A Possible Fallback Counteroffensive Option in a European War,
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIRPOWER RESEARCH INST
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This discussion suggests that a fallback counteroffensive could become a realistic option should the need arise in a European war. More detailed analysis and planning, changes in our force structure, and successful joint exercises would be needed to gain confidence that such an option could be successful. However, what is perhaps more important for the purpose of peacetime deterrence is that even with our current capabilities, there is no certainty that the counter-offensive would fail. And that should create uncertainty in the Soviets mind about our response to the collapse of NATOs Central Front. It would certainly heighten their caution about the dangers of starting a war if they believed that even were they able to place at risk our valued assets in Western Europe, we might still be able to threaten their control of their vital East European buffer. Given their acute sensitivity to their strategic vulnerabilities in Eastern Europe, it would not take very much convincing for the Soviets to take an East European counteroffensive option seriously. If they were to do so, it would also induce them to reallocate forces from offensive to defensive purposes and to improve the flexibility and adaptability of their forces to deal with unexpected military responses--areas in which the Soviets are currently deficient. By exploiting Soviet political and military vulnerabilities, and East European counter-offensive option can thus enhance our overall deterrence posture.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics