THE USES AND LIMITATIONS OF NUCLEAR DETERRENCE IN ASIA,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
Pagination or Media Count:
The basic question of the threshold of stimulus, provocation, or violence, at which a U. S. nuclear response becomes sufficiently credible to be an effective deterrent is examined. Clearly, the threshold question conceals a number of complex issues, in Asia no less than in Europe. Would the use of nuclear weapons be militarily effective. Are there tactical targets within the objective area that can be more effectively destroyed with nuclear weapons than with other means, without inflicting more significant damage on friend than foe. If not, then is geographic escalation with nuclear weapons against targets outside the tactical area likely to be more effective than conventional weapons in relieving the military threat. Is there a risk that use of nuclear weapons will involve the Soviet Union in further escalation moves., etc. Are the political costs of using nuclear weapons likely to be too great in relation to military effectiveness to make their use credible. Can these political costs be reduced, or are they likely to be offset by the political costs of failing to make a stand. Implicitly, or explicitly, these questions are answered in sharply different ways by the two contrasting views of deterrence.