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Crisis Stability and Long-Range Strike

Crisis Stability and Long-Range Strike: A Comparative Analysis of Fighters, Bombers, and Missiles

Forrest E. Morgan
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 178
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  • Book Info
    Crisis Stability and Long-Range Strike
    Book Description:

    To effectively manage an international crisis, the United States must balance its threats with restraint. It must posture forces in ways that deter aggression without implying that an attack is imminent, while limiting its own vulnerability to surprise attack. A RAND study sought to identify which long-range strike assets—strike fighters, bombers, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles—offer capabilities most conducive to stabilizing such crises.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-7849-0
    Subjects: Technology, Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxv-xxviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Crisis stability can be described as the degree to which mutual deterrence between dangerous adversaries can hold in a confrontation. Crisis stability and the means of achieving and maintaining that stability—crisis management—are not about warfighting. They are about building and posturing forces in ways that allow a state, if threatened, to avoid war without backing down.¹ Put another way, crisis stability is the degree to which adversaries at the brink of war do not feel pushed to attack first, either to seize a fleeting first-move advantage or for fear of having to absorb a crippling first strike from...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Crisis Management, Crisis Stability, and Force Structure
    (pp. 9-34)

    This chapter examines the relationships between crisis management, crisis stability, and force structure. It begins with a discussion on the nature of international crises using synopses of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and the 1914 July crisis to illustrate the dynamics that can emerge in confrontations between powerful states. Then, it introduces the concept of crisis management and examines seven operational principles established at the end of the Cold War for guiding the development of crisis management strategies. However, as the illustrative cases reveal, stabilizing an international crisis is difficult in the best of conditions, and crisis management can be...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Attributes of Alternative Strike Systems
    (pp. 35-50)

    Strike systems are an important part of the nation’s military power during a crisis. They offer national leaders levers for deterrence and coercive diplomacy not immediately available from other military forces. A properly structured and skillfully postured strike force enhances stability and improves the chances that a crisis can be defused on terms that are favorable to the United States. Yet, some strike systems offer more to structural stability and crisis management than others, and some may have qualities that could destabilize a crisis if postured aggressively in certain scenarios. Policymakers and military leaders need to understand the relative strengths...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Strike Systems and Crisis Stability in History
    (pp. 51-74)

    Results of the analysis in Chapter Three indicated that aircraft and, particularly penetrating bombers, possess important attributes that will likely be needed to effectively manage future confrontations with dangerous states. However, that analysis was largely theoretical, so a review of the empirical record is warranted to determine the extent to which the dynamics predicted in Chapter Three have influenced the outcomes of historical cases. This chapter undertakes that task. It examines 48 cases in which states have confronted one another since the end of World War II to determine how strike assets were postured or used. It then assesses the...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Building a Force for Crisis Management and Structural Stability
    (pp. 75-82)

    This study examined the potential effects of alternative long-range strike systems on crisis stability and the utility of those systems as tools for crisis management. The findings presented here are intended to inform the U.S. Air Force’s force structure decisions and offer insights to U.S. leaders for posturing strike forces during confrontations with dangerous states.

    To accomplish the tasks set out in this study, RAND researchers identified six desirable attributes of strike systems that make them conducive to structural stability and usable for crisis management, and they assessed the degree to which alternative strike systems (bombers, strike fighters, ballistic missiles,...

  14. APPENDIX A. Two Illustrative Cases of Crisis Management
    (pp. 83-98)
  15. APPENDIX B. Analyzing the Attributes of Alternative Strike Systems
    (pp. 99-124)
  16. APPENDIX C. Case-Study Methodology and Data
    (pp. 125-140)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 141-148)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 149-149)