Download America’s Security in the 1980s by Christoph Bertram (eds.) PDF

By Christoph Bertram (eds.)

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These negotiations were only marginally successful - resulting in the unratifted SALT II Treaty. I recite this history in order to emphasize that disappointment with the arms-control process is not a new phenomenon; it began almost immediately after the completion of the SALT I Agreements. An extraordinary number of approaches have been attempted in the intervening period to fmd a common ground between the two sides. So far, there has been no success. Given the non-ratification of SALT II, a new approach is essential if there is to be progress, yet any approach to arms control is clearly inconsistent with a major increase in the nuclear warftghting capabilities of the United States.

In its absence, there are arms-control approaches which might be successful. The Reagan Administration has indicated that it favours an approach of negotiating deep cuts in the size of the two nations' central strategic arsenals and long-range theatre nuclear forces, but I fmd it difficult to conceive of circumstances in which deep cuts could be negotiated. First, there are serious strategic and military questions concerning the beneftts to nuclear stability of deep cuts. A war which involved only half the weapons on each side would be no less destructive to mankind than one which involved all the existing weapons, and the force cuts themselves might actually tempt pre-emption in a crisis.

However, such attacks require accurate and extremely timely information on the location ofthe units to be targeted. Present systems are unlikely to provide adequate information. Likewise, unless much improved strategic intelligence is made available, the use of strategic nuclear forces in a European conflict must be limited to targeting ftxed sites. In summary, the C 31 system will receive increasing attention, not only because improvements must be made to keep it survivable enough to ensure retaliation against all-out attack, but perhaps more significantly because major improvements will have to be made if the West is to rely more heavily on nuclear warfighting capabilities for its defence.

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