Iklé, Fred Charles
January 1973
Foreign Affairs;Jan1973, Vol. 51 Issue 2, p267
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.


Related Articles

  • Trembling on the nuclear trigger: exaggerating the Soviet threat. Kampmark, Binoy // New Zealand International Review;Mar/Apr2010, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p7 

    The article reflects on the false perceptions underlying Cold War nuclear deterrence policies. The discovery of atomic power and its military use has prompted the principle of deterrence to reach dangerous levels. Theories of deterrence lie on the belief that nuclear weapons would never be used...

  • Keeping the Lid on Nuclear Weapons. Kaysen, Carl; Stone, Jeremy J. // New Republic;1/15/66, Vol. 154 Issue 3, p13 

    Comments on an article which suggests that a nuclear armed India is an effective way to contain China. Purpose of nuclear guarantees; Argument against extending nuclear guarantees; Discussion of the concept of deterrence; Problems associated with nuclear proliferation.

  • Superpower Strategies. Cimbala, Stephen J. // Society;Jan/Feb86, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p43 

    This article discusses the implications of a potential Israeli nuclear deterrent for the strategic relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. There are two options open for Israel to take: the possible bomb in the basement and nuclear disclosure. In the first option, Israel has nuclear...

  • A strategy for all seasons. Kincade, William H. // Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;May1978, Vol. 34 Issue 5, p14 

    The article presents the arms control strategy of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union intends to increase strategic weapon programs for changes in strategic doctrine and defense programs to guard against a theoretical failure of deterrence. Michael Salomon conducted the evaluation of Soviet...

  • The freeze and the United Nations. Paine, Christopher // Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Jun1982, Vol. 38 Issue 6, p10 

    The article discusses how the freeze and reductions of nuclear arms called for in the Kennedy-Hatfield Resolution might be implemented in the U.S. and how the United Nations' member states help in bringing the proposal to fruition. The resolution would require the U.S. government to pursue a...

  • BATTERIES INCLUDED. Marsh, Gerald E.; Stanford, George S. // Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Nov/Dec2006, Vol. 62 Issue 6, p19 

    The article reports on the international proliferation of nuclear arms. According to nonproliferation experts, nations develop nuclear weapons when they think it is in their vital national interest. Each of the world's proliferators and aspiring proliferators is motivated by a unique blend of...

  • The original nuclear nightmare. Siegel, Jonas // Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Sep/Oct2005, Vol. 61 Issue 5, p38 

    This article presents the findings of a newly declassified Cold War nuclear war study as of September 2005. By the mid-1980s, the Soviet Union had significantly improved the accuracy of its nuclear weapons, allowing it to target U.S. assets with hundreds, if not thousands, of lower yield...

  • Is Nuclear War Likely. Beilenson, Laurence W. // National Review;12/12/1980, Vol. 32 Issue 25, p1507 

    The article examines the possibility of a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union as of 1980. It calls for the U.S. to develop active defense against nuclear missiles due to the perceived destructive impact of a Soviet first nuclear strike. It assesses the danger posed by the U.S....

  • No bargains in Geneva. Linebaugh, David L.; Newman, Joseph Pepe // Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Aug/Sep1983, Vol. 39 Issue 7, p9 

    The article presents the author's views on the current policy of the U.S. in relation to the arms race. The article makes specific reference to negotiations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in Geneva on nuclear weapons and on strategic nuclear arms. No agreement on the reduction of nuclear...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics