An exploration of the thesis that a major part of the inflexibility in our current strategic capabilities stems from the institutional images of strategic conflict that form the foundation for U.S. defense planning. These images, even of limited strategic conflict, are based on an underlying idea of conflict as a process that separates the protagonists into a winner and a loser according to criteria that both accept. However, this "winner-loser" image is inadequate to deal with problems of limited conflict between nations that possess the ability to destroy each other's societies. The major conceptual change required is a broadening of our concepts of strategic conflict and the uses of strategic forces--a broadening which, while it need not totally reject the winner-loser image of strategic conflict, will also allow for recognition of a bargaining tool image, as well as the implications of that image. 25 pp. Ref.
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