Komer, Robert W.
June 1982
Foreign Affairs;Summer82, Vol. 60 Issue 5, p1124
Academic Journal
This article focuses on leading non-nuclear alternatives to U.S. defense strategy in 1982. The U.S. is in the throes of another fundamental reexamination of defense strategy and posture comparable to that leading to primary reliance on nuclear deterrence in the early 1950s. This culminates a process which began over 20 years ago, as U.S. planners first began to grapple with the implications of likely Soviet catching up in nuclear capabilities. Now that nuclear stalemate is a fact of life, U.S. attention is turning to alternative strategies relying even more on conventional capabilities rather than the current strategic doctrine of flexible response. The chief factor impelling the U.S. toward a new strategy has been the gradual improvement of Soviet nuclear capabilities, to the point where they make a U.S. deterrent strategy based primarily on nuclear retaliation lose a great deal of its earlier utility and appeal.


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