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May 22, 1973 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-05-22

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Tuesday, May 22, 1973


Page Nine,

Tuesday, May 22, 973 THE SUMMER DAILY Page Nine

Nixon's nuclear strategy
By JOHN HALL they will be hard to grasp for a advance of technology, that cap- Some military chiefs believe,
WASHINGTON (UPI) - Is the generation of Americans that ability is within the Pentagon's however, that Nixon's theories on
30-minute nuclear war an ob- has been raised to adulthood in grasp. The accuracy of U.S. mul- nuclear war are wide enough to
solete concept? the age of overkill. tiple, independently targeted re- encompass the capability to strike
Nuclear planners formerly U.S. officials are vague about entry vehicles (MIRV) - now in retaliation at an enemy's
came up with one grim scenario how a limited nuclear exchange being placed in the nose cones of missile silos, with the aim of pre-
for Armageddon: The blinding could start. One possibility is an the Minutemen - is measured in venting further damage to t h e
flash obliterating the cities of accidental launch. Another is feet. United States.
country A, followed by retaliation that the Soviets - driven by This creates a whole new set Lt. Gen. Otto J. Glasser, the
in kind to country B - with the some crisis such as the Middle of problems - the main one be- Air Force deputy chief of staff
time elapsed equal to the half East or Berlin - might be tempt- ing that the enemy might become for research and development,
hour from launch pad to explos- ed to send a volley of their nuc- convinced of an American capa- says "the ability to limit dam-
,AT WAS IT - the balance Aericapci S9s missis. oi a bility to launch a disarming first age can well e seen as a form
THTWSI h aac mrcncte u ..msie strike, of additional deterrence and as
of terror, stark and simple. Hor- silos, with the aim of disarm- a means to further discourage
rible as it was to contemplate, it ing the country and then forc- NIXON'S foreign policy mes- the other side from nuclear
has worked, till now. No nuclear ing terms. sage pledged no "drastic change brinkmanship."
weapons have been fired in an- BUT IN the world of strategic in our nuclear programs" a n d
ger since 1945 and Hiroshima-Na- gamesmanship, the scenario is said U.S. forces "are not de- AND IKLE, in his Foreign A-
gaski. not so important. ast security si ..fre aentd- ADILi i oeg f
But technology and man's irre- against all contingencies. It is a signed to provide a capability for fairsarticle, says the potential
pressible need to find new ways chessboard world where men a disarming first strike." missiles and current choices in
weapons effects could enable both
sides to avoid the killing of vast
Y ~millions and yet to inflict as-
stire destruction on military, in-
.. dustrial and transportation as
- sets- the sinewes and muscles of
the regime initiating war.


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to defend himself seem to be
converging on a new theory of
nuclear warfare as infinite in its
sophistication as the type of wea-
pons which could be developed to
fight it.
The dominant hues running
through the Nixon administra-
tion's strategic policies today
form a picture of gradual, drawn-
out and even "controlled" nuc-
lear warfare.
IN HIS foreign policy message
May 3, President Nixon drew this
picture more clearly than he has
in the past.
"An aggressor, in the unlikely
event of nuclear war, might
choose to employ nuclear weap-
ons selectively and in limited
numbers for limited objectives,"
Nixon said. "No President should
ever be in the position where
his only option in meeting such
aggression is an all-out nuclear
Furthermore, the President be-
lieves, the inability to respond
with flexibility to a nuclear at-
tack "could tempt an aggressor
to use nuclear weapons in a lim-
ited way in a crisis. If the Unit-
ed States has the ability to use
its forces in a controlled way,
the likelihood of nuclear re-
sponse would be more credible,
thereby making deterrence more
effective and the initial use of
nuclear weapons by an opponent
less likely"
THE CONCEPT is not new. Nix-
on frequently has referred toxthe
need for a flexible response to a
nuclear attack - something short
of committing the entire U.S.
nuclear arsenal,
But the words " controlled"
and "limited" in association with
atomic warfare are new - and

have-nightmares about waking up
to confront an enemy saying,
"Stick 'em up, I've got you cov-
ered" or words to that effect.
Fred Charles Ikle, the Califor-
nia sociologist chosen by Nixon
to be his new arms control
chief, says if the United States
is willing to credit an enemy with
being irrational enough to strike
at U.S. cities, it also must give
the enemy credit for being ir-
rational enough to attempt to dis-
arm the United States.
"In countries that tolerate a
dictatorship, a leader might al-
ways rise to the top who deems
it a virtue, perhaps part of his
revolutionary creed, to live dan-
gnrotislv," tkle wrote in "Fore-
ign Affairs."
HOW DO YOU go about pro-
tecting against - or respond-
ing to - a maniac who might
decide a knockout punch against
Minuteman missiles is the right
thing to do in a crisis?
U.S. land-based Safeguard anti-
ballistic missiles are being fixed
- under a new process called
the command data buffer sys-
tem - so that they can be in-
stantly retargeted by ancomput-
er. In the past, the missile silos
had to be physically entered and
their guidance systems redirected
by hand.
This means that whatever pro-
portion of its missiles the Unit-
ed States fires in retaliation
could, on short notice, be aimed
at military targets such as air-
fields and weapons.
TO AIM them at enemy mis-
sile silos themselves is not now
possible, the Pentagon says. U.S.
missiles do not have the re-
quired combination of accuracy
and payload to knock out hard-
ened missile silos. But, with the

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