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

By David H. Dunn

This paintings analyses the vulnerability of America's land-based missile strength to a pre-emptive Soviet strike as a subject in US strategic and political debate. It examines why the difficulty rose to prominence within the approach it did within the Nineteen Seventies after which fell away as a priority within the Nineteen Eighties with out being solved within the method it were awarded. It information the way the difficulty used to be exploited for political and strategic reasons that have been frequently at odds with a priority for this vulnerability.

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Additional resources for The Politics of Threat: Minuteman Vulnerability in American National Security Policy

Example text

In his scenario, rather than focusing on the potential inequality of survivable land-based missiles, Teller was concerned with the civil defence gap, describing the extensive Soviet network and warning, We have no civil defense, practically none ... if the Russians execute this evacuation plan, and then give us an ultimatum, and if they attack us and we retaliate. If our retaliation is successful ... then our retaliation against the Russians will give rise to a casualty rate of 3 to 4 percent of the Russian population; while [with] the same exchange much more than 50 percent of our people will die.

The Underwater Long Range Missile System (ULMS), the long-standing programme designed to offset the potential vulnerability of the ICBM force, on the other hand. was being developed at an accelerated rate. 2 ULMS was also being justified because of its range and therefore wide geographic area of operation as a valuable addition to the SLBM force in the face of a potential Soviet breakthrough in antisubmarine warfare (ASW) capability. This rationale for ULMS suited the Air Force who were anxious lest a sea-based system be seen as a logical and necessary replacement of the ICBM force.

The defence of Minuteman so recently presented as the long-term rationale for Safeguard was to be downgraded to that of a short-term stop-gap role as a by-product of area defence. 93 This option howevet was effectively closed to the administration for a number of reasons, not least of which was the lack of enthusiasm for such a move from the Pentagon where the departments responsible for the programme had convinced themselves of the case for Minuteman defence. For entirely opposite reasons the anti-ABM lobby in Congress had come to the same conclusions about the desirability of promoting the defence of the ICBM force.

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