beta Kappa Society,Gates graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in English in 1928.
Gates married the former Millicent Anne Brengle on September 29,1928. They had one son and three daughters. After graduating,he joined his father's Philadelphia-based investment banking firm,Drexel and Company.In the early to mid-1930s he worked as a bond salesman at Drexel,and later moved to New York City for two years where he was an apprentice for J.P. Morgan &Company. Gates became a full partner at Drexel and Company in 1940.
During World War II he served in the Navy,rose to the rank of lieutenant commander,and participated in campaigns in the Pacific and Mediterranean areas. He was released from active duty in October 1945.
President Eisenhower appointed Gates Under Secretary of the Navy in October 1953 and Secretary on 1 April 1957,positions in which he earned the president's approval. It was a foregone conclusion when Gates became Defense Secretary Neil McElroy's deputy on 8 June 1959 that he would succeed him. He entered office with an impressive background of active military experience and more than six years in the Department of Defense.
As a top-level DoD official since 1953,Gates was familiar with the 1953 and 1958 Defense Department reorganizations. Believing that the Secretary of Defense had all the authority he needed and that time should be allowed for evaluation of the long range effects of the 1958 amendments,he discouraged efforts to further revamp the department. As a former Secretary of the Navy who had observed the gradual downgrading of service secretary positions,he felt that the service secretaries should play a more important role,and he encouraged them to do so.
Gates cultivated a good working relationship with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Less than a month after becoming secretary,he reminded the chiefs of their responsibility to apprise him of disputes and proposed to meet with them in order to expedite settlement or bring the issue to the president's attention for final resolution. Soon Gates and the JCS met on a regular basis,not just in instances when the Chiefs disagreed. Congressional and other sources applauded Gates for taking the initiative in improving both the JCS organization and the secretary's relations with it.
Another important Gates initiative was the creation in August 1960 of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff (JSTPS). Previously,inadequate coordination of targeting plans between the Strategic Air Command and the Navy led to redundancy and disputed priorities. These differences became especially significant with the advent of the Navy's sea-based Polaris ballistic missiles. Acting on a proposal by SAC Commander in Chief General Thomas S. Power that SAC control strategic weapons targeting,Gates set up the JSTPS. The SAC commander,supported by an integrated joint staff,assumed separate duties as director of strategic target planning,to be,as Gates indicated,"the planning agent for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in developing and keeping up to date the detailed plans which are necessary."
When Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh A. Burke objected to the new arrangement,Gates encouraged him to argue his case with President Eisenhower,who ultimately upheld Gates's decision. Thereafter Burke supported the JSTPS and assigned to it highly qualified naval officers.
By December 1960 the JSTPS had prepared the first Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP),which specified for various attack options the timing,weapons,delivery systems,and targets to be used by U.S. strategic forces.
Gates devoted more time than his predecessors Charles E. Wilson and Neil H. McElroy to the development of basic defense policy,a sphere in which the president remained dominant. While he instituted no radical departure from the New Look approach,the changing nature of nuclear weapons and delivery systems,the related assumed need for continental defense systems,and the pressing question of how to respond to local or "limited" wars,dictated a gradual shift in defense policy.
As Gates pointed out at a congressional hearing in January 1960,the two principal U.S. defense objectives were "to deter the outbreak of general war by maintaining and improving our present capability to retaliate with devastating effectiveness in case of a major attack upon us or our allies" and "to maintain,together with our allies,a capability to apply to local situations the degree of force necessary to deter local wars,or to win or contain them promptly if they do break out."
Gates saw no clear distinction between general war and limited war forces. As he put it,"All forces are a deterrent to and would be employed in a general war. Most of our forces could be employed in a limited war,if required." He noted as an example that aircraft carriers "are probably the country's best limited war capability initially because they are deployed in the world's trouble zones and they have on-the-spot ability to react";yet,he added,they could contribute to the strategic offensive forces during general war.
During Gates's tenure,two missile elements—the ICBM and the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) -- joined the manned bomber to form a "triad" of strategic nuclear delivery systems. Also during this period,there occurred movement toward greater emphasis on counterforce targeting a potential enemy's military installations and forces. Not only was the United States developing or beginning to deploy a variety of missile systems during this period-Atlas,Titan,Minuteman,and Polaris-but so was the Soviet Union.
The USSR's emphasis on the land-based ICBM rather than the manned bomber as its primary strategic delivery system presaged a threat of such magnitude to the United States that,together with the Sputnik shock,it forced an acceleration in the pace of U.S. missile development.
Gates,like McElroy,had to contend with the "missile gap" controversy. He regarded it as a false issue,based on the failure of missile gap believers to distinguish between space and military programs. When the U.S. long-range ballistic missile program began in the early 1950s,Gates observed,the development of small,lightweight nuclear warheads by American scientists made it possible for smaller ballistic missiles to carry them.
The Russians,on the other hand,concentrated on very large boosters that they used to launch space satellites earlier than the United States. Gates told a House committee,"We are not behind the Russians in our military effort overall . . . . It is one thing to admit you are behind in the ability to put big payloads in space for which we have at the moment no military requirement,and another thing to admit that we are behind in our total military posture."
Gates conceded that the Soviets might have more strategic missiles than the United States for a few years,perhaps peaking in 1962,but he denied that there was a real missile or deterrent gap;the Soviets would not "gain a strategic posture which might tempt them to initiate a surprise attack." Gates based his thinking in part on a debatable approach to intelligence estimates,which took account of Soviet intentions as well as capabilities,leading to the conclusion that the disparity between the number of Soviet and U.S. missiles by 1962 or 1963 would not be as great as estimated during the McElroy period.
Like all of his predecessors,Gates supported U.S. participation in collective security pacts and military assistance programs. He identified NATO as the nucleus of the U.S. "forward strategy." As he put it,"Should we ever abandon our forward strategy in favor of the so-called 'Fortress America' concept,we would retreat forever." He urged Congress to continue adequate funding for military assistance,which had brought very high returns for the money spent.
Perhaps the most spectacular event of Gates's administration occurred on 1 May 1960 when the Soviet Union shot down over its territory a Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft piloted by Francis Gary Powers. When Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev announced the incident four days later and accused the United States of spying,the Eisenhower administration initially suggested that the plane might have strayed into Soviet airspace.
On the recommendation of representatives from the State and Defense departments,including Gates,President Eisenhower later admitted that the U-2 was on an intelligence-gathering mission (actually under CIA control) and assumed responsibility for the flight. In mid-May Gates accompanied Eisenhower to Paris for a summit meeting that had been scheduled prior to the U-2 affair. There Khrushchev demanded termination of all U.S. flights over the Soviet Union,an apology,and punishment of those responsible.
Eisenhower indicated that the flights would not be resumed but rejected the other demands,whereupon Khrushchev refused to proceed with the summit meeting. Gates suggested later that the Russian leader used the U-2 crisis to abort a meeting that he had determined in advance would not result in gains for the Soviet Union.
On the eve of the summit conference,Gates ordered a worldwide alert of U.S. military communications facilities a decision criticized by some as provocative. Stoutly defending his action,Gates later explained that he decided,with the concurrence of Eisenhower and Secretary of State Christian A. Herter,to call the alert when he became aware of the belligerent position Khrushchev intended to take when the summit convened the next day. "Under the circumstances," Gates said,"it seemed most prudent to me to increase the awareness of our unified commanders. Moreover,since the command and individuals concerned in the decision process,including the President,the Secretary of State,and myself,were overseas,it was important to check out our military communications."
Although Gates adhered to the usual budget posture and strategy of the Eisenhower administration,there was 8.2 percent real growth in DoD's fiscal year 1961 budget after Congress completed its work. Total obligational authority amounted to $44.6 billion,almost $4.4 billion over the previous year. The bulk of the increase went to the Navy and the Air Force. Gates pressed for an appropriation of $2 billion for military assistance,most of which Congress provided. To criticism of the Eisenhower administration's continuing efforts to hold down the DoD budget,Gates replied that the department was spending enough money to meet the nation's vital security needs.
In a lengthy statement entitled "Department of Defense,1953-1960," prepared at the close of Gates's tenure,the Department of Defense summarized its accomplishments during the Eisenhower years,concluding that "today our armed forces have the greatest striking power in our history,many times greater than in 1953."
Among other accomplishments,it cited development of medium- and long-range bombers (including the B-52s put into service during the 1950s) and ICBMs;installation of a continental defense system the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW) Line,the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS),and Nike surface-to-air missile systems;production of several nuclear submarines,beginning with the Nautilus in 1954,and Forrestal-type carriers;and creation of the Defense Communications Agency.
Gates retired from office on 20 January 1961. There were those who regarded him as the first of a new breed of secretaries of defense who would take a more active management approach evidenced by his regular meetings with the JCS and establishment of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff. Gates,of course,had the advantages of long prior service in DoD and the expanded authority of the office resulting from the 1953 and 1958 reorganizations.
Although President Eisenhower continued to be,as during the Wilson and McElroy periods,the chief author of defense policy and the ultimate decision-maker,Gates appeared to operate with more authority and independence than his immediate predecessors,especially in areas such as strategic policy and planning.
After John F. Kennedy's election to the presidency in 1960,the press speculated that he might include a Republican in his cabinet and that Gates would be high on the list of possible appointees.
On January 18,1961,Gates was presented with the Medal of Freedom by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. After he left at The Pentagon,Gates joined Morgan and Company in New York,later the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company,which eventually became the J.P Morgan Bank,becoming president in 1962 and chairman and chief executive officer in 1965. President Richard M. Nixon appointed him chairman of the Advisory Commission on an All-Volunteer Force,which presented its recommendations to end the draft on February 21,1970.From 1976 to 1977 he served,with the rank of ambassador,as chief of the United States Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China.
Gates served as a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania,from 1948 to 1983 and received an honorary degree of an LL.D. from Penn,his alma mater,in 1956.He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the College of the Atlantic during the periods 1972–1976 and 1978–1983. The community center at College of the Atlantic is named in his honor.
Gates died in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania,on March 25,1983,at the age of 76.
The Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) is named after the late Secretary of Defense. It is the only such cruiser named after a person.
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,also known as the ABM Treaty or ABMT,was an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union on the limitation of the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems used in defending areas against ballistic missile-delivered nuclear weapons. It was intended to reduce pressures to build more nuclear weapons to maintain deterrence. Under the terms of the treaty,each party was limited to two ABM complexes,each of which was to be limited to 100 anti-ballistic missiles.
The Cuban Missile Crisis,also known as the October Crisis in Cuba,or the Caribbean Crisis,was a 13-day confrontation between the governments of the United States and the Soviet Union,when American deployments of nuclear missiles in Italy and Turkey were matched by Soviet deployments of nuclear missiles in Cuba. The crisis lasted from 16 to 28 October 1962. The confrontation is widely considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into full-scale nuclear war.
An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi),primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery. Conventional,chemical,and biological weapons can also be delivered with varying effectiveness,but have never been deployed on ICBMs. Most modern designs support multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRVs),allowing a single missile to carry several warheads,each of which can strike a different target. The United States,Russia,China,France,India,the United Kingdom,Israel,and North Korea are the only countries known to have operational ICBMs.
In nuclear strategy,a first strike or preemptive strike is a preemptive surprise attack employing overwhelming force. First strike capability is a country's ability to defeat another nuclear power by destroying its arsenal to the point where the attacking country can survive the weakened retaliation while the opposing side is left unable to continue war. The preferred methodology is to attack the opponent's strategic nuclear weapon facilities,command and control sites,and storage depots first. The strategy is called counterforce.
The LGM-118 Peacekeeper,originally known as the MX for "Missile,Experimental",was a MIRV-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) produced and deployed by the United States from 1985 to 2005. The missile could carry up to twelve Mark 21 reentry vehicles,each armed with a 300-kiloton W87 warhead. Initial plans called for building and deploying 100 MX ICBMs,but budgetary concerns limited the final procurement;only 50 entered service. Disarmament treaties signed after the Peacekeeper's development led to its withdrawal from service in 2005.
National missile defense (NMD) refers to the nationwide antimissile program the United States has had in development since the 1990s. After the renaming in 2002,the term now refers to the entire program,not just the ground-based interceptors and associated facilities.
The Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation or the Strategic Missile Forces of the Russian Federation is a separate-troops branch of the Russian Armed Forces that controls Russia's land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). It was formerly part of the Soviet Armed Forces from 1959 to 1991.
Charles Erwin Wilson was an American engineer and businessman who served as United States Secretary of Defense from 1953 to 1957 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Known as "Engine Charlie",he was previously the president and chief executive officer of General Motors. In the wake of the Korean War,he cut the defense budget significantly.
The nuclear arms race was an arms race competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States,the Soviet Union,and their respective allies during the Cold War. During this same period,in addition to the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles,other countries developed nuclear weapons,though none engaged in warhead production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers.
Neil Hosler McElroy was United States Secretary of Defense from 1957 to 1959 under President Eisenhower. He had been president of Procter &Gamble.
Harold Brown was an American nuclear physicist who served as United States Secretary of Defense from 1977 to 1981,under President Jimmy Carter. Previously,in the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson administrations,he held the posts of Director of Defense Research and Engineering (1961–1965) and United States Secretary of the Air Force (1965–1969).
The Cold War (1953–1962) discusses the period within the Cold War from the end of the Korean War in 1953 to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Following the death of Joseph Stalin earlier in 1953,new leaders attempted to "de-Stalinize" the Soviet Union causing unrest in the Eastern Bloc and members of the Warsaw Pact. In spite of this there was a calming of international tensions,the evidence of which can be seen in the signing of the Austrian State Treaty reuniting Austria,and the Geneva Accords ending fighting in Indochina. However,this period of good happenings was only partial with an expensive arms race continuing during the period and a less alarming,but very expensive space race occurring between the two superpowers as well. The addition of African countries to the stage of cold war,such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo joining the Soviets,caused even more unrest in the West.
Nathan Farragut Twining was a United States Air Force general. He was the chief of Staff of the United States Air Force from 1953 until 1957,and the third chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1957 to 1960. He was the first member of the Air Force to serve as Chairman. Twining was a distinguished "mustang" officer,rising from private to four-star general and appointment to the highest post in the United States Armed Forces in the course of his 45-year career.
The Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) was the United States' general plan for nuclear war from 1961 to 2003. The SIOP gave the President of the United States a range of targeting options,and described launch procedures and target sets against which nuclear weapons would be launched. The plan integrated the capabilities of the nuclear triad of strategic bombers,land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM),and sea-based submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). The SIOP was a highly classified document,and was one of the most secret and sensitive issues in U.S. national security policy.
Flexible response was a defense strategy implemented by John F. Kennedy in 1961 to address the Kennedy administration's skepticism of Dwight Eisenhower's New Look and its policy of massive retaliation. Flexible response calls for mutual deterrence at strategic,tactical,and conventional levels,giving the United States the capability to respond to aggression across the spectrum of war,not limited only to nuclear arms.
Deterrence &Survival in the Nuclear Age,commonly referred to as the Gaither report,is a report submitted in November 1957 to the United States National Security Council and the U.S. president concerning strategy to prepare against the perceived threat of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union.
Launch on warning (LOW),or fire on warning,is a strategy of nuclear weapon retaliation that gained recognition during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. With the invention of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs),launch on warning became an integral part of mutually-assured destruction (MAD) theory. Under the strategy,a retaliatory strike is launched upon warning of enemy nuclear attack while its missiles are still in the air and before detonation occurs. US land-based missiles can reportedly be launched within 5 minutes of a presidential decision to do so and submarine-based missiles within 15 minutes.
STRAT-X,or Strategic-Experimental,was a U.S. government-sponsored study conducted during 1966 and 1967 that comprehensively analyzed the potential future of the U.S. nuclear deterrent force. At the time,the Soviet Union was making significant strides in nuclear weapons delivery,and also constructing anti-ballistic missile defenses to protect strategic facilities. To address a potential technological gap between the two superpowers,U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara entrusted the classified STRAT-X study to the Institute for Defense Analyses,which compiled a twenty-volume report in nine months. The report looked into more than one hundred different weapons systems,ultimately resulting in the MGM-134 Midgetman and LGM-118 Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missiles,the Ohio-class submarines,and the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles,among others. Journalists have regarded STRAT-X as a major influence on the course of U.S. nuclear policy.
Nike Zeus was an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system developed by the United States Army during the late 1950s and early 1960s that was designed to destroy incoming Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile warheads before they could hit their targets. It was designed by Bell Labs' Nike team,and was initially based on the earlier Nike Hercules anti-aircraft missile. The original,Zeus A,was designed to intercept warheads in the upper atmosphere,mounting a 25 kiloton W31 nuclear warhead. During development,the concept changed to protect a much larger area and intercept the warheads at higher altitudes. This required the missile to be greatly enlarged into the totally new design,Zeus B,given the tri-service identifier XLIM-49,mounting a 400 kiloton W50 warhead. In several successful tests,the B model proved itself able to intercept warheads,and even satellites.
Project BAMBI was a project as part of the United States national missile defense.