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. . this entire science o j long- resource allocation-that

range tncissive ciestruction-of CUIculcitcd cidvcintcige or disadvcintcige in tn2~clern iveeipori r y -h a s g o t t e n serioirsly out of hcind; . . . the varicibles it involves [ire rapidly growing beyond the power o f either hutnan tnind or computer.-George Ken- If, in the guise of analysis and exncin (December 1977) position, [an expert] becomes an adIt is difficult to determine how much vocate for a particular decision, he influence models, simulations and sometimes may have the satisfaction games exert on defense programs of getting his own way, but only by and Toreign policy. Clearly, how- substituting his own judgment for ever, their impact is substantial and that of people who have the respongrowing, to the chagrin of Kennan sibility for decisions and who might and others who not only doubt the weigh values differently if given all of quantitative analysis to the facts, and whose judgment may inform decision-making and sharpen be better. debaie, but also fear that analytic More recently, in a speech at the rigor may become a substitute for Naval War College, Navy Secretary sound judgment and common sense. Graham Claytor complained that Because of its rigor and applicaOne of the most frustrating things I bility to a variety of scientific purhave encountered in this job has suits, quantitative methodology enbeen a tendency on the part of some joys a certain prestige in defense cirstaff people to use systems analysis cles. Yet most defense studies that as a cover for what is really subjecrely heavily on mathematical and tive judgment [3]. As examples of statistical techniques are vulnerable such misuse, consider the following on at. least two counts: allegations from a recent professional military publication: Dai:a inputs have obscure, unknown, or unknowable empirical The Air Force rigged a model of foundations, and t h e relevance of Soviet air defenses to favor the B-1 much data, even if valid, to the efbomber and suppressed several infecti,(eness of weapon systems is dependent studies demonstrating unkr own [ 11. that a new bomber did not need The models, and the behavioral as- supersonic speed. sumptions and propositions on which they are based, are not often The Navys Sea Plan 2000, a comprehensive in-house study of future reliable, and are usually not valinaval requirements, lacks analytic dated at all [2]. substantiation and is probably as Consequently, many analyses con- blatant a political ploy and lobbying ceal spurious content behind protec- effort as any study in recent memtive layers of mathematics and ory. stati:jtics. Despite the high potential The Navy has released only the costis-in misplaced emphasis, un- conclusions of its studies and not wauanted confidence, and unwise their details, exerted tight censor18

may be incurred, technical analyses are used increasingly for advocacy. In a 1977 speech at Mississippi State University, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown outlined the dangers of expert advocacy:

ship and suppressed dissent, and withheld potentially disruptive studies from its own Navy Secretaries while they were reworked and edited to ensure that they reached the proper conclusions [4]. Given the attention with which defense analysts pronouncements are received, the time has come for a critical look at our growing reliance on computer-based and highly abstract techniques to discover facts about war and the military balance. T o this e n d , we shall examine historical evidence of analysis misuse and its consequences; briefly appraise the general quality of studies sponsored or conducted by the Department of Defense; and assess strategic analysis. This assessment will be illustrated by a critique of the well-known strategic war model advanced by Paul Nitze, an exercise undertaken because it exemplifies the general problem of analysjs}being used for both rhetorical and political purposes. It is admittedly dangerous to rely on historical analogies, but related past events must at least be examined, since failure to learn from past mistakes risks incalculable costs. In a provocative essay, Paul Bracken exposes the unintended consequences of strategic gaming by the British in analyzing threats of German strategic air attack, 1922by the French in constructing defenses between the world wars; and by the Russians in preparing for a German assault on their western border In the British case, a small group of statistical specialists in the Air Staff prepared assessments of the likely German strategic threat to

Great Britain. Only their summary findings-no documentation-were presented t o the top decisionmakers, nor .were the findings ever subjected to detailed, external evaluation. Highly selective, mythical numbers were used in planning, leading to the construction of day bombers and the virtual exclusion of night bombers, fighters, and other necessary components of a total defense system. Extrapolation from those numbers in fifth- and sixth-order studies generated fear and misttist in the public: Lloyds of London refused to issue any kind of war insurance; the Home Office determined that civilian losses from German bombing would be greater than the countrys capacity to build coffins, so orders were issued for the construction of mass graves; and the Health Ministry judged it necessary to print over one million extra death certificates [6]. Bracken [5] cites the following mistakes and lessons to be learned from the experience: 0 No one questioned the assumptions on which the studies and decisions were based; assumptions must be questioned constantly. 0 No one reviewed the basic data; such, a review would have shown that the numbers had been carefully selected to support the worst possible case. NO, one examined the sti-ucture of the models. generated by the Air Staff analysts to determine just what kinds of outputs they were capable of generating; someone should have. All theory, data, and methods used to support politically charged and costly proposals for weapons must be subjected to thorough, independent review. The technique of selective omission can be used to prove nearly anything. 0 One must question political strategists who use highly quantitative analyses produced by others but do not cut through the detail to understand precisely what the analyses include and omit, what their limitations are, and where the

basic data came from. The French case points up another lesson. After the strategic decision was made to build the Maginot Line, most analyses focused on the technical details of that fortification system. Calculations of range, thickness of concrete, firing angle qnd the like became .a substitute for more comprehensive thought, and an anesthetic for decision-makers who refused to confront the real problems posed by a mobile, flexible enemy. Those analyses diverted attention from the real problems facing French military strategists. The lesson is that analyses can be used to keep certain facts and contingencies from scrutiny. The Soviets learned the same lesson the hard way in their preparations for World War 11. During the 1930s a series of remarkable strategic games was conducted that might have afforded insight into the coming conflict. However, any gaming that deviated even slightly from Stalins strategic doctrine was quickly suppressed. In fact, brilliant Soviet general was purged partly for his heterodox way, of playing the games [7]. In time, other Soviet military thinkers learned that it was personally hazardous to dispute the basic strategic assumptions, no matter how fatal they seemed, so dissent ended and the games, were increasingly played by foreordained rules Incidentally, the Japanese fell prey to organizational selfdelusion in their prewar gaming of the Pearl Harbor attack [9] and the Battle of Midway [lo]. The skeptical reader may be inclined to dismiss these hoary illustrations by asserting that the lessons have indeed been learned and that todays analyses are truly scientific. Current practice, we argue, does not warrant such confidence. Although we do not attempt a full appraisal of the qrrnlity of defense studies here, several key findings of a recent survey and assessment are relevant [ l , pp. 7-11]. Militaty are ojten k d f o r advocacy. Most military models,

simulations, and games are produced by in-house analytic staffs and are not,well documented. If model builders do not question the environment set by those soliciting the work, they may be perpetuating error in their models, for practically any point of view can be supported by seiecting appropriate guesstimates about the environment studied [ 1 13. Modeling is one-sicled. Competing groups of experts hardly coinmunicate, and countervailing technical expertise is seldom called upon to strengthen a technical analysis by playing devils advocate. Quality control is virtucrlly nonexistent. ,Most work is not subjected to thorough, independent review. If documentation is provided at all, it is of highly uneven quality or comprehensible only to the model builders. Standards of scientific validation .are similarly lacking. In fact, the rubric Validation is a happy customer appears to be as typical a criterion as any [12]. Inslifjcient basic research has done on topics thcrt should routinely be treated in military e l s . Data validation, sensitivity analysis, and other technical tests of model validation are not done, nor is there much evidence of interest in doing them. The existing basic research on softer topics, such as panic behavior, threat and confrontation, and other aspects of human behavior and motivation is inadequate as a base for constructing, testing and using these models. Instead, the emphasis is on mechanistic, engineering-like weapon studies that omit far more of importance than they treat. The tenuousness of much of the data, ttie undeveloped, state of valiz dation and the neglect of such important procedures as sensitivity analysis, and scrutiny of the work for its relevance to realistic conditions lead to the conclusion that advocacy rather than scientific inquiry is a prime motive. Perhaps senior officials responsible for the billions of dollars worth of

Garry D. Brewer is professor of organization and management and political science at Yale University. He is the former editor of & (1977-1979), and the author of (1973) and co-author of of (1979).

war-fighting machinery. and many millions of lives cannot be expected to care too much about technical matters. The link between those who build models and those who eventually use their result; is tenuous at best. Even the more technically sophisticated genera! or high civil servant has little time to learn the fine points of strategic analyses. The problem of communication between analytic staff and policy-maker is further complicated ,by desires .to keep the boss happy and not to open up a can of worms, desires which ensure that the few chunks of information presented to .a senior offici.4 are carefulli selected and predigested [13]. the results of an analysis move into the stratosphere of, command and decision,. througti successive layers of iritermediates, the message-whether from a quick and dirty model or a competent one-tends to become.more concise and less equivocal. Only so .much predigestion can occur before all nu.tritive content has been extracted. Our calculations are remarkably precise in matters in which we have had IO experience,.such as nuclear war, and remarkably guarded and qualilied in matters brimming with accumulated data, such as conventional war. The attitude of strategic calculators in the last decade has resembled that of the freshman algebra student who tailors ,his problems to the few tools at his disposal and presumes that problems are thereby solved. In both cases the wisdom is dubicus. The precise specification of stratcgic parity, for example, presents a difficult technical problem because modern strategic forces have quite different environmental, tech:~ological, institutional and human constraints. The analyst resorts quickly-almost automatically-to the use of highly aggregated and 2bstract indices; however, the expression quantitative methodology is fundamentally misleading because the requisite quantitative foundation is simply lacking or is highly uncertain, selective o r

judgmental [13, 141. During the A B M debate a decade ago, both critics and proponents viewed the role of quantitative methods in the proper perspective: They did not argue about technical facts, since in this complex area we are dealing at most with technical judg.ments, and more often with political opinion [15]. The debate was intelligent. A focal issue in the debate about SALT has been the vulnerability of Americas force of land-based Minuteman missiles. That vulnerability, once projected, became a political fact; it may become technical reality as well. But it is impossible to determine the true picture, given the many conflicting assessments. The strong. policy assertions made without qualification and on the basis of closely guarded data, and the claims of validity for projections five, ten, and more years in the future, leave little doubt that we are again dealing at most with technical judgments and more often with emotions and political opinion. There are as many sets :facts there are advocates. Early in i977 the Joint Chiefs of Staff set the upward safe l i m i t for Minuternan survivability-an analytically determined threshold-at 550 landbased and MIRVed Soviet missiles. In March of that year a, constraint limiting each side to 550 MIRVed was proposed as part of President Carters comprehensive SALT plan. After the Soviets rejected this proposal, the United States agreed to a higher ceiling of 820 such missiles. Paul Nitze calculated that under the proposed ceiling ttie Soviet Union couid destroy 90 percent of the Minuteman force using less than half of its own warheads, while the United States could, not pose a comparable ihreat by 1985 [16, p. 131. Appearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance offered to submit a complete counter analysis to Nitzes assertion [16]. The latest Pentagon position is that Minuteman could become

vulnerable by the early to middle SALT I i with or without agreement [17, p. 1061. study, reported in the Washington .Post of December 9 , 1977, demonstrates thdt Minuteman could have become vulnerable even if the March 1977 proposal had been accepted. Finally, the Secretary of Defense doubts that the projected vulnerability of both U.S. and Soviet silo-based I C B M S can be reversed by negotiated accords [17, p. 1061. Mpst analysts agree that the technical trend runs against silo-based forees, but many differ o n the probable timing and degree of vulnerability. Important policy choices, for instance the ratification of SALT and decisions on the development and deployment of new land-, air-, and sea-based systems, turn on such details. Regrettably, advocacy seems to have prevented the development of a clear statement of the problems and their possible solutions. For the more abstract, ambitious, and uncertain task of projecting the outcome of a nuclear war involving the full contingent of strategic forces on both sides, advocacys pernicious effects become even more apparent. Not only do the analyses become more simplified, but the issues they consider appear to be fewer, understandable, and resolvable. Paradoxically, however, the conclusions reached by different interest groups-including attendant policy prescriptions-also become sharply polarized and contradictory. One conclusion, summarized by Defense Secretary Brown in the De1979, relies on the results of an assessment of the strategic balance after a Soviet counterforce attack to which the United States retaliates ,with a counterforce strike. For the p.eriod analyzed, 1978 through 1987, and for all scenarios considered, the post-attack advantage lies with the United States [17, p. 1041. Nitze reaches the opposite conclusion [18]. The United States fell behind strategically in 1973 and has


Bruce G . Blair, a former Minuteman launch control officer and former Brookings Institution Research is currently completing a doctoral dissertation at Yale.

limited exchange placed the United States in a progressively weaker relative position, [then the United States] would concede to the Soviet Union the potential for military victory [18,p. 2271. By 1977,after a Soviet-initiated Does the United States counterforce strike against the Unineed strategic forces for ted States to which the United States te r c e -e i mi n at i o n of mi 1it ar y responded with a counterforce targets in the Soviet Union, including strike, the Soviet Union would have its strategic offensive forces-or for remaining forces sufficient to de-of the indusstroy Chinese and European trial capacity and much of the civilian nuclear capability, attack U.S. population of the Soviet Union-or population and conventional military for both? The question is partially targets, and still have a remaining throw-weight in excess of that of the answered by the fact that actual strategic war plans have always inUnited States [18,p. 2261. cluded war-fighting and counterforce The claim is as mysterious as it is targeting as prominent features [21, provocative. The author hardly in- p. 5541.But the question deserves to form$ the reader about what his be raised anew. In one simulations include, what they omit, or even what they mean. We must article, as we have seen, Nitze conturn to other writings and analyses tended that U.S. superiority began on which Nitze relies [19].But be- to be reversed in 1973, with the fore doing so, it is important to point Soviets gaining the military capabilout that the official and contradic- ity to end an exchange with an adtory conclusion is probably as ques- vantage in their favor [18,p. 2261. tionable as Nitzes. In situations By 1977 the situation looked grave. dominated by grave uncertainty, He supported that conclusion using high stakes and strong emotion, throw-weight computations. In reasoned discourse and clear another article, Nitze claimed that thought are often the first casualties. other indices, including warheads, basic Nitze posits produced roughly similar afterthree ways in which throw-weight, exchange results [22,pt. 1, p. 8201. or any other measure, can be used as Yet in a third article he shows the an index of relative strategic capa- United States holding post-exchange warhead advantage in every year bility [20,pp. 198-991: from 1973 through 1978,and projects 0 that which each side has before parity in 1979 [20,p. 2031. a strike; If warheads are given the weight 0 that surviving to the United States and that remaining to the that some defense experts believe Soviet side after an initial counter- they deserve [23],Nitzes own logic supports a contrary explanation of force strike by the Soviets; and 0 that remaining to each side after Soviet intentions: Soviet deployan exchange in which the Soviets ments to date have been aimed at attack U.S. forces and the United States responds by reducing Soviet of reserve forces to the greatest extent. Nitze bases his computations on the third method, believing that it clearly reveals the stability or poThrow-weight Megatons tential instability of the strategic balance between the United States and 2.0: 1.o 4.0: 1 .O the Soviet Union. The relevance of post-exchange residuals can be Foreign Policy 3.5:l.O 12.0: 1.0 summarized as follows: [Ilf each since grown weaker. Inferring a Soviet grab for nuclear war-winning superiority, his strategic war model and analysis depict a rapidly deteriorating situation:

diminishing U.S. superiority (in number of warheads), not at consolidating or extending Soviet superiority. Regardless of the index selected, results of analysis based on the third method depend on the intermediate results of the second method. In two articles, one in [24]and one in Policy [20,p. 2021, Nitze provides such results, calculating the forces remaining on both sides after a Soviet attack but before counterforce retaliation by the United States. The calculations in each article should be identical for the year 1976.(Jn later years the data are not comparable because of different assumptions about constraints and procurement decisions.) In fact, they differ markedly (see table). The results of the third method are thus demonstrably unreliable.

strategy. Let us consider the results of Nitzes analysis for a future year, specifically 1984.For that year Nitze shows that a Soviet counterforce attack leaves the Soviets with a 4:3 advantage in the number of remaining warheads. After the United States strikes back against Soviet strategic weapons held in reserve, the Soviet advantage grows to 3.5:l.O [20,pp. 202-31.It can be deduced that thousands of U.S. warheads destroy the equivalent of 60 to 150 Soviet MIRVed Nitze conveys an erroneous impression of the effectiveness of the U.S. bomber force, which accounts for over 50 percent of &hetotal megatonnage available in the nations strategic force [25,pt. 11, pp.

Equivalent Weapons


Strategic Nuclear Delivery Vehicles



June 1979 The Bulletin 21

6046, 61631. In the analysis, U.S. alert bombers are used in striking Soviet counterforce targets and [constitute] a significant component of the effectiveness of that attack [22, p. 8211. Actually, Nitze makes numerous limiting assumptions that minimize the role and effectiveness of bombers; these m a y be summarized: Soviet are assumed to be too heavily defended for U.S. bombers to attack them with or gravity bombs. These weapons are therefore targeted against a large number of runways from which a Backfire [bomber] can reach U.S. targets (recovering in Cuba). The targeted runways are assumed to be unoccupied at the moment of destruclion. When the runways are struck, the majority (60 percent) of the Backfire bombers are assumed to be on airborne alert. The remainder (40 percent) had already been deand/or stroyed by U.S. Bomber penetration rates deweapon system that carries a small indicate that they do not inflict heavy payload and has a minor interconti- losses on Soviet forces. The nental strategic capability. The model, by unstated assumption, apweapon system in question is the pears to defy the Defense DepartSoviet Backfire bomber. Although ment claim that with surviving alert the strategic role of the Backfire is bombers armed with the Unstill disputed, it is being delivered to ited States would have a very subthe Soviet Navy and Air Force in stantial capability to destroy reroughly equal numbers, and it ap- maining Soviet silos [17, p. 631. pears designed for dse in peripheral 0 At, any one time, the Soviets attack, theater, and naval missions. normally have three S S B N S (subThe strategic role of the Backfire and marines carrying ballistic missiles) the massive bomber assault against patrolling the Atlantic and one paits logistic support should have been trolling the Pacific [30], while about made explicit in the analysis. 85 percent of their force is portAnother limiting assumption is bound [31, pt. 1, pp. 423-241. With so concealed in the statemeht tHat most few Soviet SSBNS deployed off U.S. of the Backfire is eliminated after the coasts, very high percentage of bomber assault on Soviet runways alert bombers should survive a sud[19, p. 1511. Since 40 percent of the den (submarine-launched balbomber force is assumed already de- listic missile) attack [25, pt. 5 , attack, the 30291. To threaten seriously the alert stroyed in the bombers implied contribution could bomber force in peacetime, the be negligible. Soviets would have to keep on patrol Not concealed is the limiting as- many mort SSBNS than at present. It sumption that the U . S . bomber could take months to place as many penetration rate decreases annually. as 20 SSBNS (33 percent of the fleet) However, neither the base rate nor on patroi within range of U.S. the rate of decrease is specified. The bomber bases [29, p. 1181. If instead assumed base rate should endow of a gradual peacetime buildup the U.S. bombers with an impressive Soviets chose to surge their subpenetration capability because the marines, it would take days to posiSoviet Union lacks an interceptor tion them within firing range for a system that would enable fighter air- short-warning attack. craft to detect and destroy low-flying In response to either readily deU.S. bombers [27, 281, and current tectable development the United Soviet (SA-1, SA-2, SA-3, States could increase bomber alert SA-4, SA-5) at fixed locations can rates, disperse aircraft to additional easily be avaidtd [29, p. 1191. Fur- inland bases, or both [21, pt. p. thermore, the assumed rate of de- 5551. Given the SSBN alert rate of 80 crease could not be very large. Al- percent assumed in the analysis, and though development of a true the likely corresponding changes in look-down, shoot-down capabil- patrol patterns, it is implausible that ity for fighters is expected [17, p. 151, 30 percent of the alert B-52 force the achievement of an effective, op- would be destroyed or that off-alert erational defensive capability is a bombers would not be put on combat lodg way off. Although the data used alert. Yet, again according to the in the analysis are claimed to be rep- analysis, no off-alert bombers are resentative of those in penetration brought to alert, and they are destudies [19, p. 1491, one major study, stroyed [19, pp. 147, 1501. In reality, at least, has concluded that through the vast majority of all U.S. strategic the late 1980s the Soviets can deploy bombers would probably survive no significant air defense against [25, pt. 5 , 30291. This would reppenetrating bombers [16, p. 301. resent a threefold increase over 0 While air-launched cruise misNitzes worst-case estimate of siles are considered in the bomber survivability. analysis, the results of the simulation The Soviets have not increased

crease: each year [19, pp. 147-511.

Today B-52 strategic bombers are intended for use against a variety of Soviet targets, including silos [21, pt. 5, p. 30271. Nitzes exclusion of that use on the grounds that Sovie t terminal defenses-mainly su rface-to-ai r missiles (s s)precliide bomber attack ignores the vulnerability of the defenses themselves;. sites are vulnerable to defense suppression by or (short-range attack missiles), clearing the way for bombers to use gravity bombs against silos. Gravity bombs are generally thought to be very effective against hard targets [26]. Although a new Soviet is being deveoped [17, p. 511, totlay the Sovit have no effective defense againd a attack [21, pt. 11, p. 61111, much less against or suppressors. The model allocates all U.S. and gravity bombs (no bombers ale held in reserve) to runways void D f Soviet aircraft, in order to destroy the ground support of a

their day-to-day SSBN alert rate; they have not developed a depressed (short time-of-flight) trajectory [21, pt. 1, p. and they have never surged their SSBN force, as we did in the 1973 Yom Kippur War [21, pt. IO, pp. 6625-261. Another trend favors the bombers survival pects. To counter the considerable antisubmarine warfare forces deployed by the United States and its allies, the Soviets have deployed large ships, attack submarines and aircraft for the protection of their own SSBNS in areas close to Soviet ports, especially Murmansk [32]. New launched from these defended waters have a long time-of-flight and therefore do not threaten alert bombers. The deployment of protective forces suggests that the Soviets believe their own SSBNS rather than U.S. bombers to be the threatened forces. A balanced assessment of U.S.-Soviet strategic vulnerabilities must take U.S. advantages into acsount. In the analysis, however, SSBNS are assumed to survive for an unlimited period [22, p. 8211. This assumption agrees with the Department of Defense judgment that the Soviets have no effective capability pt. 10, p. but it contradicts the Departments judgment that the United States has a good capability to destroy enemy [SSBNS] in a protracted war at sea [33]. 0 Nitzes simulation is structured so that U.S. bombers 1711rst be used against Soviet strategic reserves. He assumes that, because of a shortage of long runwaysin the United States, the Soviets could destroy the available runways at the cost of very modest amount of their throwweight. TheSoviets would therefore gain in net residual advantage if the United States holds bombers in reserve, since these, like non-alert bombers, are assumed to be subject to destruction [22, p. 8211. A big loss in net residual advantage however, is suffered if bombers are not held in reserve, since according to the analysis they are used so inefficiently. Thus the deck is stacked. Furthermore, though the number of long runways in the United States is not large, neither is it small, and many of them are located within large metropolitan areas. attack against primary bomber bases and complexes could kill 20 million civilians [34]. The United States would suffer an incaleulable number of additional casualties if the Soviets also attacked secondary runways. If the United States cannot withhold any of its bombers because secondary runways have been destroyed, then it is inappropriate to characterize the scenario as coun-. terforce. Another assumption is equally fallacious. Following the initial Soviet attack, Nitzes analysis has the surviving bomber force directed solely against Soviet strategic reserves. He argues that a counterforce attack is better than the alternative-the devastqtion of Soviet cities [22, p. 8221. But he fails to consider that i n counterforce strategy, targets other than strategic reserve forces have equally high or higher priority. Nitze worries about the political leverage that an apparent counterforce advantage confers. He expects the Soviets to exploit fully their strategic advantage through political or limited [conventional] means [18, 2171. In a crisis, apparent nuclear superiority would be an important factor in determining who prevailed [18, p. 2161. The analysis sets forth the following scenario: Continuation of the decline in Northern Hemisphere mean temperature could lead to serious starvation in the Soviet Union. Never in history has a militarjly strong nation permitted itself to starve. To a strong nation facipg starvation, a threat of population fatalities from nuclear war could be an incentive rather than a deterrent. More importantly, the most probable scenario would be one of nuclear blackmail to coerce shipment of food, rather than to attack the other sides forces [19, p. 1461. The political scenario thus i n volves nuclear blackmail, backed up by the threat of imminent attack and made credible by aggressive preparations for war. However, the military model and results are based on a nuclear surprise attack that destroys several thousand strategic weapons on non-alert submarines and bombers; there is only a brief period of warning preceding the attack, in which one or two U.S. SSBNS are moved safely out of port [19, p. 1471. The assumption here is that the Soviets not pnly could. mobilize their strategic forces without our awareness, but also that blackmail episode would be over before the United Statescould take steps to reduce the vulnerability of its forces. The analysis implies that an ultimatum is delivered and resolved within perhaps three hoursabout the length of time it would take for the first few S S B N S to get safely out of port, according to a Department of Defense official interviewed in April 1978. The timing seems calculated to make the political and military scenarios consistent, but they are not reconcilable. Putting crisis and coercion alongside surprise attack just does not make sense. Nitzes theory of strategic i n teraction has nothing to say about events that could transform the starting conditions that drive the model and analysis. For example, he does not consider the effects of war in Europe on strategic force levels. In such a war thousands strategic weapqns could be against targets in Europe and surrounding oceans before or during a strategic counterforce exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union P51.
o f scierltijic procedure.

Nitze bypasses the important scientific procedure of sensitivity analysis. The assumptions, such as Soviet targeting doctrine and estimates used to assign input-values to
1979 The


a a a
missile accuracy and reliability, are judgmental, and many are outright guesses. The selection of game strategies is also largely a matter of subjective judgment. The question of whether the single play of the model--one run for any given index such throw-weight-is indicaf anything more than a unique tive o confluence of change and chosen events remains unanswered. Recourse to simple indices to describe the aggregate outcomes of thousands of individual interactions glosses over the neglect of a basic scientific step. The threat to Minuteman missiles is a matter in which sensitivity analysis is needed for crucial information. In the hypothetical case of a future Soviet threat consisting of highly accurate, highly reliable, medium-yield even rather modest shifts in the pertinent assumptions are sufficient to change the apparent advantage from the attacker to the defender if a full first strike on land-based missiles is attempted [36]. of positive The model contains an implausible assumption about conflict management: strategic forces on both sides remair under positive command and control before, during, and after one or more counterforce exchanges. Such battle management capability simply does not exist. A computer can easily be programmed to simulate one or more counterforce exchanges. The difficulty lies in coordinating the large, complex, and human institutions that would execute a war. As the 1970 Report to the President by the Blue Ribbon Defense Panel found: Without exception, every crisis within the last decade that has involved the movement of forces has, required both an ad hoc organizational arrangement and ad hoc planning. The panel concludes that the existing command structure provides little flexibility and a considerable potential for confusion in crisis situations [37]. Today, the Office of Management

and Budget echoes the plaint: Seri- treat command problems: ous questions persist about the effectiveness of the command struc- There are strong reasons to beture for the conduct of war, for lieve, or better to fear . . . that peacetime activities, and for crisis realistic flexibility-the availability management [38]. There is a la- under combat conditions of more mentable tendency among strategic than a single plan-is sharply limited experts to dismiss institutional mat- by the vulnerability of command ters. For instance, former Secretary channels, and that the dangers of of Defense James Schlesinger set losing central command over forth some preconditions for success strategic operations shortly after the in carrying out a strategy of flexible initiation of even very moderate response: Maintain continued levels of warfare are very great incommunications with the Soviet deed. Given that command consideraleaders during the war [and] indoctions have not been fully integrated trinate and plan in anticipation of the into strategic logic and given the difficulties involved [39]. But the level of strategic forces which have institutional supports for those conbeen deployed, the parameters used ditions were sketchy, superficially heretofore to define stability cannot analyzed, and subsequently treated by themselves give a valid assessas givens, implying that large and ment either of the static strategic complex organizations could be balance or of the effect of marginal managed simply during nuclear war. changes [42]. Nitzes simulation omits human frailties and human error in control Would rational behavior in a nusystems, and they are not taken into clear war have any of the attributes account in the later analysis. For real of Nitzes (or anyone elses) comsystems, the slightest mistake could puter program? Soviet and American be fatal. In the execution phase of leaders alike would be under powretaliation, the entry of a single erful pressure to be sensible. But wrong digit into a computer at a would sensibility be wound up in Minuteman launch center could hurl some highly abstracted notion of missiles against Soviet cities instead post-exchange counterforce capaof military targets. The Soviets could bility? make similar mistakes in a firstIn sum, the discrepancies between strike attempt. The cost of such er- Nitzes model and our military inrors defies calculation; their possi- stitutions create doubt that postbility is seldom even acknowledged. exchange throw-weight residual, or The simulation also neglects to any other similarly derived measure, consider command vulnerability, has much relevance to the strategic identified in a recent Congressional balance. In fairness to Nitze, howinquiry as the foremost deficiency in ever, one needs to be reminded that the National Military Command his particular analysis is basically System [40]. In 1972, outgoing De- representative of a much larger class puty Secretary of Defense David of military studies and analyses. It is Packard voiced concern that the by no means atypical. Because a war game, model, or United States might not be able to respond at all to a surprise attack be- simulation is an abstraction and simcause of weaknesses in control over plification of a complex reality, the strategic nuclear forces [41]. Today, use of results must be augmented by in a surprise attack on the command judgment and common sense. In structure, large segments of the strategic studies it is inappropriate to strategic force-even if modernized define broad national security goals-for instance strategic along the lines Nitze advocatescould be isolated and in effect in- parity-in terms accessible only to capacitated. Steinbruner highlights quantitative methods. Highly aggrethe consequences of our failure to gated and abstract indices such as

18. Paul Nitze, "Assuring Strategic Stabil1. Carry D. Brewer and Martin Shubik. "post-exchange counterforce equiity in an Era of Detente.'' 54:2 Gtrrrre: qf Provalence" only create an illusion of ( Jan. 1976), 207-232. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard understanding, which in turn misin- University Press, 1079). 19. Nitze relies on a technical analysis by forms policy-makers and compli2. Martin Shubik and Carry D. Brewer, T.K. Jones, who with L.R. White wrote "The Strategic Nuclear Balance Measured in'Terms cates the problem. The use of such indices detracts from the potential (Santa Monica, Calif.: The Rand Corp., R- of Relative Post-War Strength," in 1972). . rlre contribution that analytic techniques 1060-ARPA/RC, 3. Quoted in Bernard Weinrdub, "Claytor and scientific applications can make Criticizes Pentagon Aides on Plans to Reduce edited by A.B. Cordesman (London: Reto military force planning and the Navy's Role," New York Times, Mar. 28, port A031369, June 24, 1976), pp. 128-153.' The Jones and White study contains all the 1978, Section A. weapon system evaluation. 4. Bridget Gail, "Debating the Real Issues graphs that appear i n Nitze [I81 and much the Other practices detract from that about the Future of the U.S. Navy," same discussion of results. Since'Nitze 'does contribution. One is an emphasis on not spell out all his own assumptions. we base 115:9 (May our criticism of his analysis partly on the asnarrow, all-computer 'models del 1978). 30. 5. Paul Bracken, "Unintended Conse- sumptions in Jones arid White. The assumpsigned t o analyze a particular tions Nitze does specify are identical to those & weapon system or group of systems. quences of Strategic Gaming." 8:3 (Sept. 1977), 283-318. in Jones and White. Such models are not submitted to in6. Richard Titmuss. P;d?/errl.s o f 20. Paul Nitze, "Deterring our Deterrent." dependent scrutiny of the driving as: Policy (London: HMSO, 1950). Fvreigtr Policy 25 (Winter 1976-77), 195-210. 7. John Erickson, to 21. Secretary of Defense Brown describes sumptions, theories; and data; they are not compared with alternative (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1975). the role of "damage limitation" in' current 8. Waller Goerlitz, nuclear doctrine as follows: "U.S. strategic models of related situations; and (London: Methuen, 1963), pp. 97-120. forces are not procured for a damige limiting analysts do not acknowledge the mission. They are procured for their con9. Roberta Wohlstetter, Pectr-1 limitations of their results. (Stanford University tribution to deterrence. However, 'should a nuclear war occur, our forces may be utilized Regarding issues, most Press. 1962). pp. 371-73,'38!. 10. Francis McHugh, v f to limit damage to the United States to the strategic analyses focus exclusively (Newport., R.I.: U.S. Naval War extent practicable in addition to being used to on the "damage expectancy" and College? 1966), chap. 2 , p. 19. destroy resources which contribute to the survivability of nuclear weapons and postwar power, influence, and recovery capa11. Bracken points o u t that many'land their delivery systems.' There are too combat models used to analyze European bility of the enemy." U.S. Congiess, Senate, 1978 hii/it(rry omit most of the urban areas, which many "missile-duel" games and too warfare leads to the erroneous finding that collateral rrre11t (Washington. D.C.: GPO, 1977). pt. 1. few studies of command, cqntrol, damage would be minimal. See Paul Bracken, 22. Paul Nitze, "Comment and Corresponand communications. Current' nu - "Urban Sprawl and dence: Strategic Stability," Defense,".Srrr~~i~~cr/ clear doctrine calls.for a strategy of 18:6 (Sept. 1976): see also U.S. General Ac- 54:4 ( July 1976), 820-823. to 23. Enthoven and Smith are representaflexible response and war-fighting, counting Oftice, tive: "If a single ipdex is needed, the n!mber vj yet the analytic community adheres hiotlels (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1976). of separately targetable warheaqs is the least to a narrowly focused strategic 12. John Mayberry, "Principles for unsatisfactory one." Alain Enthoven and paradigm that stresses conveotional sessment of Simulation Model Validity," in Wayne Smith, vu (IS irlg. Progrtrrrr, 196/-1969 (New calculations of weapons vulnerabilern$ York: Harper and Row, 1971), p. 183. ity and neglects the'study of opgani- editedt oby A. I. Siege1 24. Paul Nitze. "Carter Warned on Soviet (Washington, D.C.: zational weakne'sses and human Navy Personnel Research and Development Nuclear Advantage," limitations. Alternative theories and Laboratory, 1971), pp. 157-65. Sptrce 107:19 (Nov. 7, 1977), 20. 13. Glenn Kent, "Decision Making," 25. U.S. Congress. Senate, F Y 1977 techniques must be created if we are Urriwrsit? 22:4 (May/June 1971). for to understand organizational and 62-65. (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1976). human performance better than we 14. Ralph E. Strauch, Critictrl 26. U.S. Congress, House. />OD do [43]. All-computer models such of Metllot1olvg.v ( I S Policy FY I979 (Washington. D.C.: (Santa Monica, Calif.: The GPO, 1978), pt. 2, pp. 803-804. as 'Nitze's mjsl'e:ad and leave 21. Robert P. Berman, Sovier in policy-makers without an adequate Rand Corp., P-5282> 1974). John Honig has that :'framing the problem and (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings appreciation of the 'real problems commented posing the question is probably 90 percent of Institution, 1978), pp. 18-19. and witho'ut the set of realistic solu- the business," which points up the selective 28. Alton H. Quanbeck and Archie L. .. tions they need. Wood, and judgmental aspects of the problem. See (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings InThe use of war games is extensive, John Honig, "Rkmarks," Operations ReSociety ?f America, Annual Meeting, stitution, 1976), pp. 64-65. . the stakes are high, and the potential search 29. U.S. Congress, Senate. 1978 San Francisco, May 9, 1977. value of the work is'great. It is time 15. Cortrrd: to elevate'professional standards and (San Francisco, Calif.: (Washing!on, D.C.: GPO, 1977). 30. Richard T . Ackley. "The Wartime Role practices, improve managerial Freeman, 1974);p. 75. of Soviet 16. U.S. Congress, Senate, 012 stewardship, and raise the perfor(Washington, D.C.: GPO, 104:904 (1978), 36. mance of the entire system responsi- 1978). 31. U.S. Congress, Senate, DOD ble for .military studies and ?,crtiorr for 15179 17. vf (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1978). 1979, Feb. 1978. analyses.0


June 1979 The Bulletin 25

Members of the American defense community have argued that by the mid-l980s, the U . S . Minuteman ICBM force will be vulnerable to a Soviet preemptive nuclear strike. It is argued that the Soviet ICBM force can be expected to acquire the proper combination of nuclear explosive power, delivery accuracy, fractionation, throw-weight, and operational reliability required to destroy upwards of 90 percent of the U . S . Minuteman force in a surprise first attack. Whether anyone could carry off such a feat is questionable but independent of the Minutemans true vulnerability, it is this perceived [25, vulnerability that has created a pt. 4, p. 19721. 36. John Steinbruner and Thomas M. Gar- political issue. The search has begun win, Strategic Vulnerability: The Balance for a solution to the perceived vulbet ween Prudence and Paranoia. nerability problem. (Summer 1976). 168. 37. Blue Ribbon Defense Panel, to Among the options being consiatid o f on dered is a passive defense program qf Defense (Washington, known as the Multiple Aim Point D.C.: GPO, July 1970), 53. The program calls 38. Office of Management and Budget, System (MAPS). Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense: for the construction of a large Defense Reorganization, number of surplus-but completely (Washington, D.C.: Sept.20, 19771, operational-ICBM silos. The I C B M S 39. U.S. Congress, Senate, Policies (Washington, D.C.: GPO, in their cannister-launchers would be hauled around the MAPS fields on 1974). pp. 9-13. 40. U.S. Congress, House, of De- transporters and randomly loaded prrrttiietit qf Cotnninnd, into the MAPS silos. Since the total Systeins number of silos would be (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1977). 41. Washington Evening Star-News, Feb. significantly greater than the number of MAPS ICBMS and assuming that the 28, 1973), p. AI. 42. John Steinbruner, National Security empty silos could not be distinand the Concept of Strategic Stability, guished from the loaded silos, the of Conflict Resolurion 2 2 3 (Sept. 1978), system would force the Soviets to 41 1-428. waste a large portion of their nuclear 43. Among the strategic exchange models, simulations and games employed by the De- warheads targeting empty holes.
fense Department, these subjects are either treated outside of the models or not at all. For models. simulation and games used to evaluate information-processing capabilities and requirements the findings are equally dismal. In rare in-house appraisal of such models it was determined that documentation is uneven, not available, or non-existent; validation is deficient; and review is not open, regular or rigorous. See Kerr and H.J. Zweig, Tools f o r C~r??t~irrtiicrrtiotis Engineering M o d els. N I I ~ (San Diego, Calif.: Naval Electronics Laboratory Center, 1974).

32. Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Utirlerstcrtiditig Ncnd (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Navy, 1978), p. 8. 33. U.S. Congress, Senate, D O D 1975 (Washington, D.C.: GPQ, 1974), pt. p. 45. 34. Sidney D. Drell and Frank von Hippel, Limited Nuclear War, 2 3 5 5 (Nov. 1976), 35. 35. Soviet weapons that are usually considered strategic but that may have a nonstrategic primary mission include the entire bomber force (theater and antixarrier), SS-11 in fields, and most of the SSBN force (anti-shipping). U.S. systems include 400 Poseidon available to In addition, events may call attacks on SSBNS as part of an campaign of attrition, even during a conventional war. Ackley [30] discusses the anti-shipping role of Soviet the use of Poseidon is considered in DOD for 1979 pp. U . S . plans for are discussed briefly in 1978 for [21, pt. p. and 1977


tually deploy strategic systems that are quite similar to U.S. systems. Can we assume that the Soviets will not build a multiple aim point system of their own in response to a perceived MX-threat to their force? And if they do, how would two multiple aim point systems-one in the United States and one in the Soviet Union-affect the relative security of the two superpowers and the future opportunities for strategic arms control? There can be no doubt that a Soviet multiple aim point system would cause U.S. defense planners to fear that the Soviets would cheat on in-force and/or future ICBM limitation agreements by placing extra missiles in some of the empty MAPS silos. The Soviet capability for breakout (deploying a large number of unexpected additional strategic weapons within a short period) then would be radically improved. Certainly, the ready availability of fully operational but empty silos provides an unequalled opportunity to have all ones ICBMS (permitted and extra) prepared for launch at the same instant.2 Thus the question: Is it possible to verify that the Soviets are complying with agreed limitations of the deployment of ICBMS and not placing extra ICBMS in empty MAPS silos? If all the MAPS silos were simultaneously opened for inspection, the loaded and empty silos could be counted. But not only would opening all the silos confirm that the proper number were empty but the true locations of the ICBMS would be revealed. Even if the relocation of the I C B M S were to commence immediately following the verification inspection, i t would be days o r weeks or possibly months before a safe number of the missiles could be moved. As a result, there would be a critical period following the all silos open inspection when the inspecting country would have complete

At first glance it would seem that construction of the multiple aim point system would have little impact on strategic arms control. It is, after all, passive defense system whose purpose is to increase the survivability of the U.S. land-based missile force. Yet the history of the past 30 years demonstrates that because there are a limited number of technological responses to strategic demands and threats the Soviets even-