Date of Award

Fall 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Craig M. Cameron

Committee Member

Carl Boyd

Committee Member

Austin J. Jersild

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47 C472


Military planning and buying changed dramatically after World War II as more attention and resources were applied toward the development of a strategy that made air power the center of strategic thinking. Nevertheless, when by 1947, aircraft production dropped so low as to threaten the viability of the aircraft industry, President Truman formed the President's Air Policy Commission, which spawned a cooperative effort between government and industry.

The relationship between government officials, particularly in the military, and industry executives became so close in the next decade that the health of the aircraft industry became linked with that of the military. Procurement of aircraft by the United States Air Force was affected by several factors, such as strategic thinking, government and institutional influences, and technological advances. This study investigates the relationship between the aircraft industry and what role air power played in Cold War strategy, by examining the procurement process, threat assessment, institutional behavior, and corporate profits. Procurement was affected by two main factors, first, the Soviet threat demanded the United States build up forces with the latest and best equipment, and second, advancements in technology grew in leaps and bounds, driven by the perceived Soviet threat, and prospects of lucrative rewards to risk development cost.


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