Statement on Strategic Nuclear Forces by Dr. William J. Perry, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering before the Armed Services Committee of the United States Senate 96th Congress, First Session,
OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING WASHINGTON DC
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This report discusses strategic posture today with a few words about the character of the threat which these forces must respond to. Respond is a key word here since the forces which represent our real deterrent are those we would have left if the Soviets were to make a surprise attack. So, in planning our own strategic forces we walk a fine line, not configuring them to be so threatening to the Soviet Union that we fuel an arms race, or provide an incentive to the Soviets to pre-empt, but at the same time making sure that enought can survive a Soviet attack to provide an effective deterrent. Almost month by month, this task becomes more difficult. The threat to each leg of the TRIAD will set the stage for our more extended discussion. The effectiveness of our B-52 forces as presently configured will continue to decline with the continuing build-up in both the size and strength of Soviet air defenses unless we take appropriate countermeasures. Our principal counter to improve Soviet air defenses, the air-launched cruise missile, is progressing well and our test programs this past year indicate that the ALCM will be highly effective against current Soviet defensive systems and those that we expect to be deployed in the 1980s.
- Administration and Management
- Nuclear Warfare