Roles and Phases in Superpower Deterrence and Escalation Control
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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This Note presents an analysis of possible actions, such as force movements and communications, the United States might take to deter the Soviet Union or other powers during a variety of crisis situations. The analysis examines contingencies and options by using a framework that identifies possible superpower roles and distinguishes among different stylized phases of crisis and conflict. This framework posits and develops three alternative superpower roles 1 the True Believer--an actor in a historic, ideological struggle between Soviet Marxism-Leninism and Western capitalistic liberal democracy 2 the Competitor--a pursuer of national interests in the framework of competing blocs and alliances organized around the great powers and subject to nuclear-era constraints and 3 the Stabilizer--seeking to maintain relative order and to contain risks. The analysis posits four phases in conflict scenarios opening, posturing, engagement, and concluding. The analysis includes a consideration of the impact of Soviet deterrence actions on the United States and the impact of both U.S. and Soviet deterrence actions on other parties.
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