March 6 Study Sheet

March 6 Study Sheet - March 6 Study Sheet America's Nuclear...

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March 6 Study Sheet – America’s Nuclear Arsenal Class Notes Key Points: - Clausewitzean Dilemma – war is a bargaining process, how to make threats in shadow of nuclear war? - Nuclear triad – different ways to deliver missiles ( and, sea, air) - Baruch Plan – US trying to gain control of the a-bomb - PDD – 60 – deterrence is goal of nuclear weapons b/c nuclear war cannot be ‘won’ - Nukes have status quo bias as they protect regimes and borders Readings: Trachtenberg, Marc. “A Wasting Asset”: American Strategy and the Shifting Nuclear Balance, 1949-1954 - USSR aggressive in light of US nuclear dominance in1940s and 50s so if USSR possessed weapons than no reason to think that world would be stable - America - US nuclear monopoly was a “wasting asset” - America had window of vulnerability till 1953 b/c of small conventional forces, in 1953 “window of opportunity” opened up and allowed US to pursue more aggressive policy - “Preventive war” contemplated as way of destroying USSR nuclear capabilities before they emerged, surprise attack - NSC – 68 balanced USSR conventional superiority, but when gaps closes US needs more conventional forces, ruled out “preventative war”, also assumed that USSR intent on world domination and that they would be tempted to attack US with surprise - Constant balance – once USSR closed nuclear gap then thought they would be more aggressive, Soviet conventional power was at maximum over Western conventional power from 1950-54 - In Korea Us pursued “limited war” strategy, if attacked by Chinese might have to “defer” was view in 1951, but rate of US spending tripled, US decided to expand conflict b/c resurgence of military power in late 1952 and 53, and also b/c fears of war with USSR had been exaggerated - Tactical nukes came about between 1951 and 53 as bombs were small enough to be used by
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  • Spring '08
  • Parent
  • Nuclear weapon, USSR nuclear capabilities, USSR conventional superiority, conventional USSR attack, b/c nuclear war

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March 6 Study Sheet - March 6 Study Sheet America's Nuclear...

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