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Managing Superpower Crises International crises are, by definition, extraordinary, and there- fore ordinary methods of gathering information and making and executing political and military decisions may not be adequate. National leaders in a crisis must sift huge amounts of information to assess the situation accurately, balance political and military imperatives, assess their options wisely, and take action, all in a time-compressed schedule. The tasks are formidable, and national leaders must perform them under unique circumstances using the resources of special crisis teams that have not worked together before under such extreme pressure. This section describes the organizations responsible for crisis management in the United States and the Soviet Union and the tasks they face. ORGANIZATIONS FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT7 Because the U.S. government has made efforts to institutionalize crisis management procedures, it is possible to provide at least a general description of crisis management actors and their tasks for the United States. It is also possible to project some of the same for the Soviet Union. In actuality, crisis management has in the past and will probably in the future differ in practice from the description given here. The key functions for crisis management are information collec- tion, assessment, option development, deliberation and decision making, and action or execution of the decisions. As shown in Figures 1 and 2, both the U.S. and Soviet governments receive information from embassies and military assistance groups abroad, allies, intelligence reconnaissance from satellites, intelligence agents, and the news media. In the United States, assessment and option development are carried out by the National Security Council (NSC) staff, the State Department, the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the agencies that make up the intelligence community. Each of these departments is represented in the interagency Crisis 8

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MANAGING SUPERPOWER CRISES 9 Deliberation and Decision President National Security Council National Security Policy Group Special Situations Group EXCOM Assessment and Option Development Crisis Preplanning Group NSC staff State Department Defense DepartmenVJoint Chiefs of Staff CIA director Intelilgence community CIA DIA Information Collection Embassies abroad Diplomats Military apaches and assistance groups Intelligence technology Satellite imagery Interception of communications CIA and DIA agents News media Action and Execution Direct communications Hotline Visits State Department Embassies abroad Joint Chiefs of Staff and Military forces Strategic nuclear forces Theater commands (air and ground forces) Airborne forces Navy Special operations forces CIA clandestine operations FIGURE 1 Responsibility for crisis management functions in the U.S. government. SOURCE: Edward Warner, The Rand Corporation Pre-Planning Group, which is headed by a member of the NSC staff. In the Soviet Union, it is thought that assessment and option development are performed by the staff of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the Foreign Ministry, the General Staff, and the intelligence community.

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10 CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN THE NUCLEAR AGE Deliberation and Decision General Secretary Politburo Defense Council Assessment and Option Development Central Committee apparatus Foreign Ministry General Staff KGB/GRU (defense Intelligence) Information Collection Embassies abroad Diplomats Mliltary attaches and assistance groups Communist parties abroad Intelilgence technology Satellite Imagery Interception of communications KGB/GRU Intelilgence agents News media 1 1 Action and Execution Direct communications Hotline Visits Foreign Ministry Embassies abroad General Staff Strategic nuclear forces Theater air and ground forces Navy Airborne forces Military assistance and advisers KGB/GRU Intelligence agents FIGURE 2 Responsibility for crisis management functions in the Soviet government. SOURCE: Edward Warner, The Rand Corporation Deliberation and decision making in the United States are carried out by the president, the NSC, and any ad hoc group of key advisers that the president may call into being during a particular crisis. The NSC normally includes the vice president, the secretaries of state and defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the assistant for National Security Affairs, and the White House chief of staff. Under the NSC in the Reagan administration are the interagency National

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MANAGING SUPERPOWER CRISES 11 Security Policy Group and the Special Situation Group, which is essentially the NSC with the vice president substituting for the president. Of course, the president or his representatives may also consult with staffs and Congress during the decision-making process. Not much is definitively known about Soviet decision-making procedures in a crisis. Deliberation and decision making are assumed to be performed by the general secretary of the Communist Party, the Politburo, and a subgroup of the Politburo, the Defense Council. The exact makeup of the Defense Council is not officially known, but it is chaired by the general secretary and is thought to include the second secretary, the chairmen of the Council of Ministers and the Supreme Soviet, the Central Committee secretary for the Defense Ministry, the minister of defense, the foreign minister, and the KGB chairman. It is served by the General Staff through the chief of the General Staff, who is responsible for developing military options. Other Central Committee secretaries and department chiefs with relevant responsibilities are probably brought in as needed. During the 1968 Czechoslovak crisis, for example, Ukrainian First Secretary Pyotr Shelest was brought in because of the geographical and political relevance of the crisis to the Ukrainian Republic. The Soviets are said to have involved only about six men, all Politburo members, in managing the Cuban Missile Crisis.8 Both countries used a compressed version of their top leadership in that crisis. Both the United States and the USSR have similar options for action and execution. They can communicate directly with each other through the hotline or through personal visits of emissaries. They can communicate through their embassies abroad, execute military options, and use their intelligence services for clandestine operations (see Figures 1 and 23. In both countries, each of the tasks of crisis management involves coordination of several large bureaucracies. At each step, political and diplomatic officials, the different military services, and multiple intelligence agencies may all be involved and must coordinate their actions. The next section discusses the various management prob- lems raised by these needs for coordination. TASKS OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT Fortunately, experience with serious U.S.-Soviet crises is very limited. Even without vast experience, however, it is possible to identify the tasks leaders in the two countries must perform during

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12 . . CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN THE NUCLEAR AGE any serious crisis and, using knowledge about decision making under stress and the experience of past international crises, some of the problems that might arise. Gathering and Assessing Information A major task of crisis management is managing information. Clearly, the appropriate response to a perceived threat depends on an accurate perception of the threat. In a superpower crisis, someone must identify and locate relevant information and select from the vast store of available data so that the decision makers get the information they need most but are not swamped by irrelevant detail. At the same time, the crucial information funneled to leaders must be cross-checked for accuracy. In a crisis, these tasks must be performed quickly and effectively. Inevitably, some of the needed information is simply unavailable, so leaders must act in partial ignorance. Piecing together the relevant information is an equally funda- mental problem. In both the United States and the Soviet Union, information for crisis management comes from various sources and is collected by several separate bureaucratic organizations. Each superpower has many relevant diplomatic sources and more than one intelligence agency and monitors large amounts of technical information, for instance, from data-gathering surveillance satel- lites and warning systems. Improved technology constantly expands the amount of information and, along with it, the task of making sense of it all. The bureaucracies involved in gathering information are subject to conflicting pressures during crises. Leaders in a crisis often want distilled and unambiguous information and complain if they do not get it fast enough. This puts pressure on their subordinates to be very selective in what they transmit. But leaders also complain that they do not get the information they need, which creates pressure in the opposite direction. This tension is inevitable in a crisis, and it certainly gets worse as the amount of information grows, decision times get shorter, and the stakes are raised. Although information-processing technologies can mitigate some problems, a paradox is fundamental: Crises involving complex technical systems require huge information inputs for their management, but the more the information, the more difficult the management.9 This problem is compounded by the fact that bureaucracies gather information and decide what to pass to decision makers without the

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MANAGING SUPERPOWER CRISES 13 benefit of a broader perspective.~ Moreover, each bureaucracy may be motivated to use its control of information to promote its own institutional goals. When advocates of one policy are able to exclude alternative sources of information, serious distortions can result. Thus, in planning the Bay of Pigs invasion, President Kennedy was told the invasion was likely to spark an uprising and believed there were plans for the invaders to join guerrillas in the mountains if they could not hold a beachhead. Kennedy was neither informed of the CIA and State Department intelligence assessments that an uprising was unlikely, told that the area was unsuitable for guerrilla warfare, nor advised that there were no plans for a move to the mountains. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, who gave only cursory review to the plans, were later able to blame the failure on the CIA; as a result, President Kennedy turned responsibility for such operations over to the Pentagon. These problems repeat themselves at lower levels: Experts in specific areas may think they know best what the people at the top need to know or may use their knowledge to gain recognition from their superiors during their moments in the limelight. The effect of all these parochial uses of information is to frustrate leaders who may have a different and broader perspective on which information is essential. Ideally, sensitive and trusted analysts with particular substantive knowledge and skills should be present in the decision-making group. Llewellyn Thompson is reported to have fulfilled this role in interpreting Soviet messages and anticipating likely Soviet re- sponses to U.S. moves during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the presence of such a specially skilled person in future crises cannot be assured. Lower-level specialists should be on hand in the crisis decision-making groups to provide needed information on the spot. But because of concerns for secrecy in decision making, the number of people in the decision-making group is usually kept to an absolute minimum. One problem is that it is hard to foresee whose information will be essential. It is said that the secret 1980 mission to rescue U.S. hostages in Iran failed partly because critical information was shut out of the process, along with the specialists who knew it. Although the sandstorm that caused trouble for the mission was not unusual for that desert at that time of the year, there was no expert on local weather conditions in the decision-making group. As a result, no effort was made to check for the presence of sandstorms on the night of the mission or to advise the pilots on how to deal with sand clouds.~3

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14 CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN THE NUCLEAR AGE Assessment of information is plagued by another fundamental problem: the operation of several normal psychological processes that systematically bias decision makers' assessments of the infor- mation they receive. One such process is a tendency to interpret new and ambiguous information as confirming one's working hy- potheses and to give more weight to confirming evidence than to equally valid negative evidence. National leaders are not immune to this normal human tendency.~4 In times of poor U.S.-Soviet relations there is a tendency to look more closely for signs of impending attack, to perceive ambiguous evidence as signs of hostility, and to ignore signs of conciliation. This phenomenon may help explain why during the Cuban Missile Crisis the U.S. leadership appeared not to have noticed that the Soviet Union did not raise the alert status of its military forces.~5 Another normal psychological tendency is to believe that one's motives are as obvious to one's adversary as to oneself. This belief can lead to dangerous misunderstandings. In the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. leaders thought Soviet Premier Khrushchev understood quite well that the introduction of nuclear missiles into Cuba would not be acceptable.~7 But this was not obvious to Khrushchev. When the United States clarified its position by issuing warnings in early and mid-September 1962, it was too late: the Soviet decision to send missiles to Cuba had progressed too far. In sum, it is very difficult to ensure reliable information man- agement in a superpower crisis. The gathering and assessing of information are attended by major problems, some of which are inherent in the organizational structures and psychological pro- cesses that come into play. To ensure that the relevant information is gathered, both superpowers have invested in redundant techno- logical and human sources of data, which they process in large bureaucratic organizations. Each bureaucracy sees only part of the picture and is motivated in part by parochial interests, so leaders do not always get the information they want. Even when they do, normal psychological tendencies leave them open to making serious misassessments.~8 Making Decisions Decision making in a crisis is difficult, even with good information. In the United States procedures for crisis management are being

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MANAGING SUPERPOWER CRISES 15 developed. During the Reagan administration a crisis management entity, a separate room with a computerized data base and a computer network designed to give top leaders better access to information and to other parts of the government, was installed in the NSC.~9 However, the value and reliability ofthis new technology, which can only compile information, not weigh it, is unproven. There is a general problem of preparedness for crisis decision making, at least in the United States. Top leaders have little practice in decision making during a national security crisis. When the U.S. government engages in crisis planning or playing war games, the players are usually officials at the government levels of undersecretary, assistant secretary, or below. These individuals, who gain some experience and practice, are often shut out of the decision-making process in a real crisis because the circle of partic- ipants tends to become very tightly drawn at the highest levels.20 The problem is exacerbated by frequent changes in the leadership, especially in the United States. New administrations usually come into power every four or eight years, and there are often almost complete turnovers of high-level officials and their staffs between those terms. A 1982 study showed that only two percent of the officers then serving in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had served a previous tour of duty there (the standard tour of duty was then two to three years).2i The result is that the experience gained from past crises is largely lost to the decision makers for the next crisis, especially when different administrations are involved. In sum, there are reasons to doubt whether the leaders in place when a future crisis arises will have the optimal preparation and expe- rience to deal with it effectively. Preservation of the command system in the event of nuclear war requires that the presidential successors survive and be prepared to take over if necessary. However, it is difficult to keep the vice president and other presidential successors current, well-informed, and surrounded by qualified people should they need to take charge because most of the limited human resources are, by necessity, clustered around the president. Decision making also involves conflicts over knowledge, expertise, and authority that must be resolved quickly and decisively. For example, it is sometimes difficult in practice for civilian officials to exercise their authority over military officers. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara is said to have gone into the situation room, where he began asking a lot of

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16 CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN THE NUCLEAR AGE questions about the details of the blockade. After several minutes of this, Admiral George Anderson reportedly said, "Now, Mr. Secretary, if you and your deputy will go back to your offices, the Navy will run the blockade."22 From the standpoint of civilian leaders, such as the president and the secretary of defense, such interventions in tactical operations are intended to control the risk of escalation or to provide opportunities for diplomatic activity. Such actions often conflict with military logic, however, and lead to concern among military officers that micromanagement of mili- tary operations by civilian authority will handicap military effi- c~ency. In addition to these problems and conflicts, there is the possibility that the skills of individual decision makers may be impaired under stress, posing a serious threat to crisis management. In the small group of top decision makers (called the EXCOM, or Executive Committee) during the Cuban Missile Crisis, some handled the stress well and others did not. Two individuals reportedly were overstressed, becoming very passive and unable to function. This was easily noticed and others took over their responsibilities.23 There are several well-documented examples of degradation of skills under stress among national leaders, including Stalin's stress- induced lethargy following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the behavior of Anthony Eden following the Suez Crisis, and of Yizhak Rabin during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.24 Subtle psychological impairments may be more dangerous for crisis decision making because they are more difficult to discern. Psychological research indicates that to a point, stress improves performance, but that beyond this point it becomes dysfunctional.25 Leaders' judgment and information-processing skills might deteri- orate in subtle and unpredictable ways. For example, decision makers under stress tend to fix on one alternative prematurely.26 Some researchers believe that in a crisis decision-making group there is a serious danger that advisers will follow a leader who arrives at a premature decision out of a spirit of group solidarity and without carefully reviewing the merits of the choice.27 It is not possible to predict whether the judgment of one or more national leaders might break down under the stress of a crisis or to predict how effectively the rest of the leadership would respond if this did happen. Some argue that whatever happens to individuals, leaders and their advisers in a superpower crisis will be restrained by the sober realization that a large-scale exchange of nuclear

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MANAGING SUPERPOWER CRISES 17 weapons is the worst outcome for both sides and must be avoided at all costs. It is not obvious, however, that the leaders will always be able to foresee which decisions would lead to nuclear confron- tation. There is insufficient direct evidence to conclude that lack of experience, insufficient preparation, psychological breakdowns un- der stress, or premature group consensus is likely to seriously impair the ability of leaders to make rational and sound decisions in a particular kind of superpower crisis. But there is also insufficient evidence to support a faith that leaders on both sides will always maintain sufficient control and exercise sound enough judgment to avoid nuclear war. Communication and Signaling A critical aspect of crisis management is communication between the adversaries. Escalation, which most observers see as the most likely path to inadvertent nuclear war, is a product of an interaction between the adversaries in which one side observes the words or actions of the other, interprets them, and responds in ways that may be perceived as threatening by the other side. So communication between adversaries, whether intentional or not and whether it is understood correctly or not, can determine whether a crisis escalates or moves toward resolution. Communication can be difficult for technical, cultural, structural, and psychological reasons and because the signals themselves can be ambiguous, confusing, or even provocative. An instance of technical problems in communicating with the other side occurred in the Cuban Missile Crisis. There was a seven-hour delay in getting an important message from Khrushchev to Kennedy when the message was delayed in transmission from the U.S. embassy in Moscow to Washington; the delay occurred in a process that involved the use of Soviet communications systems, and has never been explained. The delay was dangerous because the Americans got the message too late to send an answer before the end of the working day on Friday, October 26, 1962. It is not clear that Khrushchev knew that the message had not been immediately received by Kennedy, so there was a potential for Kennedy's nonresponse to have been invested with a false significance by the Soviets. Also, the absence of a U.S. response may have played a role in the Soviet decision to send a second and much less promising message on Saturday, October 27.28

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18 CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN THE NUCLEAR AGE A central problem of communication arises from the fact that the adversaries are different nations with different languages and cultures. The United States and the Soviet Union enter any crisis with very different points of view. This is seen even in their concepts of crisis management. Americans who have discussed the subject of crisis management with the Soviets have learned that the term "crisis management" has no adequate Russian translation. The term the Soviets use translates back to English as "crisis manipulation," and the Soviets understandably dislike this negative connotation. Soviet interest in the management aspects of crises may be growing, however. There have recently been a few Soviet writings about management of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and some high-level Soviets have engaged in discussions of crisis management with U.S. experts and former government officials. Differences in perspective can cause major misunderstandings in the signaling process. Many observers believe that the misreading of signals has been a major cause of miscalculation in past inter- national crises.29 Often, a signal means different things to the sender and the receiver. For example, when China expressed its intent to use armed force to defend North Korea against General MacArthur's troops in 1950, the U.S. leadership interpreted the message as a bluff or else a limited threat to defend power plants at the northern end of that country. The United States pushed ahead, insensitive to Chinese warnings while giving assurances that it did not intend to threaten what it believed to be Chinese interests, and was surprised when the Chinese counterattacked in force. This misun- derstanding may have been due in part to an erroneous but psychologically understandable belief among U.S. leaders that their intent toward China, which they understood as benign, would be interpreted as such by the Chinese leaders.30 Cultural differences are one reason the messages one side sends may be misunderstood by the other. Another important source of misassessment comes from an aspect of international competition known as the security dilemma: Actions that one side takes to enhance its security are seen from the other side as a threat that requires some countermeasure; such a response is seen, in turn, as a threat by the other side. Reducing the vulnerability of people or military installations or increasing the readiness of a nation's military forces, in particular, can seem threatening to the other side. How would the Soviets react if, in a crisis, the United States placed its bombers on alert and moved the president or his successor

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MANAGING SUPERPOWER CRISES 19 to a safe place? How would the United States react if, in a crisis, the Soviets started evacuating people from their cities? Although either move might be defensive in intent, the opponent might see it as indicating plans to attack, and in a crisis might take an escalatory step or even attack preemptively. Thus, effective com- munication depends on a clear understanding of how the other side is likely to perceive a nation's actions. Incorrectly anticipating the reaction of the other side can compound problems of misperception, and can lead to escalating action-reaction dynamics which can be played out through the spoken word, written messages, or other signals.3i For this reason, it is often essential to make doubly sure that a nation's commitments and intentions are clear to the adversary. Some crises arise because one side does not understand the other's commitments, as may have occurred in the Cuban Missile Crisis.32 Both the U.S. and the Soviet leaders appear to have learned the importance of making known their intentions and clearly stating their interests. In the 1982-1983 Lebanon crisis, the Soviet Union is said to have sent a very clear verbal message that it would defend Syria if it was attacked, but that it would not defend Syrian troops in Lebanon. Such messages can help nations avoid undesired confrontations, although only if the messages are understood cor- rectly. Each side must be wary, of course, of the possibility that it is receiving deliberately misleading information. The coordination of military and diplomatic moves can make it easier to get a clear message through to the other side. One example of coordination occurred during the 1968 Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, when the United States reduced its regular recon- naissance activity over Czechoslovakia to demonstrate to the Soviets, in conjunction with its diplomatic messages, that it was not planning to interfere.33 Similarly, when the United States invaded Grenada in 1983, it is said that Washington told Moscow what it was doing and informed it that the action was aimed only at Grenada and not at Cuba. In past superpower crises, both sides have used their military forces to signal their commitments and intentions- an emphatic but potentially dangerous method of communication. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States dispersed loaded bombers to 40 civilian airports around the country.34 During the 1973 Middle East Crisis, the Soviets gave a prominent signal by putting their airborne divisions on alert after Israel violated a cease-fire and

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20 CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN THE NUCLEAR AGE started to surround the Egyptian Third Army. The United States did not want to join the Soviets in military action to enforce the cease-fire, and it did not want the Soviets to act unilaterally. The United States signaled its resolve by going on a higher state of military alert, and then responded negatively to the Soviet note requesting joint action. At the same time, it should be noted, the United States put strong pressure on Israel to comply with the cease-fire.35 Military alerts can be effective methods of communication, but there is a great danger of undesirable action-reaction dynamics. Because some acts of readiness are easily seen as threats, they can give the impression that cooperation has broken down and cannot be restored. Inadvertent war might result if one side believes that under such conditions it must either strike first or be attacked, and that it has a better chance if it strikes first. Communication and signaling are essential in a crisis, but they carry the danger of creating misunderstandings that could lead to undesired escalation of the conflict. A major task of crisis manage- ment is to find ways to improve communication to avoid such outcomes. We will discuss some proposals to this end in the last section of the report. Command and Control of Nuclear Weapons36 The primary operational threats to effective crisis management are the difficulty of maintaining political control over military forces and the problem of ensuring effective functioning of all aspects of the command and control system. The function of command and control has become more difficult and the hardware more complex as the United States has sought greater flexibility of response with its military forces.37 Moreover, the command and control system can never be tested in its entirety, and thus there are concerns today about the vulnerability and possible deficiencies of the system, raising the possibility that effective deterrence could fail. All nuclear powers appear to have given exclusive authority for using nuclear weapons to their top political leaders. To ensure their capacity to retaliate, however, they have dispersed the physical capability to operate weapons to a relatively large number of military commanders because central authorities cannot be reliably protected against preemptive attack and because the detailed management

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MANAGING SUPERPOWER CRISES 21 of weapons systems operations must necessarily be given to im- mediate commanders of weapons. This task of maintaining effective political control over military forces requires technical and procedural safeguards to ensure both that nuclear weapons will not be used without authority and that the weapons will operate as ordered once authority to do so is given. The strict technical and procedural safeguards used by U.S. and Soviet leaders make unauthorized launch of a nuclear weapon very unlikely from either the U.S. or the Soviet side. For instance, the launch-enabled control system technology employed on U.S. inter- continental ballistic missiles requires that a code be transmitted to and entered by the missile site operators in order to arm and then launch each missile. In addition, two operators must simultaneously turn keys in response to an order to launch, and a second pair of operators miles away must do the same to confirm the order and launch the missile. On submarines, the crew can release its nuclear weapons without being given a code by the central authority, but it takes the cooperation of approximately six people to launch the weapons. A reason for not employing the launch-enabled control system technology on SLBMs is that the technology depends on direct communications, which is difficult in the case of submarines and makes the vessels more vulnerable to detection. Another reason may be long-standing naval opposition to restrictions on the au- thority of ship commanders. The Soviet Union has similarly elab- orate control systems, including two separate political control channels and a physical control technology.38 This control is necessarily incomplete, however, in that field commanders must retain significant independent authority over the operational management of military forces. They must follow the standard alert procedures and stated rules of engagement (see the box entitled "The Importance of Rules of Engagement") that the central authorities have developed, but there remains scope for individual commanders' judgments in interpreting their orders that may, under crisis circumstances, produce interactions between de- ployed forces that were not planned by and cannot be precisely controlled by central authorities. In the Cuban Missile Crisis, for instance, confrontations between U.S. and Soviet naval vessels might have produced escalations that neither side desired. The management offorces in crises therefore requires an inherently difficult balancing of central direction and decentralized adaptive operations.

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22 CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN THE NUCLEAR AGE

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MANAGING SUPERPOWER CRISES 23 It is difficult to ensure that weapons will operate as ordered and authorized because nuclear weapons command systems are vulner- able to serious disruption in the early stages of attack. Protecting the command function, and thus ensuring retaliatory capability, requires designating duplicate command centers in advance, dele- gating authority to presidential successors in case it becomes necessary, and providing unambiguous authority in advance for some field commanders to use nuclear weapons. Furthermore, to protect against catastrophic failure of their retaliatory forces, both the United States and the Soviet Union have prepared for such rapid responses to evidence of impending attack that the distinction between retaliation and preemption is very finely drawn and may be unstable under crisis conditions.39 These dual tensions, between centralized and dispersed authority and between the declared intention to use nuclear forces only in response to attack and the strong incentives to initiate operations before suffering the full weight of attack, are particularly acute in the European military theatre. The extreme destructiveness and rapid pace of nuclear warfare demands extensive central direction, while the slower pace of conventional weapons engagements and the complexity of the circumstances they generate both allows and requires delegation of greater authority to immediate commanders. These demands conflict in the European theatre, where nuclear and conventional weapons and the authority to use them are integrated in the same command. O Furthermore, the possibility of preemption is raised in the Eu- ropean theatre by the complicated plans needed to get nuclear weapons out of stocks and move them to forward positions for possible use in response to attack. North Atlantic Treaty Organi- zation (NATO) efforts to disperse and prepare these weapons for ,

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24 CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN THE NUCLEAR AGE use could prompt a Soviet preemptive attack, especially since the U.S. Pershing 2 missiles in Europe are capable of attacking Soviet command and control centers with only a few minutes of warning.40 The United States and the Soviet Union have evolved distinctly different styles of operation, which could create additional problems in a crisis. According to some Western observers, the Soviet military establishment is procedurally more centralized, more dependent on the performance of central command authorities, less willing to rely on the adaptive actions of immediate weapons commanders, less willing to alert its forces without an actual commitment to war, and more inclined to a massive centrally programmed action if war does occur.4i Though sharing many of the same properties of centralized management, the United States establishment is none- theless more inclined to limited, probing, adaptive reactions in advanced stages of crisis and even in the initial stages of war.42 Despite differences of style, the effort to maintain and enhance retaliatory capacity has led both superpowers to develop large and highly decentralized military establishments with responsibility for conventional and nuclear weapons whose actions cannot be com- pletely controlled or monitored from any central location. In a crisis, leaders must maintain an inherently difficult balance of central direction and decentralized adaptive operations under an intense time pressure. There is the possibility that under such pressures normal misunderstandings might be compounded or that the spon- taneous interactions of forces could occur, with catastrophic results. The command systems have worked well under normal conditions, but the existing system has never been tested under conditions of severe crisis in which both sides implement alert procedures or in which national leaders think war is imminent. Thus, there is reason for extreme concern about the robustness of the command system, and therefore of deterrence and effective crisis management, in a severe U.S.-Soviet confrontation. Coordination with Allies An important task of crisis management for a nation is to coordinate with its allies. They can play an active role by consulting, developing options, and even lending operational support. At a minimum, a superpower must notify its allies about the crisis and its intended response. We illustrate this point from the perspective of U.S.-alliance relations; the USSR presumably faces similar issues of coordination and consultation with its allies.

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MANAGING SUPERPOWER CRISES 25 It is more difficult now for the United States to gain and hold the support of its allies than it was 20 years ago. The United States and its European allies do not necessarily share the same security interests outside Europe, or even within Europe. It is sometimes necessary for the United States to make sacrifices to gain alliance support. This was true, for example, when the United States divulged intelligence secrets to show Libyan involvement in the April 1986 bombing of a Berlin discotheque in an effort to win alliance support of the U.S. retaliatory bombing in Libya. Cooperation of allies, while important, is not always assured. The U.S. naval blockade of Cuba in 1962 was supported by the Organization of American States (OAS), but a similar action might not be supported by the OAS today. The United States has a spotty record of consultation with its allies on foreign policy matters in recent years, as indicated by disputes with its European allies over the neutron bomb, the sanctions the United States tried to impose against construction of the Soviet natural gas pipeline after the imposition of martial law in Poland, the arms control proposals President Reagan made at the Reykjavik summit without Allied consultation, and the selling of arms to Iran in 1985 and 1986 while the U.S. administration was urging its allies to honor an embargo on arms to Iran. Failing to adequately consult the allies risks isolation and embarrassment for the United States and can greatly weaken the effectiveness of a chosen policy, particularly in a time of crisis.