Strategic Deterrence in the Post-Start Era
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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With the Soviet Unions fall there have been widespread calls for drastic reductions in the United States militarys strategic nuclear forces. Although a major threat to the United States has been greatly reduced, the number of strategic targets will not decrease as rapidly as the number of available weapons. This research considers how the United States should think about strategic forces in the rapidly changing world order of the 1990s. An extensive literature review of deterrence concepts and conventional weapons capabilities is conducted with special attention paid to the role that precision guided munitions played in the 1991 Persian Gulf War air campaign. Using a methodology that considers both target hardness and target value, three test cases representative of possible international deterrence scenarios the United States might face during the 1990s are tested against proposed strategic force structures in a reduced arms environment. The Arsenal Exchange Model, a linear programming allocation tool, is used to demonstrate the methodology. Soviet compliance with previous arms control agreements also is reviewed. Recommendations are made concerning the utility of including certain precision guided conventional weapons in the United States strategic force arsenal.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Nuclear Weapons