We might distinguish varying degrees in the intensity of such use. However, a viable peacetime operation is only the first hurdle to be surmounted. In the last case, systems such as the Minuteman, which may be sheltered and dispersed as well as alert, would do well. There are several quite plausible circumstances in the future when the Russians might be confident of being able to limit damage to considerably less than this number — if they make sensible strategic choices and we do not. some of these concern air defense. And the problem is a serious one, therefore, not only against ballistic missile attacks but, for example, against low altitude or various circuitous attacks by manned aircraft. If the alarm was in response to an actual attack and some radio communications should fail, this failure would mean only a small percentage diminution of the force going on to target. We have seen that this mistakes a possibility for its fulfillment. But how we go about this will be conditioned by our appreciation of the problem of deterrence itself. Both believe that the vital interests of nations are in danger when the balance is upset. It is held by a very eminent and diverse group of people -- in England by Sir Winston Churchill, P. M. S. Blackett, Sir John Slessor, Admiral Buzzard and many others, in France by such figures as Raymond Aron, General Gallois and General Gazin, in this country by the titular heads of both parties as well as almost all writers on military and foreign affairs, by both Henry Kissinger and his critic, James E. King, and by George Kennan as well as Mr. Acheson. In consequence, the discussion will be advanced if a little more precision is given such terms as "missiles" or "modern" or "advanced weapons." The balance, I believe, is in fact precarious, and this fact has critical implications for policy. The difficulty in fact stems from some rather basic insecurities. Yet I would conjecture that if one considers the implications of modern surface-to-air missiles in the context of conventional war in which the attacker has to make many sorties and expose himself to recurring attrition, these weapons would look ever so much better than they do when faced, for example, with the heroic task of knocking down 99 percent of a wave of, say one thousand nuclear bombers. (1984). After making allowance for the unreliability and inaccuracy of the missile, this means a ratio of some ten for one or better. (Though it should be observed that the proportion of Polaris submarines kept at sea can be made larger by the use of overseas-based submarine tenders.) The decision to fire a missile with a thermonuclear warhead is much harder to make than a decision simply to start a manned aircraft on its way, with orders to return to base unless instructed to continue to its assigned target. "Isn't there enough stability in the 'balance of terror'," he asks, "to justify our believing that the Russians can be trusted — within acceptable limits — to abandon the weapons whose 'utility is confined to the threat or conduct of a war of annihilation'?". Of all the many poor ways to start a war, this would be perhaps the worst. On the other hand, it would be unwise to look for miracles in the new weapons systems, which by the mid-1960's may constitute a considerable portion of the United States force. Indeed if there were no real danger of a rational attack, then accidents and the "n-th" country problem seem the only problems. III-Realism in the US Foreign Policy. When studied in relation to the 19th century, we can see that it is a major part of both contemporary and modern literature, thinking and politics Some but not all of the systems listed can be chosen and the problem of choice is essentially quantitative. In this case, the situation would be something like the old-fashioned Western gun duel. One of the most disturbing features of current opinion is the underestimation of this difficulty. The Balance of Terror Theory: A Comparative Analysis By Terrance Jones Even if one accepts the balance –of-terror theory, including the belief that there are almost no circumstances in which the Soviets would launch a deliberate attack on the continental United States (and vice versa), some important strategic problems remain. Aerial photography would have its uses in a disarmament plan — for example, to check an exchange of information on the location of ground bases. 2. However, in spite of the periodic announcements of "technological breakthroughs," the goal of emerging unscathed from a surprise thermonuclear attack has gotten steadily more remote. (However, (a) this can't be very persuasively argued as the justification for the IRBMs since they will add few if any new political entities to our current manned aircraft base system which would have to be attacked by the Russians in order to destroy our bombers; and, as we shall discuss, (b) where location in a foreign country means joint control, we may not be able to use the base in retaliation.) Western journalists have greatly overestimated the difficulties of a Soviet surprise attack with thermonuclear weapons and vastly underestimated the complexity of the Western problem of retaliation. And now Europe has begun to doubt that we would make the sacrifice involved in using SAC to answer an attack directed at it but not at ourselves. Strategic deterrence has other inadequacies besides its limitations in connection with limited war. This is the basis for the common view. As I have indicated, they are serious problems and some sorts of limitation and inspection agreement could diminish them. But finally there is no question at this late date that strategic deterrence is inadequate to answer limited provocation. In this respect the ready optimism on the subject reflects the basic confusion, referred to at the beginning of this essay, as to the nature of the technological race. Or getting through may involve carrying heavy loads of radar decoys, electronic jammers and other aids to defense penetration. 330 –46; and “The Theory of Games and the Balance of Power,” World Politics 38 (July 1986), pp. Ironically, according to reports of Soviet tactical exercises described in the last few years in the military newspaper, The Red Star, atomic weapons are in general employed only by the offense, the defender apparently employing Soviet-preferred Western strategies. Moreover, when one considers the many hundreds of vehicles involved, the cumulative probability of accidental war would rapidly approach certainty with repeated false alarms. It should be clear that it is not fruitful to talk about the likelihood of general war without specifying the range of alternatives that are pressing on the aggressor and the strategic postures of both the Soviet bloc and the West. Their chief virtue here is precisely the proximity to the enemy which makes them problematic as a deterrent. And the less we knew, the more hopeful we were. At the end of the last decade, overseas bases appeared to be an advantageous means of achieving the radius extension needed by our short-legged bombers, of permitting them to use several axes of attack, and of increasing the number of sorties possible in the course of an extended campaign. If strategic deterrence is not enough, is it really necessary at all? But none of the new developments in vehicles is likely to do that. What can we say then on the question as to whether general war is unlikely? In spite of deterrence a thermonuclear war could be tripped by accident or miscalculation. Some touch down overseas will remain useful to most U.S. bombers, which will make up the greater part of the deterrent force in the early Sixties. Mr. Alsop's argument is numerical and has the virtue of demonstrating that at least the relative numbers are important. On the other hand, because these bases are within range of so large a proportion of Russian striking power and subject to attack with so little notice, their use by bombers will be severely limited in form. It remains to be seen whether there are any equilibrium points between the use of conventional and all-out weapons. Such assumptions suggest that Soviet leaders will be rather bumbling or, better, cooperative. This uncertainty is critical. Contributor: Payne, Keith B. These have been financed by pitifully small budgets. In this circumstance the likelihood of general war increases palpably. The chance of even some of our unprotected planes or missiles surviving would be greater. many sensitive and serious critics of Western defense policy have expressed their deep dissatisfaction with the strategy of deterrence. Finally, even with advances in the state-of-the-art on our side, it will continue to be hard to maintain a deterrent, and even harder close in under the enemy's guns than further off. Accordingly the missiles benefited in particular. It remains to examine the view that the provision of these weapons will broaden the range of response open to our allies. These are best called "Western-preferred-Soviet strategies." The phrase " balance of terror " is usually used in reference to the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. As a result, competent people have been led into critical error in evaluating the prospects for deterrence. Some of these defects, of course, will be overcome in time. These have to be close to the enemy, and they must of course be operating bases, not merely refueling stations. The balance, I believe, is in fact precari ous, and this fact has critical implications for policy. Western forces at the end of the war were larger than those of the Soviet Union and its satellites. For Mr. Rovere, like many other writers on this subject, numerical superiority is not important at all. We pointed out the essential role of quick response and a high degree of readiness in the protection of the deterrent force. Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, Autonomous Vehicles and the Future of Auto Insurance, Command and Control in U.S. The flurry of statements and investigations and improvised responses has died down, leaving a small residue: a slight increase in the schedule of bomber and ballistic missile production, with a resulting small increment in our defense expenditures for the current fiscal year, a considerable enthusiasm for space travel, and some stirrings of interest in the teaching of mathematics and physics in the secondary schools. 2. The slender basis for Western optimism is displayed not only in the writings of journalists but in the more analytic writings of professionals. An aggressive version of balance of power. At the fourth hurdle — ability to reach enemy territory with fuel enough to complete the mission — several of our short-legged systems have operational problems such as coordination with tankers and using bases close to the enemy. Here, in case of a false alarm and a failure in communications, the single bomber or handful of bombers that did not receive the message to return to base might, as a result of this mistake, go forward by themselves to start the war. When Walt proposed this theory back in the 1980s, the world was focused on potential global warfare between nuclear superpowers. But in the case of an enemy ballistic missile attack is most illuminating. And there is a good chance that we will do so. Then the number that can be bought out of a given budget will be small and this will affect the relative performance of competing systems at various other hurdles, for example penetrating enemy defenses. Balance of Power Today The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. If overseas bases are considered too vulnerable for manned bombers, will not the same be true for missiles? The purpose is to reduce vulnerability and has little to do with any increasing radius of SAC aircraft. Before we look at any examples, we do need to remember that the balance of threat theory does rely on a few basic assumptions. It is only when one side of a conflict is so powerful, so wealthy, and so militarily … It is quite erroneous to suppose that by contrast with manned bombers the first IRBMs can be launched almost as simply as pressing a button. More important, they are likely to be used as an excuse for budget cutting. Balance theory, the Jordan paradigm, and the Wiest tetrahedron. Mr. Rovere's example is plausible because it assumes implicitly that the defender's hydrogen bombs will with certainty be visited on the aggressor; then the damage done by the ten bombs seems terrible enough for deterrence, and any more would be simply redundant. Content Guidelines 2. (5) They might be used for staging bombers on the way to as well as from the target. It is conceivable that we might attempt the intercontinental delivery of iron bombs as well as ground troops and ground-support elements. 330 –46; and “The Theory of Games and the Balance of Power,” World Politics 38 (July 1986), pp. Our overseas bases now have the disadvantage of high vulnerability. Sharp reversals in a limited war can increase the dangers of waiting. suggest the problem. For close-in targets the Soviets can use a larger variety of weapons carrying larger payloads and with improved accuracies. Though deterrence is not enough in itself, it is vital. A tremendous weight of weapons could be delivered in spite of it. In any case, though a keystone of a defense policy, it is only a part, not the whole. Since the 16th century, balance of power politics have profoundly influenced international relations. On the whole, I think the burden of the criticism of deterrence has been the inadequacy of a thermonuclear capability and frequently of, what is not really deterrence at all, the threat to strike first. Summary Contents Only a few pages further on, he said: Mr. Blackett's book was published in 1956. It would be extraordinarily risky for one side not to attempt to destroy the other, or to delay doing so. For against our costs of construction, maintenance and operation of an additional base must be set the enemy's much lower costs of delivering one extra weapon. Significantly, "Terror" begins with Kirk officiating over a wedding between two crew-members, which … structure of people’s opinions about other individuals and objects as well as the perceived relation E-Realism and morality. ), pp. It is a contribution to the rhetoric rather than the logic of war in the thermonuclear age. A limited war involving the major powers is explosive. According to balance theory, this transfer of evaluations is due to the inherent “unit” between the self and the category Black. (2) Or they might provide emergency landing facilities for the bombers returning from target. Plagiarism Prevention 4. 2. The balance of terror theory is the basis for some of the more light-hearted suggestions: if deterrence is automatic, strategic weapons on one side cancel those of the other, and it should be easy for both sides to give them up. It is by no means certain that we shall meet the test. It is argued that the subjectivity of the specifics definitions adopted in such highly empirical studies is likely to significantly affect the results, making it difficult to validate the theory … This is the significance of the recently adopted "fail-safe" procedures for launching SAC which came to the public notice in connection with the U.N. debates last May. (ed. He overestimates the number of such bases by more than a factor of ten,[5] and in any case, missile firings on the scale of a thousand or more involve costs that are by no means out of proportion, given the strategic budgets of the great powers. Moreover, these probabilities are not independent. To keep this delicate balance, both sides sought to maintain a rough parity in their nuclear forces, a goal that endures to this day in the New START agreement. These bases are subject to an attack delivering more bombs with larger yields and greater accuracies and with less warning than bases at intercontinental range. A limited war capability, for example, would be unimportant. If the agreed-on force were small and vulnerable, no monitorable scheme would be likely to be feasible. Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. How much the Soviets will risk in surprise attack will depend in part on the vulnerability of our future posture. [13] The symmetry of the optimism of East and West here could be quite deadly. There are other functions in a central war where their importance may be very considerable. First, since thermonuclear weapons give an enormous advantage to the aggressor, it takes great ingenuity and realism at any given level of nuclear technology to devise a stable equilibrium. For example, a squadron of heavy bombers costing, with their associated tankers and penetration aids, perhaps a half a billion dollars over five years, might be eliminated, if it were otherwise unprotected, by an enemy intercontinental ballistic missile costing perhaps sixteen million dollars. New York: Wiley. I hope that my focus so far on the critical problem of deterring central war has not led the reader to believe that I consider the problem of limited war either unimportant or soluble by use of the strategic threat. To deter an attack means being able to strike back in spite of it. The Russians, exploiting an inaccurate United Press report which suggested that SAC started en masse toward Russia in response to frequent radar ghosts, cried out against these supposed Arctic flights. I must confess that the picture of the world that I have presented is unpleasant. With the growth of a Russian nuclear-delivery capability, it became clear that this was most unlikely to be feasible. It would be a fatal mistake to count on poor planning by an aggressor, but, given the considerable reduction in damage it might enable, it is prudent to have the ability to exploit such an error. Although it is quite hopeless to look for an inspection scheme which would permit abandonment of the deterrent, this does not mean that some partial agreement on inspection and limitation might not help to reduce the chance of any sizable surprise attack. The argument runs that the offense requires concentration and so the aggressor necessarily provides the defender with a lucrative atomic target. We can talk with comparative confidence here, because the U.S. strategic force is itself largely determined for this period. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Mr. Alsop recently enunciated as one of the four rules of nuclear war: "The aggressor's problem is astronomically difficult; and the aggressor requires an overwhelming superiority of force. We have, for example, accelerated the bomber and ballistic missile programs, in particular, the intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Whether or not nuclear weapons favor the west in limited war, there still remains the question of whether such limitations could be made stable. This is true even though a minor power would not need to guarantee as large a retaliation as we in order to deter attack on itself. The balance of threat (BoT) theory was proposed by Stephen M. Walt first in his article Alliance Formation and the Balance of World Power, published in the journal International Security in 1985. It runs counter, that is, to our wishes. Solid fuels or storable liquids will eventually replace liquid oxygen, reliabilities will increase, various forms of mobility or portability will become feasible, accuracies may even come down to regions of interest in limited wars. Nuclear limited war, simply because of the extreme swiftness and unpredictability of its moves, the necessity of delegating authority to local commanders, and the possibility of sharp and sudden desperate reversals of fortune, would put the greatest strain on the deterrent to all-out thermonuclear war. But the notion of massive retaliation as a responsible retort to peripheral provocations vanished in the harsh light of a better understanding here and abroad that the Soviet nuclear delivery capability meant tremendous losses to the United States if we attacked them. The increased readiness of strategic forces affects the disarmament issues and therefore our allies and the neutral powers. However attractive it may be for us to narrow Soviet alternatives to these, they would be low in the order of preference of any reasonable Russian planning war. Viewed as a contribution to deterring all-out attack on the United States then, the Thor and Jupiter bases seem unlikely to compare favorably with other alternatives. Suppose both the United States and the Soviet union had the power to destroy each others' retaliatory forces and society, given the opportunity to administer the opening blow. A few of the proposals seem in fact quite reckless. In treating Soviet strategies it is important to consider Soviet rather than Western advantage and to consider the strategy of both sides quantitatively. As a major illustration important both for defense and foreign policy, I shall treat the particularly stringent conditions for deterrence which affect forces based close to the enemy, whether they are U.S. forces or those of our allies, under single or joint control. It means, in other words, a capability to strike second. Five and six, which involve exposure intermittently only, and after the start of war, are less vulnerable but nonetheless problematic. Whether or not thousands are needed depends on the yield and the accuracy of the enemy missiles, something about which it would be a great mistake for us to display confidence. The most important thing to say perhaps is that it doesn't make much sense to talk about whether general war is likely or not unless we specify a good deal else about the range of circumstances in which the choice of surprise attack might present itself to the Russians. (This calculation takes account of the unreliability and inaccuracy of the missile.) Korea illustrated the possibility of a conventional limited war which did not become nuclear, though fought in the era of nuclear weapons. They are hard, involve sacrifice, are affected by great uncertainties, concern matters in which much is altogether unknown and much else must be hedged by secrecy; and, above all, they entail a new image of ourselves in a world of persistent danger. Disclaimer 9. Suppose we design a chemically fueled bomber with the speed and altitude needed to penetrate enemy defenses and we want it to operate at a given radius from target without refueling. systems which depend for their survival on extreme decentralization of controls, as may be the case with large scale dispersal and some of the mobile weapons, raise problems of accidents and over a long period of peacetime operation this leads in turn to serious political problems. However, so far as surprise is concerned, the "open skies" plan would have direct use only to discover attacks requiring much more lengthy, visible, and unambiguous preparations than are likely today. - 1969, p. 114-126 Deterrence theory and practice from the Cold War to the twenty-first century Related names. It was our bomb. “Balance of Terror”: Star Trek, History, and National Security “Star Trek meets Van Gogh” by Aja Apa-Soura. Short of some hard-to-manage peaceful elimination of the basic antagonisms, or a vast and successful program of disarmament, it would be irresponsible to surrender the deterrent. But aside from the special problems of joint control, which would affect the certainty of response adversely, precisely who their legal owner is will not affect the retaliatory power of the Thors and Jupiters one way or another. For a good many years to come, up to the mid-1960's in fact, this will be a formidable hurdle for the greater part of our deterrent force. This reduced drastically the vulnerability of U.S. bombers and at the same time retained many of the advantages of overseas operation. These missiles are launched vertically and, so to speak, do not care in which direction they are told to proceed — their times on trajectory are eminently calculable and, allowing a cushion for failures and delays, times of firing can be arranged for near-simultaneous impact on many dispersed points, on Okinawa and the United Kingdom as well as on California and Ohio. In neither world war, then, did the United States enter for considerations of the balance of power. It imposes some dangers of its own. But if they are provided with shelters capable of resisting pressures of 100 pounds per square inch, approximately 60 such weapons would be required; and deep rock shelters might force the total up to over a thousand. Whether they are under American command, or completely within the control of one of our allies or subject to joint control, they present the severest problems for the preservation of a deterrent force. The seeming oppositeness of an overseas-based Thor and Jupiter as an answer to a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile stems not so much from any careful analysis of their retaliatory power under attack as from the directness of the comparison they suggest: a rocket with a rocket, an intercontinental capability with a base at closer range to the target. General deterrence and the balance of power - Volume 15 Issue 2 - Lawrence Freedman. The fact that we may not know the accuracy and number of his missiles will not deter him. Written by Paul Schneider and directed by Vincent McEveety, it first aired on December 15, 1966, and a repeat broadcast was aired on August 3, 1967. Thus, both Balance of Power and Balance of Terror have several similarities as well as dissimilarities. Balance of terror definition, the distribution of nuclear arms among nations such that no nation will initiate an attack for fear of retaliation: maintaining the balance of … Star Trek Enterprise episode transcripts. It is a device of effective power management and peace. The Delicate Balance of Terror’ Read Bernard Brodie, ‘The Absolute Weapon’, Ch. This article identifies a consistent approach to stability across a wide range of conflict situations at the heart of Thomas Schelling's strategic theory. Since retiring in 1970, he wrote and did research with his wife. if the alarm is false, the bombers will return to base even if there is a failure in radio communications. The Romulan Bird-of-Prey was a type of space vessel that was in service with the military of the Romulan Star Empire during the latter half of the 23rd century. If the picture of the world I have drawn is rather bleak, it could nonetheless be cataclysmically worse. It finds that there are two main aspects of this ‘general’ concept of stability. Deterrence (Strategy) Strategic forces — United States. The balance is not automatic. On the other hand, though a contribution of American aid, it may not be without cost to the recipient. The proponents do not seem to regard an addition of capability for NATO at the all-out end of the spectrum as the required broadening; but if they do, they are faced with the question previously considered: the actuality of this all-out response under all-out attack. As mentioned earlier, "Balance of Terror," the 15th episode broadcast, is the first time the audience got a substantial look at the sociopolitical setup of the Federation. The use of nuclear weapons in limited wars might make it possible for the aggressor to eliminate the existing forces of the defender and to get the war over, reaching his limited objective before the defender or his allies can mobilize new forces. It would compensate for the extra men kept under arms by the East. The estimate of 50 million deaths in the Second World War includes some 20 million Soviet citizens and an estimated six million Jews and two to three million others killed in Nazi concentration camps. Drawing upon decades of experience, RAND provides research services, systematic analysis, and innovative thinking to a global clientele that includes government agencies, foundations, and private-sector firms. But perhaps, as a small aid toward making such decisions more likely, we should contemplate the possibility that they may not be made. Thus the “balance of power” was an important adjunct to European ideologies that rejected universal empire on normative grounds. Indeed, with the actual composition of our tanker and bomber force only a small proportion could be operated from the current continental United States base system to our Russian targets and back without some use of overseas bases. As I stressed earlier, much of the contemporary Western confidence on the ease of retaliation is achieved by ignoring the full range of sensible enemy plans. Second, the recent acceleration of production of our intermediate range ballistic missiles and the negotiation of agreements with various NATO powers for their basing and operation have given our overseas bases a renewed importance in deterring attack on the United States — or so it would appear at first blush. The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. The emergence of nuclear weapons, two super powers, three major nuclear powers, cold war, presence of weapons of mass destruction, and fear of a total war, all combined to produce a balance of terror. The Thors and Jupiters will be continuously in range of an enormous Soviet potential for surprise attack. 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