Superpower Strategic Postures for a Multipolar World.

by Malcolm W. Hoag

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback26 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

A consideration of what arms limits upon the United States and the Soviet Union are desirable. That a ban upon both MIRV and ABM systems would stabilize the bipolar strategic balance, and slow nuclear proliferation, is disputed. A MIRV ban would encourage thick ABM defenses of cities, and could easily be evaded by the Soviets. Expected superpower postures with MIRV and thin ABM systems will, with low-cost marginal adjustments for protection against "nth" powers, markedly increase the costs of acquiring retaliatory capabilities against a superpower. Many nations will use such arming rather than disarming by the superpowers ("vertical proliferation") as an excuse for not signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty. But the number of nuclear powers should expand no faster, while the ambitions of nth country strategic programs should expand more slowly. 26 pp.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.