America’s Security in the 1980s, 1st Edition by Christoph Bertram (eds.)

By Christoph Bertram (eds.)

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Example text

In particular, the issue of vulnerabilitythe growing vulnerability of US nuclear forces to Soviet attack - will continue to underlie much of the strategic debate ofthe 1980s. Two other key programmatic questions also remain to be dealt with; the possible deployment of anti-missile defences (ABM), and the need for a major restructuring of command, control, communication and intelligence (CJI) systems associated with nuclear forces. In the following sections, I discuss these three technical issues, as well as two closely related but much broader issues - the proper role of nuclear forces in the overall defence posture of the United States and NATO, and the place of nuclear arms-control agreements in protecting our security.

Nor would a nuclear defence be inexpensive. An effective nuclear war-ftghting capability would certainly require the deployment of active ABM and air defences in the United States, and perhaps even active defences in Europe. The C 31 system would also require massive investments to ensure enduring survivability. These costs, which could be many tens or even several hundreds of billions of dollars, would be over and above those associated with supplying the necessary offensive nuclear weapons. ild-up, hoping that the Soviet Union will be deterred from hostile action by the simple uncertainty associated with the ever present possibility ofholocaust.

Thus it is not clear that NATO's present command system permits a rapid enough response to thwart a Soviet invasion. The intelligence component of the CJI systems should not be underemphasized. In Europe, the use oflong-range weapons (such as the Pershing II now under development) to attack rear echelon concentrations of troops 34 and supplies has been advocated as a way of significantly improving NATO's capability to defend against a Soviet invasion. However, such attacks require accurate and extremely timely information on the location ofthe units to be targeted.

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