The utility of de-escalatory confidence-building measures

by Joseph E. Nation


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In times of crisis between the United States and the Soviet Union, certain actions may exhibit non-aggressive or draw-down intentions, thereby lessening the potential for escalating conflict. This paper evaluates a variety of these confidence-building measures (CBMs) to determine their political and military costs. Four of the measures seem viable: (1) the return of civilian leaders from emergency locations; (2) the termination of interference with communications and national technical means of verification; (3) the cessation of civil defense measures; and (4) the phased return of bombers to main operating bases.

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