Long-Term Competition with the Soviets

A Framework for Strategic Analysis

by Andy W. Marshall

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A suggestion for a shift in focus on planning and programming U.S. strategic forces. Long-term analysis of the U.S.-Soviet competition should be concerned with both opponents, treating threats within that framework, searching for areas of possible U.S. advantage, and looking for weaknesses as well as strengths. Current analysis focuses solely on warding off potential Soviet difficulties and advantages. It is doubtful that forces on either side develop in accordance with simply stated national goals. Analysis should incorporate the tools of Bayesian analysis and two-sided, force-posture planning games, similar to SAFE and XRAY. It should develop more comprehensive U.S. positions on composition of strategic forces, SALT, arms-control issues, the nature of the strategic arms competition, and general U.S. objectives. By leading away from concentration on a single criterion, the analysis could gain some freedom in planning.

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