Resource Issues and Strategic Planning, 1945–73

  • Ian O. Lesser


The period from 1945 to the Middle East War and oil crisis of 1973 was one of transition from the wartime legacy of resource-related planning in the context of prolonged general war to the new requirements of strategic planning in the nuclear age. Despite the very substantial evolution in strategic thinking necessitated by the introduction of nuclear weapons, there would continue to be strong elements of continuity with traditional, pre-1945 approaches to resource questions. Events in this period will be discussed with particular reference to American policy, and a view towards answering a critical question: how did nuclear weapons affect the relevance of resource factors to military power, potential and planning? Key developments during this period which would influence the formation of strategy included the tremendous growth of civilian demand for raw materials relative to the potential military requirements in wartime, and most importantly, the very great expansion in the worldwide demand for oil. Finally, the increasing desire of newly-independent and developing countries for control over valuable indigenous resources would raise new questions with regard to the security of access to resources in peace and war.


Strategic Planning Middle East Nuclear Weapon Strategic Bombing American Strategy 
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Copyright information

© Ian O. Lesser 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian O. Lesser
    • 1
  1. 1.The Center for Strategic and International StudiesWashington, DCUSA

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