Planning for War in the Age of Normalcy:

  • 2013

Planning for War in the Age of Normalcy:

The United States, Britain, and the Strategic Context of War Plan Red
Author:
Gerald Boone
Abstract:

Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan Red, published in 1930, considered an American response to military conflict with the British Empire. In a departure from the standard historiography, this essay argues that War Plan Red reflected a realistic appreciation for the strategic environment of the 1920s. American military planners of the era conceived of war with Great Britain as a very real possibility. The plan's background was a series of political and economic tensions between the two Atlantic powers that were significant enough for both sides to see each other as their most probable adversary in the decade after World War I. The authors of War Plan Red understood the nature of the emerging power struggle between Great Britain and the United States, and forecast that the former might initiate conflict to protect its declining fortunes against the growing aspirations of the latter.