Paying the Premium: A Military Insurance Policy for Peace and Freedom

By Walter Hahn; H. Joachim Maitre | Go to book overview

STRATEGIC LOGIC AND AN UNPREDICTABLE FUTURE

There is little that is revolutionary in the thoughts and recommendations posited above. Instead, they reflect recognition that evolutionary changes are required. We have witnessed dramatic changes in the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union and its successor states, along with an equally dramatic decline in the conventional threat to Western Europe. It remains to be seen whether these changes are lasting; meanwhile, however, there abides a constant: Russian or CIS strategic nuclear forces represent the capability to inflict devastating damage on the United States and its allies.

Compelling political and economic trends and pressures, together with changes in the strategic environment, seem to be pointing toward a future U.S. strategic posture characterized by reductions well beyond those contemplated in START and the follow-on agreement. Still, events in the world at large are moving rapidly. There is the prospect of changes in the newly created CIS of such scope that their consequences cannot be predicted. All this argues for time to absorb and understand the impact of global changes.

In the meantime, the basic planning framework for strategic forces still applies. The structure of forces for the twenty-first century should be shaped by strategic logic--that is, by definition of the national objective, of the strategy to achieve the objective, and of the military tasks, capabilities, and forces necessary to underwrite the strategy. The irreducible criterion for the force is that they must continue to be able to absorb some part of a first strike with surviving forces clearly capable of imposing unacceptable damage on the attacker. The declared and implied objectives for that follow-on force require that it be more survivable and less costly, and that it neither invite nor threaten a first strike.


NOTES
1.
For a discussion of the evolution and practice of deterrent strategy, see Phillip Bobbit and Lawrence Freedman, U.S. Nuclear Strategy ( New York: New York University Press, 1989); see also Stephen J. Cimbala, Rethinking Nuclear Strategy ( Wilmington, Del.: SR Books, 1988).
2.
Henry S. Rowen, "Evolution of Strategic Nuclear Doctrine," in Strategic Thought in the Nuclear Age, edited by Lawrence Martin ( Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), p. 146.
3.
"Soviet-United States Joint Statement on Future Negotiations on Nuclear and Space Arms and Further Enhancing Strategic Stability," Washington, D.C.: June 1, 1990.
4.
Arnold L. Horlick, "U.S.-Soviet Relations: The Threshold of a New Era," Foreign Affairs 69 (no. 1), pp. 51-69.
5.
For a discussion on first-strike stability and target values, see Glenn A. Kent and David E. Thaler, First Strike Stability--A Method for Evaluating Strategic Forces, Rand R-3765-AF ( Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, 1989).
6.
U.S. Department of Defense, "Department of Defense Budget for FYs 1990 and 1991," Washington, D.C.: January 9, 1989.

-122-

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Paying the Premium: A Military Insurance Policy for Peace and Freedom
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Military Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1: In Search of an American "Defense Insurance Policy" 1
  • Notes 11
  • 2: Risks and Uncertainties in a Changing World 13
  • Note 31
  • 3: Army Forces for the Future 33
  • 4: Naval Forces for the Future 55
  • 5: Tactical Air Forces for the Future 71
  • 6: Marine Forces for the Future 93
  • Notes 109
  • 7: Strategic Forces for the Future 111
  • Notes 122
  • 8: Coping with Global Missile Proliferation 123
  • 9: The Pivotal Elements: Airlift and Sealift 141
  • 10: The Need for Forward Prepositioning 159
  • 11: The U.S. Defense- Industrial Base 173
  • Notes 184
  • 12: Conclusion: How the Challenges and Dangers of the Post-Containment Era Can Be Mastered 185
  • Notes 189
  • Index 191
  • About the Editors and Contributors 197
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