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Moorer, Thomas

Moorer, Thomas (1912–), Cold War U.S. naval leader; chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), 1970–74.A blunt but affable Alabaman, Moorer was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and saw combat as a naval aviator early in World War II and participated in the postwar Strategic Bombing Survey. Later he commanded the Pacific Fleet (during the Tonkin Gulf incident and the air campaign over Vietnam), and the Atlantic Fleet (during the Dominican Republic intervention). Moorer served as NATO's Atlantic commander (during France's pullout from NATO commands) and commander in chief of the U.S. unified Atlantic Command. Chief of Naval Operations in 1967, his term saw intensive operations in the Vietnam War, the Pueblo incident in Korea (1968), increased public antipathy toward the military, Soviet challenges to U.S. naval dominance, and decline of U.S. naval strength.

As chairman of the JCS (1970–74), Moorer served President Nixon and defense secretaries Laird, Richardson, and Schlesinger. Bombing and mining campaigns against North Vietnam (which he championed), “Vietnamization,” strategic arms limitation talks, conventional force cuts, the end of Conscription, and two Middle East crises highlighted his term.

Following retirement, Moorer remained active in research and industry, notably as senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
[See also Dominican Republic, U.S. Military Involvement in; Middle East, U.S. Military Involvement in the; Navy, U.S.: Since 1946, SALT Treaties.]

Bibliography

J. Kenneth McDonald , Thomas Hinman Moorer, in Robert William Love, Jr., ed., The Chiefs of Naval Operations, 1980.
Willard J. Webb and and Ronald H. Cole , The Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1989.

Peter M. Swartz

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