Strategic ASW and the Conventional Defense of Europe.
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
Pagination or Media Count:
Leaders in the U.S. Navy have recommended that the United States seriously consider the option of attacking Soviet ballistic missile submarines during the conventional phase of a major war arguing that in, so doing, the U.S. and its allies could gain strategic leverage over the USSR and aid in war termination on terms acceptable to THE U.S. and our allies. They argue further that antisubmarine warfare is small because what is happening ashore, not at sea, would dominate any Soviet decision to fire nuclear weapons. Critics of this policy in the U.S. have vigorously argued the contrary, asserting variously that attacking Soviet SSBNs would produce little advantage because SSBNs make up only a small fraction of Soviet strategic forces or the risk of escalation would be unacceptably high because the Soviets would feel significant pressure to rectify the NUCLEAR BALANCE with a counterforce strike ON THE U.S.. At its worst, critics argue, a calculated strategic ASW campaign by the U.S. would encourage the Soviets to attack preemptively because they would see it as little other than a precursor to a surprise U.S. attack on Soviet ICBMs and intercontinental bombers. This paper examines these and other arguments and presents his conclusions as to how they affect the conventional defense of Europe.
- Undersea and Antisubmarine Warfare