Strategy after Deterrence

By Stephen J. Cimbala | Go to book overview

power and allied forces and doctrines seem to preclude confidence in short wars, favorable outcomes, and conflict maintained below the nuclear threshold. Beneath this appearance that all is well, waters of technology and military-planning guidance roll, and potential maelstroms lurk. Conventional deep-strike systems with the potential for inflicting massive and militarily decisive losses on the opponent raise one set of cautionary flags. So, too, do superpower and allied cuts in the sizes of forces, if they are not accompanied by equal emphasis on confidence- and security-building measures to make more transparent the intentions of the two blocs. The role of nuclear weapons in NATO's defense policy now more than ever requires clarification. The gyration between "weapons for combat attrition" and "weapons for deterrence," with regard to NATO theater-nuclear forces, needs a more careful calibration, since both the modernization and the reduction in size of these forces is surely on the way. Although at lower levels, "nuclear residuals" in U.S. strategic and NATO theater-nuclear forces will be needed by NATO policymakers and military planners to hedge against conventional defeat, to reinforce deterrence, and to maintain military establishments that are inexpensive relative to the cost of switching to conventional forces entirely.


NOTES
1
S. P. Ivanov, Nachal'nyy period voyny (The initial period of war) ( Moskva: Voyenizdat, 1974) is an important reference and is available in the U.S. Air Force Soviet Military Thought Series ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office). I have profited immensely from the opportunity to read a draft manuscript on this subject by Dr. John Yurechko and from suggestions with regard to sources by Dr. Graham H. Turbiville, Jr. The Soviet journal Voyenno-istoricheskiy zhurnal covers this topic extensively; in 1985, it published an especially interesting series of articles. See, for example, Lt. Gen. A. I. Yevseyev, "O nekotorykh tendentsiyakh izmenenii soderzhaniya i kharaktem nachal'nogo perioda voyny" ("On certain tendencies in the changing contents and character of the initial period of war"), Voyenno-istoricheskiy zhurnal, 11 ( November 1985): 10-20. According to Lt. Gen. M. M. Kir'yan, the initial period of a war is "the time during which the belligerents fought with previously deployed groupings of armed forces to achieve the immediate tactical goals or to create advantageous conditoins for commiting the main forces to battle and for conducting subsequent operations." Kir'yan, "The Initial Period of the Great Patroitic War", Vizh 6 ( June 1988): 11-17. See also the references in Yevseyev's article.
2
Col. David M. Glantz, Deep Attack: The Soviet Conduct of Operational Maneuver (Fort Leavenworth, Kan.: Soviet Army Studies Office, 1987).
3
According to Soviet historical analysis of the Great Patriotic War, during its early and middle stages Soviet forces were forced to fight on the strategic defensive or to limit their strategic offensive operations to counteroffensives on the main sectors. In the third

-51-

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