PSCI 3603 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Preventive War, Second Strike, Bounded Rationality

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Lecture 4: The Nukes of Hazard pt. 2
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Militaries have biases and behavior that could cause deterrence failures
Thesis: Future nuclear powers may have huge civil-military relations issues
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No preventative war
Second strike capability
No accidents or unauthorized use
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Bounded rationality
Standard operating procedures
Sub units have multiple, conflicting goals
Organizational Theory
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More likely to see war as inevitable
Narrow definition of victory
Offensive biases
No preventative war
Slow learning
Oppose innovation, creation of new units, resources for rivals
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Militaries might not devote resources to making the weapons secure
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This gives away the location of nuclear weapons. *See photos
Subroutines, standard operating procedures are inflexible
E.G. U.S Navy opposed submarine ballistic missile program
Second strike capability
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Militaries may mess up the operational requirements for deterrence
E.G. “Plan R” in Dr.Strangelove
Pre-delegation of authority
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Militaries may be prone to accidents or unauthorized use
Examples:
Iran: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has a large role in Iranian Politics
Pakistan: Pakistan has been subject to bouts of military rule
Other Mid East countries
Future Nuclear powers may have civil-military relations issues
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Scott Sagan: More will be worse
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Some non-state actors are undetterable
Deterrence should work against rogue states for a handoff situation
Scenario 1: non-state groups build a weapon
Liber and Press (2013): Neither a terror group nor a state sponsor
could remain anonymous after a nuclear terror attack
It would not be hard to determine if a rogue state was involved.
There aren’t many countries with nukes, and it would be very
context-specific.
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Attribution is easy, especially for attacks in the U.S. or U.S allies
Scenario 2: Nuclear handoff does deterrence apply?
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How big of a danger is this?
Nuclear Terrorism
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"Everything there is to know about nuclear strategy can be learned from Dr.
Strangelove."
About the question to make deterrence credible
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Deterrence is fear: Dr. Strangelove defines deterrence when he says: "Deterrence is
the art of producing in the mind of the enemy... the fear to attack“
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Devolving authority: Plan R is an emergency war plan in which a lower echelon
commander may order nuclear retaliation after a sneak attack if the normal chain of
command is disrupted. You approved it, sir. You must remember. Surely you must
recall, sir, when Senator Buford made that big hassle about our deterrent lacking
credibility. The idea was for plan R to be a sort of retaliatory safeguard. “
Security dilemma: General Buck Turgidson says: "Gee, I wish we had one of them
doomsday machines“
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Relative Gains: Mr. President, we must not allow... a mineshaft gap!
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Cold War paranoia: “ "I said, Premier Kissov is a degenerate atheist commie!”
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Civil military relations: “war is too important to be left to politicians. They have
neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. “
Dr. Strangelove
The Case against Proliferation
PSCI 3603 Strategic Thought and International
Security
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
6:00 PM
Lecture 4 Page 1
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