The Politics of Threat: Minuteman Vulnerability in American by David H. Dunn

By David H. Dunn

This paintings analyses the vulnerability of America's land-based missile strength to a pre-emptive Soviet strike as a topic in US strategic and political debate. It examines why the difficulty rose to prominence within the method it did within the Seventies after which fell away as a priority within the Nineteen Eighties with no being solved within the means it were offered. It information the best way the problem used to be exploited for political and strategic reasons which have been usually at odds with a priority for this vulnerability.

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Sample text

While Jackson and Laird might have hoped that this new information would force the administration to reconsider the case for limitations on ABM, in practice the opposite was true. While the new construction turned out to be no more than a novel way of building hardened silos, it did present an increase of 25 new SS-9s and 66 new SS-11 s. More importantly, this renewed deployment demonstrated Soviet willingness to keep up the momentum of its ICBM programme in the absence of any agreement limiting such a development.

Accordingly, from April 1970 the US delegation pursued a negotiating strategy aimed at both restricting ABMs and limiting the growth of the Soviet ICBM force. Specifically, four formulations were developed, and 'All four options were shaped by an abiding concern with the potential threat to Minuteman of an SS-9 force equipped with MIRV's. '7 All the options were concerned with the various possible interplays between ABM and MIRV, ranging from Option A which permitted both technologies, to Option D which proposed a ban on MIRV and a ban on ABM or else its limitation to the defence of the National Command Authority (NCA).

There is no question about that. '67 This view was not shared by the intelligence agencies who found the administration's use of the available information highly questionable. The CIA, in particular, was at odds with the Pentagon's interpretation of the Soviet buildup, Secretary Laird's inference of intentions based on capabilities. Laird saw nothing but sinister implications in the large payload of the SS9, stating that, 'If they were going to go for our cities and not try and knock out our retaliatory capability ...

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