The archives’ Richard B. Foster collection now has a finding aid. The Foster papers document the work of a leading US national security analyst during the Cold War. In a long career at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute), 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 US defense policy, especially possible strategies in the event of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.
As director of the Strategic Studies Center at SRI International, Foster wrote or collaborated on numerous reports addressing 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 papers, which also contain articles Foster wrote for various journals, as well as copies of lectures he gave at Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America. Additionally, the collection has drafts of Foster’s unpublished history of US strategic doctrine.