Accession Number:

ADA333577

Title:

The Cult of Deterrence: A Moral and Strategic Critique of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis,

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1997-12-30

Pagination or Media Count:

70.0

Abstract:

Ballistic missile defense is the morally and strategically superior alternative to the current system of deterrence, provided that it is responsibly implemented. Analysis of the Just War Criteria and the utilitarian justifications of deterrence present a moral obligation to pursue the alternative strategy of missile defense as a means of defending the United States. However, the Anti-Ballistic Missile ABM Treaty does not allow earnest pursuit of this alternative, despite recent efforts to exploit its loopholes and broaden its meaning beyond any reasonable limit. Moreover, deterrence can no longer provide the guarantee of security that it did during the Cold War. Offense-Defense Theory shows that revisionist states are not subject to the same calculations of effective deterrence that the Soviet Union was during that period. This strategic analysis underlies the moral evaluations and further supports missile defense. The cult of deterrence is presented as an explanation for the failure to adapt national security policy to the new international structure, as European powers failed to perceive the offense-defense balance prior to World War I. The ABM regime threatens to reproduce those same mistakes with even greater consequences.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Antimissile Defense Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE