Honorable Mention Prize Essay
When Americans think of the Pentagon, they are sure of at least four things: its immense size, staggering cost of operation, brass-encrusted inhabitants, and fantastic propensity for bickering and inter-service quarreling. But when the going gets rough, to paraphrase an old sea dog, "They call upon the sons of bitches to solve their problems."
Postwar differences between the services have been many and varied; political acceptability of one service over another has vacillated. Throughout the decade and a half since the war, public acceptance of a particular strategy over a competing one has played a major part in the ebb and flow of congressional support.
Department of Defense conflicts between the services have raised the following issues: (1) manpower versus air power versus sea power; (2) Joint Chiefs of Staff versus single Chief of Staff; (3) bombers versus aircraft carriers; (4) bombers versus missiles; (5) new look versus old look; (6) limited versus total war; (7) balanced deterrence versus counterforce.