Crisis Stability and Nuclear War
Authors: Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, Desmond Ball, Hans A. Bethe, Dr. Bruce G. Blair, Dr. Paul Bracken, Hillman Dickinson, Richard Garwin, Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security, Kurt Gottfried, David Holloway, Henry Kendall, Lloyd Leavitt, Jr., Richard Ned Debow, Condoleezza Rice, Peter Stein, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1985-1986, John D. Steinbruner, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1973-1977, Lucja Swiatkowski, Paul Tomb
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security
This report examines the development of today's complex "command and control" systems. The authors examine the mounting strains that would be placed on this system as a confrontation intensified to the point where the command system itself was under attack. To portray the dramatic transformation brought about by the introduction of nuclear weapons and other post-1945 technical developments, they trace the evolution of command systems from Napoleon to the present day. The report also analyzes the major post-Hiroshima crises and the military and intelligence operations the superpowers are likely to mount in future crises, as well as a hypothetical Mid-East crisis scenario illustrating the dangers of nuclear proliferation.
In conclusion, the report projects the impact on crisis stability of new and forthcoming technologies, such as cruise missiles and anti-satellite weapons, and propose specific policy recommendations on which the U.S. government can act, both alone and in conjunction with the Soviet Union.
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