Optimizing the post-START U.S. strategic nuclear force mix
Leary, David Allan
Breemer, Jan S.
Teti, Frank M.
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This thesis examines the impact a START agreement might have on United States and Soviet strategic nuclear forces. It then proposes an "optimum" post-START force mix for the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Thf current, as well as projected, post-START targeting policies are discussed. It is concluded that the impact of a START agreement on the current U.S. strategic targeting policy will be minimal. Although the target data base will not shrink as much as the forces tasked to cover it, a prioritization of targets is all that should be necessary with a post-START force. A START agreement will mean major reductions in U.S. and Soviet strategic nuclear forces. As proposed in this thesis, only the ICBM leg of the Triad will require any major re-structuring. This would include the addition of mobile ICBM systems. The SLBM and bomber legs will feel minimal changes (i.e., retiring POSEIDON SSBNs and retiring or converting some older B-52s). It is recommended that the B-2 program be cancelled, and funding be redirected into the mobile ICBM systems. By doing so the United States could utilize technology available today to strengthen its forces and not gamble on the low observable technology which a "stealth" bomber might have.
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