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

By Christoph Bertram (eds.)

ISBN-10: 1349065439

ISBN-13: 9781349065431

ISBN-10: 1349065455

ISBN-13: 9781349065455

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Vulnerability To a large extent, the impending deployment of new ICBM, bomber and cruise missile forces is a response to the growing vulnerability of US nuclear forces to Soviet counterforce attack. For a period, it seemed possible that arms-control measures could help assure the survivability ofthese forces, but this hope was disappointed by the experience of SALT II. The growing vulnerability of America's nuclear forces to Soviet attack is an issue which cuts across virtually all others. The two major issues I have discussed above, ABM and C 31, stem at least partially from concern with vulnerability.

In light of these considerations, it seems likely that the Defense Department will have to cope with uncompromising budget pressures in the mid-1980s. The strength of these pressures will depend largely on the success of the Reagan economic recovery programme and the Administration's effort to cut back nondefence spending. These factors will be far more significant in shaping defence policy than changes in security strategy or sophisticated analyses of the threat. Public Opinion and Security Policy While economic and budgetary considerations play major roles in shaping security policy, public attitudes also exert considerable influence in policy and spending decisions.

The build-up was seen as clearly inconsistent with the spirit of SALT I, if not its letter. Moreover, from a military standpoint, the new weapons represented a serious threat to the US land-based Minuteman ICBM force. For over six years the US attempted to negotiate limits on MIRVed landbased missiles which would control this threat to America's retaliatory capacity. These negotiations were only marginally successful - resulting in the unratifted SALT II Treaty. I recite this history in order to emphasize that disappointment with the arms-control process is not a new phenomenon; it began almost immediately after the completion of the SALT I Agreements.

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

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