Download America’s Security in the 1980s by Christoph Bertram (eds.) PDF

By Christoph Bertram (eds.)

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Flexible response is a compromise strategy which straddles the US belief that first use of nuclear weapons would be close to suicidal in the face of Soviet nuclear capabilities, and the European belief that any war in Europe would quickly become nuclear. The strategy requires that the USSR believes that the US will in fact use her nuclear weapons if faced with no alternative but defeat, no matter how much such use might risk her own destruction. This strategy, which incorporates a large amount of uncertainty and some simple bluff, left everyone reasonably satisfied so long as America's nuclear forces remained superior to those of the Soviet Union and so long as NATO's conventional forces could probably blunt a Soviet conventional attack without relying on nuclear weapons.

Congress gives DOD authority to obligate the government, which is done by letting contracts. The funds are not spent until work is complete, often several years later in the case of major weapons. The spending profiles of the three investment accounts are shown in Table 4. Table 4: Spending Patterns (%of Budget Authority) Procurement Research & Development M iIitary Construction 4on- 2 3 12 37 30 21 8 36 30 26 Years: 56 36 wards 6 2 As Table 4 shows, the budget authority granted by Congress in Year I would heavily influence spending in Years 2 and 3.

However, such attacks require accurate and extremely timely information on the location ofthe units to be targeted. Present systems are unlikely to provide adequate information. Likewise, unless much improved strategic intelligence is made available, the use of strategic nuclear forces in a European conflict must be limited to targeting ftxed sites. In summary, the C 31 system will receive increasing attention, not only because improvements must be made to keep it survivable enough to ensure retaliation against all-out attack, but perhaps more significantly because major improvements will have to be made if the West is to rely more heavily on nuclear warfighting capabilities for its defence.

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