challenges restructuring advocates to consider the implications of a static defense vis-à-vis a mobile defense, the limited depth of the battlefield, the vulnerability of barrier systems, and need for combined arms in modern warfare, the reality of Soviet force regeneration capability, and the importance of logistical and sustainment capabilities. Should we be indifferent to the other side as we restructure, or should we embrace a restructuring regime that is compatible with them?
by Ralph A. Hallenbeck
Since the beginning of the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), much has been said and written about the need to do more than just reduce to parity the military forces of the Warsaw Pact and NATO. From Western as well as Eastern academicians there have been repeated calls for really deep reductions on both sides, and also for restructuring the remaining forces to make them capable only of defense, or at least much less capable of offense. Various defensive restructuring concepts have also been advanced by Warsaw Pact political leaders and by the leaders of opposition parties in the West. Western governments and most military leaders on both sides, however, have tended to remain wary of calls for a massive reduction or restructuring of their forces and derisive of academic prescriptions for exclusively defensive military force structures.
To be sure, the idea of reduction and restructuring as separate but complementary means to enhance defensive capabilities has received some favorable military attention. For example, WTO and NATO military leaders have generally agreed that the unilateral reduction and restructuring currently ongoing among Soviet and Non-Soviet Warsaw Pact (NSWP) forces in Eastern Europe will decrease the WTO's capabilities for a blitzkrieg attack against NATO. Military leaders on both sides have also endorsed the reductions and extrareduction, stability, transparency, and verification measures under consideration in the CFE negotiations. From a military perspective, the questions have not been about whether military forces could be rendered less threatening through a combination of reduction and restructuring measures; the concerns have instead been with how, to what extent, and with what level of cost and risk.
What follows, then, is an attempt to sort through the more important ideas advanced to promote defensive dominance, and to distinguish or identify the ideas that appear to have substantial promise from those that should be viewed only in terms of their tactical utility (and both kinds from those that, for any combination of reasons, seem to lack much utility at all).
In an effort to avoid an exegesis on the pros and cons of NATO versus WTO proposals for CFE force reductions, suffice it to say that the common objective