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: Probably no phase of recent Air Force history has been more significant than the development of strong general purpose forces to deter or win limited conflicts, including the "wars of national liberation" advocated by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in January 1961. Strengthening USAF General Purpose Forces, 1961-1964, an account of this buildup, also includes a brief summary of the change in national military policy which gave rise to it. The author discusses the viewpoints of the top planners in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force and in Headquarters USAF. At the same time, he describes how these officials adjusted to the military policy inaugurated by President John F. Kennedy and his Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara. Concurrently, the author notes how the growing emphasis on general purpose forces required closer coordination with the other military services, especially the Army, and aggravated the problems of interservice support. The buildup of tactical forces took place in a period of growing world tension and simultaneously with other important national programs, such as the exploration of space and attempts to improve the domestic economy. Resulting strains on the national budget and the unfavorable balance of gold payments created numerous and sometimes unforeseen difficulties. Prepared as part of a continuing History of Headquarters USAF, this study is being issued separately to make it available quickly in a conveniently usable form. A companion study by the same author, Strengthening USAF Airlift forces, 1961-1964, covers a related phase of U.S. preparations to resist aggression by limited means.