The prospects for peace between East and West depend not only on the ‘intrinsic stability’ of the balance of terror — the risk-aversion of each side, the characteristics of weapon systems, the balance of incentives and disincentives to open the striking and so on — but also on the ‘dynamic stability’ of actual world situations — on social, economic and political tensions, and on the reactions of political leaders, and peoples, to the march of events.


Dynamic Stability Nuclear Weapon Force Level Local Tension Inflated Expectation 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    The discussion of escalation in this chapter draws heavily on Thomas C. Schelling, Arms and Influence (Yale University Press, 1966).Google Scholar
  2. Also on Richard Smoke, War: Controlling Escalation (Harvard University Press, 1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 2.
    See Shelford Bidwell (ed.), World War Three: A Military Projection Founded on Today’s Facts (Hamlyn, 1978).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    See also chapter 14.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    Clausewitz (note 3 of chapter 5) vol. I, chapter 1, p.23 and vol. III, chapter 6 p. 121.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    For a useful summary of game theory, see Lawrence Freedman, The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy (Macmillan, 1981) pp.182 ff.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    President Kennedy made a significant concession in undertaking not to invade Cuba. But he won universal admiration for his handling of the crisis — the low level ‘initial’ response of setting an interception or ‘quarantine’ zone around Cuba, the slow escalation, the firm but reasonable letters to Khruschev, the patient determination to give Khruschev time to decide for himself on a change of course, the decision not to retaliate against the shooting down of an American U2 reconnaissance plane by a Soviet surface-to-air (SAM) missile, and the care which he took to avoid humiliating the Soviet leader, despite the extraordinary succession of lies which he had told about Soviet intentions in Cuba. See Robert F. Kennedy, 13 days (Macmillan and Pan Books, 1969).Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    See chapter 6.Google Scholar

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© A.J.C. Edwards 1986

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