ECONOMICS OF A DUAL CAPABILITY,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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A dual capability can be defined as a military capability for fighting all-out wars or limited wars. Whether we can and should support a dual capability, however, becomes a real economic issue only if we desire different kinds of forces to fight these different kinds of war. If, in accord with the ddefinition given for this seminar, we limit war by constraining only its objectives, area of combat, and resource commitment, the same strategic airpower that is our main deterrent to all-out war can be militarily effective in fighting limited wars. A small strategic bomber force could be diverted quickly to fight in a war so limited, and its attrition at the hands of the enemy would probably be negligible if used in areas not covered by the Soviet air defense network. It need not remain vulnerably based in exposed forward areas, and, most important, its use need not detract from our general deterrent power. The decision to use such a force would itself be the signal to bring the remainder of our strategic force to a higher state of alert, so raising our retaliatory capability.