INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN THE NUCLEAR AGE
Conflicts among nations or blocs have often occurred before, though never has their scope been as global and their potential destructiveness as great as today's East-West conflict. There are many views about how such a conflict is to be resolved, ranging all the way from those who seek to wipe out the other side to those who would rather surrender. Opinions in the West have focused upon two less extreme positions: one held by those who believe that the conflict cannot be peacefully resolved, and another followed by those who believe in and work for its resolution. After briefly reviewing these two alternatives, let us consider a third possibility.
Duopoly is a strategy supported by advocates of both positions. Those who are pessimistic about Communism, expecting its adherents neither to mellow nor to be estranged, favor duopoly as the best way to counter the continuous challenges of international Communism. The Communists, according to this approach, will continue to prod the West in countless ways; and the West has to counter each new onslaught with a well-armed holding operation. The result will not be "conflict resolution" but a protracted conflict.1 This, it is emphasized, is a strategy in itself. To seek resolution with such an opponent, it is said, is not only naïve but downright dangerous.
While the supporters of "protracted conflict" are in substantial agreement about the near future, they differ in their long-run projections. "Sophisticated" protractionists expect the conflict to continue as long as can be foreseen and ques-____________________