Essays on Measures of the Strategic Blance.
Military issues research memo.,
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
Military power continues to be perceived as fundamental to the international bargaining process. Hence, concerns over the shifts in the strategic balance are germane to the question of whether this nation will continue to accomplish, with a modicum of success, its foreign policy goals. The four essays reflect the complex nature of assessing the strategic balance and relative importance of the forces which shape that balance. The first paper underscores the role conventional forces play in the strategic balance. It is suggested that the strategic equation is a function of the balance of central nuclear, tactical nuclear, and conventional forces where the weight of each of the variables is a function of force utilities and, hence, inversely proportional to the destructive power it represents. The two essays which follow emphasize the importance of tactical nuclear forces. The first contends that a US policy on tactical nuclear weapons which does not preclude their first use by NATO forces in response to an overwhelming conventional attack is the key to stability in Europe and to the overall strategic balance between the United States and the Soviet Union. In similar fashion, the second essay focuses on stability, Measures of the military balance are seen as meaningless unless tied to values such as stability--the ability to resolve crises without either side feeling compelled to act first with force--and, hence, this essay emphasizes the psychology of numbers as a clue to the stability of the current balance.
- Government and Political Science