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

By Christoph Bertram (eds.)

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The alternative- more emphasis on nuclear defence- is a bitter pill as well. A nuclear defence against conventional Soviet attack necessitates a credible Western threat to use nuclear weapons first. Such credibility is not easy to obtain, largely because the Soviet Union has now deployed effective and diversifted nuclear forces of her own, comparable to those of the West. These forces would permit her to respond in kind to any US nuclear attack, so that the advantage obtained by the initial nuclear strike would be likely to be ephemeral.

NOTES 1 For example, see MIT Economist Lester Thurow's article in The Ne11· York Times. 31 May 1981, p. F-3. \lolllhlr t:conomic Nelrslella. July 1981. l2. or William Nordhaus. 'No Great Threat from Military Spending'. The Nnt· York Timn. 17 May 1981. p. F-3. Daniel Yankelovich and Larry Kaagan. 'Assertive America'. Jirs, 'America and the World'. 1980. Vol. 59. 3. pp. 696-713. • William Watt and Lloyd Free. 'Nationalism Not Isolationism'. Foreign Potier. Fall. 1976. pp. 3-26. 31 US Strategic Nuclear Forces JAN LODAL For nearly two decades, the nuclear forces of the United States have remained unchanged in their basic structure.

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. An extraordinary number of approaches have been attempted in the intervening period to fmd a common ground between the two sides. So far, there has been no success. Given the non-ratification of SALT II, a new approach is essential if there is to be progress, yet any approach to arms control is clearly inconsistent with a major increase in the nuclear warftghting capabilities of the United States.

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