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Also by Frank Barnaby


Emerging Technologies
Military Doctrine
A Political Assessment
Edited by

Frank Barnaby

Visiting Professor in Peace Research, Free University, Amsterdam,

The Netherlands


Marlies ter Borg

Researcher in Defence Technology, Free University, Amsterdam,

The Netherlands

Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN 978-1-349-08507-1
ISBN 978-1-349-08505-7 (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-1-349-08505-7

Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg,

Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition 1986 978-0-333-40715-8
All rights reserved. For information, write:
Scholarly & Reference Division,
St. Martin's Press, Inc., 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010

First published in the United States of America in 1986

ISBN 978-0-312-24404-0
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Emerging technologies and military doctrine.
Includes index.
1. Weapons systems. 2. Technology. 3. National
security. I. Barnaby, Frank. II. Borg-Neervoort,
Marlies ter.
UF500.E53 1986
ISBN 978-0-312-24404-0

Notes on the Contributors


List of Participants




Editors' Introduction


1 Problems facing NATO

Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg


2 Trends in Military Technology

Peter Boskma and Frans-Bauke van der Meer

Emerging Technologies and Conventional Defence

Paul F. Walker

4 Artificial Intelligence
Frans A. J. Birrer




5 The American Strategic Defense Initiative and the

Conventional Defence of Europe
G. C. Berkhof


6 Don't Shoot at Deterrence

Pascal Boniface


7 Deep Strike
Rob de Wijk


8 Emphasising Defence
Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher


9 Arguments and Counter-arguments Concerning

Defensive Defence
Laszlo Valki





Emphasising Defence: an Ongoing Non-debate in the

Federal Republic of Germany
Lutz Unterseher



11 Emerging Technologies and the Politics of Doctrinal

Ben Dankbaar


12 Surveillance Satellites, a European Role?


Caesar V oute


The Future of Unmanned Aircraft

Gunilla Herolf


14 The Patriot Missile - an Arms Control Impact Analysis

Wim A. Smit


15 The Military Relevance of Recent Cooperative

ET Projects
Marlies ter Borg and John Grin

16 European and Atlantic Arms Cooperation

Bob de Ruiter



17 Business as Usual?
Peter M. E. Volten

18 Can Non-provocative Defence Provide Atlantic Security?

Steven L. Canby


19 Soviet Responses to Emerging Technology Weapons

and New Defensive Concepts
Charles J. Dick


20 Dialogue on the Military Effectiveness of Nonprovocative Defence

Charles J. Dick versus Lutz Unterseher


21 Impact of Emerging Technologies and Military Doctrines

on Crisis Stability, Arms Control and Disarmament,
and Detente
Frans-Bauke van der Meer




22 Paving the Way to European Security

Marlies ter Borg and Frank Barnaby

Conventional Defence for Europe

Conclusions of the Organisers of the Workshop

I Weapon systems
II Some Remarks on the Costs of Reactive Defence Options
Hans W. Hofmann, Reiner K. Huber and Karl Steiger





Notes on the Contributors

Charles Frank Barnaby was director of the Stockholm International

Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Sweden, between 1971 and 1981,

and guest professor in peace research at Free University,
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from 1981 to 1985. He became codirector of Just Defence in 1983. In 1985 he became guest professor
in peace research at the Technological University in Delft, the
Netherlands, and Consultant of the World Disarmament Campaign
Brigadier-General G. C. Berkhof is researcher at the Netherlands
Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael', The Hague, the
Frans A. J, Birrer has been doing research and teaching on the social

aspects of mathematics and computer science at the Department of

Mathematics and Computer Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands, since 1980.
Egbert Boeker in 1969 became Professor of Theoretical Physics at

Free University, Amsterdam. He became chairman of the Peace

Research Group of the university in 1980, and chairman of the
Netherlands Congress Against Nuclear Armaments from its foundation in 1977.

Pascal Boniface is researcher at the Universite Paris Nord in Paris,

France. Since 1984 he has been deputy director of the Institut

National d'Etudes Superieures de Defense.

Peter Boskma has been Professor of Philosophy of Science and Tech-

nology at the Centre for Studies on Problems of Science and Society,

'De Boerderij', of the Technological University Twente in Enschede,
the Netherlands since 1975. Between 1967 and 1975 he did peace
research at the state University Groningen, the Netherlands. Until
1967 he was student and researcher in theoretical physics in
Steven L. Canby is a defence analyst. Since 1985 he has been director

of Military Research at Abt Associates, Washington DC, USA.


Notes on the Contributors

Ben Dankbaar studied economics and social sciences at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Currently, he is researcher at
the International Institute of Comparative Social Research in West
Berlin, Germany.
Bob de Ruiter has been doing research and teaching at the Political

Sciences Department of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands since 1983, on the economic and strategic aspects of European
military cooperation.

Rob de Wijk is a journalist and defence researcher. In 1984 he

completed his studies in contemporary history at the State University
Groningen, the Netherlands, with a study on the development of
NATO-strategy. Since 1985 he has studied the influence of the Soviet
military doctrine on the development of NATO strategy.
Charles James Dick since 1976 has been research associate at the
Soviet Studies Research Centre of the Royal Military Academy in
Sandhurst, England. From 1975 he has been an officer in the Intelligence and Security Group (Volunteers). From 1984 to 1985 he was
a consultant with the Ministry of Defence (UK) on Soviet operational
art and tactics.
John Grin is student of experimental physics at Free University

Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As an assistant of the Free University

working group on science and society, he is working on defence
technologies and military doctrines.
Gunilla Herolf has been research assistant at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Sweden, since 1979. She
has done research on conventional military technology (1979-83).
Since 1983 she has been doing research on European Security. In
1979 she worked at the Institute of International Affairs in Stock-

holm, Sweden.

Hans W. Hofmann has been Professor for Operations Research at

the Federal Armed Forces University of Munich (FRG) since 1982.

He was project officer for several large scale OR studies in the

Military Advisory Group Operations Research between 1970 and
1974. From 1974 to 1980 he was assistant professor for statistics and
operations research.

Notes on the Contributors


Reiner K. Huber has been Professor of Applied Systems Science

(with special emphasis on defence planning) at the Institute for
Applied Systems Science at the Department of Computer Science of
the University of the FR German Bundeswehr in Munich since 1975.
Between 1980 and 1982 he was dean of this department. Since 1982,
he has been a member of the board of directors of the German
Society of Armaments Technology and is a (founding) member of
the German Strategy Forum. Previously, he was defence analyst and
vice-president of systems studies at the Industriean Berichtsgesellschaft MbH (1963-75).
Wim A. Smit has been Director of the Centre for Studies on Problems of Science and Society, 'De Boerderij', at the Technological
University Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands, since 1975.
Karl Steiger did studies in computer science at the Federal Armed
Forces University Munich (FRG) from 1976 to 1979, and was battery
commander from 1980 until 1984. Presently, he is working on operations research as scientific assistant at the Department of Computer
Science of the Federal Armed Forces University in Munich.
Marlies ter Borg is doing research and teaching at Free University,
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on questions of science and society,
with an emphasis on defence technology, since 1984. She was
assistant at the Dutch Parliament from 1973 to 1979, and an assistant
of the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy from 1979 to
Lutz UnTerseher is an independent defence analyst with experience
in social survey research for the West German Ministry of Defence.
He is a leading member of the SAS group in Bonn which has
developed a model for the conventional defence of Western Europe
resembling the defence posture now adopted by the Austrian army.
Laszlo Valki has been Professor of International Law and head of
the International Law Department of Eotvos University, Budapest,
Hungary, since 1985. He has been chairman of the Centre for Peace
Research Coordination of the Hungarian Academy of Science since
1982, and is Secretary-General of the Hungarian National Pugwash


Notes on the Contributors

Frans-Banke van der Meer has been doing research and teaching in
organisation theory and peace research at the Centre for Studies on
Problems of Science and Society, 'De Boerderij', at the Technological University Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands, since 1975.
Peter M. E. Volten has been senior staff member at the Directorate
of General Policy Affairs, Ministry of Defence, The Hague, the
Netherlands, since 1977. In 1984 he became Professor of War at the
Department of History, State University of Utrecht, the
Nether lands.
Caesar Voute has been Professor in General and Applied Geology at
the International Institute for Aerospace Surveys and Earth Sciences
(lTC) in Enschede, the Netherlands, since 1963.
Paul Walker has been national security consultant at Klein Walker

Associates Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, since 1983. He

was national research director of the Union of Concerned Scientists
from 1979 to 1981. Between 1969 and 1971 he was Russian Intelligence Specialist in the US Army in the Federal Republic of

List of Participants
Mr Charles Dick
Royal Military Academy
Sandhurst, UK

Drs Frans Birrer

Computer Sciences Department
Leiden University
Leiden, The Netherlands

Dr David Greenwood
Centre for Defence Studies
Aberdeen, Scotland

Dr Pascal Boniface
Secretariat International
du Parti Socialiste
Institut National Superieur
d' Etudes de Defence et
Paris, France

B. A. Gunilla Herolf
SIPRI, Sweden
Drs Olaf van Kooten
Agricultural University
Wageningen, The Netherlands

Dr Steven Canby
Defence Consultant
Washington, DC

Mr Simon Lunn
Plans and Policy Division
International Secretariat
NATO Headquarters
Brussels, Belgium

Mr David Cooper
Planning and Support
International Secretariat
NATO Headquarters
Brussels, Belgium

Ir A. J. Meerburg
Section of Disarmament and
International Peace Problems
Dept of Foreign Affairs
The Hague, The Netherlands

Drs Ben Dankbaar

International Institute of
Comparative Social Research
Berlin, FRG

Hans Moens
Political Sciences Department
Free University
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Mr Bob de Ruiter
Political Sciences Department
University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Drs Rob de Wijk
Defence Analyst, The Netherlands

Ir Sjef Orbons
Technological University
Delft, The Netherlands


List of Participants

Dr Jan Geert Siccama

Clingendael Institute
The Hague, The Netherlands

Dr Frans-Bauke van der Meer

Technological University Twente
Enschede, The Netherlands

Professor Dr L. Sikl6ssy
Computer Sciences Department
Free University
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Professor Dr Peter Volten

Policy Section
Department of Defence
The Hague, The Netherlands

Dr Wim A. Smit
Technological University Twente
Enschede, The Netherlands

Brig. Gen. b.d. J. Voskuil

Waarden, The Netherlands

Drs Rob van Tulder

Political Sciences Department
University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dr Lutz Unterseher
Studiengruppe fii.r
Alternative Sicherheitspolitik, Bonn, FRG

Professor Paul Walker

Physicist, US
Professor Dr Frank Barnaby
Professor Dr Egbert Boeker
Dr Marlies ter Borg
Drs Marianne Tulp
John Grin

Numbers in parentheses at the end of an entry refer to the chapter that
gives some information on the entry.
AAM: Air-to-Air Missile
ABM: Anti-Ballistic Missile
ABM Treaty: Agreement between US and SU on ABM systems
ACDA: Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (US)
ACE: Allied Command Europe
ACIS: Arms Control Impact Statement (14)
AFV: Armoured Fighting Vehicle

AI: Artificial Intelligence

AirLand Battle: deep-strike concept, described in US Army Field Manual
/00-5 (7)

ALB: Airland Battle (7)

Army: See organisation of forces
ASM: Air-to-Surface Missile
ATBM: Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile
ATGM: Anti-Tank Guided Missile

A WACS: Airborne Warning and Control System (see Appendix)

Battalion: See Organisation of forces
Blitzkrieg: Quick surprise attack
Brigade: See Organisation of forces
CEP: Circular Error Probable. Radius of the circle in which 50 per cent
of the munitions aimed at a certain target strike the ground. Used to
measure the accuracy of a weapon
0(1): Command, Control, Communication (and Intelligence)

CNAD: Conference of National Armament Directors (of NATO

Company: See Organisation of forces
Corps: See Organisation of forces
Counter Air 90: OSD concept for improving conventional defence
capabilities (7)



DARPA: Defence Advanced Research Project Agency (US)

Deep-strike concepts: (Proposals for) military doctrines that envisage
attacks deep into enemy territory (7)
Division: See Organisation of forces
Drone: Unmanned vehicle with pre-planned trajectory (13)
DOB: Dispersed Operating Base
Dual capability: Capability of a weapon system to deliver both
conventional and nuclear warheads
EC(C)M: Electronic Counter(-Counter) Measures
EDC: European Defence Community
EDIG: European Defence Industrial Group
EFA: European Fighter Aircraft
EMP: Electromagnetic pulse. Consequence of a nuclear explosion that
can damage electronic equipment
ET: Emerging Technologies
Eureka: European Research Cooperation Agency. French proposal on
space research (12)
EW: Electronic Warfare

FEBA: Forward Edge of Battle Area

Field Manual I00-5 (FM 100-5): US Army document in which the
AirLand Battle concept is described (7)
Flexible Response: NATO's overall strategy, described in the document
MC 14/3
FOFA: Follow-On Forces Attack, deep strike concept proposed by
Forward Defence: principle, strongly desired by the Federal Republic of
Germany, to fight a war as eastward as possible. Implemented in
flexible response
FSCL: Fire Support Coordination Line
GSFG: Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (19 divisions in GDR)
H Q: Headquarters

ICBM: InterContinental Ballistic Missile

IEPG: Independent European Programme Group (15, 16)
IFF: Identification Friend or Foe



Integrated battlefield: The integrated use of conventional, chemical and

nuclear weapons
IRBM: Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
JATM: Joint Anti-Tactical Missile (see Appendix I)
JCS: Joint Chiefs of Staff
JSEAD: Joint Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (see Appendix I)
JSTARS: Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (see

Appendix I)

JTACMS: Joint Tactical Missile System (see Appendix I)

JTF: Joint Tactical Fusion (see Appendix I)

Mach: Unit for velocity. 1 Mach is approximately 12 000 km/h (sound

MBT: Main Battle Tank
MIRV: Multiple Independently targetable Re-entry Vehicle
MLRS: Multiple Launch Rocket System
MOB: Main Operating Base
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NAVSTAR: A US navigation system of 18-24 satellites, eventually also

to be used for extremely accurate missile guidance (see Appendix I)

NBC: Nuclear, bacteriological, chemical

Non-provocative defence: a defence posture in which the build-up,

training, logistics and doctrine of the armed forces are such that they
are seen in their totality to be unsuitable for offence, but just sufficient
for a credible defence. In non-provocative defence postures, nuclear
weapons fulfil at most a retaliatory role (8)
OCA: Offensive Counter Air

OMG: Operational Manoeuvre Group

Organisation of forces: the various NATO countries do not have exactly
the same organisation of their Army forces; in particular the number
of men in the various units may differ. In general, however, the armies
have the following hierarchy. The highest level is the army group, then
there are, in hierarchical order: army, army corps, division, brigade
(approximately the same level as regiment, a designation used by some
countries), battalion and company, which is the lowest level unit. A
battalion consists of several companies, and so on.
OSD: Office of the Secretary of Defence

Platoon: Small regular unit, below company level



PLSS: Precision Location Strike System (see Appendix)

Pre-emptive attack: Attack before hostilities have actually started, to
destroy time-urgent targets
Regiment: See Organisation of forces
RPV: Remotely Piloted Vehicle
RV: Re-entry Vehicle
SACEUR: Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (presently General
SALT: Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. These negotiations between US
and SU have led to two argreements on strategic nuclear weapons:
SALT-I (1972) and SALT II (1979) and to the ABM Treaty (1974)
SAM: Surface-to-Air Missile
SDI: Strategic Defense Initiative (5, 6)
SHAPE: Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
SLBM: Sea-Launched Ballistic Missile
SPF: Special Purpose Forces
Squad: Small (armed) unit for special missions
Stealth technology: Technology to reduce the visibility of weapon systems
to enemy radar
TRADOC: Training and Doctrine Command (7)
Transarmament: A change of weapon procurement and development
policy, following other operational and political guidelines
WEU: Western European Union
WTO: Warsaw Treaty Organisation

Editors' Introduction
Emerging Technologies and Military Doctrine was the theme of a
workshop held at the Free University in Amsterdam in the summer
of 1985. Participants came from several West European universities,
and from policy circles including NATO and the Dutch Ministry of
Defence. Contributors were members of the military, civilian
analysts from inside and outside NATO, and independent
researchers associated with the peace movement. The quite wide
range of opinions led to lively and serious debate. At the end of the
week a considerable amount of consensus had been reached, much
to the surprise of the organisers. They were able to specify the
problems facing NATO and criteria for solutions in a generally
acceptable way (Chapter 1), and were even led to formulate a set
of conclusions, which met with general acceptance (Chapter 3).
The summer months saw some hard work both by the authors and
the editors. Although the discussions at the workshop, and the
editors' comments led to some important revisions, the chapters
themselves are the sole responsibility of the authors.
The first part, Which Way NATO?, gives the framework of the
book, the basis on which the editors selected and edited the other
contributions (Chapter 1).
In the second part Emerging Technologies are analysed, first in a
general way (Chapter 2) and then focusing on two relevant developments, concerning anti-tank weapons (Chapter 3), and artificial intelligence (Chapter 4).
In the third part, Military Doctrine, three concepts are discussed,
which have recently been proposed as solutions to the problems
facing NATO. The first is of course the Strategic Defense Initiative,
which is described in terms of its relevance for conventional defence
of Western Europe (Chapter 5). The second includes all those
concepts centring on deep strike, like FOFA and Airland Battle
(Chapter 7).
The third is a cluster of less familiar concepts emphasising defence
(Chapter 8). The idea is to organize both weaponry and doctrine in
such a way, that the military build-up is seen to be capable of an
effective defence by denial, but incapable of offensive actions against
the opponent's territory. Nuclear weapons play at most a retaliatory
role. This approach, which is aimed at combining military effective-



Editors' Introduction

ness with crisis-stability and detente, has led to the development of

several modes for the defence of West Germany. Three models,
taken as typical for the range of thinking in this field, are discussed;
Afheldt's static defence in depth; Hannig's barrier defence; and the
more complex SAS model combining a static containment force with
a mobile rapid commitment force.
Of course, all these concepts are controversial. To give some
idea of the debate, each description is accompanied by comments.
Reagan's SDI proposal is criticised by a Frenchman, as France is
Reagan's main opponent in this field (Chapter 6). Critical comments
on deep strike are included in the descriptive chapter itself (Chapter
7). And concepts emphasising defence are discussed by a resident of
one of the countries of the Warsaw Treaty Organisation (Chapter
9). Also a review is given of the debate in West Germany, where
these concepts have been developed furthest (Chapter 10).
In the fourth part of the book implications of these discussions are
spelt out in terms of specific, ET incorporating Weapon Systems,
being developed or deployed by NATO members. As is explained
in the general introductory chapter (Chapter 11), weapon systems
have become a subject for political debate. This holds for instance
for the desirability of an independent satellite monitoring agency
(Chapter 12), for the use of remotely piloted vehicles (Chapter 13),
and for the deployment of the air defence missile called Patriot
(Chapter 14). Weapon systems cannot be seen in isolation, but must
be evaluated in terms of the patterns of which they form a part, the
'image of war' by which they are inspired. This is shown in a
discussion of several projects for joint production (Chapter 15), that
were selected by two bodies for armaments cooperation, the IEPG
and CNAD in a bid to strengthen economic ties. (Chapter 16).
Part V contains an Evaluation of the doctrinal and technological
solutions to NATO's problems in terms of criteria formulated in Part
I. First the margins for change are assessed, and the overriding
importance of a strategy of deterrence stressed (Chapter 17). Then
the different operational concepts that could sustain this strategy
are evaluated in terms of military effectiveness (Chapter 18). The
perception of the Soviet Union is of central concern here (Chapter
19). This leads to some questions concerning the military effectiveness of alternatives emphasising defence, which are answered in
detail by one of their proponents (Chapter 20). The final, and
perhaps most important set of criteria concerns the implications of
the various doctrines and associated weapon technology for crisis

Editors' Introduction


stability, arms control and detente (Chapter 21). For these point to
problems which are aggravated by NATO's present military doctrine
and associated incorporation of emerging technologies.
The final part contains the editor's conclusion, that concepts
emphasising defence could offer a way out of many of the dilemmas
confronting NATO (Chapter 22). This conclusion is based on, but
goes much further than the concluding statements generally accepted
at the workshop (Chapter 23). Appendices include reviews of
relevant weapon systems, and a cost assessment of alternatives made
as part of an exercise of the military academy at Munich.
The workshop and the resulting publication were possible thanks
to the financial support of the Dutch Ministry of Science and
Education, and the Reformist Association for Higher Education, to
which the Free University is linked. The assistance of John Grin was
invaluable for the editors. Marianne Tulp did a very good organisational job. Elly Manenschijn and Mies Brookman succeeded in
typing out the most illegible English, and Mr A. Pomper carefully
drew some of the figures.

The illustrations in Chapter 4 are from the magazine Military Technology, and they are reprinted by courtesy of Military Technology.

Part I
Which Way NATO?

1 Problems facing the


Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg

In Western Europe there is an intensive debate on military doctrine,

and associated weapons technology. For the present the NATO
strategy of flexible response, and doctrines based on manoeuvre
warfare have lost credibility.
Flexible response has always had an inherent weakness. Developed
as the Soviet Union attained nuclear parity, it assumes that the
United States would, in the last resort, commit nuclear suicide to
defend Western Europe. This implies a degree of altruism which has
never been quite realistic. But only recently has this assumption been
subjected to massive scepticism on both sides of the Atlantic. Not
only the peace movement raised these doubts. They were triggered
quite as much by people like Henry Kissinger, who stated 'that it is
absurd to base the strategy of the West on the credibility of the
threat of mutual suicide'. He warned Western Europeans that they
'should not keep asking us to multiply strategic assurances that we
could not possibly mean' .1 Kissinger's solution was to build into
flexible response a deliberate counter-force doctrine, giving NATO
the additional option of escalating via nuclear attack of military
targets. But even this revised version of flexible response lacks credibility. It is based on the assumption, that both NATO and the
Warsaw Treaty Organisation (WTO) will be able and willing, in case
of war, to escalate from conventional via tactical nuclear to all out
nuclear warfare in a slow and orderly fashion, so that hostilities can
be broken off before the worst happens. This implies a state of mind
which is more likely to be found at a card table than in the battlefield.
But even if the superpowers would be able to exercise this degree
of self-restraint in the face of a major crisis, the question of their
technical ability to act in this manner remains.
Step by step escalation requires both parties to have at their

Problems facing NATO

disposal a refined set of nuclear weapons, differing in degree of

destructiveness, which can neatly discriminate between military
targets and any civilians who happen to live or work close by. The
increasingly precise weapons that NATO has been acquiring, cannot
live up to these standards. 2 And the nuclear arsenal of the Soviet
Union is even less refined. So it looks as if neither side is equipped
to play this particular game.
The tactical weapons at the bottom of this scale present their own
set of problems. As short range weapons, they demand an early use
because of the risk of their being captured by the enemy. This applies
especially to mines, which are therefore being taken out of service.
Other short range weapons, however, like nuclear artillery, which are
still widely deployed by NATO forces, present comparable problems.
The reliance on early use of nuclear weapons has met with serious
criticism. Public acceptability in both Europe and the United States
is very low. Fear of nuclear war is widespread. Peace movements,
protesting against the expansion or modernisation of the nuclear
arsenal have gained massive support. Policies concerning deployment
of cruise missiles in Europe have come under close scrutiny. In the
Netherlands, parliamentary opposition has led to postponement. In
Belgium, the debatable weapon systems were smuggled into the
country on the eve of the parliamentary debate, thus ignoring the
opinions of large sections of parliament. Well organised public
concern has made impossible what in the 1960s was common practice:
to deploy nuclear weapons in Europe without anyone noticing.
Concern about the (early) use of nuclear weapons is not limited
to the public, and the politicians who are trying to gain their vote.
It is also to be found in military circles. Early use of nuclear weapons
could be said to be incompatible with military ethics. The use of
battlefield nuclear weapons implies a real risk of casualties amongst
friendly forces not to mention the civilians the soldier is supposed
to be protecting. A nuclear explosion overhead could, though not
causing any deaths directly, completely disrupt civilian society by the
electromagnetic pulse.
Apart from the ethical doubts, tactical and intermediate range
nuclear weapons are rather impracticable, requiring as they do a
political decision for their use. The military does not fancy the prospect of facing WTO forces with one hand tied behind its back, while
political consultations take place. They might feel forced to ask for
permission to use them in a very early stage, if only to be free to do
so when the situation requires.

Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg

The consultations themselves present their own problems. Ideally,

all sixteen NATO Heads of State, from Iceland to Greece, should
be involved in the debate on an equal basis. The resulting process
would no doubt be cumbersome. But lengthy discussions on matters
of vital interest are, after all, an essential part of the democratic
values NATO is supposed to be defending. But given the very high
speed of modern weapons and modern warfare such deliberations
are, from a military view, a dangerous waste of extremely precious
time. This political procedure would take at least two days, and some
scenarios have the Russians grabbing what they can meanwhile.
So when European member states demanded some say in the
decision on the use of tactical nuclear weapons deployed on their
territory, a rather shorter procedure was devised. Before the President of the US decides to go nuclear in the European battlefield, he
will consult the other heads of state, that is, if the situation permits.
In the case of a massive surprise (nuclear) attack by the WTO the
US will decide alone. If there is some more time, he will consult
those member states that are under attack, or from whose territory
or units the nuclear weapons are to be launched. These consultations
have a purely advisory status. No veto to a US decision by any or
all other member states is possible. 3 To speed up decision-making in
time of crisis there has been an attempt to agree upon a plan for
the use of tactical weapons beforehand. But this attempt ran into
difficulties due to a fundamental difference in thinking on either side
of the Atlantic. Whereas the US is quite used to thinking about
the unthinkable, European member states shrink from the idea of
planning for use of nuclear weapons in a war-fighting mode.
However much lip-service is paid to the contribution of tactical
and intermediate range nuclear weapons to transatlantic solidarity,
they form the occasion for a very basic conflict of interests. Of course
the aim on both sides of the ocean is to avoid nuclear war. But
Kissinger was right when he spoke of 'the secret dream of every
European .... that if there had to be a nuclear war, to have it
conducted over their heads by the strategic forces of the United
States and the Soviet Union'. 1 He forgot to add, that the secret
dream of every American is to limit (nuclear) war to Europe.
This conflict of interests makes the tactical and intermediate range
nuclear weapons, that were supposed to strengthen transatlantic ties,
into a source of continuous dissension. It is perhaps the most crucial
weakness of the nuclear part of the strategy of flexible response.

Problems facing NATO


On the conventional side the situation is not much better. Of course,
it was the deficient conventional posture which made nuclear deterrence necessary in the first place. But even in a strategy of flexible,
and possible nuclear response, conventional forces should be able to
hold the enemy forces long enough to either defeat an attack, or
place the burden of escalation on the enemy. There is widespread
concern that the conventional forces of NATO will not be able to
cope with this task. General Rogers made a clear statement of the
situation to the Dutch Parliament in 1983.
By our continued failure to meet commitments to improve conventional forces, it's my opinion that we have mortgaged our defense
to the nuclear response. Instead of possessing genuine flexibility,
NATO's current military posture will require us - if attacked
conventionally - to escalate fairly quickly to the second response
of our strategy, 'deliberate escalation' to nuclear weapons.
As pointed out by Senator Nunn, our strategy might be one of
flexible response in theory, it is inflexible response in practice. 4
The weaknesses of NATO's conventional posture have been much
discussed of late. First, there is really no clear operational concept,
and coordination at the operational level is weak. Plans are made
by the different parties involved, on the basis of conflicting military
and political demands. The military is preparing itself for manoeuvre
warfare, for armoured battle modelled upon the Second World War
as the dominant 'image of war'. Politically, there is a demand for
forward defence, for keeping the battle close to the inter-German
border, so as to minimise destruction in the very heavily populated
Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). 5 The resulting concept of
forward mobile defence is a contradiction in itself. The armoured
units that form the core of the mobile defence need space for
manoeuvre. 'In order to develop their true talents they should be
able to move freely across wide areas- both forward and backward. '6
Neither is the political demand of forward defence translated into
a fortification of the border. West Germany, hopeful of a future
reunification with its Eastern counterpart, and eager to show itself
an open society, refuses to build the barrier fortifications that military
common sense requires.
The massive tank defence typical of manoeuvre warfare has been
criticised for other reasons. Several experts have argued that only

Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg

about 50 per cent of the border terrain can be defended by tanks

in a cost-effective way. The wooded and mountain areas that are
typical for wide areas west of the demarcation line demand quite
other forms of defence, using light infantry instead of heavy armour.
Armour is perhaps useful for (counter) offensive actions, but in
the light of the defensive aim of NATO, it should be seriously
And then, the troops and armour, necessary for this kind of
forward defence, are not in the right place. In times of crisis massive
transport of forces and tanks will have to take place, not only from
positions in rear areas like the Netherlands, but even across the
Atlantic. Even if political decision making is quick, NATO forces
already on the continent would take several days to reach their battle
positions; and although the first reinforcements from America and
Britain could get there within 72 hours, it would be days before they
were all in line.? This gives the enemy time to do what they can to
the incomplete forces at the border. This risk puts pressure on NATO
to start mobilisation at the least sign of impending hostilities, which
in its turn could spark off WTO actions, by inviting preemptive
attacks on NATO transport facilities.
What is the cause and the remedy for this conventional deficiency?
Is it a question of money, as NATO officials like to insist? Could a
rise in defence budgets solve the problem?
It is doubtful whether a rise of military spending in real terms would

be politically acceptable. A cut in defence budgets is unlikely, but

so is a substantial rise, certainly in countries where unemployment
is extensive and social security is one of the central values. As
European member states did not even live up to the 3 per cent rise
agreed upon in 1978, the 4 per cent suggested by General Rogers
seems out of the question. The United States itself is under pressure
to attenuate the rise in military spending, because the budget deficit
is seen to force up interest rates, causing discomfort and distress in
many parts of the world.
A decision to create a structurally more expensive defence could
cause deterioration in transatlantic relations. Many Americans are
already convinced that Europe is not pulling its weight, an opinion
that is, by the way, not firmly based on fact. The US-Western

Problems facing NATO

Europe military spending ratio is 100 : 62, with much of US money

going to commitments outside NATO. European member states
provide 90 per cent of ground forces and armoured divisions
stationed in Europe during peacetime, and 80 per cent of combat
aircraft and tanks. 8 They also provide an amount of territory free of
rent, and cheap conscription forces.
European member states on the other hand are concerned about
the one-way-street, implying as it does a flow of finances to the
United States, that are urgently needed to give European industry
a boost.
And then much of the financial margin that does exist will be
needed to keep up present strength. Not only will many arms
procurements already decided upon turn out to be more costly than
presently envisaged. The population dip, referred to in Germany as
the Pillenknick, will also make it more expensive to keep up
manpower numbers in Europe. 6
But would more defence spending solve the problem? Most
experts feel that a more fundamental change is called for. NATO
already spends a lot on defence, more in fact than the WT0. 8 It is
a military rule of thumb, that defence may be outnumbered by the
offence to a certain extent, without losing the battle. This maxim, if
not true already, could certainly become so with the advent of third
generation anti-tank weapons and other precision guided weaponry.
This makes it absurd that a defensive organisation like NATO should
need even more money than it now uses to arrive at a credible
There is obviously something wrong with the way in which NATO
is spending its money. However inefficient the rest of the Soviet
economy might be, their military industry is far more efficient than
that of NATO countries, with reasonably robust and cheap tanks
rolling off the production lines whilst Americans and West Europeans engineer small amounts of very sophisticated weaponry with
enormous cost overruns.
Of course, NATO tries to persuade itself that technological quality
will make up for lack of quantity. Nowadays the so-called 'Emerging
Technologies' (ET) are presented as the answer to NATO's problems. These are said to offer new possibilities for conventional deep-

Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg

strike, thus raising the nuclear threshold. Or else they are seen to
hold a great future for anti-tank weapons, making the tank, tactical
nuclear weapons, and perhaps even aggression as such obsolete.
There are indeed some very interesting developments in various
technological fields. One is sensor technology, where innovations are
making it possible to equip weapons with ever better means of
perception, either through radar, infra-red, laser or microwave. The
ongoing miniaturisation in computer-technology is making it much
easier to give weapons 'brains', that is the means to rapidly digest
the information received via the sensors. Together these developments are leading to quite revolutionary improvements in surveillance and target acquisition, whilst greatly enhancing the capability
of weapons of finding their way to the target. The speed and range
of weapons is also increasing, due to innovations in the technology
of propulsion. Weapons that travel as fast as light are becoming
feasible, through laser technology. And lastly the destructive capacity
of conventional weapons is increasing substantially. Together with
the improvement of their precision, this is leading to a situation
where conventional systems have a military effectiveness comparable
to that of nuclear weapons. And last but not least, software development is leading to new possibilities of coordination and battle
But technological innovation, however revolutionary, has by itself
never solved any political problem. The nations making up NATO
will never succeed in providing for their security by technological
fixes, be they cruise-missiles, laser weapons for ballistic defence, or
precision-guided munitions.
In the first place these new technologies cost money, lots of money
in some cases. Rather than mitigate financial strains, they seriously
aggravate them, requiring radical cuts in more traditional sectors.
Sometimes money is 'saved' on essentials like training and stocks,
leading to a reduction of overall military effectivity.
Secondly, their implementation does not always increase security,
but can also decrease it, by offering, for instance, new targets for
preemptive attack.
Technological solutions never come alone, but are nearly always
accompanied by new problems, if not more of the old. They are
never politically neutral, and often demand a revision of doctrine if
they are to be used to their full potential. It is not surprising that
military bureaucracy, with its inherent inertia, resists both the reallo-


Problems facing NATO

cation of resources, and the change of doctrine, necessary to make

a rational use of new technologies possible.
So emerging technologies are not going to give NATO an easy
way out. The painful process of reallocating resources must be faced,
and a fundamental debate on doctrine must take place. If anything,
emerging technology calls for a rethinking of priorities. Choices must
be made if any of the expensive new systems are to get very much
further than the development stage. And these choices are meaningful only when made in the framework of a coherent doctrine.
Established doctrine will therefore have to come up for scrutiny as
emerging technologies show their potentials.
On the other hand, emerging and recently emerged technologies
do offer new opportunities. Military options which were unfeasible
a decade ago, are becoming so realistic that they are now under
serious debate. Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative has already
been debated by Western defence ministers. And the US and
SHAPE plans for deep-strike doctrines have come up for public
Less familiar are the ideas which have been developed in West
German circles, both inside and outside the military. These ideas,
which are described in Chapter 8, make much of anti-tank weapons,
to play the main role in doctrines emphasising defence. To enhance
both crisis-stability and military credibility, a move is proposed
towards a so-called non-provocative defence. This implies that the
build-up, training, logistics and doctrine of the armed forces are such
that they are seen in their totality to be unsuitable for offence,
but unambiguously sufficient for a credible conventional defence.
Nuclear weapons fulfill at most a retaliatory role.
This concept envisages replacing defence by punishment with a
defence by denial, exploiting the natural advantages of the defence,
and increasing cost-effectiveness by specialisation on the defence.
The adversary's potential for massive concentrated fire be it nuclear,
chemical or conventional, is countered by practising a no-target philosophy, dispersing troops, and reducing dependence on mass transport facilities, airfields and so on.
The interesting thing is that such extremely diverse concepts as
SDI, Deep Strike or Emphasising Defence all incorporate the basic
technological innovations mentioned above. All of them are seen,
by their advocates, as becoming more realistic through the advent
of emerging technologies, and to offer the best way of utilising ET
for the prevention of war. So a systematic debate on military doctrine

Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg


and associated weapons technology is called for, not only to find a

way out of present problems, but also to use new opportunities
offered by technology to enhance stability and security.
It is not a forgone conclusion, that the present military posture is in
fact contributing to the collective security promised by NATO. In
some ways it could be subtracting from it. Firstly, NATO policy
could actually be contributing to the arms race. Defence spending
has been rising all over the world. NATO budgets have risen sharply
recently, from a 4 per cent growth in 1981 to 8 per cent in 1983.
This rise was due mainly to the rearmament of the US. After the
post-Vietnam decline, US budgets have been rising again since the
mid-1970s, to reach a real increase of 11.3 per cent in 1983.
According to a recently revised CIA estimate, Soviet expenditure
has shown a steady growth of 3 per cent on a dollar basis.s Military
budgets in the Third World have also been increasing, in spite of
the world-wide recession. Increases for Latin America averaged 7
per cent. For Africa a 6 per cent rate was reached between 1974 and
1980. In the Far East military spending has continued to grow as a
percentage of gross national product, and takes the same share of
resources as in industrial countries, where per capita income is some
10 times higher. Only in China has the military part of government
spending appeared to decline. 8
Behind these figures a qualitative arms race can be perceived. Both
WTO and NATO are continuously modernising their conventional
forces, introducing improved systems like the M-1 main battle tank,
Tornado and F-16 fighter aircraft on the one side, and the Hind
attack helicopters and Mig-25 and Mig-29 fighter aircraft on the
other. Meanwhile, a horizontal proliferation of modern conventional
weapons has been taking place, due in no smali part to exports from
Chemical armaments are also coming back into fashion, with
Soviet produced weapons allegedly used in Laos and Afghanistan,
the US Administration trying time and again to push plans for
binaries through Congress, and the use of chemical weapons in the
Iran-Iraq war.
It is the continuous growth of nuclear arsenals, however, that is
especially threatening. The worrying spread of nuclear weapons to


Problems facing NATO

more countries around the world pales in the face of the rapid
vertical proliferation on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Substantial
rearmament programmes are going ahead, with an increase in
warheads, launchers and precision. The Soviet Union has recently
introduced improved sea-launched ballistic missiles for the new
Typhoon submarine, and the US have replaced the Poseidon by the
Trident. The US Congress recently granted President Reagan the
production of the vulnerable MX-missiles, and the Soviets are testing
the mobile SS-X-24. On the European continent, substantial
numbers of long range theatre nuclear weapons have been deployed,
such as the SS-20 and SS-22 on the one side, and cruise-missiles and
the Pershing II on the other.
The enhanced precision of these nuclear weapons forms a very
serious problem, making nuclear counter force strategy and associated warfighting doctrines an increasingly realistic option. Weapon
systems on the verge of being deployed could very well decrease
crisis stability, by provoking a preemptive first strike in times of
international tension. A well-known example is the Pershing II with
its very short flight time. This weapon system, could oblige the
Soviets to make a preemptive attack as soon as they suspect that a
NATO attack is under preparation. The deployment of this type of
weapon by NATO could even drive the Soviets to install launch on
warning. The same could, of course, be said for any new Soviet
systems which require a very quick reaction. It is not only to certain
nuclear weapons that this applies. The conventional version of
Pershing II, the CAM-40, presently being developed, to destroy
Soviet airfields in minutes after the first hostilities occur, would also
be very destabilising, as would a conventional T-16 or T-22 ballistic
missile for deep attack of moving targets like tanks. Such conventional systems, sometimes seen as an improvement on nuclear ones,
have the special disadvantage of being ready for launch, without
extensive NATO consultation procedures. If they look like nuclear
weapons to Soviet surveillance systems, as does the dual capable
Lance, they could well provoke a nuclear answer.

Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg



Obviously, the process of arms control, in which so many vested
their hopes a decade ago, has not been a great success. Negotiations
about important issues, such as long range theatre nuclear forces
threatening Europe, have been broken off time and again. And
treaties eventually agreed upon, were often a weak adumbration of
the original intention, as in the case of the partial test ban. Some
treaties, like SALT II, were never officially ratified, although some
measure of compliance was realised. Other treaties like the antiballistic missile treaty, are in danger of being broken, in spite of
Arms control has therefore not been able to stop, much less
reverse the arms race. On the contrary, some treaties have even
stimulated the development of new weapons, in order to circumvent
the restrictions. A famous example is the introduction of multiple
independently manoeuvrable warheads, introduced by the superpowers to expand nuclear arsenals without breaking through ceilings
set to numbers of missiles by SALT I. Negotiations have often served
the arms race, as new weapons are introduced by way of bargaining
chips. This was the essence of the double-track decision made by
NATO on ground launched cruise missiles in December 1979.
It does not follow, however, that arms control negotiations are a
waste of time. On the contrary, they are very important, if only to
keep the East-West relations above freezing point. Arms control
negotiations, whatever their outcome may eventually be, are one of
the few ways in which communication between the superpowers can
be kept going, and they are rightly interpreted as a sign of some
measure of detente.
Detente is especially important, as it gives the political framework
within which misunderstanding about intentions can be minimised
and security must thrive.
Arms control efforts thus certainly remain of value, but by themselves they are not enough. To stop the arms race, with its destabilising effects on international relations, it is necessary to get at the
underlying causes. An important factor could be the present military
doctrine and associated armaments and force structure.
The military doctrine that is established, with its typical mix of
offensive and defensive elements, is a sign to the other side about
one's intentions. It also gives a framework for the procurement of
arms, which again give off a signal to the potential enemy. Now


Problems facing NATO

these signs are often misunderstood, as capabilities are interpreted as

intentions. Weapons and doctrines directed at some form of counterattack can be perceived as tokens of possible first-strike intentions.
On the other hand, a defensive posture with its rather unorthodox
approach, could be taken by the WTO as a token of declining
resolve. So any debate on the future NATO doctrine and armaments
programmes must include an analysis from the opponent's point of
view. From this perspective present NATO doctrine and associated
weapons can be seen to have a negative impact on the arms race,
on crisis stability and detente. This is another, perhaps the most
important reason for reconsideration of NATO's present policy.
The central question in this book, is in the framework of which
doctrine the application of emerging technologies would truly
enhance security in the broadest sense. Most of the authors are West
Europeans. NATO is assumed to be essential for security in Western
Europe for the foreseeable future, but the European 'leg' of the
alliance should visualise itself more clearly, in the perspective of a
wider inter-European detente process.
The main perspective of this book is West European, but Europe
consists of more. Especially in debating future military doctrine in
the West, the communication with the East should be kept open.
Both stability and detente concern the reactions of East and West to
each other. Western Europeans want to be taken seriously in the
debate about East-West relations, which has been dominated too
much by the superpowers in the past. They should therefore also
give weight to the opinions of their small and even less influential
Eastern European neighbours.
Which criteria should a military doctrine for NATO satisfy? One
obvious criterion is Military Credibility. Any credible posture will
have to be developed on the basis of a realistic analysis of the threat.
This includes two aspects. One concerns the likelihood that the
Soviet Union will start a war, the motives they might have to do so.

Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg


The other entails the type of war they are planning for, and will be
likely to wage, should war, through whatever cause, break out.
A deterrence strategy aimed at the prevention of war is obviously
very dependent on the first of these two aspects. An analysis of the
likelihood of a WTO initiated war must take into account that the
Soviet Union is a militarised society, with an ideology in which war
plays an important role. In fact war was seen as a natural counterpart
of the inevitable overthrowing of capitalism, that is, until the arrival
of nuclear weapons on the scene made it clear that even communism
would not be able to survive it.
On the other hand, past experience has shown Russian leaders to
be very cautious, initiating a war only in those rare cases in which
they were sure of a quick and easy victory. The Russian people have
of course suffered greatly under wars started by other powers, and
have shown a tenacity in the face of astronomical losses. So a deliberate first strike attack at NATO territory is not the first thing the
Russians are thinking of. Their leaders will of course not reject any
opportunity to extend their sphere of influence, and as military
minded men they will show due respect to an opponent with an
effective defence.
So that is where a credible military defence of NATO comes in.
It must of course be credible, not only in the view of its own citizens,
but above all in the perception of the Soviet leaders. So it must give
an appropriate answer to the warfighting scenarios that the WTO
sees as part of its strategy.
Soviet military doctrine holds that if war does break out in Europe,
it must be won very quickly if it is to be won at all.lo A speedy
victory will prevent escalation onto the nuclear level, which would
be catastrophic for the Soviet Union itself. Moreover, the strains of
a prolonged war could destroy the WTO from the inside, allowing
the satellite states to break away, and perhaps even leading to the
overthrowing of the regime, as after the First World War.
So even if the WTO policy is not directed towards war, its military
doctrine is. The warfighting doctrine is not in itself a reason for
concern. For the Soviets make a very clear distinction between the
political and the operational level, with the second level expressly
subordinate to the first. Following von Clausewitz, they might like
to think that diplomacy is war continued by peaceful means. But
then war, as diplomacy, is subservient to politics, and not a goal in
A quick victory, which is the operational, not the strategic or


Problems facing NATO

political goal, requires a considerable degree of surprise. According

to Soviet military thinking complete surprise is impossible, but
surprise during mobilisation is not. And if opposing forces are
balanced in peace-time, they will not be so after several days of
mobilisation, as this process takes the WTO forces less time than it
does NATO. So what the Soviets would like to achieve is as much
surprise as possible after a short (8-14 day) period of mobilisation.1 1
And then a speedy breakthrough of NATO lines. It is this, blitzkrieg
type of scenario to which any conceivable doctrine for NATO would
have to give an answer.
But this is not the only scenario that is of relevance. Another,
equally relevant scenario is that of the unintended_war, growing out
of an incident in some part of the world into a full scale super-power
conflict. To achieve some measure of crisis stability a NATO doctrine
and associated armaments would have to offer an adequate answer
to this perhaps more probable scenario. It would have to offer
options for the management of crises, and the control of conflict
through Escalation A voidance. For Crisis Stability is a second, and
equally important criterion for an acceptable NATO posture.
For long-term stability a measure of disarmament or at least arms
control is required, so a future NATO posture would have to entail
as Few Stimuli To The Arms Race as is possible in a divided world.
The weapons to be deployed would have to Facilitate Arms Control,
for instance by allowing for effective verification of arms control
treaties, and not putting a strain on existing agreements. Although
a military posture as such cannot bring about detente, however
defensive it may be, we could expect NATO to adopt a doctrine and
develop weapons which would support a wider political, economical
and cultural detente process, instead of contradicting it as is the case
Of course, any future NATO posture would have to be affordable,
given present defence budgets. It would also have to exploit the
technological potential of the West, without falling prey to unwarranted technological optimism, or counting on technological fixes to
solve political and organisational problems.
Last but not least, any doctrine to be developed by NATO must
be acceptable to the public, which in the present situation means
substantially raising the nuclear threshold, in order to remove the
present widespread and not unrealistic fear of nuclear destruction.

Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg




Henry A Kissinger, 'NATO the Next Thirty Years', Brussels, 1 Sept.

1979, published in Survival, XXI, no. 6, 1979, pp. 264-8.
S. Zuckerman, Nuclear Illusion and Reality (New York: Random
House, 1982).
G. C. Berkhof and P. M. E. Volten, 'Het militair strategisch denken
in de Verenigde Staten en de Sovjet-Unie', brochure published by the
Royal Dutch Association 'Ons Leger' (our army).
General Rogers in 'Changes in the Western Defence Policy, including
the Strategy of Flexible Response', report of a hearing by the Dutch
Parliament on 13 and 14 January 1983, Tweede kamer zitting 1982-3,
17704, nr.3, p.6 and Sam Nunn, 'NATO, Can the Alliance be Saved?',
Report to the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate,
Washington GPO, 13 May 1982, p.3.
Stellungnahme der Bundesregierung zur Bundestagdrucksache 10/151,
Bundesregierung, Bonn, 17 Oct. 1983.
H. G. Brauch and L. Unterseher, 'Getting Rid of Nuclear Weapons:
a Review of a Few Proposals for a Conventional Defense of Europe',
Journal of Peace Research, vol.21, no.2, 1984.
'Do you Sincerely Want to be Non-nuclear?', The Economist, 31 July
1982, p.31.
E. Skons and R. Tullberg, 'World Military Expenditure, World Armament and Disarmament', SIPRI Yearbook, 1985 (London: Taylor &
Francis, 1984).
Defence spending in 1984,
NATO total .
. $322 billion
WTO total .
. $156 billion (both in 1980 dollars)
('World Armament and Disarmament', SIPRI Yearbook, 1982,
London, 1982)


Any comparison between military budgets in East and West is highly

speculative. Apart from technical difficulties (comparison of roubles
and dollars etc.) the main problem is that figures on military spending
are available only from Western sources, as the Soviet Union itself
persists in reporting unrealistically low figures. How unrealiable
Western sources are, is illustrated by the fact that the CIA announced
in 1983 a major downward revision of its estimates over past years.
Register of the trade in major conventional weapons with industrialised and Third World countries, Appendix 7b in 'World Armament
and Disarmament', SIPRI Yearbook, 1984, pp. 229-62.
C. Donelly, 'The Operational Manoeuvre Group: a challenge for
NATO', Military Review (March 1983) p. 47.
North Atlantic Assembly Military Committee, 'Interim Report of the
Sub-committee on Conventional Defence in Europe', K. Voigt, Nov.

Part II

Emerging Technologies

2 Trends in Military
Peter Boskma and
Frans-Bauke van der Meer

New developments in science and technology very often have a

profound impact on society. Especially in our age, in which the
systematic use of scientific knowledge for societal objectives has
become an organised endeavour, a pervasive influence of science
and technology in many areas and aspects of life, has come about.
This holds very definitively for the domain of peace and security:
scientific developments and related new military technologies
induced fundamental changes in military doctrines and in the nature
of international relations. The development of 'deterrence' and
'flexible response' and of a superpower dominated bipolar world 1
can rightly be associated with the development of nuclear weapons
and other military technology. Recently emerging military technologies tend to give rise to new adaptations in military doctrine and
postures, and by consequence also to evoke changes in East-West
relations 2

This is not to say that social structures and processes are

completely determined by scientific and technological developments,
nor that these developments themselves have an autonomous
With respect to the first point, it is our premise (and indeed the
premise of most, if not all, contributions to this volume) that the
meaning and implications of emerging technologies cannot be
inferred from inherent characteristics of these technologies alone.
First, the way in which they are incorporated in military doctrines
may vary, and hence consequences for the profile of the military
posture, for the intended or unintended 'message' it conveys, and
for the reactions it evokes, may differ. Secondly, given technologies
may be utilised in the framework of quite different military concepts.
In both cases it is important to note that a state or alliance introducing new military technologies cannot fully control their impact.
A major reason for this is that this impact is dependent upon the


Trends in Military Technology

assessments potential adversaries make and upon the way they react
accordingly at the military and/or political level. An evaluation of
emerging technologies and related military doctrines must therefore
take into account the social and political processes to which they
give rise within and between states and alliances.3
The second premise is that scientific-technological development
itself is a social process in the sense that its direction is co-determined
by perceptions and interpretations of the actors involved. 4 Military
doctrines and emerging technologies tend to direct and reinforce
each other in the context of specific definitions of security problems
and interpretations of international relations.
Nevertheless, however valid both premises may be, they do not
imply that technology or its consequences can be manipulated at will
or that it is simply a reflection of current social relations. In assessing
the meaning and impact of emerging technologies it is also necessary
to analyse the major inherent qualities of these technologies and to
explore intended or unintended implications they may have. Any
sensible policy with respect to military strategy, doctrine and posture
will have to take these characteristics into account too.
The remainder of this chapter is devoted to them.
Today, quite a number of new technological options present themselves. They are based on a broad field of scientific findings after the
Second World War, basic fields like solid state physics, microelectronics, atomic and plasma physics being very important among
them. Their use covers a very broad field of cybernation of apparatus
and automation of complex systems through new options in detection, communication and data-handling. Apart from that, new and
very fast weapon systems, such as laser weapons, are designed. These
developments have a profound impact in the military domain. The
present revolution differs from earlier breakthroughs such as those
in the field of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. These technological revolutions were of a more one-dimensional nature leading,
for example to changes in explosive yields, or in flight times. The
cybernetic nature of newly emerging technologies constitutes a more
pervasive influence on all aspects of military planning, doctrine and
posture. Weapons and non-weapon elements, like devices for surveillance, data handling, target acquisition, guidance or electronic coun-

Peter Boskma and Frans-Bauke van der Meer


ter-measures, are assembled in increasingly complex weapon

systems. Consequently a growing measure of integration within the
military posture and organisation is required.
Thus, the nature of ET may be summarised by three characteristics: automation, cybernation, integration. In the following chapters
it becomes clear that the impact of these newly emerging technologies
is neither one-dimensional nor clear-cut. Nevertheless a number of
general trends can be identified.
A first trend is related to the increasing complexity of the logistics
of the military organisations and of the battlefield. Whether applied
in centralised or decentralised modes, operations on the battlefield
will depend much more heavily on complex information technology. 5
This creates specific forms of vulnerability, contingent upon the
degree and the mode of centralisation/decentralisation, and upon
the level of redundancy in the information network. If, for one
reason or the other, the C31-structure collapses, the control of the
battlefield will be lost. 6 On the other hand, as long as the technologies
operate as they should, they represent a very effective posture.
Compared with the more traditional postures, ET leads to a higher
effectivity at the cost of less flexibility: cybernetic weaponry has a
narrow window of very high effectivity. Outside that interval the
weaponry is blind and mute.
A second trend is that the state of affairs depicted above makes it
very rewarding for an adversary to either blind the weapons of his
enemy, or to destroy the structure of the automated networks. ET
provides a broad range of options for both types of reactions. Stealth
technologies and anti-radar technologies belong to the first category.
Electronic counter-measures belong to both. Vulnerability of
advanced microelectronics to EMP's of extra-atmospheric nuclear
explosions constitutes a separate problem.
Thus, the internal logic of the situation is likely to give new
impulses to the technological arms race. Since partial imbalances have
been important elements of the East-West arms race so far, the
situation of cybernated military postures can be expected to be even
less stable and prone for a continuous process of further technological
A third trend in the process of cybernation of military postures is
related to the high effectivity of smart weapons. Basic elements
of the traditional battlefield like tanks and planes become highly
vulnerable.? It is difficult to estimate which consequences this may
have in a European warfighting situation. The relatively small


Trends in Military Technology

windows of effectiveness of smart weapons can for instance be seriously threatened by weather conditions. Nevertheless, the risks
involved have raised serious questions about the classic concept of
tank battle, etc. It is a general feeling therefore that a shift might
occur in relative capabilities for offensive and defensive actions,
favouring the defence. Also defensive operations in a decentralised
mode, might become increasingly effective. 8
A fourth trend can be deduced from the options for large scale
integration of communication and command systems, which provide
opportunities for an integrated battlefield, in the sense of integrating
both weapon systems and scales of operations. Although increased
accuracy would provide options to use weapons of smaller calibre,
such a development would probably intensify the total level of combat,
the number of casualties and collateral damage. Together with the
increasing capabilities in firing velocities of conventional artillery,
bombers and missile systems, a high intensity of combat, destroying
large areas, might soon be reached. For densely populated Europe
the effects of such a conventional war might be disastrous and
comparable with the short term effects of small nuclear weaponry.
A fifth trend arising from introduction of ET in the military domain
is increasing uncertainty with respect to the survivability and sustainability of the new complex military postures in a war-fighting environment. The basic structure of CJI form a kind of non-tested technology.
Of course, many field experiments and military exercises can be used
to diminish these uncertainties, but such tests can never be
considered the equivalent of a real war-fighting practice. One can,
of course, argue that the core of today's strategic nuclear weaponry
and missiles is based on non-tested technologies, too. Nobody hasfortunately - direct empirical evidence for the performance of the
central nuclear missile system in a nuclear conflict. Here too the
functioning of the C3I structure under war-fighting conditions
presents a major problem.9
But this argument only underlines the problems involved in the
technological arms race. Through the revolutionary changes that ET
provides, an inherent underlying instability is introduced, which in
other sections of society, in large scale production facilities for
instance, is normally not acceptable. In those sectors, practice shows
that a scaling-up process in which continuous feedback occurs, is
essential for the development of reliable technologies. The military
sector does not allow such scaling-up under realistic conditions.

Peter Boskma and Frans-Bauke van der Meer


Besides, its problems are even more serious, because of deliberate

efforts of adversaries to neutralise each other's weaponry.
A sixth trend concerns the dramatically increasing costs of new
weapon systems. A one to one substitution of older systems by new
ones is decreasingly affordable even if an annual budget increase of
some 3 per cent in real terms would be realised. This is one of the
most tangible reasons for reconsidering present military postures and
doctrine. 10
A seventh trend relates to the process of decision making and
control. The dynamics of the battlefield becoming much faster, the
time available for a coordination of military and political decision
making could be drastically reduced. From the military point of view,
the time available demands a mode of use, which would come very
close to a launch on warning operation. The option of offensive
counter air (OCA) is a clear example: if war is to come about, enemy
aircraft should be destroyed at their bases, before taking off. Control
of the military operation from a political perspective, which may
include generating time for negotiations, could gravely be hampered
by such military options.
The above evaluation of some general implications of presently
emerging military technologies is rather speculative and certainly
very incomplete. The relevance of several of the trends mentioned
and their actual consequences will be contingent upon the specific
characteristics of a military posture and related military doctrine.
However, they represent some general problems that have to be
tackled in evaluating the impact of ET for European security.




See D. Senghaas, Abschreckung und Frieden: Studien zur Kritik organisierter Friedlosigkeit, Europiiische Verlaganstalt, Frankfurt am Main,
3rd ed., 1981, for a theoretical analysis of the impact of deterrence
on international relations and its relation with the introduction of
weapons of mass destruction.
Many contributions to this volume go into this (see e.g. Paul Walker,
Chapter 3, and the case studies in Part III of the book). See also
Donald R. Cotter, 'Potential Future Roles for Conventional and
Nuclear Forces in Defense of Western Europe', supporting paper in
ESECS: Strengthening Conventional Deterrence in Europe (New York:
St. Martin's Press, 1983) pp. 209-53.
At the theoretical level much work remains to be done for a genuine
process analysis. Within the domain of organisation theory a number





Trends in Military Technology

of contributions have been made that seem to have much relevance for
international relations. See e.g. K. E. Weick: The Social Psychology of
Organising (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 2nd ed., 1979). See
also F. B. van der Meer, Organisatie als spel (The game of organising),
Twente University of Technology, 1983. Within sociology the
approach of Norbert Elias seems potentially very fruitful.
This premise is central in much of the recent study of science and
technology. See e.g. Donald MacKenzie and Judy Wajcman (eds),
The Social Shaping of Technology: (Milton Keynes: Open University
Press, 1985) especially part IV, pp. 223-94.
Cf. Frans Birrer, Chapter 4 of this book.
For some typical problems of C31 see William M. Arkin and Richard
Fieldhouse, Nuclear Weapon Command, Control and Communications, Ch. 13 in World Armaments and Disarmament, SIPRI Yearbook 1984 (London and Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis) pp. 455-516.
Cf. Ter Borg and Grin, Chapter 15 of this book.
This issue, which is central to this book, is discussed extensively (in
Chapter 8 of this book) by Boeker and Unterseher.
See Arkin and Fieldhouse (note 6).
Cf. Hans Gunter Brauch and Lutz Unterseher, 'Getting Rid of Nuclear
Weapons: a Review of a Few Proposals for a Conventional Defense
of Europe', Journal of Peace Research, 21 (2), 1984, pp. 193-9. See
also Parliamentary Document 19061, nr. 2 by the Dutch Minister of
Defence: Versterking van de konventionele verdediging en 'emerging
technologies (Strengthening conventional defence and ET), Staatsuitgeverij, Den Haag, 1985, pp. 21-3.

3 Emerging Technologies
and Conventional
Paul F. Walker

As the tank column advanced closer to the battlefield, it noticed itself

under observation from small, strange-looking drone-type aircraft buzzing
overhead. No sooner had the tank gunners drawn a bead on the miniaircraft, difficult to follow due to their quick, low, and erratic flight, than
the tanks came under sudden attack from swarms of what appeared to be
molten slugs of metal falling out of the clouds. This forced the gunners
to drop their machine-guns, dive into their armoured turrets, and batten
down hatches while trying to call in air cover to knock out the drones.
The tank drivers, in the meantime, sought cover in defilade and regrouped
for further advance, the column now reduced to two-thirds its original
number. Scouts sent out to examine the lost tanks reported that they had
been destroyed by armour-piercing warheads entering vertically through
turrets and engine covers; crews in the tanks struck through the turret
had died instantly by shrapnel richocheting round the tank insides.
The tanks cautiously and surreptitiously moved forward, rumbling in
and out of trees and brush, over the battlefield, keeping one eye to the
sky for drones and air attack, the other eye forward scanning for enemy
tanks. Suddenly they watched in horror as a small missile darted out of
nearby bushes, and pierced the side of the lead tank, killing the crew and
setting it afire. Two small vehicles bounced over the rough terrain 500
metres ahead and launched three more mini-missiles at the column,
destroying two more tanks, before they were successfully taken under
machine-gun fire. As the column advanced past the burning vehicles,
they noticed that they appeared to be robot-driven dune buggies. The
commanders wondered where the enemy tanks, which they sought, were
The column decided to wait until evening before advancing further,
uncertain just how dangerous the battlefield was actually becoming. Two
hours later, under cover of darkness, the tank column began moving
forward at a high rate of speed along the major road; air attacks and
artillery bombardments had reportedly neutralised the whole area of
enemy troops. Yet, out of nowhere, mini-missiles began raining down
again vertically onto the tanks, piercing the relatively thin turrets. The
lead tank, buttoned up for protection, was surprised when its engine was
put out of action. The five remaining tanks once again headed for the
bushes, having advanced less than two miles all day.



Emerging Technologies and Conventional Defence

Having lost two-thirds of their buddies, the remaining tank crews

decided to retreat until the battlefield became safer. Unfortunately, retreat
turned out to be just as difficult as advance; all tanks had been turned
into burning hulks by the next morning, never having met an enemy tank
or infantryman.

Such a hypothetical battlefield scenario is not far from reality today.

Giving emerging technologies (sometimes affectionately called 'ET')
in the field of warheads, guidance and surveillance systems, and
microelectronics, both the wartime battlefield as well as the peacetime terrorist attack or minor skirmish are becoming more hi-tech
and more deadly for protagonists. This chapter will provide a look
at some of the more important and central, basic technologies driving
the 'electronic battlefield' and speculate where such technological
evolution is taking military planning.

Military confrontation, both large and small, has proven costly
throughout history in both human and physical terms. However,
when examined from the comparative perspective of effort expended
(for example, bullets fired) versus result (for example, target(s)
destroyed), war has been very inefficient. Arrows, bullets, bombs,
rockets, shells, and other such unguided projectiles have more often
than not missed their intended targets.! Evaluations of Second World
War strategic bombing missions, for example, showed that nonnuclear bombing was often off-target and very inefficient. The American Twentieth Air Force's campaign against urban Japanese targets
provided the following estimated results:
Total urban attacks: 93
Total aircraft utilised: 173
Total bomb load: 1026 metric tons
Area destroyed: 4. 7 square kilometres
Killed and missing: 1850
Injured: 1850
Such figures, although providing a high casualty rate per geographic
area destroyed - 800 people killed or injured per square kilometre
- illustrate the extraordinary tonnage and effort necessary to harm
the enemy. In this particular case, each aircraft bombing run

Paul F. Walker


destroyed on average less than 3 per cent of a square kilometre; less

than four people, on average, were killed or injured for every ton
of high explosive dropped.2
In the course of the war in Europe, Allied aircraft dropped a total
of two billion kilograms of munitions during more than four million
aircraft sorties. American evaluations showed, similarly, the inaccuracy and ineffectiveness of aerial bombing: 'only about twenty per
cent of the bombs aimed at precision targets fell within the target
area' .3
Since the First World War efforts have been made to develop
more precision guidance for accurate delivery of weapons ordnance;
most of these met with very limited success, guidance systems being
too unreliable, impractical, and/or costly. The Japanese developed
their own unique precision-guided weapons in the Second World
War- the kamikaze aircraft, but even these costly (in human terms)
missiles proved quite vulnerable and ineffective in most battles. 4
The past three decades, however, have vividly illustrated the effectiveness of evolving and improving warfare technologies, especially
in the Mideast, Vietnam, the South Atlantic, and the Arabian Gulf.
The Arab-Israeli war of 1956 witnessed the introduction of the
French SSlO anti-tank missile, a wire-guided, infantry-fired, fifteen
kilogram weapon with a maximum range of 1500 metres, which
proved effective against light Egyptian tanks. The next Mideast war,
eleven years later, included the dramatic sinking of Israel's largest
destroyer, Elath, by a Soviet-made, Egyptian-fired, homing anti-ship
missile called Styx. Six years later, in 1973, the retired Major-General
Chaim Herzog recounted the success of another Soviet-built missile,
the Sagger, deadly against Israeli tanks in the Sinai and on the Golan
Heights. He describes the crossing, 12 October 1973, of the Suez
Canal by Israeli forces, surveying the burnt-out hulks of 24 Israeli
Patton tanks and some hundred Egyptian tanks, all devastated before
[The Israelis] captured the crossroads and found that the area had
been completely organized for anti-tank defence with tanks, antitank missiles and hundreds of infantry troops equipped with a
large quantity of RPG bazookas. In addition the shoulders of the
roads had been mined so that any Israeli tank attempting to bypass knocked-out tanks on the road blew up on the minefields;
hundreds of guiding wires of anti-tank missiles lay strewn across
the road as if a giant spiderweb had collapsed ... 5


Emerging Technologies and Conventional Defence

Still another recent Mideast demonstration of new, homing missiles was provided during the 1982 Lebanese war when the Israelis
claimed to have destroyed 87 Syrian aircraft - Soviet-built MIGs with American Sidewinder and Sparrow missiles and their own
Shafrir II and Python 3 air-to-air missiles. 6 Shortly thereafter three
of 28 American Navy aircraft were struck by Soviet-made surfaceto-air missiles over Lebanon. Two of the aircraft were destroyed,
the third limped back to its aircraft carrier in the Eastern Mediterranean. 7 The use of homing, modern missiles has recently spread to
the Arabian Gulf where weekly scorecards are issued of ships struck
by rockets and missiles in the Iran/Iraq war; over 100 ships have
been damaged by French-built Exocet anti-ship missiles and other
weapons thus far. s
The long Vietnam war also offered several telling tests of antitank and other guided missiles. In 1967, two ships, the American
cruiser, Boston, and the Australian destroyer, Hobart, were mistaken
by US jet fighters for enemy targets (some reports allege the two
ships were even falsely identified as aircraft) and hit by Sparrow airto-air missiles. Five years later the first Combat Aerial TOW (Tubelaunched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) Team arrived in Saigon
and began immediately to successfully engage North Vietnamese and
Soviet-built tanks in helicopter attacks. 9
Perhaps the most celebrated example of recent use of precisionguided or 'smart' missiles is the sinking of the British destroyer,
Sheffield, by a single, sea-skimming Exocet missile in the 1982
Falklands war. Launched over twenty miles away by an Argentine
Super Etendard fighter/bomber, similar to the aircraft used by the
Iraqis in the Persian Gulf, the Exocet slammed into its target amidships and eventually forced the British to scuttle the ship (Fig. 3.1).1
These increasingly numerous and successful, live demonstrations
of modern, hi-tech weapons in combat have forced the question of
whether past military practice, tactics, and doctrine are any longer
valid. Whether, for example, tanks should still be assumed to provide
the best defence against tank attack. Whether large aircraft-carrier
task forces and forward naval deployments should still be relied on
to project power across oceans. Whether large, expensive, jet-fighter
aircraft, oriented towards deep interdiction behind enemy battle
lines, can still survive. And whether better, more effective, possibly
less provocative, or offensive force deployments and doctrine might
be developed and deployed. US President Ronald Reagan pointed

Steering vane


The TOW anti-tank missile, perhaps the most popular such

weapon worldwide, has been used successfully in Vietnam; some 500 000 are
now deployed in 24 nations. Weighing only 20 kilograms, the missile can be
launched from a jeep, a tripod, or a helicopter. The I TOW (Improved Tubelaunched, Optically-tracked, Wire-Guided) incorporated a larger five-inch
diameter warhead with an extensible probe for stand-off detonation. The
TOW 2 carries a six-inch warhead and improved guidance.

Figure 3.1a

Steering vane

Rocket motor

Length (metres)

The Maverick family of terminal guidance, using laser, infrared,

and television guidance systems, illustrates the diverse, hi-tech nature of
modern missiles. The Maverick is an air-to-ground missile intended to be
fired primarily against tanks. In the laser version, a laser seeker in the nose
scans an II km-wide front out to I6 km ahead, locking on to a correctly
coded laser spot, designated by an infantryman; once launched, the missile
homes in automatically. In the infrared and television models, a camera in
the nose transmits a picture of its target to the aircraft pilot, who then locks
it on and fires.
Figure 3.1b


Emerging Technologies and Conventional Defence

in 1984, for example, to the need for 'exploitation of emerging

technologies' in order to improve conventional defence.1 1
In addition to military experience, economics has forced the issue.
A modern main battle tank costs over US $2 million, a modern
naval destroyer several hundred million dollars, a large-deck aircraftcarrier well over $3 billion, and a fighter aircraft over $40 million.
Yet the missiles designed to defeat these large capital items may cost
as little as 1/lOOOth or less than their targets. Such cost differentials
are increasingly striking.
As a result, many military analysts and practitioners are now
examining 'emerging technologies' as a means to provide better,
safer defence, particularly on intense battlefields such as Central
Europe, and to do this at a more cost-efficient level. Other chapters
of this book will examine some of these proposals.1 2 We will now
turn to a discussion of a few of the basic technologies which are in
process of making weapons as 'smart' as they appear today.

There are literally thousands of technologies, from microchips to
spun fibres, which combine to create modern weapons today. One
of the most important and effective changes has been in the area of
warhead design. Old warheads emphasised mass and kinetic energy,
combined at times with explosives. The twenty-kilogram cannon ball
was intended to pierce its target by striking with such velocity and
weight that it would shatter anything in its path. It was later
discovered that by tampering the forward part of such projectiles, in
essence constructing them in the shape of a bullet rather than a ball,
warheads flew better and were more effective in piercing harder
As armoured vehicles improved their hard skins, it became
necessary to design more sophisticated warheads for both ballistic
projectiles and guided missiles to enable them to penetrate several
hundred centimetres of armour or a metre or more of hardened
concrete used in command bunkers. Figure 3.2 provides some detail
of the variety of warheads today, all combinations of specially shaped
projectiles, dense materials, and carefully timed explosive charges.
The first type is the traditional solid shot, in essence, a heavy bullet
which relies on high velocity, tapered front end, and hard metal to

Paul F. Walker


penetrate its target. Very few large calibre weapons rely solely on
this warhead any longer.
The most commonly heard firing command in a main battle tank
today is: 'HEAT on the way!' This refers to the relatively new High
Energy Anti-Tank warhead, a round utilising a shaped charge that
is ignited from the rear at the very instant the conically hollowed
front of the charge comes in contact with the armour. This combination of directed and kinetic energy focuses a jet of hot gas capable
of penetrating several hundred centimetres of the toughest armour
and squirting molten metal throughout the turret of a tank.
Two additional warhead designs utilising explosive material at
impact with the target are nicknamed HESH and HEAP. The High
Explosive Squash Head round is intended not to penetrate armour
but rather to set up dangerous shock waves which destroy the interior
of a tank. It accomplishes this by 'squashing' against the outside of
its target and then immediately detonating its explosive charge; the
shock waves are sufficiently great that chunks of armour and metal
are known to spall off the interior at high velocities, acting like
shrapnel. The High Explosive Armour Piercing round is similar to
the first solid shot except that it carries an internal explosive charge
which detonates with a delayed contact fuse during penetration,
thereby causing more damage.
One of the newest warheads is nicknamed APDS or Armour
Piercing Discarding Sabot. It appears the same as the solid shot but
cradles a dense tungsten or uranium core inside; as it is launched
out of a tank or artillery gun, part or all of its casing, light sabots,
are discarded. This allows very heavy, smaller calibre bullet-type
cores to be fired out of larger guns, providing more kinetic energy
than if they were fired out of smaller calibre guns.
A recent modification of the sabot round provides for an internal
long rod penetrator which is set at an angle from the ballistic or
powered trajectory; upon striking an oblique surface, such as the
side of a tank turret, it enters the turret closer to a perpendicular
angle, increasing its chances of penetration.13
Military research labs are continuing to work on ways to improve
the penetration capabilities of warheads. The US Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) currently lists two classified
programmes, the 'Advanced Conventional Warhead Technology'
programme, and 'RAMROD'. The latter is intended to provide
artillery projectiles 'hypervelocity armour penetration' using 'selfignition ramjet technology' during ballistic ftight.1 4

Solid shot










HEAP (1)


HEAP (2)



Figure 3.2 Armour-piercing projectiles, formerly relying on the kinetic

energy of a solid shot, now utilise a variety of sophisticated designs to penetrate
thick composite armour of tanks, ships and other equipment. Through a
combination of delayed explosions, as in the HEAP round above, shaped
charges, as in the HEAT round, and dense rod penetrators, as in the sabot
round, many warheads today can penetrate a metre or more of armour,
making even the most modern tank vulnerable to attack.

Paul F. Walker


Applique- steel

Figure 3.3 Lightweight, spaced, composite armour, as seen in the diagram

above of the new American Bradley 'Fighting Vehicle System' or FVS, has
been developed for modern tanks and other fighting vehicles to protect them
against penetrating warheads. Most of a vehicle is now covered, including
'skirts' over the tracks and wheels, with material consisting of steel,
aluminium, ceramics and woven materials designed to both deflect and absorb
small and large calibre projectiles. Nevertheless, warheads still seem to be
winning the warhead-armour competition.

Development of counter-measures, of course, is simultaneously

underway, largely in the area of sophisticated armour. One can note
from Figure 3.3 which shows the new American M-1 Abrams tank
and the armoured Bradley infantry fighting vehicle that heavy, thick,
rolled steel is no longer utilised; it has been replaced by a variety of
armour materials - aluminium, ceramics, fibre and woven fabrics,
laminated and spaced materials. Armour may appear the same externally, but structurally it is much stronger and lighter than its predecessors. Tank and armoured vehicle design has also emphasised
lower silhouettes and oblique angles to minimise flat and visible
target surfaces.
The second major area of emerging technologies, perhaps most
important, is guidance. Warheads, however deadly, must rely on a
guidance system to reach their target. Ballistic missiles and projectiles, from handguns to long-range rockets, depend on the aim and
judgement of the firer. Once the initial impulse, created by a rocket
motor which burns out after several seconds or a momentary
explosion of gunpowder, is imparted to the projectile, it flies


Emerging Technologies and Conventional Defence

unguided like a bullet towards its target. More often than not,
ballistic projectiles have missed their mark by a wide margin.
Modern missiles have improved upon this problem by designing
a variety of homing and terminal guidance technologies. The first
generation of guided anti-tank missiles utilised wire guidance, much
improved models of which are still used in many ground- and airlaunched missiles and torpedoes. After firing, the missile is literally
flown to its target by its firer, usually visually sighting the target and
steering the missile via electronic signals transmitted from his/her
joy-stick through the guidance wire(s) reeling out behind the missile
to the self-contained guidance package in the missile. Early models
presented problems, partly due to the difficulty for an infantryman
or helicopter pilot to remain stationary for fifteen seconds or more
while possibly facing counter fire, and retain clear sight of both the
missile and the target, both perhaps no larger than a speck on the
horizon on an opaque and busy battlefield. In open desert situations,
in daylight, with good weather, and high background contrast, the
French SSlO and Soviet Sagger, for example, worked well; in typical
European war conditions, they would likely have been much less
Wire-guided systems have been much improved in thirty years. As
long as an open path lies between the firer and the target (not
blocked by trees, fences, or other obstacles to disrupt the missile
flight), the firer must only sight his target; the missile automatically
follows his/her aim. Improved launcher sights and thermal beacons
have been added to provide more precise guidance both day and
night and through battlefield obscurants.
A second 'smart' guidance system, used in larger missiles such as
the air-launched, anti-tank Maverick, is electro-optical or television
guidance. A small television camera is located in the nose of the
missile behind a transparent dome; this transmits a picture of the
battlefield and target back to the cockpit of the aircraft or helicopter.
The pilot literally views his target through the eye of the missile,
steering it along its flight.
There have been many problems with TV guidance, primarily
involving obscuration of the target and a narrow field of vision, still
leaving much room for improvement.
Two related guidance systems, radar and infrared, have been
widely deployed in active systems today. Both seek their target,
either through radar signature or through temperature variances.
The French Exocet, for example, used radar guidance for homing

Paul F. Walker


in on its British target, Sheffield. One model of the Maverick missile

incorporates infrared guidance.
These two systems are useful when weather and/or battlefield
conditions might preclude use of electro-optical devices. Radar is
effective when hunting a large object with a comparably large radar
signature, such as a ship, but can be defeated by sophisticated electronic counter-measures such as jamming or by confusing the homing
guidance with other false targets. Much research is currently ongoing
in millimetre wave guidance, especially for small, terminally guided
submunitions. Infrared homing guidance is particularly useful when
the temperature variance between the target and background
material is significant; for example, the heat plume from the turbine
engine of a modern tank may reach 1500 Fahrenheit, an inviting
target for any capable infrared homing warhead. It also, however,
can be confused by heat flares, fires, or other hot (or cold) decoys.
Infrared missiles are improving their sensitivity to target temperatures, however, as well as their ability to discern between decoys
and the real thing; this is evident in the newest Sidewinder air-to-air
missile, now capable of multidirectional attack.
A fifth and increasingly important guidance device is the laserseeker. A missile such as Maverick or a projectile such as the artillery-fired Copperhead will be launched towards the general vicinity
of a target; as it approaches a laser-seeker in the nose will search
forward for a spot of laser light and home in on it; the laser spot
originates from a laser designator, either air- or ground-based. The
US Marine Corps, in particular, likes this model of the Maverick
because it seeks only designated targets and is therefore less likely
to attack friendly forces by accident or spoofing. A major drawback
to the laser-designated warhead is that a designator, be it a helicopter, aircraft, or infantryman, must shine his laser on the target
until detonation, not always an easy task on a busy, chaotic, and
likely dangerous battlefield.
Warhead developments are most important for destroying a target;
guidance systems are most critical for reaching the target; but a third
major issue -locating the target- is equally important. Surveillance,
that is, spotting and identifying the enemy, is critical in order to
know where to aim one's weapon; homing weapons are of little value
if the general direction and location of the enemy is not known.
Historically the naked eye served as the primary surveillance mode,
be it from the craw's nest of a ship peering out to the horizon or
through the periscope of a submarine. Under such circumstances,


Emerging Technologies and Conventional Defence

enemy identification was always over short ranges, tens of kilometres, providing little opportunities for longer-range attack over
hundreds of kilometres.
This has changed dramatically. The battlefield, both before and
during hostilities, has become almost transparent to electro-optical
and electronic spying and eavesdropping. Satellites or 'national technical means of verification' provide both micro and macro glimpses
of the enemy encamped, for example, in Central Europe. They
also provide much improved intelligence about one's own location
through systems such as the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System
(GPS), thereby affording better targeting accuracy.1 5
Aircraft, signal and human intelligence all add to a very good
picture of military deployments, if not comprehensive headcounts,
as well. The new TR-1 high-altitude, tactical reconnaissance aircraft
with passive electronic intercept sensors and synthetic aperture
radars, for example, has just begun deployment in Europe for longrange, all-weather detection of immobile targets. Programmes are
underway to refine radars also for better long-range detection of
mobile targets such as tank columns.l6 The many intelligence gathering outposts situated on or about front lines continue to improve
their reception and analysis capabilities.
Active hostilities complicate surveillance, for the spying machine
- spotter aircraft, remotely piloted vehicle, robotic device, perhaps
even satellite in the near future - becomes vulnerable to attack. The
targets are predictably also more mobile, necessitating additional
real-time intelligence in order to accurately target one's missiles.
Remotely piloted vehicles, both air and ground, are coming to play
a larger role (see Chapter 13); the Israeli RPV, for example, proved
invaluable in recent years in effective preemptive attacks against
surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites.
Aircraft and helicopters are being retrofitted with several more
sophisticated surveillance devices: forward- and side-looking radars
and infra-red devices and, for helicopters, mast-mounted periscopelike devices to lower the airborne silhouette. The US Army is in
early demonstration phases with an 'Autonomous Land Vehicle', in
essence, a versatile, robotic surveillance vehicle with both electrooptical vision and acoustic listening capabilities.!?
At sea, acoustic listening devices are increasing their range and
intelligence in order to accurately identify friend or foe (IFF) on or
below the ocean's surface; the US Department of Defense, for
example, is investigating a highly classified programme called

Paul F. Walker


ARIADNE, utilising 'distributed fiber-optic acoustic detection

systems for submarine surveillance' .18
These three major evolutionary technologies - surveillance, guidance, and warheads- are, of course, not alone in the field of hi-tech
warfare. Propulsion technologies have improved speed and range of
weapons; composite materials have improved strength and stealthiness; microelectronics and computers have improved intelligence and
reliability; and, very important, command, control, and communications (C3) technologies- what the military likes to call 'data fusion'
- are improving to efficiently integrate and successfully manage intelligence and target engagement.19
Given the wide diversity of new, evolving, and emerging weaponsrelated technologies, and the few live, multiple combat tests of
complete weapons systems under realistic conditions thus far, it
becomes risky to generalise too much regarding the long-term impact
of ET on the battlefield. However, a few trends are already apparent.
First, the vulnerability of protagonists is increasing to stealthy,
first-strike conventional attack. Weapon systems are considerably
more accurate on the first shot, both the tank gun as well as the
anti-tank missile. They are also longer range, leading to doctrines of
expanded fronts and 'deep strikes', including second and third
echelon attacks. The United States has, for example, set a goal of
'zero CEP' (Circular Error Probable), that is, perfect accuracy, in
its Autonomous Terminal Homing programme to provide troops
'hard target destruction (capability) at very long ranges with conventional (non-nuclear) munitions' .zo
What does this mean for military doctrine? Capital equipment will,
first, seek to better protect itself, both by wrapping itself like the
tank in composite materials or like the ship superstructure in Kevlar
and by hiding more from view. Forces will seek to disperse themselves more, both in peace and wartime, in order to preclude easy,
centralised, preemptive attacks, and must always be on the move
during wartime. Even the new and large Multiple Launcher Rocket
System (MLRS) of the US Army is described as a 'shoot and scoot'
system, designed to fire and move before it can be counter-targeted
by the enemy.
Secondly, military equipment is becoming prohibitively expensive,


Emerging Technologies and Conventional Defence

given its hi-tech nature and the depth of the threat against which it
must protect itself. The modern main battle tank costs US $2.7
million, over fifty times (in real terms) its Second World War predecessor. The modern main fighter aircraft surpasses $21 million, some
sixteen times the typical Second World War plane. And a modern
naval destroyer runs upwards of $1.3 billion, 150 times its Second
World War counterpart.2 1
The 'smart' missiles opposing them are similarly not cheap,
particularly when one includes the launch platform - aircraft, helicopter, ship, infantry fighting vehicle - but are nevertheless many
times less expensive than the traditional battlefield piece. For
example, the new imaging infrared Maverick averages US $140 000
per unit; the anti-ship Harpoon missile $543 000; the newest model
of TOW, $9 000; and the Stinger surface-to-air missile $74 000.22
Thirdly, this expense, combined with the deadliness of the
battlefield, makes warfare highly costly both in equipment and
human terms. Rates of attrition in warfare, the percentage of loss
of personnel and equipment, are typically in low single digits; this will
likely double, triple, or perhaps rise still higher in intense conflict.
Lastly, ET, although more deadly, may ironically stabilise militarised fronts like Europe and Korea. It will serve neither side to go
on the offensive, assuming the opponent is decentralised, mobile,
and well prepared for defence; the force which goes on the attack
must, of necessity, move into the open. If well deployed, a defender
will be able to heavily attrite an opponent on the move. This being
the case, it argues strongly for mutual force reductions and reevaluation of militarised fronts, if both sides can adequately defend
A final note of caution. Emerging technologies offer no panacea
for defence without good personnel, well trained and motivated,
adequately supported by a nation, and weapons which are reliable,
durable, and expendable on dirty battlefields. They do not guarantee
that any particular weapons system - the tank, the combat support
aircraft, or others - will quickly become obsolete on every military
front. But they do point to the need to seriously reevaluate
traditional military tactics and procurement policies, still closely
married to Second World War customs and weapons. Large,
expensive, capital items - the main battle tank, the heavy aircraft,
and the major surface ship; forward deployments of such weapons;
big, static, centralised support bases; and non-expendable, relatively

Paul F. Walker


immobile forces, appear increasingly ineffective, vulnerable to

preemptive attack, and potentially destabilising.
As the ET battlefield becomes larger, more transparent, more
deadly, and more computerised, the better and cheaper defence
may, in fact, be radically different from today, represented by the
infantryman in his quickly dug foxhole with homing mortars and
laser designators.
Special thanks are due to John Wentworth, Wayne Tucker and Paula
Humfrey of Klein Walker Associates for research assistance.





For an interesting historical glimpse at military technology, see

Williams H. McNeill, The Pursuit of Power (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1982).
US Atomic Energy Commission, The United States Strategic Bombing
Survey: The Effects of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
(Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1946) p. 33.
See Strategic Bombing Survey. (note 2) A precision target was defined
during the Second World War as one having a radius of 300 metres
or less from the aim point.
For additional historical background, see Paul F. Walker, 'Precisionguided Weapons', Scientific American (August 1981) pp. 36-45.
Major-General Chaim Herzog, The War of Atonement, October, 1973
(Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown, 1975) p. 221.
See 'The Israelis Report Using New Type of Missile in Lebanon Air
War' New York Times, 27 February 1983; also see press accounts in
the New York Times throughout June 1982.
See Richard Halloran, 'Navy, Stung By Criticism, Defends Costly
Bombing Raids in Lebanon', New York Times, 7 December 1983; and
Fred Kaplan, 'Questions Remain about U.S. Air Raid', Boston Globe,
18 December 1983.
See Paul F. Walker and James C. Mihori, 'Smart Weapons and
Warfare: Facing Up to Hi-Tech Vulnerability', Environment, (July/
August, 1984) pp. 15-20 and 38-40. 'Lloyd's shipping intelligence unit
in London lists some five dozen ships hit by Iran and Iraq in 1984
alone', New York Times 10 December 1984.
Already a good history of military combat in Vietnam exists; two
accounts are US Army, Office of the Chief of Military History, Seven
Firefights in Vietnam (Washington DC: US Government Printing







Emerging Technologies and Conventional Defence

Office, 1970); and General Donn A. Starry, Mounted Combat in
Vietnam (US Department of the Army, Washington DC, 1978).
There is already a voluminous literature on the Falklands war.
Recommended are The Sunday Times 'Insight' Team, The Falklands
War: The Full Story (London: Sphere Press, 1982); Max Hastings and
Simon Jenkins, The Battle for the Falklands (London: Michael Joseph,
1983); and Jeffrey Ethell and Alfred Price, Air War: South Atlantic
(New York: Macmillian Publishing Company, 1983). See also Paul F.
Walker, 'Smart Weapons in Naval Warfare', Scientific American (May
1983) pp. 53-61.
'Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the President of the Senate' (The White House,
Washington DC, 12 September 1984).
See, for example, Horst Afheldt, Defensive Verteidignung (Hamburg:
Rowoholt Verlag, 1983).
The new Swedish RBS 56/Bill anti-tank guided missile reportedly
carries a shaped charge warhead angled to direct its energy 30 degrees
downward from the missile's longitudinal datum, thereby providing a
better chance of armour penetration. A recent, interesting American
patent regarding warhead alignment is No. 4,523,728 (18 June 1985),
'Passive Auto-Erecting Alignment Wings for Long Rod Penetrator',
by Alson C. Frazer; available from the US Patent Office, Washington
US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Fiscal
Year 1986 Research and Development Program: Annual Statement
(Washington DC: US Department of Defense, 1985) p. 4.
The NAVSTAR GPS system of eighteen satellites is scheduled for
complete deployment by 1987. The manufacturer alleges that it has
already improved close air support effectiveness by 400 per cent and
that of artillery batteries by 80 per cent. See Military Technology
(Sept. 1984) pp. 88-9.
See, for example, the US programme called 'Pave Mover', which
mounted a combination radar on a F-111 aircraft. It is reported to
have been successful in recent White Sands, New Mexico tests in
detecting armoured vehicle targets. A joint US Army and Air Force
programme, the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System
(JSTARS), is now underway to develop a fully operational system to
detect, track, and guide attacks against second echelon enemy armour
in support of the AirLand Battle concept. See James A. Tegnelia,
Assistant Undersecretary of Defense Research and Engineering for
Conventional Initiatives, 'New Trends in Military Technology',
Conference on Soviet Military Strategy and Western Responses
(October 1984).
DARPA (see note 14) p. 12.
DARPA (see note 14) p. 3.
There are a wide variety of so-called data fusion technologies, in
essence, computerised communication and surveillance technologies
intended to quickly integrate and analyse information and manage the
battlefield. The US Department of Defense is studying, amongst

Paul F. Walker




others, a Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS)

designed to provide secure, jam-resistant, digital data and voice
communication on the ground and in the air, and TRI-TAC, a system
for modernising switched voice and digital communications. The US
Air Force plans on deploying PLSS, a Precision Location Strike
System, several years hence to provide an all-weather location and
strike capability. See US Department of Defense, Annual Report to
the Congress Fiscal Year 1986 (Washington, DC, 1985) pp. 188-9.
DARPA (see note 14) p. 3.
Current prices are 1985 unit average costs taken from US Department
of Defense, Program Acquisition Costs by Weapon System FY86 (US
Department of Defense, Washington, DC, 1985). They individually
represent the Abrams M-1 main battle tank, the F-16 Falcon jet fighter
and the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer. Second
World War prices are taken from Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military
and Social Expenditures 1980 (Washington, DC: World Priorities,
1980) p. 11.
Program Acquisition Costs (see note 21).

4 Artificial Intelligence
Frans A. J. Birrer

One of the technological fields for which military interest has recently
been rapidly growing is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is not an area
with perfectly clear-cut boundaries, but it can be globally defined as
'the part of computer science concerned with designing intelligent
computer systems, that is, systems that exhibit the characteristics
we associate with intelligence in human behavior - understanding
language, learning, reasoning, solving problems, and so on' .1
Today some of the most important topics in AI are:

knowledge representation
recognition of images, and of speech and other acoustic signals
expert systems
natural language processing
problem solving

Although AI is primarily software-oriented (i.e. involving computer

programs), it is important to note that some special applications
may pose hardware requirements (i.e. computer technology), like
supercomputers or high speed chips; whereas the hardware requirements imposed by AI almost invariably have to do with computing
speed, for military purposes there may also be constraints on weight,
radiation resistancy, etc.
Artificial Intelligence already has several military applications, such
as automatic target recognition. Recently, however, the interest in
AI for military purposes has risen considerably, and has spread wide
beyond its former domains.
The largest coherent research effort in AI directed towards military
applications at the moment is the one managed by the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is part of
the US Department of Defense. DARPA is a project agency for high
risk, high impact technological research; it is involved in formulating
projects, getting them going, managing, and contracting. The budget


Frans A. J. Birrer


managed by DARPA is now close to one billion dollars a year, with

20-25 per cent for research related to information technology. 2
With respect to AI the most important is DARPA's Strategic
Computing Program, aiming at the development of a new generation
of intelligent system technology. The programme's budget figures for
fiscal years 1986 and 1987 are $115 and $142 million respectively. 3
The Strategic Computing Program is expected to become the largest
single programme within DARPA. Emphasis will be put mainly on
four areas: 2 4
(1) Vision. Recognition of aspects of visual images, for instance of
roads, buildings or tanks.
(2) Speech. This includes automatic speech recognition and understanding (so that machines will be able to react to spoken
commands), but also machine generated speech.
(3) Natural language. This item is strongly connected with the
previous one, but involves also automatic synapsing of texts,
abstracting, classifying, complex retrieval, and so on.
(4) Expert systems. An expert system is a computer system in which
knowledge on a certain topic is stored in the form of so-called
'if-then' rules. The system can answer questions normally answered by a 'real' human expert. This is of course possible only if
the reasons for the real expert's judgements can be made so
explicit that they can be transformed into 'if-then' rules. The
first expert systems were developed in the medical domain, for
instance to derive the diagnosis of a patient on the basis of data
on symptoms and responses to certain tests.
In order to test the utility and effectiveness of AI at an early stage,
the Strategic Computing Program includes three large demonstration
The first is a wheeled autonomous land vehicle. It will be equipped
with a television camera, and the vehicle will be guided through the
landscape (e.g. along a road) by means of AI-based analysis of the
image, without human intervention. The first test has recently been
carried out, with the vehicle travelling along a road; later tests will
involve less defined dirt tracks, and finally a no road cross-country
environment. One of the problems is to detect obstacles on the
road, and to distinguish between, for instance, a shadow and a real
obstacle. 3
The second demonstration project involves the development of an
intelligent Pilot's Associate, an airborne expert system. It is not


Artificial Intelligence

intended to take over the decisions, but will serve as an adviser to

the pilot, on areas like situation assessment and mission planning.s
The third project is a battle management system, which will be
tested performing some functions of the same type as conducted (by
humans) in the Pacific Fleet Command Center in Hawaii. A number
of expert systems will be developed in order to enable command
centre operations to perform 'what-if' scenarios, looking 96 hours
ahead. It should be noted that the projects are of course only demonstrations to convince, not in the least place, the military leaders of
army, air force and navy of the use of AI, and that their meaning
fits into much broader approaches like battlefield management, as
will be discussed below.
As mentioned above, the application of AI programming sometimes poses requirements with respect to hardware. The technology
base together with the infrastructure consumes about 80 per cent of
the funding of the whole project. 2 This includes not only computer
technology, but also, for instance, the construction of the autonomous land vehicle. Some of the main computer-technological developments that are aimed at are multiprocessor architecture, Very
High Speed Integrated Circuits (VHSIC), and gallium arsenide
microcircuits. The first is a kind of computer design in which many
separate computing processes can be conducted in parallel at the
same time. Such devices can accelerate the computing process up to
the speed which is needed for some AI applications. VHSIC involves
the design of faster working silicon microcircuits. Gallium arsenide
is a new material for microcircuits, which not only speeds up the
computing process, but is also more resistant to nuclear radiation
than the usual silicon microcircuits.
A few years ago the use of AI beyond pattern recognition was only
shyly advocated, mainly in relation to Command, Control,
Communication and Intelligence (C3I). 6 Presently most attention is
directed towards the application of AI on the battlefield, particularly
to its use for attack behind the first line of hostile forces. Several
technology factors have been put forward which might call for the
use of computers and AI on the battlefield: 7
(1) As the enemy becomes ever more mobile and flexible, the time
to make decisions about response is sharply reduced.

Frans A. J. Birrer


(2) The large number of different weapons and weapon systems of

possible opponents makes it very difficult to react to each of
them adequately.
(3) Because of the development of new sensor technology, the
amount of information that can be made available is growing
(4) Weapon systems are becoming increasingly complex, and are
thereby becoming more and more difficult to handle.
(5) Because of the high cost of some weapons, as well as due to the
enormous amount of possible combinations in which the various
weapon systems could be used, the optimal way to use them
cannot be determined without extensive calculations.
NATO is already to some extent faced with problems, and it is clear
that for doctrines like AirLand Battle 2000 (recently renamed as
'Army 21' and 'Air Force 21') and Follow-On Force Attack (FOFA)
they could gain considerably in importance. Whether or not AI is
the right answer to these problems remains to be seen (we will return
to this question later).
The military technology that fits these integrated battle concepts
is already there, or on its way. For instance, computerised battlefield
communication systems are being developed, like TACFIRE, a
system that not only calculates firing data, which after review by
the battalion fire direction officer are sent to the firing battery for
execution, but keeps track of ammunition stocks, meteorological
data, and so on. At present, however, communication ofTACFIRE
data beyond line of sight seems to be a major problem; a new
digital communication system should be ready in 1988. As for sensor
systems, the Remotely Monitored Battlefield Sensor System
(REMBASS), a family of magnetic, acoustic/seismic and infrared
sensors, with a transmission distance up to 100 kilometres, fits well
into the airland battle doctrine. The system is expected to be operational in 1987. The data from such sensors might, of course, be
completed with data from remotely piloted vehicles. Tube fire artillery, not very useful for deep attack with its maximum range of
about 30 km, has been complemented by the laser guided anti-tank
missile HELLFIRE (first delivered in February 1982) which can be
fired from an Apache Attack Helicopter AH 64 (range from the firing
point approximately 7 km).s To reduce exposure time, Honeywell is
working on an Automatic Target Recogniser for the helicopter. 9
Following these perspectives, intelligent manipulation of data may


Artificial Intelligence

become a bottleneck. Large supercomputers would be needed,

connected to extensive communication networks, supplemented at a
local level by microcomputers and intelligence built into weaponry
in the form of chips. The C31 structure would increasingly be drawn
upon, and would involve not only data analysis, but also the use of
the expert systems and at least to a certain extent, autonomous
decisions by machines.
Alternative proposed defence systems ('emphasisjng defence', as
described in Chapter 8 of this book) generally do not draw on the
use of AI. As for the role of AI in SDI, most attention is now
focused on fields like laser technology; if these requirements can be
met (which at the moment is doubted by many), then clearly most
of the problems just mentioned will become even more relevant for
SDI, and here too AI might be considered a solution.
The road that might lead us to the capabilities outlined in the
preceding sections is not without obstacles. Computers may be rather
reliable as electronic machinery, man's ability to specify precisely
what he wants it to do is often falling short. As Rybicki rightly
remarked on the use of artificial intelligence capabilities on the
battlefield: 'If there is any danger in this capability, it is in relying
exclusively on the intelligent machine. War is a sophisticated and
uncertain undertaking which cannot be turned over exclusively to
thinking machines ... 's
Historically, AI research has a certain reputation for overstating
its possibilities. For instance, the expectations that were raised by
the research on automatic translation in the 1960s have by no means
been fulfilled. This no doubt has been one of the reasons why the
DARPA's Strategic Computing Program puts so much emphasis on
demonstration projects.
There are several factors that could limit at least the short term
military usefulness of AI.
First, not all human decisions can be formalised, and in many
cases it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate all
possible situations. This problem should not be confused with casual
mistakes, like humans also make. As long as a task can be very
precisely expressed in terms of specific formal operations, the
computer will probably do better than a human. But as soon as the

Frans A. J. Birrer


use of this formal task structure breaks down, for instance, when an
autonomous vehicle meets an unforeseen kind of obstacle, a
computer does not possess the background knowledge a human can
use in such cases.
That even simple programming mistakes may lead to unexpected
results can be illustrated by an often reported (though never officially
confirmed) incident on the Sheffield in the Falklands war: it is said
that the Exocet fired by the Argentines was not detected because
the computer was programmed to identify the Exocet (made by the
French) as a friendly weapon.to
Secondly, if decisions are not automated, but computer information is used only to assist human decision makers, it will take
quite some time to get the right balance between man and machine.
It is a well known phenomenon that many people tend to shift their
responsibility to the computer. The use of computers might also
introduce all kinds of 'bureaucratic' problems which are so familiar
in other computer applications (for instance, making the gathering
of information a goal in itself).
In the third place, there is a vital difference between a military
AI-based system and for instance a medical diagnosis system in the
sense that the cause of a disease is not likely to adapt its strategy in
order to mislead the diagnosing system, whereas a party in an armed
conflict will not idly wait until all his positions have been carefully
measured by the opponent. Who is prepared for strongly information-based warfare should also be ready for decoys and electronic
Finally, all kinds of institutional problems might be encountered.
The integration of information handling necessary for the effective
use of AI, requires a lot more cooperation than presently occurring,
between sections within the military organisation (AirLand Battle
already had to be split into an army and an air force part because
of a lack of willingness to cooperate) as well as between nations (this
certainly forms a major problem for NATO). The use of AI might
meet resistance from those in the military organisation who do not
want to hand part of their decision power over to machines. Also
the US Department of Defense ideal of one programming language
(Ada) for the whole organisation will be severely damaged by AI,
Ada being considered inadequate by most AI-researchers, whose
common languages are LISP and PROLOG. 11
Strange enough, while almost all appraisals of the military potential of AI mention the fact that the amount of accessible information


Artificial Intelligence

is becoming so large, and decision time so short, that they cannot

be handled by humans alone, no author seems to doubt that what
cannot be done by humans can be done by computers. Neither do
they address the question in what way an escalation in electronic
warfare capabilities would increase or decrease military stability.?
What will be the effect on the arms race? Will the chances for
preemptive attack be influenced? That unfavourable possibilities
should at least be taken into account is indicated, for example by
statements of Eberhardt Rechtin, President of Aerospace Corporation, who, in an interview with Martha Smith, expressed his belief
that the advantage in electronic warfare will strongly favour the
attacker, because he is the one who can develop the most detailed
plan.1 2
In the long run, that is in thirty to fifty years time, it is possible that
the use of AI will change almost any area of the military system. As
AI is still in development, and its potential is so wide-ranging, it is
very difficult to predict what precisely the outcome will be. For the
use of information processing about hostile areas (especially of
course about moving targets, because stationary targets can be
detected also, for example by satellites, and time pressure is much
less, making AI more dispensable) one should make a distinction
between a range behind the first line of hostile forces up to about
50 km, where one can send human patrols to check the information,
and the range beyond 50 km, where one cannot. As for the latter
case, to rely completely on the information from sensors without
humans to check out would probably be much too risky. As for SDI,
the first problem will be to develop the technological means required.
However, it will be clear from the foregoing, that even if the project
would turn out to be technologicallly feasible, the necessary automatic decision making may still be a problem. The fact that 'emphasising defence' approaches do not draw on the use of AI might after
all be interpreted as an argument in favour of their implementation.
Any approach, however, should of course be judged on its overall
consequences, and this much broader matter is beyond the scope of
this chapter.
In any case, it should be realised, that not only technological, but
also organisational problems would have to be overcome, the present

Frans A. J. Birrer


level of cooperation making a concept like the 'integrated battlefield'

look more like an Utopian scheme anyway. In addition it is unclear
what the use of AI and the possibly consequential race in electronic
measures and counter-measures might mean in terms of military
stability on the long run.
In the short term, that is in ten to fifteen years time, the fruits of
AI as an emerging technology will probably be less spectacular than is
often suggested. There may be some successes in speech recognition,
speech generation (facilitating the man/machine interface), automatic eavesdropping, and simple expert systems, but these are not
likely to produce structural military changes. In this respect the
development of AI is something quite different from physical engineering. It involves understanding of the critical parameters of human
activities, and at present these seem to be much less accessible than
the parameters that specify mechanical parts.





Avron Barr and Edward A. Feigenbaum (eds), Handbook of Artificial

Intelligence, vol. r (Los Altos, Cal.: William Kaufmann, 1981).
Robert E. Kahn, lecture at the Congress on 'Fifth Generation and
Super Computers', Rotterdam, 10-13 December 1984.
Philip J. Klass, 'DARPA Envisions New Generation of Machine Intelligence Technology', Aviation Week and Space Technology (22 April
1985) pp. 46-54.
Ronald Oblander, 'Generic Research in Artificial Intelligence', Signal
(August 1984) pp. 107-109.
Kenneth J. Stein, 'DARPA Stressing Development of Pilot's
Associate System', Aviation Week and Space Technology (22 April
1985) pp. 69-74.
For example, Stephen J. Andriole, 'Another Side to C3', Signal
(March 1980) pp. 15-22. Albert J. Baciocco, 'Artificial Intelligence
and C31', Signal (September 1981) pp. 23-8. John J. Marciniak, 'Technology needed for C31 Evolution', Astronautics and Aeronautics (July/
Aug. 1982) pp. 57-9.
Mark Gerencser and Ron. Smetek, 'Artifical Intelligence on the
Battlefield', Military Technology, no. 6 (1984) pp. 86-92. Cf. also e.g.
Timothy Campen and Don E. Gordon, 'Applications of Artificial
Intelligence to Tactical Operations', in Proceedings of the Army
Conference on Applications of Artificial Intelligence to Battlefield Information Management, White Oak (Maryland), 1984. Edward C. Taylor,
'Artificial Intelligence in the Air-Land Battle', Astronautics and Aeronautics (July/Aug. 1983) pp. 55-9.
John F. Rybicki, 'Emerging Technologies and the AirLand Battle',


Artificial Intelligence
Military Technology, no. 10 (1984) pp. 25-30.
Ron. Johnson, 'Automatic Target Recognition Fuses Sensors and Artificial Intelligence', Defense Electronics (April 1984) 106-115.
Jozef Goldblatt and Viktor Millan, 'The Falkland/Malvinas Conflicta Spur to Arms Build-ups', SIPRI Yearbook, 1983 (London: Taylor &
James B. Schultz, 'Weapons that Think', Defense Electronics (Jan.
1983) pp. 74-80.
Martha Smith, 'C3 is the Heart of any War in Space', interview with
Erberhardt Rechtin, November 1982.

Part III
Military Doctrine

5 The American Strategic

Defence Initiative and
the Conventional
Defence of Western
G. C. Berkhof

President Reagan's Speech of 23 March 1983, dubbed the 'Star Wars
speech' by critics, met with mixed reactions. In Western Europe the
tone of the editorials of the leading newspapers was preponderantly
critical, 1 and in the US the issue revived the anti-ballistic missile
(ABM) debate of the late 1960s. Initially most West European politicians expressed scepticism about the feasibility of the American
plans and seemed, moreover, to be highly irritated by the fact that
they had not been consulted in advance.
Yet for defence analysts the subject itself could hardly have come
as a surprise. They must have noticed the evolutionary changes in
technology, the growing American resentment over the results of
arms control negotiations 2 and the increasing concern about both the
growth of the Soviet Union's offensive forces and its ballistic missile
defence (BMD) efforts: all factors that made an American response
almost inevitable.
The Americans had in fact stepped up their research efforts in the
late 1970s, although this decision did not receive wide publicity at
the time. Suspicions concerning the use of directed energy weapons
in an ABM role were fuelled in the mid-1970s when the Soviet Union
embarked on the construction of a directed energy test installation
in Semipalatinsk in the Kazakhstan military district. Satellite pictures
of the work in progress gave rise to a controversy within the American intelligence community that took some years to resolve. Air
Force intelligence experts believed from the beginning that it was a


SDI and Conventional Defence of Europe

particle beam weapon (PBW) test facility, though others, most

notably CIA technical experts, disagreed. The CIA analysts
considered PBWs to be beyond the ken and scope of Soviet science
because it implied that the Soviet Union was ahead in seven key
technology areas.3
This debate was still going on when President Jimmy Carter took
office in 1977. At first the President did not seem to take the Soviet
efforts very seriously. But within 18 months he modified his views
as satellite information confirmed the earlier reports of the Air Force.
This evidence convinced President Carter that the Soviet Union had
taken the lead in beam weapons research and that steps had to be
taken to redress the balance. By Presidential Directive No. 48 he
ordered an expansion of the research effort, mainly to prevent a
Soviet 'break-out' from the ABM Treaty. 4 Funds for the programmes
went up sharply and their management was reorganised. Of course,
a more generous allocation of funds does not produce immediate
results, especially in advanced research projects such as high-energy
lasers and particle beam weapons. But with their usual flair for
improvisation and by extensive copying from Soviet programmes5
the Americans succeeded in establishing a firm research base.


After the 23 March 1983 Speech, President Reagan issued National
Security Study Directive 6-93, ordering an evaluation of technologies
to counter ballistics missiles. Closely coordinated studies were
conducted from June to October 1983. Dr James Fletcher headed a
team of scientists that reviewed the technologies and weapon systems
for ballistic missile defence. The team concluded, amongst other
things, that is was best to aim for a space-based defence consisting
of multiple layers. 6 Evidence of progress should be demonstrated
by testing critical components. The implications for defence policy,
strategy and arms control were studied by two groups: an interagency
group led by Franklin C. Miller and a group of outside analysts
headed by Fred Hoffman. If the Fletcher team considered technological demonstrations to be markers along the path to be followed
by research, the Hoffman group viewed intermediate options as
important in their own right. One of the intermediate options the
Hoffman panel considered was an Anti-Tactical (Ballistic) Missile
(ATM or ATBM) system. Such a system would combine advanced

G. C. Berkhof


midcourse and terminal tracking systems and A TBM weapons

against the shorter-range missiles threatening Western Europe and
could conceivably be available in the 1990s.? The advanced
components could later also play a role in the defence of the United
After the reports had been combined in one interagency report, 8
President Reagan endorsed most of their conclusions on 6 January
1984 in Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 119. 9 He called for
the initiation of a focused programme to demonstrate the technical
feasibility of enhancing deterrence and thereby reducing the risk of
nuclear war through greater reliance on a defensive strategic capability against ballistic missiles. The programme is intended to move
technology to a point where a decision can be made and development
and production undertaken if that is deemed necessary. All SDIrelated programmes are to be managed by a single project manager
- Lt-General Abrahamson - taking his orders directly from the
Secretary of Defence. Over and above the 1.4 billion dollars already
appropriated in the 1985 fiscal year, the Defence Department
requested 3. 7 billion for fiscal year 1986 while an estimated 21 billion
dollars will be needed for the 1983-1989 period. 10 As the SDI
programme is largely made up of projects started earlier, this
research budget means an increase of 30 to 45 per cent. Without
SDI an estimated 15 to 18 billion dollars would have been needed
to fund the ongoing programmes.
The total programme is divided into four phases:
The research phase. The period of time from 23 March 1983 to the
early 1990s when a decision on whether to enter systems development could be made. All efforts during this phase will be fully
consistent with the ABM Treaty and with other treaty obligations.
The systems development or full scale engineering development phase.
The transition phase. The period of incremental, sequential deployment of defensive systems. Each added increment in conjunction
with effective and survivable offensive systems would increase deterrence and reduce the risk of nuclear war.
The final phase. The period of time during which deployments of
highly effective multi-phased defensive systems are completed.1 1

American officials point out that the research phase of the SDI
programme does not represent an attempt to deploy specific systems.
It is therefore no substitute for current nuclear and conventional


SDI and Conventional Defence of Europe

force modernisation plans or for arms control efforts. The question

has arisen whether SDI could in the end make nuclear weapons
obsolete. It should be pointed out that even with a multi-layered
system the defence of cities and industrial regions will pose many
problems. The number of targets is quite low and an overall effectiveness of 98 per cent or more will be a demanding task, especially
against massive attacks. As such attacks only make sense as a retaliatory response to an attack on cities, the huge effort needed for this
'assured survival' option could be wasted. As long as the Soviet
Union does not have such an option it would seem preferable- and
cheaper - to deter such attacks by relying on offensive forces.
Although President Reagan in his 1983 address also asked the
scientific community to devise the means to render nuclear weapons
'impotent and obsolete', this vision is not the official goal of the SDI


An analysis of the merits of the SDI is of great importance as the
programme could have a considerable impact on NATO's strategy
of flexibility in response. Such an analysis must be based on a factual
evaluation of the realities of the 1980s in which ballistic missile
defences are viewed in the proper context. ABM weapons cannot
be judged in isolation; they are closely related to other nuclear,
chemical and conventional weapons and are thus an integral part of
the total force balance.
However, force comparisons which take all relevant factors into
account are difficult to achieve. Even assessments devoted to
comparisons of numbers- weapons, people, or units- show differences depending on the pessimistic or optimistic views of the analyst
who evaluates them. Yet brighter assessments of the force balance
are optimistic only in comparison with more pessimistic views. Few
if any of them show areas in which NATO has a clear advantage
and there is no assessment available which does not show that in the
1970s and early 1980s the balance of forces moved against the West.l 2
Although there is still some controversy concerning the scope and
meaning of this shift, no analyst contends that in the military sense
the present-day Soviet Union is not a mature superpower. Modernis-

G. C. Berkhof


ation and expansion of the Soviet armed forces, moreover, were

undertaken not in single areas but across the board.
At the strategic nuclear level the deployment of a new generation
of ICBMs, and especially the 'heavy' SS-18 Mod 4, is seen as a
direct threat to the American Minuteman force. As some of these
new missiles are mobile, the vulnerability equation will in future be
even more disadvantageous to the West. The greater vulnerability
of the American ICBMs has consequences for NATO's strategy of
flexibility in response. Not so much in the sense that a pre-emptive
attack on the United States thus becomes more likely, but because
it undercuts the credibility of extended deterrence by making the
use of limited nuclear options planned for the ICBM force for this
purpose far more risky .13
The decreased credibility of the extended deterrence function of
the American strategic nuclear forces is compounded by the shift in
the regional nuclear deterrence forces, or theatre nuclear forces
(TNF). Although the deployment of Soviet longer-range weapon
systems, such as the SS-20 missile and Backfire bomber, received
most publicity in the West, what is really happening is an overall
modernisation and expansion of Soviet TNF. Since the mid-1970s
more than 15 new weapons systems have been introduced in the
Soviet armed forces, including new supersonic cruise missiles. 14 In
comparison the Western record on TNF modernisation can be
described as patchy at best. As a result of both the Soviet
programmes and NATO's reluctance to introduce new weapon
systems, the earlier lead in TNF has been lost and in most areas
there is now a clear-cut Soviet superiority. The result is that the
former 'balance of imbalances', in which superiority in the nuclear
forces compensated for NATO's lack of conventional combat power,
no longer exists. Viewed in this light it can only be concluded that
the credibility of NATO's strategy is stretched to the limit. If in the
past an aggressor could be practically certain that his attack would
provoke a nuclear response, he cannot now be confident that it
would not. This, of course, still deters, but less than in the past and
it leaves room for miscalculation.
It is clear that a change of strategy would not solve the vulnerability
problem of the American ICBMs. Nor would a proliferation of
offensive nuclear weapons be a viable option. The Soviet Union has
shown that it can face up to competition in this area, and probably
with less financial and political difficulty than that experienced in the
West. The never ending story of the troubles of the MX is a case in


SDI and Conventional Defence of Europe

point, as are the protests against the deployment of Pershing II and

cruise missiles in Western Europe. As other alternative measures of
alleviating ICBM vulnerability were found to be too expensive, of
dubious military value, or politically unattractive, active defence
seems to be the only possible solution. With a multi-layered spacebased ABM system focused on the protection of the American strategic nuclear forces and their command and control assets the credibility of their extended deterrence role could be enhanced. Such a
system makes the maximum use of technologies (sensor technology
and fast computers) in which the West is ahead and could create a
new 'balance of imbalances' in which the Soviet lead in offensive
nuclear forces is offset by 'smart' conventional defensive weapons.


Although less vulnerable American strategic nuclear forces are of

considerable importance for the security of Western Europe,15 an
analysis of the nature of the military threat and Soviet military
doctrine suggest that added measures are needed to maintain the
credibility of NATO's strategy.
Owing to the favourable 'correlation of forces' on the nuclear
level, Soviet strategists consider an early use of nuclear weapons by
NATO to be less likely. Furthermore, in their view a conventional
offensive, preferably in the form of a high-speed meeting engagement
on multiple axes launched before all army corps have completed
their defence preparations, 16 can impede NATO's use of theatre
nuclear weapons, or at least render it extremely difficult. NATO's
Supreme Command will have greater difficulty in assessing the military situation than would be the case with a limited number of
spearheads. Added to this, allied consultations on the first use of
nuclear weapons will be hampered, so that NATO's defence line
could be breached before any such decision can be taken. Moreover,
a conventional war has some added advantages for the Soviet Union.
Damage to the country itself can be minimised and conventional
reinforcements can be brought forward faster than American
reinforcements. In the opening phases of the war an important
element of the offensive would be the conventional air and anti-air
operation, including not only successive waves of air attacks but also
missile and artillery barrages, as well as assaults by airborne and

G. C. Berkhof


heliborne units supported by Spetsnaz sabotage teams and other

special purpose troops. Targets would be NATO's nuclear assets,
command posts and communications nodes, and air defence capabilities throughout the theatre. Some sources indicate that up to 1000
ballistic missiles with non-nuclear warheads might be at the disposal
of the commander of the Western Theatre.17
As long as Soviet military commanders regard a 'blitzkrieg' type
conventional offensive as the key to a quick victory, the credibility
of a strategy of flexibility in response will be called into question.
The question of how to restore this credibility is not easy to answer.
Relying more on theatre nuclear forces, as in the 1950s, does not
look like a viable option. The political costs would be very high, and
it could even lead to a severe erosion of public support for the
Alliance. Another option, an increase in NATO's conventional
forces to the point where they could withstand any form of conventional attack, also seems to be out of the question. Soviet conventional forces are cheaper than the comparable Western forces while
demographic factors would make extra demands on future allied
manning levels difficult to attain. This does not mean that an
improvement in NATO's conventional forces is not called for. There
is no doubt that it is, but it must be done in a manner that is costeffective. The minimum requirement would be that the prospects of
success of an integrated high-speed conventional offensive would
shrink in the eyes of Soviet military planners to the point where the
use of nuclear weapons by NATO would seem almost certain. By
shoring up conventional defence NATO would thus bolster the credibility of its nuclear deterrent.
NATO is developing plans to this effect. With its follow-on forces
attack (FOFA) concept NATO is looking at ways of attacking enemy
targets in the depth of the battle area. Other plans are being devised
to enhance NATO's air defences. Together with an increase in active
and passive air defence measures, attention is also being devoted to
Offensive Counter Air (OCA) operations entailing attacks on
Warsaw Pact airfields with conventional airfield attack missiles.
These plans might be termed a mirror-image of the Soviet operational concepts but with one difference: NATO currently lacks the
weapons to implement them.
Although it cannot be denied that the measures envisaged are very
important, other measures to bolster NATO's conventional force
posture such as increasing ammunition stocks and reducing the
vulnerability of C3l and nuclear assets are also necessary. The meas-


SDI and Conventional Defence of Europe

ures would not be aimed at the construction of a conventional

defence that could withstand any attack almost indefinitely, but at
complicating the chances of a Soviet-style conventional offensive.
At least as important as the points enumerated above is the question of a defence against tactical ballistic missiles. Without such
defences NATO's air defence and command and control systems are
put at risk by tactical ballistic missiles armed with conventional (or
chemical) warheads. As things now stand, a barrage of SS-21, SS-22
and SS-23 missiles could degrade NATO's air defences and reduce
its ability to control the air battle to the extent that the defences
could collapse at an early stage. In any event, without a defence
against such missiles most of the measures to bolster NATO's
conventional defence posture now being contemplated are likely to
be less effective. In the short term a combination of American early
warning, surveillance and tracking satellites backed up by high-flying
airborne infra-red sensor systems - for instance a derivate of the
American airborne optical adjunct- and ATBM missiles to defend
essential assets would seem to be the best solution. By deploying
missiles that can be launched against both aircraft and missiles preferential defence tactics could be used to complicate Soviet attack plans.
This type of defence is based on the principle that if the whole target
set cannot be defended successfully against a protracted attack with
different kinds of weapons it is better to concentrate on the defence
of a few elements of the set, for example important radars, A WACS
or F-15 airfields. As long as the attacker is unable to ascertain
which targets will be so defended, his uncertainties will increase as a
straightforward 'saturation' attack would be ruled out. Such a
'strategy denial' type of defence focused on ballistic missiles would
have a synergistic effect. By fending off a surprise barrage attack of
ballistic missiles NATO's air defence forces would be better
protected. This would place them in a stronger position to engage
manned aircraft or cruise missiles. Furthermore, as ATBMs could
be used against both nuclear and non-nuclear ballistic missiles they
would enhance not only NATO's conventional force posture but its
nuclear force posture as well.
It is important to note that a defence against shorter-range missiles
differs from a defence against weapons of intercontinental range.
The prospect of attacking short-range missiles with a multi-layered
space-based defence system seems in any case to be remote. The
relatively short flight time of the missiles reduces the engagement
time, while the fact that the culmination points of their trajectories

G. C. Berkhof


are relatively low (100 km and less) could pose additional problems.
On the other hand, shorter-range missiles are rather slow. Their reentry speed is less than half that of high-speed ICBMs (3 km/s and
less compared with about 7.6 km/s for ICBMs). Added to this, the
relatively small payload of the missiles precludes the use of multiple
nuclear re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) on weapons like SS-21, and SS-23
(and probably also the SS-22), while the MIRVing of non-nuclear
warheads is of course out of the question. So in some respects an
endo-atmospheric defence against shorter-range weapons presents
fewer difficulties than a defence against heavy high-speed MIRVed
ICBMs. As a back-up for the ground-based point defence ATBMs,
high-flying aircraft with medium-range laser weapons or electromagnetic rail guns would probably give the best results. Another area
for research would be the possibility of mounting medium-energy
laser weapons (or their mirrors) on remotely-piloted vehicles or
RPVs. Long-range high-endurance RPVs developed for the American Compass Cope programme proved in tests to be capable of
remaining airborne for over 24 hours while patrolling at 15 000 to
22 000 m at 0.6 times the speed of sound. 1B Though their payload
was comparatively small (1200 pounds), it is probably well within
the bounds of present technology to develop heavier models with
larger payloads. Laser aircraft or RPVs have several advantages
over ATBMs. They are multi-shot systems, probably cheaper than
ATBMs and suitable for both preferential point defence and
(limited) area defence, thereby increasing the uncertainties for the
attacker. In some areas with high mountains (France, Spain, Italy)
RPVs could also operate in conjunction with 'laser forts' for rear
area protection. An additional advantage of laser aircraft and RPVs
is that they could be designed in Western Europe and thus offer
better prospects for West European cooperation.
On balance, a defence against shorter-range ballistic missiles
armed with nuclear or non-nuclear warheads seems the best way to
shore up the defence of Western Europe. If most West European
countries could agree to set up a research organisation for an European Aerospace Defence Initiative (EADI) in close cooperation
with the American SDI, this would have added advantages. West
European security aspects could be fully incorporated in the American project, which would prevent a 'decoupling' of US and Western
Europe; a 'decoupling' extending beyond the security level to the
technological and economical levels as well. Obviously funds will
have to be made available and a joint organisation set up, but the


SDI and Conventional Defence of Europe

rewards would be far greater than by adopting a 'wait and see'

attitude. While retaining strong ties with the United States, Western
Europe would invest in its own future and thus create an European
identity. It would not only be the best way of burden sharing, but
an excellent way of sharing the advantages as well.





D. Yost, 'European Anxieties about Ballistic Missile Defense', The

Washington Quarterly (Fall 1984) pp. 112-129.
When in 1972 the ABM and SALT Interim Treaties were signed, most
Americans thought that follow-on negotiations on strategic offensive
nuclear weapons would lead to drastic reductions of the nuclear stockpiles. By abandoning the idea of defence against intercontinental
ballistic missiles, so the reasoning went, the deterrent value of
offensive weapons would become proportionately greater, offering
good prospects for their limitation in future arms control talks. This
proved to be somewhat optimistic, to say the least. When the first
preliminary talks were held in 1968, the Soviet Union had some 900
re-entry vehicles or RVs for ICBMs and about 150 for SLBMs. The
American totals at that time were 1054 and 656 respectively. In 1984
the Soviet arsenal was estimated at 6200 RVs for ICBMS and 2600
for SLBMs. The American stockpile totals were 2137 and 5750,
respectively. One of the reasons for the sharp increase in Soviet ICBM
RVs is that the 1972 SALT Agreement contained a loophole which
allowed the Soviet Union to enlarge the pay-load of their 'heavy'
ICBMs substantially. The 'cold-launch technique' used for this purpose
was not a de jure violation of the SALT Agreement, but was decidedly
contrary to the spirit of the preamble of the ABM Treaty, which states
that 'limitations of ABM systems ... would contribute to the creation
of more favourable conditions for further negotiations on limiting
strategic arms.'
Aviation Week & Space Technology (2 May 1977).
B. R. Schneider, 'Spaced-based Lasers and the Evolution of Strategic
Thought', inK. B. Payne (ed.), Laser Weapons in Space, Policy and
Doctrine (Boulder: Westview Press, 1983) pp. 171-4.
The Americans built, for instance, a generator after the design of the
Soviet physicist A. T. Pavlovsky. Aviation Week & Space Technology
(28 July 1980) p. 39. In their White Horse neutral particle beam
weapon project they only succeeded in getting the accelerator working
after building a so-called radio frequency quadrupole from sketches
taken from a nine year old Soviet scientific journal. Aviation Week &
Space Technology (4 August 1980) p. 63.
J. C. Fletcher, The Strategic Defense Initiative Defensive Technology
Study (unclassified summary) (Department of Defense, Washing DC,
April 1984) p. 2.

G. C. Berkhof





F. S. Hoffman, Ballistic Missile Defenses and U.S. National Security

(unclassified summary report) (FSSS, Washington DC, October 1983)
p. 2.
Defense against Ballistic Missiles: An Assessment of Technologies and
Policy Implications (Washington DC: Department of Defense, April
Strategic Survey /983-/984 (London: The International Institute for
Strategic Studies, 1984) p. 46.
'Abrahamson Outlines Plan for Space Weapons', Wireless Bulletin
4515, no. 91, (10 May 1984) p. 3.
R. DeLauer, 'Antiballistic Missile Defense: The Opportunity and the
Challenges', NATO's Sixteen Nations (November 1984) p. 26.
See, for instance, the annual publications of The Military Balance (The
International Institute of Strategic Studies, London); J. M. Collins,
U.S. -Soviet Military Balance: Concepts and Capabilities 1960-1980
(New York: McGraw-Hill), 1981; East Versus West: The Balance of
Military Power (London: Salamander Books, 1981); Assessing the
NATO/Warsaw Pact Military Balance (Congressional Budget Office,
Washington DC, 1977) and NATO and the Warsaw Pact: Force
comparisons (Brussels: NATO Information Service, 1984).
Limited nuclear options are pre-planned 'packages' of ICBM RVs that
can be used against military and selective industrial targets. The
options are incorporated in the strategic Single Integrated Operational
Plan since 1974 to deter small-scale nuclear strikes against targets in
the US and Western Europe.
Strategic Rocket Forces: SS-20 IRBM (SSC-X-4 GLCM in development); Army: SS-21, SS-22, SS-23 TBMs, 155 mm, 203 mm and 240
mm self-propelled dual capable artillery; Air Force: SU-17, MIG-23/
27, SU-24, TU-22M, multi-role strike aircraft and bombers and AS-6
ALCM (long-range AS-X-25 ALCM in development); Navy:
SS-N-12, SS-N-14, SS-N-15, SS-N-19 SLCM, TU-22M bomber
(SS-NX-21long-range SLCM in development).
Furthermore, a multi-layered space-based ABM system could defend
Western Europe against variable-range ICBMs such as the SS-19,
shorter-range SLBMs and IRBMs such as the SS-20.
J. G. Hines and P. A. Petersen, 'The Soviet Conventional Offensive
in Europe', Military Review (April1984) p. 7.
Hearings before the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, Fiscal Year 1984, Part 3 of 8 Parts (Washington DC: US
Government Printing Office, 1983) p. 1867.
M. A. Caldwell Jr. and F. D. Kennedy, 'RPVs, Stepchild of
Unmanned Vehicles', National Defense (Sept. 1982) p. 18.

6 Don't Shoot at
Pascal Boniface

The basic role ascribed to nuclear deterrence for the assurance of

European security is decisive for most if not all of the French
positions in the present grand debates on strategy.
After all, it is to a great extent our possession of a credible independent deterrent force which accounts for the consensus existing in
France on defence issues. So it is in the light of their possible impact
on deterrence that the new military doctrines and underlying technological developments are judged in Paris, both by the political authorities and the majority of the experts on strategy.

This explains the reserve - if not to say the disapproval - Paris
shows equally to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) of President
Reagan, and to the new conventional weapon doctrines, named after
General Rogers. Both are criticised for jeopardising, in the air and
on the ground, in space and on the earth, the concept on deterrence,
which has made it possible for Europe to live in peace for forty years
- in spite of a wide ideological gulf and an imbalance in conventional
weapons favouring one bloc.
In this chapter the French reactions to both SDI and the Rogers
doctrine, are presented. It has been said that the French hostility
towards SDI is accounted for by misgivings about its ultimate impact
on the credibility of the French nuclear force.
It is impossible to imagine the Soviets not following the Americans
in this new arms race. The establishment of an impenetrable nuclear
shield protecting Russian soil is then predicted to result in rendering
the French nuclear force obsolete, ready to join the spinning wheel
and the bronze axe in the Museum of Arts and Crafts.
This approach does not square with reality. Even the American
experts basically believe, that it is impossible for either the Amer-


Pascal Boniface


icans or the Russians to create a 100 per cent effective strategic

History has of course already shown the accomplishment of technological advancements that nobody had imagined possible only ten
or twenty years earlier. So even if SDI now rests on technologies
that have yet to be demonstrated, it would be dangerous, according
to some people, to declare their realisation as a priori impossible.
But one should never forget that in history each advance in
defensive weapons has been answered by one in offensive weapons.
In the battle between sword and shield the sword has always won.
Even now one can conceive of easily implemented answers to the
foreseen defences: shortening the boost phase of the missiles; multiplying their number, with or without decoys to saturate the defences;
hardening of warheads, etc., or simply attacking the defensive
systems themselves. Besides, the planned strategic defence affects
only the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), leaving the
penetration capabilities of bombers, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles launched by submarines near the coast intact. Indeed, the French
nucleur missile of the year 1995-2000 could be a non-ballistic one.
Of course, unlike the US, Russia already possesses a good air defence
against enemy bombers.
Anyway, it is impossible to test a defence system like that envisaged by SDI, in a satisfactory way. So we can conclude that SDI
and its Russian counterpart will come up with a sieve rather than a
Most scientists and strategists, even those in America, do in fact
regard the ultimate goal of SDI, of rendering the nuclear weapons
obsolete, as unattainable. The elimination of these so-called
'immoral' weapons is therefore impossible. Knowing this, can it be
justified any more to continue to discredit these weapons? Deterrence after all has two parts, a material and a psychological one.
Materially the Reagan proposal, enabling a better defence of some
missile sites, cannot ruin the French policy of deterrence, even if the
Soviets develop the same capabilities. It is well known that the
French strategy is counter-city, not counter-force.
But from the psychological standpoint, Reagan's proposal contributes to the questioning of the positive role played by nuclear weapons
in East-West relations. It is precisely because a war between nuclear
powers cannot be limited that there has never been any direct conflict
between them. So by putting a morally negative label on to nuclear
weapons, Ronald Reagan is unwittingly giving support, to those,


Don't Shoot at Deterrence

from the German Greens to the American bishops, who are attacking
the principle of deterrence. Is this very helpful? The French think
It is certainly nice of the American president, that he desires to
give himself a less 'belicose' image. But he could have achieved that
in a cheaper and more effective way by trying to attain a balanced
agreement with the Soviets in Geneva, instead of giving a new
impulse to the arms race and jeopardising the 1972 ABM treaty into
the bargain.
So one could summarise the French position on SDI as follows.
We do not worry too much about it, but we do think it counterproductive. In any case, nobody counts on us to participate, by
subcontracting, in a project which holds no guarantees whatsoever,
that the advantages for civil technology will justify the sums invested.
France, of course, does believe in the importance of mastering
space technology. In February 1984 President Mitterrand declared in
The Hague: 'If only Europe could launch a manned space station,
in order to gather and transmit data on, and so be able to counter
every possible threat, she would be taking a firm stride towards
providing her own defence'. After all, why should Europe depend on
one of the superpowers to observe troop movements, deployments of
new weapons systems and so on? As my Dutch friend Maarten van
Traa put it,what we need is not star wars, but Star Watch.
Security should, moreover, not be considered only in military terms,
but in a broader sense, to include economic welfare. From this
perspective it would do Europe no good whatsoever, to let herself
be out-distanced in the new technologies by either the USA or Japan.
Nor would it be profitable for European countries to negotiate with
the Americans individually, thereby weakening their position. The
answer then is as easy to formulate, as it is hard to implement:
European cooperation! That is the meaning of the EUREKA
project, which aims at mobilising the energies of industrial and
scientific organisations, enabling Europe to master the technologies
of the future.
In fact, there are two traps into which Europe could fall. One is
being the last wagon. The other is being left behind on the platform.
They must evade the charybdis of doing nothing, and being outrun

Pascal Boniface


forever, and the scylla of each giving America an isolated answer,

doing their utmost to become the favourite, but ending up as nothing
more than a subcontractor.
The challenge of SDI could in fact turn out to be a new chance
for Europe. Just as the conflict about cruise missiles has at last forced
the Europeans to ask themselves what would be the best way to
defend themselves, so SDI must force them to think about how to
master their technological future. As stressed by the responsible
French officials, Eureka should have come about, even if SDI had
not existed. But it is undeniable, that SDI makes Eureka's raison
d' etre much more forceful.
Eureka is not a European SDI. The two projects have different
aims. Eureka's goal is to allow a mobilisation of European forces to
master the technology of the future. It is not 'a take it or leave
it' proposal. It must be filled in through negotiations between the
interested parties. But its main characteristics are known. The idea
is to install a very light EUropean REsearch Cooperation Agency
(EUREKA), which is to bring coherence in six sectors:
Optronics, that is the combination of optics and electronics.
New materials.
High energy lasers.
Super computers.
Artificial intelligence.
Microelectronics stressing very high speed and further
The technological applications could be both civilian and military,
as the outcome of research is often difficult to foretell beforehand.
Especially in space Eureka could lead to progress in surveillance
and communications, useful for a military application for peaceful
purposes. But a deliberate development of weaponry is excluded.!
The Rogers' doctrine invites its own cnt1c1sm. Its stated goal of
raising the nuclear threshold should be applauded, although it is not
clear that the Rogers' doctrine will actually attain that.Z Moreover,
the precision, the range and the yield of these sophisticated weapons
makes them into a threat very much like that of nuclear weapons.
If it becomes impossible to distinguish between a conventional and


Don't Shoot at Deterrence

a nuclear attack, the Soviet command could be tempted to either

mount a preemptive attack, or to give a nuclear answer. So paradoxically a strengthening of conventional firepower would lead to a
lowering of the nuclear threshold, while increasing the overall likelihood of conventional war. The tactical nuclear weapon is, when
considered as super-artillery, as a theatre weapon, of doubtful value.
In the French military doctrine the tactical nuclear weapon is not a
war-fighting instrument, but can, when its use is authorised, serve
only as an ultimate warning, that the President is prepared to unleash
the terror of strategic nuclear weapons if the aggression continues.
So, logically enough, these weapons have been rechristened 'prestrategical weapons' and are under the direct authority of the
So, we could agree to the withdrawal by the NATO, of a large
number of tactical nuclear weapons, some of which are obsolete
anyway. But the real doubts lie elsewhere. To quote the ex-Minister
of Defence Charles Hernu: 'To put all the emphasis on conventional
forces is to question the principle of nuclear deterrence, as a method
to prevent war in Europe. I feel that General Rogers told us only
half of the story. If he doesn't tell us the other half, we should start
worrying. ' 4
There could be another half to General Rogers' tale, which he
feels is better left unsaid: The story of an American nuclear disengagement from Europe. Did not General Rogers say he advocated
improvements in the conventional forces, so as to be able to raise
the nuclear threshold, and place the burden of escalation on the
enemy; rather than be forced into a first use of nuclear weapons
when confronted with a conventional attack?S Was this a slip of the
tongue? In any case, Rogers' proposals can be interpreted as an
implicit acceptance of the concept of no first use of nuclear weapons,
since it allows the Soviets to take the initiative in the nuclear escalation. That is quite a change from the present NATO doctrine of
flexible response, which includes first use of nuclear weapons, if a
conventional Soviet attack cannot be halted by other means. France
is particularly hostile to the concept of no first use. We think that
the nuclear weapon offers the best way of correcting the existing
imbalance of conventional forces. 6
So, it looks as if there is, implicitly no doubt, a common theme
underlying both SDI and the Rogers' doctrine: 7 the freeing of the
USA from a commitment to use nuclear weapons for the defence of

Pascal Boniface


This tendency is not desirable. Although the strengthening and

manifestation of West European cooperation is now more necessary
than ever, our security still lies in the nuclear coupling with the USA,
as it will for the foreseeable future. Though we must reinforce the
European pillar of the Alliance, we must not dissociate the security
of Europe from that of the USA. But at the same time the Europeans
must make a real effort in their own defence to avoid having only
the choice between criticising the Americans for either too much
presence in, or too much absence from Western Europe. The
stronger the European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance, the stronger
is the alliance itself.
This chapter was translated by Arie-Dirk Schenkeveld.

At the Geneva disarmament conference France proposed:

- A very strict limitation of anti-satellite weapons, including the
prohibition of all those able to reach satellites in high orbits which
are the most important for the strategic equilibrium;
- The interdiction for a renewable period of five years, of the development of directed energy weapons- on the ground, in the atmosphere
or in space - capable of destroying ballistic missiles or satellites over
long ranges, and, as a corollary, the interdiction of corresponding
- The reinforcement of the existing system, established by convention
on 14 June 1975, for the registration of objects in space, whereby
each nation or organisation launching an object is obliged to give
the most detailed information on its characteristics and missions, in
order to ameliorate the possibilities of verification;
- The commitment, by the United States and the USSR, to observe
towards satellites of the Third World the same degree of immunity
as they themselves have mutually agreed upon.


Faure, A., 'Les nouvelles doctrines conventionnelles: vers !'extension

du champ de bataille', in P. Boniface (ed.), Annee Strategique (ed. J.
C. Lattes, 1985) p. 341.
Cf. Critias, Ne pas faire n'importe quoi de nos armes nucleaires, Le
Le Point, special issue on defence, April 1985.
Cited by P. M. de la Gorce, La guerre et l'atome (ed. Plon, 1985)
p. 139.
This does not exclude other reasons for the French restraint:
(1) The fear that the Atlantic Alliance is being transformed into an
offensive one.
(2) Doubts on the possibility of realising the objective of adding


Don't Shoot at Deterrence

annually 4 per cent to the real military budgets to finance the new
technologies. Perhaps the not that sound European economies do
not permit that, and moreover most European countries even do
not reach 3 per cent. And in the USA the budgetary deficit has
forced President Reagan to adopt a zero growth for his military


And especially in the case of the SDI, probably impossible to

implement. But the intention is still telling.
One cannot help using the formula of M. Genscher, the German
Minister of Foreign Affairs: 'It's not that the Americans are too strong,
but that the Europeans are too weak'.

7 Deep Strike
Rob de Wijk

Coincident with and influenced by the advance of new technologies

have been a number of important developments in military doctrine,
all based on the concept of 'deep strike'.
This concept demands strikes against both fixed and mobile targets
well beyond the Fire Support Coordination Line. 1
The new doctrines are supposed to give an adequate answer to
recent developments in the Soviet military doctrine and to perceived
changes in the balance of forces between NATO and WTO. By
doing this these doctrines seek to restore the credibility of NATO's
strategy of Flexible Response.
In this chapter, two doctrines and a series of initiatives will be
discussed. First, the US Army AirLand Battle doctrine, second
SHAPE's Follow-On Forces Attack concept, and third a series of
initiatives initiated by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, of
which the Counter Air 90 study attracted most attention.
In NATO there is a wide agreement that it would be desirable to
reduce reliance on nuclear weapons and to strengthen the conventional option as a means of deterring non-nuclear aggression in
Europe. According to one of the most prominent advocates of a
strong conventional option, Democrat Senator Sam Nunn, the heart
of NATO's problem is a strategy that cannot be implemented. 2 The
WTO has an advantage in conventional weapons and manpower.
Therefore the West's deterrent strategy relied upon the threat of
escalation to nuclear response, primarily at the tactical level with a
danger of escalation to strategic nuclear exchange. NATO could
rely upon this threat because it enjoyed a considerable theatre and
strategic nuclear advantage. However, during the past fifteen years
the WTO in the eyes of NATO managed to eliminate NATO's
nuclear superiority, at both the theatre and strategic nuclear level,
and expanded its advantage in conventional forces.
This changing overall balance made Senator Nunn say that our


Deep Strike

strategy of Flexible Response in theory has become inflexible

response in practice. 3 The shift in nuclear balance focused attention
to the increasingly dangerous gap in NATO's deterrent capability at
the conventional force level. Supreme Allied Commander EURope
(SACEUR) Bernard W. Rogers said that the Alliance is so deficient
in conventional weaponry that within a few days after the start of a
war, NATO is going to have to initiate the first use of nuclear
weapons. 4
For NATO the question to be addressed was: how can we restore
deterrence, posture a credible forward defence, substantially raise
the nuclear threshold, and accomplish these at approximately current
levels and budgets? The answers were: first, modernise the nonstrategic nuclear forces (NSNF) and second, expand conventional
forces dramatically. In addition, Soviet concepts for the use of WTO
forces should be evaluated in order to counter recent changes in
Soviet military doctrine and to exploit inherent vulnerabilities.s
Subsequently new weapons systems and new doctrines were
developed, which were said to improve conventional defence.
Structural analysis of Soviet operational concepts started in the early
1970s, and accelerated in the second half of the decade. Two developments in Soviet military doctrine attracted attention: the revival of
the Second World War Mobile Group as an Operational Manoeuvre
Group (OMG), and the Soviet concept of echeloning. According to
the analysts, Soviet military doctrine holds that, if war breaks out in
Europe, it must be won very quickly if it is to be won at all. A quick
victory will prevent the war escalating into a catastrophic nuclear
exchange. Moreover, the strains of a prolonged war could destroy
the Soviet bloc from the inside. If a war is to be won very quickly,
a considerable degree of surprise is essential. However, complete
surprise is impossible. Therefore the Soviets try to achieve as much
surprise as possible. If NATO is given a long preparation time, the
Western forces will be strong and well entrenched so that a quick
Soviet victory is unlikely. Furthermore the Soviets are aware that an
early and effective use by NATO of tactical nuclear weapons will
certainly cause a disastrous disruption of their offensive. Therefore
the Soviet General Staff developed a strategic and operational plan
which could make it extremely difficult for NATO to employ its

Rob de Wijk


tactical nuclear weapons and which would accomplish a rapid

collapse of the NATO political and military system.6
To achieve a quick success the Soviet military doctrine calls for
an echeloned force structure and OMG. In Figure 7.1 it is shown
how the Soviet concept of echeloning might be structured.
In General Rogers' view, follow-on forces (all forces - reserve
forces, reinforcements and OMG- not committed to the front battle)
will be used to build up momentum. By keeping the momentum of
the attack and continuously pouring fresh combat forces onto
NATO's defensive positions, the WTO seeks to create major breakthroughs along NATO's defensive line to try to destroy NATO's
forward defence. OMG are trying to push through any weakness in
NATO's defence and operate independently behind NATO lines to
overrun important targets. The objective is to destroy, disrupt or
seize NATO's nuclear weapons, command, control and communications (C3) systems, air defences, airfields, and lines of communications. Moreover, they should assist the advance of WTO forces by
seizing for example bridgeheads and road junctions.? Finally OMG
should prevent NATO not just from recovering and stabilising a
second line of defence, but also prevent the employment of its
reinforcements and reserves.
At the army level, OMG can be organised as large as a (NATO)
division. At the front level, these heavily armed, fast moving
combined arms forces can be organised as large as what NATO
would call a corps.
The new defence concepts were based on analyses like this one.
The deep strike aspect was meant to counter the threat of uncommitted or follow-on forces, in order to maintain NATO and WTO
force ratios along the Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) at
a manageable level. NATO and WTO forces in the first echelon are
relatively evenly matched. If the follow-on forces can be kept out of
the forward battle, NATO could provide a credible forward defence
at the conventional force level.
One of the first doctrine writers to study the Soviet concept of
echeloning was US Army General Donn A. Starry. He was a
commander in Europe in 1976 and 1977. In Europe he analysed the
changing Soviet military doctrine and concluded that follow-on forces


The second
echelon threat


Theatre of military operations

First echelon front



(Leading armies)

1st Tac.

~ 2nd Tac. ~


2nd Operational











In place forces

Figure 7.1 These diagrams show schematically the possible concept of

employment of Warsaw Pact forces. According to some analysts this conception is no longer valid.
Sources TRADOC, Pamphlet 525-5, The AirLand Battle and Corps 86,
Fort Monroe (25 March 1981) p. 6 (above); and Bernard W. Rogers, Followon Forces Attack (FOFA): Myths and Realities, NATO Review (Dec. 1984)
p. 2.

Rob de Wijk


were a most important factor in the employment of WTO forces in

Europe. Back in the United States he was appointed as commander
of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and was tasked
to rewrite the US Army doctrine. The then pertaining doctrine of
Active Defence became subject to substantial criticism. It was
regarded as reactive, ceding the initiative to the attacker by discouraging manoeuvre of forces against enemy vulnerabilities. Second, it
was said to focus inordinately on massing firepower towards the point
of attempted Soviet breakthrough, where the enemy's strength was
concentrated. This tactic was considered to be dangerous because of
lateral movement of NATO troops in the face of WTO massed
formations and because combat force ratios in these areas have
continuously and overwhelmingly favoured the attacker. Third, the
doctrine was attrition oriented. This could lead to the early exhaustion of forward defence by subjecting it to momentum built up by
WTO follow-on forces.s
The new doctrine called AirLand Battle, appeared in the Field
Manual (FM) 100-5, 'Operations' of 20 August 1982. It featured
three main characteristics.
First, AirLand Battle called for two battles fought at the same
time: a forward battle against committed forces; and a deep battle
against uncommitted or follow-on forces, to delay and disrupt their
commitment to the forward battle, and to create opportunities for
manoeuvre against them. There are three primary tools for deep
strike: interdiction using air, artillery, missiles and special operating
forces; offensive electronic warfare; and deception. Interdiction,
especially Battlefield Air Interdiction (BAI) is the most important
tool of deep strike. BAI is air action against hostile surface targets
which are in the position to directly affect friendly forces and which
requires joint Army-Air force planning and coordination. This
implies for example attacking logistics, command and control
systems, choke points, routes and other bottlenecks that will cause
follow-on forces to bunch up and present themselves as attractive
targets. AirLand battle envisages deep strike out to the corps
commanders' area of influence, that is approximately 130 km behind
the FEBA. 9
The integrated battlefield is the second main characteristic of
AirLand Battle. It demands the ability to fight a war with all means:
conventional, chemical, nuclear and electronic. The doctrine foresees
a quick release of nuclear weapons. According to FM 100-5: 'on
the modern battlefield nuclear fires may become the predominant


Deep Strike

expression of firepower, and small tactical forces will exploit their

effects ... Decisive battles may last hours instead of days or weeks' .10
Moreover: 'Nuclear weapons are particularly effective in engaging
follow-on formations or forces in depth because of their inherent
power and because of reduced concerns about troop safety and
collateral damage' .11
The most important targets for nuclear weapons are: 'Enemy
nuclear delivery systems, key command and control elements,
support forces in the rear of committed elements, follow-on or deepecheloned forces and reserves' .12
It seems that in the AirLand Battle doctrine the traditional nuclear
threshold has disappeared. The new threshold is between theatre
nuclear and strategic nuclear war. The message is clear: be sure you
can fight and win a war with all means, but limit it to the theatre in
which it is fought.
Chemical weapons also play an important role. With these
weapons it should be possible to isolate enemy units on the battlefield
or force them to mass, after which they become lucrative targets,
especially for nuclear weapons. Furthermore, it should be possible
to slow down follow-on forces with the use of these weapons.
Because of its no-first use declaration on chemical weapons, NATO
should not be the first one to use them. Although the 1925 Geneva
Protocol excludes the initiatory use of these weapons, the Soviet
military doctrine seems to plan for an early use of chemical weapons,
for example to pin down aircraft and missiles on their bases, thus
gaining time for subsequent follow-on attacks with conventional
weapons. This early use of chemical weapons implies that NATO
could answer in kind.
Both the integrated battlefield and deep strike elements have been
included in the US army and NATO Land Force Doctrine for some
time.1 3 The manoeuvre orientation of AirLand Battle is the third
characteristic. It presents a dramatic change in warfare compared
with previous US Army doctrines, which were attrition orientated.
The new FM 100-5 states that 'Manoeuvre and firepower are inseparable and complementary elements of combat'. Manoeuvre is the
dynamic element of battle, the means of concentrating forces in
critical areas to gain advantages of surprise, position, and momentum
which enable small forces to defeat larger ones. Effective manoeuvre
according to the field manual, maintains or restores the initiative.14

Rob de Wijk



Shortly after assuming responsibilities as SACEUR in 1979, General
Rogers tasked the staff of his Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers
Europe (SHAPE) to study the conventional strength of Allied
Command Europe (ACE). The SHAPE study concluded that
NATO's conventional capability was insufficient, resulting in a
nuclear threshold that was too low. The study led to a concept
for holding at risk enemy follow-on forces during their process of
development, ranging from the FSCL to more than 400 km beyond
that line. The echelons above corps (army and region levels) will be
tasked to centralise the application of deep strike firepower.
Since 1983 the concept called Follow-On Forces Attack (FOFA)
is an agreed ACE subconcept of operations. In November 1984 it
was approved by NATO's Defence Planning Committee at
Ambassador level and in 1985 it was discussed twice by NATO's
defence ministers as part of the Conceptual Military Framework.
SHAPE pushed FOFA as a multinational concept which seeks to
centralise the application of deep strike firepower at army and region
levels to separate first and second echelon forces in order to maintain
NATO and WTO force ratios along the FEBA at a manageable
level. Moreover, SHAPE stated that FOF A is a conventional concept
because it does not foresee the integrated use of conventional and
nuclear weapons.
FOFA contains no guidelines for the ground commander to fight
his close battle. This close battle is the responsibility of the national
corps commanders and subordinate levels of command. They will
have to fight this battle according to their own national doctrines.
The US Army commander in Europe for example, will follow the
AirLand Battle doctrine. These national doctrines for fighting the
close battle, seek to synchronise the deep battle with the ground
commanders scheme of manoeuvre, which leads to a decentralised
application of deep strike fire power .15
General Rogers stated that deep strike would have 'serious repercussions on Pact mobilization and deployment flow' .16 Most followon movements depend on the East European railway system which
is vulnerable to attack on electric power supplies, central command
and control facilities, switching stations, on- and off-loading sites,
computer stations, communications systems, railway beds and river
crossing sites. Movement by road is equally vulnerable to disruption
resulting from attack on known choke points. Moreover, logistic


Deep Strike

facilities, communications sites and assembly areas would be targets

for deep strike.
FOFA confirms two missions of tactical air support of land operations: Battlefield Air Interdiction (BAI) and Offensive Counter Air
(OCA). The latter envisages the suppression of those main operating
bases which support WTO offensive ground attack operations.
Currently SHAPE is working on new long term guidelines for OCA,
which are based on the American Counter Air 90 study.
Attack by manned aircraft is the current option both for BAI and
OCA. However, the deeper the aircraft penetrates, the greater the
exposure to enemy air defences. For this reason NATO nations are
developing long range standoff missiles which can be air or surface
launched. New conventional warheads are being developed for these
missiles, but in fact all new missiles are dual capable. A most serious
problem is developing missiles and munitions for the attack of mobile
targets. For the moment NATO has no other capability other than
manned aircraft to attack mobile targets behind the line of sight.
Because of the increasing vulnerability of aircraft and the subsequent
development of standoff missiles the role of the Air Force could
dramatically change in the near future. The Air Force however, is
reluctant to see its task changed in favour of the Army. This Air
Force position could be a threat to the future of all deep strike
The Office of the Secretary of Defence ( OSD) and especially the
Defence Department for Research and Engineering (DDR&E) have
recently taken a series of initiatives to strengthen NATO's conventional option. Essentially, it is a management solution:
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) are responsible for combined or
joint worldwide doctrines, tactics and requirements;
The OSD is responsible for the development and acquisition
strategy and coordination;
The services will direct and manage the individual programmes. 7
No wonder that the OSD initiatives fit perfectly well into the AirLand
Battle and FOF A doctrines. Both concepts could be implemented
now, with a limited deep strike capability, but could be implemented
more effectively with the application of new technologies. Both

Rob de Wijk


Rogers and Starry gave indications of the new technologies needed;

OSD seeks to provide them with these new technologies.
The first main OSD or DDR&E programme is called 'Interdiction
Attack' or 'Standoff Surveillance and Attack'. The features of this
interdiction programme are:
An airborne radar programme called 'joint STARS';
A standoff missile, the Joint Tactical Missile System (JTACMS);
A family of precision guided munitions;
The ability to share information with NATO, using data links to
all services.
JTACMS provides the range required (75-150 km) for battlefield
interdiction and defence suppressions. Typical targets for this system
are for example missiles and follow-on forces, including armour and
self-propelled artillery.
Like the WTO, NATO plans an early elimination of the adversary's airfields and missile sites. To perform the OCA mission more
effectively, the OSD developed a second series of initiatives, called
Counter Air 90. General Rogers believes that this programme could
add significantly to the destruction of WTO air bases. s
Within this programme a missile system is under construction
which can be launched from a fixed site or a mobile launcher, the
latter mode providing the best survivability. It is a conventional
ballistic missile to attack WTO Main Operating Bases (MOB) and
Dispersed Operating Bases (DOB). It is ballistic in order to rapidly
attack over 50 per cent of main airfields while the first aircraft are
still in the air, thus reducing the sortie rates and forcing the enemy
to use less well defended DOBs for recovery. It must be very accurate
and deliver a variety of warheads to render airfields inoperative for
periods of several hours. With the appropriate warhead, this missile
could also destroy underground targets such as command and control
centres and nuclear storage sites. Ranges of engagement of about
500-700 km beyond the inter-German border should be adequate to
cover most targets of interest.t9
The timing of the attack however, raises serious problems. If WTO
aircraft are to be pinned down on their MOBs, the attack must
be launched within 15-30 minutes of the assessment that such air
operations are under way. This could have important implications
for crisis stability. These considerations have inspired the UK and
FRG to state their preference for a cruise missile/aircraft combi-


Deep Strike

nation. This combination seems also to be a more cost effective

means than ballistic missiles.zo
The third main cluster of programmes is called 'Joint Suppression
of Enemy Air Defences and Emitters'. Suppression of Enemy Air
Defences (SEAD) is already a related activity of NATO's offensive
air support, which is a mission of tactical air support. The OSD
programme will enhance NATO's SEAD capability with a combination of lethal and non-lethal techniques. Furthermore, OSD is
looking for different sensors to identify and locate enemy emitters, to
delay and deny aircraft protection by various means, disrupt enemy
command and control and then destroy the emitters. 21
The fourth major programme, called 'Joint Tactical Fusion
Program' is tied to the tactical intelligence initiatives. This
programme seeks to develop a system to handle all sources of information. It should report that information with automated data bases
at division and corps levels for the army, and in the wings and higher
levels for the air force. This information should be available in near
real time. 22
Traditionally, European politicians did not like discussing warfighting
doctrines like Air Land Battle or FOFA. They have tended to advocate a strategy of 'absolute' or 'pure' deterrence through the
immediate threat of all-out nuclear war. They have looked with
unease and suspicion on any development that appears to distract this
ultimate threat or threatens to decouple Europe from the American
strategic guarantee. The West European political attitude always was
that we should deter war, not fight war. Therefore they refused to
think 'beyond deterrence', and to develop warfighting doctrines in
which the use of conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons was
defined and which could keep a war limited to the European theatre.
The Americans on the other hand, equally conscious of the awesome
consequences for American territory of strategic nuclear war, have
sought to avoid being faced with the choice between an all out
nuclear war or defeat. 23 For that reason Americans are inclined to
think deterrence is credible if it possesses the capability of fighting a
limited but protracted war, even with nuclear and chemical weapons.
Of course deterrence may fail. Therefore one need not object to
thinking 'beyond deterrence' and the subsequent development of

Rob de Wijk


warfighting doctrines as such. This is after all the traditional task of

NATO's military authorities. It is, however, the task of politicians
to follow this process and even to influence or control it. US politicians seem to have a keen interest in this subject but European
politicians generally display a lack of interest, due to their traditional
view on deterrence. Not surprisingly therefore, the new defence
concepts like AirLand Battle and FOFA seem to fit the American
thought about deterrence and are diametrically opposed to the
traditional European thoughts about deterrence.
It is therefore interesting to know what impact these new doctrines
have on national or European security policies.




There are some indications that AirLand Battle and FOFA are
complementary doctrines, especially because the former was
developed for the corps commander and subordinate levels of
command, while the latter was developed for echelons above corps.
General Rogers, however, stated many times that the two doctrines
should not be confused, and that the doctrine of AirLand Battle
does not coincide with the doctrine of Allied Command Europe.
AirLand Battle, however, seems consistent with NATO's Land
Force Doctrine as formulated in NATO's Allied Tactical Publication
(ATP) 35(A), in which all main characteristics of the US AirLand
Battle doctrine can be found. All NATO partners are requested to
use ATP 35(A) for the development of their national doctrines,
although any nation may go beyond and expand on this framework. 24
The new British, German and Dutch field manuals for example
will also be consistent with NATO's Land Force Doctrine, and will
therefore be quite similar to the much criticised US Army doctrine.
The most important difference between the new British, German
and Dutch national doctrines and AirLand Battle will probably be
the name of these new national doctrines.
However, there are other indications that General Rogers' statements are not correct. According to Secretary of Defence Weinberger, the AirLand Battle doctrine has been discussed extensively
with the allies. 25 Moreover, within NATO a study is going on about
the integration of AirLand Battle and Rogers' plan. Furthermore,
SACEUR is also commander in chief of all US forces in Europe.


Deep Strike

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, of which Rogers is a member, adopted

AirLand Battle as the official doctrine. Therefore, SACEUR is also
committed to AirLand Battle.
Although there are some important differences between the US
Army doctrine and FOFA, it should not be a real problem for
SACEUR to integrate both doctrines if deterrence fails, but also if
the nuclear threshold is to be crossed. As secretary Weinberger
stated it:
AirLand Battle doctrines' emphasis on fluid maneuver must be
adapted to NATO's restricted maneuver space, especially in the
Central Region. Similarly, the doctrinal requirement for close
synchronization of deep attack and maneuver must be reconciled
with broader, theater-wide requirements for the concentration of
air effort. 26
FOFA was presented as a conventional concept, which excludes the
use of nuclear weapons. However, deep attack with conventional
weapons against mobile targets and troop concentrations in an operationally difficult environment and well behind the FSCL, is probably
beyond technical capabilities. Moreover, SACEUR does not want
FOFA to replace the nuclear option. If the nuclear threshold is
crossed, SACEUR will fight the deep battle of FOFA with conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons, thus creating an integrated
battlefield. This is also demanded by NATO's Land Force Doctrine:
'Whatever concept of defence is employed it must be immediately
adaptable to nuclear conditions,' 27 and 'The fire of combat troops
and conventional and nuclear artillery, ... must be complementary,
carefully coordinated and brought to bear with maximum effect at
the right time and place.'28 So, conventional deep attack should be
recognised as complementary, rather than as an alternative to nuclear
operations. One may conclude that all new doctrines foresee an
integrated battlefield as soon as the nuclear threshold is crossed.
European politicians should ask themselves if this is what they want.


Some defence analysts have explained in length why deep attack of
follow-on forces or mobile targets in general is beyond financial and
technical capabilities. 29 This chapter focused on the doctrinal aspects

Rob de Wijk


of deep strike. Some of these aspects gave rise to concern especially

in Europe:
-The manoeuvre orientation of the AirLand Battle doctrine and
possibly of other national warfighting doctrines currently being
developed, could mean that the depth needed would not only to
be found on enemy territory, but also more to the west. This
would imply a violation of the principle of forward defence.
This manoeuvre aspect caused political disturbance, especially in
-The Air Land Battle doctrine envisages the use of ground forces
for terrain seizing counter attacks in Eastern Europe, approximately 130 km beyond the FEBA. This may also be true for new
national doctrines. However, this geographical extension of the
battlefield may result in undesired escalation. The attacker could
reach the conclusion that the most sensible course of action would
be to opt for an all-out offence.
-The deep strike concept is based on analyses of Soviet military
doctrine. According to some analysts, Rogers' description of
Soviet tactics is no longer valid because these are Second World
War operational methods. The British expert on Soviet Military
doctrine Donnelly concluded that the OMG concept is still in
development. Therefore no adequate answer is possible for the
moment. In general he concluded that for doctrine writers it is
tempting to try and simplify the complex issues of the developing
concept of echeloning, which is dangerous.3 If the 'official'
analyses of the Soviet operational method are wrong, FOFA nor
AirLand Battle contribute effectively to the defence of Europe.
-Striking deep with ballistic missiles could have important implications for crisis stability, due to the very short flight time and
subsequently short warning time. This may force the enemy to
preempt in times of severe tension. Moreover, striking deep with
conventionally armed ballistic missiles raises additional questions
for crisis stability. The Soviets would not be able to distinguish
between a conventional and a nuclear ballistic missile. Thus a
conventional attack could result in a nuclear response.
-In general, an aircraft/standoff missile combination seems less
threatening for crisis stability.
-Although the impression was created that the new defence
doctrines were primarily meant for improving conventional
warfare, none of the proposed doctrines excludes the use of


Deep Strike

nuclear and chemical weapons. It seems that under the cloak of

deep strike and the strengthening of the conventional option,
new warfighting doctrines are developed which foresee in an
integrated battlefield.
-European politicians never showed much interest in warfighting
doctrines, due to their view of 'absolute' or 'pure' deterrence.
However, it seems that the European politicians are in the middle
of accepting the American view of warfighting. Perhaps the
reason for this are two factors which were responsible for the
interest in a strong conventional option. The first is the size and
constituency of the anti-nuclear movements in Western Europe
which reflect a growing concern about the role of nuclear weapons
in NATO's deterrence strategy and a desire to reduce the role
of these weapons or to eliminate them. Second, there is a perception that new technologies could make dramatic improvements
in conventional force capabilities possible.
West European countries are faced with a dilemma. Strengthening the conventional option implies the adoption of a deterrent
strategy based on warfighting, due to the different nature of
conventional weapons. The inherent power of nuclear weapons,
the awesome consequences of its use, and especially a clear nuclear
superiority poses a deterrent by itself. The European tendency to
'absolute' or 'pure' deterrence was credible in a situation of clear
nuclear superiority. Because of the changing balance of power,
the threat of immediate escalation to general nuclear war became
less credible. Moreover the need to strengthen the conventional
option became clear. But conventional weapons only have a deterrent value if placed in the context of a warfighting concept. Therefore new warfighting doctrines were developed by NATO's military authorities, backed by American politicians, which seek to
eliminate a high risk of uncontrollable escalation, emphasise a
strong conventional option, but do not exclude the use of nuclear
weapons. However, the question remains if these are the
warfighting doctrines European politicians have also in mind.
Apart from some very general guidelines (like the principle
of forward defence), European politicians lack a comprehensive
doctrine which provides criteria for a detailed analysis of existing
doctrines like AirLand Battle and FOFA, or even NATO's
strategy of Flexible Response. There is no common political
doctrine which could provide NATO's military authorities with a
framework for the development of their warfighting doctrines.

Rob de Wijk


This makes it extremely difficult for European politicians to judge

developments and to centre or even influence the military debate.
Of course one may argue that politicians have the final say in the
matter. However, if deterrence fails a comprehensive operational
doctrine provides NATO's military authorities with a powerful
tool to reverse that situation.





The Fire Support Coordination Line is a line established by the ground

commander to ensure coordination of (deep strike) fire not under his
control (e.g. Air Force) but which may affect current tactical operations. It has a distance of approximately 25 km behind the FEBA.
Sam Nunn, NATO: Can the Alliance be Saved? Report to the
Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, Washington,
GPO, 13 May 1982, p. 3.
House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Improving
Conventional Force Capability: Raising the Nuclear Threshold, A staff
Study prepared for the Research and Development Subcommittee and
the Procurement and Military Systems Subcommittee, Washington,
GPO, 1984, p. 2.
House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Defense
Department Authorisation and Oversight Hearings on H.R. 2287 (H.R.
2969), Department of Defense Authorisation of Appropriations for
Fiscal Year 1984 and Oversight of Previously Authorised Programs,
Washington, GPO, Part 3, p. 1763.
Christopher Donnelly, The Soviet Operational Maneuver Groups: A
Challenge for NATO, Military Review (March 1983) p. 47.
Bernard W. Rogers, 'Follow-on Forces Attack (FOFA): Myths and
Realities', NATO Review, (Dec. 1984), p. 2.
Boyd D. Sutton, John R. Landry, Malcom B. Armstrong, Howell
M. Estes, and Wesley K. Clark, 'New Directions in Conventional
Defence?' Survival, Vol. xxvr, No. 2 (March-April 1984) p. 52.
Hearings on H.R. 2287, p. 1836.
US Army, Field Manual 100-5 'Operations', Washington 20 August
1982 p. 1-3.
Ibid. p. 7-15.
Ibid. p. 7-12.
Compare the 1976 and 1982 versions of FM 100-5, and the 1978
and 1984 versions of NATO Land Force Doctrine, Allied Tactical
Publication (ATP) 35(A).
FM 100-5, p. 7-7.
Sutton eta/, 'New directions', p. 54.
Bernard W. Rogers, 'Sword and Shield: ACE attack of Warsaw Pact
Follow-on Forces', NATO's Sixteen Nations (Feb.-Mar. 1983) p. 18.





Deep Strike
Hearings on H.R. 2287, p. 1766.
Rogers, 'Sword and Shield', p. 26.
Hearings on H.R. 2287, p. 1879.
North Atlantic Assembly, Military Committee, Interim Report of the
Sub-Committee on Conventional Defence in Europe, Brussels, Nov.
1984, p. 25. To a certain extent this is due to the sunken costs of
Tornado for that role.
Hearings on H.R. 2287, p. 1760.
Ibid., p. 1761.
House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle
East of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Report on the Modernization of NATO's Long Range Theater Nuclear Forces (Washington,
GPO, 13 Dec. 1980) p. 5.
NATO Land Force Doctrine, Allied Tactical Publication (ATP) 35
(A), (Mar. 1984) p. XXIII.
Caspar W. Weinberger, Improving NATO's Conventional Capabilities,
A Report to the United States Congress, Washington, June 1984,
p. 70.
ATP-35(A), p. 3-6.
Ibid. p. 3-3.
For example, Steven Canby, 'New Conventional Force Technology
and the NATO-Warsaw Pact Balance: Part 1', Adelphi Paper 198
(New Technology and Western Security Policy: Part 2) (London 1985)
pp. 7-24.
For example, Christopher Donnelly, 'The Soviet Operational
Maneuver Group and the Development of the Soviet Concept of
Echeloning', NATO Review (Dec. 1984).

8 Emphasising Defence

Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher

If one is searching for a military posture that could contribute to the

solving of many, if not all of NATO's problems, it might be worthwhile having a close look at those concepts which emphasise defence.
Their application could enhance both military effectiveness and
crisis-stability, whilst pressing nuclear weapons back into a purely
retaliatory role. 1
The basic idea behind these concepts is the adaptation of NATO
doctrine and force structure to the explicitly defensive goal the treaty
organisation has always had, thus making the West European desire
for detente manifest in the military posture. This posture is to be so
transformed, that it cannot be perceived as threatening for any
country wishing to defend itself, but can deter an aggressor by denial.
For this concept, the phrase 'non-provocative defence' has been
Implementing this kind of defence is not just a question of
deploying different, so-called defensive weapons. An anti-tank
weapon can be used not only in a defensive but also in an offensive
way, destroying, for example, enemy tanks which are defending
their own territory. Neither is a defensive doctrine sufficient, as any
doctrine can be thrown overboard in time of war, if the structure
and training of the forces allow it.
So non-provocative defence must be defined in a more
encompassing way. We use the following definition:
The build-up, training, logistics and doctrine of the armed forces
are such that they are seen in their totality to be unsuitable for
offence, but unambiguously sufficient for a credible conventional
defence. Nuclear weapons fulfil at most a retaliatory role.
By 'build-up' we mean both the size and organisation of the forces,
and the amount and type of weapons they use. 'Logistics' denotes
all the services, organisation and infrastructure supporting combat;
'doctrine' is the set of rules by which the forces are trained to



Emphasising Defence

But is not this definition a paradox? Is it possible to create a

credible conventional defence whilst renouncing all capacity for a
counter-offensive into enemy territory? Does not non-provocative
defence imply a lack of military effectiveness?
In answering this crucial question we would like to point to the
military possibilities offered by systematically exploiting the advantages of the defence.
The aggressor enjoys the advantage of being able to concentrate
for a breakthrough by making use of his mobility. But these advantages can be offset by the advantages the defence, fighting on its
own terrain, gains by carefully preparing its positions in peace-time.
It can install an underground communication system, and prepare
an infrastructure. It can build shelters, fortifications and barriers, or
at least stock prefabricated parts in the neighbourhood, so that they
can be assembled in a moment's notice. The defence can also use to
its best advantage its intimate knowledge of the terrain.
Besides making the best of these 'natural' advantages of the
defence, there is much to be gained by specialisation. It is a golden
rule of economics that specialisation breeds excellence, whilst
reducing costs. Why not apply this rule to military doctrine, by
specialising in defence and renouncing offensive capabilities, instead
of forever trying to be a jack-of-all-trades?
Essentially, this means breaking away from the patterns of
answering in kind; the countering of tanks with tanks, fighterbombers with fighter-bombers. Why not switch to the David and
Goliath principle? 2 This principle is taken from the well known
biblical story, about the shepherd, who was not nearly as big, well
armoured or indeed as glamorous as his philistine enemy, but had
just the right tactics and weaponry to be able to strike a fatal blow.
So, exploiting the 'natural' advantages of the defence, specialising
in defence, and breaking away from answering in kind patterns, are
three reasons why a non-provocative defence could be effective in a
military sense. A fourth way of enhancing effectivity is adapting the
no target philosophy. This principle entails the countering of massive
concentrated fire-power, be it conventional, nuclear or chemical,
simply by not providing it with any suitable targets.
Taken together these four principles emphasising defence do entail
some promise of enhancing one's military effectiveness, or at least
of the opponent's ineffectiveness, which for a defensive organisation
like NATO should be the same thing.
Thus non-provocative defence could well increase stability in the

Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher


traditional sense, meaning the prevention of war through a military

balance. Such a balance would of course not be measured in terms
of amounts of similar weapons (nuclear missiles, tanks, fighterbombers) or 'divisions', but in terms of relative chances of successfully denying an aggressor his victory, without calling destruction on
the civilian population.
The threat of annihilation of a large part of the West European
population is of course that which makes the present strategy of
flexible response so incredible. Any posture capable of denying the
enemy access by purely conventional means, would be much more
But even conventional war can have devastating effects. So a
conventional posture should be aimed at maximising the chances of
survival. This could be done by renouncing the defence of towns and
cities, and keeping them out of the war as much as possible. One
would not use airfields or missiles sites near cities, nor the transport
facilities running through them. Any posture demanding the transport of troops through great havens or civilian railway junctures is
asking for trouble.
These considerations have been incorporated into the design of
non-provocative postures, which almost exclusively utilise less
inhabited areas. The no target philosophy is thus applied to population centres, which are stripped of any military importance. But
even for these less inhabited areas, where the fighting would be
concentrated, evacuation plans must be made, if only to make it
quite clear that NATO would be prepared to defend itself.
The attractiveness of these principles emphasising defence, is that
besides enhancing military effectiveness, their application would also
increase crisis-stability. The no target philosophy would remove any
motive the opponent might have for a preemptive attack. There is
just no target really worth eliminating before a war actually starts.
The specialisation on the defence means that one's own side will not
have the capability for such a first or early strike.
The rejection of the answering in kind pattern, could discourage
the arms race, by making comparisons in terms of amounts of the
same weapons meaningless.
How can these four principles of non-provocative defence be put
into practice? That is the question we now turn to. What their
adoption could imply for nuclear arsenals and conventional defence
postures is described in the next sections.


Emphasising Defence

Our definition of non-provocative defence allows nuclear weapons
at most a retaliatory role. Nuclear weapons, especially those of the
war-fighting type, not only threaten and provoke the enemy, but
they also often present very valuable targets. Removing them is an
obvious implication of the no target philosophy. The application of
this principle to both nuclear and conventional assets would of course
remove any reasons the opponent might have for mounting a counter-force nuclear attack, as there would be hardly any visible NATO
forces worth it.
Non-provocative defence thus clearly implies a no first use of
nuclear weapons, but leaves open, whether and how a retaliatory
function would be put into practice.
It is important not to leave nuclear weapons out of the definition.
For many military experts argue that even now in Europe we have
a non-provocative posture, as it is impossible for NATO forces to
'liberate' Poland. We accept the truth of this statement. However,
the range and accuracy of nuclear weapons in Europe is steadily
increasing and there is a definite trend towards thinking in terms of
nuclear warfighting. This may with reason be perceived as military
pressure by the Warsaw Treaty countries. The acceptance of the
principles of non-provocative defence, including its implication for
the nuclear arsenal, therefore will put a brake on these trends
towards a nuclear battlefield.
What should the specifications of a retaliatory force be? Obviously
it should not have the characteristics of a war-fighting force, that
consist of a multitude of missiles with high accuracy, variable or low
yields, and various ranges. The force should only have to discourage
other parties from using nuclear weapons first. An invulnerable force
at sea, submarine launched missiles without a very high accuracy
might do, aimed at a selection of civilian targets, which do not
necessarily have to be cities.
A difficult question is to what extent a European retaliation force
is required in addition to the American nuclear umbrella, to
discourage a potential adversary from threatening to use or actually
using nuclear weapons against Western European territory.
Although we do not claim the right answer to this question, the
following considerations may be helpful.
Even without any European controlled or Europe-based nuclear
weapons the very existence of NATO implies that any attack against

Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher


Western Europe will lead to superpower confrontation. By attacking

Western Europe the Soviets would always run the risk of starting a
global war, that might bring about the destruction of the Soviet
Union in the unpredictable ways that wars go. At first glance this
indirect coupling is weaker than the present one. But it is questionable how credible the present coupling is, given loose talk about
regionally limited nuclear war amongst US presidential advisers.
So it is worth discussing whether Western Europe would need any
nuclear weapons on its own soil in the long run. It might be politically
significant for the sustaining of the non-proliferation regime, to have
as a long term aim a Europe without nuclear weapons, regarding
the French and British forces only as a kind of extra protection for
a transitional period.
So a non-provocative defence will have to rely exclusively on conventional means to stop a conventional attack. Whilst renouncing counter-offensive and deep-strike capabilities, an explicitly defensive
posture will have to not only equal, but surpass the present conventional defence in terms of military effectiveness. Several authors have
set themselves the very demanding task of developing a model for a
defensive posture, which could indeed live up to these high
Any model for a credible defence has to make an assumption on
the credible offensives that it may have to counter. Therefore a
defensive posture in a Third World country or in Western Europe
may look quite different, although some elements and part of the
equipment will be the same.
Models for a non-provocative defence for NATO take, as their
point of departure, roughly the same scenarios of a WTO attack, as
do the now established NATO doctrines. Following Vigor's analysis, 3
it is assumed, that if war breaks out, the Soviet Union will be aiming
at a short war of the Blitzkrieg variety, in order to achieve a decisive
breakthrough before NATO has time to mobilise the bulk of its
It would therefore seem necessary to build up a defence that can
take the momentum out of a WTO attack in the first days of the
conflict and stop it as close as possible to the inter-German border.
About this aim both those advocating non-provocative defence and


Emphasising Defence

present NATO leaders clearly agree. In fact, the advocates of the

defensive models described, claim that their proposals could make
this more feasible than it is today.
But there is another quite realistic scenario, which is neglected in
present NATO thinking. That is the scenario of the accidental war,
growing out of an incident, either in central Europe or in other
parts of the world and turning into a full scale conflict, due to the
uncontrolled forces which could come into play in any international
crisis situation.
It is especially a superiority in terms of this second scenario, that the
advocates of non-provocative defence claim for their models. They
avoid both the deployment of deep striking weapons suitable for
preemptive attacks, and the providingofvaluable targets for such attacks
by the opponent. And they can do without the large scale transports of armoured forces necessary in the present NATO posture
which could, in time of crisis, have extremely destabilising effects.
A third possible scenario is of course an aggression following
systematic preparations and mobilisation. Advocates of non-provocative defence claim that their models score much better than our
current posture under all these conditions. Better protection from
surprise, no need for early reaction in times of crisis, better capacity
to regenerate from an attack after full-scale enemy mobilisation.
Let us now turn to these models themselves. Three models will
be discussed which are typical for the range of thinking of this field.
The first proposal goes back to the German political scientist Horst
Afheldt, 4 who argues for an extreme form of defence in depth,
consisting of a static network of small light infantry squads, and antiarmour rocket-launchers. The second proposal originates from the
German ex-pilot and industrial adviser Norbert Hannig, 2 who translates the objective of a forward defence of Western Germany into a
fire barrier along the inter-German border. The third model, elaborated by the German study group for alternative security policy 'SAS'S
combines a static network of light infantry with mobile, lightly
armoured troops, even assigning a role to wheeled and tracked
armoured vehicles.
For ten years the German political scientist Horst Afheldt has been
propagating a defensive defence of Western Europe and in particular

Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher


of the Federal Republic. 4 He elaborated upon ideas of the French

military analyst Guy Brossolet,6 that defence by attrition using light
infantry can be very effective, even without a (decisive) battle being
waged. Afheldt evolved a rather detailed proposal for a static defence
network, covering the whole of the West German territory. This
network would combine:
- a multitude of small infantry units, spread out over the area,
- a set of short and medium range rocket launchers likewise
- a communication system joining up all the small dispersed
The territory of the FRG is divided schematically, like a chessboard,
into small areas of 10 to 15 km 2 , to which the smallest military unit,
a squad of 25 soldiers is assigned. These lightly armed infantry men
are under orders to destroy as many of the armoured vehicles
entering their area as possible. Of course a single squad is unable to
do anything dramatic, like stopping an offensive. But after having
passed about 50 km into Western Germany the enemy has met so
many squads that half his strength has gone. The enemy has been
so bogged down by the net that the momentum of the attack has
vanished. The essential point is that the defence is highly dispersed,
and well camouflaged, renouncing movement under fire, and thus
offering no suitable target for heavy and concentrated enemy fire.
For the squads the whole thing is very simple. All they have to do
is to destroy a small amount of armoured vehicles, and transmit
information about the character and direction of the enemy's advance
to other areas.
The squads live in the neighbourhood of their defence assignment
and will be there in a few hours, should the need arise. When
they observe enemy armour, they can fire an anti-armour weapon
positioned close by, using remote control to prevent their own detection. Or they can transmit the coordinates of the tank to a rocket
launcher in the area of another squad, from which then an artillery
rocket with a somewhat longer range is fired. Those troops who are
further removed from the battle can prepare barricades and
obstacles, to slow down the enemy tanks once they arrive.
As the men are operating on their own terrain, prefabricated
obstacle elements will be easily available, to be put together at a
moment's notice. These hindrances will slow down the offensive,


Emphasising Defence

making it easier to hit and destroy the enemy vehicles, as soon as

they enter the area.
The effectiveness of this scheme depends on two factors: the accuracy of the anti-armour weapons and rocket launchers, and the
vulnerability of the communication system.
The second problem can be solved by using fibre glass cables.
Because these permit transmission of information by optical means,
a high information density can be handled without vulnerability to
electronic jamming or even an electromagnetic pulse. So one could
prepare an underground network of fibre glass cables in peace-time
so fine that one can enter the system every 100 metres or so. 7
Although Afheldt does not describe his communication system and
says even less about the costs, it is plausible that such a system might
work. A fine-mazed underground system on one's own territory may
well be cost-effective, especially as it is not necessary to use a mobile
system as in postures intended for counter offensives into enemy
territory. Here specialising in defence is a way of enhancing both
effectiveness and affordability.
The other point, the effectiveness of the anti-armour missiles, is
less easy to judge. Suppose a WTO offensive taking place with 10 000
armoured vehicles, to be countered by NATO anti-armour rocket
launchers within a circle of 40 km radius. As the offensive proceeds,
the vehicles come into the range of ever more Western missiles and
the losses increase with depth. Afheldt estimates that an effective
destruction capacity under war conditions (!) of some 10 per cent is
necessary to stop the enemy anywhere near the border. At present
this capacity is about 0.5 per cent. Afheldt expects that by directing
the research effort into this direction, instead of focusing on overcomplex families of mobile weapon platforms, the required degree
of effectiveness could be reached in the near future. It must be said
that, in this respect, Afheldt relies heavily on technological advances.
His missiles would be of the throw-away type, for which so many
(redundant) holes in the ground can be prepared that the enemy
cannot destroy them all, even if he knows where they are. There is
an abundance of shelters and manholes of which only a few will be
used, and the defender knows his terrain so well that he can make
extremely good use of the advantages of the defence.
Afheldt does not say much about the costs of his proposal. This
is partly due to the fact that the technology that is required to guide
the projectiles very accurately to their targets has not yet reached
production status.

Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher


There are two fundamental problems with Afheldt's model. The

first is the exclusive reliance upon short and longer range anti-tank
missiles and upon shaped charged warheads. This technological
'mono-culture' is an invitation to the enemy to concentrate on counter-measures such as active armour. So the model could entail an
unintended stimulus for the technological arms race.
A second point is that supporting infantry squads by longer range
rocket artillery cannot be done by giving each full authority to call
in rocket fire. In order not to be fooled by probing attacks the system
has to be 'hierarchised'. This is against the idea of making the
defence robust by decentralisation.
It should be said, however, that in spite of critical comments that
can be made, the merit of Afheldt's model is its easy to grasp
simplicity, integrating both non-provocation, and the no target philosophy. This has given it a high heuristic quality and made it a point
of departure for further design activities.
Norbert Hannig takes the objective of forward defence very seriously. He proposes to install a fire barrier in a 4 km wide, uninhabited
strip of land along the inter-German border (see Figure 8.1). In time
of crisis or war the barrier region is kept constantly under fire by
precision guided missiles and rocket launchers of varying ranges,
which are stationed at corresponding distances behind it. These missiles scatter in various types of mines, to slow down the tank movements, and then harass the enemy with anti-armour and antipersonnel munitions. The aggressor may therefore suffer severe
losses as soon as he crosses the border, and the momentum of the
attack may be broken. The missile launchers are mobile and can
move between numerous positions, prepared in advance. The use of
alternative positions should make it impossible for the enemy to
destroy the rocket launchers pre-emptively.
Behind the fire barrier there is a region of some tens of kilometres
where anti-armour squads are operating. The anti-armour squads
have two functions. They operate close to the fire barrier, firing at
the slowly moving vehicles. Or they may be used to counter small
local breakthroughs. Their anti-armour weapons are guided to the
targets by laser or radar guidance. The enemy is for example watched
by TV or infrared cameras to which a laser designator is attached.

(6- TUBE)


(12- TUBE)

100 45


I Barrier

I zone
Eleva- I missiles
ting 1-FAEs
plat- I HE/SMOKE
form I



SP howitzers



8 9 10


roc~et ~rt:llerv

Forward edge of
barrier zone

4 5 6
I Tanks

Hannig's fire barrier

(18- TUBE)




7 6 5 4

Figure 8.1

Rear edge of
barrier zone I

I ."
I~ e

15-50 km

I z >~




Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher


As long as the observer keeps an enemy tank in the centre of the

TV sight, following its movements, the laser keeps hitting the target,
so that the laser guided anti-armour ammunition can home in on
reflected laser light. The TV cameras and laser designator would
have a very small cross-section (some 15 x 15 cm2 ) and would be
hidden between trees or be peeping around the edge of a haystack,
mounted on a flexible elevated platform. They would therefore be
difficult to perceive. The observation, guidance and launch functions
are separated in space from each other and from the operator,
increasing survivability. All this is possible with existing technology,
whose application can be improved and optimised for deployment
in the terrain which is to be defended.
The third element in Hannig's model is the rear defence, against
airborne landing forces, trying to circumvent the barrier. It is interesting that Hannig wants to use the same type of rocket launchers
for rear defence as are directed towards the fire-barrier. In fact,
these longer range missiles need only be turned around, to be able
to defenQ rear areas. They could even be used both against forces
in the air, and those which have landed. For Hannig envisages missile
systems with both a surface-to-surface and surface-to-air capacity.
Military R & D should be concentrated on improving guidance
systems. These are already feasible for the short and possibly for the
medium ranges. Two hundred kilometre range systems are not yet
feasible, though there is R & D being done in the framework of
deep strike options. Hannig would obviously not want to deploy
these systems for striking deep into WTO terrain. But he does need
them to enable the defence to cover some 350 km of the demarcation
line, from a position of about 100 km behind it. These missiles would
also be able to cover a rear area some 300 km deep westward from
the inter German border.
So within circles of 200 km radius around the missiles, there is,
according to Hannig, no need for a counter-offensive, with tanks
and aircraft moving towards the target. The same effect is achieved
here by varying the range and direction of the missiles. Only for
targets outside these circles, to defend a rear area of more than 300
km in depth, the missiles would have to be moved. Tanks and fighter
bombers would thus lose their main function and eventually become
obsolete. The medium and long range missile launchers are of course
out of reach of Soviet artillery, and can use their mobility to escape
from deeper Soviet strikes.
Hannig's model is characterised by its fire orientation, substituting


Emphasising Defence

missiles of varying ranges for manoeuvre by armoured vehicles and

aircraft. His fundamental problem is the coordination and control of
these various missiles in order to achieve flexible fire concentrations
along the front line, or on own territory in the case of enemy
penetration. This process of coordination has to be somewhat hierarchical and requires mobile command centres, thereby inviting
enemy measures to interrupt communication and destroy headquarters. An underground fibre glass communication system could
help, but it is at present unclear if such a system would do the job,
given the high mobility of Hannig's troops. There also are many
problems inherent in the 'high-tech mono-culture' of the ordnance
he proposes.


Alternative Security Policy, SAS) 5
The German SAS group is an independent group of organisation
specialists, economists, technologists, military tacticians (active
officers), public servants and younger politicians.
The group bases its proposal on a systematic evaluation of a rich
collection of contributions emphasising defence. This includes a
broad spectrum of material generated in Germany, as well as in the
United States, the United Kingdom, France and Israel.
The design philosophy of SAS suggests that a potential aggressor
should be confronted with the utmost complexity on the part of the
defender, both in force organisation and tactics. There must be no
premium for the aggressor in adapting his tactics and operations to
the defender's particular way of fighting. This sort of highly resistant
complexity can be created by close interaction of a set of functionally
different force elements - each of them based on rather simple
organisational schemes, each of them employing easy-to-grasp robust
tactics. Thus, the 'insider' will enjoy all the advantages of simplicity
which is of key importance in times of war.
In this context structural differentiation envisages the following
pattern, consisting of three basic elements:
- A static area defence which uses reactive 'wait and see' tactics.
This sub-system in substance is a decentralised infantry network,
called containment force,
- Mechanised troops with a limited degree of operational mobility

Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher


who are capable of reactive and active missions. This element

is called the rapid commitment force,
- A rear protection force including light infantry for object defence
and motorised/light armour units to deal with deeply penetrating
airborne assaults and large scale diversion.
Whereas up to 90 per cent of the wartime rear protection force
would consist of reservists, the troops for rapid commitment are to
be mostly fully active, mainly as a safeguard against surprise attack.
For the same reason the forward zone of the decentralised infantry
network is to be manned by active personnel. This would mean
platoons of 24 conscripts and 4 career soldiers per 16 square kilometres in a strip of land which is about 30 km deep and stretches
out all along the demarcation line. Behind this active part of the
containment force there should be a zone of about 50 km deep,
which would see platoons of 28 soldiers per 6 and 9 square kilometres, following the traditional rule of increasing density with
depth. The manning of this part of the infantry network would be
impossible, without relying heavily on regionally integrated reservists. Their call-up for purely defensive missions would not increase
tensions in times of crisis, but rather underline NATO's will to resist
occupation. The teeth-to-tail ratio of such a defence, that is the
proportion of forces assigned to combat versus support tasks, is
The survivability of the infantry could be reasonable if they are
deployed in depth and randomly distributed, to maximise the
enemy's uncertainty as to their whereabouts. The installations should
be small, with 2-3 men per position. Other inexpensive measures to
further enhance their survivability are: hard cover shelters (prefabricated concrete elements); 3-5 alternative foxholes per team;
camouflage; plenty of decoys; and dummy positions.
Basic assets of static warfare to achieve area control and attrition
are multi-sensor mines (including scatterable minelets); directional
mines, which can be seen as automated recoilless rifles simulating
density of troops in a highly dispersed setting; other cheap engineermade obstacles; mass-produced anti-tank guided weapons for direct
fire, and mortars; and RPVs with fibre-optical guidance for short
range indirect fire support.
The rapid commitment force itself should undergo functional
differentiation. Besides a well protected armoured force on 38 to 45
ton tracked vehicles, it should include anti-tank cavalry and oper-


Emphasising Defence

ationally mobile infantry, both mounted on the same family of 16

to 20 ton, lightly armoured wheeled vehicles. After all, given the
advantages inherent in making full use of 'friendly' terrain with an
excellent road network, tracked, heavy tanks are not the only
currency to pay with. Incidentally, these mobile infantry forces are
thus structured and equipped that they could deal with light infantry
infiltrations - just in case the opponent changes from tank-heavy
thrusts to a new kind of fluid attack. Thus the model is relatively
insensitive to enemy adaptations.
Fundamentally one should not view containment and commitment
forces in a one-behind-the-other setting. The concept proposes tight
overlapping and close interaction between the two elements. The
heavy units of the mechanised force are to be based within the 50
km zone, most of the light units within the forward 30 km zone.
The close interaction between static and mobile elements could
prove advantageous in many aspects: the area covering would wear
down the aggressor's strength, canalise his movements, and serve as
a source of intelligence and means of orientation, as well as cover
for counter offensives aimed at regaining lost terrain.
As a result, overall quantity and unit size of the rapid commitment
forces can be reduced - the latter of which may be understood as
an approximation to the no target philosophy. The SAS concept
contains only 180 000 mobile troops- 80 000 being West German
and up to 100 000 allied forces. In times of crisis or war, the bulk
of NATO's ground defence would consists of new style static infantry
comprising more than 500 000 German soldiers.
Yet, this would not be the only measure to manifest defensivity:
a decentralised, static system of logistics as proposed by SAS,
guarded by the network infantry in a secondary role, certainly would
increase the commitment forces' operational mobility for counterconcentration, but only as long as they stay within the static system.
Thus, eastbound adventures are deprived of even a residual military
Not only would the mobile forces benefit from the static system,
but also vice versa: the mechanised troops may npt only be troubleshooters at the weak spots of the area defence, there are also tasks
like boosting morale of isolated outposts or evacuating them in case
of imminent danger.
Generally speaking, the availability of mobile elements in the
forward zones of the static defence helps the military planner to

Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher


avoid a very costly area-saturation with static rocket launchers, as

proposed by Afheldt.
Taking into account SAS' careful studies into tactics and military
organisation, it appears plausible, that the active strength of the
Bundeswehr could be reduced by one-third and the number of
armoured vehicles by two-thirds, while at the same time enhancing
the capacity to stop an invader close to the border.
All three models discussed above were developed by Germans. In
Afheldt's original version there were no allied troops participating
in the ground defence of Germany, suggesting that perhaps in the
long run the defence of the FRG would become an exclusively
German responsibility.
In the Hannig and SAS proposals the allies do play a role, but
only SAS describes in detail what their contributions to the defence
of the FRG should be. Most authors working on alternatives emphasising defence recognise that NATO is worth keeping. And that at
least the European allies should take a visible part in the defence of
the Federal Republic, making it clear that aggression against
Germany will trigger off reactions in a considerable number of
It could be sound politics to have a few foreign units near the
front lines, to make the alliance clearly visible. SAS argues for
example for a peace-time strength of two Dutch brigades near
Hamburg instead of the now available one brigade. In times of crisis
the gaps would be filled with local Germans and no longer require
reinforcements of the Dutch brigades to the now planned 10. The
Dutch could then remain in the back, causing fewer vulnerable troop
movements and making the Dutch wartime preparations cheaper.
This should compensate for the costs of an extra peace-time brigade
which is said to be 450 million Dutch guilders for investments and
150 million extra annually. Similar arguments of course hold for the
organisation of the other foreign troops, the Belgians, British and
Americans (and also perhaps for the French).
The models emphasise the land defence. The need for a NATO
air force is limited. In Afheldt's model a NATO air force is not
desirable as it goes against the no-target philosophy. He points out
that an air force always needs airfields and other installations that


Emphasising Defence

present easy targets to the enemy air force and missiles. Anti-aircraft
missiles with precision guidance form the centre of air defence in his
proposal, as in the other models. SAS does propose the deployment
of aircraft, but only as interceptors to put enemy aircraft out of
order. Numerous (makeshift) small size 'air bases' and short takeoff and landing procedures should minimise the danger of presenting
valuable targets.
As one might expect from continental authors, the role of the
navy is not considered in any detail. SAS mentions protection of the
coast by mines, mobile coastal missile batteries and fast attack missile
boats. The traditional seafaring nations like Britain and the Netherlands are to take care of the North Sea. The US as a global power
will watch over the world seas, a responsibility which they have
already taken out of self-interest.
The three models described above represent three different ways of
giving a concrete form to the principles of non-provocative defence
in a West German/NATO setting. At some stage they will have to
be evaluated in terms of political, military and economic criteria. In
the last part of this book these proposals emphasising defence will
be compared with other concepts, such as deep-strike and SDI. Here
an attempt will be made to compare the three models themselves.
Several remarks concerning political aspects were made above.
The Afheldt proposal was shown to contain a risk of stimulating the
arms race, through the exclusive reliance on one type of anti-armour
munition. By concentration on the defence of West Germany by
Germans, it could be politically unacceptable both to many West
Germans, and to their allies. The SAS proposal has the advantage
of explicitly including the allies. These remarks are of course very
brief, but they do point to the SAS proposal as the most favourable
one from a political viewpoint. Even in the eyes of the military with
their preference for armoured warfare, it will find some favour, as
it does not abolish armoured vehicles, but only reduces their role
and numbers.
The military will also be eager to know how these models compare
in terms of military effectiveness. Of interest is a computer simulation
comparing various models, performed by a group of the West
German Army University in Munich. 8 These researchers fed a


Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher

















(rapid commitment force)


Figure 8.2 Depth and cost for attrition of three consecutive Soviet Motor
rifle regiments. The first column refers to Afheldt (but without medium range
rocket artillery). The second columns to a SAS battalion size cavalry regiment
of the rapid commitment force. The last columns to a future Bundeswehr
battalion. The SAS column has 35 per cent own attrition and the Bundeswehr
column has 50 per cent or more. Adaptations of the enemy have been

detailed geographical description of some parts of Western Germany

near the border into their computer and calculated the combat effectivity of several alternative proposals in this setting.
An impression of the results can be gained from Figure 8.2 where
the operational depth is given for the infantry part of the Afheldt
proposal and a mobile element of the SAS scheme.
Of course, the results of such a computer exercise are very limited.
Only tactical set-piece battles (attrition style) have been simulated.
Additional studies will have to be devoted to an operational context,
where the cooperation of different formations, the essence of most
doctrines, comes into play. But the results of this limited simulation
do show, that there are simple, cost -effective structures for attrition
in depth (Afheldt) as well as mobile formations specialised in defence
(SAS) with relatively good stopping power, and reasonably low
investment costs. These could be combined to optimise both forward
defence and cost-effectivity, leading to something like the SAS model
with its static containment force and its mobile rapid commitment


Emphasising Defence

The role of emerging technologies in the three proposals is

different. Afheldt relies on the future availability of very precise
medium range missiles with mid-course correction and/or terminal
guidance. It is, however, at present not clear when these will become
available, and at what cost. Hannig will need missiles with even
longer ranges, also precision guided. He is also dependent on elevated platforms for target designation, and sensor systems with allweather capability- implying more than the presently available laser
technology. The SAS proposal relies not so much on emerging but
on emerged and available technology.
Of course, a choice of an alternative military doctrine and its
implementation would have its consequences for the direction of
military research and development, perhaps even making use of the
precision guidance technologies being developed today. The military
effectiveness of the SAS scheme, which as such does not depend on
emerging technologies, could of course be improved upon. Relevant
developments would include directional mines, fibre optical guidance
for short range missiles and medium calibre (60-75 mm) automatic
cannons on the infantry fighting vehicles against helicopters, infantry
and armour on the shorter ranges. But here, it is not so much the
technical possibilities that are wanting, as the decision to deploy
what is already available. So the SAS proposal does seem to be the
technically most feasible alternative.
Another important point is the manpower requirements. These
are expected to be a bottleneck for any kind of posture in the near
future. Here we have to rely on estimates given by the different
authors. Afheldt's model requires a combat strength of 940 000,
Hannig needs 485 000 and the SAS a total of 800 000.
It should be mentioned that Afheldt calculates the needs of a
purely German defence of the Federal Republic, whereas the others
only look at a German contribution to it, relying on additional forces
from the allies. Neither Afheldt nor Hannig take the Navy into
account, and they do not want an air force. Afheldt's total of 940 000
is not split up, as his model only needs infantry. Hannig needs 85 000
for his fire barrier, 100 000 for rear defence and 300 000 for services,
in total485 000. SAS needs some 600 000 men for the ground forces
of which 250 000 are active strength, the rest to be filled up with
reservists, and 180 000 for navy, air force and central services.
It is clear that in Hannig's proposal the number of men with
(forward) combat assignment is relatively small, with a ratio of 10
to 20 per cent, which is comparable with that of the present posture.

Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher


Afheldt improves on this by saving on supporting services through

simple logistics (no motorised armour) and simple tasks for his static
units. In the SAS proposal the proportion of combat soldiers is
reasonably high for the same reasons, although here more supporting
services are required because of its (limited) armour. SAS claims
that quickly mobilisable reservists make their numbers realistic.

This very brief sketch of the relative merits of the three models points
to the conclusion that although each one has interesting aspects, the
SAS model is to be preferred. Both in political, military and economic terms it could offer a desirable and feasible alternative to the
present posture. Of course, a definite choice is not necessary at this
stage. Further research and debate is called for, both to perfect the
model, and to test its political acceptability.
The acceptability of non-provocative posture will depend very
much on the scope of its implementation. As we have seen, the
authors discussed above concentrated on the FRG, but it would be
wise to involve other allies, especially those that are already involved
in the defence of the FRG at present. Candidates are the neighbouring Benelux countries, as they lack both nuclear weapons and
the superpower aspirations that still sometimes characterise French
and British policy. The FRG and the Benelux are the part of Europe
that is treated as a unity in the Vienna MBFR negotiations. Also
the economic ties between the countries are strong. As discussed
elsewhere, 9 these four countries could together take steps to get
NATO approval of a non-provocative defence of the Central Front.
The British might join in as far as their army in Germany is
concerned. For the US with its world-wide aspirations this is more
difficult. It could not be expected to totally accept such a posture,
implying as it does the renouncing of any capacity to either enter or
strike at the opponents' territory, except in retaliation to a nuclear
assault. But the expectation that the US will continue to refine its
present doctrine and armaments for other parts of the world, does
not make the implementation of a non-provocative defence in FRG
and Benelux impossible. On the contrary, this could be seen by all
allies as a very reasonable task division. Other countries like


Emphasising Defence

Denmark, who would like to join the initiative would of course be

very welcome.
But if the US is not expected to adopt a non-provocative posture,
neither is the Soviet Union. Nor are the smaller East European
countries free to take any independent initiatives in this direction.
Does that make the idea of non-provocative defence meaningless?
On the contrary, a posture emphasising defence on the Western
side of the demarcation line only would be a substantial contribution
both to deterrence and detente. A similar move on the WTO side
would of course be welcome, but certainly not a condition sine qua
It is, however, essential that the WTO understand such a development. They must not be allowed to interpret it as a sign that the
West is no longer prepared to defend itself. Indeed, the misunderstanding that emphasising defence is some form of 'pacifist weakness'
must be avoided. So must the opposite misapprehension that
Western Europe is adapting a non-provocative posture only to
provide the US with a shield for aggressive acts elsewhere in the
So the adoption of some form of non-provocative defence must
be accompanied by intensive contacts with the East, to rule out the
possibilities of these misinterpretations. Indeed, contacts can be
made even in this early stage of research and debate, as is shown by
the Hungarian contribution to this book. After all, the implementation of non-provocative defence is intended as part of a broader
political detente process, and must be firmly embedded therein, to
have any chance of success.



There are a few English publications on these concepts, for example,

Ben Dankbaar, 'Alternative Defense Policies and the Peace Movement', Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 21, No. 2 (1984) pp. 141-55
and H. G. Brauch and L. Unterseher, 'Getting Rid of Nuclear
Weapons, a Review of a Few Proposals for Conventional Defence of
Europe', Journal of Peace Research, vol. 21, no. 2 (1984).
Norbert Hannig, Abschreckung durch konventionelle Waffen, das
David-Goliath Prinzip (Berlin, 1984).
P. H. Vigor, Soviet Blitzkrieg Theory (London: Macmillan, 1983).
Horst Afheldt, Defensive Verteidigung (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1983).
Lutz Unterseher, 'Fiir eine tragfahige Verteidigung der Bundesrepublik', in Studiengruppe fur Sicherheitspolitik (SAS), Strukturwandel

Egbert Boeker and Lutz Unterseher





der Verteidigung (Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1984).

Guy Brossolet, 'Das Ende der Schlacht; Versuch iiber die NichtSchlacht', in Emil Spannocchi and Guy Brossolet (eds), Verteidigung
ohne Schlacht, (Miinchen: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1979).
Frank Barnaby and Egbert Boeker, Defence without Offence, Nonnuclear Defence for Europe, Peace Studies Paper No.8, University of
Bradford, (London: Housmans, 1982). By the same authors: 'Nonprovocative, Non-nuclear Defence of Western Europe', ADIU-Report
5 (1983) pp. 5-10, and their contribution to Frank Barnaby and Terry
Hopman, The Nuclear Weapon Dilemma and Europe (London:
MacMillan, 1986). Also in these papers characteristics of a defensive
posture are given. The description is somewhat more general than the
detailed proposals discussed in the present volume.
Hans W. Hoffmann, Reiner K. Huber and Karl Steiger, 'On Reactive
Defense Options of Conventional Defense in Europe. Assessment of
Improvement Options', R. K. Huber (ed.), Modelling and Analysis
(London, New York: Plenum, 1985).
Boeker and Barnaby in The Nuclear Weapon Dilemma and Europe
(see note 7).

9 Arguments and Counterarguments Concerning

Defensive Defence
Laszlo Valki

This chapter is the translation of part of an article that was originally

published in the Hungarian magazine Kiilpolitika ('Foreign Policy'),
no 1, 1985. In the first part of this article, the author describes the
concept of defensive defence as it has been worked out by various
Western writers. We thank Mr Valki for giving us permission to
publish the second part, in which he gives his views on the

Proposals for a defensive defence, launched by Western authors,

evoke ambivalent feelings in the peace researchers working in a
socialist country. In fact the first place among the components of
defensive defence is: if an armed conflict breaks out in Europe, the
attacker would by all means be the Warsaw Treaty. Reality might
be obviously different: with a little ingenuity other scenarios can also
be imagined, primarily such which would result from the escalation
of a conflict outside Europe. However, I have to ignore them now,
because my task is only to introduce the problems of defensive
What arguments can be mentioned pro and contra the concept?
First, I list the arguments in favour of it.
(1) The rejection of the principle of offensive defence, the replacement of the aggressive doctrines known as the Rogers Plan, and the
Air Land Battle by another less dangerous concept may undoubtedly
contribute to the consolidation of European security and to increasing
trust between the countries of the two military alliances. If NATO
would genuinely stop the development of its offensive forces in the
West European- primarily West German- area, if it would withdraw
and then would let its heavy armoured units become outdated, if it
would make itself physically unable to carry out any massive
attacking military operations - this would obviously have a favour110

Laszlo Valki


able effect on the relationship between the two Europes. Such a

series of steps would be an important indication for the socialist
countries, because it would be embodied not only in announcements
of positive note, but also in material changes.
(2) Further technical progress in the West can lead to the development of such further systems of weapons, which, because of their
offensive character, can destabilise European power relations. If in
the future, efforts in the NATO countries will be directed onto the
development of the defensive and not on the offensive capabilities,
this would obviously have a rather positive effect.
(3) It could have a favourable effect on the policy of NATO as
an organisation, if discussions within the organisation in the future
years would not exclusively cover the ratio to which the military
budget should be increased or how deep the interdiction should be
into the area of the Warsaw Treaty countries in case of a military
conflict. An interchange of ideas about the possibilities of defensive
defence would provide the opportunity to approach the strategic and
tactical problems from a completely different angle, and to re-evaluate
a number of theses, which since the halting of detente were handled
in NATO as indisputable truth. It could also have a positive effect
on the atmosphere within the organisation if the West European
member countries would repeatedly express their differing strategic
interests from those of the United States. Only such and similar ideas
could make it clear to the military and political elite of the United
States that geographical differences and dissimilarities in historic
development may demand a different military doctrine (and foreign
policy) in Europe. The debate about the concept of defensive
defence, which recently emerges with the participation of peace
researchers and strategic experts, indicates the strengthening conviction in Western Europe: the present leadership of the United States
should re-evaluate its general foreign political and military concepts.
(4) Another argument appears in the Western literature, namely,
that the setting up of a highly effective defensive defence system
would reassure all those who, for this or that reason, regard the
present conventional defence system of NATO as fragile and believe
that because of this the military leaders would make hasty decisions
about launching nuclear weapons in an eventual crisis. As defensive
defence would be practically impenetrable with conventional armed
forces, the necessity of launching nuclear weapons would not even
emerge. Thus, the function of the latter would be essentially
narrower after building defensive defence: it would only serve the


Defensive Defence

aim of the deterring the enemy from a nuclear attack. Thus, the
implementation of defensive defence could significantly contribute
to the raising of the nuclear threshold and at the same time, to the
increase in the chances of the survival of human existence.
Reservations with regard to the concept of defensive defence are
the following:
(1) For the time being, the realisation of the concept is only
slightly probable. Primarily, because the present American administration - which has retained power for another term - carries out
such a foreign and military policy, with which the idea of defensive
defence is absolutely incompatible. The administration, which despite
the increasing disputes and controversial nature of the programme,
consistently carries out the deployment of the Pershing-2's and cruise
missiles, which introduces for its own use the explicitly offensive
AirLand Battle doctrine and makes the European member countries
of NATO accept the almost corresponding Rogers Plan, will regard
this concept as being basically contrary to its strategic outlook and
aims, and will accordingly act against it. Thus, the question emerges
whether during the next four years, the conviction can be nurtured
in the present American leadership that the concept of defensive
defence serves the interest not only of NATO, but also ofthe United
States. It also remains open how the West European member countries will opine about the concept; for it is far from certain that they
will all agree with the idea of transarmament. Of course, not even
the elaborators of the idea of defensive defence reckon with a rapid
reaching of general accord, this is why they wish to launch an active
propaganda campaign for the cause in the coming years.
(2) In order to increase accord and trust between the countries of
the two world systems, NATO has to do somewhat more than to make
its defence impenetrable. While acknowledging the positive sides of
defensive defence, one should not forget about the peculiar circumstance that the perfection of defensive technology and the increase
of defensive capabilities ultimately strengthen the NATO, and within
this, the United States. The present strategical balance between the
two military alliances and their leading powers is not exclusively
limited to Europe. A strategic balance is a global and complex
phenomenon. Global in a sense that political and military changes
in any area of the earth affect it, thus the different regions cannot
be observed in a separate and independent manner from each other.
Complex in a sense that it creates a united system, in which both
offensive and defensive weapons can be found, as well as offensive

Laszlo Valki


and defensive strategic, operational and tactical doctrines. The fact

that one of the forces confronted in the European region is equipped
with conventional defensive weapons, may even increase the
offensive abilities in the case of other weapon systems and/or other
regions. The real threat for the Warsaw Treaty countries in Europe
most probably does not primarily lie in the conventional NATO
forces, but in the short and medium-range nuclear weapons, the
Pershings, the cruise missiles and other nuclear weapons stationed
in the forward based system. The described concept- as it could be
seen - only mentions them so far, that after the change to defensive
defence most probably the arms limitation negotiations will continue.
For the time being, even after setting up an invulnerable NATO
defence, nuclear weapons would still exist in Western Europe (at
best- as the result of independent decisions- the number of shortrange missiles would be reduced to a considerable extent). To make
defence invulnerable in the field of conventional weapons, where the
position of the Warsaw Treaty forces is relatively favourable, might
increase the fighting capabilities of nuclear weapons of the NATO.
Thus, the transarmament in the conventional sphere would only have
a positive effect if similar measures would be taken in the nuclear
As long as this is missing, the accomplishment of defensive defence
may also have disfunctional effects. The countries of the Warsaw
Treaty might draw the conclusion that - to counter-balance the
earlier mentioned changes - they have to make efforts to develop
an offensive military technology which can be successfully used
against the advanced NATO weapon systems. Thus the building of
defensive defence could even launch the next round of the arms
(3) In this connection, the psychology of decision-making deserves
mentioning. I think Kissinger said somewhere that in strategy it is
not the existence of real marginal superiority which is decisive, but
the awareness or perception of superiority. For in the possession of
marginal superiority, it is risky to enter armed conflicts, because such
a superiority can bring little result and all rational strategists are
aware of this. But if politicians simply perceive superiority, on this
basis they can make irrational decisions, which even endanger the
security of the decision-makers themselves.
In our case, building up an invulnerable defence might bring about
such dangers; in a critical situation, an American administration


Defensive Defence

might feel that- with a perfectly defendable Western Europe in the

background - it has a free hand on other continents.
(4) None of the descriptions of the concept I know contains more
detailed hints at the sea-based forces around Europe. Defensive
defence would be exclusively developed on the mainland of Europe,
although for a long time now the submarines and aircraft carriers
which patrol around the continent have been acquiring an increasing
significance and would most probably play a role in an eventual
European armed conflict.
(5) Western literature also includes the reservation that the
accomplishment of defensive defence may make war with conventional weapons possible or imaginable. Until now- they say- none
of the parties could ponder on aggressive plans in Europe, because
it was clear that any type of attack would provoke a nuclear counterblow from the other side; in other words, nuclear parity prevented
all types of armed conflict in Europe. Nevertheless, if the transarmament can be accomplished, then some military leaders may feel free
to calculate the gains and losses of an attack with conventional forces,
and may presume that capturing the initiative is a better tactic and
that better commanding abilities, surprising manoeuvres and the
political conviction of the troops, etc., can decide the result of the
war in a favourable direction. One of the authors reminds readers
that throughout history every attacking party - including those who
lost - almost without fail launched war, trusting such factors.
However, for the time being, this reservation does not seem topical,
because - even if an agreement can be brought about sometime
regarding the mutual disarmament of the European nuclear forces the strategic nuclear weapons will still exist on both sides, namely,
the state of mutual nuclear deterrence will remain essentially
unchanged. 1
The details of how defensive defence can be accomplished are still
being elaborated in the West European peace research centres.
Hungarian military experts have not yet studied this concept from
the side of the military sciences. Therefore, it would be too early to
draw final conclusions from the already known ideas and presumptions; obviously, such conclusions can only be drawn after thorough
examination. However, one thing seems to be certain: it is a concept

Laszlo Valki


which places some issues in the military confrontation of the two

alliance systems into a new light, and - compared with other recently
published Western approaches - searches for an essentially more
positive solution. It deserves distinguished attention from our side,
and further careful study, even if its accomplishment faces obvious
obstacles. It is also certain that the accomplishment of the idea of
defensive defence would be far from sufficient to rekindle detente
and to normalise relations between the East and the West. For this
end, a number of other simultaneous steps would be necessary on
the part of the United States and the other NATO countries, which
were clearly formulated in the final documents of the Warsaw Treaty
deliberations- particularly at the Prague Conference in 1983, Thus,
a change to defensive defence can only be imagined as part of a
desired process of detente and not as its initiator.


Baudissin in: Dieter Schuster and Ulrike C. Wasmuht, 'Alternative

Strategien, Auswertung der i:iffentlichen Anhi:irung im Verteidigungsausschuss des Deutschen Bundestages', S + F, Vierteljahrschrift fiir
Sicherheit und Frieden, no. 3, 1984.

10 Emphasising Defence:
an Ongoing Non-debate
in the Federal Republic
of Germany
Lutz Unterseher

Concepts emphasising defence have been developed especially in the

Federal Republic of Germany, due perhaps to the peculiar position
it has in the present postwar situation. Not only did defeat, as so
often happens, stimulate a rethinking of defence posture; the divided
Germany also became the centre of superpower confrontation, and
the obvious theatre of any future war between the blocs.
It is not surprising, therefore, that ideas on a purely defensive
posture were already being developed in the early 1950s, by a certain
Bogislav von Bonin. This ex-colonel had been a general staff officer
of the Wehrmacht during the Second World War, but was sent to a
concentration camp for refusing to obey an order of the Fuhrer.
In 1952 he was appointed head of the sub-department military
planning in the Amt Blank, later the Federal Ministry of Defence. 1
As a member of the Pommeranian nobility, he was steeped in
traditional values. He naively believed in key foreign policy declarations of the Federal Government, then a coalition led by the Christian Democrat Konrad Adenauer, stating the imminent danger of a
Soviet aggression (it was the time of the Korean War); the trustworthiness of her own allies; and the re-unification of Germany as
her overruling objective.
Consequently, von Bonin devised a barrier zone all along the
demarcation line, about 50 km deep, designed to wear down, and if
possible stop, the armoured thrusts of an invader. For this scheme
he claimed both the quality of non-provocation and the possibility
of quick, two-year implementation at relatively low costs.
It consisted of a system of small, well camouflaged field fortifications, distributed in-depth, to be manned by those old Wehrmacht
cadres still fit for service. The equipment would consist of relatively

Lutz Unterseher


simple state-of-the-art weapons. Von Bonin mentioned about 8000

anti-tank guns complemented by recoilless rifles and numerous handlaid mines.
Our Pommeranian colonel was particularly sceptical about sophistication. Seeking quick, cheap, and reliable solutions, he proposed
procuring ordnance which was not far above the standard of Soviet
equipment in the battle of Kursk (where, in 1943, red infantry,
employing mines and anti-tank guns, brought a massive thrust of the
Wehrmacht's armour to a halt). There was no word about joystickcontrolled anti-tank missiles - the ET of the 1950s -which already
seemed to offer promising results when von Bonin elaborated his
As von Bonin's key concept of non-provocation became explicit,
he lost ground. He was removed from his position at the Amt Blank
in 1953, and when his opponents there convinced Konrad Adenauer
to ostracise him as a dissident, he left.
Non-provocation, according to von Bonin's plan, was to be made
operational in tactics and force structure, both designed for static
warfare, for denial by attrition. Mechanised all-purpose forces were
thought of only in the context of allied reserves, coming to chop
off enemy spearheads which might eventually pierce through the
proposed armee de couverture (covering army). At least during the
first years of his conceptual work, von Bonin was convinced that the
allies' help could be counted upon and that the delaying effect of
the barrier zone would be welcome to them.
The point of this unambiguously defensive and purely German
front layer was to avoid anything that might stimulate a build-up of
potential Soviet invasion forces in East Germany. It was von Bonin's
nightmare that foreign mobile forces with offensive capabilities and
armed with nuclear weapons would be stationed on both sides of
the curtain, creating a climate of confrontation and instability, thus
minimising the chances of unification.
Contrary to his opponents' claim, the 'Bonin Plan' was never given
the chance of a fair and thorough miliary evaluation. Critics never
got further than slogans like: 'History proves that linear tactics are
always a failure'. Overtly, the main argument against von Bonin's
plan was that it would result in creating another Maginot line, making
the division of Germany intolerably visible. In fact, the plan implied
nothing of the sort. On the contrary, it suggested a virtual disappearance of military targets through camouflage and dispersed


The West German Debate

Behind closed doors, Adenauer, the majority of Christian Democrat MPs, and von Bonin's colleagues in the rapidly evolving defence
establishment were not as concerned about German unity as they
stated in public. In the eyes of the new elite, the Bonin plan impeded
the build-up of heavily armoured forces, necessary to gain a respectable stand, and bargaining power, in NATO, which West Germany
was on the verge of joining. Contrary to their declarations, they saw
no acute danger of an invasion from the East, and distrusted their
There was extensive coverage of the von Bonin debate by the Press,
but after 1956 the noise of the controversy died away. A new debate
about 'defensive defence' was initiated during the second half of the
1980s on a much smaller scale.
The first proposal came from the civilian analyst Horst Afheldt,
who had been studying the negative effects of the evolving nuclear
warfighting doctrines on inter-pact stability, with the philosopher
Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker2 and was looking for another
approach. Inspired by Brossollet's version of an armee de couverture
and making extensive, yet highly selective, use of what advanced
technology seemed to offer, Afheldt developed the concept of Raumverteidigung. This is a defensive system covering most of West
Germany, consisting of thousands of platoon-size infantry
commandos, homogeneously armed with second generation antitank guided missiles (ATGMs). To protect this highly dispersed and
static, terrain-oriented system from massed blows, Afheldt proposed
'counter-concentrations', using long range precision guided rocket
fire from rear areas of the defence. The rockets implied would be
simpler and cheaper than those currently under development for
deep strike purposes: under the friendly conditions for reconnaissance and target acquisition pertaining in one's own terrain, rockets
can be considerably less 'smart'.
Afheldt's basic claim is that the danger of both nuclear and conventional war can be minimised by adopting
(a) A conventional posture immune against being overrun.
(b) A no-target philosophy, denying the premium for enemy fire
concentrations be they conventional, nuclear or chemical.

Lutz Unterseher


(c) The concept of non-provocation through inability to invade.

Afheldt's model, covering most of West Germany with a defensive
structure, without an eastward looking frontline, and giving no
particular role to the allies, was criticised for its inherent tendency
towards neutralism.
Other advocates of an alternative defence - most of them retired
military men whose contributions appeared during the late 1970s and
early 1980s - stuck to the more traditional concept of exclusive
orientation towards aggression from the East. They realised that the
minority of West Germans, who support neutrality, is not likely to
expand. 3
One of these experts is Loser, with his concept of tactically mobile
commandos on light armoured vehicles. Another is Hannig, with his
proposal of a fire barrier along the demarcation line created mainly
by precision guided rocket fire of various range. The proposal of
Fiireder is basically a variation of Loser's, that of Gerber a variation
on Hannig's concept.
Loser seems to put more stress on the no target philosophy than on
non-provocation. His mobile teams are capable of tactical infiltration
which might be perceived as a strategic challenge by the opponent.
Hannig on the other hand focuses on non-provocation, no troops
having the complexity to fight east of the demarcation line. But his
fire control centres present valuable objects to enemy measures, thus
weakening the no target approach.
Most of these authors claim that their proposals, once
implemented, could stop an invader east of the Weser-Lech line
inside friendly territory. And that at much lower costs and with much
lower risk of a breakthrough than the present West German/NATO
These experts are aware of the increasing scarcity of fiscal
resources. All of them take into account, that the demographic
development, which will result in a drastic reduction of available
conscripts, requires force structures adequate for the integration of
All aim at avoiding fighting in inhabited areas, large villages, towns
or urban sprawl. They forgo the use of population centres as bases
for friendly fire units. Turning such areas into targets would, they
agree, neither make sense militarily, nor with respect to the protection of civilians.
All these experts exploit modern technology more or less exten-


The West German Debate

sively in order to achieve cost-effectiveness. Everything that hampers

enemy movement is appreciated, as ATGMs, plus shaped charge
warheads, and all sorts of smart mines are applauded. Technology
is considered more important than tactics or structure.
In recent years this notion has been challenged by a team of the
Bundeswehr-university in Munich, as well as the Study Group on
Alternative Security Policy (SAS). The former is committed to complementing NATO's present posture by adding 'reactive elements',
the latter sticking to basic principles of Afheldt. Both groups argue
that the mono-culture of weaponry, which figures in Afheldt's,
Loser's or Hannig's concept, makes us vulnerable. The enemy could
resort to rather simple counter-measures. We would be better off
concentrating on the development of tactics and structures, of a
defensive and terrain oriented nature, rather than on a technological
fix. 4
Ever since the Bonin controversy, the Christian Democrats (CDU/
CSU) have stuck to the dominant NATO line of answering in kind:
tank divisions against tank divisions, fighter-bomber squadrons
against fighter-bomber squadrons. If this fails, a first-use of nuclear
weapons, even on German territory, is considered. In face of the
self-destruction this would bring, it is not a credible option, however,
more of an irritating pretence than a serious political concept.
Nowadays, the Christian Democrats, perpetually ruling out the
possibility of defensively oriented structural change, are trying to put
together four elements of policy:
beefing up of the mechanised forces,
investing in a moderate form of conventional deep strike,
but nevertheless insisting upon a first-use doctrine of nuclear deterrence based on adequate assets,
while at the same time trying to get on Reagan's SDI ticket.
This combination is inconsistent, beyond West Germany's resources,
and dangerous. Only one prominent Christian Democrat, the regional
leader Kurt Biedenkopf, has publicly acknowledged that, while the
Western Alliance is still supported by a majority of citizens, the
established concept of nuclear deterrence is not. Privately, Biedenkopf has shown a keen interest in schemes emphasising defence.

Lutz Unterseher


The Social Democrats, being torn between anti-militarist fundamentalism and an almost blind acceptance of the so-called objective
requirements of defence, were unable to seize the opportunity of
turning the Bonin plan into an attractive party platform.
Only one of their national leaders, Fritz Erler, had no prejudices
against the nonconformist Pommeranian nobleman. He was
influenced by von Bonin's ideas until his death in the late 1960s.
From then on Helmut Schmidt claimed overruling competence in
defence matters.
Schmidt turned out to be a NATO conformist. His basic concern
was to protect West German moves towards detente from allied
critique, by proving that Social Democrats are no weaklings.
In the opposition again, the Social Democrats adopted a resolution
on defence at their national congress of 1984, which contains a
number of inconsistencies behind a 'progressive' outlook. At first
glance the triple formula of gradual denuclearisation, 'security partnership', and 'unambiguous defensivity' seems impressing. Yet again
the most frustrating approach, arms control (including the idea of a
nuclear free zone), ranks higher than the more promising concept
of 'autonomous' measures - which remains somewhat vague. The
proposal of replacing nuclear rockets like Pershing-1 and Lance by
conventional precision guided missiles for deep strike purposes,
makes it obvious, that neither the concept of security partnership
nor the principle of defensivity has been understood.
At present, the security policy commission of the party presidium
is developing a more concrete position. Afheldt, Loser, and myself
were given the chance to address the commission. But it looks as if
the question of an alternative defence is currently being shelved,
with the perceived impact of the peace movement fading away, and
the lieutenants of Schmidt regaining their self-confidence.
Nevertheless, the Social Democrats are, according to the MP
Hermann Scheer, the only party that is in principle capable of seriously discussing concepts emphasising defence.
During the period between 1957 and 1961, when they were in
opposition against Adenauer's Conservatives, the Free Democrats,
liberals in the European sense of the word, adopted some of von
Bonin's ideas. Remnants of these can be found in official statements
throughout the 1960s, when the Free Democrats, having no influence
upon West German defence policy, viewed themselves as the last
guardians of a pan-German interest.
During the 1970s, as junior partners of the Social Democrats, the


The West German Debate

Liberals came to support Schmidt's NATO conformity in order to

safeguard the Ostpolitik.
Now that the Free Democrats have changed sides, and become
partners of Kohl's Christian Conservatives, they portray themselves
as watchdogs of NATO continuity, willing to protect West Germany
from adventures like SDI.
Unlike all other parties, the Greens, together with a considerable
section of what is left of the peace movement, tend to favour a
withdrawal from NATO followed by complete, unilateral disarmament and the introduction of civil resistance schemes in West
Germany. A minority pleads for non-provocative defence for a transitional period, but is losing ground due to emotional assaults by the
Leaving aside the Catholic Church, one of the last solid pillars of
conservatism, we shall focus on the Protestants. For a while it seemed
that their Church was developing preferences for non-provocative
restructuring or 'transarmament' as a formula to appease both the
traditionalists, who insist on defending house and family, and those
young Protestants who are against all weapons. Hoping to get such
a formula sanctioned, the heads of the Church delegated the task of
drawing up a Protestant peace platform to a committee of scholars
with nationwide reputation.
These gentlemen found themselves unable to compromise and
stated their incompetence concerning the issues in question. Now,
the business of appeasement is being left to the local level again.
A short comment on the West German trade unions' position:
Their Sunday rhetoric contains demands for mutually balanced force
reductions through arms control talks. Union officials refuse to
accept that this approach has already been shown to be a complete
failure. The benefits of autonomous measures, of transarmament as
a means to save the Welfare State, are still not recognised.
A survey carried out among a relatively large sample of West
Germany's defence elite in 1980/81 indicates, that only a minority


Lutz Unterseher

(about one-fifth) are criticising the established pattern of deterrence

on principle grounds. 5 Even this group sees no other way out of the
arms race than arms control. Only one-tenth of this minority favours
unilateral transarmament measures.
The results of a 1983/4 expert hearing of the Bundestag parliamentary defence committee concerning alternatives to NATO's current
security policy fit in with the results of the survey. This hearing,
initiated by the Social Democrats, produced a cross-faction consent
on the necessity of removing chemical weapons from West German
territory and of raising the nuclear threshold. The AirLand Battle
concept, based on the idea of punishment by (counter) attacks of
highly mobile ground forces, was widely criticised. But at the same
time a majority, including some experts affiliated with the Social
Democrats, voted for further strengthening the traditional forward
defence, combined with a moderate capacity for conventional deep
strike exploiting ET. There were also three advocates of emphasising



The armed forces have rejected the idea of an alternative defence

without systematic evaluation, pointing to the supposed trading of
space for time in a country without space, and to the problems of
integration into NATO. As is shown elsewhere (see note 4),
however, some alternatives could score better on the space-question
than the present posture. And in the SAS proposal, for instance,
frontline integration of allies is explicitly included.
At the same time the Bundeswehr is working on the implementation of a cadre organisation for the call-up of reservists for 11
strong regiments of light infantry. This measure, designed to make
better use of terrain features by relying more on smart weapons of
the light variety, is regarded as an addition to plans for a modernisation of the mechanised forces. In the end the Bundeswehr might
turn into a highly provocative 'shield-and-sword-army', the shield
protecting the basis, the sword ready for retaliatory tasks, like
Samuel Huntington suggested. Small wonder that an influential
group at top level is pressing for a reconsideration of the present
official rejection of Air Land Battle. All of the Bundeswehr's leaders
are aware of the financial burden resulting from their 'package of


The West German Debate

conventionalisation'. This is why most of them are sceptical about a

German contribution to a resource consuming SDI.
So although concepts emphasising defence have been well
developed in the Federal Republic of Germany, the political support
necessary for their implementation is insufficient. Support will obviously have to come also from other NATO countries. Emphasising
defence cannot remain an entirely German affair.



B. von Bonin, Opposition gegen Adenauers Sicherheitspolitik. Eine

Dokumentation, zusammengestellt von H. Brill (Hamburg, 1976).
H. Afheldt, Verteidigung und Frieden- Politik mit militiirischen Mitteln
(Miinchen- Wien, 1976).
J. Loser, Weder rot noch tot. Uberleben ohne Atomkrieg (Miinchen,
1981): N. Hannig, Abschreckung durch konvenionelle Waffen. Das
David-Goliath-Prinzip (Berlin, 1984).
Landstreitkrafte zur Verteidigung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland,
SAS ed., Strukturwandel der Verteidigung (Opladen, 1984). During a
series of computer simulations, conducted by an OR-team of the
Bundeswehr-university in Munich without support by the Ministry of
Defence, a model battalion, which has been developed there, and a
component of the SAS concept proved to be more cost-effective than
other German alternatives (and several types of Bundeswehr
battalions), when it came to stopping an invader close to the border.
According to this analysis large calibre/low signature bazookas and
rather ordinary machine cannons seem to be of higher value in close
combat situations, which are typical under bad weather and dirty
battlefield conditions, than state-of-the-art sophistication; see H. W.
Hofmann, R. K. Huber and K. Steiger, On Reactive Defense Options,
Bericht Nr. S- 8403, HsBw Miinchen (November 1984).
P. Schmidt and M. Jung, 'Military Detente in Central Europe', Armed
Forces and Society, vol. 11, no. 2 (Winter, 1985) pp. 199-221.

Part IV

Weapon Systems in Debate

11 Emerging Technologies
and the Politics of
Doctrinal Debate
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Changes in military technology are closely intertwined with changes

in military doctrine. On the one hand, existing doctrine serves as an
important focusing device for the efforts of all persons involved in
the development, production and acquisition of weapons. Doctrine
determines functions and roles of weapon systems and military
formations. From it one can learn where improvements might be
useful and likely to find application.
On the other hand, doctrine is itself influenced by the appearance
of new weapons and new technical possibilities, although it is by no
means a simple function thereof. Designing doctrine in the face of
changing technologies involves interpretation, prediction and choice,
which again guide the future development of weaponry. Thus, efforts
to put technology before doctrine or the other way around, are
bound to resemble the rather fruitless debate about whatever came
first, the chicken or the eggs.
Alternatively, it is sometimes suggested that changes in technology
and doctrine taken together are guided by political interests. For
instance, a new military doctrine like AirLand Battle is then interpreted as a direct result of decisions taken by the political leadership
of the United States. On closer investigation, however, little
empirical evidence can be found in support of such propositions.
Whatever is there could equally well be used to argue the reverse,
that is that the Reagan administration was induced to accept a more
offensive type operational doctrine for the army on the strength
of professional -technological arguments, that no one outside the
military-industrial complex could unravel.
In this chapter the logic of technological and doctrinal change in
the armed forces is explored in several directions (Sections 1-3).
Recent changes in military technology and their potential impact on
warfare are commented on in Section 4. Section 5 then identifies


128 Emerging Technologies and the Politics of Doctrinal Debate

three different positions in current debate about military doctrine.

A final section briefly underscores the political dimensions of that
Four main actors can be distinguished, or rather four institutions,
that are involved in the process of technological and doctrinal
change, each with their own orientation and value system. First there
are the scientists and engineers working in laboratories and research
institutes, private, government or independent non-profit organisations, searching for new materials, methods to improve performance
parameters, designing new weapons and weapon systems. These
people and organisations are primarily interested in doing research,
in showing what is possible, in building prototypes and doing tests,
rather than in actual production. The arms industry, secondly, is of
course interested in producing weapons and getting orders from the
military, but not necessarily in producing long series of the same
weapon. Its main goal is making profits and usually producing new,
high technology weapons is the most profitable part of business. The
industry has an interest in old weapons becoming obsolete by technical change, so that they have to be replaced. Industry therefore,
supports research to encourage such speeding up of obsolescence.
Our third institution is the military itself: the armed forces constitute
the demand side of the market. They produce the requirements for
new weapons and weapon systems. The armed forces have the task
to carry out specific missions as effectively as possible, that is with
a high chance of success and against reasonable costs. For that
purpose doctrines are developed that define how and what military
means are applied under different circumstances and against different
opponents. Requirements are formulated in the light of these
doctrines and of the assumed military capabilities of the opponent.
Worst-case analysis tends to generate requirements for more and
better weapons all the time. Moreover, throughout the postwar
period the Western alliance has put its faith in technology as an
important force-multiplier. Missions of course are not defined by the
military itself, but by the state, which is the last institution or actor
to be identified here. It is at the level of the state, of politics, that
dangers and enemies are defined, that the mix of military and non-

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military means with which the enemy is to be met (grand strategy)

is decided upon, and - in view of other concerns of the state resources for military purposes are made available. Of course this
description of the institutional orientations involved in the process
of military technological and doctrinal change is very formal.
Research into the actual history of specific weapons and doctrines
shows how the process is complicated by human faults and weaknesses, rivalries between departments, services and firms, cheating
and lying, bureaucratic power politics and vested interests at all
levels. It may be argued, that most of these factors operate within
the rather wide limits imposed by the general purposes and orientations of the institutions as described above and that really extreme
irrationalities will still be eliminated. There are indeed examples of
useless projects, too costly, too fancy or too dangerous, that were
stopped somewhere in the system. Still, it is not obvious that values
and interests of all actors converge anywhere. It seems that the
interaction between them at most creates a bias in favour of hightechnology weapons development, that being their common denominator especially in times of economic growth (and consequently
growing resources). Conflicting and centrifugal forces abound in the
process of arms production and developing doctrine. However, there
are unifying and stabilising forces as well.
One of these stabilising forces in the process of technological and
doctrinal change is what I would like to call the prevailing 'image of
war' 1 : a general estimation of what war will be like, based on personal
and historical experience.
The dominant image of war shapes expectations concerning the
course of a future war and the role that specific weapons, arms
and services would be playing therein. The Second World War has
determined the image of war for at least two generations of military
leaders, especially if they were thinking of war in Europe. Just as the
Manhattan Project dominated thinking about the relations between
science, technology and the military among physicists. Only recently
is this image losing some of its importance not only because of
changing military technology, but also because a generation without
experience of war on a European battlefield is coming into leadership
positions. The dominant image of war serves as a conservative

130 Emerging Technologies and the Politics of Doctrinal Debate

element, and forms the basis for the saying, that generals are always
preparing for the last war. That saying seems to be especially true
for generals who won, there is less need for them to reflect on their
experiences or change their habits. So, although some of the most
original ideas on the future of the tank after the First World War
came from two British experts (the strategist B. Liddell Hart and
the military expert, J. F. C. Fuller) their full implementation took
place in Germany, forced as it was, both by defeat and by the
numerical restrictions imposed by the victors, to think in the direction
of further mechanisation.
It might be argued that since then the style of leadership in
Western armed forces, especially in the army, has changed. There
is much less traditionalism and much more openness for new weapons
and new ideas. Indeed, every professional officer is interested
nowadays in having the most modern equipment in his unit. But that
is not the point. The question is how the new or improved weapons
are used and combined in larger operations. Are existing attitudes
and institutions now more ready than in the 1930s to accept a fundamental reordering of priorities? To say so, would be to deny the
inherent conservatism of all large organisations and of most persons
populating them.
Of course, there have been many other wars since the Second
World War and lessons have been drawn from them. But they always
seem to remain somewhat inconclusive if they have to be applied to
another battlefield and against another enemy.
How much for instance can be learned for Europe from the wars
that Israel has fought with its enemies? Neither the enemy nor the
terrain would be the same in Europe. Some of the equipment would
be similar, but if these wars taught anything, it was that equipment
by itself is not decisive. Thus, even now the Second World War is
still dominating the minds trying to imagine war in Europe.
Another 'built-in stabiliser' is of course the enemy. All actors must
keep in mind, that whatever they do, it should at least seem to reflect
a real concern with a real identifiable threat. Enemy actual and
potential behaviour is a converging point for all. Field manuals for
instance refer to war in general, but they are written and studied
within a specific political context, that is with a clear understanding
of who the enemy is and where the battlefield is going to be. This
is somewhat less important for tactical manuals, but for operational
and strategic doctrine, political assumptions become increasingly
important. Field Manual 100-5 'Operations' would look quite

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different, if the US Army thought that its most important battlefield

would be somewhere in South America.

As noted above, it is the task of the political system, of the state

leadership, to identify the enemy and this points to the fact that,
compared with the other three actors, the state is much more of an
outside force, providing objectives and imposing limits on the process
of technological and doctrinal change. In times of relatively slow and
gradual change, the built-in stabilisers, the dominant image of war,
the enemy, and also geography, limited resoures and so on, keep
the process from running out of track, exploding into different directions. In such times the role of the state is relatively indirect, albeit
important. In times of revolutionary changes in technology and intensive debate about the image of war, the role of the state is bound
to become more pertinent and more direct. Whereas the other actors
are professionally involved with military matters above all, politicians
are concerned with many different goals and means, of which the
military is one along with others. Nevertheless, the military derives
its purpose from the state and if it develops without reference to the
state, this could spell disaster for both. Carl von Clausewitz, the first
philosopher of modern war, coined the well-known dictum that war
is a continuation of politics with different means. It is less well
known, that Clausewitz meant this to be a prescription, not a statement of fact. War, if left to itself, he argued, tends to degenerate
into senseless slaughter. War has to be constantly restrained and
controlled by 'politics', that is by a sense of political purpose. Thus,
a useful military force is not necessarily one that gets there 'the
fastest with the mostest', but one that can be easily controlled,
restrained (but if necessary also unleashed, if only it can be whistled
back) by political purpose and political decision-making. In that
sense, doctrine must be determined by politics and must be evaluated
in that light: not only if it is efficient, competent, effective in a
technical sense, but also if it provides useful and controllable military
options under the different political modalities that can be foreseen.
In 1914 Europe 'stumbled into war', as Lloyd George described it
later. Not one country went into the war wholeheartedly, but everywhere political leadership was told by their generals that there was
no respectable way out, after mobilisation had started. Planning was

132 Emerging Technologies and the Politics of Doctrinal Debate

highly complex, efficient and technically competent, but it was still
bad planning, leaving no option but war. The military professional
displays a natural resistance to politics creeping into doctrine, complicating and inhibiting warfare. Political decision-makers on the other
hand must have an interest in keeping full control of events.
Especially in the twilight zone between war and peace, in times of
tension and crisis, doctrine should be such that it provides options,
and does not force politics into any one direction. Particularly, when
the highest aim of politics is to prevent war from breaking out - and
if it breaks out, then to stop it as soon as possible - crisis-stability
must be an important element in the design of military doctrine.
Compared with the days of Clausewitz this twilight zone between
war and peace has become much more important. In our peculiar
twentieth century newspeak we have even called peace 'cold war'.
Under such circumstances, political control over the military is a
permanent issue. Now that personal experience with the Second
World War is fading and revolutionary technologies promise to
change the face of battle, debate about the design of new doctrines,
about what weapons to buy and how to use them, is in need of
political inputs. A new 'image of war' is never a technical solution
of an optimisation problem, but the outcome of a political process.
The dominant image of war in Central Europe is still very much
influenced by the experience of the Second World War. That is to
say, a war in which tanks represent the 'arm of decision', paving the
way for infantry and supported by artillery and tactical air force.
Tactics are characterised by mechanised movement, and 'blitzkrieg'
attack is considered the most promising offensive strategy.
The history of warfare can be divided into periods in which armour
is dominant, trusting on mobility and 'shock' effect, and periods in
which unarmoured troops, fighting at a longer range with projectile
weapons (longbow, musket, missile) dominate the battlefield. 2 The
First World War saw the definitive end of a long unarmoured period,
roughly dating from 1346 (Battle of Crecy) to 1917 (Battle of
Cambrai). Since then, armour is generally considered to be decisive
in modern land warfare. Even most theoreticians of guerilla warfare,
which is by definition warfare of the unarmoured against the
armoured, emphasise that a final decision can usually only be reached

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by regular armoured troops. The Second World War of course

brought us the ultimate anti-armour weapon, the atomic bomb. In
accordance with the logic of earlier ages the nuclear weapon was
indeed further developed as an anti-tank weapon - from the tactical
nuclear weapons of the 1950s to the 'enhanced radiation warhead'
(N-Bomb) of the 1980s. Tactical manuals were revised and armoured
formations were told to disperse over a larger area, so that they
would not be destroyed all at once by one tactical nuclear weapon. Of
course, spreading tanks over a larger area diminishes their offensive
'shock' impact and that is still one of the important military considerations for NATO not to give a no-first-use declaration- thus forcing
Warsaw Pact troops to remain dispersed.
There was, however, from the beginning also a current of opinion
among military thinkers, that emphasised that nuclear weapons could
not be treated as just another weapon to be used against armour.
On the one hand, the fact that only one bomber would have to
penetrate defences in order to inflict unacceptable damage created
problems of grand strategy. Dimensions and meaning of winning a
war had to be re-investigated. This resulted in the well known
theories of deterrence and the mutual 'balance of terror'. Nuclear
weapons became a special class of weapons, regardless of their size.
It was realised that any use of them would probably be seen as an
enormous escalation, greatly enhancing the chances of war degenerating in an orgy of destruction. On the other hand, there was the
fact, that nuclear weapons also have a lasting effect on the environment through radiation, contaminating the battlefield and its
surroundings for many years. Increasingly, military thinking came to
accept the proposition that nuclear weapons might not be used after
all, even if they are available, just like chemical weapons had not
been used in the Second World War.
Thus, although the presence of nuclear weapons has greatly
influenced strategic thinking- or rather has created a level of strategy
of its own - and although it has definitely influenced tactical and
operational doctrine, mainly in the sense of spreading out armoured
formations over a larger area (at least until contact is made with the
enemy), by and large the 'image of war' as presented in exercises
and field manuals has not changed as much as one might have
More recently, the coming of new precision-guided anti-tank
munitions has again raised the question whether the character of
warfare is changing - now on a purely conventional level. Will the

134 Emerging Technologies and the Politics of Doctrinal Debate

use of new technologies start a new area of unarmoured warfare? 3
Modern armoured forces are a complex array of weapons and
vehicles, all of which have specific functions that have to be carried
out in a mutually supportive way. In defensive armoured warfare,
tanks can simply be used as mobile anti-tank guns, but it is usually
considered better to keep them in reserve. Dug-in infantry, artillery
and helicopters with anti-armour munitions and missiles then have
the primary task of halting or slowing down enemy forces. Once the
enemy is engaged, tanks can counter-attack with all their shock and
speed. Alternatively, enemy forces that have moved through the
defensive line can be attacked in the flanks.
Tanks can be attacked basically by three types of weapons: guns,
rockets and guided missiles, and mines. Their thick frontal armour
can be penetrated by two kinds of munition. The first sort, kinetic
energy rounds, projectiles made of hardened steel or some other
heavy metal, penetrate by sheer speed. These can only be fired by
cannon, that provides them with the necessary velocity. Anti-tank
guns, designed for relatively short distance direct-fire (2-3 km) and
the guns of other tanks can serve that purpose. There are still many
tank experts who maintain that a tank is the best anti-tank weapon.
The other type of munition is called shaped charge or HEAT for
high-explosive anti-tank and penetrates by what might be called a
'focused explosion'. Shaped charge warheads do not depend on
velocity and can be fired from other launchers besides cannon. The
Second World War bazooka, for instance, was a small rocket with
a shaped charge warhead that could be fired by one man from a
shoulder-held tube. The bazooka, with a range of only about 50-70 m,
was very inaccurate, but if enough of them were around they still
forced the tank into much more cautious movement.
Modern anti-tank guided munitions (ATGM) are a vast improvement over the bazooka. They promise a high accuracy over their full
range, because the trajectory of the projectile can be changed if the
target is moving. This makes ATGM potentially more effective than
a gun. Precision-guidance implies essentially, that every tank that
can be seen, can be hit. That statement, however, should be interpreted with caution. Especially at longer distances, the tank crew
(or a special observer) may see the missile being fired. Its low speed
(taking 20 seconds to cover 20 km) may give them time to go into
hiding or to create a smoke-screen. Slowness as well as size of the
missile mean that an ATGM unit can only fire a couple of missiles
per minute and usually will not have a large stock of them anyway.

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Besides, not every hit is a kill. Modern tanks are very heavily
armoured and can withstand direct hits especially of smaller
warheads. That means that the tank, that can fire much more rapidly,
can try to take aim at the ATGM unit or call for fire from artillery.
Also, at too close a range many guided missiles are ineffective,
because they will not have developed enough velocity to respond to
guidance commands. There are many potential battlefield situations
in Central Europe, where vision is much less than the range for which
ATGM have been designed. The problem of ATGM launchers'
vulnerability to artillery fire can be solved by mounting the missile
on armoured vehicles, but that of course greatly increases costs. On
the other hand, ATGM units can occupy prepared well-camouflaged
positions and be covered by minefields. If a minefield slows down a
tank formation, chances of it being hit by ATGM increase.
A real battle is more than a series of simple one-to-one confrontations between tanks and ATGMs: it is a confrontation between
armoured forces consisting of a complex array of combined arms.
The coming of ATGM has been hailed by some as signifying the end
of the battle-tank. Others maintain, that the tank still has a real
future. Even the several wars that have seen the use of precision
guided munition have not led to any consensus among experts. The
outcome of an armoured conflict depends on more things than fire
power alone. However, no one will deny that the defence against
tanks and other armoured vehicles has been strengthened greatly.
ATGM basically imply a qualitative change in the quantities of
munition needed to eliminate an armoured target. Present day
ATGM may still have problems in stopping the most modern, fast
and heavily armoured (and expensive) tank, but the development of
ATGM has only just started. They no doubt will become more
effective - and more expensive as well. A similar story can be told
about the aeroplane's confrontation with the surface-to-air guided
missile. Modern advances in computing speed have made it possible
to develop missiles that have a good chance of hitting even the fastest
aircraft. At least some of the traditional functions of the aeroplane
in land warfare have been put in doubt by this development and
alternatives have been proposed, with ground-to-ground missiles,
helicopters and remotely piloted vehicles taking its place.

136 Emerging Technologies and the Politics of Doctrinal Debate


Present day doctrinal debate in NATO reflects the many uncertainties that exist about the best way to use the new weapons and
technologies in actual warfare. And, of course, doctrinal change in
turn influences the impact of these technologies by determining the
mode in which they will be used. The outcome of the 'race' between
tank and ATGM, for instance, will depend heavily on investment
and development decisions based on the chosen doctrine.
The doctrinal debate is highly complicated, not only because
of the many technological uncertainties, but also because participants move on or between different levels and dimensions of the
problem: between the political and the military, the potential and
the desirable, the tactical, operational or strategic level. Some of
the major issues, however, can be discerned, if we differentiate
between the following three positions: 'hightech', 'reform' and
'politics first'.
The 'high tech' position is basically a continuation of postwar
attitudes: trust in technology to solve all problems and in the technological superiority of the West to balance out quantitative deficiencies. The image of war is still essentially that of the armourdominated battlefield, but in blown-up dimensions: high intensity,
high speed, long distance. Problems with complexity and vulnerability of the major weapons systems are recognised, but their
solution is sought for again in technology, especially in great expansion of what is called C3I: Command, Control, Communications and
Intelligence. All weapons and supporting systems are drawn together
by an invisible web of communication links, which ensures that
their relatively small numbers can deliver the increasingly accurate
munitions against all targets in an optimal way. Electronic warfare,
the struggle for command over the electromagnetic spectrum, is a
natural complement to the C3I system.
AirLand Battle, FOFA and the many systems that have been
discussed in connection with them are representative of this 'high
tech' position, as incidentally is SDI. Given the limits of present-day
defence budgets, resources will not be sufficient to realise the
'perfect' solutions presented by high technology. Serious vulnerabilities therefore remain in this set-up. Consequently, the possibility of
first use of nuclear weapons remains a natural and essential
ingredient. Support for this position can be found everywhere in
conservative circles, but is most natural in the world of research and

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the arms industry, as well as among professional military with an

engineering background.
The 'reform' position is named here after the so-called 'military
reform' movement in the United States, but includes many institutions and persons in Europe as well. 4 This position holds that
military technology has become too complex and impractical, and
that the time has come both to trade back some quality for quantity,
and to adapt tactics to the new environment of precision-guided
munitions. It is furthermore emphasised, that present policy neglects
a vital ingredient in warfare: the human factor. The armed forces
have become increasingly dependent on a large supply of highly
qualified technicians and officers, who can quickly take complex
decisions. It is doubted, whether the needed quality of personnel will
become available in the necessary numbers. The 'reform' position is
compatible with a no-first-use option concerning nuclear weapons,
as it sees clear possibilities for a viable conventional defence in
Europe with current technology and with approximately the same or
slightly rising defence budgets - if only technology is used correctly.
Some 'reformists' have also formulated quite far-reaching proposals
for doctrinal change, but contrary to the 'politics first' position (see
below) their arguments remain on a purely military-technical level.
In the confrontation between tank and ATGM, the reformist is more
interested in their relative accuracy and cost-effectiveness than in
the potentially offensive, provocative or defensive character of the
In the final analysis, technology to the reformists is a 'given' and
the idea that doctrine can also be used to push technology in a
desired direction is not part of their frame of reference. Politicians
interested in possible long-term savings on defence budgets and less
technology minded military experts, who adhere to more traditional
military values, tend to be supportive of a 'reform' position.
Some of the doctrinal proposals from the 'reform' spectrum can
also be found in the 'politics first' position, but here they are
presented as part of a different logic. 5 The 'politics first' position
emphasises the political dimensions of doctrinal debate. It is recognised that decisions made in the design of new doctrines will determine future political options, crisis-stability and the likelihood of
different war scenarios. The present period is seen as a crucial period
of change in the armed forces: new technologies have to be absorbed
and the way that is done determines the future course of technology.
Within that process of change, it is argued, political priorities should

138 Emerging Technologies and the Politics of Doctrinal Debate

be dominant- not only in the sense of drawing financial limits, but

also by actively penetrating and controlling doctrinal debate. The
different proposals for 'defensive' or 'non-provocative' defence start
out with these politically desirable attributes, develop requirements
for doctrine from them, and then argue that existing and emerging
technologies can be used to make such doctrines work. More or less
complete alternative defence doctrines have been constructed, based
on a new image of war, in which there is little or no place left for
(fixed-wing) aircraft and tanks. A lot of emphasis is put on relatively
static forms of defence, using artificial and natural obstacles and
sheltered infantry. Fire-power is assumed to be accurate and devastating, based on precision-guided munitions. Predetermined tactics
and decentralised decision-making make advanced CJI much less
important. Support for this approach is coming from parts of the
peace movement, from politicians who are dissatisfied with present
NATO policies and from some military experts, who are also
convinced that the image of war has completely changed.
The contention that the whole image of war is radically changing is
a major and indeed decisive argument in favour of intensive political
involvement with military 'technical' debate. As argued above, if so
much is in flux in the armed forces, it is necessary that the political
purpose of it all impinges constantly on all aspects of the process of
The important contribution of the 'politics first' position, which in
its military-technical proposals leans heavily on some 'reform' type
military experts, is to point out time and again that doctrinal debate
always has both a military-technical and a political-strategic dimension and that these two influence each other. More specifically, the
'politics first' approach points out that there may exist important
contradictions between military expediency and the requirements of
crisis management. And since in the nuclear era crisis-management
has become all-important, wherever such contradictions arise they
should be solved in favour of the political requirement of crisisstability. Much of doctrinal debate within the military takes as its
starting point a situation of war. How war came to happen is
considered to be a different subject. Thus, tactics and technology
are optimised under the assumption of a full-fledged war. If there is

Ben Dankbaar


a scenario about the beginning of conflict, it is usually patterf!ed on

the Second World War: unexpected 'blitzkrieg' attack. The 'politics
first' proponents argue that this is the wrong scenario; that the scenario of the First World War, the process of 'stumbling into war',
where the adversaries are propelled by their own military technical/
strategic measures, is more relevant. The point here is not so much
to debate what kind of attack to expect (if there is an attack, the
WTO will probably at least try to use blitzkrieg tactics), but to point
to the role of military doctrine and technology in the period of
crisis leading up to war: to the constraints and options they provide
politicians for crisis-management. 6 Much thought of the 'politics first'
school is concerned with the impression that military measures will
make on the enemy in times of crisis. A purely defensive system
presumably has the two qualities of not frightening or provoking the
enemy without giving up defensive strength and at the same time of
not forcing its adherents into any positive military action, before war
has actually started.
Interestingly the arguments of the 'politics first' school tend to
provoke political reactions from the other positions. The 'high tech'
and 'reform' schools will point out, that they too are premised on
clear political priorities - among them the need to integrate West
Germany into NATO and therefore to maintain a concept of forward
defence as long as the Germans want it. Thus, doctrinal debate
becomes political debate: the image of war is tied to scenarios of
war and crisis. And that is only natural and proper in times of rapidly
changing technologies.
Doctrinal debate and its political connotations are also reflected
in the discussions about concrete weapons systems. Technical
configuration, military value, order of importance, number required
etc. of a specific weapon have to be judged in the light of doctrinal
choice. In the following chapters some currently debated weapon
systems and procurement proposals are analysed accordingly.



The conception 'image of war' refers to the title of a historical study

by the well known military theoretician Ferdinand Otto Miksche, Vom
Kriegsbild (Stuttgart: Seewad Verlag, 1976).
Tom Wintringharn!J. N. Blashford-Snell, Weapons and Tactics
(Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1973 (1943)).
The following is heavily indebted to two excellent studies on modern

140 Emerging Technologies and the Politics of Doctrinal Debate



warfare: Saymour J. Deitchman, Military Power and the Advance of

Technology - General Purpose Military Forces for the 1980s and
Beyond (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1983); James F.
Dunnigan, How to Make War- A Comprehensive Guide to Modern
Warfare (New York: Quill, 1983); also Kenneth Macksey, Tank
Warfare- A History of Tanks in Battle (Frogmore: Panther Books,
1976); some recent contributions to the debate are: Phillip A. Karber,
'In Defence of Forward Defence', in Armed Forces Journal International, May 1984; Wolfgang Altenburg (Inspector-general of the
Bundeswehr), 'Starkung der konventionellen Verteidigungsfiihigkeit
- Konsequenzen fiir die Wehrtechnik aus militiirischer Sicht', in
Wehrtechnik 7/84; Eberhard Eimler (Inspector of the German
Luftwaffe), 'Die Rolle der Luftstreitkriifte in der NATO', in Wehrtechnik 9/84.
Asa A. Clark IV et al (ed.), The Defence Reform Debate- Issues and
Analysis (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984). We
also include in the 'reform' spectrum the so-called gang of four:
McGeorge Bundy et a/.,'Nuclear weapons and the Atlantic Alliance',
in Foreign Affairs, vol. 60:4 (Spring 1982); and ESECS European
Security Study) Strengthening Conventional Deterrence in Europe Proposals for the 1980s (London: Macmillan, 1983); also British
Atlantic Committee, Diminishing the Nuclear Threat - NATO's
Defence and New Technology, (London: 1983).
For a survey with extensive literature see Ben Dankbaar, 'Alternative
defence Policies and the Peace Movement', in Journal of Peace
Research, vol. 21 (1984), no. 2.
Alexander L. George, Crisis Management: 'The Interaction of
Political and Military Considerations', in Survival, vol. 26 (1984), no.

12 Surveillance Satellites, a
European Role?
Caesar Voute

Emerging technologies in the fields of sensors, data processing,

communications and artificial intelligence, offer new possibilities of
space utilisation. The American Strategic Defense Initiative is well
known. In this chapter a less advertised alternative is discussed,
which could have a decidedly stabilising effect on international
relations, instead of promoting a new arms race. This is the setting
up of an International Satellite Monitoring Agency (ISMA) to
supplement the present national, that is superpower controlled,
facilities for arms control verification and crisis monitoring from
outer space.
The present reliance on the superpowers for international monitoring services has considerable disadvantages. Their national interests inevitably come first, limiting their willingness to render services
to third parties. They obviously fear the risk of revealing secret
technical capabilities. For this reason alone they tend only to transmit
interpretations and assessments, without the original data on which
they are based. This puts the receiving countries at the disadvantage
of having to rely entirely on superpower judgement of a situation,
without means to evaluate matters independently. This is a politically
unacceptable situation.
A reliance on superpower satellite monitoring services also creates
new bonds of dependence, putting receiving countries in a position
of 'client-state'. Such services would normally be restricted to allies.
The non-aligned countries would find it difficult to obtain satellite
monitoring services, without political strings attached.
Even treaty members have difficulties in relying exclusively for
their information needs on evaluations by their superpower ally. It
certainly is in the interest of collective decision-making and of equitable power distribution among the members of an alliance, that
each member has adequate access to basic information and be able
to judge a situation by its own means. Moreover, such independent
assessments could help to redress erroneous interpretations and
faulty judgements by other member states, no country and not even


Surveillance Satellites, a European Role?

a superpower being infallible in this respect. At present, treaty

members - especially the smaller ones - run the risk of being drawn
into superpower confrontation by shear lack of adequate
Many arguments plead therefore in favour of an international
satellite monitoring agency.
The ISMA has been on the United Nations agenda since 1978,
with the basic idea going back to the late 1950s and the 1960s.l In
the 1970s a more developed proposal was circulated among arms
control advocates at international Pugwash conferences. The first
formal proposal was tabled by Giscard d'Estaing, then President of
France, at the UN General Assembly devoted to disarmament. A
committee of experts was created, which presented a report
suggesting a step by step approach. 2 In the first, experimental, phase
freely available images from civilian earth observation satellites were
to be processed with commercially available equipment. In the
second phase satellites specially designed for surveillance would be
The report did, however, not get the desired political follow-up,
due to lack of interest, or even outright opposition by the superpowers and other industrialised states.
The two superpowers remain firmy opposed against an ISMA,
maintaining that they are perfectly willing to share with other nations
on a case-by-case basis information they obtained by satellite monitoring. They are apparently concerned by the prospect of a proliferation of advanced surveillance technology amongst third parties, not
involved in their bilateral arrangements. They wish to protect not
only their strategic position, but also their technological advance
over other nations. Neither do they want to share advanced technology with (international) institutions, where 'irresponsible' majorities could conceivably use it to the political and military detriment
of leading states.3
To achieve a breakthrough in the stalemate at the UN a Regional
Satellite Monitoring Agency (RSMA) has been proposed, to be
established outside the United Nations system. 4
Europe has been mentioned as the proper region of the establishment of a regional satellite monitoring agency because it is both

Caesar V oute


highly militarised, and technologically and industrially particularly

well equipped. It has achieved a sufficient level of capability in space
technology to take a credible political initiative towards the setting
up of such an agency, the European Space Agency (ESA) being the
third space power in terms of exploration and peaceful uses of outer
space. Another advantage is that there already exists a well organised
intergovernmental infrastructure suited for addressing technical
aspects of an ISMA or an RSMA through ESA in Western Europe
and the Interkosmos Council in Eastern Europe. 4
As a militarisation of ESA's activities is explicitly debarred under
the terms of the ESA conventon, the Executive of the Agency could
only undertake activities in this field on authorisation of another
political entity. Such activities would entail guarantees to protect the
legitimate interests of neutral ESA member states. If international
confidence building and arms control monitoring were to be the
objectives, neutral countries would probably give support.
The Interkosmos Council is also not mandated to undertake action
in this field on its own. But like ESA it could undertake studies for
a policy-oriented party acting in a technical advisory capacity. The
Interkosmos Council and ESA have the additional advantage that
they are regularly engaged in co-operative scientific programmes,
such as the forthcoming exploration of Halley's comet. This allows
the two organisations to act as a channel for technical co-operation
between Eastern and Western Europe. They could cooperate in
some way, on a technical feasibility study of a European RSMA,
provided that the political responsibility is borne by other bodies.
Such studies are necessary to complement and update the UN
study. They should address the technical specifications of the whole
satellite based monitoring system, including the ground segment.
Decisions about ground segment and space segment cannot be taken
independently, as suggested by the step by step approach of the UN
report. Decisions on subsystems should take fully into account the
mode of operation determined right from the start of the programme.
Experience with civilian earth observation systems shows that the
ground segment still constitutes the weakest link. Examples are the
long delays with the processing of the US SEASAT radar satellite up to several years after this satellite had ended the function after
only 100 days of operation.
Timeliness of ground segment operations is a critical factor for a
defence satellite monitoring system, because the information


Surveillance Satellites, a European Role?

necessary for crisis management should be available in near real

Another requirement is all-weather and night capability. These
are provided by scanning using active emission of microwaves by the
system and recording the reflection from the earth's surface for
instance. This capability will be installed on-board the first European
Earth Resources Satellite ERS-1, to be launched by the European
Space Agency ESA around the year 1988. 5 Meanwhile, work is also
progressing on improving data processing and handling. 6
So some kind of European political initiative is necessary to allow
the two European technical space organisations to undertake the
required studies, and then to implement the results.
In recent years several proposals have been put forward. Not all
proposals can, however, lead to the desired goal of independent
crisis monitoring and arms control verification, or be seen as
confidence buildimg measures. Initiatives invented to strengthen the
military or industrial potential of one of the antagonists, will be
experienced as a threat by the opponent.
The French proposal made in 1984 by Mitterrand (The Hague, 7
Feb. 1984), to launch a European space station for defence purposes
is a case in point. The suggested setting up of a European Space
Community, parallel to the EEC, to strengthen (West) European
defence and industrial potential has nothing to do with the endeavour
to promote international confidence building. A more recent French
proposal receiving widespread political support, known as
EUREKA, has more possibilities. Although inspired by the desire
to prevent European participation in the SDI pogramme without
losing its benefits for industry, it has grown into a wider activity. With
neutral and even pro-Soviet countries like Finland participating, it
could offer the required trans-European setting.
The recent recommendation by the Western European Union
concerning satellite monitoring and a manned space station, 7 has
less potential for confidence building, with the Union consisting
exclusively of countries associated with NATO. The technical difference between satellite surveillance for crisis management or for the
acquisition of moving targets for deep strike attack are slight, both
requiring (near) real-time and all weather capabilities.

Caesar V oute


More promising as a first step towards an ISMA is the action taken

by the Council of Europe, which includes amongst its 21 states
several neutral countries. The council is, however, only an advisory
body, and it is therefore important that several of its neutral member
states have taken initiatives to implement its recommendations. In
1985 Mr Edouard Brunner, Swiss Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs, made public proposals to establish satellite surveillance and
monitoring services operated by neutral countries.s Sweden, Finland,
and Austria would be associated with the proposals, which could be
a follow-up to proposals for confidence building and security,
submitted in 1984 by eight neutral countries to the Conference on
Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). The neutral countries,
in particular Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, are in a
unique position to break through the stalemate at the CSCE Conference, with its 35 participating governments including both NATO
and Warsaw Pact members, and neutral countries. Not only are these
four countries strictly neutral, often acting as intermediaries, they
also dispose of sufficient technological and financial resources.
So there is every chance of an important step being taken in the
near future towards the establishment of a European regional satellite monitoring agency as a confidence building gesture, and a stepping stone to an eventual international agency for the independent
monitoring of crisis situations and arms control treaties. In times in
which space is associated primarily with the arms race and stars with
anything but peace, this is a hopeful sign.




George E. Brown Jr, Member of the House of Representatives, 1984,

'Unpublished review of the Origins of the Proposals for an International Satellite Monitoring Agency (ISMA), dated 3 February 1984,
10 pages.
'The Implications of Establishing an International Satellite Monitoring
Agency (ISMA)', New York 1983, Sales Number E.83-IX-3rd, earlier
submitted to the General Assembly as Document A/AL206/14,
Report of the Secretary General, 6 August 1981.
R. Vayrynen, 'Conflict Management in International Relations', in
The United Nations University Newsletter UNU, vol. 8, no. 2 (Nov.
1984) p. 6.
B. Jasani, Reconnaissance from Space', the SIPRI Workshop on
Measures to Reduce the Fear of Surprise Attack in Europe (Stockholm: SIPRI, 1983).




Surveillance Satellites, a European Role?

F.G. Sawyer, 'E R5-1 Active Microwave Instrument (AMI) Design
Constraints', Proceedings EAR eLl ESA Symposium on European
Remote Sensing Opportunities: Systems, Sensors and Applications,
Strassborg, France, 31 March- 3 April 1985.
S. Quegau, 'The Development of Automatic Methods for Handling
SAR Images Over Land' in Proceedings EARSeL/ESA (see note 5).
The Military Use of Space, Report submitted on behalf of the Committee
on Scientific, Technological and Aerospace Questions by Mr Wilkinson,
Rapporteur, Assembly of Western European Union, Thirtieth Ordinary Session (First Part), Document 976, 15 May 1984.
J. Kuntz and P. A. Stauffer, 'Revelations du secretaire d'Etat Edouard
Brunner- Les Suisses espions du desarmament', L'HEBDO (le 14
fevrier 1985) pp. 10-12.

13 The Future of
Unmanned Aircraftl
Gunilla Herolf

Recent technological advances such as in securing data links and

increasing stealth capability have led to a renewed interest in aircraft
which operate without a pilot. There are basically two types of
unmanned aircraft. The drone is a vehicle that either follows an
entirely preprogrammed trajectory or homes in on a target via a
target-seeker. The Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) is more flexible,
and can be directed or redirected by a remotely located operator.
Drones and RPVs can either be sent on one-way missions or be
reusable. Their trajectory is often programmed to form a pattern so
as to cover a certain area. The endurance time of flight is therefore
one appropriate measure of their capability. Another measure is
penetration range, describing the distance between point of launch
and the furthest point of their trajectory. Both drones and RPVs
could offer advantages above the use of manned aircraft in risky
environments, because losses, both in terms of human beings and
costs, are smaller.
Unmanned aircraft usually have fixed wings. The helicopter type
though developed and tested has not yet become operational. This
type does have certain advantages. The vertical launch and recovery
mode makes them less dependent upon terrain conditions and the
symmetrical shape permits them to easily change direction in flight.
The helicopter types, however, do have lower speed and endurance
time and a smaller payload capacity than the fixed-wing types.2
The earlier development of unmanned aircraft in the United States
was triggered off by the shooting down of the U2 reconnaissance
plane by the Soviet Union in 1960. This made it possible for the
USA to employ them in Vietnam. More than 3000 missions were
flown for reconnaissance tasks, and also for electronic warfare and
for dropping propaganda leaflets.3



The Future of Unmanned Aircraft

There was a lively interest in unmanned aircraft in the USA during

the 1960s and 1970s. 4 Development programmes were also pursued
in other countries such as France, the Federal Republic of Germany,
Italy, Israel, Belgium, the UK and Sweden, some of them leading
to operational vehicles. 5 6 A number of factors led to this surge of
interest. With unmanned aircraft, no human lives are risked, so very
dangerous missions can be undertaken. Since no special measures
have to be taken for the safety and comfort of a pilot, the vehicle is
cheaper to build than a manned machine. Its performance is
enhanced, since it can manoeuvre at speeds that human beings
cannot sustain. 7
However, in the late 1970s the picture changed drastically: few
programmes were being pursued in the world. In the USA the last
RPV squadron was disbanded in 1978, and in 1981 the last remaining
Air Force development project was abandoned. Only the Army
Aquila mini-RPV programme remained in development.s Several
factors contributed to this decline. Technical problems were
important, such as the difficulties in creating jam-proof communication links, and the labour-intensive and costly launch and recovery
A second factor was the ambivalent attitude of the armed forces.
Both the air forces and the ground forces have had other on-going
projects with which RPVs had to compete. Moreover, the air forces
were inclined to restrict their use to missions supporting rather than
replacing manned aircraft.
During the past few years, however, the awareness of the possibilities
of unmanned aircraft has increased greatly as is signified by the
growing resources devoted to ongoing and new development
projects. The demand for purchases of these vehicles has also risen.
This renewed interest was triggered by the demonstration of RPV
utility made by the Israelis in the Bekaa Valley campaign in 1982.
RPVs, like the Israeli-developed Scout and Mastiff 2, were used for
long-range reconnaissance missions, carried out long before hostilities started. During the conflict itself RPVs were also used for surveillance, direction of artillery fire and a number of other tasks. The
now famous incident took place on 9 June 1982. Seventeen Syrian
surface-to-air missile launchers were destroyed and two more

Gunilla Herolf


severely damaged within a period of less than two hours. Additionally, 29 MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft defending the missile sites were
downed without any loss to the Israelis.
Little has been officially revealed about this attack but, whereas
the role of the RPVs might have been exaggerated in early accounts,
they are still considered to have played a vital role. In the assault
the RPVs approached, acting like manned aircraft, thereby causing
the air defence radars to be activated. This enabled the Israeli
command aircraft to establish the frequencies of these radars,
enabling other Israeli aircraft to jam them. After this suppression of
the enemy air defence, bombardment was carried out with ease.
Meanwhile, RPVs circling over the missile sites were transmitting
TV pictures of the battlefield in real time.
The extraordinary results of this attack were due, not only to their
effective use and coordination, but also to the included element of
surprise, and the short distance from Israel's airbases to the
targets. 10 11
Meanwhile, improvements have also been made in the technology
relevant to unmanned aircraft. Apart from achievements in securing
the data links and reducing the observables of the vehicles, progress
has been made in areas such as composite materials, engine technology, sensors, command and control systems and data storage.
Some of the improvements serve not only to increase efficiency and
survivability but also to decrease costs .12
Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Designation

Reconnaissance and surveillance have traditionally been the most

important tasks of RPVs and drones. Most of the ongoing and
planned programmes are in this area. The unmanned aircraft can
supply information in real time to ground commanders to enable
them to attack mobile targets like tanks. This gives a greatly
increased capability; it is, however, necessary that the large amount
of data can be smoothy integrated into the 0 system.
The CL-289, currently being developed, is to have a penetration
range of 120 km and a large number of possible trajectories. This
type of drone, travelling at high speed, would not actually identify
targets but would be able to select areas containing potential targets.


The Future of Unmanned Aircraft

The CL-289 will be able to forward infra-red pictures with real-time

transmission from a distance of about 75 km. 6
A medium-range surveillance RPV, with a penetration range of
50-70 km, has been selected by NATO as one of the priority items
among emerging technology programmes. It would identify targets
and continuously transmit information of their position. Weapons
such as the 30-40 km range Multiple Launch Rocket System
(MLRS), require something like this in order to be used effectively,
and countries deploying the MLRS (the USA, France, the FRG, the
UK and Italy) all intend to use RPVs for this purpose. The introduction of terminally guided warheads, for which contracts were
awarded in November 1984, will give the MLRS the capability to
engage point (as opposed to area) moving targets from a long
distance. The real-time data transmission of the RPVs will be an
essential prerequisite for attacks on targets of this type. Furthermore,
the search area of each terminally guided warhead will be small (in
order to minimise effects of ground clutter). This will also contribute
to the requirement for fast and very accurate information on target
positions .13
The 50 km RPV Aquila is under development in the US. Apart
from surveillance and target acquisition, it is designed to perform
laser target designation, illumination of the target with a laser beam
to permit the use of laser-homing weapons such as the Copperhead
artillery round. For this the beam must be directed at the target until
the laser-homing weapon hits it. Very high attrition can therefore be
expected for such missions, which makes them more suitable for
RPVs or drones than for manned helicopters or hand-held
In West Germany concepts have been submitted for the Kleinftuggeriit fur ZielOrtung (KZO), an RPV with requirements similar to
those for US Aquila, to enter service in about 1992.1 4
The Phoenix RPV, currently under development in the UK, is
planned for service with the British corps in West Germany. A
long-range stand-off radar, borne by manned aircraft, is to collect
information, which will permit the RPV to be directed more effectively to potential targets.1 5
Unmanned aircraft can also play a role in the spotting of radar and
radio emitting sources. For long range electronic and communication
reconnaissance, the Precision Location Strike System (PLSS), is to
be introduced by NATO in 1986. This aircraft-based system will be
able to locate and identify radio-emitting sources up to a range of

Gunilla Herolf


130 km. At shorter ranges, these tasks can be performed by RPVs

and drones. In doing this they would search for, identify, locate and
report the emitting source. 9
Electronic Warfare

RPVs and drones have several roles in electronic warfare, especially

in the suppression of enemy air defence. When used as decoys they
can, by emitting the proper radio signals make the enemy air defence
believe that aircraft are approaching. The frequencies of the enemy
radars, then switched on, could be ascertained and jammed either
by manned or unmanned aircraft. RPV decoys may also be used to
provoke the firing of enemy surface-to-air missiles, thereby saturating
enemy air defences. Or unmanned aircraft could dispense chaff and
flares in order to confuse radars and infra-red sensors. Approaching
or loitering RPVs could, of course, induce the enemy to switch off
its radars as a means of protection, but that again would reduce the
effectiveness of his air defence. 7
Attack Missions

When fitted with a warhead or carrying weapons, RPVs and drones

can themselves attack targets. There is currently one such system
operational: the US-developed Skyeye R4E-30, not operated by the
USA, but sold to Thailand.16
In the USA, a new RPV, the Pave Tiger is now being developed,
primarily for the suppression or destruction of enemy air defence
systems.17 The West German Army also formulated a tactical
requirement for this type of drone, the main target being the radar
of the Soviet ZSU-23-4 anti-aircraft gun system. 14
The Panzer-Abwehr-Drohne (PAD) is being developed by West
Germany for use against tanks, and later on, against other targets.
Different combinations of acoustic, millimetre wave and infra-red
sensors are being tested.1 4
For attack missions, drones would function in the same role as
missiles. The long loitering capability of the drones, however,
distinguishes them. Attacking the mobile targets at long ranges with
precision-guided weapons is a more complicated task than attacking
fixed targets. Doubts have been raised as to the capabilities of the
sensors for this, especially in the presence of counter-measures.


The Future of Unmanned Aircraft

Other Missions

RPVs or drones can also perform communication tasks, or be used

as delivery vehicles for the strewing out of expendable jammers
over enemy territory. 7 When equipped with different sensors some
reconnaissance and surveillance RPVs can be used for other tasks.
Sensors are then offered for sale on an optional basis. Other RPVs,
like the US Skyeye R4E-30 and R4E-40 are multifunctional from
the outset.
Current military thinking and new technical developments indicate
an increased role for RPVs and drones in the future, either to take
over tasks of other weapons or platforms, or to support them. They
can also be employed alongside other systems adding to the variety
and thereby increasing the difficulties of countering them. Since
RPVs and drones have some distinct advantages over manned
aircraft, they can replace them for a number of tasks. It is, however,
important to note that they do not possess the operational flexibility
of manned aircraft.
The extent to which RPVs and drones will be introduced will
depend heavily on whether technical expectations are met. A great
deal has been achieved in this field, but serious technical problems
were encountered in their development.
Cost considerations, however, will also play a major role since
one important motive for introducing RPVs and drones is their
claimed cost-effectiveness. These expecations have not always been
fulfilled. Long and troubled development is one reason for this.
Renewed attention has now been given to costs in several countries.
Both drones and RPVs can play a role in a variety of doctrines.
In the anti-ballistic missile defence, now being developed in the
framework of the Strategic Defence Initiative, RPVs could perform
laser attack functions on the tactical level (see Chapter 5). More
feasible at present is the surveillance task essential to deep-strike
concepts. Present plans to extend the battlefield into the enemy's

Gunilla Herolf


rear areas increase the need for intelligence systems. Large amounts
of information will have to be gathered and analysed with great
speed to form a basis for decision making. In order to attack mobile
targets, information on enemy positions has to be acquired and
forwarded in real time to the several levels of command. This applies
for the Follow-On Forces Attack (FOFA) concept as well as for the
US Army's AirLand Battle doctrine.
Unmanned aircraft can also have an important function as tools
for international verification of arms control treaties. One could also
foresee the use of unmanned vehicles in a defence system, aimed at
providing effective defence of one's own territory, without being
suitable for launching an attack. Unmanned vehicles, equipped with
side-looking radars or other sensors, would fly along the border,
within the user's own territory. By continually monitoring military
activities within a predetermined area on the other side of the border
there would be added possibilities to discover preparations for an
attack. This would be a surveillance system of another type than the
Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) since
it would not have the capability to acquire targets and direct weapons
towards them. The weapons associated with this type of defence
would, moreover, be of a short-range, defensive character. The
surveillance system would be less complex than the JSTARS, and
would not depend on fixed bases, so it would also be less vulnerable.
The creation of such defensive surveillance systems on both sides
could, apart from reassurance, also serve as a confidence-building
A non-provocative defence could be set up in a number of ways.
It is often envisaged to include small, independent units covering
the defence of a specific area. Each unit would need intelligence
information pertaining to its own and adjacent areas. Different types
of RPV can be envisaged for such intelligence gathering, depending
on the size of the area and the type of terrain.
A defence system of this type is sometimes suggested to include
artillery, positioned at some distance from the border. If enemy
troops cross the border, they would be subject to artillery fire. RPVs
could then be launched to circle or hover over the area in order to
give important damage assessment to the defending units.
An obvious prerequisite for such uses of RPVs and drones as those
mentioned above is that the vehicles employed are recognised not
to be of the attack type. This should preferably be possible to estab-


The Future of Unmanned Aircraft

lish from their exterior, but other methods of verification agreed

upon could also be employed.
Whereas the recent technological developments indicate an
important role for unmanned aircraft in future defence, the way in
which they will be deployed is still open to choice. A wide range of
tasks can be carried out by RPVs and drones, adaptable to a variety
of miltary requirements. The detail of their future use will be determined by the chosen doctrine.




Cruise missiles, which could technically be defined as drones, are not

discussed in this chapter. Neither is the use of drones in peace-time
as targets for testing of other weapons.
'Remotely Piloted Helicopters', Brassey's Battlefield Weapon Systems
and Technology, Volume VII, Surveillance and Target Acquisition
Systems (Oxford: Brassey's Publishers, 1983) pp. 165-6.
Graham Warwick, 'Unmanned aircraft', Defence and Armament (1
March 1983) pp. 23-40.
Barry Miller, 'RPVs provide U.S. new weapon options', Aviation
Week & Space Technology (22 Jan. 1973) pp. 38-43.
'RPVs in combat', Aerospace international (July-Aug. 1972) pp. 5-11.
Frederick Bonnart, 'RPV for NATO', NATO's Sixteen Nations,
(Sept.-Oct. 1984) pp. 89-95.
Ernst Noack, 'Drones and RPVs Today and Tomorrow', Military
Technology, 10/83, pp. 14-27.
Brian Wanstall, 'Battlefield Surveillance, RPVs Bring it "Live" ',
Interavia, 4/1983, pp. 343-5.
Alan Hyman, 'Where are the RPVs?', Military Technology, 26 (Aug.
1981) pp. 22-8.
Karl Schnell, 'Experiences of the Lebanon War', Military Technology,
7/84, pp. 30-33.
Paul S. Cutter, 'Lt. Gen. Rafael Eitan: "We Learned Both Tactical
and Technical Lessons in Lebanon" ', Military Electronics/Countermeasures (Feb. 1983) pp. 94-102.
Bruce A. Smith, 'RPV Growth Depends on Technical Gains', Aviation
Week & Space Technology (8 Aug. 1983) pp. 42-3.
Wolfgang Flume and Enrico Po, 'MLRS, an Artillery Rocket System
for NATO', Military Technology, 2/85, pp. 15-25.
Brian Wanstall, 'Automated Air Support, MBB's Family of Drones',
International Defence Review, 8/1984, pp. 1087-90.


Gunilla Herolf

Interavia Airletter, No. 10, 314 (9 Aug. 1983) p. 4.

John Reed, 'Surveillance by Robot', Defence
pp. 127-130.
Defense Electronics (Oct. 1984) p. 37.



14 The Patriot Missile- an

Arms Control Impact
Wim A. Smit*

The Patriot is a hypermodern, mobile anti-aircraft missile system,
developed by the United States over a period of 17 years.
It will replace the now obsolete Nike-Hercules system, presently
deployed in a number of NATO countries. In contrast to the dualcapable Nike-Hercules missiles, most of which have a nuclear
warhead, the Patriot will be equipped with a conventional fragmentation warhead.
The Patriot missile is guided to its target by means of a modern,
phased array, ground-based radar and an advanced computer system.
Its radar can also be interfaced with other radar systems like
AWACS. Procurement by European NATO countries- beginning
with the Netherlands - started in 1984.
Arms Control Impact Analysis

The Patriot may be considered as an illustration of a variety of

weapon systems now being designed and developed on the basis of
new technologies, particularly in the field of sensors, microelectronics
and computers, and guidance systems.
The incorporation of new technologies in a new weapon system
to replace an old one, often seems quite natural. It is characterised as
'modernisation' and assumed to fit into the present military doctrine.
However, such 'modernisations' may give scope to a gradual shift in
military doctrine. The increase in accuracy of offensive missiles, for
* This chapter is based on an analysis of the Patriot system performed by a working
group of the Dutch Union of Concerned Scientists (VWW), consisting of: H. Akkermans, M. ter Borg-Neervoort, G. v. Ginkel, C. Hoi, 0. v. Kooten, L. v.d. Meer, P.
Rusman, J. Snel, W. Smit, R. v.d. Wijngaart.


Wim A. Smit


example, opened the door for limited nuclear war doctrines. This
holds especially when parallel technological weapon developments
all point in the same direction.
The introduction of new weapon systems may also provoke counter-measures or at least give the adversary a legitimation for the
deployment of 'neutralising' weapon systems, reacting to the change
in military capabilities, rather than to the proclaimed defensive intentions. Thus either as 'action' or as 'reaction' the modernisation of
weapon systems can contribute to the technological arms race.
In order to counter this mechanism decision making on new
weapon systems should be based on an analysis of the possible impact
of these systems on the arms race.
The arms control impact statements (ACIS) on new weapon
systems and weapon technologies, as required by the United States
Arms Control and Disarmament Act is a clear expression of this
need. 1 The ACIS as carried out by the US Arms Control and
Disarmament Agency (ACDA) includes both a technical description,
and an analysis of the arms control aspects, dealing with the relation
to arms control agreements and to current and prospective negotiations, including related verification problems; technological implications; potential interactions with other weapon programmes; and
consistency with US arms control and White House policy. 2
A major drawback of the present ACIS is the fact of it being
carried out by a participant in the arms race, that is by one of the
parties in the arms race prisoner's dilemma. An analysis from the
viewpoint of an outsider could offer a better chance of halting the
arms race.
These objections hold both for the American impact statements,
and for those carried out for instance by the Netherlands Department
of Defence. The Dutch ACIS regarding the replacement of the NikeHercules provides a striking example. 3 It contains statements like
There can be no question of an impulse to the arms race, because
the replacement of the Nike by the Patriot is no more than the
replacement of a tactically and technically obsolete air defence
There is no question of an autonomous technological development
because the point is that the Western air defence capacity will be


The Patriot- an Arms Control Impact Analysis

better attuned to the increased offensive capability of the Warsaw

This sounds more like a participant in the arms race, giving his
military arguments, than an analysis, based on a sound understanding
of the dynamics of the arms race. We can almost hear the Soviet
Union, arguing for the SS-20, that
there can be no question of an impulse to the arms race, because
the replacement of the SS-4 and SS-5 by the SS-20 is no more
than the replacement of a tactically and technically obsolete missile
ACIS's nevertheless, could be a valuable instrument in evaluating
the effects of new weapon systems and technologies, if carried out
from the viewpoint of an outsider, by a non-committed independent
group. It should also include an analysis of the implications of the
weapon system for different defence options, including non-provocative defence.
In this chapter an attempt is made to provide such an analysis for
the Patriot system.
After the usual technical description an analysis is given of the
implications of the Patriot in its present role of anti-aircraft missile,
for different defence options and of the associated arms control
aspects. Finally its potentially for an anti-tactical ballistic missile
(ATBM) role is discussed, and how this relates to the Strategic
Defense Initiative and to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
A Patriot fire unit consists of three main components, all mobile: up
to eight launchers carrying four launch tubes each, the acquisition
and guidance radar, and the command and control centre (see Figure
14.1). Up to six fire units make up a battalion. A Patriot battalion
has its own central command and control post, similar to that of a
fire unit. It coordinates the actions of the fire units, via ultra high
frequency (UHF) communication links. It can also be connected
with AWACS flying radar stations, Improved Hawk battalions and
other Patriot battalions (see Figure 14.2). A Patriot fire unit can
therefore either operate independently or be integrated into a large
battle system under a more centralised command.


nleJina/Man Group

l.a.anchcrJM.nilc Can1:11er

CiTE Sylva nil

Martin Matr1cna

Electncal Po,..cr Plan\


Mobihty Equprncnl Reselrth and Development Command

Figure 14.1 The main elements of a PATRIOT fire unit with the respective
contractors. Prime movers for the radar and launcher semi-trailers and logistic
support vehicles are not shown.







Figure 14.2 Schematic organisation of a PATRIOT battalion, with links to adjacent battalions. The eight launchers for each
fire unit are not shown, as well as all the logistic support vehicles the prime movers, the generator sets, etc.




Wim A. Smit


The Patriot Launchers and Missiles

An individual Patriot missile (XMIM-104) is delivered 'ready for

use' in a rectangular cross-section storage container also serving as
launch tube. The containers are sealed at both ends by a fibre plate.
The reported maximum storage time is five years. The launcher
(XM-901) can be emplaced on slopes up to 10. The four launch
tubes are set to a fixed elevation of 38, in the anticipated direction
of attack. Owing to the missile's very high manoeuvrability (see
Table 1) its interception capabilities are not very sensitive to the
launch direction. The missile's maximum speed is about six times
the speed of sound (Mach 6), its cruise speed about Mach 3. Its
practical maximum range is 60 to 100 km, and its ceiling about 25
km. A radar receiver for the Track Via Missile guidance system is
mounted in the nose of the missile. The Patriot is loaded with a nonnuclear fragmentation warhead (75 kg). Ignition is controlled by a
proximity fuse. Reloading of a launcher with four new missiles will
take about one hour.

Table 14.1
Fin span
Max burn out speed
Cruise speed
Burn time

Patriot missile data

5.31 m
0.41 m
0.87 m
911.6 kg
60-100 km (max. theoretical range-145 km)
Approx 25 km
Mach 6 (2 km/s)
Mach 3-3.5 (approx. 1 km/s)
Cruciform rear fins
Thiokol TX-486, single stage solid
Solid, Hydroxyl-terminated Poly-butadiene
12 sec
Between 25 g and 40 g
Max. approx 30 g
XM-248 fragmentation warhead (approx. 75 kg)
XM-818 proximity

The Radar

One of the most advanced components of the Patriot system is the

modern phased array radar (AN-MPQ-53) eliminating the need for a


The Patriot - an Arms Control Impact Analysis

rotating antenna. The beam scanning the sky is steered by electronic

shifting of the phases of the separate radiating elements of the flat
antenna. The radar has a field of view up to 120, which can be
scanned with great precision within fractions of a second. The
antenna is erected to a fixed 67.5 angle. Its range is about 150 km.
The radar operates on any one of the 160 frequencies in G-band
(4-6 GHz), which makes jamming by the enemy particularly difficult.
Actually the complete radar antenna consists of several planar arrays,
each with its own function. This arrangement offers the possibility
for one radar unit simultaneously to detect and track the targets, to
track and guide the attacking Patriot missiles and to take electronic
counter measures. The largest array (diameter 2.44 m) is for detection, acquisition and tracking of targets. The radar can simultaneously track up to 100 targets. At the same time it can simultaneously guide nine Patriot missiles to nine different targets. 8
A smaller circular antenna (diameter 0.53 m) is used for terminal
guidance of the Patriot missiles (see below). The rectangular antennas, below the main circular antenna, are used for identification
friend or foe (IFF). Finally five small hexagonal arrays are for Electronic Counter Measures (ECM). They can transmit false terminal
guidance signals (radar 'spoofs') which may give another five enemy
aircraft the false impression that they are under fire, hopefully
causing them to break off their attack. All of these features make
the Patriot system very difficult to saturate.
The Patriot system is also provided with a so-called ARM Decoy
unit, for electronic 'camouflage' against enemy anti-radiation missiles
(ARM), homing in on the Patriot radar. It is one of the most strictly
secret components: no pictures, drawings or data have been
unveiled. 8
Command and Control Centre

The 'Engagement Control Station' (AN/MSQ-14) is a rectangular

air-conditioned 'box' mounted on a truck (see Figure 14.3). It
contains two Operator Consoles or switchboards, an advanced
Weapon Control Computer and the V.H.F. and U.H.F. radio
communication equipment. Thus a complete fire unit can be operated
by two operators and a communication officer. The radar and central
computer can function automatically, in modes chosen by the operators. Their display screens show information such as airborne friend
or foe, and possible electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM).

Figure 14.3 Top: internal organisation of the AN/MPQ-53 radar set cabinet (antenna not shown).
Bottom: internal organisation of the AN/MSQ-104 engagement control station.




&10 COfft'IEitTIUt




The Patriot - an Arms Control Impact Analysis

Pushbuttons allow operators to change the coverage zone of the Fire

Unit, control the IFF-system and select active ECCMs. They can
choose the rules of engagement (for example, shoot only at
confirmed hostile targets, shoot at all targets except confirmed
friends, or shoot only in self-defence). And they can place individual
launchers on active or standby mode.
In addition, the operators can monitor the functioning of electronic
components of launchers and radar by built-in test equipment. The
modular construction allows easy replacement. The Weapon Control
Computer (WCC), is equipped with an external storage capacity
(672 million bits) on four tape transports. One of these tapes stores
a copy of all data of the working memory, allowing it to be reloaded
immediately if its contents are erased by an electromagnetic pulse
(EMP). This is in addition to general EMP protection of the system.
An EMP would therefore result only in a loss of those missiles in
flight at the time of a nuclear explosion.
As the Engagment Control Station is also provided with a forcedair entry lock and air filters, to protect against radioactive, chemical
and biological contamination, the Patriot is designed to survive in
any battlefield condition.
The Patriot in Action
It takes a Patriot fire unit less than an hour to get ready for action

after arrival, including the radar mapping of the new site. These prelaunch data are transmitted from the Weapon Control Computer,
via the selected launcher, to the missile, as soon as a target is
acquired. The missile is actually fired only if the WCC indicates a
high kill probability. The missile is guided to its target in two phases.
In the first, mid-course phase, the radar tracks both target and
missile. It passes computed guidance instructions to the missile,
guiding it to the target with the help of an on-board computer. The
terminal guidance, in the last ten seconds, uses the unique and very
complex Track Via Missile (TVM) method (See Figure 14.4). The
relative positions of missile and target are calculated in two different
ways, firstly, based on data from the ground radar and secondly, by
the on-board computer with data from the radar seeker antenna in
the missile's nose, which locks on to the ground-radar energy reflected
from the target. The two sets of data are quickly compared by the
main ground computer, and instructions for course adaptation are
again transmitted to the missile, homing in on its target. The TVM


Figure 14.4 Operations' principle of the TVM (Track-via-Missile) guidance mode adopted for the terminal phase of the
PATRIOT's trajectory.

Communicates w1th M1sslle





Surveillance and Detection






The Patriot - an Arms Control Impact Analysis

guidance method, based on this procedure of data correlation by the

powerful Weapon Control Computer, is much more sophisticated
than missile guidance only by the on-board computer as generally
used by (semi-)active homing missiles. A wide range of TVM operating modes provides a very high resistance against ECMs. One
battalion consisting of six fire units, can simulaneously track and
evaluate the threat of up to 600, and attack 54 targets.

The advanced guidance method, capable of operating in a heavy

ECM environment and relative simplicity of control makes the
Patriot a costly system. The budgets spent from 1965 till 1984, on
R & D, tests and evaluation amount to about 2.0 billion dollars,
and will eventually increase to an estimated 2.4 billion dollars.9
Procurement costs per missile vary, depending on the number of
launchers per fire unit and number of missiles for reload. Total costs
of the radar, command post and power supply unit can be estimated
at 65 million dollars, with costs of one single missile at 400 000
dollars.s.s But the Patriot system is more economic in material and
personnel and nevertheless more effective than the Nike-Hercules
system, which it is to replace. The latter needs 5 radars or 9launchers
with each missile, whereas one Patriot radar unit can serve 32 missiles. The sizes of the battalion crew are 1030 and 765, respectively. 4 ,5


The Patriot is to replace the Nike-Hercules air defence system, which
is considered obsolete, and vulnerable to ECMs.
It obviously fits into the present NATO military doctrine of flexible
response, in which air defence plays an important role, and although
the non-nuclear Patriot replaces a dual-capable system this does not
necessarily imply a change of doctrine.
As deployment of this costly system will extend over at least the
next two decades it is worth asking how it might influence future
NATO doctrine. Will it help to fix present doctrine and block possible alternatives? Or will it, on the contrary, give NATO doctrine a
push in a specific direction?
The way in which the Patriot, with both its present technical and

Wim A. Smit


operational features and future modifications is related to different

military doctrines, is discussed in the next sections.
Forward Defence

The flexible response includes the concept of forward defence. Most

of the present Nike-Hercules and Hawk air defence missiles are
therefore employed in a belt close to the Eastern border. Replacement by the Patriot serves this concept more effectively. An air
defence consisting of Stinger and Improved Hawk missiles against
lower flying targets, and of the Patriot for higher altitude aircraft
will provide an overlapping all-altitude defence.
Several technical features give the Patriot a higher effectiveness
than the Nike-Hercules. Owing to its advanced radar guidance
system it can give a high fire-power in a heavy ECM environment.
One fire unit can simultaneously attack nine targets while pretending
to attack another five. In contrast to the Nike-Hercules the Patriot
is mobile and thus less vulnerable to (pre-emptive) attack.
No prior consent of the US president is needed for firing,
increasing battle readiness, as compared with the nuclear loaded
Nikes. And the potential of a Patriot fire unit to operate either
within a centralised command structure (battalion, A WACS), or
independently implies a high operational flexibility.
Moreover the NBC protection, which provides the Patriot with a
high survivability in all battle conditions makes the Patriot highly
suitable to the doctrinal shift presently noticeable towards
warfighting concepts as part of an effective deterrence policy.
The potential raising of the nuclear threshold, due to the replacement of the Nike by the non-nuclear Patriot might, however, be
offset by this increased capacity to fight a war, which could easily
escalate to a nuclear level as long as nuclear warfighting weapons
are still in the field.
Warfighting Concepts: Deep-strike

The presently debated concept of emphasising deep-strike capabilities implies a shift towards a more offensive military doctrine. Deepstrike can be seen as an elaboration of the interdiction and counterair approach, aimed at the destruction of marching routes and
airfields in the enemy's homeland. Even if the intentions behind this
elaboration are defensive, the improved military capabilities could


The Patriot- an Arms Control Impact Analysis

be perceived by the adversary as a threat. This will especially be the

case, if the offensive capabilities are accompanied by a strong defence
of the homeland, shield and sword thereby going hand in hand. The
Patriot system might constitute a substantial part of the defensive
component of such an integrated offensive-defensive capability. The
destruction of the enemy's airfields and aircraft on the ground, will
reduce the enemy's attack potential, including the number of
attacking aircraft, thus enhancing the defensive potential of the
deployed Patriot air defence system.
Concepts Emphasising Non-provocative Defence
If the Patriot fits in so well with present NATO doctrine and with

more offensive concepts the question arises, whether its costly

procurement would block a possible change to concepts of a more
defensive nature. In contrast to deep-strike doctrines for instance,
such defences, would renounce obviously offensive capabilities, and
thus eliminate imminent military threats to the adversary. At the
same time, however, military attack on the homeland is to be
deterred by a credible defence.
As the Patriot has a limited range and only a surface to air, not
a surface to surface capability, it could fit into a non-provocative
The potential operational independence of a Patriot fire unit fits in
well with the more decentralised defence structures, that characterise
many non-provocative concepts. Patriot's mobility furthermore
allows its units to be deployed for barrier defence and for additional
territorial or object defence.
The conclusion therefore is that the present procurement of
Patriots does not impede in itself a change to a non-provocative
defence. Rather the number of Patriots in such a military posture
should possibly even be increased, at the cost of interdiction aircraft,
which are incompatible with a non-provocative defence.
Patriot: Defensive or Offensive?

The Patriot is being introduced in the framework of present NATO

military structure and doctrine, as a defensive system. As this analysis
shows, however, the question whether a weapon system has a
defensive or an offensive character is not only determined by the
characteristics of the system itself. The answer will often depend on

Wim A. Smit


the total military structure and doctrine into which the system is to be
incorporated. To the adversary, the military build-up and associated
capabilities will often be of greater importance than the proclaimed
intentions, which can easily change.
Thus to the adversary a Patriot incorporated in a deep-strike
concept may mean an increasing military threat. In addition to having
an offensive potential NATO will become less vulnerable, and might
consequently feel less restraints to attack in crisis situations.
On the other hand, the Patriot as part of a non-provocative
defence posture will not be experienced as a threat. In the latter
case it may indeed help to deter a military attack, without decreasing
crisis stability.
As for the impact of the Patriot on the arms race, some general
observations can be made.
Firstly, the perceived urgency of counter-measures will be greater
if the Patriot is deployed in the framework of an integrated
offensive-defensive counter-air approach than if a non-provocative
defence posture is applied. The type of technological counter-measures would, however, not differ. They might include some form of
stealth technology and improved anti-radiation missiles - which in
their turn would evoke new counter-countermeasures.
The adversary might plan to attack the Patriot fire units with
tactical ballistic missiles, opting for an increase of his missile capacity
rather than his aircraft potential.
Whereas the type of counter-measures against the Patriot could
be similar, the question whether or not they are implemented would
depend on the military posture and doctrine adopted by NATO. A
defensive concept might entice the adversary into a less offensive
posture, instead of evoking new counter-measures.
Arms Control Agreements

None of the existing arms control agreements apply to air defence

systems, like the Patriot. So deployment of the Patriot is not subject
to any limitations. In the past some suggestions have been made to
develop a nuclear warhead for the Patriot, mainly, but not only, in
relation to the development of an ATBM capability. 8 10 Such a dualcapability of the Patriot might interfere with attempts to reduce the
number and role of nuclear weapons in Europe. It would complicate
verification of possible nuclear arms reductions in Europe.


The Patriot - an Arms Control Impact Analysis

If and how far the development of an A TBM capability would

interfere with the ABM Treaty will be discussed in the next section.






Interest in a defence against tactical ballistic missiles has increased

in recent years. Advancements in microelectronics and sensor technology have opened up the option of upgrading anti-aircraft defence
systems to this end. The Army led Joint Anti-Tactical Missile
(JATM) programme, for example, is aimed at countering Soviet
nuclear missiles, including the SS-20, SS-21, SS-22 and SS-23. The
programme includes upgrading of the Hawk and Patriot air defence
systems, mainly for self-defence.11.12
What are the prospects for providng the Patriot with an AntiTactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM) capability? Would this also imply
a capability to counter strategic ballistic missiles?
The main problem for the interception of re-entry vehicles (RVs)
of ballistic missiles is their high re-entry velocity and consequently
their short interception time. Re-entry velocities depend on range,
and may vary between 1 km/s for the SS-21 to 7 km/s for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) (see Table 14.2).
Table 14.2 Flight characteristics of SS missiles
Flight time (min.)
Re-entry velocity
Ceiling (km)








1600 max. 5000








10 000

1 300

Prerequisites for an interception capability are:

(1) A very fast and accurate target detection, acquisition and tracking
system. The sensor system (e.g. radar) and computer facilities

should be able to track the RV, by calculating with high speed

and accuracy its position and velocity. A (semi-)continuous
caculation of the RV's track is necessary because atmospheric
drag, asymmetric ablation, and variation of wind with height,
will continuously alter its course.

Wim A. Smit


(2) A very fast and highly manoeuvrable interception missile. After

launch in the direction of the precalculated engagement point,
the missile should be able to carry out the necessary course
corrections, according to calculated changes in the RV's atmospheric trajectory. The lower the manoeuvrability of the interception missile, the faster and more numerous the calculations
of the RV's trajectory have to be.
(3) A suitable kill mechanism, either nuclear or non-nuclear. A nonnuclear kill mechanism, a fragmentation warhead for instance,
requires a missile accuracy in the order of tens of metres.
Destruction by collision would require even higher accuracy,
because enhancing the effective collision cross-section by
unfolding a metal net, similar to the homing overlay experiment
(HOE),B cannot be applied inside the atmosphere. If the
necessary accuracy is not attainable, a nuclear warhead, with a
neutron radiation killing range of a few hundred metres, would
have to be used.
Providing the Patriot with an A TBM capability would require modifications in the software for detection, tracking and guidance. Whereas
the SS-warheads' re-entry velocities may considerably exceed aircraft
speed, they presently have no comparable evasion capabilities.
Granted therefore that the software modifications are feasible, it can
be estimated how the Patriot could perform in countering the various
Soviet SS-missiles, using known data on missiles and radar features.
Consider for example the ss-22 missile (see Table 14.2) with a
re-entry velocity of 3 km/s. From the forward edge of the Patriot's
radar range (150 km) the SS-22 warhead's flight time is still 50
seconds. If radar and computer software are capable of detecting,
discriminating and calculating its track in less than 10 seconds, the
Patriot would still have 40 seconds in which to intercept the RV.
The Patriot missile could cover about 8 km during its burn-time of
12 seconds. At that moment the Patriot and SS-22 are still about 80
km apart, a distance which would be bridged by both Patriot and
RV in about 20 seconds.
With suitable software changes and modified guidance rules
including new kinematics, such a time schedule does not seem to be
a major obstacle. Either the Patriot's present fragmentation warhead
or a modified version 12 might be used for destruction.
Higher re-entry velocities shorten the time available for interception. As an illustration we may repeat the preceding calculations for


The Patriot - an Arms Control Impact Analysis

the SS-20 missiles, fired over ranges of 1600 km, 3000 km and 5000
km. The re-entry velocities are 4 km/s, 5 km/s and 6 km/s respectively. It turns out, assuming again 10 seconds for detection and
preliminary tracking, that the distance which separates the Patriot
missile and the SS-20 RV, 12 seconds after launch, will now be
jointly bridged in 10, 5 and 1 seconds respectively. This shows how
quickly demands on software, calculation speed and missile manoeuvrability increase with rising re-entry velocities.
So it looks as if there are no fundamental obstacles to the
upgrading of the present Patriot system to enable it to counter SS-21,
SS-22, SS-23, as well as SS-20 missiles fired over distances up to
3000 km. This upgrading via software modifications apparently would
not necessarily provide a capability to counter ICBMs, which have a
re-entry velocity of 7 km/s. However, the Patriot would be able to
intercept the RVs of Sea Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBNs), when
fired over distances of less than 3000 km, because their flight trajectries would not differ fundamentally from those of the SS-20.
But the possibility of enabling the Patriot to intercept RVs of
ICBMs should not be ruled out completely. Such a capacity would
probably require an extension of the radar range to more than 150
km, in addition to even shorter path-calculation times. A coupling
of the Patriot system with future 'battle satellites' would also increase
its interception capabilities.
A potential A TBM capability for the Patriot is not purely theoretical. Real interest exists as is evident from the Joint Anti-Tactical
Missile (JATM) programme mentioned before, which includes the
upgrading of both the Patriot and Hawk systems. 11 14 The programme
is viewed by Penagon officials as part of Counter Air '90 - a
programme integrating defensive and offensive missions, aimed at
the destruction of Soviet missiles and WTO airfields by conventional
ballistic missiles.1z Raytheon, the prime contractor for the Patriot, is
already developing this type of capability for air defence systems,
reportedly for initial operational capability in September 1987.12
Besides software changes for the surveillance radar, the company is
also considering modification of the Patriot's fragmentation warhead,
both by enlarging and speeding up the fragments and by developing
a fragmentation pattern with a focused effect. 12 Other possible
changes to the Patriot, later in the programme include a new radar
transmitter with more power, and a new rocket motor to increase
speed and range.1z

Wim A. Smit


It has been reported that the upgraded Patriot is to be tested

against the 1800 km range Pershing II. 15

The ABM Treaty and Patriot as ATBM

In 1972, the United States and Soviet Union agreed, that a limitation
on strategic missiles, that is ICBMs and SLBMs, should be
accompanied by a prohibition to strategic ballistic missiles defence.
Deterrence by mutual vulnerability was the principle underlying
SALT I. The associated 1972 ABM Treaty and 1974 Protocol therefore prohibited the deployment of ABM systems excepting one
limited system in a single area - either around the national capital
or an IBM launching site (Articles I and III).
Would the providing of the Patriot with an ATBM capability
violate the ABM Treaty? The most relevant article here is number
VI which, 'to enhance assurance of the effectiveness of the limitations
of ABM systems and their components', prohibits the upgrading of
surface to air missiles (SAMs), for countering strategic ballistic missiles or their warheads, and the testing of SAMs in an ABM mode.
As was shown above an anti-tactical ballistic missile capability for
the Patriot, implies an ability to counter warheads of certain strategic
ballistic missiles, notably the SLBMs fired over ranges up to about
3000 km. It can therefore be argued, that providing the Patriot with
an ATBM capability, and testing it against Pershing lis, would
violate the ABM Treaty. Such an A TBM capability would not
necessarily imply a capacity to counter all strategic ballistic missiles,
in particular not the ICBMs. Others may argue therefore that an
ATBM upgraded Patriot is not an ABM, in the sense of the ABM
Treaty, because it has no all-round ABM capability.
So the ABM Treaty shows a serious loophole concerning the
upgrading of SAMs into ATBMs. But this is no surprise. For at the
time of the negotiations, the United States was still considering the
upgrading of the SAM-D, then under development, for an ATBM
role in Europe. The US did not want this option to be cut off by
the ABM Treaty.t6
The idea of an ATBM capacity, with a nuclear warhead, for the
SAM-D- later christened Patriot! -was dropped later on. With the
recent interest in a non-nuclear ATBM capability for the Patriot,
this loophole comes to the fore again. The same applies for the
mobile SA-X-12 air defence missile, now under development in the
Soviet Union, which will also be provided with an ATBM capa-


The Patriot- an Arms Control Impact Analysis

bilityY Strengthening the ABM Treaty by removal of this loophole

is thus becoming urgent.
If the ATBM upgraded Patriot, because of its capability to counter
strategic SLBMs, really is to be marked as an ABM in the sense of
article V of the ABM Treaty, 18 prohibiting the development, testing
or deployment of land-based ABM systems that 'are mobile, like the
Patriot, would also be violated. Deployment in Europe would be in
conflict with article IX, which prohibits both the transfer to other
countries and deployment outside the national territory, of ABM
systems or their components.
One could argue, however, that deployment of an ATBM
upgraded Patriot in Europe, would not be in conflict with the spirit
of the Treaty, which is aimed at preventing deployment of ABM
systems to protect the homelands of the US and USSR. Owing to
its maximum range of 100 km, the Patriot will only be capable of
intercepting RVs in their final phase. To protect objects such as
missile sites in the US against SLBMs, the Patriot would have to be
stationed in the US.
SDI and an ATBM Capability for the Patriot

From a narrow military point of view, the addition of an anti-missile

capacity to the Patriot's present anti-aircraft capability may look
desirable, both for self-defence against missiles aimed at NATO air
defence and for defence of specific objects, such as airfields and
command centres.
Pentagon officials and military officers are indeed advocating the
build-up of an ATBM capability in Western Europe, using the
Patriot. 19 20
The Patriot could however, also fulfil a role in the European part
of a future extended shield against ballistic missiles, supplementing
the US SDI programme and indeed forming the first step, in the
late 1980s. Such an ATBM system, though again defined as purely
defensive, would, in combination with the deployment of Pershing
lis, cruise missiles and other offensive weapons in Western Europe,
actually constitute a military threat to the Soviet Union, similar to
a US strategic ballistic missile defence in combination with offensive,
or even first strike weapons. As part of a future 'SDI-shield' it would
undermine the principal idea of mutual vulnerability underlying the
ABM Treaty and threaten the Treaty's survivability: 'Large scale
deployment of a Patriot with anti-missile capability would almost

Wim A. Smit


certainly destroy the treaty' as Albert Carnesale, former member of

the US delegation that negotiated the ABM Treaty has stated. 21
The development of a Western European ATBM capability
combined with such an offensive potential would very likely evoke
counter-measures by the WTO, including an increase in the number
of SS missiles pointed at Western Europe.
In order to prevent such a new round in the nuclear arms race the
Patriot should not be upgraded with an A TBM capability. Instead,
the ABM Treaty should be strengthened, by including a prohibition
of the development and deployment of ATBM systems. Most urgent
would be a prohibition of testing of SAMs against all types of ballistic
missiles since, once tested, the incorporation of a suitable 'ATBMsoftware' would be hard to verify.
The analysis above shows how the Patriot, both as an air defence
and a potential ATBM system, reflects, on a micro-scale, the present
great political-military dilemmas of Western Europe. Will Western
Europe develop an integrated offensive-defensive military build-up
and support the US SDI programme with its own ATBM defence?
Or will it deploy the Patriot in a new type of defence of a less
offensive nature? The answers to these questions have direct consequences for the way in which the Patriot system will influence the
arms race.




D. L. Clarke, Politics of Arms Control: The Role and Effectiveness of

the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (New York: Macmillan
Publishing Co., 1979).
See the annual Arms Control Impact Statements submitted to
Congress by the President Pursuant to Section 36 of the Arms Control
and Disarmament Act.
Netherlands Department of Defence; 'Wapenbeheersing', in Eerste

Situatierapport over de vervanging van het Nike-luchtverdedigngssysteem, Tweede Kamer, vergaderjaar 1983-1984, 18000 hoofdstk X, nr.

17, Den Haag.

Raytheon Company Missile System Division, Patriot Surface-to-Air

Missile System: A Revolution in Air Defense.

Anonymous, 'Le systeme d'arme mobile de defense aerienne Patriot',





The Patriot- an Arms Control Impact Analysis

L'Aeronautique et L'Astronautique, no. 101 (1983-4) pp. 56-72.
Anonymous, 'Patriot: a SAM for the '80s', Flight International (5 Sept.
1981) pp. 742-51.
Anonymous, 'Patriot', Ground Defense International, no. 58 (Nov.
1979) pp. 55-62.
Anonymous, 'Expensive, but Necessary: the Patriot Surface-to-air
Missile System', Military Technology (Oct. 1984) pp. 33-50.
Department of Defense, Authorisation for Appropriations for Fiscal
Year 1985, Hearings before the Committee on Armed Services, United
States Senate, S 2414, Part 3, Tactical Warfare, March 6, 7, 12, 13,
1984 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1984) p. 1324.
C. A. Robinson Jr., 'Nuclear Missile Defense Sought', Aviation
Week & Space Technology (22 June 1981) p. 69.
Department of Defense Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1985, Hearings
before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, United
States Senate, Part I- Budget Overview (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1984) pp. 254 and 623.
C. A. Robinson Jr., 'U.S. Develops Antitactical Weapon for Europe
Role', Aviation Week & Space Technology (9 Apr. 1984) pp. 46-9.
C. A. Robinson Jr., 'BMD Homing Interception Destroys Reentry
Vehicle', Aviation Week & Space Technology (18 June 1984)
pp. 19-20.
Department of Defense Appropriations for 1984, Hearings before a
Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of
Representatives, 98th Congress, Part 4 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1983) p. 273.
W. E. Jackson Jr, 'Shooting down the ABM Treaty', Christian Science
Monitor (11 April 1983) p. 23.
G. Schneiter, 'The ABM Treaty Today', in A. B. Carter and D.
N. Schwartz (eds), Ballistic Missile Defense (Washington DC: The
Brookings Institution, 1984) p. 222.
US Department of Defense, Soviet Military Power 1985 (Washington
DC: US Government Printing Office, 1985) p. 48.
This is the opinion of e.g. W. E. Jackson Jr, former executive director
of the General Advisory Committee on Arms Control, 1978-80. (See
note 15.)
Anonymous, 'First Part of U.S. "Star Wars" Defense Advocated for
Europe by Mid-'90s', International Herald Tribune (27 Sept. 1985)
p. 1.
G. C. Berkhof, Brigadier-General RNLA, President Reagan's Strategic
Defense Initiative: Implications for West European Security (Netherlands Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael', 1985).
Quoted by W. Biddle, 'Patriot Being Altered to Shoot Soviet Missiles',
International Herald Tribune (5 Apr. 1984) p. 5.

15 The Military Relevance

of Recent Cooperative
ET Projects
Marlies ter Borg and John Grin

The introduction of presently emerging technologies into weapon

systems will make it difficult for even the larger NATO countries to
be self-supporting in arms production, so new forms of cooperation
are being sought. Cooperation in the procurement and production
of weapons has of course always been on NATO's agenda. The
use of different types of the same weapon system reduces military
effectiveness, while greatly increasing costs. Even a standardisation
of parts of the different nationally produced weapon systems would
increase inter-operability on the battlefield. And with the costs of
systems rising sharply, so that countries were no longer able to buy
substantial amounts of any one system, the independent and often
overlapping production by several different nations led to a wasteful
overlap of research and production. Only the US, with its large home
market, has been able to develop a really strong defence industry.
But this resulted in an uneven transatlantic arms trade commonly
known as the 'one way street'.
But the attempts at cooperation, necessary to attain an affordable
and effective conventional defence, have so far not been very
successful. On the one hand, the European NATO members have
been reluctant to give up independent production of major systems
for reasons both of national prestige and industrial policy. On the
other, the US has backed away from procurement of European arms
even at prices and qualities that surpassed American equivalents.
But now that NATO feels the necessity to enhance conventional
strength, while serious economic problems are preventing a substantial increase in arms spending, NATO countries are reviving their
efforts at cooperation.
The two most relevant international fora have been given a new
lease on life. One is the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD). The other is the Independent European Programming


Recent Cooperative ET Projects

Group (IEPG), consisting only of European NATO members, and

called independent, to allow France to participate. Both bodies have
recently taken new initiatives for collective projects, to utilise
emerging technologies for conventional defence. The IEPG will
promote cooperation on three important projects, including a main
battle tank. The CNAD is promoting a total of thirteen ET incorporating projects.
The CNAD projects relevant for land warfare are: 1

NATO Identification System (NIS).

Low Cost Powered Off-Axis Dispenser (LOCPOD).
NATO Electronic Support Measures system (ESM).
Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) including terminally
guided submunition warhead.
Autonomous 155 mm precision munition.
Surveillance Command and Control System for SHOrt Range
Air Defence weapons (SHORAD).
Medium range Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) system for
target acquisition and battlefield surveillance.
Electronic warfare self-protection for tactical aircraft, electronic
Short Range Anti-Radiation Missile (SRARM).
Artillery locating equipment.
Stand-off surveillance and target acquisition system.
Electronic warfare self-protection for army helicopters.

In this chapter the military relevance of these projects will be

discussed in terms of the present NATO doctrine, and the two
conventional concepts described in Part III as 'deep strike' and
'emphasising defence'. A short sketch of the economic relevance of
this kind of cooperation is given in the next chapter.
As NATO is still engaged in a debate about military doctrine and
associated weapon programmes, these projects could not be chosen
on the basis of explicitly (re)formulated doctrine. As so often
happens, work in the technical field is being pushed ahead while
debates on the framework in which the results are to be
implemented, are still in full swing.
This does not mean that the weapons chosen for further develop-

Marlies ter Borg and John Grin


ment are neutral and suitable for any military doctrine that may be
decided upon. Decisions like this are often experienced as ad hoc
compromises, or as obvious solutions to generally felt problems.
Nevertheless, they are bound to reflect the premises, on the basis of
which the search for compromises and ad hoc solutions take place.
In the present situation the assumption is that conventional
defence should be based on the main battle tank and fighter aircraft. It is therefore not surprising, that plans for European joint production include a new main battle tank, and some governments are
studying the possibilities of cooperation on a new fighter aircraft. The
fact that a European identity is to be boosted by co-production of
these traditionally important weapon systems, shows that the main
battle tank and the combat aircraft are still important tokens of
military prestige.
The CNAD list is less transparent, but a further analysis will
show that most if not all of the projects are intended to reduce the
vulnerability of the tank, or enhance the effectiveness of aircraft.
Does this imply, that these projects offer no scope for a revision
of doctrine, either toward deep-strike, or in a more defensive direction? This is not necessarily the case. New technological solutions to
traditional questions have a knack of offering answers to other questions as well. These new questions, about how to implement newer
doctrines, are in the air, and if their proponents have any influence,
they will certainly try to turn weapon developments in their direction.
The choice of the main battle tank as an IEPG project is firmly
based on the assumption that the so-called 'queen of the battlefield'
will remain with us well into the next century, as the core of the
present doctrine of manoeuvre warfare defence. Not only is the tank
assumed to be 'the best anti-tank weapon', it is also seen as necessary
for a possible counter-offensive attack into enemy territory.
The central role assigned to the tank is reflected by the fact that
each major European NATO member produces its own type. (The
British are replacing the Chieftain by the Challenger, and have a
programme called MBT-95 for developing a tank to be deployed
around 1995. The Germans have the Panzerkampfwagen 2000, which
could be the Leopard II successor and replace the Leopard I. In
France, the AMX-30 was upgraded to the AMX-32 while a new


Recent Cooperative ET Projects

tank, the AMX-40 has also been deployed, the EPC programme for
a new main battle tank has been initiated.) Apart from national
prestige, this proliferation of tanks serves little purpose. Costs are
raised, and military effectiveness is lowered due to the low measure
of interoperability. The IEPG project is aimed at getting some sort
of order into this variety on the European scene. The distinct specifications brought forward by the different European countries make
this a difficult task. The Germans for instance, stress manoeuvrability
and speed, the British stress armour and firepower, and consider
manoeuvrability and speed to be of secondary importance. The
French have traditionally opted for a cheaper and lighter type. So
the IEPG project will probably not achieve much more than some
sort of standardisation of components.
The tank, a complicated and costly system, is becoming increasingly vulnerable through the deployment of anti-tank weapons,
attack helicopters, and so on. Tank designers are faced with the
dilemma that the introduction of new protective measures like the
Chobham armour drives up costs even further. Attention is therefore
also given to improvement of tank supporting systems.
The tank cannot fight its battles alone. It is surrounded by a
myriad of supporting systems, ranging from air defence to artillery.
Decreasing the vulnerability of the tank implies improving these tank
supporting systems. Several of such improvement programmes are
included in the CNAD list.
The surveillance command and control system for SHOrt Range
Air Defence (SHORAD) is a case in point. This project is aimed at
increasing the ability of short range air defence systems, like the
mobile Roland and the portable Stinger, to counter the recent threat
to the tank from massive enemy fire-power supplied by Soviet aircraft
and attack helicopters.
Two other CNAD projects, the 155 mm howitzer and the Multiple
Launch Rocket System (MLRS), can also be seen in terms of
decreasing tank vulnerability. Both weapon systems are tracked and
can keep up with the tank, to deal with enemy artillery well outside
tank ranges that is expected to attempt to annihilate NATO positions
long before the actual tank battle begins.
The 155 mm howitzer, widely deployed in NATO, looks rather
like a tank but has a longer range and is able to sustain a steady rate
of fire over a distance of about 20-30 km. The multiple launch rocket
system, with its massive but shorter lived firepower over a 30+ km
range, can complement such artillery systems. This lightly armoured

Marlies ter Borg and John Grin


system can accelerate from 0-48 km/h in 19 seconds, enabling it to

shoot and scoot.
The effectiveness of fire at these beyond the line of sight ranges
depends heavily on target acquisition. Present methods, based on
a (human) forward observer, are rather unreliable and extremely
vulnerable. The CNAD projects for artillery locating equipment,
and target acquisition by Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs), can be
seen as contributing to the effectiveness of artillery and rocket launch
systems. RPVs with their real-time data-transmission, could
especially enhance the effectiveness of firepower against moving
For improving the effectiveness of the firing systems themselves,
the CNAD has listed two projects for precision guided munitions.
For the 155 mm howitzers the laser-homing Copperhead munition
has been developed with which, according to the manufacturer, artillery can destroy a tank in one or two rounds, giving a 10 to 20 times
increase in cost-effectiveness. This result is, however, still dependent
on a laser designator illuminating the target. This designator could
be carried by the RPV mentioned as a CNAD project. But it would
be better to use available RPVs for surveillance and target acquisition
by removing the need for target designation. This would be possible
with the introduction of the Sense And Destroy ARMour
(SADARM) munition, which is delivered over the target area by a
cargo carrier projectile, and then homes in, in a passive operating
mode via a mm-wave sensor, on the sky reflections of a tank. The
future deployment of this type of munitions will help extend the
effective range of artillery, lower vulnerability, and reduce
manpower requirements.
The MLRS, presently entering service in Europe, is loaded with
unguided submunitions. The Federal Republic of Germany is
financing the second phase development of AT-2 anti-armour mines.
The CNAD project concerns the third phase development of
terminally guided warheads (TGWs), which will allow moving
armour to be attacked effectively, especially if it has been channelled
or slowed down by mines. The TGW warhead will contain 6 submunitions and have a mm-wave sensor.Z
These improvements in artillery and rocket launchers can be seen
as attempts to counter the vulnerability of the tank, as the centre of
manoeuvre warfare. They can also be seen as ways to lighten the
task of fighter aircraft in giving close air support.


Recent Cooperative ET Projects


Tactical aircraft play a major role in present conventional defence,
with tasks ranging from air defence, and close air support to (deep)
interdiction. Technological advance has led to increased sophistication, with the price of aircraft rising from $1 million in the late
1950s to about $20-40 million today. As air force budgets have
grown much less rapidly, NATO is now faced with the problem of
doing the same job with less aircraft, while simultaneously making
the very costly systems less vulnerable to the rapidly improving Soviet
air defence. This problem has been tackled in several ways.
One was the pushing back of costs through the joint production
of multi-role aircraft, enabling the marketing of a much larger series
per design. This solution was chosen by several West European
nations in the production of the Tornado. Where the main battle
tank has failed to bring the Western European powers together, the
fighter plane has succeeded. The problem of such joint ventures,
however, is that the design has to accommodate most if not all the
demands of the different nations involved, resulting in a very
complex, multi-function machine. As former MBB engineer Ulrich
Albrecht put it, the Tornado has become 'a milk-giving, woolgrowing, egg-laying sow' .3 In fact, the Tornado is not suitable for all
desired functions. It is primarily an interdiction plane, and is less
suitable for an air superiority role.
Discussions are underway on a new European Fighter Aircraft
(EFA), but disagreement about specifications and project leadership
have led to a split. The British, Germans and Italians, who want a
high performance interceptor for air defence, are going ahead, but
the French, who were aiming for a lighter weight fighter-bomber for
close air support, left the project, as did the Spanish. 4
The lowering of costs per machine is not the only way of enhancing
cost-effectiveness of the NATO fleet. A second possibility is using
the available aircraft more effectively. This can be done in a number
of ways, such as the improvement of night-flying capability, the
simplification of the pilot's tasks by artificial intelligence co-piloting,
and so on. Of special importance is the development of better,
precision guided munitions and munition carriers. The ranges at
which the aircraft can attack effectively are also being extended,
through the development of better stand-off air-launched weapons.
The improvement of (sub-)munitions is the aim of the first CNAD

Marlies ter Borg and John Grin


project. The LOw Cost Powered Off-axis Dispenser (LOCPOD), is

to be a modular air-to-surface container weapon system (CWS) with
the range of some 50 km. It will permit the aircraft to release their
munitions without actually flying over the target, thus making it less
vulnerable to Soviet air defence. Two French-German candidates
for this CNAD project are the French-German dispenser dubbed
MOBIDIC (MOdular Bird with Dispensing Container), and
The first container, with a 25-30 km stand-off range, is built
up of four modules, allowing different combinations of dispenser,
guidance mechanism and propulsion. This leads to relevant differences in weight and performance, allowing the weapon to be used
for close air support and deep interdiction. Submunitions include
conventional grenades and mines, anti-runway and semi-intelligent
anti-armour munitions. Also the MLRS terminally guided submunition mentioned above could be used. The other European candidate,
the Apache container weapon system is very similar, with expected
stand-off ranges between 7 to 50 km. It could carry both existing
munitions and terminally guided warheads presently under development. These are adaptable for missions against fixed targets
(runways, bridges, C3I centres) or mobile armoured units. 5
These powered dispensers with their different specialised
munitions could greatly increase aircraft effectiveness in anti-armour
and anti-airfield operations, reducing the number of sorties per
mission from several hundreds to a handful, while making further
evasion of the Soviet air defence possible. 6
There is also some interesting multinational cooperation in the
development of long range stand-off aircraft weapons, not included
in the CNAD list. The USA, UK and FRG are jointly developing
a subsonic air-launched cruise missile with a conventional warhead,
designated Long Range Stand-Off Missile (LRSOM), for use against
fixed targets such as airfields at a range of up to 600 km.n It has
been suggested by one of the firms involved that this programme be
merged with the MOBIDIC dispenser project described above. 5 7
The effectiveness of these improved munitions and stand-off weapon
systems, however, depends heavily on target acquisition. For fixed
targets like airfields, where real time information is not needed, the


Recent Cooperative ET Projects

present satellite information can be used. Precision could be

enhanced if the attacking aircraft could determine their own position
more exactly through the NAVSTAR satellite system, which will
enable any vehicle equipped with appropriate equipment to determine its position relative to several satellites whose positions are
The Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) of which
18 have been deployed in Europe, allows the detection of objects
moving faster than 100 km/h, and can find secondary enemy airfields
by following their aircraft in the air. But the AWACS carrier aircraft
are so expensive and vulnerable, that it is not worth the risk flying
them close to the border in time of crisis. This means that the
surveillance range, some 300 km into enemy territory, is severely
limited once hostilities break out. This is an additional reason for
the development of a battlefield stand-off surveillance and target
acquisition system as contained in the CNAD programme. The idea
could be to construct an integrated system, with heavy A WACS type
aircraft flying one or two hundred kilometres on this side of the
border or battle line, and smaller aircraft equipped with Pave Mover
type pods above it or across it. These pods could also be carried by
the RPVs, as envisaged in the CNAD project. These RPVs could
also enhance aircraft effectiveness in close air support, taking over
the tasks of present forward air controller aircraft. Radar returns
could be sent to ground stations for further processing and
The technological bottleneck in this enterprise is the detection and
recognition of slowly moving or stationary objects like tanks. This
implies real-time analysis of data in terms of standard patterns,
demanding very sophisticated and fast computer facilities like those
being developed in the DARPA supercomputer programme in the
US (see Chapter 4).
A crucial capability for both air defence and close battlefield
support tasks is the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system.
Present systems are grossly inadequate, leading to the possibility of
NATO aircraft destroying each other or nothing at all. So a CNAD
project called NATO Identification System (NIS) was decided upon.
The US developed system, Mark-15, was chosen in preference to
the German Capri system after some very troublesome negotiations. 8
The US has agreed to take measures to alleviate the frequency
congestion problems, owing to the fact that the chosen system operates on the same frequency as the civilian air transport. The US Air

Marlies ter Borg and John Grin


Force in Europe is, however, arguing that Mark-15 on its own will
not fulfil all IFF need. They should be supported by systems using
passive signals emitted by enemy aircraft to guarantee accurate
identification. 9
Improving the capability of aircraft to strike from a safe distance
is one way of reducing the effectiveness of enemy air defence.
Another way is to intensify electronic counter-measures. 10 This can
be done by equipping aircraft with a modern electronic warfare
system, as intended in the CNAD project for the self-protection of
tactical aircraft. The idea is to temporarily blind the enemy's air
defence system by interrupting its radar.
A more definitive disruption is attainable with missiles that home
in on specific radar signals. This is the idea behind the Short Range
Anti-Radiation Missile (SRARM), listed by CNAD. As this weapon
will not be available until 1992, the US High-speed Anti-Radiation
Missile (HARM) or the British Air-Launched Anti-Radiation Missile
(ALARM) will be deployed. ALARMs are much lighter than
HARMs, so the Tornado could carry four of them in addition to its
normal load. However, HARM will be available nine months earlier,
in 1986. ALARM can be used in either a direct attack mode, in
which it is fired towards the target, or an indirect mode, climbing
up to 12 km, deploying a parachute, seeking emitters and diving
towards the chosen target. In a dual mode, the missile is fired for
direct attack, but performs in an indirect manner if no relevant target
is acquired.u
Suppression of enemy air defence, together with the improvement
of stand-off munitions and other ways of increasing aircraft effectiveness, will, however, not be enough to solve the aircraft problem
currently facing NATO. An alternative is to let other systems take
over tasks traditionally performed by aircraft. Some of the CNAD
projects discussed above can be seen in this context. RPVs can take
over the target acquisition task performed by forward air controller
aircraft. Extending the range and precision of the 155 mm howitzer
and MLRS gives them the possibility of taking over some ground
support functions.
This can also be done by helicopters specially designed for attack
missions.12 One CNAD project concerns the equipping of army helicopters with electronic warfare capabilities to give them a higher
survivability in battle.
The most spectacular take-over of aircraft tasks is by the surfaceto-surface missile. In the nuclear field the deployment of interconti-


Recent Cooperative ET Projects

nental ballistic missiles for tasks of strategic bombing has already

taken place. Comparable options are now being considered for
tactical bombing with conventional munitions.
In the Joint TACtical Missile System programme (JTACMS), two
missiles with a 200 km range were tested for attack of follow-onforces. They were the T-16, derived from the Patriot surface-to-airmissile, and the T-22, derived from the nuclear Lance. This very
ambitious programme has, however, been abandoned. The task of
attacking follow-on forces, presently assigned to interdiction aircraft,
is to be split up, with an extended range version of the MLRS for
ranges up to 70 km, and an air-launched cruise missile like the
LRSOM discussed above for deeper strikes. 13
For strikes over longer ranges the US has its AXE programme,
intended for use against fixed targets like airfields, now the object
of interdiction flights by aircraft like the Tornado. One candidate is
the CAM-40, a conventional extended range version of the Pershing
II. It has an exo-atmospheric trajectory, very high speed and accuracy (CEP=15 m), and can reach the main Soviet airfields in under
10 minutes. Slight differences on the outside will enable the enemy
to distinguish it from the Pershing II for verification reasons, but it
is unlikely that they will have time to do this in the heat of battle.
The second candidate is the Ballistic Offensive Suppression System
(BOSS), based on the Trident C-4 missile, and the third is the
'Incredible Hulk' or T ABASCO based on the Thor/Delta or Saturn
space rocket. 6 7 14
Most if not all of the projects for multinational co-production inside
NATO can therefore be seen as attempts to strengthen the position
of the two weapon systems central to manoeuvre warfare; the main
battle tank and the fighter aircraft. But that is not the whole story.
Viewed in another perspective, many of the projects discussed above
can be seen to lead to an extension of the battlefield, culminating in
what is known as 'deep-strike'. Starting from the forward edge of
battle (FEBA), we see the 155 mm howitzer, with the Copperhead
or even SADARM precision guided munitions, being able to cover
a range of 20 km, with plans for extension to 30 km. Development
under the US Enhanced Self-propelled Artillery Weapon System
(ESPAWS) could even make further range extension possible. 15

Marlies ter Borg and John Grin


Loading the MLRS with precision guided munitions will make it

an effective anti-tank weapon with a range of 40+ km. It is worth
noting that the development of PGMs for the MLRS was closely
associated with the US Assault Breaker programme, launched in
1978. The stand-off surface-to-surface-missiles tested in this technology demonstration programme were to be loaded with smart antitank submunitions, to attack second echelon forces. The association
was so close that the US Congress turned down a request for funding
of terminally guided warheads for the MLRS, on the grounds that
it would have been duplicating work on Assault Breaker. The
programme itself, in which the infra-red homing submunition Skeet
and Terminally Guided Submissiles (TGSM) were demonstrated was
very ambitious, and did not get a direct follow-up after its termination in 1982. Since the 200 km range missiles and their submunitions
turned out to be very expensive, attention in the US returned to the
development of PGMs for the MLRS, as a low cost alternative to
Assault Breaker, to hit targets at shorter ranges. 16
As mentioned above, there are also plans in the US to extend the
range of the MLRS up to 70 km, or perhaps using the launcher with
other missiles even to some 100 km, making the system suitable for
US army requirements for second echelon attack. And although the
JTACMS project did not live up to expectations, there is no reason
to doubt that the present nuclear 120 km range Lance could be
replaced by a ballistic dual capable missile with a substantially longer
The responsibility of the US Air Force for developing weapon
systems for second echelon attack begins at 70-100 km from FEBA,
where that of the army ends. 13 A relevant development is the
LOCPOD, with its range of some 50 km from an aircraft, and its
suitability for different munitions such as anti-armour, anti-runway,
area denial and precision guided munitions. It is conceivable that
some derivative of the Skeet munitions tested in the Assault Breaker
programme could be carried by the LOCPOD, making a half-way
house towards the eventual aim of deep strike by missiles possible.
This could make present interdiction fighters much more effective
against both fixed and moving targets.
The air-launched cruise missile to be developed jointly by the
USA, UK and FRG would offer a feasible move towards deep strike
against fixed targets. It is of interest here that the US only consented
to the choice of a cruise missile as Long Range Stand-Off Missiles
(LRSOM), when work on the JTACMS T-16 and T-22 missiles ran


Recent Cooperative ET Projects

up against practical problems. 17 Of course an air-launched missile

cruising at subsonic speed is not as effective as a ground launched
missile like the two Ts. But here again, reaching a half-way house
in the short term could be more attractive than waiting for the
technological wonders promised for the more distant future. Also,
the LRSOM could provide (the technology for) the long range part
of the JTACMS programme to be developed by the US Air Force.
The number of weapon systems, starting with an extended range
155m howitzer, through the extended range MLRS, the LOCPOD
and conventional cruise missile, covering enemy territory from the
forward edge of battle to a depth of several hundreds of kilometres,
culminates in the US AXE programme for the development of a
conventional ballistic missile with the Pershing range and speed.
Precise striking power over extended ranges is, however, useless
without stand-off surveillance and target acquisition. This was the
reason for initiating the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar
System (JSTARS). The JSTARS project, a combination of the US
Army's SOTAS and the US Air Force Pave Mover programmes,
involves a radar system carried by the C-18, a version of the well
known Boeing 707. It is aimed at detecting, locating and tracking
fixed and moving ground targets, loosely defined as tanks, and
guiding aircraft and missiles against them. Radar returns would either
be processed on board, or sent to a ground processing station for
real-time analysis. After receiving the results of this analysis, the
airborne platforms would direct missiles or attack aircraft against
targets. There was some disagreement between the forces cooperating in this joint programme. The Army was satisfied with target
acquisition, whereas the Air Force wanted to be able to then guide
aircraft in the attack, a much more complex task. The Army only
required surveillance over a shorter range. Because of interforce
differences, the JSTARS has come under sole responsibility of the
Air Force, with the Army covering shorter range surveillance
systems. The future of JSTARS is uncertain, the programme could
be a candidate for the budgets cuts the US Congress is asking for.l 9
It is not clear what relation there is between these American
programmes and the CNAD projects. Is the stand-off surveillance
and target acquisition system a follow-up to the US Army SOTAS
programme, or a JSTARS successor? This is an important question,
as the surveillance and target acquisition required by the Army will
enable it to do no more than prepare for surge conditions, and use
its 30-70 km range MLRS delivered firepower more effectively. If

Marlies ter Borg and John Grin


the CNAD stand-off surveillance system is designed to guide aircraft

and missiles to targets at longer ranges, it should be considered as
a new step towards deep strike.
So we see how weapon programmes, set up to strengthen the
position of traditionally important weapon systems like the main
battle tank and the fighter aircraft, are in fact allowing NATO to
slip into deep strike doctrines. Consensus on the meaning for NATO
concepts like AirLand Battle and FOFA, has not been reached.
Downright deep strike projects like the AXE conventional missile
or even the air-launched cruise missile are not included in the CNAD
list, showing the reserves of at least some of the West European
governments towards these doctrines. But the technological possibilities are there. Rogers has even claimed that he can carry out FOFA
with current weapons, like the MLRS, the Tornado, the German
MW-1 munitions dispenser system, and the British JP-233 with its
runway cratering munitions, and the US TR-1 reconnaissance
aircraft.2 Given the improvements envisaged by the CNAD projects,
he could do even better.
So projects for multinational cooperation involving emerging technologies, chosen in the process of business as usual could also contribute
to postures for deep-strike. Can the same be said for concepts emphasising defence? Are the European projects for a main battle tank
and the fighter aircraft worthwhile within a non-provocative framework? Or should other projects be given priority? And how relevant
could the different CNAD projects be?
As explained in Chapter 8, models for non-provocative defence
are based on a no-target principle. 21 Vulnerability for concentrated
enemy fire-power is to be reduced, and a tactical nuclear assault by
the enemy avoided by withholding suitable targets. This means that
a heavy reliance on fighter aircraft, needing airfields to function,
should be avoided as should the mass tank movements typical of
manoeuvre warfare. In terms of these doctrines, therefore, the
necessity of developing a new main battle tank as envisaged by the
IEPG, is not so obvious. The main battle tank is thought to have
several disadvantages. Tank formations, surrounded by their support
systems, besides making easy targets for the enemy also demand
complex and vulnerable logistics. Tanks are suitable only for some


Recent Cooperative ET Projects

50 per cent of the border territory, and last but not least, they have
an offensive capability easily misunderstood by the Warsaw Treaty
Organization (WTO).
Tactics should therefore not be organised around the tank, but
should be based on the dedicated anti-tank weapon. This type of
weapon system is produced in both Europe and the US.
The consortium Euromissile, set up by Aerospatiale (Fr.) and
MBB(FRG), and later joined by British Aerospace to form the
Euromissile Dynamics Group, was responsible for the production of
the well known HOT and Milan systems. The portable Milan (missile
d'infanterie Zeger antichar) has a maximum range of 2 km, the HOT
which is carried by vehicles and helicopters (hautsubsonique optiquement teleguide tire d'un tube) has a 4 km range. Euromissile has
developed an improved version of both missiles. The warheads of
these so-called HOT-2 and Milan-2 missiles have a larger diameter
and are heavier than those of their predecessors, but the new missiles
can be fired from the same launchers. 22 Milan and HOT, being wireguided missiles, require the launcher to keep the target in sight
during the flight of the missile. This makes them vulnerable to counter-atack, especially as the missiles are slower than tank or artillery
Euromissile is therefore developing a third generation, higher
speed anti-tank weapon. The technology developed will be used in
both medium and long range anti-tank weapons. The medium range
version will be laser guided, while the long range fire and forget
version will initially have imaging infra-red guidance and in a later
stage possibly mm-wave guidance. Authors like Afheldt, who rely
heavily on enhanced precision of anti-tank weapons should welcome
these developments. 21 With the French developing improved antitank weapons for the short and very short range (max. 300 m and
150m, the last to be fired from a confined space), European NATO
members could be completely self-supporting as far as dedicated
anti-tank weapons are concerned. The costs of these systems are,
however, much higher than comparable American systems like the
TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked Wire-guided), so high in
fact, that the large numbers required for a non-provocative posture
would not be affordable. So it looks as if these schemes demand
procurement of American systems, unless some kind of transatlantic
cooperation results in substantial cost reduction. So from this
perspective a CNAD project would be welcome. Of interest is the
US proposal to introduce a task division, with the US responsible

Marlies ter Borg and John Grin


for (short) or medium range systems (-2 km), and Western Europe
taking on long range ones (2-5 km). This offer, which was turned
down by European industry, should be reconsidered. On the other
hand, the European standpoint that too much standardisation in
this field would facilitate WTO counter-measures, must be taken
seriously. 22
Another weapon system to play a major role in non-provocative
defence is the multiple rocket launcher. Various types are considered
necessary, with ranges from 2.5-40 km. The MLRS with its antitank mines, and precision guided munitions listed by CNAD, could
be deployed in the framework of defensive doctrines. This weapon
system is flexible enough to be used in both deep-strike and in depth
or barrier defence concepts, but deployment will differ. In deep strike,
the MLRS is to be found at the lower end of the scale, and is to be
placed at the FEBA to strike 40 km into enemy territory. In defensive
concepts it is placed at 40 km from the border, and in depth all over
friendly territory, to attack enemy tanks as they cross the frontier
and penetrate. There the MLRS forms the higher end of the scale,
weapon ranges of more than 50 km being unwelcome. In static
concepts moreover, the multiple rocket laucher would be fixed, dug
in or otherwise hidden. This calls for systems without a chassis,
suitable to be mounted on any wheeled vehicle, making them less
complex and therefore cheaper than the present tracked MLRS. 21
Main battle tanks are considered by many authors emphasising
defence, as a temporary evil, to be phased out of existence as the
anti-tank weapons gain in cost-effectiveness. The development of a
new tank is a sheer waste of effort, if a political choice is made for
a non-provocative defence. 21
Some authors, however, feel that a small number of tanks should
be retained, even in a defensive posture, in a role complementary
to a static network or containment force. 21 In the SAS proposal,
only parts of the rapid commitment force are to be equipped with
tracked armoured vehicles, but they will be decidedly less heavy than
the present main battle tank. They will be part of a larger family of
armoured vehicles, based on the current 30 ton infantry fighting
vehicles. Together with the similar but lighter family of wheeled
vehicles, they will total 5000, representing a cut of 60 per cent as
compared with present Bundeswehr armoured vehicle capacity.
The lighter variety could be based on the French 10-RC
6-wheeled vehicle. Ironically, the development of rapid deployment
forces, however offensive in the eyes of the SAS group, could bring


Recent Cooperative ET Projects

forth a similar type of light armoured vehicle as needed in emphasising defence, although adapted to other, tropical or desert
conditions. 23 It is perhaps desirable to develop another lightweight
vehicle, specifically adapted to the European environment, but for
that some sort of European cooperation could be necessary. So in
this sense there is some interest amongst authors emphasising
defence for an armoured vehicle project, but both specifications and
numbers would have to point to a reduction of offensive capabilities.
Tactical aircraft is also to be ousted from its present central
position. The task of (deep) interdiction would be the first to go.
This is the most difficult task requiring very complex and costly
aircraft like the Tornado, loaded with MW-1 or the newer LOCPOD
munitions dispenser; and supporting systems to suppress enemy air
defence, such as sophisticated anti-radiation missiles. It is also one
of the more offensive elements of established doctrine, provoking a
preemptive attack on NATO airfields in the first hours of battle.
Some of the authors emphasising defence propose doing away with
fighter aircraft altogether, letting other systems such as multifunctional surface-to-surface/surface-to-air missiles take over their
present tasks of air defence and close battlefield support. In in-depth
concepts the sting would be taken out of enemy tactical air attack,
because hardly any suitable targets are offered. The abolishment of
aircraft would solve many problems presently facing NATO. Air
defence would become much easier, as problems of identifying
aircraft as friend or foe disappear. Others see a complementary task
for aircraft in countering concentrations of enemy aircraft. 24 This
means that aircraft will be retained for functions of air-defence and
perhaps even some close air support.
But even in these functions aircraft will not play a major role.
Instead of starting with close air support to soften up enemy formations, fighter aircraft will be reserved to come to the aid of friendly
troops in disarray. 25 And air defence will be carried out primarily by
surface-to-air missiles, with aircraft brought into action only to
counter heavy enemy air concentrations. This implies that gaining
air superiority will also remain an essential task, although only of a
local nature.
By reducing the tasks presently assigned to fighter aircraft, the
pressure on NATO to do more than is possible with the declining
number of aircraft is lessened. Aircraft freed from interdiction tasks
could, with some redesigning perhaps, be deployed for air defence
or close air support. To further reduce complexity and cost of aircraft

Marlies ter Borg and John Grin


these tasks could be performed by single-function combat aircraft.

This is the idea behind the private development of the Small
Advanced Fighter for Europe (SAFE) as an alternative to the multirole European Fighter Aircraft.26
As possibilities for striking deep into enemy territory are forgone,
long range target acquisition and tracking will be unnecessary.
Surveillance for purposes of crisis management will be wanted, and
this requires a satellite monitoring agency that is not dependent on
the superpowers (see Chapter 12). So it looks as if the setting up of a
European monitoring agency would give European NATO members
more money's worth than the joint development of a stand-off target
acquisition system as listed by CNAD. Near real-time data processing
for surveillance is desirable only for shorter ranges, as such long
range capabilities could give the WTO the wrong impression. For
those concepts combining light mobile defence with a static network
it is necessary to detect enemy concentrations before they actually
cross the border, to enable counter-concentrations to be formed. It
is therefore not surprising to see the SAS group listing surveillance
RPVs as desirable. In terms of the CNAD projects, this implies
support for the medium range RPV for battlefield surveillance and
target acquisition, and opposition against the standoff surveillance
and target acquisition system.
Any form of non-provocative defence can rely on surveillance by
friendly forces, dispersed as they are throughout friendly territory.
One of the advantages of fighting exclusively in one's own territory,
is the possibility of preparing a communications network that is
relatively insensitive to electronic counter-measures. By building a
fine mazed network, preferably using glass-fibre cables underground,
one can take much of the sting out of enemy electronic warfare
measures. 21
Although a non-provocative defence does not rely on totally new
weapon systems, its adoption would lead to a reordering of priorities.
Enhancing the precision of guided anti-tank weapons for the shorter
ranges would receive most attention, and in this context a CNAD
project such as the development of PGMs for the MLRS could be
interesting. The typical deep-strike weapons, with ranges of several
hundreds of kilometres would not be considered acceptable, but


Recent Cooperative ET Projects

others like the development of a new armoured vehicle would, if

specifications were adapted to the demands of emphasising defence.
In this respect, there is no preference for projects from this or that
side of the Atlantic.
All of the present armaments programmes, whether run on a
national, bilateral or multinational basis, stem from the process of
business as usual. As shown above, both CNAD and IEPG
programmes are concentrated around the tank and the combat
aircraft as the central systems in the still dominant Second World
War inspired, 'image of war'. Not only is the IEPG main battle tank
project typical for present concepts of mobile forward defence. The
MLRS, with its precision guided munitions now under development
in a CNAD project, is a tank supporting system designed for
manoeuvre warfare. Many other systems, like the French-German
LOCPOD candidates, and the air-launched cruise missile to be
jointly developed by the US, UK and FRG, are intended to enhance
the effectiveness and survivability of NATO aircraft.
But many of these projects fit equally well into deep strike
concepts, although new developments, such as the 200 km and
further range conventional ballistic missiles are required to realise
their full potential.
So programmes for weapon production are not politically neutral.
They are becoming the subject of political debate, as have nuclear
weapons before them. For as the debate on military doctrine is
broadened to include political aspects such as crisis-stability and arms
control, the associated weapon systems will also be evaluated in
wider political terms. But public debate is often unbalanced, concentrating on one or two isolated systems, and arising only when deployment is at hand. There is therefore a need for timely analysis, starting
in the phase when systems are still programmes and choices open,
and placing the different projects into a wider doctrinal context. It
is to this type of analysis that this chapter is a contribution.

The authors would like to thank Rene van Druenen for his detailed
criticism of their paper.

Marlies ter Borg and John Grin





Official document, NATO, Brussels, 1984.

'Contract for MLRS Terminal Guidance Warhead', Interavia, 1 (1985)
p. 16; 'MLRS Warhead Program', /DR, 2(1985) pp. 256-7.
Cited in M. Seagrim, 'Is the Tornado Worth 12 billion Pounds?',
AD/U-Report, 6(4) 1984.
'Tripartite EFA is Go', FLIGHT International (10 Aug. 1985).
D. Zaidman, 'France and Germany Team on Joint Standoff Weapon
Project', Defence and Armament, no. 41 (Mar. 1985) pp. 56-7; 'European Team Developing Stand-off Weapon', AW&ST (24 June 1985)
p. 87.
N. F. Wikner, 'Neue konventionelle Technologien und Vorneverteidigung in Europa', Europaische Wehrkunde/WWR, (1983) pp. 201-215.
B. Wanstall, 'Getting the Right Counter Air Mix for NATO- a Place
for Ballistic and Stand-off?', Interavia, 3(1985).
'Ire over IFF in Germany', Interavia, 6(1985) p. 573; 'Airborne Electronics: NATO IFF Decision Aftemath', Interavia, 7(1985) p. 750.
M. Fezal, 'IFF System to Upgrade With Improved beyond-visualrange Capability', AW&ST 12 Aug. 1985 pp. 56-7.
A review of Western efforts in this field is given in G. S. Sundaram
'Next Generation Airborne EW', /DR 5(1985) pp. 168-84.
M. Hewish, 'British Aerospace: ALARM', /DR, 5(1985) pp. 765-6;
G. Warwick, 'ALARM Takes Fight', FLIGHT International (23 Mar.
1985) pp. 18-20.
'Helicopters: European Companies Consolidate', Interavia 7(1985)
pp. 743-14.
G. Warwick, 'Assault Breaker is Dead, Deep Strike Lives On',
FLIGHT International (1 Sept. 195).
P. Berg and G. Herolf, 'Deep Strike: New Technologies for Conventional Interdiction', World Armament & Disarmament, SIPRI Yearbook 1984 (London: Taylor & Francis, 1984).
G. S. Sundaram, 'US Tube Launched Smart Anti-tank Munitions',
/DR, 8(1980).
J. Philip Geddes, 'Multiple Launch Rocket System to Counter Surge
Attack', /DR, 5(1980).
'Accord Tripartite sur l'engin LRSOM', Air et Cosmos (5 Nov. 1983);
'US, Britain, Germany Seeking joint Stand-off Missile Accord', A W &
ST (2 Apr. 1984).
M. Hewish, 'Attacking Targets Beyond the FEBA- NATO Needs
New Weapons', /DR, 8(1984), pp. 1053-66.
'Services delay for Joint Radar System', A W &ST (22 Apr. 1985) p. 27.
Cited in A&ST (18 Mar. 1985).
For literature on non-provocative defence see notes, Chapter 8.
'Euromissiles HOT, Milan Follows-on Incorporate Larger Diameter
Warheads', W&ST (8 June 1985) p. 110.
R. D. M. Furlong, 'Europeans Oppose Single Type Standardization
of NATO Anti-tank Missiles', /DR, 2(1985).
'Light Combat Vehicle', /DR, 7(1985) pp. 1086-1111.


Recent Cooperative ET Projects

S. Canby, 'The Alliance and Europe, part IV, Military Doctrine and
Technology', Adelphi papers, 109, IISS (London, 1975).
R. van Druenen, Nederland heeft Europees gevechtsvliegtuig niet
nodig, NRC-Handelsblad, 5 Mar. 1985; Defence News (9 Nov. 1984),
issued by the British Embassy in the Hague, pp. 2-3.

A W & ST = Aviation and Space Technology

/DR = International Defense Review

16 European and Atlantic

Arms Cooperation
Bob de Ruiter

NATO is currently faced with internal strains, concerning both transatlantic burden sharing and uneven arms trade. While the US exerts
pressure on NATO's European member states to increase military
spending, the Europeans feel that the balance of arms trade comes
out too strongly in favour of the US, with a 3 to 1 ratio, according
to American and a 6 or even 9 to 1 ratio according to European
estimates. 1 The US government has not been very cooperative in
redressing this balance, only giving some minor exemptions to the
Buy American Act, and drawing up stringent security restrictions
for technology transfer to European member states. The result is
that technology which is developed in part thanks to the European
taxpayers' money is completely passing the European economy by.
It is against this background that a two way street is advocated. As
the Dutch Minister of Defence, de Ruiter put it, 'the Americans
want the Europeans to share in more of the disadvantages of the
alliance, while the Europeans declare, that they would like to share
in more of the advantages' .2 Nowadays all industrialised countries
realise that their economic future depends on their ability to develop
and introduce emerging and emerged technologies. In a bid to raise
the technological level and thus the competitivity of their economies
many governments stimulate their so-called spearhead industries by
a combination of protectionism and industrial policy (neo-protectionism). Within the framework of American policy relations and
political traditions, a direct support of the high tech sector seems
impossible. Therefore subsidy is granted indirectly through contracts
with the Defense Department. A direct general support of the American industry would, moreover, imply that a large part of the available resources would be used by the traditional, declining sectors,
which are politically better organised. This indirect policy for technological innovation and competitiveness, however, is not as effective
as a policy of direct support. The spin-off effect of this 'military'
support to the civil industry is rather limited. 3 The present imbalance
in transatlantic arms trade therefore implies that European govern-



European and Atlantic Arms Cooperation

ments are using tax money to support the indirect Pentagon led
industrial policy, at a time that the European economy badly needs
that support itself.
A condition for the redressing of this imbalance, for a genuine
move towards a two-way street is a strong and competitive European
military industry. This can only be reached by intensifying European
cooperation in the development and production of armaments. This
cooperation is not without its pitfalls. Many times, a project has been
cancelled or limited due to inter-European rivalries. The European
fighter aircraft is a recent example, with France leaving the project
mainly because of frustrated national ambitions concerning worksharing and project leadership. 4
The improvement of this kind of inter-European cooperation, is
the main reason for the recent revival of the Independent European
Programming Group (IEPG). At a political meeting of this body
members stressed the need to utilise emerging technologies for
strengthening conventional forces in the framework of a collective
European concept.S
Does this mean that the renewed interest in European cooperation
signifies striving towards more European military and economic independence, thus weakening Atlantic ties? There have, since the
Second World War, been several moves to give Europe a more
prominent role. In some cases it concerned primarily demonstrations
of Atlantic loyalty and readiness to strengthen Atlantic cohesion.
This was the case with the Treaty of Brussels, the establishment of
NATO, and the Treaties of Paris with respect to the rearmament
and military integration of FR Germany.
Other moves implied a strengthening of European independence,
but they were expressively stimulated by the US in the context of a
policy aimed at a reduction of the American engagement in Europe.
This was the case with the European Defence Community and, to a
lesser degree, with the creation of the Western European Union.
Particularly in the EDC case, the US appeared to be more Europeanist than the European countries. Some initiatives, like the plea for
some say in the use of nuclear arms, were indeed motivated by a
desire for less dependence, though primarily in a national, rather
than a European context. And nearly always (with the exception of
the French case), the US succeeded in warding off a schism in the
alliance through proposals giving some European countries some
measure of influence. Moreover, Atlantic rivalry and Atlantic cooperation did in general go hand in hand. 6

Bob de Ruiter


This appears to be again the case today. The IEPG is not, in spite
of the membership of France, in any way an anti-American body,
but explicitly operates 'within the spirit of the alliance'. 5 Moreover,
the US has been involved in many of the IEPG supported projects,
especially those that bore fruit.? A good example of two-way street
cooperation is the parallel development of the AMRAAM and
ASRAAM missiles by the US and Europe, respectively (see
Appendix I).
The three projects recently agreed upon are of course intended to
be entirely European, inspired in some measure by recent transatlantic disappointments. The choice of the project for replacement
of the Hawk air defence missile is a reaction to the procurement by
many European countries of the US produced Patriot, without as
many compensation orders coming from the US as expected. The
all-European main battle tank project is a reaction to the backing
away by the US from the agreed upon procurement of the very
sophisticated Leopard II, in favour of the M-1. Only the gun of this
American tank is made in Germany. There is therefore some room
and indeed reason for anti-American sentiments. But there is a close
association of the IEPG with the transatlantic CNAD.
The IEPG has welcomed Weinberger's ET proposals, has played
a major role in the selection of the CNAD-projects and is seen by
CNAD-officialss as political support for their activities. This signifies,
that even this all-European cooperation is ultimately seen as a way of
smoothing and improving transatlantic relations. In this perspective it
is relevant, that the IEPG was offering the US government lists of
European firms interested in SDI before the European governments
had had time to take up a position on this controversial American
initiative. 9 The CNAD projects themselves are of course explicitly
Atlantic, with the US supporting every one of them. This does not
mean that everything will be plain sailing. Already there has been a
fuss about the American inspired adoption of a US designed Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system although the German alternative was said to be both cheaper and more effective.1 But the main
idea behind the CNAD projects is to have consortia, consisting of
different national industries, often of course led by an American
firm, compete for contracts in a way reminiscent of US procurement
procedures. The contract recently signed by a US-European consortium headed by Martin Marietta, for precision guided munitions for
the multiple launch rocket system is a typical example.1 1 So we can
conclude, that the moves towards European armaments cooperation


European and Atlantic Arms Cooperation

are intended not to weaken Atlantic ties, but to improve them.

Through a strengthening of the European arms industry a redressing
of the one-way street is sought, as a condition for the continued
carrying by European NATO members of their fair share of the
financial burden for the defence of Western Europe. It will have
occurred to the Americans, that if even small steps in the direction
of a two-way street remain wanting, a 'buy Europe' mood could be
the result. The US, however, is not driven solely by motives of a
tactical nature in these matters. For the Euro-American cooperation
will enable NATO to considerably strengthen its conventional forces.
Owing to the high costs of research and development in ET and to
the costs of implementing these technologies in new conventional
weapons, both parties will benefit from cooperation. ET, and the
need for them make Atlantic cooperation a necessity.
The question then remains, whether a two-way street will bring
the European economies as a whole the expected benefits. Will
European armaments cooperation, resulting in a larger share of
NATO defence contracts, contribute to the creation of a healthy
technological and industrial base in the countries involved?
There are reasons to believe that this contribution will not be
very substantial. For military research and development is primarily
concerned with product innovation whereas the civil economy of
Europe needs process innovation. The military is interested in high
technology, in new findings, no matter the costs. They are in for
rather unique tailormade products with very small series. But the
economic problems of Europe lie mainly in the timely application of
knowledge to mass marketable items. Indeed, defence contracts,
with all the security regulations involved, could even hold firms back
from applying their knowledge in this way. So a direct stimulation
of the European civil economy would bear more fruit than an indirect
stimulation via the defence budgets.
But such a stimulation at the European level meets with political
problems, owing to differences in the relative importance of the
defence industry in the various countries. The British and French
military industry were able to stay in existence after the Second
World War, and have expanded since. The German military industry
was severely limited after the German defeat, and although all limitations on conventional weapons have now been abolished, it constitutes a relatively smaller part of the total economy. An entirely civil
stimulation policy would therefore bring a more than proportional
benefit to West German industry. The correction of this distorted

Bob de Ruiter


relationship will be a motive for inclusion in a European industrial

policy of some support for military industry. We can assert that the
importance of developing a 'healthy scientific and technological
base', an aim formulated by the present IEPG chairman apparently
lies primarily in the perspective it offers with respect to the establishment of a two-way street and for sharing more in the benefits of
Some progress towards 'genuine' European military cooperation
has been made, but the scope of this cooperation is limited. The
European efforts to get a larger share of NATO pay-offs leads to
increased rivalry in the field of armament, but this rivalry will result
in an increased Atlantic military cooperation. European and Atlantic
cooperation seem to be not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, the
former seems to be a prerequsite for the latter.
More European independence in the field of armaments has also
been advocated because a more independent and less provocative
military posture of Western Europe is perceived as desirable, given
present East-West relations. But, for the moment, Western Europe's
contribution to the encounter of East and West is in line with
traditional Atlantic politics. The European armaments cooperation
contributes to the present evolution of NATO's flexible response
strategy into a warfighting approach, a trend which reflects American
rather than European security interests.




Ben Oostenbrink, 'Om de veiligheid van Europa', in Egbert Boeker

and Ben Oostenbrink (eds), Jaarboek Vrede en Veiligheid 1983-84
(Alphen aan den Rijn: Samson, 1984) pp. 88-101.
Keesings Historisch Archief, 16 October 1984.
Gerd Junne, 'Het Amerikaanse defensie-beleid: een substituut voor
industrie-politiek?', Internationale Spectator (July 1984) pp. 419-27.
'Tripartite EFA is Go', FLIGHT International (10 Aug. 1985).
Resolution on European cooperation in the field of defence equipment, State Secretaries of the IEPG, assembled in The Hague, 2-3
April1984 (issued by the IEPG information service).
This point is elaborated in Duco Hellema and Bob de Ruiter,
'Europa's eigen risico: de geschiedenis van het Europese militaire
alternatief', in G. v. B. van den Bergh and Herman de Lange (eds),
Europa eenmaal andermaal (Amsterdam: Jan Mets, 1985).
The only IEPG products on which agreement had been reached in
April1984 and which have made any progress since then were projects
initiated by the US. Four of these are cases of dual production (the



European and Atlantic Arms Cooperation

Stinger, Maverick-D, Artillery Ammunition M483 (155 mm) and the
AIM-9 Sidewinder with weapons developed in the US built under
licence by European firms.
John Stone, 'CNAD- Focal Point of Equipment Cooperation', NATO
Review 1(1984) pp. 10-15.
Report on ET and SDI, written for the Western European Union by
H. van den Bergh (Spring 1985).
'Ire over IFF in Germany', Interavia, 6(1985) p. 573; 'Airborne electronics: NATO IFF Decision Aftermath', Interavia, 7(1985) p. 750.
'MLRS Warhead Program', International Defense Review, 2(1985)
pp. 256-7.

Part V

17 Business As Usual?
Peter M. E. Volten

In the absence of a generally understood doctrine, we will of

necessity act haphazardly; conflicting proposals will compete with
each other without an effective basis for their resolution. Each
problem as it arises will seem novel, and energies will be absorbed
in analysing its nature rather than in seeking solutions. Policies
will grow out of countermeasures taken to thwart the initiatives
of other powers .. .1
This pronouncement by Henry Kissinger, made in the 1950s about
American strategic nuclear policy, is still applicable to NATO policymaking today. A cynic may describe the strategy of flexible response
as a potpourri of ideas and notions, which often have nothing to do
with each other. Flexible response, intended to keep the opponent
in the dark, also keeps people in the West guessing about the
execution of a strategy, designed for 'whenever the moment arrives'.
Critics of NATO strategy point out, that the way the West 'prepares
for war' lacks both consistency and credibility. As a result of such
criticism, various attempts have been made to provide the West with
an alternative.
However laudable these intentions may be, a warning is required.
The attempt to improve defences must never degenerate into a rigid
codification of strategy or even of operations. Whatever the objections to flexible response are, both its name and its contents reflect
the recognition that war is 'truly a chameleon'; one which no single
combat manual can prepare us for.
History shows innumerable examples of the catastrophe that
ensues when strategic thinking becomes an idee fixe. No one wants
to run the risk of experiencing something like the stalemate of the
First World War or the overrunning of the Maginot Line in 1940.
Negligence- either through inadvertence or overestimating oneself
- is always paid for heavily in the end. Not being able or willing to


Business as Usual?

adapt strategy to the social, technological or even to the military

developments arising during wartime, has shown itself to be
But how flexible can strategy be? There are a great number of
considerations to be kept in mind when designing military strategy.
But if one takes into account relevant factors does not this mean
that nothing can ever change? Does it mean 'business as usual' for the
military, even as we stand at the threshold of possibly far-reaching
technological developments?
Those who are of the opinion that the introduction of Emerging
Technologies (ET) will change little or nothing, will point out, that
the haphazard behaviour mentioned by Kissinger is even more likely
in an alliance between sixteen countries. The compromises, resulting
from the conflict inside the various national bureaucracies, will be
even further weakened by the attempt to reach an international
consensus. Policy on the national level already depends on the
greatest common denominator, which is embedded sooner or later
in 'agreed language' thus inhibiting pliancy at the international level.
A sceptic might point out, that none of the well meant plans to
strengthen conventional defence, have been fully carried out. Of the
force goals of 90 divisions and 3000 combat aircraft, agreed upon by
the ministers assembled in Lisbon in 1952, only half has been
realised. The doubts and criticisms surrounding atomic weapons since
time immemorial have not visibly contributed to far-reaching measures in the area of conventional defence.
In this view of NATO, these conservative influences affect not
only political policy-making, but the military organisation as well.
The various armed forces put up their best fight in their own countries, to gain a substantial part of the limited financial resources,
thus complicating rational planning and assessment of priorities.
Often, the sceptic would conclude, plans turn out to be nothing more
than lists, expressing the plaintive desire for better and for more.
And if planning and coordination between the armed forces on a
national level is faulty, on an international level where specialisation
and standardisation are badly needed, even more is lacking.
Si vis pacem, para bellum. Desiring peace, every military organisation prepares for war in its own way, according to its own oper-

Peter M. E. Volten


ational concepts, and traditions, and keeping national industry in

This negative view of policy-making concerning strategy and
required military resources is of course incomplete, and in some
ways incorrect. The factors mentioned above are important. But
there is no question of a neurotic need to counter change and favour
parochial interests, making NATO policy-making a completely static,
self-repeating process. Government initiatives, military-operational
demands, public protest and interference, and technologcal developments keep things moving and - slowly, but surely - bring about
substantial changes. In this way the debate on nuclear armaments
has led to an adaptation of both the nuclear stockpile and the notions
about the function of theatre nuclear weapons as the Montebello
decision by ministers of the Nuclear Planning Group in 1983 has
shown. And the change in the nuclear balance of power has given
new life to the discussion on conventional defence on both a strategic
and tactical level. Of course, some factors, such as the geographic
distribution of the Alliance, cannot be changed. Others, like the
principle of defensive strategy, the political necessity of forward
defence, or the financial limitations, can only be influenced minimally. But in spite of such more or less objective factors, which
stand in the way of radical change, there are important forces making
for evolutionary adaptation, even within the pattern of 'business as
usual'. The introduction of ET, as advocated among others by
General Rogers, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe
(SACEUR), is an important example.
On various occasions General Rogers has made it clear, that the
numerical superiority of the WTO constitutes a threat, which could
force NATO to deploy nuclear weapons in too early a phase.
Conventional strength is therefore not only necessary as a credible
conventional deterrent - in blocking access to our territories - but
also for raising the nuclear threshold. The inconceivably difficult
decision, to employ nuclear weapons must be left to the opponent.
Now according to Rogers the WTO's numerical superiority chiefly
lies in the reserves at the command of the Soviet Union, which could
relieve troops on the forward line and go on to defeat the already
battered NATO forces. So the elimination of these reserves, before


Business as Usual?

they reach the front is seen to be crucial. And there you have
it: NATO's strength, according to Rogers, lies in its technological
superiority. NATO must play its trump, by exploiting presently
emerging technologies.
Now in the usual business of the NATO planning process,
SACEUR plays a very important role. He draws up operational
concepts and formulates the long-term planning guidelines that are
to result in concrete force goals. So the great amount of confidence
he places in the possibilities of ET, could lead to adaptations in
existing operational missions. Interdiction, not a new mission,
certainly, could receive relatively more emphasis. This trend could
be reinforced by other actors, such as the political support of Caspar
Weinberger for ET and the outspoken interests of industry. In the
planning process, both will add to the weight of military advice
favourable to ET; according to some, up to a point that the introduction of ET for deep attack against follow-on forces becomes more
or less unavoidable.
This deep strike approach is one which - in the blunt view of
Steven Canby- falters on all counts:
- The underlying premise is false: NATO is outgunned but neither
outmanned nor outspent. NATO's problem is organisational
and doctrinal; marginal technological advances cannot overcome
these self-inflicted wounds.
- Technology is being wrongly focused on difficult deep attacks
rather than on easier and more rewarding targets close to the
Forward Edge of Battle Area (FEBA).
- While the individual technologies may work, the many diverse
components and distinct tasks have yet to be combined and
demonstrate in a benign, much less a hostile environment.
- NATO requires 4% more annually to modernise current forces.
The proposed technologies are additions. Costs using its
proponents own claims of effectiveness are an order to magnitude greater than asserted. 2
Another major objection to a tactic of striking to a depth of some
hundreds of kilometres, is that, as Donnelly has argued- there are
no major Soviet concentrations to be expected within this range. At
least, if expectations are based on Soviet doctrine as it has been
adopted in recent years. 3 These important changes in WTO tactical
concepts have gone by more or less unnoticed by the military organisations in the West. This is due to their tendency to underestimate

Peter M. E. Volten


the necessity of checking their own tactical and strategic rules against
developments on the other side. Studying the opponent is limited
for the greater part to quantitative data, whereas qualitative data
are quite as important.
An essential question - one which the Western fixation on technology has largely blocked - is whether the technology driven
method, adhered to by Rogers among others, is the only one possible. Even if we assume that the West is not willing or able to achieve
numerical parity, this does not mean that technological superiority
can make good the differences in conventional strength.
Technology can contribute to strengthening combat capability, but
it is not the only and often not the best way to improve combat
strength. Translated into operational terms, General Rogers' plan
contains the danger of putting too much emphasis on fire power aimed at the previously mentioned reserve units - and of neglecting
other factors that determine combat strength.
A more balanced approach can be found in the Field Manual
100-5 'Operations' of the US Army, where a number of important
corrections were incorporated vis-a-vis earlier attempts to put the
Airland Battle idea into the form of a manual. Those attempts, such
as TRADOC's 'AirLand Battle and Corps 1984' are still important
today, because they have much in common with the Follow-onForce-Attack (FOFA) concept now propagated within NATO so
enthusiastically by General Rogers.
In the Field Manual 100-5 'Operations', other basic
military-operational concepts besides 'deep attack' are dealt with,
namely: initiative, coordinating Army and Air Force operations,
manoeuvre and agility. In its new policy, the US Army breaks with
the somewhat passive, static concept of defence as described in
the Field Manual of 1976, and emphasises active, mobile defences.
Firepower and deep strike have gained importance, but they are not
given the high priority, they enjoy in the Rogers' plan. In the
AirLand Battle improvements in conventional defence are sought,
not so much via new technologies as through the full deployment of
the fighting skills of commanders on all levels. Taking the initiative,
making decisions, delegating authority, leaving the execution of an
assignment to the subordinate; these are the points in which the
military in the West take their score, leaving the Soviet officers
behind. These are not measurable characteristics as is firepower, but
nevertheless, they form an important criterion for assessing relative
strength and for improving Western defences. The same applies to


Business as Usual?

manoeuvre and mobility. These are powerful assets, indispensable

in situations were the opponent has numerical superiority. And it is
precisely such situations that NATO units have to be prepared for.
It is the aggressor who will decide where to concentrate the fighting.
The Soviet commander will attempt to gain the upper hand locally,
and in this way to break through the first line of NATO defences.
As the NATO commander will be unable to fight an attrition battle
at the local level, he will have to take recourse to 'out-foxing' the
opponent. By separating the leading units, he must retake the
initiative and regain control of the tempo of combat.
So 'business as usual', far from implying lack of change, would
seem to contain forces making for an adaptation of doctrine towards
a technology based deep-strike, which must be criticised on various
There are other, more implicit tendencies for change inherent in the
normal process of defence planning. First there is the problem of
nuclear arms. Some consider nuclear weapons as inadmissible from
a moral viewpoint, others as difficult to control, or even useless
from a military standpoint. The simultaneous appearance of moral,
political and military-operational objections to nuclear arms is
leading to a renewed and quite broad interest in conventional
defence. For some, it is the growing aversion to nuclear weapons
that has acted as a spur to develop various conventional alternatives.
For others, the change in the nuclear balance of power in favour of
the Soviet Union is the reason for advocating a greater role for
conventional defence. Although they depart from different positions,
both groups therefore highlight conventional defence as a step on
the way out of the nuclear dilemma.
These various forces for change are in fact now so strong, that a
warning note should be sounded. One must guard against the danger
of idolising conventional warfare as an alternative to nuclear deterrence. Whatever possibilities emerging technologies offer for
replacing existing theatre nuclear weapons, they will never be able
to take over completely the political function of deterrence, fulfilled
by nuclear weapons. At the most, the possibility exists that conventional weapons, with an effectiveness approaching that of nuclear
arms, will reduce dependency on tactical nuclear weapons. They

Peter M. E. Volten


will not, however, affect the core of deterrence strategy: nuclear

These various trends away from deterrence thinking could also
strengthen the dangerous tendency of warfighting scenarios becoming
guidelines for deliberations on the nature and composition of
defences, or even for concrete defence planning. Whether objections
to deterrence strategy stem from public protest or from militaryoperational considerations, the result is a development in the direction of 'classical' strategy. That is to say towards preparing to fight a
war, be it in an offensive or a defensive way. Nolens volens, there will
be a move towards thinking about how to conduct combat operations,
instead of thinking primarily in terms of the prevention of war.
This danger is present even in alternatives emphasising defence.
Because any form of 'classical' strategy has to give military organisations a substantial amount of elbow-room. And these organisations
have an inborn tendency of developing offensive doctrines. Barry
Posen summarises the reasons for this as follows:
1. The need for standard scenarios to reduce operational uncertainty encourages military organisations to prefer offensive
2. The incentive, arising from the highly competitive nature of
warfare, to deny an adversary his 'standard scenario' encourages offensive doctrines.
3. The inability of military organisations to calculate comparative
national will causes them to dislike deterrent doctrines.
4. Offensive doctrines will be preferred by military organisations
because they increase organisational size and funding.
5. Offensive doctrines will be preferred by military organisations
beause they enhance organisational independence from civilian
6. Because the organisational incentives to pursue offensive
doctrines are strong, military organisations will generally fix
on those geographic and technological factors favouring the
offensive, but underrate or overlook those factors favouring
defence or deterrence. 4
'Business as usual' would appear to contain the inherent danger of
defences being incorrectly prepared from a strategic point of view,
either through a lack of political alertness and the absence of coordination - the Schlieffen Plan to move against France through neutral
Belgium was never discussed jointly by political and military leader-


Business as Usual?

ship - or through the prevalence of the 'ideology of the offensive'. 5

Particularly in or own age, where technology plays such an important
role, the danger looms large that the trust in military and technological solutions to defence problems will prevail over the political
approach of deterrence.
Technological improvements are attractive, on the condition that
their military use is understood and tactics is not defining strategy.
History shows a number of disappointing experiences on this score.
New technologies are often applied following the guidelines of old
or existing concepts. As Bernard Brodie remarks on this form of
conservatism: 'The conservatism of the military, about which we
hear so much, seems always adaptation to new weaponry rather than
their acceptance of it'. 6
Once offensive doctrines and technologies or new weaponry have
been developed, they start intruding on strategic thinking. History
shows many examples of this. It is possible that the Strategic Defense
Initiative of President Reagan will turn out to be another such
example. Perhaps nothing will come of the initiative, but if it is
carried out, it must not be in a way which confuses tactics with
strategy, as was the case in such tragic examples as the Schlieffen
Plan in 1914 and the Maginot Line in 1940.
The distinction between strategy and tactics is important, because
the approach to the question of war is so very different for each
concept. On the strategic level of decision-making we have to deal
with guarantees for the interests and even for the continued existence
of the political unit, whether nation or alliance. This involves diplomacy and military force at the same time, both in peacetime and in
war. Which tactic in war will be used against an opponent to impose
our will upon him involves the means to that end and the choice
between various means (for example, destroying enemy troops, occupying territory, laying siege and starving the enemy out). So, on the
two levels the means as well as the responsibilities of the actors
essentially differ.
We must also not equate strategic and tactical goals. The strategic
question, whether to use war- force- as a means does not primarily
involve achieving a military victory, but breaking the political will of
the opponent and imposing our own. The goal of strategy is: peace,

Peter M. E. Volten


but peace which is achieved on terms set by ourselves and not by

the enemy. Our peace is of a different kind than the one envisaged
by the enemy. The goal of tactics is: conquest. The means to this
end are combat and the destruction of enemy troops through the use
of tanks, weaponry and soldiers. In the nuclear age, the goal of
strategy can surely no longer be combat and conquest.
Strategy is not- and cannot be - limited to strictly military means.
It is also determined, for example, by the support and the morale
of the people and the extent to which political leadership makes it
appear credible that, if challenged, it will actually make the decision
to resort to force. A strategy not only says something about military
capability, it also says something about the way in which military
power can be used. In particular, what is crucial here is the difference
between an offensive posture and an aggressive expression of
willpower on the one hand, and a defensive posture and an attitude
of avoiding the use of force, on the other.
A strategy of deterrence, aimed at the prevention of war is not
primarily concerned with the actual use of military force in wartime,
but with the political use of military potential without any fighting
being done. The success of a (deterrence) strategy depends not only
on military means.
So, far from being immutable, NATO strategy, even as it is
developed through the haphazard process of 'business as usual', does
have the potential for change and flexibility that has proved to be
so essential in the past. In spite of factors that are difficult or impossible to change, there are forces leading to gradual adaptations. But
not all these adaptations are desirable. There appears to be a trend
leading to a technology based deep-strike, that can be criticised on
several accounts. There are also tendencies, stemming from the
nuclear dilemma, which could lead to a dangerous move away from
deterrence. Even the conventional and defensive alternatives,
developed by various analysts as a way out of the nuclear problem,
could contribute to the development of an offensive tactical doctrine,
which will end up intruding the strategic level of decision-making,
and weakening the prospects for the prevention of war.
These different tendencies, that together could ultimately lead to
a more offensive trend, should be carefully watched. Although


Business as Usual?

strong, this trend is not inevitable. Even if SACEUR should succeed

in turning his plans into concrete force goals, that will not be an
inevitable or a permanent solution. There are and will be counteracting forces. Other interested parties and experts are presenting
alternatives, and they will be raising their views in the future. This
endless debate on alternatives can be frustrating. But it is the strength
of our political system, that even the dominant trends developing
out of 'business as usual' are up for discussion.




Henry A. Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy(New York:

Norton, 1969) (first edn 1957), p. 226.
Unpublished paper, presented at the Annual Conference of the IISS,
Avignon, September 1984.
See Nato Review, Dec. 1984.
Barry R. Posen, The Sources of Military Doctrine, France, Britain,
and Germany between the World Wars (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1984)
p. 58. See his argument on pp. 47-51.
Cf. Jack Snyder, 'Civil-Military Relations and the Cult of the
Offensive, 1914 to 1984', International Security (Summer 1984)
pp. 108-146.
Bernard Brodie, 'Technological Change, Strategic Doctrine, and
Political Outcomes', in Klaus Knorr (ed.), Historical Dimensions of
National Security Problems (Kansas UP, 1976) p. 299.

18 Can Non-provocative
Defence Provide
Atlantic Security?
Steven L. Canby

NATO Alliance is at a crossroads. Its strategy of deterrence based

on nuclear dependence is unravelling. Consensus is breaking down.
Even the European security establishment is becoming unsettled.
Everyone knows the solution - a credible conventional defence.
But it is considered unobtainable - even though NATO spends
considerably more on its military forces than the Warsaw Pact and
has 200 000 more soldiers and airmen under arms in peacetime in
the MBFR Guidelines Area plus France. A balance is unaffordable
only because NATO refuses to recognise the fault is its own. NATO's
strategy may be good politics, but it violates the maxims of classic
military strategy. It is outgunned (but not outmanned) only because
of its organisational habits - extensive support relative to combat
and, with notable exceptions like the Dutch, little reliance on mobilised reserves.
What is to be done? NATO's proclivity - a 'business as usual'
muddling through - inhibits its coming to grips with its own internal
deficiencies. Its national militaries resist change and NATO's central
planning mechanism provides no prioritisation - only the lowest
common denominator more of everything. Ergo NATO's strategy
has no content. Its strategy is purely political and designed to show
resolve. This has its attractions for nuclear deterrence, but it can
lead to exactly the wrong actions conventionally.
NATO's frame of reference is for deterrence not conventional
defence. 'Business as usual' seeks solutions within these guidelines.
Given these constraints, NATO must seek either nuclear or technological solutions. The first leads to intermediate range nuclear
weapons like GLCM and Pershing-2 for Europeans, and MX and
the SDI for Americans. This can only lead to the worst of all worlds
for Europeans- limited theatre warfare.
The second route is technological superiority. Seemingly advances



Can Non-provocative Defence Provide Atlantic Security?

in sensors, data processing and submunitions offer revolutionary

capabilities. Reinforcing Soviet echelons can now be attacked. If
these could be successfully interdicted, NATO would not need
additional forces - and need not address the intellectually embarrassing question of military strategy and the institutionally difficult
question of organisation.
Unfortunately Deep Strike (alias Rogers' Plan and FOFA) cannot
be effective, in principle or practice. FOFA is a concept beyond
the capabilities of technology. Its infeasibility transcends the many
limitations of the specific equipment proposed. It is necessarily
preprogrammed, deterministic system. Such systems cannot operate
in uncongenial, adaptive and unpredictable environments.
Second, terminally guided submunitions targeted against columns
moving forward administratively in the enemy's deep rear can be
easily negated. Third, many of the benefits attributed to FOFA
indicate SACEUR still visualises Soviet operational methods in
1943-4 terms. Fourth, the workability of the FOFA technologiesthe vulnerability of large signature components and their stitching
together in a hostile environment - has been glossed over.
The non-provocative defence (NPD) schemes outlined in Chapter
8 of this book do break NATO's rigid organisational habits. The
question is whether they do so in a satisfactory manner. To this writer
they do not in their present form. More serious is their relationship to
The NPD schemes begin with the desire to eliminate nuclear weapons
in Europe. The reality is otherwise- they cannot be wished away.
Dependence can be eliminated, but not existence. Similarly one can
only shift the decision for first use onto the other side, not eliminate
the possibility of their use. At best NPD schemes can eliminate
NATO's need for nuclear first use and - as its special contribution
-reduce the corresponding need for the USSR to initiate first use.
Because of the reality of nuclear weapons, FR Germany has to
have allied forces in place. Any valid NPD scheme must therefore
have a meaningful role for allied forces. These are unsuited for
territorial defence. Theirs is necessarily a regular role, whether it be
in the form of light infantry for border defence or mechanised units
for more general duty. Then too, a territorial scheme of defence is

Steven L. Canby


not to the interest of the rest of Europe. It too easily leads to German
neutralism and perhaps eventually pacificism.
Third, several of the NPD schemes, especially Afheldt's, allow too
much of West Germany to be occupied. The weak must do what
they must, but NATO need not be weak and need not pursue
schemes trading space for attrition. Furthermore, what about the old
nibbling away scenarios like the 'Hamburg Grab'?
The Hamburg Grab scenarios clearly suggest any credible posture
must have an impenetrable wall (e.g. Hannig's) or a structural ability
to launch significant counter-attacks. Again, the appropriate question
is not the existence of a counter-attack capability, but how much is
A corollary proposition is that a defence cannot be purely passive.
A passive defence can always be undermined tactically by attacking
its non-mutually supporting parts, and eventually collapsed. There
is also a grand strategic implication. Germany is not Switzerland or
Yugoslavia. Small countries have the advantage of being small and
unimportant. Given the existence of power elsewhere, they can play
the 'entrance fee' game. Germany cannot. And for that matter what
about Norwegian and Turkish security if Germany does? (In 1939,
it will be recalled the French Army was structurally incapable of
assisting Poland, as per treaty commitment.) Ergo there can be no
NATO- and Germany is alone and exposed.
The NPD schemes are attractive precisely because they break the
fetters of NATO's current framework. As such the burden is upon
them to demonstrate their superior military performance. This they
do not. The cited evaluative models are not validating. For example,
the Afheldt and Hannig schemes are heavily dependent on technology. Technology can always be countered to a greater or lesser
extent. We do not know how, only that adaptation will occur. Evaluative computer models cannot capture this phenomenon.
All the NPD schemes concentrate on tank smashing and artillery
avoidance. What about infantry? In the First World War, firepower


Can Non-provocative Defence Provide Atlantic Security?

was absolutely dominant and divisional frontages amounted to no

more than several kilometres (with considerable depth, for nonvehicular armies). Yet penetrating techniques were developed. Fire
power was subverted by ambiguity, deception, and surprise - the
forerunner of the Second World War's blitzkrieg techniques. All the
NPD schemes are vulnerable to stealth and stalking by high quality
light infantry - nowadays reinforced by the tempo provided by the
helicopter. In this regard, in conjunction with limited structural
attack capabilities, the NPD schemes are vulnerable to out-of-theblue surprise attacks. They can only cope by continuous peace-time
deployment of much of the active element, which is clearly too
Third, as in all evaluative Lanchesterian models, war is presumed
to be mutual bashing, in effect battalions on line with all simultaneously attacking and defending. Without this presumption, the 3
to 1 rule of the advantage of the defence over the attacker is invalid.
Yet as can be deduced from Clausewitz's discussion of the cordon
defence and mountain warfare, the advantage of the defence at each
point can be 20 to 1, and the defence will still fail. The pitfall here,
of course, is that the NPD schemes disperse their assets laterally
(and the same in depth as well) when the enemy fights by thrust
lines. And given the enemy does fight by thrusts along weak fissures,
large urban areas must be at least guarded. Otherwise in the highly
urbanised FRG, much of a defence can be flanked and enveloped.
Finally the NPD schemes wildly underestimate the required forces.
It is often unclear whether their numbers are for all of NATO or
just the German component. If the latter, how do Allies fit in? If
territorial defence is practised, it must be in all sectors- by Germans.
This leaves the Allies performing more traditional tasks like
armoured warfare which violates the spirit of the NPD schemes. Part
of the problem here stems from a presumption (except for Loser)
that NATO has grossly exaggerated Soviet strength and a balance
(following Mearshimer's line of argument) essentially exists. But if
this is so, why are the NPD schemes needed at all?
In short the NPD schemes as presently constituted are hooked on
numerous dilemmas. These need not be fatal. Components in all the
schemes have their place - provided the overall system is balanced

Steven L. Canby


and robust. Hannig and Afheldt have developed useful components.

Loser and SAS have more, if still insufficient, balance. All therefore
are useful in breaking NATO's mindless rigidity. NATO's task is to
add a conventional deterrent to its existing nuclear (threat of reprisal)
deterrent. And in adding the denial deterrent, NATO must do so
gingerly given the dual realities of nuclear weapons and inherent
political instability in Eastern Europe.

19 Soviet Responses to
Emerging Technology
Weapons and New
Defensive Concepts
Charles J. Dick

According to the dialectic, fundamental to the Soviet way of

thinking, all things are perpetually in a state of change. Normally
this is evolutionary, though from time to time, there is a development
of such magnitude that the change becomes revolutionary and a
'dialectical leap' takes place. The working of this law is particularly
clearly seen in the military field, in, for example, the struggle for
ascendancy between armour and anti-tank systems, or between the
protagonists of positional and manoeuvre warfare, with the 'revolution in military affairs' stemming from the development of nuclear
and electronics technology providing a dialectical leap to complicate
What will be the Soviet view of the challenge posed by the latest
weapons and operational concepts proposed in NATO? While
'Emerging Technology' (ET) weapons are certainly seen as posing a
significant threat, they are not in the same league as nuclear weapons,
and the answers found to the nuclear and current conventional
threats will, by and large, serve to deal with them too.
While neither the Follow-On-Forces Attack (FOFA) nor the Air
Land Battle (ALB) concepts are likely to be welcomed with joy,
neither is likely to be seen by the Soviets as invalidating current
operational theory. Notions stressing purely defence and forswearing
even a limited (i.e. operational, as opposed to strategic) offensive
capability will almost certainly be seen as playing into their hands.
What the Soviets would be most afraid of would be a restructuring
of NATO defences along traditional lines, that is, an increase in
force levels and a redeployment, combined with construction of field
fortifications and obstacles, to provide a stronger forward defence


Charles f. Dick


with adequate operational reserves, and a selective introduction of

ET weapons to give such a defence added bite.
In the military field, Western technology is posing a threat in three
important areas: intelligence gathering, at the operational level with
the ability to hit deep targets accurately with conventional weapons,
and on the battlefield itself. The Soviet response to these threats will
take a variety of forms, from a search for technological answers
(not least through espionage and purchase), through modification of
operational and tactical theory to political counter moves. It should
also be pointed out, to broaden horizons for a moment, that Western
technological superiority threatens the USSR ideologically even
more than it does militarily, or it demonstrates the continuing
viability, indeed, superiority of the capitalist system, at least in terms
of economic performance.
Intelligence Gathering

Arguably, the biggest single threat to the viability of a Soviet

offensive is the improvement now being effected in NATO's operational and tactical intelligence. The more complete, accurate and
up to date a commander's picture of the enemy, the more risks he
is able to take (i.e., when he can plan with a reasonable degree of
assurance that the enemy will be unable to react effectively to his
initiative), and the more able he is to exploit in timely fashion the
enemy's vulnerabilities. Thus, quite apart from their role in providing
target data for FOFA, systems such as satellite reconnaissance,
SLAR, A WACS, J-STARS, PLSS, and, closer to the line of contact,
CASTOR, Phoenix and other RPVs, are a serious problem. 1 Doubtless, Soviet reactions will proceed along the following lines

(a) Development of a combination of weapons to counter NATO

systems. Work on anti-satellite systems has been proceeding for
some time and will continue. Against Signal Intelligence and
radar airborne platforms for operational level reconnaissance,
long range SAMs such as SA-5, long range fighters and AntiRadiation Missiles (ARMs) are obvious counters, and intense
battles may be expected to develop around such aircraft. As


Soviet Responses

these aircraft are impossible to conceal, and, to do their job

properly, are limited in their ability to conduct evasive
manoeuvres, they must be somewhat vulnerable. Smaller, lower
level RPVs are more of a problem, though they are also less of a
threat as they are of tactical rather than operational importance.
Answers will be found through the up-grading of the Ground
Forces low-level air defence (e.g. replacement of the old
ZSU-23-4), the introduction (believed imminent) of a lookdown-shoot-down capability in fighters, and the use of attack
helicopters. Of course, all electronic systems, including especially
their data links with the ground, will be the subect of intensive
study to develop electronic-counter-measures (ECM) to at least
disrupt their work.
(b) Maskirovka. The more effective NATO's intelligence gathering
becomes, the more stress the Soviets will place on concealment,
camouflage, deception and disinformation (the ingredients of
maskirovka). Because modern surveillance means undoubtedly
make maskirovka more difficult, it is still seen by the Soviets to
be an area of the highest importance, especially in the period
prior to the outbreak of hostilities. Results are still deemed to
be achievable, particularly through political deception, but also
military (e.g. through the use of sophisticated dummies, electronic spoofing, jammers, etc.). 2
(c) Conduct of operations. As NATO's ability to react effectively
grows, the Soviets will lay ever more stress on their basic principles of operational art and tactics. 3 Three in particular can be
singled out. Surprise becomes all-important, especially at the
start of a war, with the pre-emptive destruction of key threat
systems. A rapid advance is crucial, to achieve victory before
NATO can fully mobilise or reach the decision to use nuclear
weapons in time for them to be effective. It also helps to bring
about the enemy's early collapse, for it means that the Soviets
are acting within the enemy's decision-making cycle; that is so
that the situation develops faster than the enemy can complete
the process of collecting, processing, evaluating and disseminating intelligence and making decisions based on it. Attacks in
the enemy's depth, with aircraft, missiles, Special-Purpose Forces
(SPF), airborne troops and Ground Forces raiding detachments,
also become more important to disrupt and delay the working
of the enemy command, control and communications processes
and to destroy or keep on the move key systems.

Charles J. Dick


Deep Strike Weapons

Long range delivery systems have been a major and continuing

problem for the Soviets since the introduction of nuclear weapons.
This problem has, of course, worsened with the introduction of cruise
and Pershing II missiles with their capacity to hit targets within the
USSR itself. In fact, NATO airpower generally is seen as perhaps
the biggest single threat to the viability of a Soviet offensive in the
Central Region, not only because of the weight of accurate fire it can
deliver with great flexibility (up to 50 per cent of the battlefield total,
according to the last commander-in-chief of the Group of Soviet
Forces in Germany (GSFG), M. M. Zaitsev), 4 but because it can
deny to the Soviets the air superiority which they recognise as a
prerequisite for the success of ground operations. Soviet measures
to negate Western air and missile power include the following.
(a) Air defence. The Warsaw Pact deploys the densest, deepest,
most capable array of overlapping air defence systems in the
world. Modernisation and up-rating is a continuing process. In
unit low-level air defence, SA-9 is being replaced by SA-13,
and replacements for ZSU-23-4 and SA-7 are expected shortly.
At division level, SA-8 has been improved and SA-6 is being
augmented or replaced by SA-11. Army and front SA-4s will
soon be reinforced or replaced by SA-12 and possibly SA-10,
both of which are credited with a capability against both cruise
and operational-tactical missiles. These weapons are directed by
a large number of widely differing radars (complicating NATO's
ECM effort), and are augmented by a very considerable ECM
effort. Superimposed on these ground-based defences, there is
a huge force of interceptors and fighters, the latest (MiG-31,
MiG-29 and Su-27) with a look-down-shoot-down capability,
and soon to be controlled by the Soviet's own A WACs. Experts
disagree on the extent to which the Pact air defence operation
will negate the ability of NATO to employ airpower effectively,
pointing, for instance, to the development of stand-off PGMs as
compensating for its growing efficiency. Deep strike, however,
at least by manned aircraft must be becoming problematical.
(b) Counter-air operations. The Soviet Air Force has moved from
being a primarily defensive force to field a formidable and
growing deep strike capability of its own (notably with such
aircraft as Su-24 and Tu-22M). The first task of Soviet airpower


Soviet Responses

will be to win air superiority, starting with a surprise attack as

the first act of war and then through a sustained assault on
NATO's bases and air defences. Like every other, this will be a
combined-arms mission, with air attacks being coupled with
strikes by the new, highly accurate generation of operationaltactical missiles (SS-21, SS-22 and SS-23), perhaps using
chemical as well as ICM warheads, and by raids by SPF, airborne
and ground forces raiding detachments. Priority for such attacks
will be NATO's deep strike weapons. Whether alliance interdiction forces will be able to accept attrition from these sources
and Pact defences and still remain a potent threat is a moot
(c) Organisational expedients. Some very expensive deep interdiction
weapons, for example of the Assault Breaker type, can be easily
defeated by the use of cheap counters and organisational measures, at least during operational moves (i.e. out of contact with
the enemy). Thus, flare and chaff dispensers, either on vehicles
or pre-positioned along march routes, can be used to degrade
IR or radar homing 'smart' submunitions. Temporary plates can
be affixed to stop top-attack weapons. AFVs can be moved
empty of fuel, ammunition and personnel on flat cars or transporters to reduce the effectiveness of penetrators (as smallcalibre submunitions do little damage if they do not start fires
or secondary explosions. 5
(d) Political. Weapons which the Soviets especially fear are likely to
be condemned in a sustained political offensive as inhuman,
destabilising, provocative - all the terms of opprobrium which
can be applied to Western weapons, but not, of course, to their
Soviet equivalents. Soviet propaganda was instrumental in
preventing US deployment of Enhanced-Radiation Reduced
Blast weapons ('Neutron weapons') in Europe. While it has so
far failed to stop NATO's theatre nuclear force modernisation,
it may yet help to limit it, and it is extremely likely to be a factor
in preventing the creation of an effective chemical retaliatory
capability in Europe. The Soviets will continue, directly, or,
more usually, indirectly, to help any Western organisation which
(wittingly or not) serves its ends.

Charles J. Dick


Battlefield weapons

Arguably, new technology poses its greatest threat to the viability

of a Soviet offensive in the tactical zone. The tank, the foundation
of the offensive, is under threat from high velocity tank guns;
ATGM, both ground and air launched; top attack weapons such as
Copperhead and submunitions from MLRS, LOCPOD, etc.; mines,
both of the traditional type and those scattered from aircraft or
vehicle dispensers or from artillery munitions, especially MLRS. A
combination of measures will be adopted to ensure the future of
Soviet armour.
(a) Technological measures. The requirement to protect tanks from
attacks from all angles, including the top, has complicated their
design. Still, the development of spaced, multi-layered composite
arm ours and most recently, reactive armour, has great potential.
At the very least, they are likely to force chemical warheads to
become so large that manpack weapons will become next to
useless against MBTs - a factor of considerable significance for
defensive schemes based on light infantry. Smoke projectors, IR
and laser as well as vision defeating, are already fitted to the
latest AFVs. It will also be possible to develop radar, or better
still, as the Israelis are doing, passive, electro-optical systems
for detecting incoming missiles and to destroy them with small,
proximity fused bombs or missiles from computer controlled
launchers on the AFV. 6 The detection and clearance of nonmetallic mines still seems to pose substantial problems, especially
the latter task when scatterable mines are unexpectedly laid.
Explosive clearing techniques, perhaps using fuel-air explosives,
are certainly being developed.
(b) Operational measures. The Soviets firmly believe that many
tactical problems can simply be avoided by outmanoeuvring the
enemy at the operational level. Surprise, followed by a rapid
advance on unexpected axes (perhaps over terrain deemed
unsuitable by the defence) will prevent the establishment of a
coordinated defence with engineer preparation, forcing the
enemy to fight improvised meeting battles which are the Soviets'
forte. Meanwhile, attacks in the enemy's depth will be carried
out to prevent him from recovering his balance and creating a
stable defence.3
(c) Tactical measures. Improvements in the defence put ever greater


Soviet Responses

emphasis on basic tactical principles. Surprise, speed and

flexibility in the attack are necessary to take and keep the enemy
at a disadvantage. Offensive action must be continued relentlessly round the clock to wear the enemy down. However, the
range, flexibility and speed of reaction of long range artillery,
especially MLRS, and of airpower, especially attack helicopters,
are causing the Soviets concern. 7 The destruction, or at least
disruption of these weapons is assuming an importance secondary
only to that of nuclear and command and control systems. The
Soviets are also putting increasing stress on the combined-arms
approach to tactics, having fully absorbed the lesson that the
limitations and vulnerabilities of each branch must be compensated for by the strengths of others. Thus, for example, the
introduction of artillery and motor-rifle battalions into the tank
regiment has greatly increased its combat effectiveness. Another
example is the growing integration of tactical airpower with the
Ground Forces (in which context, it may be remarked, both
Mi-24, Mi-38 and Su-25 will prove invaluable in the anti-helicopter and artillery suppression roles). The future is certain to
see further, tighter bonding of different combat elements, and
perhaps the development of smaller, more easily handled teams,
probably including a helicopter element.
The importance of new weapons is not, of course, merely a consequence of their technical characteristics. The Soviets believe that no
weapon, not even 'of mass destruction', can exert a significant impact
on combat unless it is deployed in large numbers, and unless it is
integrated into a sound concept of operations.

Follow-On Forces Attack (FOFA)

The original role touted for FOFA, the interdiction of the second
operational and strategic echelons (i.e. second echelon armies and
fronts) has probably largely been overtaken by the developments in
Soviet strategic and operational thinking. Soviet sources are adamant
that a war with NATO will have to be won in its initial period. That
is to say, a limited but vital area (e.g. West Germany and the Low
Countries) will have to be seized before NATO can complete its

Charles J. Dick


mobilisation and deployment or resort to the use of nuclear weapons.

To achieve surprise, an essential precondition for success, the
offensive will thus have to be launched more or less from a standing
start - a previous SACEUR's 'come-as-you-are party'.s In these
circumstances, NATO formations will not, in many cases, be able
to occupy and prepare their FEBA positions, and there will be a
lack (given current force levels) of operational reserves to give the
defence depth. The Soviets are likely to exploit this situation by
attacking on a broad front, using all possible axes, with all their
forward-based forces (including selected non-Soviet Warsaw Pact
formations) in a single operational echelon and a relatively small
reserve. This will maximise the effects of surprise by ensuring the
heaviest possible blow. There will be no need for a large second
operational echelon because the objective is limited, there is no
formed defence in depth, and because OMGs, inserted at an early
stage thanks to NATO's unpreparedness, are crumbling the defence
from within by destroying or disrupting key weapon systems
(especially nuclear), C3, logistics support, reserves and forces belatedly trying to mobilise and deploy. Forces from the Western Military
Districts of the USSR will be needed to finish off by-passed groupings, occupy conquered territory and overawe European governments (convincing them of the futility of further resistance), but the
initial strategic objectives are to be taken by the forces in place, in
the forward area in peacetime. 9 It is doubtless with this in mind that,
unperceived by many analysts, the GSFG has grown in the last
decade by about 10 per cent in tanks, 20 per cent in combat APCs,
35 per cent in artillery and over 50 per cent in attack helicopters
(the result of the much publicised Brezhnev troop withdrawals of
1979). There is no sign of any slackening in this steady, sustained
growth, especially in the areas of artillery, air assault troops and
their lift, and Army Aviation.
Recent pronouncements on FOFA have laid increased stress on
targets in the Soviet tactical and operational-tactical depth (i.e.
within approximately 120 kilometres of the FEBA).1 This is not
only more realistic, in view of the Pact's strong air defences, but is
likely to be seen as more of a threat to the operational scheme
outlined. Targets crucial to the current concept of operations abound
there: the artillery, helicopter forward operation sites and logistics
essential to the advance of the first tactical echelon tank and motorrifle troops; and the OMGs and second tactical echelons whose
disruption may prevent the timely conversion of tactical into the


Soviet Responses

all-important operational success. Soviet sensitivity in this area has

already been indicated- hence, for instance, the preoccupation with
the counter-air battle, air defence and maskirovka. To an extent,
the Soviets will be helped by the difficulty NATO will have in identifying the principal axes of advance in a broad front offensive. They
will endeavour to achieve such a tempo that they will constantly be
acting within the alliance's intelligence-decision-action cycle. Apart
from these measures, and those outlined in the previous section,
however, it is difficult to see what else they can do. Perhaps there
will be yet further increases in force levels to make it possible to
absorb increased casualties without losing viability (a typically Soviet
solution), though this would not totally solve the crucial problem of
loss of tempo through the disruption of key combat groupings at
critical moments.
One deep-strike mission that will certainly worry the Soviets, given
their growing stress on the importance of airpower, is airfield attack.
Particularly dangerous would be systems like LRSOM with
dispensers like JP 233, as missiles are more difficult to intercept than
large manned aircraft.l They are helped, to a limited extent, by the
improved payload-range characteristics of their more modern aircraft
(Su-24, for instance, can hit targets throughout Germany, flying
from bases deep in Poland), but the problem is still very serious.
Undoubtedly, they will thicken air base defences and increase the
engineer effort devoted to runway repair. The activation of further
airfields and the dispersion of assets is also a likely option, though
these measures will compound the problems of logistic support for
increasingly sophisticated aircraft and weapons systems; the days of
operating from grass or highway strips without much loss of efficiency
are long gone.
AirLand Battle

The Soviets might be somewhat surprised at the execration recently

heaped onto the 1976 version of Field Manua/100-5. They were not
unimpressed with the concept of active defence as a scheme to deny
them the high rates of advance deemed essential to a non-nuclear
victory. They would, however agree that it was no more than a
prescription for losing slowly - as in their view is any doctrine which
cedes the initiative to the enemy.
AirLand Battle (ALB), as set out in the 1982 edition of FM 100-5,
will be regarded by the Soviets as a basically sound concept for

Charles J. Dick


operations. (Indeed, they may, with a certain smugness, choose to

regard it as plagiarism.) It accepts tenets long held by the Soviet
Army: that the battlefield will be non-linear, with opposing forces
intermingled; that ground is less important as an objective than the
enemy forces; that the systematic disruption of the enemy through
manoeuvre is more valuable than his progressive destruction in
attritional battles; that the crucial battle to win is that for time, and
having won it, the physical destruction of the enemy becomes much
easier; that the initiative is all important.
The Soviets will, however, reject some of the premises on which
ALB is based, that is that at the key operational (as opposed to
tactical) level, they are stereotyped and ponderous, their command
and control inflexible and their system of echeloning rigid and
predictable. They will also be aware of its several flaws. The most
important of these is the fact that ALB is not a NATO but merely
a US concept: indeed, NATO has no unified doctrine at all, a fundamental source of weakness in Soviet eyes. Moreover, actions seem
to be planned no higher than corps level, and this will render the
enemy vulnerable to operational outmanoeuvring by Soviet fronts:
a similar effect may be expected in the air war, with the decentralisation, perhaps fragmentation of US airpower to act in direct support
of individual corps. The Soviets will wonder too, whether US forces
are really capable of implementing the new ideas. They are supposed
to launch spoiling attacks but avoid decisive engagements - much
easier said than done. The timing and direction of such attacks are
crucial, and that in turn depends on accurate, complete, real-time
intelligence; lacking this, as the Americans are very likely to do,
they will fall back on their 'intelligence preparation of the battlefield',
a templating of the enemy that assumes (dangerously) a stereotype. 11
The Americans then intend to launch their forces into the Soviet
depth, under the enemy air defence umbrella, to defeat Soviet forces
in meeting battles, a form of combat for which the Soviets train
constantly but which is neglected by US Army, and for which the
Americans have not developed the necessary battle drills. Above all,
perhaps, they are prepared to execute these attacks with a considerable inferiority in numbers, using, moreover, forces which would
otherwise be the only reserves available to restore the situation in
the event of the defence being unable to hold the enemy first echelon.
All NATO forces in the Central Region seem to be moving from
positional defence to stress a greater or lesser degree of dynamism.
Doubtless the Soviets would prefer them to cede the initiative


Soviet Responses

without a struggle and to provide more or less passive targets to

be crushed by their artillery or by-passed by fast moving columns.
However, the fact that the different national corps are becoming
more manoeuvre oriented is unlikely to provoke changes in Soviet
operational art. The current recipe for victory, the strong first
echelon launching a surprise offensive on a broad front, with OMGs
and other elements spreading chaos and paralysis in the enemy rear,
will still be seen as valid. Indeed, the AirLand Battle concept may,
in certain circumstances, even help the Soviets by using for deep
counterstrokes forces that may prove badly needed to give depth
and much needed stability to the defence. Certainly the Soviets will
take these counter-thrusts seriously. They may, for instance, deploy
more, and stronger special anti-tank reserves (usually based on antitank units, including attack helicopters, reinforced with rapid mine
laying sub-units and scatterable mines), or adopt tactical march
formation earlier during the approach march of second tactical
echelons. They are not likely to become seriously worried by a
more aggressive operational posture unless and until it is backed by
increased numbers (in place in peacetime, moreover) and by alliance
doctrinal unity, leading to more effective operational level command.
All this is not to say that the Soviets will not seek political capital
from even a limited emphasis on operationally offensive concepts.
It will be surprising, indeed, if they do not link the present, sober
ALB ideas with the more extravagant (and, to put it mildly, eccentric) notions of a NATO strategic offensive propounded by Huntingdon and his supporters. NATO in general, and the US in
particular, will be portrayed as warmongers, their doctrine 'irrefutable' proof of this long held Soviet contention. Propaganda along
this line will be intended to help realise three policy aims: the splintering of the NATO alliance by showing that there is no real
community of interests or aims between Europe and the USA; the
strengthening of the Warsaw Pact by reviving fears of German revanchism; damning the West as aggressive in the eyes of non-aligned
countries. Perhaps the USSR will also use the ALB concept as an
excuse to increase its force levels in the forward area, a move which
it may consider necessary to ensure victory in an attack from a
standing start against an increasingly effective NATO defence.

Charles J. Dick


Concepts of 'Pure Defence'

The Soviets would be delighted with any NATO defence plan which
forswore nuclear weapons, for they are seen as the greatest threat
to the viability of offensive operations- and they are, of course, the
only threat to the territory of the USSR itself. A 'no first use'
declaration would be almost as desirable, for while the alliance might
not stick to it if conventional defence proved a catastrophic failure,
it would at least delay nuclear release: current Soviet operational
concepts are designed first and foremost to create very rapidly a
situation in which tactical and even operational nuclear weapons will
be largely unusable and therefore irrelevant.
Plainly, any scheme for non-nuclear defence must be seen to have
a very high likelihood of success indeed if it is to replace the nuclear
weapon as a deterrent. Moreover, this efficacy must be perceived by
the USSR: European beliefs are irrelevant, as deterrence, like
beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. As the Soviets see a purely
conventional defence, not backed by nuclear weapons, as untenable
in the face of a nuclear armed foe, concepts 'emphasising defence'
are likely to fail this test.
The various ideas of area defence envisage an army devoid of
tanks, Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicles (MICVs), or fixedwing aircraft.lz They rely on thousands of more or less autonomous
platoon-sized sub-units armed with small-arms, ATGMs, and mines.
In the Afheldt proposal each defends its patch as and when the
enemy enters it, while in the SAS scheme, they fulfil a reconnaissance, target acquisition and fire control function and are backed by
small, purely tactical reserves of lightly armoured tank destroyers
for local counter-attacks. These groups receive fire support from
dispersed artillery, especially missiles and MLRS with 'smart' submunitions, and attack helicopters. The Soviet advance is to be slowed
and worn down by constant harassment from all sides by an elusive
foe relying on concealment and dispersion to deny Soviet firepower
worthwhile targets. The lack of military airfields, large mechanised
formations and the logistic structure and sophisticated C3 needed to
support and control them well, is said to make Soviet nuclear and
chemical weapons and airpower obsolete by denying them targets.
The size and sophistication of the Soviet Ground Forces will also be
an irrelevance in the face of a quasi-guerilla resistance, as surely as
was that of the American forces in Vietnam.
Such a radical and complete departure from traditional concepts


Soviet Responses

is likely to be regarded with contempt and derision by Soviet military

professionals. It is not the product of dialectical reasoning and is
therefore 'unscientific' in their eyes. 'Correct' thinking will emphasise
a series of weaknesses which, taken together, make these ideas
fundamentally unsound and therefore not a credible basis for defence
-or, by extension, for deterrence (which, to a Soviet, is the product
of a capability to wage war effectively).
Perhaps the most important weakness of non-provocative defence,
in Soviet eyes, is its passivity, its permanent cession of the initiative
to the attacker and consequent acceptance in advance of the inevitability of defeat.
By abandoning fixed-wing airpower and relying purely on groundbased air defence and fire support, NATO would be giving up the
one area where the Soviets believe it has a real advantage. This
would have two important consequences. First, it would ease
immeasurably the insertion of air- and heliborne troops into the
alliance's operational, and even strategic rear, with potentially paralysing effects politically, economically and psychologically. Secondly,
the Soviet Air Force would be relieved of its most difficult task,
winning the counter-air battle. It would be free to concentrate its
formidable resources on the limited task of seeking out and
destroying the helicopters, missiles and other artillery that the
defence relies on for fire support.
To give up armour in the face of modern artillery, to say nothing
of the nuclear and chemical threats, would strike any Soviet as
tactically suicidal (literally). It would also be considered naive to rely
solely on A TGMs and various smart munitions to defeat the
armoured threat. Even in the unlikely event that all the technological
promises are fulfilled (and no Soviet would put all his eggs in an
unproven basket), there are both technological and tactical counters
to these weapons (some of them mentioned above). By abandoning,
for example, kinetic energy attack in favour of chemical energy only,
the Soviet problem of protection for Armoured Fighting Vehicles
(AFVs) would be greatly eased.
All the alternative defence schemes rely on indirect firepower,
especially multiple rocket launchers and missiles, to disrupt and
destroy the attacker. However, without a solid defence to stop the
advancing columns, it is difficult to see how the Soviets are to be
forced to provide a worthwhile target for them: fast moving, relatively dispersed tactical march columns are not a good target.
Anyway, the Soviets will be confident of their ability rapidly to

Charles J. Dick


destroy the defence's indirect and rotary wing fire support and its
logistic back-up through the actions of reconnaissance, raiding,
heliborne and SPF detachments, counter-battery fire and, as air
supremacy has been ceded, air action.
Even with its artillery still largely intact, a defence based almost
entirely on light infantry/militia is unlikely to cause the Soviets much
concern. If the infantry is concentrated, it can be bypassed or paralysed by massive artillery bombardment and overrun in a combinedarms attack. If, as in the Afheldt and SAS schemes, it is thinly
spread, it will be able to do little more than harass the advancing
columns by sniping. The small, dispersed lightly armoured units that
exist in the SAS proposal would make little difference to this picture:
they might achieve minor tactical successes but could accomplish
nothing of operational significance. In the Soviet view, a defence
which is fragmented, limited logistically and which cannot seize the
initiative, even at the tactical level, is no defence at all. Moreover,
the Soviets would have the severest doubts about the ability of small,
isolated sub-units and units to sustain morale and the will to fight.
In any case, they will have confidence in the ability of their all-arms
units and sub-units, their task now simplified by the simple nature
of the defence and the availability of ample air support, to destroy
or disperse the defender with few casualties to themselves.
Once the defence degenerates into pure partisan resistance, it may
well irritate the Soviet occupiers. It is unlikely to turn them out. No
purely guerilla movement can hope to succeed without the help, or
at the very least, the promise of outside intervention. Certainly, this
would be true against a USSR defending what it conceived to be a
vital interest (and it would not occupy, e.g. West Germany if it did
not regard it as such). The Soviets have a totally different approach
to Internal Security problems from the liberal West, one which makes
a nonsense of the notion that the level of violence and destruction
consequent on the adoption of non-provocative defence would be
limited to an acceptable degree. The Soviets would doubt whether
Western Europeans would have the unity and determination, the
hardihood and lack of concern for their own lives (and that of their
families) that characterise the Afghans, and which are necessary for
a protracted and apparently hopeless struggle.
The Soviets would be delighted if ideas of pure defence gained
hold in Europe, not least because they could help to fragment the
Atlantic Alliance: the USA is unlikely to see its forces hostage to a
concept which it would regard with as much suspicion as the Soviets,


Soviet Responses

and without a US military presence, the nuclear shield becomes

meaningless. The Soviets would thus be very likely to encourage
their propagation (e.g. through front organisations), and through
offers of some force reductions on their side (a concession made
possible by the weakening of NATO). There will, however, be no
matching move to a Warsaw Pact non-provocative defence. Highly
visible, powerful armed forces are far too important to the Kremlin
for that. In the Soviet view, some sort of detente is best guaranteed
by their military superiority: the stronger they are, the less tempted
the capitalists will be to try and arrest their inevitable decline by
military action; so the best way to ensure peace is to create an
imbalance of power in favour of the socialist bloc. The Soviet Army
also has an important intimidating effect, firstly on the satellites,
which have to be kept in line, and secondly on the West Europeans,
especially the smaller states: Soviet military power seems to make it
prudent for them to accept an ever greater measure of Soviet
influence in their internal affairs. In other words, Soviet military
might help to spread and thereafter maintain Communism (and thus,
the security of the USSR), even if it is not used in combat- indeed,
as the USSR is only a superpower by virtue of its armed strength,
it is arguably the only truly effective means of spreading Soviet
influence. It must also be remembered that NATO is not the Soviets'
only security concern. The Middle East, Afghanistan, China, and
who knows what other areas in the future all require the maintenaince of large, offensively oriented forces. It is also possible that
war will break out, either in defiance of Soviet hopes, or because
the Kremlin decides that war, rather than peace, has become the
best method of pursuing the aims of policy. In that event, the armed
forces must be able to win quickly and decisively, and that requires
powerful offensive forces.
Improving Conventional Defence along Traditional Lines

The Soviets see surprise and momentum as being key force multipliers, enabling them to achieve a rapid, non-nuclear decision. A
Soviet analyst, asked to solve NATO's problem of creating a stable
defence, would seek to find the antithesis to negate these advantages.
The first place he would look would be at the shortcomings which
currently render the alliance vulnerable to the Soviet style of attack:
their rectification must, by definition, make the defence much more
effective. Amongst the most important of NATO's military weak-

Charles J. Dick


nesses, he would identify the lack of a universally accepted military

doctrine and theatre (as opposed to individual, 'national corps')
concept of operations; vulnerability to surprise attack through lack
of adequate forces in place in peacetime and the maldeployment of
those that are; following from the last point, the lack of significant
operational reserves and the necessary C3 and logistic preparedness
to execute large scale operational level redeployments and counterattacks; and the absence of any fortifications to win time and help
offset these weaknesses.
NATO's doctrinal problem would probably baffle a Soviet
consultant as the USSR has never been faced with the task of trying
to achieve military cooperation with a group of genuinely independent states. Most of the alliance's other headaches stem from inadequate force levels, forcing NATO to seek technological expedients
which tend to be ineffective, self-defeating or, at best, of only
temporary value. The cost-conscious Soviet response to the requirement for more formations would be very much along the lines
mapped out by Drs Canby and Greenwood (which are themselves,
in fact, based largely on Soviet practice) - the more effective use of
existing active manpower and of reserve personnel and units and
the relocation of some formation.13 Larger, better deployed NATO
formations would make possible, not only the strengthening of
covering forces and FEBA defences, but also, and more importantly,
the creation of strong operational reserves for counter-penetration
strokes and attacks. With the centre of gravity of the alliance's
forces further back than at present, the Soviets would be much less
confident of their ability to defeat them rapidly through manoeuvre,
and aggressive action by substantial operational reserves would be
able to take advantage of Soviet weaknesses (not currently exploitable) and gain all-important time. Much of the increase could be in
the form of affordable (and less threatening) infantry formations to
defend fortifications and areas of marginal concern, freeing existing
mechanised formations to give depth to the defence and act as
reserves .14
The Soviets have a very healthy respect, born of their wartime
experience, for the effectiveness of field fortifications. They help the
defender achieve economy of force and, through mobility denial, act
in effect as force multipliers 15 The Soviets would be very concerned
if the Inner German Border were to be defended by an obstacle belt
of minefields and anti-tank ditches and strongpoints in depth manned
by infantry and with powerful tactical and operational armoured


Soviet Responses

reserves behind. Initial surprise would be less likely to carry the

advance quickly and deeply into the heart of Germany. Given such
a defence, the early committal of OMGs, an essential feature of
current concepts, would be very problematical, and the attack would
have to be echeloned more deeply than planned at present. This
would force them to bring forward extra forces, thereby losing
surprise, or drastically to reduce the number of axes of advance. In
either event, NATO's problems would be simplified and the Soviets'
compounded. It would be difficult to generate the high rates of
advance necessary to destabilise the defence, and the delays, disruption and canalisation consequent on fighting through a fortified zone
would assuredly make NATO counter-moves, and indeed, FOFA,
more effective.
When combined with prepared defences and strong reserves, the
selective deployment of ET weapons would restore the viability of
the defence. Those of particular concern to the Soviets are intelligence gathering means, some deep strike systems, especially for
airfield attack; long range, flexible, rapid reaction capabilities, for
instance, tactical airpower, MLRS with mines, and counterpenetration forces based on attack helicopters and heliborne troops.
Such essentially evolutionary, rather than revolutionary developments of NATO's conventional defence, while still backed by nuclear
weapons, would pose grave, perhaps even insoluble problems for a
Soviet attacker. The USSR would inevitably respond with accusations of NATO warmongering, though with much of alliance effort
going into fortifications, infantry and a more effective reserve system,
such charges would be readily accepted only by the converted. The
Soviets could, of course, respond by increasing their own force levels
in the forward area (though this would not be welcomed with joy
by their allies). Such a move, however, would be subject to the law
of diminishing returns. The crucial factor is not so much the force
ratios of the opposing sides as the ratio of forces to space. If the
defender deploys a force of sufficient strength and depth to deny the
attacker a quick victory through manoeuvre, the latter is forced into
a more or less drawn-out campaign of attrition. Such a solution
would be totally unacceptable to the Soviets, probably in any circumstances, but certainly in the face of a nuclear opponent.
It is a matter of historical record that the USSR respects strength
and despises (and often takes advantage of) weakness. In the Soviets'
eyes, deterrence is a product of effective defence and the ability to
inflict unacceptable damage on the USSR itself. It is not to be

Charles J. Dick


achieved through morally impeccable but military dubious means.

Proponents of non-provocative and technological defence alike must
examine their concepts through Soviet perspectives if they wish to
make a real contribution to the current debate on defence.









A thumbnail sketch of the capabilities and development status of these

and other systems and of the FOFA concept can be found in Konrad
Alder, 'Follow-on Forces Attack', Armada, 006; Idem, 'Modern Air/
Ground Weapons for Attacking Non-Strategic Targets', Armada 012;
and Mark Hewish, 'Attacking Targets Beyond the FEBA', International Defence Review, 8 (1984).
The surprise achieved by the Arabs in 1973 and by the Soviets, as to
timing, in 1967 (Czechoslovakia), 1979 (Afghanistan), 1981 (Poland)
illustrate the point.
The reader is referred to an essential work for an understanding of
these principles, especially at the all-important operational level: V.
Ye. Savkin, Osnovie Printsipi Operativnovo Iskusstva I Taktiki (Voenizdat, 1972); See also C. J. Dick, 'Soviet Operational Concepts',
Military Review (Sept. and Oct. 1985).
In Voennii Vestnik, Feb. 1979.
Dr Steven Canby has produced several excellent critiques of ET
weapons, challenging the claims made for many of them and suggesting
some simple, cheap and effective counter-measures, for example 'The
Operational Limits of Emerging Technology', International Defense
Review, 6 (1985).
For suggestions about future trends in AFV protection, see R. M.
Ogorkiewicz, 'Active Protection for Fighting Vehicles', Jane's Defence
Weekly, 1984 or 1985.
The importance of these weapons in Soviet eyes is dealt with in, for
example C. N. Donnelly, 'The Soviet Helicopter on the Battlefield',
International Defense Review, 5/1984; and C. J. Dick, 'MLRS: Firepower for the Eighties', RUSI Journal, Dec. 1983.
Surprise does not imply a 'bolt out of the blue'. There will certainly
be a period of crisis. Soviet deception will endeavour to deceive
NATO as to Soviet intentions and, when and if this becomes difficult,
as to the time of attack. The crisis phase will provide cover for Soviet
preparations, but if NATO reacts, the Soviets will back-off (as did
the Arabs several times before they attacked Israel in 1973 - on
the first occasion that the Israelis failed to counter-mobilise); C. N.
Donnelly, 'The Soviet Operational Manoeuvre Group: International
Defense Review, 5(1984).
For a fuller development of these concepts, C. J. Dick, ('Soviet Operational Concepts'); C. N. Donnelly, 'The Soviet Operational
Manoeuvre Group'; C. N. Donnelly, 'The Soviet Concept of Echelonning', NATO Review, Dec. 1984; C. J. Dick, 'Soviet Operational





Soviet Responses
Manoeuvre Groups: a Closer Look', International Defense Review,
See, for instance, the interview with SACEUR in Military Technology,
3(1985); and 'FOFA - Myths and Realities', NATO Review, Dec.
Some of the problems, though far from all, are mentioned in John
Rybicki, 'Surveillance and Reconnaissance for the AirLand Battle',
Military Technology, 2(1985).
There are perhaps three principal variants of non-provocative defence,
and it is impossible to do them all full justice in such a short paper.
For more details on each, see Norbert Hannig, 'The Defence of
Western Europe with Conventional Weapons', International Defense
Review, 11(1981); Horst Afheldt, Defensive Verteidigung (Rowohlt:
Reinbeck, 1983); Afheldt, Verteidigung und Frieden (Munich, 1976);
See also Chapter 8 of this book. All variants ignore the basic point
that the very existence of free, successful capitalist society is, by
definition, provocative to the USSR.
See, for example, David Greenwood, 'Reshaping NATO's Defences',
Defence Minister and Chief of Staff, 5(1984); Steven Canby, Obtaining
Conventional Comparability with the Warsaw Pact (Rand Corporation,
1973); and 'The Alliance and Europe, Part IV: Military Doctrine and
Technology', Adelphi Paper, 109 (IISS, 1975).
For an interesting example of combining light infantry and armour in
an effective defence, see Richard Simpkin, 'Countering the OMG',
Military Technology, 3(1984).
Major J. B. A. Bailey, 'The Case for pre-Placed Field Defences',
International Defense Review, 7(1984), shows how field fortifications
need neither be as expensive as a Maginot Line, nor lead to the
mentality associated with that feat of military engineering.

20 Dialogue on the Military

Effectiveness of Nonprovocative Defence
During the workshop on Emerging Technologies and Military
Doctrine, on which this book is based, there was an interesting
dialogue between Charles Dick and Lutz Unterseher on the military
effectiveness of the SAS concept explained in Chapter 8. We have
asked Charles and Lutz to reconstruct this dialogue on paper, which
they kindly did. Although justice cannot be done to their positions
in this small space, the reader will get some idea of the kind of issues
involved in a military evaluation of a non-provocative defence.
Charles Dick: The SAS concept appears to be crucially dependent
on the concentrated fire of widely dispersed fire units, directed by
the concealed, stay-behind parties, to destroy Soviet columns.
Lutz Unterseher: It appears to me that, owing to the lack of an
English translation of the complete SAS concept, Charles Dick has
based his questions on some fundamental misconceptions.
The SAS concept does not comprise a highly specialised 'indirect
fire support' system, as seen by Dick, but rather an in-depth deployment of stationary light infantry. This is a relatively simple and
robust, yet multifunctional structure. From the very beginning of
SAS's conceptual work in 1980 this stationary system has been seen
as closely interacting with, and being overlapped by, mobile forces
which include heavy armour ('shock'), light armour ('anti-tank
cavalry'), and mechanised infantry.
We never thought of 'ceding total air supremacy to the enemy'.
Generally speaking, the SAS concept is not puristic. For instance,
it does not propose the - unrealistic - abolition of military targets
as such, but asks for a multitude of unimprtant ones. In other words,
we are interested in gradually improving crisis stability by increas-



Non-provocative Defence

ingly denying a potential aggressor the premium for massive, surprise

The SAS concept is not 'crucially dependent on the concentrated
fire of widely dispersed fire units'. The stationary light infantry
network, we are concerned with here, consists of a forward layer of
30 km depth and another one - right behind - which is about 50 km
deep. Schematically the battalions within the forward layer each
control a territory of 16 x 16 km, comprising 4 companies, 16 combat
platoons plus a strong engineer platoon and assets of indirect fire
assigned to the battalion commander.
The battalions of the second layer, with a complement of similar
strength, each control only a territory of about 10 x 10 km, their
assets of fire being less modern than in the forward zone. It would
mean demanding too much, if this dispersed system were to halt and
crush an enemy. What one can expect, however, is that this system
would delay, canalise and gradually wear down an intruder,
providing mobile forces, which are close at hand, with intelligence,
as well as opportunities, for optimal allocation.
Charles Dick: How are the Soviets to be stopped so that effective
fire can be brought to bear? Fast moving, relatively dispersed subunits cannot be engaged effectively on the move.
Lutz Unterseher: Temporarily stopping the aggressor can be achieved
by the extensive use of minefields and other engineer made obstacles.
There should be capacities to erect barriers during a prolonged crisis
as well as for instantaneously blocking the most dangerous routes of
an enemy's advance (i.e. by scatterable minelets). The resourceconsuming burden of mine-sowing can be much alleviated when
natural obstacles, like ditches and dams, rivers and lakes, hedges
and forests, are integrated into a barrier system. This can only be
achieved in an optimal manner when the troops, who are dependent
on such a system, practically live where they are supposed to fight.
This is one of the great advantages of stationary over mobile forces.
By the way, such a military 'modification of the landscape' does not
necessarily involve changes that are visible to the civilian's eye.
Charles Dick: How are the fire units to be controlled? Presumably,
there must be some sort of fire control co-ordination centre to determine priorities of engagement, issue orders to fire units, etc. (NB.
This takes time and requires the centralisation you do not like.)

Charles J. Dick versus Lutz Unterseher


Lutz Unterseher: Fire co-ordination is fairly simple. The invading

forces having been stopped, slowed down or canalised by barriers,
the affected infantry platoons would autonomously use their rich
arsenal of cheap short-range direct fire weapons (i.e. remotely
controlled salvo-firing, heavy recoilless rifles and container-launched,
fin-stabilised rockets adopted from fighter bomber equipment). For
the next ten years or so these platoons could also employ second
generation ATGWs. After these second generation ATGWs have
been phased out, the infantry network's primary means of backing
up its large series direct-fire weapons would be mobile batteries for
indirect-fire at battalion level. These would basically consist of rapid
fire mortars against soft and semi-soft targets, as well as combatdrones or missiles with fibre-optical guidance of about 10 km range
for top attack against armour. Communication and control between
battalion and platoons follow well-established military patterns. The
battalion commander authorises fire from his own assets according
to requests by lower echelon leaders and to his own judgement of
priorities which is based on personal and sensor information. If
personal communication breaks down, or some of the forward teams
are blinded by artificial fog etc., indirect fire can be released on
grounds of sensor information alone. Within the infantry network
there is no centralisation above battalion level. Support of a neighbouring battalion by indirect fire can be given at direct request.
Charles Dick: The fire units will be threatened by air attack, counterbattery fire, rockets and raiding parties and SPF attacks. If there are
no troops out in front blocking enemy penetrations, and if there is
no effective air defence, and if weapons have to move frequently to
avoid fire (thus prejudicing concealment), how can fire units be
expected to survive for any time?
Lutz Unterseher: What Charles Dick calls fire units and what in fact
is the area controlling infantry of SAS, does not stand alone, as will
be shown later. Even probing attacks by mobile light infantry of the
enemy would be dealt with by adequate mobile counter forces. So
the problem boils down to the protection from massive fire delivered
by fighter-bombers or artillery. Just to give a few figures: recent
operations research analyses, based on empirical input data, indicate
that to kill half the complement of a well dug-in platoon of stationary,
SAS-style infantry would require an artillery barrage of some 90 000
rounds of 155 mm howitzers. No nation on earth could afford this


Non-provocative Defence

kind of conventional fire concentration, knowing that there are thousands of similar platoons. Even rather traditionally, which is more
densely, deployed infantry, yet also well dug-in, still has a much
higher survivability than heaviest armour: 25 per cent casualties for
tank crews, 10 per cent for the infantry. This data, gathered from
Swiss and West German sources, refers to the effect of area-covering
artillery fire without precise target information. But, is it not relatively easy to zero in on a stationary infantry target? Not necessarily!
It seems to be much more problematic to conceal a column of tanks
and its movements than numerous little positions which are well
camouflaged and intermingled with dummy targets and decoys.
Finally, the missile and mortar batteries of the infantry's battalion
commanders are well out of contact with the enemy's direct-fire
weapons. From indirect fire they can be protected by rotating
between strengthened positions. In the case of the enemy's advance
they would retreat to rear positions, thereby stepping up resistance
with depth.
Charles Dick: Ammunition resupply will pose many problems. How
is it to be organised (bearing in minds our dislike of centralisation)?
Will the logistics columns not provide good targets for enemy patrols
and air attack? How is the logistic system to function once the enemy
has penetrated deep into your territory?
Lutz Uterseher: There is no traditional ammunition supply for the
stationary platoons. When they have done their job, for example
fired their last round of ammunition taken from decentralised,
forward depots, they are allowed to fall back (or be evacuated).
They would reinforce rearward positions and man redundant
foxholes. This implies the dispersed storage of light infantry weapons
in these areas which should be sufficient for both the ordinary complement and at least some retreating forces. This can only be financed
if a considerable proportion of these weapons is not of all too recent
vintage. A similar procedure applies to the mobile indirect-fire
batteries at battalion level. Having consumed their forward supply,
they would fall back to the vicinity of rearward depots. It should be
clear, however, that these evasive movements do not cover long
distances: We are referring to leap-frogging between prepared
positions in a confined area. Average movements would be well
below 10 km.

Charles J. Dick versus Lutz Unterseher


Charles Dick: What is your answer to those who cast doubts on the
extravagant claims made for TGSMs and other 'smart' munitions
(e.g. Canby and Simpkin)?
Lutz Unterseher: The SAS concept is totally in line with Canby's
and Simpkin's criticism of terminally guided submunitions and other
exotic technologies. The SAS concept, in its current formulation,
does not include TGSMs or third generation missiles. Our missiles
with fibre-optical guidance, for instance, combine a first generation
steering mode with a proven optronical sensor. Remotely
controlling/triggering of relatively simple weapon systems, in order
to protect the soldier from enemy fire, has been known since the
First World War.
Our approach to high technology is very selective. If we do not
want to cross the demarcation line there is no need for highly
complex target-seeking warheads (fire-and-forget). It is much less
costly to invest in stationary sensors deployed on this side of the
fence which complement human information in order to make our
intelligence truly foolproof.

Charles Dick: Fixed wing air power provides the commander with
his most flexible, accurate, speedy response to enemy penetrations,
wherever they occur. It is also essential to air defence. Rotary wing
air provides excellent counter-penetration, both through its own
firepower and by moving infantry with A TGM and laying instant
minefields to protect them. Air is the one area where the Soviets
are really scared of NATO capabilities. The SAS concept wishes to
abandon air power.
Lutz Unterseher: It may well be that 'air is the one area where the
Soviets are really scared of NATO capabilities'. The question is
whether, in the long run, NATO's air power, which mainly is
designed for deep penetration, proves to be a stable deterrent or
rather a provocation encouraging preemptive measures.
Instead, we would argue for an air force which is optimised for
denial of access to our most valuable targets. This applies to the
'civilian' infrastructure much more than to military targets. The latter
should lose importance by dispersal or, if this is impossible, by a


Non-provocative Defence

high degree of self-defence against air attack. By the way, we believe

it has still to be proven that 'rotary wing air provides excellent
counter-penetration', given the current progress in anti-helicopter
weaponry. We assume much higher cost-effectiveness for light antitank helicopters that use friendly terrain as cover.
Furthermore, we do not think that heliborne infantry is a
convincing idea: moving infantry on light armoured (wheeled)
vehicles is much faster than carrying these troops through the air,
provided that freedom of movement is safeguarded by an areacontrolling network. People, who think helicopters are faster, usually
tend to omit those many hours needed for co-ordination and organising protection.
Charles Dick; Effective air defence requires a SAM/fighter mix. Are
you ceding total air supremacy to the enemy? If not, will your fighter
bases and SAM sites not provide the targets you wish to avoid?
Lutz Unterseher: The SAS airforce concept comprises a mix of
surface-to-air-missiles and light interceptors for mobile counterconcentration. As indicated before, one cannot totally abolish all
targets in this context. However, one can achieve 'gradual stability'
by multiplying air bases (adopting short take-off and landing
procedures in order to be able to utilise sports airfields and highways)
and deploying numerous SAM batteries with missiles of limited
range. Some of these batteries may fire from strengthened positions,
some may be locally mobile.
Charles Dick: If you are prepared to cede air supremacy, how do you
propose to deal with heliborne and airborne assaults on objectives of
political, economic and military importance?
Lutz Unterseher: Today heliborne assaults may have a certain chance
of exploiting the well-known fissures of NATO's defence. Given a
future area-controlling system with Stinger- or Blowpipe-type missiles at company and/or battalion level, such ventures do not seem
to make much sense. Low flying intruders would be forced to gain
altitude, thus falling victim to the afore-mentioned air defence mix.
Charles Dick: Air supremacy will make it easier for the enemy to
seek out the artillery and light armour and destroy them.

Charles J. Dick versus Lutz Unterseher


Lutz Unterseher: Intruding fighter bombers intending to destroy the

defender's mobile forces would have to fly across parts of the areacontrolling network with its dispersed air defence before they could
reach their targets. As the light SAMs of the stationary infantry
induce them to fly high, they would not see very much. We also
have to recognise that the mobile units are relatively small and
fight in a terrain-oriented manner, thereby minimising the danger of
presenting targets. In case they have been detected, these troops
would respond with the fire from powerful mobile air defence detachments which are accompanying them.


Charles Dick: you seem now to be accepting the need for some
armour. As I understand it, this comprises units in approximately
battalion strength, used for delaying actions, counter-penetration
and counter-strokes against forces which have been disrupted by fire.
Lutz Unterseher: As indicated above, not all of SAS's armoured
forces are light. There are three functionally different types of
battalions. These can be broken down to autonomously fighting
companies or even platoons. A mix of four to five battallions makes
a reinforced brigade which we prefer to call 'division'. A corps would
consist of five divisions. So there is some hierarchy with the SAS
mobile force concept. As lower echelons are rather self-reliant,
however, centralised control is of lesser importance and can be more
Charles Dick: Surely these, and their logistics, offer worthwhile
targets - especially if you succeed in reducing the overall target
array, thus allowing the enemy to concentrate his firepower on fewer
Lutz Unterseher: We do not allow 'the enemy to concentrate his
firepower on fewer targets', because there are many relatively unimportant, but real targets and even more dummies. A stationary
network is able not only to fake infantry positions but also to stimulate advancing mechanised columns (recorded noise, ventilated dust,
heat/radar reflectors etc.).
An enemy, who penetrates the infantry network, cannot adapt his


Non-provocative Defence

tactics to this particular environment. Mobile relief may be just

around the corner.
Charles Dick: How do these forces move in a hostile environment?
Lutz Unterseher: Mobile SAS forces typically move in a friendly
environment which is provided by the stationary infantry. Consisting
of combined arms teams, their complexity allows for short dashes
over hostile terrain, for instance where network platoons have been
forced to retreat. It would not make sense for these mobile forces,
however, to cross the demarcation line because their system of logistics, which is decentralised and only partly mobile, ties them to the
area-controlling defence scheme.
Charles Dick: While such units may be able to win minor tactical
victories, how can they hope to influence the operational situation,
indeed avoid being engulfed by numbers or defeated through
Lutz Unterseher: Winning a series of tactical victories can well cumulate into operational relevance. Given highly flexible coordination of
the mobile forces, and given also the protective qualities of the static
in-depth defence, movements and temporary counter-concentrations
'up and down the line' seem to be much easier than today. We
suggest to view our concept of area defence as a force- as well as
space-multiplicator, which gives our mobile forces a much heavier
punch than it would appear at first glance.
Charles Dick: How are the armoured forces logistics (including
casevac) to be organised, given a fluid, far from benign environment
and decentralised command and control?
Lutz Unterseher: The armoured forces' logistics are based upon
numerous small depots guarded by rear elements of the area-controlling system. When the armoured forces' units fight within this system,
they practically move between filling stations. The supporting tail,
which today consists of highly vulnerable caravans of lorries, can be
kept short. Mobile support elements of the armoured forces would
include casevac (evacuation of casualties). It should be noted that
the German Army's logistics experts actively participated in the
design of the SAS concept.

Charles J. Dick versus Lutz Unterseher


Charles Dick: I am not sure whether all the 'infantry' are deployed
as OP parties or whether some are being used in a 'technocommando' type role. If the latter, then:

Why do you think they can be of anything more than nuisance

How is morale to be maintained in small, isolated groups
commanded by very junior ranks, when there is a high probability
of being over-run or crushed by firepower (e.g. from overwatch
helicopters), and normal logistic support (e.g. casevac) is
How is cooperation to be organised between infantry and armour?
Lutz Unterseher: 'Techno-commandos', in the sense of hit-and-run
'techno-guerillas', with their particular amorphous fluidity, do not
belong to the SAS concept. Besides (mounted) infantry components
of the shock and cavalry units, there are two kinds of infantry
battalions: network infantry and mechanised infantry.
The latter is operationally mobile, employing light armoured
(wheeled) vehicles, but fights in a dismounted mode. It would be
moved to crisis spots to provide anti-tank capacities in covered
terrain, or to serve as a counter-infantry potential. The former, as
described above, consists of widely dispersed small teams. These
teams and their leaders stick together much longer than the soldiers
of an average armoured unit of today. Most of the training is being
conducted in the area of wartime deployment. Compared with
NATO's mechanised forces, this environment will most likely create
conditions much more favourable to the development of group
cohesion and identification with a leader. These are the very variables
which, above all others, explain combat motivation.
As the probability, that these small teams can be 'crushed by fire',
is rather low, the question remains what to do in case of danger to
be overrun or isolated. The SAS concept provides network platoons
with a redundant potential for evacuation. There are non-armoured
vehicles at company level, light armoured vehicles at battalion level
(belonging to the engineer platoon), and there also is the armoured
transport capacity of those mobile units that are ready at hand. (Here
we have to thank Steven Canby who suggested to conceive of antitank cavalry as a potential morale booster and evacuator of


Non-provocative Defence

Based on a small survey among military experts in Germany and

Israel, we believe that the cooperation between stationary infantry
and mobile forces will be without significant problems if the
commanders involved follow traditional seniority rules. Control by
one element over the other should be temporary and restricted to
the area of actual tactical collaboration.
Charles Dick: If you eschew villages and urban areas for defensive
purposes, what is to prevent the enemy from exploiting them? How
do you defend an area like the Hannover Plain? You wish to make
extensive use of mine warfare to disrupt and delay. Could we have
some calculations about the numbers of mines we are talking about,
who is to lay them, how they are going to be moved, who is going
to cover fields with fire? How is lost ground to be retaken and the
invader expelled?
By removing so many threats and complicating factors that
currently make life difficult for the Soviet combined-arms
commander, are you not making him more confident of success?
Your fire control centres and headquarters will be vulnerable. Will
your underground fibre-optic communications allow subscribers to
listen and talk to more than one other user at a time? If not, it is of
limited value for military purposes.
I have deliberately restricted my questions to the military feasibility of the SAS proposals. As I pointed out, both in my chapter
and at the workshop, I have the severest doubts about the underlying
logic as it is based on a fundamental failure to understand the Soviet
Lutz Unterseher: Large villages and urban sprawl can be exempt
from defensive activities, if the defender controls the areas around.
In this case the aggressor would have to pay a high price for getting
into a place and getting out again. Large villages and towns must be
exempt from defensive activities, because firing from there runs
counter to the concept of not providing the enemy with valuable
Defending plains, with a relative lack of terrain cover, could lead
to slightly accentuating heavy armour components at the expense of
lighter elements. It is obvious that mine barriers could not be laid

Charles J. Dick versus Lutz Unterseher


by the network infantry's platoons. These infantry platoons can only

indicate at which locations the lines should be laid. The job itself has
to be done by the network battalions' strong, mechanised engineer
platoon. Giving high priority to the four or six forward platoons of
a battalion, they would employ mine scattering equipment like the
American GEMMS or the German MiWS, which would triple the
ability to quickly create barriers. They also would use directional
mines, 10 of which having the blocking effect of some 100 ordinary
ones, thereby reducing manpower and storage requirements. In
addition, all the mobile battalions are each given a similar engineer
platoon. At divisional level there are light multi-launch rocket
systems, which scatter mines over distances of up to 25 km. The
resulting minefields can be covered, among other things, by dense
bomblet-fire, coming from the same rocket batteries.
Lost ground is to be retaken by combined action of the mobile
forces and their assets of fire like rocket launchers and helicopters.
The SAS concept includes flank-penetrating manoeuvres by armour,
and hammer-and-anvil tactics in cooperation with mechanised
The designers of the SAS concept do not think that they make
life easier for a Soviet combined-arms commander. Rather they
believe that their structural mix is a much harder test of the Soviet
forces' tactical and operational adaptability than today's all-armour/
all-purpose defence. NATO is confronting the Warsaw Pact forces
with what they know best.
Some final remarks about command, control and communication:
given their multitude and their small size, the fire control 'centres'
and headquarters of the SAS concept, partly stationary-partly
mobile, will certainly be less vulnerable than today's equivalents.
Not forgetting good old smoke signals and whistle-blows, the means
of communication should be redundant: including wireless, the
existing civilian telephone network, and new fibre-optic connections.
All of these can be adapted to support military cooperation by
permitting 'conferences on the air'.
Charles Dick: Obviously there was insufficient information on the
SAS concept available to me, to deal with it as effectively as I would
have wished in my chapter. I was not helped by the fact that the
relation of the SAS concept to the Afheldt model was unclear.
Sometimes Lutz Unterseher seems to disown the Afheldt light


Non-provocative Defence

infantry concept, only to resuscitate it in this dialogue. I still have

serious reservations on points such as the following:
(a) A battalion with 16 infantry and 1 engineer platoon cannot be
of more than nuisance value in static defence of a 16 sq. km
area. It will not 'delay, canalise and gradually wear down an
intruder', because the ratio of force to space is inadequate.
(b) The command, control and morale problems of units fragmented
into section sized sub-units are massive, and overlooked.
(c) There seems to be no understanding of the engineer effort
needed to lay effective minefields, nor of the logistic backup
needed. Minefields not covered by fire are of nuisance value
only, especially if they are surface laid scatterable mines.
(d) The indirect fire support for the infantry now seems to be totally
inadequate, and no satisfactory explanation has been given about
why it is expected to be survivable.
(e) Isolated, stationary sections and platoons can easily be overcome
by direct fire (including from helicopters) and be overrun. The
material about artillery bombardments is a red herring.
(f) There is generally a failure to consider the operational level of
war, as opposed to the tactical. This is particularly true when the
role of mechanised forces is considered.
(g) The logistics of command and control of the air defence effort
do not seem to be thought through. Neither does survivability.
The effectiveness of hand-held surface-to-air missiles is generally
(h) If a corps has 5 divisions of four to five mechanised/armoured
battalions, how is it less of a target or a logistic and command and
control problem than the current corps of about 27 mechanised/
armoured battalions?
Obviously, I need to discover more about the SAS concept, much of
which is still a series of generalisations in the form presented to me.
The editors: We shall have to cut off the dialogue here, although we
feel sure that Lutz Unterseher is ready to answer these points, and
Charles Dick is anxious to add more reservations. One thing seems
clear. The military effectiveness of SAS concept is not easily judged.
More research and debate are necessary. This dialogue between a
proponent and a critic of non-provocative defence was a beginning.
More will surely follow.

21 Impact of Emerging
Technologies and
Military Doctrines on
Crisis Stability, Arms
Control and
Disarmament, and
Frans-Bauke van der Meer

Military postures and the way (emerging) technologies are incorporated in them, have important functions both in internal military
planning and decision-making, and in external (international)
Internally, military hardware can be seen as a materialisation of
existing ideas on security problems and defence options. The internal
organisation and procedures are adapted to this set of ideas and
resulting posture. In this way a framework for thinking about and
planning of military operations is defined and anchored in the makeup of the military apparatus.! Within this framework new problems
may be identified such as mobilisation problems in case of a surprise
attack, or the vulnerability of military command centres.z In present
military doctrine and policy there seems to be an underlying premise
that security problems can essentially be solved technologically.
Accordingly, identified problems often give rise to certain kinds of
technological development such as stand-off anti-airfield weapons or
anti-tactical ballistic missiles (ATBM). On the other hand, incorporation of emerging technologies in military postures may lead to a
conceptual transformation of military doctrine from forward defence
to deep strike, for example.
So, military technology and military doctrine are closely intertwined. They direct and reinforce each other, thereby representing



Crisis Stability, Arms Control and Detente

a specific frame of reference with respect to problems of peace and

security. Thus on the one hand they enhance a type of change which
is largely consistent with existing definitions, and on the other they
generally hamper the development of basically new approaches to
security problems in international relations.
Externally, military posture and proclaimed doctrine function as
the most 'visible' indicators of planning, expectations and intentions
with respect to armed conflicts. Potential adversaries will to a large
extent, 'read' the de facto political and military intentions from the
capabilities of deployed and projected military equipment and force
structure. And they will do so from their perspective and position
in the network of international relations, which direct their interpretation. The integration of emerging technologies in military arsenals
will be evaluated from this perspective too. Hence, incorporation of
ET may not only reinforce the fundamentals of the military doctrine
by marginally adapting it to new problems and new technological possibilities, but may also reinforce the impression the adversary has.
From the point of view of military effectiveness the incorporation
of conventional deep strike options could well be seen as a rational
move to decrease the vulnerability of tanks and aircraft and to
prevent a quick WTO success in case of an armed conflict. At the
same time, however, such an adjustment of strategy is almost bound
to function as a confirmation of WTO perceptions of NATO intentions to gain superiority and an offensive war fighting capability in
Europe. 3
Again, these reinforcing consequences are not inherent to the
technology as such, but to the way technological development is
directed and utilised. Thus, one could also conceive of a development, designed to bridge the gap between intentions and capabilities
by an adequately directed development, application and organisation
of emerging military technologies. 4 However, this requires a different
way of thinking about security problems, as exemplified in concepts
emphasising defence. Such defensive and non-provocative options
may be worthwhile if one assumes that the behaviour of the adversary is, at least in part, a reaction to the capabilities we have and
the intentions we communicate.
Our analysis thus far shows (a) that there is a close interdependence between military doctrine and military technology, both in a
static and in a dynamic sense, and (b) that, although internal and
external impact of military posture and doctrine can be clearly
distinguished, they influence and reinforce one another. Thus,

Frans-Bauke van der Meer


security problems are of a social and political nature. In this connection military technology and military postures play an important role,
both as cause and as consequence of internal and external processes.
From this perspective we intend to analyse the possibilities and
restrictions that may result from presently emerging technologies and
from adaptations of military doctrine.
The goal of any military strategy for Europe, is to prevent war and,
if this might fail, to control the ensuing military conflict. It is therefore crucial that military postures and doctrines do not stimulate the
adversary to preventive or preemptive attacks in a crisis situation.
Also cues to uncontrolled escalation in case of a military conflict
should be avoided.
Vulnerability of Weapon Systems

A first parameter which determines crisis stability is the vulnerability

of deployed weapon systems. In a crisis, vulnerable weapons may
evoke an endeavour of the enemy to eliminate these weapons before
they can be used. This will especially be the case if these weapons
can be aimed at (military) targets well within the territory of the
adversary. Such a preventive action will probably constitute the
beginning of large scale warfighting. From this perspective the
vulnerability of for example aircraft and tactical nuclear weapons in
the present NATO posture is a serious problem, since it may trigger
offensive counter-air actions by the WTO.
The introduction of intermediate range nuclear missiles has aggravated this problem: first their capability to hit strategic military
targets well within the Soviet Union constitutes a relatively new type
of threat for the Soviets; secondly their short flight times imply that
both offensive (i.e. preventive) and defensive actions against them
virtually have to be 'launch on warning'. And of course warnings
can be false, with increasing chances for accidental war, especially
if offensive counter-air options are activated.s
In introducing new technologies the invulnerability of weapon
systems should be a major criterion, especially in combination with
the potential threat these systems present to the enemy. It should
be kept in mind, however, that technological measures to reduce


Crisis Stability, Arms Control and Detente

vulnerability will not be of eternal value. Under many circumstances

the adversary will try to develop technological counter-measures.
Reducing vulnerability by introducing improved offensive or
defensive counter-air systems may stimulate research and development on the part of the opponent on possibilities to jam, evade or
deceive such systems. 6 Of course, such reactions may in turn be
countered by new technological improvements, but that is not the
end of the story. Besides, the situation becomes increasingly
complex, the 'windows of effectiveness' become smaller, and predictability virtually vanishes. In this way automated and cybernated
systems may lead to unintended and unexpected consequences.
Postures emphasising defence may be far more stable in case of
crisis, since they lack intended or unintended threats from the point
of view of the adversary and represent a higher level of predictability.
Nevertheless, in this case too reduced vulnerability is desirable in
order to avoid the temptation of surprise attack. Thus, the 'no target'
policy advocated in most non-provocative schemes, seems quite
sensible. 7
Conflict Management

Crisis stability also requires realistic options to confine and quickly

terminate hostilities, in order to be able to settle the dispute at the
negotiation table. In this respect present NATO defence has some
weaknesses. First, the threat of nuclear weapons based in Western
Europe continues to put pressure on preemptive actions by the SU
after an armed conflict has arisen. Secondly, and even more
important, deliberate escalation is a key element in NATO doctrine.
The idea is that the threat of escalation will deter the enemy from
continuing aggression. This may be so under certain circumstances,
but it is also conceivable that it is not, for instance if the adversary
adopts the same kind of reasoning.
The incorporation of ET in the present posture may make this
even worse. As long as credible deep-strike options are elaborated
and deliberate escalation remains an integral part of the strategy, the
above-mentioned difficulties in crisis management get underlined.
Besides, the increasing complexity and integration of weapons
systems, the inherent pressure for launch on warning and the possible
disruption of C3I seem to reduce the technical opportunities to
control or terminate an armed conflict. Thus, though new conventional technologies may decrease the dependency on nuclear

Frans-Bauke van der Meer


weapons and thereby raise the nuclear threshold, they may increase
the chances of armed conflict and of escalation, and hence reduce
crisis stability. 5
More defensive postures will by definition be less threatening,
which may make crisis management less difficult. This does not
necessarily imply, however, that an approach that emphasises
defence, will also effectively avoid escalation. In the face of defeat,
an aggressor might try to gain superiority by increasing the intensity
of warfare and inflicting damage that is not sustainable.
In fact, it is hard to envisage military postures and technologies
that inherently discourage such an escalation. Therefore crisis stability and possibilities for crisis management cannot be completely
assessed with reference to technologies, postures and military
doctrines alone. Policies of cooperation and detente are of equal if
not greater importance. These policies may create conditions favourable to crisis management and peaceful settlement of conflicts, for
example by means of confidence building measures. Especially when
it becomes anchored in social and economic relations between East
and West, such a policy can help to create options for peaceful
handling of conflicts. Thus concepts emphasising defence can
contribute to crisis stability and crisis management if they are linked
with and integrated in a policy of detente. Of course deterrence,
flexible response, and deep strike can also be combined with a policy
aimed at cooperation and detente. However, in that case the signals
emitted by the military posture will be at odds with the impressions
the detente policy intends to convey (see the section on detente and
cooperation below). This friction between different levels of policy
may lead to much ambiguity in crisis situations and hence even
increase instability.
Conflict Scenarios

A third and related parameter of crisis stability is the adequacy of

military posture and doctrine in relation to different types of conflict.
The present posture is tailored for defence against a deliberate blitzkrieg type of attack by the WTO or Soviet Union. In consequence,
the main issues discussed are how to prevent a surprise attack, how
to mobilise and defend when it occurs, how to interdict reinforcements by second echelon forces, and so on. 2 However, one can
imagine quite another type of conflict situation in Europe. Stemming
from internal upheaval in European countries or from crises else-


Crisis Stability, Arms Control and Detente

wheres a diffuse and untransparent situation may arise, in which

forms of violence may occur. Especially when the superpowers are
associated with, or somehow involved in the conflict concerned, and
as long as pressures for preemptive actions continue to exist, such a
situation may easily get out of control. The level of armament,
the directedness of the military posture and doctrine to large scale
confrontations, and the escalatory elements in it, will in most cases
stimulate enlargement of local conflicts and hence reduce the possibilities for crisis management in this type of situation.
It is not fully clear how ET and deep strike options will affect this
state of affairs. On the one hand, the preoccupation with defence
against a deliberate full scale attack becomes further underlined.
Increasing automation and integration of reconnaissance, identification, evaluation, decision-making and military reaction may easily
lead to a situation in which relatively unimportant incidents may
trigger large scale military operations and hence bring about a quick
escalation. On the other hand, more effective conventional interdiction opportunities may deter the other side from sending troops or
other reinforcements to a local conflict area - whether their intentions be to control the situation or to exploit it. It might turn out
that new technologies incorporated in present doctrine make consolidation easier. 9 However, this mechanism will probably only work if
the situation is not too diffuse and uncertain.1
Military postures and doctrines emphasising defence seem fit to
avoid an early escalation in case of diffuse unintended local violence
in Europe. In case of conflicts near the East-West border
ambiguous cues may nevertheless, depending on the precise characteristics of the military posture and doctrine, lead to some intensification and internationalisation of the hostilities.
As said before, a situation in which only one party adopts a
defensive posture may run into problems when an intended attack
by the adversary occurs. The enemy may try to blind, to circumvent,
to saturate or to destroy the defence. 6 It is clear then that a defensive
posture is not sufficient in its own right to guarantee peace and
security in the long run. Thus, a policy of cooperation on the
political, economic, social and cultural level is necessary to help to
prevent a deliberate attack against a defensive posture.

Frans-Bauke van der Meer



Military doctrine, R & D and weapons procurement often interfere
with arms control and disarmament efforts, because of both the
internal and external processes indicated above. An important
internal mechanism is that strategic and operational thinking as well
as the military posture and organisation constrain the arms control
initiatives that may come about. In current security policy, the central
concepts like 'deterrence', 'balance', 'flexible response' and 'forward
defence' bring with them a strong resistance against giving up military
options, especially if this would imply a gap in the escalation spectrum. This is so because the credibility of defence is believed to be
determined by the ability to respond on any level and scope of
force and by the uncertainty on the part of the enemy about these
responses. Restrictions on specific types of weapons are further
complicated by problems of definition and the demand for fail-save
verification. Fundamental restrictions with respect to military R &
D or application of ET are even less feasible from the point of view
of present policy, as exemplified by the US stand on SDI. 11
By consequence, disarmament has virtually disappeared from the
agenda and few steps to control the technological arms race have
been taken in decades of negotiations. The present new round in
armament on different levels and the renunciation of unilateral
constraints, which could improve the climate for arms control and
detente, underline this conclusion.
These internal processes are connected with external processes
thilt may also interfere with arms control. Ongoing military R & D,
deployment of new weapon systems, and statements about operational doctrine by NATO are taken by the adversary as indications
of 'real' intentions, which will influence his stand in the negotiations
and may reinforce his armament programme. This, in turn, constitutes reinforcements of NATO procurement policies, and so on.
Thus, continuous interlocking of internal and external processes can
be seen, which in the present situation leads to frustration of arms
control efforts.t2
The incorporation of emerging technologies in present military
posture, and consequent adaptations of military doctrine, may
hamper arms control even more.
First, the increasing differentiation and integration of weapon
systems complicate the negotiations because of definition problems.
In addition, many system elements can be assembled in quite


Crisis Stability, Arms Control and Detente

different configurations, and hence get different meanings and implications. An RPV, for instance, may fit in a verification or surveillance
system, but it may also serve as a target designation device within
the context of a weapon system.l 3
Secondly, a number of new military technologies greatly increase
the problems of verification of possible arms control agreements.
Whereas reliable verification is commonly seen as a necessity for
arms control, existing difficulties in this connection are aggravated
by new technologies.
Miniaturisation, camouflage, mobility, and so on may frustrate
verification, thereby making arms control hard to attain. Also
jamming and stealth technologies may hamper verification. Dual
capability of weapons systems presents a further problem, because
it is not clear whether these systems should be counted in terms of
restrictions agreed with respect to nuclear weapons.
Thirdly, the adaptation of existing security doctrines to deep strike
possibilities offered by ET counteracts the process of confidence
building and hence the condition for successful arms control negotiations. This may further reduce the perspectives of MBFR and INF
ET, of course, does not by definition frustrate arms control. That
depends, as discussed before, on the way ET is developed and
utilised. But we might neverthel@ss conclude that the new military
technologies that are developed within the framework of present
doctrine mainly generate signals and create conditions that strongly
reduce opportunities for successful arms control.
In the context of concepts emphasising defence there is far more
room for arms control and disarmament. First, compared with the
present situation, substantial and even unilateral reductions in
offensive arms can be envisaged, so that negotiations can be expected
to lead to results that are materially meaningful. In the frame of
reference of a defensive doctrine, there is not the need for equality
in numbers, quality or types of weapons, let alone the need for
military superiority. That is why a level of armament that is below
that of the opponent in an integral sense can be quite acceptable.
Secondly, the process of negotiating may also be facilitated
because a strong accent in military R & D and procurement of purely
defensive systems will probably as such be an effective confidence
building measure.
Nevertheless, defensive concepts and postures may bring with
them problems of arms control. First, a stable defensive system

Frans-Bauke van der Meer


requires that potential opponents are convinced that the military

system has a purely defensive character. Therefore effective information and verification is necessary in order to avoid uncertainty
and instability. This aspect should be given due consideration if
defensive concepts are put into practice .14 Secondly, the opponent
may take, or be perceived to take measures enabling him to destroy
or circumvent NATO defence. The development of armour that is
immune against precision-guided anti-tank weapons, is a case in
point. This may be an impulse to develop weapons neutralising
the measures of the adversary, such as even more intelligent and
penetrating anti-armour weapons. Hence, a new type of arms race
may evolve. However, one can reasonably presume, that the incentives for such an arms race in the context of a non-provocative
defence are less than in the present military situation. This is so
because a defensive system will be less threatening than present
NATO postures and strategy and hence generate less pressure for a
reaction on the armament level. Moreover, the implementation of
defensive postures and doctrine may be an incentive for the adversary
to decrease his threat by transforming his posture and doctrine, and
to cooperate in the direction of arms control and detente.

In the paragraphs above we argued that the impact of military technology depends on the doctrine in which it is incorporated, and on
the broader political and social context of international relations. In
turn, however, developments on the military-technological level will
influence the interaction on political, social and economic levels. We
saw already how they may impede arms control. Now we turn to
their effects on detente and cooperation between East and West.
Apart from short term fluctuations, NATO policy since the 1960s,
is characterised by the combination of deterrence and detente. It
is sometimes claimed that the stability stemming from the nuclear
deterrence strategy (MAD and flexible response) sets the precondition for cooperation and detente. Even if this is true, it is so only
in the static sense that it enforces a de facto acceptance of the status
quo. A dynamic analysis of the process shows a different picture.
First, the exchange of threat at the military level may counteract
initiatives to cooperation at other levels, because it brings ambiguity
to the meaning of such initiatives. Secondly, present strategy has not


Crisis Stability, Arms Control and Detente

prevented an ongoing arms race. On the contrary, 'flexible response'

provides legitimations for all kinds of armament measures. So, in a
dynamic sense there is no stability at all. Each new step in this
armament process puts an extra strain on the process of detente.
In this connection, technological innovations and ET play an
important role, for they constitute new options and thereby new
impulses for the technological arms race. Increased accuracy of
nuclear and conventional weapons, conventional deep strike options
and the like make (limited) war in Europe even more conceivable,
while the transparency and controllability of the situation is reduced
as a consequence of automation and integration. 15 This constitutes
an uncertain and potential threatening situation, which is not favourable to detente. It counteracts the building of networks of communication and cooperation on different levels, which is essential for
the reduction of tensions and development of peaceful means for
regulation of conflicts. This is so because such networks imply visible
interdependence and common interests. Hence, if such networks are
realised to a considerable extent, there will be many incentives for
the peaceful settlement of conflicts and less for a potential to destroy
the opponent's defence. This is one of the major reasons we
mentioned before why doctrines emphasising defence should be
incorporated in the framework of detente policies. 16
Conversely, a defensive postufe creates less uncertainties about
intentions, so that a process of building networks may not be as
difficult as in the present situation. Moreover a process of transformation in the direction of a defensive posture, sometimes called transarmament, might have a stimulating effect on detente, if it is
sufficiently unequivocal.16
A final point to be made here is that advanced technology itself
may play an important role in the building of networks of cooperation
between Eastern and Western European countries. Here again,
cooperation is hampered by existing security policies, because technology transfer may endanger the technological lead, often thought
vital to Western security. Defensive concepts seem to give more
room for selling advanced technology to Eastern Europe.
The security problems facing NATO are to a large extent of a
social and political nature. Large parts of public opinion, the peace

Frans-Bauke van der Meer


movements and even some political and military officials cast doubt
on current postures and doctrines. In European political circles frictions between military strategy and detente policies are increasingly
felt. On the economic level strategic restrictions on export of technology and materials interfere with the development of mutual
advantageous cooperation and trade.
Incorporation of emerging technologies in present doctrines
appears to aggravate the situation in most respects. It gives a new
impetus to the arms race, it complicates crisis management and arms
control and it transmits messages, perhaps unintended, that inflict
damage on efforts to bring about detente. It appears, then, that
technological solutions to the problems facing NATO are not
sufficient and may have quite harmful effects as long as they are
elaborated in the framework of current military-political thinking.
An alternative security policy, in which a defensive military
posture, substantial reduction qf offensive arms, and building of
cooperative networks are combined, seems to open more perspectives for peaceful relations and crisis management. Emerging technologies may be helpful in designing an effective non-provocative
posture, although they introduce potentially new problems of verification and arms control, which might eventually lead to a new type
of arms race. A major task for new security policies is therefore
to recognise such pitfalls by ex ante policy evaluation and impact
assessments. They may further be avoided by intensification of
contacts and by confidence building measures.
An important final question to be addressed here is whether a
security policy that integrates a defensive posture and doctrine with
effective detente, can be realised. For lack of empirical evidence,
a clear-cut answer to this question is not possible. A number of
complicating conditions, however, can be identified.
First, the present mode of thinking about security issues is
anchored in military hardware, organisation and doctrine. For those
highly involved in this way of thinking, there are therefore strong
pressures to continue doing so. It is for this reason that individuals
and groups that are concened with peace and security, but are less
involved in current thinking about it, have a part to play, if a transformation of security policy is to come about.
Secondly, fear of the opponent, whether justified or not, is a social
fact that should be taken into account in designing security policy,
lest political instabilities within their own society occur. Therefore
unilateral steps of arms reduction, which can't be too small lest they


Crisis Stability, Arms Control and Detente

be equivocal, should not be too large either. It is imperative that

conditions for reduction of fear and tension be realised. A sensible
policy of cooperation, disarmament measures and transformation
towards a defensive posture, may well contribute to this aim, thereby
gradually creating room for further detente and disarmament.
Thirdly, the process of research, development and production of
military hardware takes a period of at least ten years, or so. Thus,
the genesis of new weapons systems and the defining of military
harware takes a period of at least ten years, or so. In this way actual
weapons development constrains security policy. This means that the
weapon systems that will be deployed in the year 2000 and beyond,
are now being designed. Therefore, if fundamental changes in military doctrine and associated armaments are to be realised in the
foreseeable future, measures with respect to military R & D and
production must be taken soon. Discussions in Western Europe on
cooperation in the field of weapons production should therefore be
linked to the type of posture one would wish in the year 2000 as an
outcome of arms control, disarmament and detente processes hopefully taking place in the meantime. If this connection is not made
at an early stage, arms control efforts, let alone a fundamental
transformation of security policy will appear illusory.



See the contribution of Peter Vol ten to this book (Chapter 17). Institutional and organisational contraints on (changes in) defence policy
are shown in many other publications as well. For example, Kosta
Tsipis, 'Scientist and Weapons Procurement', Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists, 36(6) (June 1980) pp. 41-3; John Garnett, 'Disarmament
and Arms Control Since 1945; Ch. 7 in L. Martin (ed.), Strategic
Thoughts in the Nuclear Age (London: Heinemann, 1979)
pp. 187-225; and, with respect to military R & D, Frankli A. Long
and Judith Reppy (eds), The Genesis of New Weapons: Decision
Making for Military R & D (New York: Pergamon Press, 1980).
On a more theoretical level these processes are analysed by Dieter
Senghaas, Abschreckung und Frieden: Studien zur Kritik organisierter
Friedlosigkeit (Frankfurt am Main: Europaische Verlaganstalt, 3rd
edn, 1981).
See ESECS, Strengthening Conventional Deterrence in Europe (New
York: St. Martin's Press, 1983); Dutch Minister of Defence,
Versterking van de conventionel verdediging en 'emerging technologies'
(Strengthening Conventional Defence and ET), Parliamentary document 19061, nr. 2, (Staatsuitgeverij, Den Haag).

Frans-Bauke van der Meer





These kinds of interlocking processes in international relations are,

for example, described by Alva Myrdal The Game of Disarmament
How the United States and Russia run the Arms Race (New York:
Pantheon Books, 2nd ed., 1978).
See Boeker and Unterseher, Chapter 8 of this book. Also Michael H.
Clemmensen,'On Force Postures and European Security', Pugwash
Newsletter, 22(4) (April 1985) pp. 116-19.
Cf.Rob de Wijk, Chapter 7 of this book; Per Berg, Gunnila Herolf,
' "Deep strike": New Technologies for Conventional Interdiction', in
Word Armaments and Disarmament, SIPRI Yearbook 1984 (London
and Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis, 1984) ch. 8, pp. 291-318.
Cf. David Greenwood, 'New Defence Possibilities and their Affordability', The Economist Intelligence Unit, Special Report 172,
pp. 74-7.
Boeker and Unterseher, chapter 8 of this book.
Miroslav Nincic, How War Might Spread to Europe, SIPRI, (London
and Philadelpia: Taylor & Francis, 1985).
Cf. Paul Walker in Chapter 3 of this book.
See Chapter 2, on the 'narrow window of effectivity' of advanced
military systems.
Cf. Berkhof, Chapter 5 of this book.
Myrdal, The Game of Disarmament.
See Chapter 13 of this book.
Cf. Valki, Chapter 9 of this book.
Cf. Chapters 2 and 3 of this book.
See also Valki, Chapter 9 of this book.

Part VI

22 Paving the Way to

European Security

Marlies ter Borg and Frank Barnaby

The technologies presently emerging in the West can be used in

different ways. They can be developed with the aim of constructing
a strategic defence shield. They can be applied to give NATO a
conventional deep strike potential. Or they can be used to build up
a posture emphasising defence. In Part III of this book several
proposals were discussed based on these three different approaches
to solving problems presently facing NATO. It was shown in Part
IV that these approaches have a role to play in the evaluation of
new weapon systems and weapon programmes.
But how must these approaches and the proposals based upon
them be evaluated? In the opening chapter several generally acceptable criteria were presented. Any proposal for easing the problems
stemming from the present doctrine and associated armaments must
be effective in a military sense if it is to deter a deliberately WTO
initiated war. It must also increase crisis stability, if an 'accidental'
war growing out of an incident is to be precluded. It must give
scope to de-escalation and conflict management if it is to enable the
termination of any hostilities that might nevertheless break out.
Any NATO posture must also be affordable given present military
budgets. It must make an intelligent use of technology, without
falling prey to unwarranted technological optimism. It must further
be politically acceptable to the Alliance, and fit into West European
detente policies. It must not unduly stimulate the arms race, but give
scope to arms control. And- last but not least - it must to be publicly
acceptable and contribute to the raising of the nuclear threshold.
In the course of the book, many elements of this evaluation have
been brought forward. Comments were given in the chapters on the
proposals (Part III). In the evaluation they were compared in terms
of military effectiveness and crisis stability (Part V).
In this chapter we do no more than sum up the comments made
by other authors, adding a thing or two here and there. Admittedly,
we do this from our own perspective, arriving at conclusions which



Paving the Way to European Security

are supported by some though not all of the authors. But that after
all, is an editor's privilege.
Let us have a final look at the three different approaches.

The most spectacular proposal is the Strategic Defense Initiative.
SDI is not what Reagan would like it to be, a way of freeing people
from the fear of nuclear war by protecting them against nuclear
attack. On the contrary, as pointed out in Chapter 5, the idea is to
protect the US intercontinental ballistic missiles from a Soviet
(second strike) attack. This makes their first use for limited counterforce options less risky, because an answering Soviet counter-force
attack would be less effective. SDI is not intended to abolish flexible
response deterrence policy, but to give it a new lease on life, by
making a first limited use by the US more credible. It is within the
context of this counterforce doctrine that SDI must be evaluated.
So if one is wondering whether this proposal will raise the nuclear
threshold the answer is no. For by making the first use of nuclear
weapons by the US less risky, a strategic defence shield will actually
be lowering the nuclear threshold. As this basic idea behind SDI
dawns on the general public, the initiative itself will become increasingly unacceptable. To West Europeans, who dislike thinking in
terms of nuclear war-fighting anyway, this 'solution' must seem
especially threatening. They might fear that even a nuclear war which
starts in a limited way will lead to their ultimate destruction.
The question to which SDI offers no answer, is how to give NATO
the ability to counter a conventional Soviet attack in the early phases
of a conflict, before a first use by the US is decided upon. Obviously,
SDI is not enough. As pointed out by advocates like Berkhof, it
must be complemented by modernisation, both of nuclear and
conventional forces.
But taken together, all these programmes will make the total
posture unaffordable even if the separate elements can be paid for.
Pressure will grow to save on less spectacular items, such as training,
and conventional ammunition stocks, resulting in a further decrease
of the conventional holding capacity. So it is not only by lessening
the US perceived risk of a first use of counter-force weapons, that
a strategic defence lowers the nuclear threshold. It also does this

Marlies ter Borg and Frank Barnaby


indirectly through absorbing funds required for the strengthening or

even maintenance of present conventional stopping power.
This could be somewhat offset by anti-tactical ballistic missile
systems, which, though capable of countering tactical nuclear missiles, could also protect NATO military assets from a conventional
attack. The deployment of these systems is therefore sometimes
propagated quite apart from SDI.
But because these ATBMs are so closely associated with the Strategic Defence, being seen by at least one important US committee
(the Hoffman committee) as an intermediate step, they cannot be
dealt with in isolation from it. For they will also be enhancing the
credibility of a nuclear warfighting scenario, limited in this case to
counter-force exchanges in the European theatre. Any decision by
a West European government to deploy ATBMs, for instance by
adapting the Patriot now being procured by European countries for
air defence (ch. 14), will be seen as a token of approval of the actual
deployment of ballistic missile defence, with the nuclear war-fighting
and war-winning fallacies attached to it.
Although a limited defence against tactical ballistic missiles might
be feasible in the near future, a strategic defence is not. Even a
shield designed solely to defend missile sites leans heavily on untested
technology. And although the separate elements of such a system
can and will be tested in the near future, the testing of the whole
system, with all its interlocking parts, in an adverse environment, is
impossible. As the very intense technical debate on SDI shows, the
technological feasibility of the proposal is uncertain. In this respect
the proposal scores much lower than both deep strike and nonprovocative concepts.
But what about the criteria of crisis stability and crisis management? Although a properly working shield against ballistic missiles
might in due time enhance stability through deterrence, the consequences if deterrence fails become that much more dramatic. With
the need for escalation to the nuclear level pressing, and the risks
of a first use for the US seeming less serious, the prospects for
control of the conflict through negotiations are substantially reduced.
And all installations that are part of this shield, be they airborne,
space or land-based will offer so many new targets for preemptive
attack, thus also decreasing crisis stability.
That SDI has negative consequences for arms control and detente
has already become clear. The programme requires a revision of the
ABM treaty if it is to get any further than preliminary testing. And,


Paving the Way to European Security

as explained in Chapter 14, the deployment of the ATBMs put a

severe strain on the treaty, even if no formal breach is involved. It
looks as if SDI is giving a new impulse to the arms race. The addition
of defensive systems to the race in offensive systems, will lead to a
complex situation of imbalances. With defensive and offensive
systems of the superpowers forever out of step, they will both see
ample reason to be catching up somewhere.
So as opposed to Berkhof (Chapter 5), we do not consider SDI
as a viable solution to the problems facing NATO. On the contrary,
the programme is already putting a strain on arms control and
detente. Already costing substantial sums of money, the pressure on
budgets will only grow as the programme progresses. It is, of course,
not certain that it will lead to a feasible system. But even the deployment of a very limited shield would lead to a lowering of the nuclear
threshold. For this reason it should be unacceptable to Europeans
and Americans alike.
On the other hand, the installation of an independent satellite
monitoring agency, as described in Chapter 12, would be a way of
exploiting space technology for the enhancement of European and
indeed global security.
Concepts nearer realisation are those emphasising deep-strike. As
shown in Chapter 15, some of the technological means to apply
these concepts are becoming available. Some of the more spectacular
projects, like the Assault Breaker with its 200 km ballistic missiles,
smart submunitions and deep surveillance and target attack radars,
have however, come up against difficulties of a technological and
bureaucratic nature. Other systems which have been successfully
tested could fall an easy prey to enemy counter-measures. So the
technological basis of deep-strike is not as sound as is often
Neither is it sure that deep-strike concepts are financially feasible.
Many of the systems to be produced are expensive even before
the usual cost-overruns have had their play. It is feared that the
procurement of systems for second echelon attack could result in
forced savings on more traditional items, essential for stopping the
first echelon.
The military value of a follow on forces attack is also doubtful.

Marlies ter Borg and Frank Barnaby


As argued by several authors (Chapters 7, 17, 18 and 19), the

approach is based on an outdated analysis of Soviet doctrine. It
seems, that when the moment arrives, there will be no second
echelon to attack.
It has also been argued, that deep-strike will decrease crisis stability and the opportunity for conflict management through escalation
control. For it is heavily dependent on striking deep into enemy
territory in the first phases of the conflict. The very speed of the
battle, owing to the substitution of conventional ballistic missiles for
bomber aircraft, will put so much pressure on the military
commanders that the scope for conflict management and escalation
control become extremely small. Even retreating forces would not
be safe. The possibility of destroying enemy airfields before the
aircraft has left the ground could form a temptation for preventive
action. And of course the deep-strike installations themselves, be
they missile launchers or surveillance systems, offer the enemy so
many targets for preemptive attack.
Deep-strike concepts can from the Soviet perspective be seen, not
so much as a strengthening of NATO defence, but as a build-up of
offensive capabilities, expressing, who knows, aggressive intentions.
The deep-strike approach does not fit in with West European detente
policies, and can give a strong impulse to the arms race. Although
they are intended as a strenghtening of NATO's conventional
defence, and presented as a way of raising the nuclear threshold,
the acceptance of these proposals could in fact contribute to an early
first use, either by NATO or the WTO. For AirLand Battle includes
the concept of an integrated battlefield, with a co-ordinated use of
conventional and nuclear weapons. Although FOFA does not
include this element, its close association with ALB could, in fact,
result in the opposite (Chapter 7). The conventional ballistic deepstrike missiles described in Chapter 15, which are derived from
existing nuclear missiles, could evoke a nuclear response. So deepstrike concepts like AirLand Battle and FOFF score badly on practically all relevant criteria.





It looks as if non-provocative defence as described in Chapter 8 is

the one approach which does offer a way of raising the nuclear


Paving the Way to European Security

threshold. Of course, many advocates of these defensive postures

intend to do away with nuclear weapons altogether, at least in
Western Europe. However attractive from the point of view of nonproliferation, this is, however, not realistic in the near future. Much
would be gained by creating the conditions for a NATO no-first use
policy, and minimising the vulnerability of NATO forces to a tactical
nuclear attack by the WTO. It is particularly their contribution to a
substantial raising of the nuclear threshold which makes a further
examination of proposals emphasising defence worthwhile.
In terms of crisis stability, non-provocative defence would also
score higher than other approaches. The lack of deep strike
weaponry releases the other side from the pressure to strike before
being crippled by a preventive NATO attack. The no-target philosophy removes any motives the WTO may have to strike preemptively at valuable NATO assets. For owing to dispersal of forces,
small units, and a minimum dependence on troop transport or logistics, there will be hardly any assets worth destroying. And even if
an armed conflict does break out, there will be scope for control
through negotiations. There is, therefore, no element of escalation
in kind in the concept, with the use of more destructive weapons as
the conflict continues. The same type of weaponry will be used from
beginning to end, with the enemy coming under more intensive fire
only as he moves deeper into NATO territory and within reach of
more of NATO forces.
Neither will a non-provocative posture give undue stimuli to the
arms race. Of course, to an opponent who wants to feel capable of a
successful offence, any improvement in defence can call for countermeasures. Some of the proposals, which rely heavily on one type of
weaponry, like antitank missiles, could make the development of
technological counter-measures such as active armour tempting if
not exactly inevitable. Others which, like the SAS proposal, are
more complex, could be more insensitive to enemy adaptations. But
the impulse of any non-provocative proposal for the arms race would
be much less than more offensive or offensive/defensive postures
like SDI. For emphasising defence implies a breaking away from
answering-in-kind patterns, placing tank against tank and fighterbomber against fighter-bomber. This makes any measuring of
'balances' and catching up with perceived imbalances meaningless.
Does all this mean, that non-provocative defence will of itself
bring forth detente? Unfortunately, no.
Firstly, it must be pointed out that a non-provocative defence in

Marlies ter Borg and Frank Barnaby


Western Europe alone could be seen by the Soviets to serve as a

shield for capitalist aggression elsewhere. As a defensive posture
would of necessity start in a small way, with a few countries such as
the FRG, Benelux and perhaps Denmark going 'non-provocative',
and the others retaining their (counter)offensive weaponry, main
battle tanks, interdiction aircraft, nuclear weapons and even rapid
deployment forces. But could not this, as suggested in Chapter 9,
be seen by the Soviet leaders as one great capitalist plot to sharpen
the sword by acquiring a shield?
On the other hand, it must be remembered, that detente for the
Soviet Union does not have the broader emotional connotations
usually attached to the term in Western Europe. According to the
Soviet ideology, capitalism is an evil, with which one has to coexist
because of the destructive potential of modern warfare But it is
legitimate to push back its influence wherever and whenever the
opportunity arises. The Soviet Union is a militarised society, in which
military power is respected. Detente, as the prevention of war is, in
the perception of Soviet leaders bound up with military balance.
This means, that given their views it is best served by the existence
of an effective defence on both sides. In this context therefore much
would depend on the military credibility of a non-provocative
defence in the eyes of the Soviets. It is therefore essential, not only
to develop a truly effective defensive posture, but also to communicate is effectiveness to the other side.
But would a non-provocative posture be effective enough in a
military sense to deter a Soviet attack? This depends on which
proposal one is considering. Both the Afheldt and the Hannig model
could be too monistic, to be invulnerable for enemy adaptations,
both in the field of tactics, and technological counter-measures. The
barrier defence is vulnerable to overrunning or circumvention, and
once that happens all seems lost. The static infantry network on the
other hand, offers no potection1 against a slow offensive, nibbling
away at Western Germany, owing to its lack of mobile armoured
forces, and is also vulnerable to intense enemy concentrations. The
SAS proposal, with its rapid commitment force, does offer the possibility of rolling back the offensive, but then the non-provocative
character of these armoured forces must be carefully guarded. So
we might conclude that the SAS model could be quite promising in
terms of military effectiveness. But even though it does make use of
armoured warfare, it remains an unorthodox posture. Whether this
will make it non-credible in the eyes of the Soviet leaders is an open


Paving the Way to European Security

question. The posture might on the contrary, impress them through

its unfamiliarity.
What about the technological feasibility of the models? Afheldt's
static infantry network is based on a degree of technological optimism. For its effectiveness depends on anti-tank weapons with a
degree of precision, not attainable in the near future. The same
could be said for Hannig's fire barrier. Of course, one could imagine
research being redirected so as to hasten the desired developments.
But the fact is that research is now concentrated both on SDI and
deep strike and will remain so until other concepts have shown their
viability. In spite of this, the SAS proposal is feasible now, as it
makes use of available technology.
The affordability of a non-provocative posture is still an open
question. On the one hand, it demands substantial quantities of
manpower, more, perhaps, than their own rather optimistic calculations suggest. On the other hand, they make a generous use of
reservists, which is possible owing to a simplication of tasks. This
could be especially important in the light of the West Geman population dip, which will be reaching the age for military service shortly.
The cost of the required capital items is difficult to judge, especially
for those proposals which make use of systems not yet under
production. In Appendix II a cost-estimate is included by two
members of the military academy at Munich. Any precise estimation
of the cost of modern weapon systems is very tentative, owing to
cost-overruns and other uncertainties. Nevertheless, some general
statements concerning the costs of defensive postures can be made.
It is for instance known that the cost of (precision guided) missiles
rises quadratically with range, making defensive postures with
shorter range weapons less expensive than deep strike postures. The
specialisation in defence and associated weaponry could also lead to
substantial savings on more offensive systems. Therefore, even if
one can say nothing precise about the costs of a non-provocative
posture, there is reason to assume that it will be less costly than the
present posture. It would be substantially cheaper than deep-strike
options, or a posture including a ballistic missile defence.
So we could conclude, that there are models for a non-provocative
posture, both affordable and technologically feasible, which could
be effective enough in the military sense to offer a basis for both
detente and a lessening of dependence on nuclear weapons. An
example is the proposal developed by the West German SAS. This
model has the further advantage of reserving in the defence of the

Marlies ter Borg and Frank Barnaby


FRG, a well defined role for the allies who are presently thus
committed. This could make the proposal politically acceptble within
the alliance.
It would therefore seem worthwhile to develop this kind of
schemes for non-provocative defence, working on the many
elements, such as air defence, coastal defence and O(I), which have
not as yet received enough attention. This should be done in a wider
context, including both members of other NATO states and WTO
countries. The last is specially important. For one of the very real
dangers of non-provocative defence, is that it be misunderstood by
the WTO, either as a sign of NATO weakness, or as an attempt to
sharpen the American sword by giving it a West European shield.
Non-provocative defence must not be implemented without an extensive process of East-West communication. It is after all motivated
by a desire for detente, and must therefore be firmly embedded in a
wider detente process.
In the meantime there is nothing to prevent NATO from taking some
generally acceptable steps as enumerated in Chapter 23, towards a
posture which is both less provocative and more effective in a military
sense, and feasible within present technological and financial
constraints. Examples are the use of light infantry, enabling a fuller
utilisation of reservists; dispersal and decentralisation and the preparation of barricades for the fortification of the inter-German border.
Development and production plans, such as those formulated by
CNAD and IEPG should move away from very costly and vulnerable
platforms such as the main battle tank, the fighter-bomber, and their
supporting systems, towards the anti-tank and anti-aircraft guided
weapons. Space technology should be utilised for the installation of
European Satellite Monitoring Agency, and a step towards a ballistic
missile defence such as an anti-tactical ballistic missile system should
be avoided. In this way the first steps could be taken towards the
adapting of NATO's military build-up to its explicitly defensive
political aims.

23 Conventional Defence
for Europe
Conclusions of the organisers of the international workshop
'Emerging Technologies and Military Doctrine', Free
University, Amsterdam, 16-19 July 1985.
(1) The military posture of NATO in general
puts an increasing burden on military budgets,
leads to increasing doubts concerning its military credibility.
Furthermore, certan aspects of it
decrease crisis-stability,
make a return to a policy of detente increasingly difficult,
are increasingly unacceptable to the general public.
(2) All participants rejected proposals based on striking moving
targets deep inside WTO territory. A substantial group rejected
strikes on all targets deep in Eastern Europe.
The organisers concluded that any proposals to procure T-16
or T-22 missiles are unacceptable.
(3) Most participants supported a change of NATO policy in the
direction of a more explicitly defensive military posture. This
implies a greater ephasis on:
a heavily defended zone at the East-West border by use of
small preplanned, prefabricated, rapidly deployable barriers
and obstacles.
the use of light- and non-mechanised infantry,
the use of reservists for this infantry.
a prepared communication system,
dispersal and de-centralisation.
For differing reasons, it was argued that there should be less
emphasis on explicitly offensive systems like the main battle
(4) Non-provocative defence was defined as:
The build-up, training, logistics and doctrine of the armed
forces are such that they are seen in their totality to be unsuitable
for offence, but unambiguously sufficient for a credible defence.
Nuclear weapons fulfil at most a retaliatory role.

Appendix I
Weapon Systems
In this appendix, compiled by John Grin, a brief description of weapon
systems, mentioned in this book, is given. Part A of the appendix deals with
missiles; in Part B information on other systems is given.


The following table is largely based on Doug Richardson, 'World Missile

Directory', FLIGHT International, 2 February 1985. When other sources
have been used, this is indicated by superscript numbers, referring to the
notes at the end of the table.


Cruise missile, nuclear


Air-to-air missile

Air-to-surface stand-off

Medium Range







Launched Cruise

Air-to-surface missile
for the suppression of
enemy air defence

Launched AntiRadiation

= 3 X 0.13

Air-to-air missile



length x diameter
(m x m)



AIM-7M Sparrow Air-to-air missile


20 kg (?)

1 x 200 kton

Blastfragmentation II

or blastfragmentation

40 kg
rod, proximity +
impact fuses


(unpowered anti-personnel/
version) up
to 50 in its



70-80 11







Inertial guidance + terminal France,

(mm-wave?) homing

Inertial guidance + active

radar terminal homing.
Intended to replace AIM-7.
Will be produced in US with
licence production in
Europe. Developed in
parallel with ASRAAM

CEP: 30 m; the ALCM will USA

be carried by B52 and B-IB
bombers 1 Inertial guidance
+ terrain contour matching

Homes in on enemy radar

Three modes of operations:
direct attack, indirect attack
and dual model!

Infra-red seeker

Additional remarks

Ballistic missile to
attack main operation

Ballistic missile to
attack MOBs3

BOSS (Ballistic



Anti-ship missile



Cruise Missile
see: ALCM;

Air-to-air missile


Short Range Airto-Air Missile)






min. 4.5max. 45


area denial
pay load up to
1000 kg3

1800 +

GP1 blast/
165 kg

2.44 kg;


650 2

min. 60max.
1100 m

High explosive





length x diameter
(m x m)



Used in Falklands-Malvinas France

and Iran-Iraq war. Inertial
guidance + active radarseeker

Wire-guided (SACLOSt)

CEP: 15 m Conventional
version of Pershing II.
Candidate for the AXE
project, Inertial guidance +
Radar area-correlation
terminal guidance3

CEP: 30-45 m Candidate

for the AXE project. Stellar
inertial guidance2

infra-red seeker + inertial

reference. Developed and
produced in Europe, with
licence production in the US.
Related to AMRAAM

Additional remarks

Air-to-surface missile
for the suppression of
enemy air defence


Anti-tank; also against

hard point targets; airto-surface


HARM (HighSpeed AntiRadiation
















9 kg hollow

Naval Weapons
Centre 227 kg,
blast, contact
(with time delay
+ proximity

proximity fuse

W-80, 200 kton



54 kg

min. 75 m- 3 kg hollow
max. 4 km




length x diameJer
(m x m)

I Hawk
Air defence, surface-to- 5.08
(improved Hawk) air

Cruise missile, nuclear



GLCM (Ground
Launched Cruise





Altitude limit: 18 km Being

upgraded in the JATM
programmes CWSAR *

Optically tracked, wireguided

Semi-active laser homing.

Fired from helicopters




Widely deployed on surface USA

ships, submarines and fixedwing aircraft, + active radar

Homes in on enemy radar

CEP: 50 m7
Now being deployed in
Europe. Inertial guidance
terrain contour matching

Additional remarks

nuclear battlefield

To be used against
airfields and other fixed

Air-to-surface missile
for close support

Range Stand-Off




Tactical Missile

JATM (Joint

Improved TOW
see TOW






length x diameter
(m X m)






Feasibility studies just

finished. Candidate for
JTACMS. Joint project of
US, UK and FRG 3

Enhanced radiation
('neutron') warhead is being
developed for Lance (1

Joint Weapon Programme

of US Army and US Air
Force. See T-16, T-22, which
were candidates', and
LRSOM which might be a
candidate for the longer
ranges (70-450 km)3; an
extended version of M LRS
might be chosen for the
ranges upto 70 km6

Joint weapon programme of USA

US Army and US Air
Force. See Patriot; I Hawk

Additional remarks

Semi-active laser or imaging USA

59 kg hollow
charge or 135 kg infra-red or automatic TV

1-100 kton
(variable yield)







Air-to-surface dispenser 3.40 x 0.65 or

4.30 X 0.65
depending on
version 12




Mobile multiple rocket


MLRS (Multiple
Launch Rocket




Additional remarks


25-30 12


10 x 300 kton
warheads 1

Several tens of
or 200
grenades or
mines 12


Inertial guidance CEP: <

130 m 1 Dubbed
'Peacekeeper' by US
President Reagan

Replaces former Pegase

project 12

Presently loaded with

unguided submunitions.
The so-called third phase
warhead will have terminal
guidance and be developed
jointly by US, UK, France
and FRG. US Army
considers extended range
(70 km) version for
JTACMS programme6

min. 25m- 3 kg penetration SACLOS guidancet

max. 2 km
(hollow charge)

length x diameter
(m x m)













Air-to-surface dispenser

Surface-to-surface long
range theatre nuclear

Air-to-air missile




Pershing II

Python 3

SA-6 Gainful

SA-7 Grail

Surface-to-air, air
defence missile. Could
possibly have an A TBM
role 8








Infra-red seeker
Altitude limit 18 km. Radio
command + CWSAR
Altitude limit 1,5 km Infrared seeker

11 kg high
80 kg high
proximity fuse
2.5 kg
with smooth

min. 0.5max. 15
min. 4max. 35


108 deployed in FRG,

following the NATO
double-track decision of
December 19797

0.3-80 kton
variable yield14




Now replaced by MOBIDIC France

(French-FR German



From 6
version) to
60 (final

Being replaced by
(conventional) Improved
Hawk and/or Patriot 1

Additional remarks

Altitude limit: 24 km Track- USA

via-missile guidance.
SARH* * Being upgraded in
the JATM programmes

1 kton nuclear 1






length x diameter
(m x m)

Air-defence, surface-to- 12.1

air 1


Nike Hercules





Surface-to-air Antiaircraft







Go skin








c.6.2 x 0.45

c.2.0 x 0.12

length x diameter
(m x m)






High explosive

High explosive

High explosive

casing + contact
and graze fuse



Altitude limit: 5 km.

Mounted on a tracked
chassis. Intended for the
point-defence of Soviet

Experimental phase, now

Altitude limit 30 km.
Phased-array radar to find



Altitude limit: 14 km. Semi- SU

active radar guidance. A
four-railed trainable
launcher is carried on the
tracked chassis used by the
ZSU-23-6 self-propelled

Uses tower-mounted
surveillance radar to detect
low-flying targets. Installed
(probably) at fixed sites. A
mobile version has been
developed, and will enter
service soon

Infra-red homing. Deployed SU

on BRDM-2 four-wheeled

Additional remarks







Up to ten
warheads, yield

100 kton9


CEP: 300m

1 x 1 Mtoni 4









Inertial Guidance Solid fuel; SU

CEP may be better than

Replaces Scud-89

CEP: 300 mi

1 X 20-100
kton 14


Intermediate range
nuclear missile



Long range theatre

nuclear weapon7




Air-to-air missile

Now probably replaced on

the production line by
Python 3

Name of Patriot in the


Man-portable systems,
sometimes carried on
mountings Wire guidance

Short range surface-tosurface nuclear missile

2. 7 kg armour

3 x 150 kton or CEP: 400 m Some SS-20s

1 X ?7
have a single warhead; they
may have intercontinental
(> 5500 km) range7

500 m
3 km

ground forces, it was

developed to replace the
SA-9. Imaging infra-red

Additional remarks





16(?) x c.l.70


11 kg impact +
proximity fuse


length X diameter
(m x m)

anti-tank missile


Shafrir II







2.4 kg hollow


TOW (Tubelaunched,
opticallytracked, wireguided)
min. 65 m
3.75 km

In development Candidate USA

for the AXE project2 It will
use booster components of
form the Thor/Delta or
Saturn space rocket

Payload 25 ton2

Conventional ballistic
missile to attack fixed




Developed in the Assault

Breaker programme Based
on the Lance Ring laser
gyroscope for guidancen

developed in the
Assault Breaker

? x 0.4 (16 in) 13

? x 0.55 (22 in.) 13 Up to 250 2
missile against fixed and
mobile targets


Developed in the Assault

Breaker programme Based
on the Patriot Stellar inertial
guidance + mechanical
gyroscope 13

Additional remarks



from the Assault



Up to 2502

length x diameter
(m X m)

missile against mobile





Sea-launched ballistic









length x diameter
(m X m)

* CWSAR (H)= Continuous Wave Semi-Active Radar (Homing)

**SAHR = Semi-Active Radar Homing
tSACLOS = Semi-Automatic, Command to Line of Sight.



Improved TOW








Infra-red sight in parallel

with the optical sight to
guide TOW-2 to its target
More accurate SACLOSt
guidance system, using dual

SACLOS guidancet Interim USA

weapon, to deal with the
latest genetration of Soviet
tanks. The improved
warhead triggers the charge
at a stand-off distance of
380 mm, giving a better
performance against the
latest types of tank armour

Additional remarks

7 x 100 kton W- Deployed on Trident

76 nuclear

Larger 6 kg

3.6 kg hollow


Weapon Systems




Michael Stephenson and John Weal Nuclear Dictionary (Essex:

Longman, 1985).
Per Berg and Gunilla Herolf, 'Deep Strike: New Technologies for
Conventional Interdiction', in World Armament and Disarmament,
SIPRI Yearbook I984 (London: Taylor & Francis, 1984).
Brian Wanstall, 'Getting the Right Counter-Air Mix for NATO',
Interavia 3(1985), pp. 255-7.
Mark Hewish, 'The Assault Breaker Programme, US Stand-off
Weapons Technology of the Future', International Defense Review,
9(1982) pp. 1207-11.
Department of Defense Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1985, Hearings
before a subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriation, United
States Senate, Part I - Budget Overview (Washington, 1984)
pp. 254-623.
Graham Warwick, 'Assault Breaker is Dead, Deep Strike Lives On',
FLIGHT International (1 Sept. 1984).
Sverre Lodgaard and Frank Blackaby, 'Nuclear Weapons', in World
Armament and Disarmament, SIPRI Yearbook 1984 (London:
Taylor & Francis, 1984).
Wim Smit, 'The Patriot Missile: an Arms Control Impact Analysis',
Chapter 15 of this book.
Gunilla Herolf (SIPRI), private communications.
Jane's Weapon Systems 198~5 (London: Jane's Publishing Company,
Mark Hewish, 'British Aerospace's ALARM', International Defense
Review 5(1985) pp. 765-6.
Deborah Zaidman, 'France and Germany Team on Joint Stand-off
Weapon Project', Defence & Armament, no 41 (Mar. 1985) pp. 56-7.
Hewish, The Assault Breaker Programme, US Stand-off Technology
for the Future, International Defense Review, 9(1982) pp. 1207-11.
William M. Arkin et al. in World Armament as Disarmament, SIPRI
Yearbook 1985 (London: Taylor & Francis, 1985).


French main battle tank. The French Army has more than 1000 AMX-30s
in service. There is room for a four man crew in the AMX-30; its combat
weight is 36 tonnes. Its maximum speed is 65 km/h, it has an average speed
of 50 km/h on the road and 35-40 km/h cross-country. The maximum road
range is 500-600 km. Its main armament is a 105 mm rifled gun, which can
fire HEAT, HE, phosphorus smoke or illuminating rounds. With the HE
shell, a maximum range of 11 km can be achieved. In addition to this main
gun there are a 20 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm machine-gun.


Weapon Systems

French main battle tank. Essentially an upgraded version of the AMX-30.
French main battle tank. By late 1984, the first four prototypes had been
completed. AMX-40 offers significant advantages over AMX-30 and AMX32 and is an essentially new vehicle. Its main armament is a 120 mm smoothbore gun, capable of penetrating a heavy tank triple target and a medium
tank single target at a range of up to 3000 metres. Additionally there are a
20 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm machine-gun. The AMX-40 weighs 43 tonnes,
and has an average speed of 55 km/h on the road and 50 km/h cross-country.
Its maximum range is 550 km.
Apache helicopter1
US Army designation: AH-64 Designed by Hughes to meet the US Army's
requirement for an advanced attack helicopter, capable of undertaking a
full day/night/adverse weather anti-armour mission, and of fighting,
surviving and living with troops in a front-line environment. Armaments:
depending on the type, 8-16 Hellfire missiles, 320-1200 rounds of 30 mm
ammunitions and some tens of rockets. Technical details: main rotor diameter 14.63 m. length 17.76 m. max. range: 689 km with internal, and 2018
km with both internal and external fuel.
Aquila 192
US RPV for surveillance target acquisition and laser designation. Production
will start in 1986. Weight: 118 kg. Speed: 80-200 km/h. Penetration range:
50 km. Endurance time: 3 hr.
AT-2 mines 13
Anti-tank mines for the MLRS. It will be a 227 mm mine, designed especially
for area-denial, to channel, slow down or stop armoured units. It will be
produced in FR Germany.
Airborne Warning And Control System. US radar system for early warning
and control, deployed on a modified Boeing 707 airframe. The antenna is
mounted back-to-back with another antenna (for IFF and secondary surveillance) in a rotating radome on top of the plane. The A WACS has seven
operating modes; in addition to the test maintenance and standby modes
there are the pulse Doppler elevation and non-elevation scan modes for
surveillance down to the surface, the beyond-the-horizon mode for extended
range surveillance, the passive mode (transmitter shut down) for ECM and
the maritime mode which uses short pulses, to reduce the sea clutter patch
for detection of moving or stationary surface ships.
Aircraft having a long-range stand-off radar to collect information which
will enable the Phoenix RPV to find more effectively its potential targets.
British main battle tank. In March 1983 the first 243 Challengers were

Weapon Systems


ordered by the British Army. In June 1984 an order of another 64 tanks

followed. The turret and hull incorporate Chobham armour to increase
battlefield survivability. It has four crew members and weighs 62 tonnes. Its
maximum road speed is 60 kmlh. Challenger has a 120 mm gun and two
7.62 mm machine-guns.
British main battle tank. The first prototypes were finished in the early 1960s.
About 900 Chieftains were built for the British Army; several hundreds have
been sold to Middle East countries. The Chieftain has a weight of 54.1
tonnes and four crew members. Its maximum range in the cross-country is
200-300 km; on the road this becomes 400-500 km. Its maximum speed (on
the road) is 48 km/h. It has a 120 mm gun, able to fire (a.o.) APDS and
HESH munitions. In addition, it has two 7.62 mm machine-guns and one
12.7 mm machine-gun.
Reconnaissance drone, with camera (TV) and infra-red line-scan sensors.
Weight 200 kg, penetration range 120 km. Expected to enter service in 1988
(France and FRG). Developed by Canada, France, FRG.
The Copperhead cannon-launched guided projectile (CLGP) is a 155 mm
munition, developed by Martin Marietta (US). It consists of three separate
sections for guidance (gyro-ball), warhead (HEAT shaped charge) and for
stabilisation and control (by wings). Copperhead is laser homing, the laser
being either airborne or man-carried.

Container Weapon System. Dispenser, currently being developed in FR

Germany by MBB. There are a number of versions of this weapon to reach
maximum versatility at minimum cost by using a modular build-up. All
these versions have a container with 42 ejection tubes which contains the
E-2C Hawkeye 1
US Airborne early warning aircraft. Its avionics include a search radar
(range 270 km), IFF systems, a passive detection having a range twice that
of the search radar and facilities for automatic track initiation. The E-2 can
simultaneously and automatically track more than 600 targets and control
40 air intercepts. Span: 24.56 m. Max. speed: 598 km/h Ferry range: 2583
km. Length: 17.54 m. Service ceiling: 9390 m.

E-4 1

US Air Force airborne command post, aircraft built by Boeing. The E-4 has
accommodation for 94 crew members with three decks. There are, i.a., a
conference room, briefing room, control centres, and a National Command
Authority Area. In addition to command and control avionics, the E-4 is
able to use satellite and ground-based systems; there is communication
equipment on many frequencies; the E-4 is capable of tying in to commercial


Weapon Systems

telephone and radio networks. Span: 59.60 m. Length: 70.51 m. Mission

endurance: 72 h.
US Air Force ECM tactical jamming aircraft. Three roles are foreseen for
the EF-IIIA: (1) jamming, (2) penetration accompanying strike aircraft to
high priority targets, (3) close air support to neutralise anti-air radars while
the strike force deliers its attack on enemy armour. Span: 19.20 m. Length:
23.16 m. Max. speed: around 2200 km/h. Ferry-range: 3706 km. Combat
radius for the respective roles: (1) 370 km, (2) 1495 km; (3) 1155 km.
European Fighter Aircraft. It was to be developed jointly by five European
nations: FRG, UK, Italy, Spain, France. In 1985, France and Spain withdrew
from the project. 10 The other three countries will proceed with the project.
Any other nation is welcome to join them; in that case tasks would be
redivided, but the discussion about the specifications seems to be closed. In
December 1983 it was agreed that EFA should be a single seat agile fighter
with a secondary ground attack capability. The primary sensor is to be a
multi-mode pulse Doppler radar with an interception range of 92.5 - 148
km. Other radar equipments will include systems for velocity and single
target search, track-while-scan and range-while-scan, and target priority
selection/weapon selection. Armaments: internally mounted cannon plus a
mix of six AMRAAM/ASRAAM missiles.
Enhanced Self-Propelled Artillery Weapon System. US programme for a
new self-propelled artillery system in the 1990s. Normal unassisted range
should be 20-25 km, or 30 km by assisted rounds. The vehicle will be an
armoured full-tracked howitzer carrying 50-75 rounds on board. There will
be room for 3-4 crew members, but the system is operable by 2. It will be
able to deliver all known 155 mm munitions, and it will also have a 12.7
mm machine-gun. Each howitzer will have its own ammunition resupply
vehicle, capable of carrying 80 to 150 complete rounds. It will have an
'improved armour'.
F-15 Eagle 1
US Air Force single seat twin-turbofan air superiority fighter, with secondary
attack role, produced by McDonnell Douglas. First production in the early
1970s. Avionics include X-band pulse Doppler radar for long-range detection, tracking of small high-speed targets and also having an automatic target
acquisition capability for close-in dayfights; IFF system. Armament: four
AIM-9 missiles and four AIM-7 missiles or 8 AMRAAMs. Furthermore,
the F-15 has a variety of other air-to-air weapons and a 20 mm barrel gun
(940 rounds). Span: 13.05 m. Length: 19.43 m. Max. speed: > Mach. 2.5.
Service ceiling: 18 300 km. Ferry range: 4631-5745 km.
F-16 Fighting Falconi
Single-seat light-weight air combat fighter (F-16A) and two-seat fighter-

Weapon Systems


trainer (F-16B), developed and tested in the 1970s in the US. Avionics
include: pulse Doppler radar, IFF electro-optical and infra-red sensors.
Armaments: 20 mm cannon, 515 rounds of ammunition, AMRAAM, AIM9, Maverick and other missiles. Span: 9.45 m. Length: 15.09 m. Max. speed
Mach 2. Service ceiling: 15 240m. Ferry range: 3890 km.
F-20 Northrop 1
Single-seat export fighter, produced in the 1980s in the US. Avionics include
a coherent multi-mode radar with advanced digital signal processing; ring
laser gyro inertial navigation system and electronic counter-measures equipment. The F-20 has two 20 mm guns, and stations for external weapons or
fuel. Typical loads include 30 mm gun pod, six AIM-9 air-to-air, or four
Maverick air-to-surface missiles; nine Mk 82 bombs or four laser guided
bombs. Span: 8.52 m. Length: 14.19 m. Service ceiling: 17.3 km. Ferry
range: 3734 km. Max. speed at 13 km > Mach 2
High Explosive Armour Piercing. Anti-armour warhead analogous to
HESH, but with an explosive charge which detonates with a delayed contact
gaze, which causes more damage.
High Explosive Anti-Tank Anti-Armour warhead. Injects a rapid jet of hot
gas in the armour, which penetrates it (up to several metres of armour) and
squirts molten metal through the tank.
High Explosive Squash Head. Anti-armour warhead, that explodes at the
moment of contact with the tank. This causes shock waves which destroy
the interior of the tank by pieces of armour and metal.
Hind-helicopter (Mil Mi-24) 1
Soviet assault helicopter, with transport capabilities, produced in the early
1970s. Avionics include: radar altimeter; blind-flying instrumentation; radar
low light-level TV and electro-optical sensors; IFF. Armaments: remotely
controlled 12.7 mm machine-gun; four Swatter anti-tank missiles; four
hinderwing pylons for rockets pods, special bombs or other stores. Span:
17.00 m. Length (excl. rotors) 18.50 m. Max. level speed: 370 km/h. Service
ceiling: 4.5 km. Combat radius: 160 km.

Identification Friend or Foe system to prevent that own targets are hit and
to identify enemy targets to be hit. After long negotiations the US Mark15 system was chosen instead of the alternative FR German Capri system.
Probably this is the result of a deal offered by the US to the FRG. This
deal is understood to include the purchase of unrelated hardware items,
although reference has been made to the US paying for measures to alleviate
the frequency congestion problems which worried the Germans in choosing
the Mark-15 system.


Weapon Systems

Jaguar 1
Single-seat tactical support aircraft and two-seat operational or advanced
trainer. Designed by Breguet (France) and British Aerospace (UK). In
production since the late 1970s. Three 30 mm guns. The Jaguar can carry
alternative loads, including one Martel anti-radar missile plus two droptanks;
eight 1000 lb bombs; various combinations of free-fall, retarded and cluster
bombs, missiles; a reconnaissance camera pack. Span: 8.69 m. Length: 16.83
m (single-seat); 17.53 m (two-seat). Max. level speed: Mach. 1.1 (sea-level)/
Mach. 1.6 (11 km). Ferry range with external fuel: 3524 km.
JP-233 16

Anti-airfield dispenser, developed in the UK. This weapon actually contains

two dispensers: one with SG 357 dual-charge runway cratering submunitions
and one with HB 876 area chemical mines. This combination of area denial
and runway-cratering makes post-attack repair of the airfield difficult and


Joint Suppression of Enemy Air Defence programme of the US Office of

the Secretary of Defense to develop both lethal and non-lethal techniques
for the suppression of enemy or defence capabilities. The programme also
includes development of techniques to locate and identify enemy emitters.


Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System. A joint US Air Force/
US Army project, combining the USAF's Pave Mover Programme with the
Army's SOTAS programme. The radar is primarily intended to detect enemy
(moving) armour and also to direct attacks against it. It provides real-time
data, and installation of the system is proposed on the Lockheed TR-1, the
Boeing C-18 and the OV-D aircraft.


Joint Tactical Fusion. US programme to explore on a near real-time basis

time sensitive and high volume multi-sensor information. The objective is
to develop by 1986 an enemy situation correlation element to provide precise
location of hostile forces.
KZ0 2
Kleinfluggeriit fur Ziel Ortung. RPV for surveillance, target acquisition and
laser designaton being developed in the FRG. It has a forward looking infrared sensor, and a weight of 100-150 kg and the KZO has an endurance time
of more than 3.5 hours.
Main battle tank (FRG). Preceded Leopard-2. Production started in 1965.
It has four crew members and weighs 40 tonnes. Its maximum range on the
road is 600 km; in cross-country the range is 450 km. It has a maximum
road speed of 65 km/h. Leopard-1 has one 105 mm gun, able to fire many

Weapon Systems


Western standard 105 mm rounds. In addition there are two 7.62 mm

machine guns and four smoke dischargers.
Main battle tank of West German ongm, produced from the late 1970s
onward. It has a four-man crew, weighs 55 tonnes; it has a maximum road
speed of 72 kmlh and a maximum road range of 550 km. Its main armament
is a 120 mm smooth-bore gun, able to deliver APFSDS (Armour Piercing
Fire-Stabilised Disgarding Sabot) and HEAT munitions. In addition, it has
two 7.62 mm machine-guns and eight smoke dischargers.


Low Cost Powered Dispenser, a CNAD project. The MOBIDIC and

Apache missiles are considered to be important candidates.
American main battle tank. It has four crew members and weighs 54.4
tonnes. It has a maximum speed on the road of 72.4 km/h; in the country
this is 48.3 km/h. Its maximum range on the road is 475 km. The M1-Abram
has a 105 mm gun, two 7.62 mm machine-guns and a 12.7 mm machinegun. The fire control system includes a laser range-finder, and a stabilised
day/thermed night sight. The latter system produces an image by sensing
the small difference in heat radiated by the objects in view (infra-red thermal
imaging system).
Mangusta helicopter
Italian anti-tank, attack and advanced scout helicopter, to enter service with
the Italian Army in 1986. All main functions (communication, navigation,
fire control a.s.o.) is controlled by one digital multiplex system relying on
two redundant, independently operating computers. Full day/night capability by a forward looking infra-red system. A mast-mounted stall for TOW
missile tracking laser ranger, laser designation (cf. Hellfire) and automatic
laser tracking of targets designated by other lasers, ECCM and ECM
systems. Initial armament of up to eight TOW missiles; with these either
two machine-guns or two launchers each for seven 2-7 in. air-to-surface
rockets. Alternatively, six Hellfires, two Stinger-type air-to-air missiles, eight
HOTs, two gun pods plus two nineteen-tube rocket launchers can be carried.
Span: 11.90 m. Length: 14.29 m. Max. speed at sea-level: 270 km/h. max.
endurance time: 3 h.
Mark-15 12
US IFF system, which will include at least one aircraft radar mode of
operation, in the 3 em band with the transponder reply at the 1030 MHband. See also IFF
Mastiff-2 2
Israeli RPV for reconnaissance and surveillance by TV-cameras. It weighs
115 kg and has a penetration range of 100 km. The Mastiff has a speed of
75-170 krn!h and an endurance time of 6 h.


Weapon Systems


Future tank project. British project for designing a new tank to replace
Chieftain and Challenger. It should be much lighter (40-45 tonnes) than
the Challenger. Currently, all possible configurations are being studied. It
should have its initial operation capability in 1995.

Soviet fighter aircraft. First prototype built in 1956. There have been
developed many different types since then. In the following, the details of
the MiG-21MF are given as an example. It has a search and tracking radar
with a search range of approximately 29 km, a warning radar and blindflying instrumentation. The plane has one 23 mm gun, and four underwing
pylons which can typically be loaded with 2 air-to-air missiles and two radar
homing rocket packs of 16 rockets each (interceptor role) or with rockets,
bombs or air-to-surface missiles (ground attack role). Span: 7.15 m. Length:
15.76 m. Combat radius: 370-740 km (depending on load and mission).
Max. speed: Mach 2.1 (> 11 km). Mach 1.06 (low altitude).

Soviet variable geometry air combat fighter, in production from the 1970s.
There are at least ten types; below some details on the MiG-23MF are given
as an example. It has a radar with 85 km search range and 54 km tracking
range, a IFF system, infra-red sensor or laser range finder. Armament: one
23 mm gun plus pylons for rocket packs, air-to-air missiles or other external
stores. Span: 14.25 m (wings fully spread), 8.17 m (wings fully swept).
Length: 18.25 m. Max. level speed: Mach 2.35 (high altitude), Mach 1.2
(sea-level). Combat radius: 900-1300 km
MiG-25 1

Soviet interceptor aircraft, developed in the 1960s. There are five variants
of the MiG-25; as an example, details of the Foxbat A are given below.
Five control radar (range probably 85 km), navigation radar, warning radar,
ECM and ECCM facilities are included in the avionics. The MiG-25 is armed
with four air-to-air missiles, which may comprise one infra-red and one radar
homing missile. Span: 13.95 m. Length: 23.82 m. Never exceed combat
speed: Mach 2.83. Service ceiling: 24.4 km. Max. combat radius: 1450 km.
MiG-29 1

Soviet all-weather counter-air fighter, with attack capability. First of a

completely new generation Soviet fighters. Entered service in 1984. A pulse
Doppler lookdown/shootdown radar gives it night/adverse weather capability. It carries six medium range air-to-air missiles, bombs, rocket pods or
others stores. Span: 10.25 m. Length: 15.50 m. Max. level speed: Mach 2.2
(high altitude), Mach 1.06 (sea level) Combat radius: 800 km
MiG-31 1

Soviet fighter, being deployed since early 1983. It inherited its general
configuration from MiG-25. The MiG-31 has lookdown/shootdown capa-

Weapon Systems


bility. A pulse Doppler radar is allied to eight advanced air-to-air missiles

including the radar homing AA-9.
Mirage 20001
French combat aircraft, equally suitable for reconnaissance, close support,
and low attitude attack missions in areas to the rear of a battlefield. It is to
be the primary French combat aircraft from the mid 1980s. Avionics include
multi-mode radar with an operating range of 100 km; ECM; IFF and a laser
designator and marked target seeker pod. The Mirage 2000 has two 30 mm
guns. For interception missions, it could typically be armed with four airto-air missiles. In an air-to-surface role, it can be armed with eighteen 250
kg bombs, or penetration bombs, three 1000 kg bombs, rockets, seven
cluster bombs, two cannon pods; in total it can carry more than 6000 kg
external stores. Span: 9.00 m. Length: 14.50 m. Max. level speed: > Mach
2.3. Service ceiling: 18 km. Range:> 1500-1800 km (depending on mission).
MW-1 (Mehrzweck Waffe-Jl6)
West German anti-armour/anti-airfield dispenser, to be deployed by 1986
in the West German Tornado aircraft. It can contain various types of warheads: KB-44, MIFF and Musa submunitions for anti-armour purposes; they
would kill 30 per cent of the armour in a large area; Stabo, Muspa, ASW
for anti-airfield purposes.
US global positioning system, consisting of 24 satellites in 12-hour orbits at
a height of 20 000 km. The user (which could, for example, be missiles or
ships) can determine its position with an accuracy of 10 metres 90 per cent
of the time, and 7 metres 50 per cent of the time. The velocity can be
determined to 2 cm/s within a dynamic range of 0-25 m/s while the user is
accelerating at a rate up to lOg.
Panzer Abwehr Dronez
Anti-tank drone, being developed in the FRG. Different sensor combinations are being developed and tested. This drone is intended to acquire
later the capability to deal with other targets.
Pave Mover
Former project of the US Air Force, now covered by the J STARS project.
Pave Tigerz
Drone for attack missions currently being developed in the US. It has a
radar seeker. The Pave Tiger has a weight of 113 kg, and a speed up to 185
km/h. It has an endurance time of 10 h. Development is planned for 1986/
Phantom 1117
Two-seat air defence fighter, produced between 1955 and 1979 in the US.
In early 1984, Boeing offered a modernisation scheme to the operators of
the around 2700 Phantoms deployed world-wide. Armament: missiles. In


Weapon Systems

addition, stores for i.a. nuclear and conventional (including cluster bombs)
bombs, rockets, gun pods, spraytanks and ECM pods are available. Span:
11.77 . Length: 19.20 m. Max. level speed with external stores: over Mach
2. Combat radius: 1266 km (area intercept), 795 km (defensive counter air),
1145 km (interdiction)
British RPV for surveillance and target acquisition with a penetration range
of 50-70 km and an endurance time of 5 h. It has a speed of 240 km/h and
a forward-looking infra-red sensor. At present it is in the development stage;
production is planned for 1988-9.

Precision Location/Strike System. A US project or a system that will provide
a 24-hour all weather capability for aircraft to attack a variety of ground
targets, in particular air defence systems that depend on very accurate
guidance and detection radars. Using photogrammatic techniques, a form
of aerial reconnaissance photography, PLSS will also be able to establish
the locations of targets that emit no electronic radiation like bridges,
airfields, and, command and control posts.
US nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine, deployed in the 1960s. The
Poseidon is 1295 m long and has 168 crew members. Initially, the Poseidon
carried the Polaris missiles. Later they underwent conversion to the Poseidon
SLBM. Between 1978 an 1983, 12 Poseidons were converted to carry the
Trident-1 SLBM.

Sense And Destroy Armour Munition. A US Army project for designing
and developing a weapon for use against mass enemy armour beyond FEBA.
It is intended to be delivered by existing conventional 8-inch artillery,
although it is probable that SADARM submunitions will find applications
in the MLRS. SADARM is 203 mm in diameter, and 1.14 m long, which
contains three submunitions, delivering Self-Forging Fragment (SFF)-type
warheads. The target is formed by mm-wave sensors which scan the area
owing to the motion of the submunition.
Israeli RPV for reconnaissance and surveillance with TV -camera. It has a
penetration range of 100 km, a speed of 80-150 krn/h and an endurance
time of 6 h. It weighs 135 kg.

Short Range Air Defence System. A demonstration prototype has been built
by Ford Aerospace and Communications Corporation in 1982. The system
consists of (1) a towed Chaparral surface-to-air missile, (2) a shoulder-fired
SABRE missile with laser beamrider guidance, (3) a DIVAD 40 mm gun
(which is self-sufficient and can accept targeting information from radar or

Weapon Systems


other sources or can operate autonomously and can direct accurate fire at
air and ground targets) and (4) a truck-mounted platoon Coordination
Centre which has a DIVAD gun radar and fire-control system.
Warhead for anti-armour weapons (dispensers, MLRS), developed in the
US Assault Breaker Programme. It contains a Self-Forging Fragment (SFF)
that reaches a velocity of 2750 m/s and penetrates its target by kinetic
energy. It finds the target by an IR sensor. If no suitable target is found, it
can be used in a fragmentation mode against softer targets.
Skyeye R42
American RPV with camera and TV sensors. There are four types: the R4E10 (surveillance), R4E-30 (multi-mission including attack), R4E-40 (multimission) and R4E-70 (multi-mission). The R4E-30 is already operational,
and the R4E-40 is operational in a surveillance role while the other two
types are still in the development stage. Technical data:



up to 230
up to 250
up to 300

Penetration range

Endurance time

Side Looking Airborne Radar. Airborne radar, emitting and receiVIng
perpendicular to the fly-direction of the aircraft, thereby increasing the
effective length of the antenna which means a (much) better resolution.
Stand-Off Target Acquisition System. US Army project, now covered by J
STARS after a short stage in which the designation Battlefield Data System
was used.
Self-Propelled 155 mm howitzer, being jointly developed by the FRG, UK
and Italy, and expected to enter in service in 1988. It will have a five man
crew and will weigh 43.5 tonnes. In addition to the howitzer able to fire the
full-range of NATO 155 mm projectiles, there is a 7.62 mm machine-gun.
A new high explosive projectile and new illuminating and smoke rounds are
being developed. Also Copperhead can be fired by the SP-70.
A fully-guided short range air-to-air missile, developed and successfully
tested by British Aerospace. The technologies used and experience gained
are contributing to the European ASRAAM-project.


Weapon Systems

SU-24 1

Soviet two-seat variable geometry attack aircraft that entered service in

1974. It has pylons for guided and unguided air-to-surface weapons,
including nuclear weapons. It has one gun. Span: 17.25 m (spread wings),
10.00 m (swept wings). Length: 21.29 m. Service ceiling: 17.5 km. Max.
speed: Mach 2.2 (high altitude), Mach 1.2 (sea-level).
SU-25 1

Soviet attack aircraft, operational since 1983-4. The total weight of the
armament is estimated at 4000 kg and includes a heavy calibre gun. Span:
15.50 m. Length: 14.50 m. Max. level speed: 880 km/h. Combat radius: 556

Soviet counter-air fighter with secondary ground attack capability. Now
probably operational. It has all-weather capability. Its pulse Doppler radar
(search range 240 km, tracking range 185 km) and heavy armament should
also give it a good potential against low flying aircraft and cruise missiles,
particularly when it is deployed in partnership with the new Soviet A WACS
aircraft. Armament: eight medium range radar homing air-to-air missiles.
Ability to carry up to 6000 kg by external stores for ground attack capability.
Span: 14.50 m. Length: 21.00 m. Max. speed: Mach 2.35 (high altitude),
Mach 1.1 sea-level). Combat radius: 1150 km.
Terminally guided submunition anti-armour submissile. Although it lost the
competition in the US Assault Breaker programme to Skeet, this two-colour
infra-red sensing weapon could still have an application as a warhead for

Tornado 1
West European multirole variable geometry aircraft jointly developed by
the UK, FRG and Italy. Production started in the late 1970s and will last
till 1989. There are two versions of the Tornado: the Interdictor/Strike
(IDS) and the Air Defence Variant (ADV). Both variants have included in
their avionics: a central computer and IFF. The IDS has, i.a., a Doppler
radar with terrain following and a laser range-finder and marked target
seeker. The ADV's interception capability is based on a multi-mode trackwhile-scan pulse-Doppler radar. ECCM is standard; ECM is under development. Both the IDS and the ADV have two 27 mm cannons. In addition,
the IDS variant has weapons which vary according to role; they include
MW-1, JP-223, Maverick and Matra retarded bombs. The ADV can carry
four semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles and one or two AIM-9s.
For the future the ADV will be able to carry up to six AMRAAMs and
four ASRAAMs. Span: 13.91 m. Length: 16.72 m (IDS); 18.06 m (ADV).
Max. level speed: 1480 km/h.
US nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine being deployed this decade.

Weapon Systems


The Trident has a length of 170.7 m. The first Tridents will be armed with
24 Trident-1 missiles. From 1988 onwards, the Trident II SLBM will be
fitted in the Trident submarines.

Tu-22M 1
Soviet medium bomber and maritime reconnaissance/attack aircraft.
Around 120 of the 260 are allocated to the Soviet Strategic Nuclear Forces.
This bomber, designated by NATO countries as the Backfire, was subject
of controversy during the SALT-II processes. It was deployed in the late
1970s. Th