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2 IMPLICATIONS FOR DETERRENCE POLICY: TASKS FOR POLICY MAKERS

GEN Andrew J. Goodpaster, USA (retired), The Atlantic Council

Several important implications for policy makers may be drawn from the foregoing regarding deterrence measures as essential tools of security in the new era. They bear first of all on decisions that are needed in peacetime in determining military posture, including appropriate peacetime preparations for crisis contingencies. But they also highlight issues that will require decisions specific to situations at the time military operations actually have to be undertaken. In both types of situations, the environment is far more diverse and complex than the one we faced during the Cold War. Moreover, the experts do not agree on several important issues, including the role of nuclear weapons, the value of declaratory policies, and the need for more advanced types of missile defenses—particularly, defenses against ballistic missiles.

THE NEW DETERRENCE ENVIRONMENT

For the foreseeable future, the more difficult challenges for deterrence will probably not arise from other major powers, but rather from numerous and diverse contingencies created by lesser powers and also from a broader need to shape a stable and secure world order as free from violence as can reasonably be achieved.

• Since the prospect of war among the major powers is at an all-time low, the chief requirements for deterrence are to maintain appropriate nuclear weapons holdings among them and to sustain effective and reliable command and control over the weapons to ensure that they cannot be misused. Tight control of nuclear weapons materials must also be ensured. These deterrence requirements will constitute a primary task for policy makers for as long as nuclear weapons arsenals exist.

• A much more dynamic ingredient in deterrence policy, posture, and action for the United States and its allies will be the risks and threats, some active, some latent, that derive from nations less powerful but more likely to become the sources and the sites of disorder, armed conflict, and international instability. Many U.S. and allied interests may be put in jeopardy. They range from safety in the face of direct



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Page 39 2 IMPLICATIONS FOR DETERRENCE POLICY: TASKS FOR POLICY MAKERS GEN Andrew J. Goodpaster, USA (retired), The Atlantic Council Several important implications for policy makers may be drawn from the foregoing regarding deterrence measures as essential tools of security in the new era. They bear first of all on decisions that are needed in peacetime in determining military posture, including appropriate peacetime preparations for crisis contingencies. But they also highlight issues that will require decisions specific to situations at the time military operations actually have to be undertaken. In both types of situations, the environment is far more diverse and complex than the one we faced during the Cold War. Moreover, the experts do not agree on several important issues, including the role of nuclear weapons, the value of declaratory policies, and the need for more advanced types of missile defenses—particularly, defenses against ballistic missiles. THE NEW DETERRENCE ENVIRONMENT For the foreseeable future, the more difficult challenges for deterrence will probably not arise from other major powers, but rather from numerous and diverse contingencies created by lesser powers and also from a broader need to shape a stable and secure world order as free from violence as can reasonably be achieved. • Since the prospect of war among the major powers is at an all-time low, the chief requirements for deterrence are to maintain appropriate nuclear weapons holdings among them and to sustain effective and reliable command and control over the weapons to ensure that they cannot be misused. Tight control of nuclear weapons materials must also be ensured. These deterrence requirements will constitute a primary task for policy makers for as long as nuclear weapons arsenals exist. • A much more dynamic ingredient in deterrence policy, posture, and action for the United States and its allies will be the risks and threats, some active, some latent, that derive from nations less powerful but more likely to become the sources and the sites of disorder, armed conflict, and international instability. Many U.S. and allied interests may be put in jeopardy. They range from safety in the face of direct

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Page 40 • military or terrorist attack to unimpeded access to critical raw materials, free use of the seas, and provision of humanitarian aid and protection for the displaced populations that the warlike actions of these smaller states may generate. The main challenge will be to deal with such problems as far upstream as possible. This will require mobilizing international involvement and domestic support when the dangers appear neither clear nor direct. • A third set of problems involves major powers such as China or Russia who may try to intimidate neighbors in territory that they once controlled or currently claim. These are particularly difficult cases as we try to engage Moscow and Beijing in Western political, economic, and security systems. CREATING A FABRIC OF DETERRENCE Given such a diverse array of problems, the main task for policy makers is to build a fabric of deterrence that embodies a sustained commitment to providing an increasing level of security, stability, and order among the peoples of the world. Accomplishing this task requires unprecedented cooperation between both international and domestic political leaders. Most importantly, the American public must be convinced that the United States should remain engaged abroad. In weaving this fabric of deterrence, policy makers must focus on the following: • Developing appropriate deterrence capabilities. Policy makers must carefully determine just what combination of deterrence capabilities--the visible and demonstrable power to punish serious violations of the norms of international behavior, deny success to aggression, impose heavy costs and losses on the aggressor--should be created and sustained to provide a high likelihood of deterrence against a wide variety of potential threats and risks. • Defining unacceptable behavior. We must specify as clearly as possible, in both abstract terms and in specific situations as they develop, what behavior we want to deter. At one end of the spectrum, a nuclear attack on the United States or our allies is clearly unacceptable. The task becomes more difficult as we seek to deter lower levels of violence and less direct threats. In some cases we will need a clear message of which behavior will result in certain punishment. In others, we might decide to express displeasure about certain outcomes but to be ambiguous about the U.S. response, in order to avoid stimulating a reaction and to avoid providing implied openings, by omission, for the party we would deter. • Communicating U.S. will and intentions with credibility. Some regimes are likely to challenge the United States because they believe we will be unable to build or sustain public or congressional support in the face of mounting or expected casualties, as demonstrated in Vietnam, Somalia, and the arguments about Bosnia. To meet these challenges, the United States must be perceived as willing to pay the costs in lives and resources, and to stay the course with the needed military skill and political stamina. However, leaders cannot determine in advance the threshold that will result in swift and certain U.S. response because each case involves a unique set of circumstances, and any previously announced set of criteria could tacitly permit lower-level violations of human rights and other important international norms. Therefore, effective deterrence must involve a dynamic process in which policies are frequently reviewed to determine whether underlying assumptions remain valid, and the case for U.S. action must continually be made to the American public and Congress. It will be important to have established credibility through previous actions in order to disabuse the potential aggressor of a belief that we would be self-deterred by internal divisions, past expressions of a lack of interest in events that may have appeared similar to the ones in question, logistic limitations, other force commitments, international pressures, and the like. • Building coalitions. Adding to deterrent effect will be a demonstrated ability to build coalitions, an evident availability of alliance command-and-control organizations, a history of multinational peacekeeping exercises, and a record of gaining mulitilateral participation. Such should be a goal of policy makers. • Building the foundation for information and understanding. An important task for our national leaders is to prepare in advance the information base needed to deal with crisis situations when they arise, and when deterrence must act. Preparatory steps include: — Understanding the values of potential adversaries. Ultimately, our ability to deter is a function of what inducements or pressure we can bring to bear on specific leaders. Therefore, understanding who has what kinds of influence within a target regime, as well as what they hold dear within their own value systems, is important. Simple categorizations of "moderates" and "hardliners" are not useful and often are misleading. We need to know how best to influence specific persons, and the list of who they are needs to be continuously updated. A task for diplomats, military leaders, and the intelligence community is to become as well

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IMPLICATIONS FOR DETERRENCE POLICY: TASKS FOR POLICY MAKERS ........................................................................................................................................................................... . . . Communicating U.S. will and intentions with credibility. Some regimes are likely to challenge the United States because they believe we will be unable to build or sustain public or congressional support in the face of mounting or expected casualties, as demonstrated in Vietnam, Somalia, and the arguments about Bosnia. To meet these challenges, the United States must be perceived as willing to pay the costs in lives and resources, and to stay the course with the needed military skill and political stamina. However, leaders cannot determine in advance the threshold that will result in swift and certain U.S. response because each case involves a unique set of circumstances, and any previously announced set of criteria could tacitly permit lower- level violations of human rights and other important international norms. Therefore, effective deterrence must involve a dynamic process in which policies are frequently reviewed to determine whether underlying assumptions remain valid, and the case for U.S. action must continually be made to the American public and Congress. It will be important to have established credibility through previous actions in order to disabuse the potential aggressor of a belief that we would be self-deterred by internal divisions, past expressions of a lack of interest in events that may have appeared similar to the ones in question, logistic limitations, other force commitments, international pressures and the like. Building coalitions. Adding to deterrent effect will be a demonstrated ability to build coalitions, an evident availability of alliance command- and-control organizations, a history of multinational peacekeeping exercises, and a record of gaining multilateral participation. Such should be a goal of policy makers. Building the foundation for information and understanding. An important task for our national leaders is to prepare in advance the information base needed to deal with crisis situations when they arise, and when deterrence must act. Preparatory steps include: Understanding the values of potential adversaries. Ultimately, our ability to deter is a function of what inducements or pressure we can bring to bear on specific leaders. Therefore, understanding who has what kinds of influence within a target regime, as well as what they hold dear within their own value systems, is important. Simple categorizations of "moderates" and "hardliners" are not useful and often are misleading. We need to know how best to influence specific persons, and the list of who they are needs to be continuously updated. A task for diplomats, military leaders, and the intelligence community is to become as well 41

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Page 42 acquainted as possible with current and future foreign leaders, their value systems, nd the power structures within which they must decide on accepting costs and risks. This requirement places a high premium on encouraging a broad set of exchanges at many levels, and avoiding automatic curtailing of such exchanges when relations become strained. — Intelligence. Our intelligence capabilities must, to the greatest extent feasible, be shaped and sized to foresee and assess accurately and in a timely way the circumstances that may be encountered. The need is greater now than ever before. — Assessment. Policy makers will have to establish mechanisms to achieve a continuing flow of background analyses and to participate regularly in simulations, games, and exercises that anticipate the full range of deterrence problems. This will help leaders to better understand complex issues they may face and to make better-informed decisions. Asking the right questions has been a key ingredient in the more effective cases of national security decision making. SOME DIFFICULT CHOICES Some deterrence policy matters remain unresolved in the present environment; indeed, the environment creates uncertainty about how they should be resolved. In many cases, full resolution will be possible only under the circumstances of specific situations. In the meantime, policy makers may have to resolve them sufficiently to make policy and program choices, or to make partial or hedging program decisions pending further resolution of the issues. Chief among these policy matters are the following: • Reliance on existential deterrence. The extent to which "existential deterrence"—simply the existence of powerful forces capable of inflicting punishment, denying success, imposing costs—can by itself achieve the deterrence that is being sought must be decided as each situation develops. Action beyond mere existence, such as moving forces or calculated applications of force, may be needed to demonstrate the power of such forces, to position them for swift employment, and to show readiness and resolve to commit them fully if necessary. The timing and force levels of such moves will be critical. • The role and use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons, at whatever numbers our treaty commitments allow, will remain the ultimate guarantee of U.S. national security. Our national security policy includes steps to preclude the proliferation of nuclear weapons and also of chemical and biological weapons. But the precise role of nuclear

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Page 43 weapons in the post-Cold War environment is a matter of controversy. Most agree that the threat of nuclear weapons use is appropriate to deter the threat or use of nuclear weapons by adversaries against us and also against our close allies, most of whom do not have nuclear holdings. There is an issue about the extent to which nuclear weapons can be supplanted in deterrence by the threat of using advanced, precision-guided conventional weapons against the bases of political, economic, and military power of an aggressor. Experts also disagree on whether it would be appropriate to invoke a nuclear response to the use of chemical and/or biological weapons. They disagree, too, on whether nuclear weapons should be used to deter conventional attacks on vital U.S. interests or on our close allies; the prospect of such a need has nearly vanished with the disappearance of the NATO-Warsaw Pact confrontation, but it might arise in another context in the future. All these issues await resolution as international relationships in the post-Cold War world evolve. • Declaratory policies. The relative merits of declaratory policies, such as "no first use" of nuclear weapons, also are widely contested by experts and require periodic review. Some argue that such assurances in the abstract are simply not credible for real situations and therefore are not useful for the purposes of deterrence. Others argue that declaratory policies are useful in gaining reductions in nuclear inventories by the major powers and increasing the chances of cooperation by non-nuclear weapons states. In the last resort, the president will decide what kind and level of military force a situation merits. However, such policies can have important implications for our force posture and plans. In the specific case of "no first use" of nuclear weapons, whether to enunciate the policy and, if so, whether the policy would forego such use in all circumstances, or be limited to no first use against those who are without nuclear weapons, or without any of the other weapons of mass destruction, are matters to be considered. • Missile defenses. The extent to which the United States should develop and deploy active missile defenses remains highly controversial. Proponents argue that some level of national missile defense is needed even if it requires invalidating the Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. Others argue that any missile defense can be defeated far more cheaply than the costs of developing and deploying such a system—including technical countermeasures against the missile defenses or attack modes that bypass them altogether. Another concern is the belief of many that the ABM treaty is essential to maintaining a stable nuclear balance with Russia. Leaders in France, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere are worried that their ability to deter Russia would be undermined if Moscow were no longer held to

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Page 44 the ABM treaty. Theater missile defenses, currently permitted under the ABM treaty, could be forced by the evolution of the theater-level threat to grow in capability to the point that their technical characteristics also challenge some of the ABM treaty constraints. This issue will require continual review in terms of threats, costs, and effectiveness; impact on the security of the United States, our allies, and others; and other important factors. CONCLUDING REMARKS The agenda laid out above is a substantial one for policy makers, with tasks falling into two main categories. First are preparatory actions and capabilities that should be brought into existence in peacetime, including, in particular, the size, composition, deployment, and states of readiness of our military forces, together with their command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I), logistics (especially including mobility and prepositioning), and many other elements of military strength. Second, for actions that can be taken only when a contingency actually occurs, or is thought to be about to occur, there should be plans well thought out in advance, reflected in training, exercises, and well-tested capabilities of our forces for the kinds of operations that may be required. The policy alternatives should be reviewed continually, so that the availability and viability of alternatives can be assessed on the basis of forethought in regard to each situation as it arises. And finally, from these deterrent capabilities and preparations will derive the support for the condition of security, stability, and world order that should be our broader goal. It will be the task of policy makers to assess the adequacy of this support and augment it if required.