TO ARMS CONTROL AND BEYOND
Duopoly is both a political approach and a military strategy. It is supposed to provide security for the West and stability for the world by building a counterforce to checkmate whatever force the Communists may wield. Under duopoly aggressions are to be deterred by making military advances seem unprofitable. If deterrence does not work, they are to be repulsed. He who wishes peace, the Pentagon recites, prepares for war.
The military instruments of duopoly are many and complex, but there are two major components: those that seek to deter a nuclear attack on the heartlands of the West, and those aimed at holding the containment line. The larger nuclear weapons, strategic bombers, and long-range missiles serve mainly the first purpose; conventional troops and subconventional forces, the latter. The two components are closely related, however. Each side has to feel that it has adequately countered the nuclear threat to its own security as it seeks to expand or to counter expansion in a third country. Without feeling that their heartland is effectively protected, the Communist bloc could not attempt expansion with impunity; and without such a shield, the West could not effectively counter the challenge. Similarly, an ineffective conventional or subconventional capacity would either allow a violation of the containment line, as happened in Indochina in 1954, or to threaten a nuclear war to deter a local, limited challenge.
Although the Kennedy Administration took some steps to supersede military duopoly, its first years were spent trying