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Analysis of superpower nuclear strategy: Compellence as a competing paradigm to that of deterrence.

Pennie, K. R (1991) Analysis of superpower nuclear strategy: Compellence as a competing paradigm to that of deterrence. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis centers on that aspect of superpower strategic nuclear systems that lies beyond pure deterrence. Much has been offered under the rubric of deterrence, but little analysis of compellence has been attempted. Considering the widespread criticisms of deterrence theory, this is surprising. A comprehensive look at nuclear strategy from the conceptual framework of compellence helps clarify the limits of deterrence and indicates that deterrence and compellence are increasingly interrelated. To demonstrate these assertions, this dissertation provides a quantitative and qualitative analysis of intercontinental nuclear systems. The thesis is that nuclear strategy in the United States and the Soviet Union from 1970-1986 may be described at least equally well by compellence rather than deterrence. By looking closely at technological capabilities, the real capability of these nuclear systems can be more accurately determined. This analysis includes an assessment of how these nuclear systems could interact in combat, based on a Soviet correlation of nuclear forces model. This is the first time in the West that this model has been used for this purpose. It provides a unique Soviet perspective on nuclear strategy. This dissertation begins with the theoretical basis of deterrence and compellence, and then establishes two models based on these two concepts which provide the conceptual framework for the dissertation. The second chap ter examines the theoretical basis for arms control based on each paradigm. The next two chapters address alternately the American and the Soviet nuclear strategies, attempting to draw out the deterrent and compellent aspects therein. The fifth chapter narrows the focus to the role of arms control in identifying actual nuclear strategy; to what extent are the superpowers attempting to achieve foreign policy objectives in SALT I, SALT II and START. The sixth chapter considers the NATO-Warsaw Pact relationship to determine to what extent the superpowers are using their respective alliance systems in their strategic interrelationship. The next three chapters analyze quantitatively and qualitatively the American and Soviet strategic nuclear force structures to determine a correlation of forces trend and develop some predictions as to the viability of each force structure in supporting its respective strategy. The paradigmatic analysis of superpower nuclear strategy clearly portrays the limitations of deterrence as an explanation for international strategic behaviour. The compellent paradigm is shown as a reasonable alternative that in many ways better explains what has happened in superpower strategic relations from 1970-1986.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, Military, Military Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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