Report

Key West Revisited: Roles and Missions of the United States Armed Forces in the Twenty-first Century

in Program

Stimson Report 8

Edited by Barry Blechman

On March 11-14, 1948, the first secretary of defense, James Forrestal, convened the chiefs of the military services in Key West, Florida, to resolve a long and bitter conflict among them about how to allocate responsibilities for military roles and missions. To Forrestal’s regret, the conference resulted in only a weak compromise, giving each service more or less what it wanted; Key West restored a degree of civility among the services, but in the process built redundancy into the heart of the US military posture.

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