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75 R&D phase _
Speech Soviet programs for ABM and Space Datense, which include advanced technologies and spoor-based weapons, or in plece prior to the 1972 ABM Treaty and have continued to expand in scope and sine. During the same time period, US ABW Space Dolons. rocvarch has been limited in scope as well as the level of ofton in terms of resources Investod.
"Potential capability of the Moscow ABM system.
Soviet offensive and defensive force developments pose a serious challenge to the United States. If left unchecked and unanswered, they will undermine our ability to retaliate effectively in case of Soviet attack. The situation will be even more dangerous if the Soviet Union obtains a monopoly on advanced defenses against ballistic missiles. In that case, the Soviets might come to believe that they could launch a nuclear attack against the United States or our allies without fear of effective retaliation. At the very least, they might see a realistic chance of successful nuclear blackmail.
The case for a strong U.S. defense against missiles becomes more stronger still in conjunction with President Reagan's recent offer to General Secretary Gorbachev at Reykjavik for the mutual elimination of all offensive nuclear ballistic missiles. The United States' offer destroys the Soviet Union's argum aim to achieve a first-strike capability by depriving the Soviet Union of its retaliatory deterrent. If, as the President proposes. both sides eliminate all offensive ballistic missiles, the SDI could not affect any Soviet second-strike deterrent.
Moreover, whatever one's views on the feasibility of U.S. strategic defense, the prospects for its effectiveness obviously
brighten greatly if the nearly ten thousand Soviet strategic missile warheads were reduced dramatically. Yet many who say that the SDI should be killed because it cannot work, also argue that if
the opportunity exists to reduce offensive arms (making the strategic defense mission much easier), then we should agree to kill the SDI in order to realize that opportunity.
Regrettably, the SDI's opponents apparently fail to recognize the critical function and role of missile defense in securing major reductions in U.S. and Soviet missile forces, and the problem of safeguarding such reductions if the United States abandoned the SDI. With the Soviets' long record of treaty violations, SDI offers one of the few ways to keep the Soviets honest, if they ever should agree to deep reductions in arms.
Abandoning the SDI (or accepting severe limitations on research, development, and testing, which would amount to the same thing) would render it more difficult to attain the major offensive-arms reductions that the SDI's opponents say they favor. Since the Carter Administration in 1977 put forward the first proposal for major reductions in U.S. and Soviet offensive nuclear weapons, the Soviets have opposed such reductions. Though their rhetoric obscures the fact, they remain resistant. Why? In large part because they want both their offensive missiles and, thus, the monopoly they had until 1983 in strategic defense. Our SDI promises to diminish the military (and the concomitant political) utility of those Soviet offensive missiles, and it should thereby encourage Moscow to accept their elimination. For that as well as for a myriad of other reasons, we should never give up SDI.
This is why the concept of the SDI as a "bargaining chip" has no merit. The SDI creates opportunities for bargaining because it lowers the value of the offensive arms we want the Soviets to reduce. And it provides insurance against cheating if we agree to rely on mutual reductions. We lose both of these critical benefits if we trade the SDI itself away.
But most important of all is that it would be a far better world for all if nuclear missiles could be destroyed as they left their silos.
In sum, the SDI seeks to move us toward a safer world: one with reduced levels of arms and deterrence based on defending against an attack, rather than retaliating after an attack. We will continue to try to convince the Soviet Union to join us in working out a stable transition toward this sane and achievable goal. We will never give it up.
b. Keeping Our Nuclear Deterrent Strong
Neither the promise of strategic defense nor the prospects for deep arms reductions obviate the need to keep our nuclear deterrent and our conventional forces strong and ready. For the foreseeable future, we must maintain a modern and credible nuclear deterrent -- a requirement that mandates not only adequate forces and effective plans for their use, but also effective command, control, communications, and intelligence (CMI), and reliable, safe warheads, and we will always need strong, ready conventional forces.
In structuring our nuclear deterrent, we recognize evidence of Moscow's efforts to build a nuclear warfighting machine, reflecting a Soviet belief that nuclear war may, under certain conditions, be
fought and won. The Soviet buildup of nuclear forces over the past two decades is all the more ominous when it is coupled with:
-- Increases in Soviet air defenses;
Continued growth of a nationwide series of over 1,500 buried command bunkers for the Party and military leadership;
The ability to refire many of their missiles (ICBMS);
Reloading exercises and procurement of spares to support
-- Numerous combat exercises involving Soviet nuclear forces;
USSR military writings which continue to reflect their
We may not agree with the assumptions upon which the Soviet strategy is founded, but we must design a deterrent strategy that takes these factors into account if we are to remove any temptation for the Soviets to think they can fight and win a nuclear war. Failing to respond vigorously to this threat simply because we do not believe in such concepts is to misapply the entire notion of deterrence.
In October 1981, President Reagan initiated a sweeping program to modernize each of the three elements of our aging nuclear Triad and, just as important, the command, control, and communications (Cu)
ystems that support them. The nature and scope of this vitally needed effort resembles the Kennedy Administration's across-the-board modernization of American strategic nuclear capabilities two decades earlier. President Kennedy's program largely provided the "capital investment" that has preserved deterrence for 20 years. As in any enterprise, however, the investment eventually must be replaced as it ages and obsolesces. When this Administration took office in 1981, every element of our deterrent forces required modernization. Five years later, I am pleased to report that our efforts are paying handsome dividends in terms of greatly increased deterrent capability.
The military effectiveness of our deterrent against the full range of Soviet targets -- including those hardened to reduce the effects of a potential U.S. response -- has been strengthened considerably within the past year by the addition of the first squadron of B-1B aircraft, along with our first ten Peacekeeper missiles. Furthermore, the Trident II Submarine-launched ballistic missile, whose survivable hard-target-kill capability is so vital to flexible response, will soon begin flight testing, marking another milestone on the path to its deployment in December 1989. The past year also saw further successful development work on the advanced cruise missile and advanced technology bomber; both programs continue on track toward deployment, and both will add very substantially to our deterrent capabilities.
Over the next several years, our strategic modernization program will enhance our deterrent's dynamic, multidimensional capability, giving the United States deterrence-in-depth -- if the program is seen through to completion. Deterrence-in-depth greatly expands the flexibility of our deterrent, and adds ever-increasing levels of
survivability and endurability to each element of our deterrent. Most important, it adds to the Soviets' doubts that their attack could succeed.
In addition to making hardware improvements, we have devoted a great deal of thought and effort to the development of more selective, discriminating, and controlled responses to the wide and varied nature of potential Soviet acts of aggression. This flexibility -which follows directly from the requirements of flexible response as initially set forth in the early 1960s -- increases our ability to deter both nuclear and nonnuclear attacks against us or our allies.
Now and until we deploy an effective SDI, the security of the United States and our interests depends on nuclear deterrence and our maintaining the nuclear umbrella over our allies -- something we are doing and are prepared to continue. Meanwhile, we are investigating technologies under the SDI that could one day make us less dependent on offensive nuclear arms to deter Soviet aggression. But, clearly, as long as we remain dependent on nuclear weapons for our security, we must continue to test them for safety and reliability, and to ensure the credibility, effectiveness, and survivability of our deterrent. We test neither more frequently nor at levels higher than absolutely necessary to meet our security requirements. At the same time, we must retain the flexibility to adjust our testing to respond to changes in the Soviet threat. Certainly we should not be beguiled by Soviet offers to give up the necessary testing we must do -especially in view of past Soviet cheating on so many other agreements.
As was discussed in detail in Chapter 1.C., to help deter nonnuclear aggression, U.S. strategy emphasizes the role of conventional forces. This emphasis is in preference to reliance on nuclear weapons, whose deterrent value eroded as the Soviet Union matched or exceeded U.S. capabilities in key areas of our nuclear posture. A robust conventional posture provides us with the safest, most reassurins deterrent at the lowest feasible risk of nuclear war, indeed of any major war. The defense program presented in Part III of this Annual Report reflects our commitment to conventional deterrence.
America's conventional forces are structured and deployed primarily to counter our most serious global threat: Soviet military power. However, they also must be desi special operations forces to counter less ominous threats at the lower end of the conflict spectrum, and when our national interests overwhelmingly require us to commit our troops to combat.
Today, the United States confronts several forms of ambiguous aggression in what is popularly referred to as Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC). While terrorism, subversion, and insurgency are as ancient as
conflict itself, the growing intensity with which they are pursued by our adversaries in the post-World War II era requires a commensurate increase in the attention we devote to them. Indeed, these forms of amb ous aggression have become so widespread that they have become the "warfare of choice" over the last 40 years. They represent a
ong-term challenge to our security, a permanent aspect of the "long twilight struggle" between democracy and its enemies.
The increased prominence of terrorism, insurgency, and subversion has several causes. One is that, for better or worse, nuclear weapons have made great power confrontations highly dangerous. The implicit recognition that even if, by their thinking, a nuclear war
," it would exact incalculable costs, has made the Soviet Union look for other means to advance its aggressive designs. Coupled with our nuclear deterrent has also been our conventional deterrent, which has yet to be challenged in Europe and which, with the South Koreans, successfully blocked communist attempts to subjugate South Korea. Thus the very success of our efforts in deterring nuclear and major conventional aggression has driven Soviet efforts, and those of other hostile states, toward more ambiguous forms of aggression.
These efforts have been aided, and the challenge we face expanded, by the comparatively recent proliferation of Third World states that coincided with the decline of the great European empires following World War II. These new states, in many cases, have encountered economic, political, and social problems that make ripe for internal upheaval or external exploitation and subversion. The rampant growth in the international arms trade, coupled with the increased lethality of weapons, have combined to reduce the costs to countries planning to use LIC. All this occurred as the United States' world role increased, both as a consequence of our emergence as the de facto leader of the free world after World War II, and because of our rapidly expanding network of political, economic, and social relationships within an environment of increased global interdependence. This, of course, has made us more vulnerable to these forms of aggression. Indeed, today there seems to be no shortage of adversaries who seek to undermine our security by persistently nibbling away at our interests through these shadow wars carried on by guerrillas, assassins, terrorists, and subversives in the hope that they have found a weak point in our defenses. For them, lowintensity warfare, be it terrorism, insurgency, or subversion, represents a cost-effective means of aggression for advancing their interests, while minimizing the prospect of a forceful response by the United States and our allies.
In a sense, we face a dual threat. First, there are the political, social, and economic instabilities endemic to many third. World nations that make them ripe for exploitation by radical or disenfranchised internal elements. Often these elements foment hostility focused on the so-called "neocolonialist" West, particularly the United States. Secondly, the Soviet Union is eager to exploit this instability directly or through its proxies, to promote terrorism, subversion (as in Grenada, Ethiopia, Afghanistan in 1978, and South Yemen) and insurgency, thereby undermining U.S. security interests through this "indirect approach.'
Essentially, we are also faced with another conflict potential, different from either nuclear war or more traditional, conventional military operations. We must combat this threat to our security by assisting those friendly states that rely on our help at a time when our defense resources are already stretched to their limit. But we all should recognize that here, as elsewhere, the most cost-effective