Building Confidence During Peace and War
Confidence- and security-building measures (CBMs) are both unilateral and cooperative measures that might inhibit unintended escalation or improve the prospects that escalation, once begun, can be controlled or reversed in ways that minimize the risks of unwanted nuclear confrontation while protecting other vital national interests. This Note considers what effect CBMs might have on the achievement of U.S. objectives in situations of crisis or conflict. It examines the potential implications of CBMs both for policymakers' attempts to prevent unwanted escalation and the effective operation of U.S. forces during crisis or war. It identifies ways in which these measures might constrain U.S. options and operations during peacetime and crisis. Finally, it assesses the tradeoffs and evaluates the net utility of CBMs in achieving the collection of U.S. goals ranging from war avoidance to extended deterrence.