War Termination Concepts and Political, Economic and Military Targeting
SRI INTERNATIONAL ARLINGTON VA STRATEGIC STUDIES CENTER
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This report presents a conceptual framework for assessing the utility of limited strategic nuclear options for war termination. It proceeds from a basic assumption that the Soviet Union has initiated overt military hostilities against the United States or its allies which have sufficient momentum for extended conflict or rapid escalation to unrestricted nuclear war. The efficacy and implications of the United States employing a limited strategic nuclear response to terminate hostilities are examined. War termination concepts as they relate to U.S. official strategic thinking are considered. Concepts of thresholds, communicating intent, strategic consequences, capabilities, linkages, escalation, termination and target categories are examined in an LSO context. Soviet views on limited strategic war are appraised. Two scenarios, depicting hypothetical circumstances which might lead to using an LSO for war termination purposes, are described. An analysis of economic targeting for war termination is presented. Force posture implications are derived.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Nuclear Warfare