By the 1960s, with advances in weapon technology and the increasing tempo of the Vietnam War causing a dramatic rise in defense costs, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ushered in a new philosophy of defense management that called for integrated systems analyses throughout the defense establishment to balance costs with effectiveness.
OEG’s activities increased significantly in the early 1960s. To stay abreast of advances in science, the Applied Science Division (ASD) was created. With the cost of weapon systems becoming a dominant factor in military decision-making an Economics Division was established. And with an increase in the Marine Corps’ requirements for operations research The Marine Corps Section of OEG was formed.
Because military decision-making was becoming more complex, the Navy had established-separate from OEG-the Navy Long-Range Studies Project in 1959. As this group became involved in the study of future Navy issues, the requirements for analytical support from civilian specialists became more evident. A contract was negotiated with the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) to provide such assistance. The name of the Long-Range Studies Project was changed to the Institute of Naval Studies (INS), which was located at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 1962, the Secretary of the Navy moved to consolidate the work of OEG and the Navy’s Institute for Naval Studies (INS), and the Franklin Institute was chosen to administer the contract for the new organization: the Center for Naval Analyses (comprised of OEG and INS divisions). In the years ahead OEG’s NavWAG group also became a distinct operating entity within CNA, and two other divisions were established: the Systems Evaluation Group and Marine Corps Operations Analysis Group.
Shortly after CNA was formed, its analysts helped the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) develop plans for the naval quarantine of Cuba and assessed the effectiveness of surveillance operations.
By mid-decade, as the Vietnam War escalated, CNA established the Southeast Asia Combat Analysis Division (SEACAD), raising the number of CNA field representatives conducting war-related analysis and increasing direct support to naval operating forces. Analysts studied such operations as interdiction in North Vietnam and infiltration rates in South Vietnam, as well as combat aircraft losses, strike warfare and carrier defense, surveillance, and naval gunfire support. A large database on war-related activities was also developed and maintained in CNA's Washington office.