Strategic War Termination

Strategic War Termination

Strategic War Termination

Strategic War Termination

Synopsis

The first book to analyze strategic war termination from a policy perspective, Strategic War Termination explores present US policy on termination and recommends strategies for improving it. Taking into account the impact of new weapons technologies, adversaries' expectations, and counter-command attacks, this unique work examines methods for deterrence of global protracted and nuclear wars as well as the conduct and termination of them. Timely and provocative, Strategic War Termination explains what policy is and should be on this pressing subject.

Excerpt

This volume is intended as a contribution to the general literature on nuclear deterrence, war, and strategy. Its focus is on those wars that are "strategic" U.S.-Soviet conflicts or crises. Strategic conflicts or crises are those that have the potential to expand into direct superpower use of intercontinental nuclear forces against one another. The contributors focus on the theory and practice of war avoidance and war termination after deterrence has failed but before escalation has totally escaped control.

In Part I, "The Basic Numbers," William C. Martel uses strategic exchange models to address the possible structure of a nuclear war between superpowers. He concentrates on the consequences of large-scale wars to provide basic reference points, notwithstanding the possibility that smaller exchanges could occur. Martel concludes that, beyond the earliest and smallest exchanges of nuclear weapons between superpowers, the prospects for controlling and terminating a U.S.-Soviet nuclear war are not good. He constructs models of U.S. and Soviet counterforce first strikes, including attacks against the command centers of the opponent. He also estimates the consequences of countervalue retaliations on the part of both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. after having absorbed a first strike. Martel's assumptions about the structure of U.S. and Soviet counterforce and countercommand attacks should be considered along with the policy-attendant risks of decapitation, described in other contributions to this collection.

In Part II, "The Logic of Deterrence and War Termination," the authors clarify the relationships between deterrence and war termination. David W. Tarr emphasizes the relationship between war avoidance and war termination as it applies to potential U.S.-Soviet strategic conflict. Tarr considers the "liberal" and "conservative" perspectives on war avoidance as cognitive maps illustrating the assumptions behind popular and academic strategic arguments. However, it turns out, not unexpectedly, that neither perspective is fully consistent or compelling. What is more interesting is that neither one explicitly states much about how and why nuclear wars should end. Ideological approaches confirm pre-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.