After the war, Burke prepared the navy's first postwar long‐range plan, helped coordinate the service's testimony before Congress during the 1949 “Admirals' Revolt” hearings on defense unification and strategy, and served on the first United Nations Truce Negotiation Team during the Korean War. Eisenhower appointed Rear Admiral Burke in 1955 over ninety‐two more senior admirals to become chief of naval operations (CNO). He served an unprecedented three terms through August 1961.
As CNO, Burke fought against increased unification and restriction of command authority in the armed forces, and for maintenance of a balanced, flexible fleet capable of responding quickly and effectively to crises and limited wars. He also accelerated the development of innovative weapons systems, championing development of the Polaris submarine‐based ballistic missile, deployed in 1960, as a national nuclear deterrent system. Burke overruled advisers concerned about Polaris's cost and feasibility because he believed that a small, relatively invulnerable force of missile submarines could deter war and ensure a controlled response to Soviet attack. Burke linked the navy's strategy of “finite deterrence, controlled retaliation” to the need to prepare for limited as well as general war. He led one of the few serious challenges to massive retaliation and nuclear buildup during the first decades of the Cold War.
[See also Cold War.]
David Alan Rosenberg , Arleigh Albert Burke, in The Chiefs of Naval Operations, ed. Robert William Love, Jr., 1980.
David Alan Rosenberg , Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, in Men‐of‐War, Great Naval Leaders of World War II, ed. Stephen Howarth, 1993.
David Alan Rosenberg
"Burke, Arleigh." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/burke-arleigh
"Burke, Arleigh." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved August 22, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/burke-arleigh
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