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# The National Security Act of 1947 created a national military establis

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The National Security Act of 1947 created a national military establis  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Oct 2019, 22:52
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 252, Date : 06-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

The National Security Act of 1947 created a national military establishment headed by a single Secretary of Defense. The legislation had been a year-and-a-half in the making—beginning when President Truman first recommended that the armed services be reorganized into a single department. During that period the President’s concept of a unified armed service was torn apart and put back together several times, the final measure to emerge from Congress being a compromise. Most of the opposition to the bill came from the Navy and its numerous civilian spokesmen, including Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. In support of unification (and a separate air force that was part of the unification package) were the Army air forces, the Army, and, most importantly, the President of the United States.

Passage of the bill did not bring an end to the bitter interservice disputes. Rather than unify, the act served only to federate the military services. It neither halted the rapid demobilization of the armed forces that followed World War II nor brought to the new national military establishment the loyalties of officers steeped in the traditions of the separate services. At a time when the balance of power in Europe and Asia was rapidly shifting, the services lacked any precise statement of United States foreign policy from the National Security Council on which to base future programs. The services bickered unceasingly over their respective roles and missions, already complicated by the Soviet nuclear capability that for the first time made the United States subject to devastating attack. Not even the appointment of Forrestal as First Secretary of Defense allayed the suspicions of naval officers and their supporters that the role of the U.S. Navy was threatened with permanent eclipse. Before the war of words died down, Forrestal himself was driven to resignation and then suicide.

By 1948, the United States military establishment was forced to make do with a budget approximately 10 percent of what it had been at its wartime peak. Meanwhile, the cost of weapons procurement was rising geometrically as the nation came to put more and more reliance on the atomic bomb and its delivery systems. These two factors inevitably made adversaries of the Navy and the Air Force as the battle between advocates of the B-36 and the supercarrier so amply demonstrates. Given severe fiscal restraints on the one hand, and on the other the nation’s increasing reliance on strategic nuclear deterrence, the conflict between these two services over roles and missions was essentially a contest over slices of an ever-diminishing pie.

Yet if in the end neither service was the obvious victor, the principle of civilian dominance over the military clearly was. If there had ever been any danger that the United States military establishment might exploit, to the detriment of civilian control, the goodwill it enjoyed as a result of its victories in World War II, that danger disappeared in the interservice animosities engendered by the battle over unification.

1. The author makes all of the following points about the National Security Act of 1947 EXCEPT

(A) It provided for a single Secretary of Defense.
(B) The legislation that came out of Congress was a compromise measure.
(C) The legislation was initially proposed by President Truman.
(D) The Navy opposed the bill that eventually became law.
(E) The bill was passed to help the nation’s demobilization effort.

2. Which of the following best describes the tone of the selection?

(A) Analytical and confident
(B) Resentful and defensive
(C) Objective and speculative
(D) Tentative and skeptical
(E) Persuasive and cynical

3. According to the passage, the interservice strife that followed unification occurred primarily between the

(A) Army and Army air forces
(B) Army and Navy
(C) Army air forces and Navy
(D) Navy and Army
(E) Air Force and Navy

4. It can be inferred from the passage that Forrestal’s appointment as Secretary of Defense was expected to

(A) placate members of the Navy
(B) result in decreased levels of defense spending
(C) outrage advocates of the Army air forces
(D) win Congressional approval of the unification plan
(E) make Forrestal a Presidential candidate against Truman

5. According to the passage, President Truman supported which of the following?

I. Elimination of the Navy
II. A unified military service
III. Establishment of a separate air force

(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III

6. With which of the following statements about defense unification would the author most likely agree?

(A) Unification ultimately undermined United States military capability by inciting interservice rivalry.
(B) The unification legislation was necessitated by the drastic decline in appropriations for the military services.
(C) Although the unification was not entirely successful, it had the unexpected result of ensuring civilian control of the military.
(D) In spite of the attempted unification, each service was still able to pursue its own objectives without interference from the other branches.
(E) Unification was in the first place unwarranted and in the second place ineffective.

7. According to the selection, the political situation following the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 was characterized by all of the following EXCEPT

(A) a shifting balance of power in Europe and in Asia
(B) fierce interservice rivalries
(C) lack of strong leadership by the National Security Council
(D) shrinking postwar military budgets
(E) a lame-duck President who was unable to unify the legislature

8. The author cites the resignation and suicide of Forrestal in order to

(A) underscore the bitterness of the interservice rivalry surrounding the passage of the National Security Act of 1947
(B) demonstrate that the Navy eventually emerged as the dominant branch of service after the passage of the National Security Act of 1947
(C) suggest that the nation would be better served by a unified armed service under a single command
(D) provide an example of a military leader who preferred to serve his country in war rather than in peace
(E) persuade the reader that Forrestal was a victim of political opportunists and an unscrupulous press

9. The author is primarily concerned with

(A) discussing the influence of personalities on political events
(C) criticizing a piece of legislation
(D) analyzing a political development
(E) suggesting methods for controlling the military

Originally posted by rohitgoel15 on 21 Jul 2010, 04:26.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 06 Oct 2019, 22:52, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (842).
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Joined: 11 Sep 2015
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Re: The National Security Act of 1947 created a national military establis  [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2018, 09:19
Top Contributor
rohitgoel15 wrote:
The National Security Act of 1947 created a national military establishment headed by a single Secretary of Defense. The legislation had been a year-and-a-half in the making—beginning when President Truman first recommended that the armed services be reorganized into a single department. During that period the President’s concept of a unified armed service was torn apart and put back together several times, the final measure to emerge from Congress being a compromise. Most of the opposition to the bill came from the Navy and its numerous civilian spokesmen, including Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. In support of unification (and a separate air force that was part of the unification package) were the Army air forces, the Army, and, most importantly, the President of the United States.

Passage of the bill did not bring an end to the bitter interservice disputes. Rather than unify, the act served only to federate the military services. It neither halted the rapid demobilization of the armed forces that followed World War II nor brought to the new national military establishment the loyalties of officers steeped in the traditions of the separate services. At a time when the balance of power in Europe and Asia was rapidly shifting, the services lacked any precise statement of United States foreign policy from the National Security Council on which to base future programs. The services bickered unceasingly over their respective roles and missions, already complicated by the Soviet nuclear capability that for the first time made the United States subject to devastating attack. Not even the appointment of Forrestal as First Secretary of Defense allayed the suspicions of naval officers and their supporters that the role of the U.S. Navy was threatened with permanent eclipse. Before the war of words died down, Forrestal himself was driven to resignation and then suicide.

By 1948, the United States military establishment was forced to make do with a budget approximately 10 percent of what it had been at its wartime peak. Meanwhile, the cost of weapons procurement was rising geometrically as the nation came to put more and more reliance on the atomic bomb and its delivery systems. These two factors inevitably made adversaries of the Navy and the Air Force as the battle between advocates of the B-36 and the supercarrier so amply demonstrates. Given severe fiscal restraints on the one hand, and on the other the nation’s increasing reliance on strategic nuclear deterrence, the conflict between these two services over roles and missions was essentially a contest over slices of an ever-diminishing pie.

Yet if in the end neither service was the obvious victor, the principle of civilian dominance over the military clearly was. If there had ever been any danger that the United States military establishment might exploit, to the detriment of civilian control, the goodwill it enjoyed as a result of its victories in World War II, that danger disappeared in the interservice animosities engendered by the battle over unification.

A student asked me to comment on questions 6 and 9

6. With which of the following statements about defense unification would the author most likely agree?
(A) Unification ultimately undermined United States military capability by inciting interservice rivalry.
(B) The unification legislation was necessitated by the drastic decline in appropriations for the military services.
(C) Although the unification was not entirely successful, it had the unexpected result of ensuring civilian control of the military.
(D) In spite of the attempted unification, each service was still able to pursue its own objectives without interference from the other branches.
(E) Unification was in the first place unwarranted and in the second place ineffective.

The first sentence of the last paragraph says Yet if in the end neither service was the obvious victor, the principle of civilian dominance over the military clearly was.
This is very similar to what answer choice C is saying.

9. The author is primarily concerned with
(A) discussing the influence of personalities on political events
(C) criticizing a piece of legislation
(D) analyzing a political development
(E) suggesting methods for controlling the military

I'd say the passage is mainly about how defense unification went through various phases.

Answer choice D best matches this summary.

Cheers,
Brent
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Re: The National Security Act of 1947 created a national military establis  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2019, 07:20
All correct except Q2 and Q5 in 12 mins 30 seconds, including almost 5 mins to read
Para 1- National Security Act of 1947- 1 sec of defense
Para 2- passage of bill served only to federate the military services
Para 3- 1948, military budget plummeted, interservice disputes
Para 4- neither service was the obvious victor, the principle of civilian dominance over the military clearly was

1. The author makes all of the following points about the National Security Act of 1947 EXCEPT

(A) It provided for a single Secretary of Defense.- incorrect, a national military establishment headed by a single Secretary of Defense
(B) The legislation that came out of Congress was a compromise measure.- incorrect, the final measure to emerge from Congress being a compromise
(C) The legislation was initially proposed by President Truman.- incorrect, beginning when President Truman first recommended that the armed services be reorganized into a single department.
(D) The Navy opposed the bill that eventually became law.- incorrect, Most of the opposition to the bill came from the Navy and its numerous civilian spokesmen
(E) The bill was passed to help the nation’s demobilization effort.- Correct

2. Which of the following best describes the tone of the selection?

(A) Analytical and confident
(B) Resentful and defensive
(C) Objective and speculative
(D) Tentative and skeptical
(E) Persuasive and cynical

Q-Which selection is referred here? Is it the appointment of Forrestal as First Secretary of Defense?

3. According to the passage, the interservice strife that followed unification occurred primarily between the
(E) Air Force and Navy
These two factors inevitably made adversaries of the Navy and the Air Force as the battle between advocates of the B-36 and the supercarrier so amply demonstrates.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that Forrestal’s appointment as Secretary of Defense was expected to

(A) placate members of the Navy
Not even the appointment of Forrestal as First Secretary of Defense allayed the suspicions of naval officers and their supporters that the role of the U.S. Navy was threatened with permanent eclipse.

5. According to the passage, President Truman supported which of the following?

I. Elimination of the Navy
II. A unified military service- President Truman first recommended that the armed services be reorganized into a single department.
III. Establishment of a separate air force - In support of unification (and a separate air force that was part of the unification package) were the Army air forces, the Army, and, most importantly, the President of the United States.

(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III

Isn't option III also correct?

6. With which of the following statements about defense unification would the author most likely agree?
(C) Although the unification was not entirely successful, it had the unexpected result of ensuring civilian control of the military.
Yet if in the end neither service was the obvious victor, the principle of civilian dominance over the military clearly was.

7. According to the selection, the political situation following the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 was characterized by all of the following EXCEPT

(A) a shifting balance of power in Europe and in Asia -incorrect, when the balance of power in Europe and Asia was rapidly shifting
(B) fierce interservice rivalries-incorrect, the conflict between these two services over roles and missions was essentially a contest over slices of an ever-diminishing pie.
(C) lack of strong leadership by the National Security Council-incorrect the services lacked any precise statement of United States foreign policy from the National Security Council on which to base future programs.
(D) shrinking postwar military budgets- incorrect, By 1948, the United States military establishment was forced to make do with a budget approximately 10 percent of what it had been at its wartime peak.
(E) a lame-duck President who was unable to unify the legislature- Correct

8. The author cites the resignation and suicide of Forrestal in order to

(A) underscore the bitterness of the interservice rivalry surrounding the passage of the National Security Act of 1947
Not even the appointment of Forrestal as First Secretary of Defense allayed the suspicions of naval officers and their supporters that the role of the U.S. Navy was threatened with permanent eclipse. Before the war of words died down, Forrestal himself was driven to resignation and then suicide.

9. The author is primarily concerned with

(A) discussing the influence of personalities on political events- incorrect, there is no discussion on the influence of personalities on political events
(C) criticizing a piece of legislation- incorrect, criticizing is too narrow
(D) analyzing a political development- Correct
(E) suggesting methods for controlling the military- incorrect, no such methods have been suggested

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , VeritasKarishma , generis , VeritasPrepErika , other experts - please provide your views on Q2 and Q5.
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The National Security Act of 1947 created a national military establis  [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2019, 00:50
Skywalker18

Skywalker18 wrote:
5. According to the passage, President Truman supported which of the following?

I. Elimination of the Navy
II. A unified military service- President Truman first recommended that the armed services be reorganized into a single department.
III. Establishment of a separate air force - In support of unification (and a separate air force that was part of the unification package) were the Army air forces, the Army, and, most importantly, the President of the United States.

(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III

Isn't option III also correct?

I am no expert.
But the inference about Truman can only be drawn really narrow. The quoted sentence from the passage makes II true, thats correct.
The legislation had been a year-and-a-half in the making—beginning when President Truman first recommended that the armed services be reorganized into a single department.

The next few sentences, the passage talks no more about President Truman, rather that a compromise has been established. And then the result of that compromise is presented:
In support of unification (and a separate air force that was part of the unification package) were the Army air forces, the Army, and, most importantly, the President of the United States.

So to draw an inference, that President Truman himself supported that compromise would be too far in my opinion.
I hope, this helps.
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Re: The National Security Act of 1947 created a national military establis  [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2020, 22:29
1
The author makes all of the following points about the National Security Act of 1947 EXCEPT

(A) It provided for a single Secretary of Defense.
Wrong. " establishment headed by a single Secretary of Defense."

(B) The legislation that came out of Congress was a compromise measure.
Wrong. " the final measure to emerge from Congress being a compromise"

(C) The legislation was initially proposed by President Truman.
Wrong. "President Truman first recommended that the armed services be reorganized into a single department"

(D) The Navy opposed the bill that eventually became law.
Wrong. Navy did oppose it and it became an act.

(E) The bill was passed to help the nation’s demobilization effort.
Right. No such reason is given in the passage

2. Which of the following best describes the tone of the selection?

(A) Analytical and confident
Correct.

(B) Resentful and defensive
Wrong.

(C) Objective and speculative
Wrong. Speculative is a wrong word here. It's history there is nothing speculative about anything.

(D) Tentative and skeptical
Wrong. Tentative: We are not talking about future.

(E) Persuasive and cynical
Wrong. The author is not trying to persuade the reader. He is just stating the facts.

3. According to the passage, the inter service strife that followed unification occurred primarily between the

(A) Army and Army air forces
Wrong.

(B) Army and Navy
Wrong.

(C) Army air forces and Navy
Wrong

(D) Navy and Army
Wrong.

(E) Air Force and Navy
Right. "made adversaries of the Navy and the Air Force as the battle between advocates of the B-36 "

4. It can be inferred from the passage that Forrestal’s appointment as Secretary of Defense was expected to

(A) placate members of the Navy
Right Because Navy was against this unifcation.]

(B) result in decreased levels of defense spending
Wrong.It was forced due to circumstances.

(C) outrage advocates of the Army air forces
Wrong. He was the leader of navy before.

(D) win Congressional approval of the unification plan
Wrong. This happened before he was appointed also.

(E) make Forrestal a Presidential candidate against Truman
Wrong.

5. According to the passage, President Truman supported which of the following?

I. Elimination of the Navy
Wrong. Navy was included in the unification plan.

II. A unified military service
Right. This was the initial plan.

III. Establishment of a separate air force
This was the compromise.

(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III

6. With which of the following statements about defense unification would the author most likely agree?

(A) Unification ultimately undermined United States military capability by inciting interservice rivalry.
Wrong. Vert strong words. "Ultimately"

(B) The unification legislation was necessitated by the drastic decline in appropriations for the military services.
Wrong. No such reason is stated. Budget did decrease but author did not link it to the unification.

(C) Although the unification was not entirely successful, it had the unexpected result of ensuring civilian control of the military.
Right.

(D) In spite of the attempted unification, each service was still able to pursue its own objectives without interference from the other branches.
Wrong. They were confused about their objective.

(E) Unification was in the first place unwarranted and in the second place ineffective.
very strong words. It was not unwarranted. It was supported by alot of people.

7. According to the selection, the political situation following the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 was characterized by all of the following EXCEPT

(A) a shifting balance of power in Europe and in Asia
Wrong. This was one of the reason.

(B) fierce interservice rivalries
Wrong. Air force and Navy had a lot of interservice rivalries

(C) lack of strong leadership by the National Security Council
Wrong. Head of navy was appointed as the head and he comitted sucide.

(D) shrinking postwar military budgets
Wrong. This happened.

(E) a lame-duck President who was unable to unify the legislature
Right. Unifacation hapenned.

8. The author cites the resignation and suicide of Forrestal in order to

(A) underscore the bitterness of the interservice rivalry surrounding the passage of the National Security Act of 1947
Right. It was so much that he had to take his life

(B) demonstrate that the Navy eventually emerged as the dominant branch of service after the passage of the National Security Act of 1947
Wrong. No body emerged as the winner.

(C) suggest that the nation would be better served by a unified armed service under a single command
Wrong. Then why did he sucide?

(D) provide an example of a military leader who preferred to serve his country in war rather than in peace
Wrong. He couldn't serve the country in the war.

(E) persuade the reader that Forrestal was a victim of political opportunists and an unscrupulous press
Wrong. There was no political drama behind this.

9. The author is primarily concerned with

(A) discussing the influence of personalities on political events
Wrong. Political personalities influenced personalities.

Wrong. He committed suicide.

(C) criticizing a piece of legislation
Wrong. The author was confident about it.

(D) analyzing a political development
Right. it discusses the political development.

(E) suggesting methods for controlling the military
Wrong. No suggestions!
Re: The National Security Act of 1947 created a national military establis   [#permalink] 04 Mar 2020, 22:29