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An Inventory of the Richard B. Foster papers
2004C41  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Arrangement Statement
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Richard B. Foster papers
    Date (inclusive): 1955-1999
    Collection Number: 2004C41
    creator: Foster, Richard B.
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 87 manuscript boxes (34.8 linear feet)
    Abstract: The Richard B. Foster papers document the work of a leading American national security analyst in the Cold War period. In a career spanning three decades, Foster specialized in strategic forecasting, attempting to predict future military and political developments on the basis of existing trends. He conducted research and wrote about many aspects of American defense policy, especially in relation to the possibility of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. As the director of the Strategic Studies Center at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute), Foster wrote or collaborated on numerous reports that addressed a wide range of national security issues, including military strategy, ballistic missile defense, arms control, and telecommunications. These reports comprise the largest part of the Foster collection. In addition, the collection contains a number of articles Foster wrote for various journals, as well as drafts of his unpublished study of the history of American strategic doctrine.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives

    Access

    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Richard B. Foster papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2004.

    Accruals

    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Biography

    1916 Born, Springfield, Washington
    1938 Awarded bachelor's degree, University of California at Berkeley
    1954 Joined Stanford Research Institute (later SRI International) as manager of Air Defense Evaluation Program
    1965-1984 Director, Strategic Studies Center, SRI International
    1978 Founding editor, Comparative Strategy
    1980s Taught courses on strategy at Georgetown University and Catholic University of America
    1999 Died

    Arrangement Statement

    Materials that are listed under the same headings in the finding aid are sometimes located in more than one range of boxes within the collection. Stanford Research Institute and SRI International reports are found in boxes 1-39 and boxes 64-79. Speeches and writings are in boxes 40-54 and boxes 80-82. Printed matter is located in boxes 60-64 and boxes 84-86.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Richard B. Foster papers document the work of a leading American national security analyst in the Cold War period. In a career spanning three decades, Foster specialized in strategic forecasting, attempting to predict future military and political developments on the basis of existing trends. He conducted research and wrote about many aspects of American defense policy, especially in relation to the possibility of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. As the director of the Strategic Studies Center at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute), Foster wrote or collaborated on numerous reports that addressed a wide range of national security issues, including military strategy, ballistic missile defense, arms control, and telecommunications. These reports comprise the largest part of the Foster collection. In addition, the collection contains a number of articles Foster wrote for various journals, as well as drafts of his unpublished study of the history of American strategic doctrine.
    The SRI reports dealing with nuclear warfare include speculation as to how such a conflict might unfold, presenting various scenarios of destruction and possible recovery from a nuclear exchange. Other reports in the collection focus on the military power of the Soviet Union and what Foster and other SRI analysts perceived to be Soviet attempts to achieve strategic superiority vis-a-vis the United States. There are also analyses of various issues pertaining to American diplomacy, including relations with China and Europe. These include a number of studies authored by Foster that assess the implications of changes in American foreign policy during the Nixon administration.
    The collection also contains copies of lectures given by Foster at Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America, as well as some correspondence and memoranda pertaining to Foster's work at SRI International. There are also materials relating to Foster's service on the board of directors of Freedom House, including reports on various human rights issues. The printed matter in the collection is largely concerned with military policy and diplomatic history.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    SRI International.
    Arms control.
    Ballistic missile defenses.
    Nuclear weapons.
    Strategy.
    Telecommunication.