New Technology and Western Security Policy by Robert O’Neill (eds.)

By Robert O’Neill (eds.)

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In public discussions, the balance of forces between the US and the Soviet Union is almost always portrayed by some measure of peacetime force levels. 8 Some examples of these measures are balance in: - Numbers of warheads; Numbers of delivery vehicles; Amount ofEMT (destructive power); Amount of throw-weight (payload capacity). Whether or not these balances are accurate reflections of the relative capabilities of 31 opposing forces is a matter beyond the scope and equivalent megatonnage for the same of this Paper.

Despite the widespread dissatisfaction with US and NATO strategy as it now exists, no alternative proposal has garnered much support. The second fundamental point is that there is now no such thing as a fully satisfactory basing mode for nuclear missiles. Given today's technologies, every possibility brings with it serious problems and risks, as well as significant financial costs. This means that every proposal for the procurement and basing of new missiles will carry with it obvious drawbacks, and therefore will be likely to arouse significant political opposition.

8 See for example, Military Posture FY 1985, The Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, p. 27 and An Analysis of Administration Strategic Arms and Modernization Proposals (Washington oc: Congressional Budget Office, March 1984), p. xvi. 9 Strategic Forces Technical Assesment Review, Executive Summary (Washington oc: US DoD, 31 March 1983), pp. 13-14. 10 Albert Gore Jr, 'A New Proposal for START Talks', Congressional Record, 4 August 1983, pp. E4045-8. 11 Walter Pincus, 'New Silo Hardening Tests Could Reopen Missile Basing Debate', Washington Post, II May 1984, p.

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