TITLE

CAN NUCLEAR DETERRENCE LAST OUT THE CENTURY?

AUTHOR(S)
Iklé, Fred Charles
PUB. DATE
January 1973
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Jan1973, Vol. 51 Issue 2, p267
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article focuses on the preservation of mutual nuclear deterrence as part of the strategic foreign relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and to stabilize it by curbing the build-up of nuclear forces. An almost exclusive emphasis on deterrence could be defended as a satisfactory long-term policy if it could be convincingly argued that successful deterrence was tantamount to prevention of nuclear war. In the 1950s, prior to the missile age and Russia's massive build-up of her nuclear forces, one heard a great deal about the risk of accidental war. Now, when U.S. and Soviet missiles by the thousands are poised in constant readiness, this concern has curiously diminished. To justify this more relaxed attitude, some might point to the fact that no unauthorized detonation has ever occurred, or cite the U.S.-Soviet agreements of 1971 for improving the hotline or recall the elaborate safeguards with which the military seems to protect nuclear weapons. While the current overemphasis on mutual deterrence against a rational surprise attack dates from the mid-1960s, the other two dogmas of our nuclear strategy are largely the legacy of earlier periods. This is particularly true of the dogma that retaliation must be swift, inflicted in an all-out strike.
ACCESSION #
5811061

 

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