A dangerous imbalance

Peace through strong? The nuclear deterrence of the USA

At the beginning stood a troubles. The beginning of the Cold War was characterized by an irrational fear of a Soviet invasion in Western Europe, which actually expressed one – like Henry Kissinger – "a lot of advertised […] fantasy" presented. But the Soviet Union was based on the efforts of the Second World War rather on a securing of the areas occupied by the end of the war. But when the first Soviet nuclear bomb was serrated in 1949 and thus the nuclear monopoly of the United States was repealed, this, consistently placed hottest in front of the "Rich of the boses".

In response to the adopted Russian threat, the military doctrine of the "massive retaliation" ("Massive retaliation") developed, which ultimately in the nuclear strategy of "mutually guaranteed destruction", short mad (from "Mutual ARED DESTRUCTION"), Munge.

This strategy was officially taken up to the US military doctrine at the beginning of the 1960s. In this context, the keyword from the "Missile Gap", So an alleged superiority of the Soviets in the area of intercontinental rockets, surprised – another incorrect myth, which should justify the US rusts of the US.

In the core, the MAD concept contains so-called "Overkill"-Capacities on both sides of the Cold War. Both the US and Soviet Union developed tens of thousands of nuclear snap kopfe, which could be transported by a variety of different carrier systems (strategic bombers, submarboats, intercontinental rockets and march aircraft) to their goals. the "Overkill"- Capacities should ensure that every side was able to reduce the opponent’s nuclear starter slot of the opponent. Due to the catastrophic implications of such an event chain, the risk of an actual nuclear war should be reduced.

It should be noted that the Soviet Union – according to the historian Gareth Porter – the United States to the 1960s in terms of strategic weapons (Trager) systems was clearly inferior to that of an actual terms of the MAD concept in principle only the 70s can be spoken. It was therefore rather the calling of the United States, which the Soviets permanently pressed under prere to move to rushing – a prere that ultimately contributed significantly to the economic collapse of the USSR.

New threat scenarios

During Ronald Reagan’s first prasid, the US nuclear doctrine of the United States, as if one with coarse part of space-based defense systems within the framework of the "Strategic Defense Initiative" (SDI) tried to minimize the ability of the Soviet Union to a first or second slot. But technical and financial problems caused a failure of the SDI strategy.

With the end of the Cold War, the mutual deterrence of the two large nuclear era of this planet seemed to have become obsolete. However, despite a temporary approach between the United States and Russia, there is still a geopolitical contrast between the two nations, which will make it clear that the capacities of American and Russian nuclear weapons in the "Launch-on-warning"-Condition, so in immediate fire readiness, are still tremendous. The concept of MAD – as well as controversial it is always – for the relationship between the US and Russia in principle still.

In addition, the opposites between the two nations since the Prassident Wladimir Putin’s and George W. Bush’s trackable. This has contributed significantly since the Bush’s Office of the project "National Missile Defense" (NMD), which is perceived by Russia as a threat. This system of land, air and sea-needed defensive rackets and associated radar systems – according to the official representation – is allegedly necessary to export "Forced and animeration" by "Rogue states" to prevent over nuclear weapons.

As an example of this new enemy picture, the corresponding national security directive NSPD-23 North Korea is caught, which is accused, have developed nuclear weapons to have "The United States and its Allies" Under compulsion to be. In response to this threat scenario, according to the relevant document, only said missile defense as well as an improved "Triad", So new land, air and seabed, conventional and nuclear attack possibilities.

The question arises as to what extent North Korea – with the existing, but compared to the United States also low nuclear potential, over that it is likely to benefit from the offensive use of nuclear weapons against the US or their composites pull.

During North Korea probably only has limited opportunities to achieve the American continent via missiles, it may cause consideration of US military entities in the region. However, the result of such a promotion would be the inconsistent and complete nuclear destruction of North Korea. As a question, it seems that the North Korean guided is such self-mortal – so now everything turns out that they are trying to keep on power by all means instead.

Since the NSPD-23 is "Opponent" Of the United States, for example, China also includes China. The currently about one hundred nuclear chinese rockets do not potentially represent the Chinese successive investment against the United States without taking the risk of a counterbalance. The attempt to provoke by the establishment of the NMD cast excess efforts of the Chinese seems to be overflowing, as the much of it speaks that China – for example, due to the Indian nuclear efforts – in any case project, to engrave his nuclear capacity to engrave.

But since the NMD – according to MR. Bush high-speed – also intended for defense of Chinese missiles, this will certainly strengthen the Chinese rusts of effort.

"Rogue state" Russia?

A study of renowned political scientists Keir A. Dear and Daryl G. Press, the 2006 in "Foreign affairs" was published in more detail with the implications of the amplified American efforts in the field of nuclear weapons and corresponding defenses.

It essentially comes to the following result: structure, equipment, rough and intended future development of the American nuclear crafts (plus the NMD) give the impression that one of its central missions is to perfect the capacities for a starter against the Russian nuclear crafts, In order to largely switch off these.

This conclusion is fundamentally buried that the United States now, due to a shift of nuclear equilibrium with Russia, shortly before the acquisition "nuclear supremacy" hours. According to the authors of the study, above all, the state of the Russian nuclear disputes, whose coarse was significantly reduced and, above all, comparatively small capacity in the field of strategic missile submarines, while a gross portion of both the mobile and the stationar Intercontinental rackets, obsolete.

Especially the mobile weapon systems to land and the lake, however, are the possibilities of a second or. Retailing assistance. Furthermore, the ability of the Russian militar to rapidly identify stimulating flight corporations was enrolled, among other things due to outdated or missing radar systems. Although the Russian militar tries to fix these weaknesses, the American presentation was allowed to stop at least a decade in the opinion of the authors.

As another factor for the growing imbalance between the US and Russia, the stately growing potential of the United States is caught. Although these have reduced the coarse of their nuclear dispute since the end of the Cold War, but both target accuracy and effect of American nuclear weapons have been constantly increased since then. As an example, the authors of the study drove among other things, among other things, the steady rejection of the American missile submarines, which have been equipped despite the end of the Cold War with targeted missiles, which are now over Nuclearsprengkopfe with 445 kT effect – and thus more than more than Quadruple effect – freight.

The authors of the study entitled "The End of Mad? The Nuclear Dimension of U.S. Primacy "come to the conclusion that the "Nuclear development curve" indicates a further shift in nuclear imbalance in favor of the United States. One result of this development is so dear and press that a surprise attack on the Russian arsenal – without prior warning – one "acceptable chance" would have. The commonly as "Rocket defense sign" titled "National Missile Defense", which the Americans build among others in Eastern Europe, in such a scenario, the interception of some Russian missiles that had surprised such a surprise attack was measured.

Thus, both the significantly increased efficiency of American nuclear weapons, as well as a functioning – American missile defense system thus became the "Peace generating" Effect of nuclear weapons during the Cold War and create a world-political risky imbalance.

Voices of criticism

Also in "Foreign Affairs "was published shortly after the study of Dear and Press the reactions of several critics. These were a former former with Peter Flory "Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense" of the Pentagon (2000-2006), which now, among other things, as chairman of the "Conference of National Arms Directors" is employed by NATO. Keith Payne in turn was "Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense" at the US Department of Defense (2002/03) and is currently prassident of the "National Institute for Public Policy ", as well as chairman of the "Graduate Department of Defense and Strategic Studies" The Missouri State University.

Two other reactions to this study are those of Pavel Podvig, scientific staff "Center for International Security and Cooperation" Stanford University, as well as Alexei Arbatov, the director of the "Center on International Security Studies" at the Institute for World Economy and International Relations, on the Russian Academy of Sciences and as a guest scholar to the Moscow Center of the Carnegie Foundation Tive

Flory shows in his criticism of the study of Dear and Press, for example, that they do not override the reduction in the number of American strategic missile submarines in their study. However, this reproach does not correspond to the facts, but the two authors just point to the reductions in the American arsenal, but yield that, as already mentioned, the target accuracy and above all the explosive power of the rakets stationed on the submarine Many have been increased – a hint that florgy is ignored. Even further criticisms flories turn out to be inaccurate in more detail and therefore fragwurrdly.

Keith Payne, on the other hand, in his criticism of the study, the claim implies the United States did not persecute any planning for a praventive nuclear weapon approach from 1960. The authors point out that, for example, a government memorandum of 1969 explicitly documented praventive attack scenarios and developments in later decades, such as the B-2 bomber, clearly served the goal of destroying the Soviet nuclear crafts – that therefore a continuity in the planning of such Scenarios exists.

The criticism of Podvigs focuses more on the association of Russian capitals by dear and press. In his opinion, the Russian nuclear disputes are described in a better state than in the study. However, he also realizes that, for example, the Russian attempts to develop new missiles for their rocket submarines "lovely" Be, during a new Russian missile submarine, which was placed on Kiel a decade ago and the first to be a new class of submarines should still be completed. Further criticisms and the corresponding reactions of the authors of the study can be found here

A dangerous imbalance

Arbatov the only critic commented on the core statement of the study. He points out that the shift of nuclear balance was initially due to the decline of Russian dispute in the 1990s. The risk of the resulting situation is to be seen in his opinion, above all in the risk of a war caused by an accident: in the face of their inferiority, the Russians were with one "Hair trigger"-Fruhwarning system, ie a very easy to work out system, what – as Arbatov writes – "In times of uncontrolled retransmission of nuclear weapons and catastrophic terrorist attacks" represents an exceptional dangerous situation.

Another danger is in this context of the US dispute plan to convert intercontinental rockets with conventional explosive push caps for certain target categories. The use of such weapons systems in times of crisis was allowed a high risk of "accidental" Develop drawing a war.

It must also be amed that the Russian militar does not relate to the arances of the Americans, according to which the construction of the "Missile defense shield" and the described rising or. Modernization efforts of the American dispute purposes only on Lander such as Iran or North Korea.

The idea that in the Pentagon seriously plane for an attack on Russia is forged, may seem absurd – although such tarpaulin from times of the Cold War should teach each one better: from militar strategic perspective it would be estimated by Russia’s militars to extinguish this opportunity, straight Against the background of a US military doctrine, which "Full Spectrum Dominance" demands. So they will react – and how, as well, however, reaction can continue to strengthen the dwareness of the current situation.

"Cutting a deal"

Alexei Arbatov also offers a suggestive proposal: Although the US may not be interested in a resumption of talks about a further reduction of nuclear weapons, but in the cooperation of Russia in many other points. Russia should set a similar approach as to the time Ronald Reagan on the day and the Americans – according to the motto "Quid Pro Quo" – offer cooperation in important points such as the Iran’s question in turn to achieve an American counterpart in the ie of reducing nuclear weapons.

A view, which the two authors of the study with the hope that Russia makes themselves use this strategy and – publicly offered such steps. The US policy in recent years and the associated prestigious loss, Russia has certainly make it easier to put prere on the United States in this way. And then, so dear and press, maybe in the United States, a longstanding debate over the "wisdom" The current policy starts, which, under the specification of a coarse security for the United States, goes out to the exact opposite.

Such a debate was certainly supported by more or less unexpected site: Already in 1997, a group of high-ranking former American, Russian and other militars, including the last commander of the "Strategic Air Command" The US Air Force, a speedy and coarse reduction or even abolition of all nuclear weapons required.

Such expert opinions in this area should be obedient in their governments, one liked. The question remains whether the reason ultimately wins or once again enforce the financial interests of the rust industry, for the already initiated – new rusts of a gold pit already equals.

Report on the construction of a tremendous Chinese base for up to 20 nuclear-powered submarines, in the Sudchinese sea, or the – since the end of the Cold War – first-time parade of intercontinental rockets on the red square in Moscow Mogen a sign for which direction in which direction the path leads. Whether this development will be in the interest of our children and grandchildren may be doubted.

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