[fa.arms-d] Arms-Discussion Digest V2 #44

daemon@ucbvax.UUCP (07/05/84)

From @MIT-MC:JLarson.PA@Xerox.ARPA  Wed Jul  4 15:30:11 1984
Arms-Discussion Digest Volume 2 : Issue 44

Today's Topics:

		International behaviour
		Defense of L. Wood

Date: Wed 27 Jun 84 12:47:05-CDT
From: Don Stuart <ICS.STUART@UTEXAS-20.ARPA>
Subject: Re: Arms-Discussion Digest V2 #43

I'm sure we all agree about the ideal behaviour of nations.
International law, treaties and so forth provide a reasonable set of
rules.  We should always seek to abide by those rules, for reasons
both moral and practical.  However, to commit ourselves irrevocably to
the written rules when our opponents (whoever they are) violate them
with impunity is unacceptable.  There are greater evils.  While we are
far from perfect and they are not all bad, the two sides are not
morally interchangable.  It does make a difference who wins, and it
would be foolish to pretend otherwise.

Moral issues aside, I believe that our nation's greatest strength is a
reputation for following the rules, for fair play and general decency.
It pains me when we squander that international capital.  However, it
also pains me to hear people suggest that simple principles will solve
any problem.  Killing people is always a bad thing, but sometimes
failing to kill is worse.  This has nothing to do with who is bigger
or stronger.  It has everything to do with who is right.  If it seems
clear that Libya has both the ability and intent to kill thousands of
innocent civilians by detonating an atomic device in a US city (or for
that matter, any city), then our government MUST do all it can to
prevent this.  If the only way to do so is to kill Qaddaffi, then he
must die.  We should regret the necessity, but not the act.

Jong is concerned about a "moral thicket" which he wishes to avoid.
It cannot be done, for the world is far too complex and ugly a place.
Sometimes there are no good choices (sometimes there are no bad ones!)
and we must make hard decisions.  To pretend otherwise is silly,
dangerous and far too common.


Date:           Mon, 2 Jul 84 23:47:50 PDT
From:           Charlie Crummer <crummer@AEROSPACE>
To:             arms-d@mit-mc
Subject:        Defense of L. Wood

This is a reply to the anonymous defender of L. Wood.
       It seems the problems many members of the forum are having
   with Lowell Wood are due to three things: refusal to accept his
   secrecy agreement with Government agencies, ignorance of
   technical advances made under secret contracts, and ignorance of
   the way world-power governments think.

I think problem is the naive belief that sufficiently secret, sufficiently
high-tech advances will provide a solution to the problems that nations
have with one another.  

   ... many of these projects plod along, making
   slight improvements to existing technology, but some achieve
   amazing breakthroughs which the government feels cannot be

   (I am sure that there are respected university
   professors teaching theories, etc. that are no longer true, or
   have been outdated by someone in a defense industry.)

Do you personally know of such a case?  (You can answer without divulging
the secret.)

   One reason
   for the secrecy is that some of these breakthroughs are so
   "different" that perhaps no one (Russia, etc.) would ever think
   of them on their own (unclassified examples: over-the-horizon
   radar, the Stealth bomber).

The principles of over-the-horizon radar have been used for years by ham radio
operators for years; it has also been known for a long time that there are
materials that don't reflect radar energy.  What evidence do you have that 
there have been any breakthroughs so "different" that "no one would ever think
of them on their own"?  Breakthroughs are made by individuals, not agencies.
       I'll close with some questions for thought:
   1. Do you think we ever tested nuclear weapons against
   satellites, C3 systems, etc., in space (before the ban)?
   2. Do you think we were told about every space flight carrying
   U.S. "astronauts"?
   3. What do you think the Skylab was really about?
   4. Who do you think picks up more pieces of Russian missile
   fragments after a missile test?  Us or them?
       There have been and are lots of scary, interesting things
   going on out there.  Again I say, Star wars is not that big a

On the other hand, whatever happened to: 1) the nuclear airplane,  2) the
nuclear rocket, 3) the 50-megaton nuclear submarine mines, and 4) a viable
basing concept for the MX?



Date: 2 June 1984 2104-PDT
Subject: C^3I
To:   arms-d @ MIT-MC

In the 22 June 84 issue of Science (Vol 224, N0. 4655, P1306)
there is a piece titled "Strategic Command, Control, Communications,
and Intelligence" by Charles A. Zraket, executive V.P. of the

The article illustrates many of the paradoxes associated with real plans
for waging a 'controlled' nuclear war.  Some quotes:

"... The crux of the strategic issue is the relation between
deterrence and force employment.  The United States can achieve
reliable deterrence only if it can ensure that it can retaliate
discriminately and end a nuclear war as quickly as possible.  Without
this, deterrence is at the mercy of provocative rhetoric, threats of
mutually assured destruction (MAD), or suicidal attacks.

The decision to use nuclear weapons is the ultimate C^3I issue.
International security requires capabilities beyond first-strike
attack, launch-on-warning, and MAD, or we may not be able to act
rationally during a crisis. ...

[curiouser and curiouser.  We have nuclear weapons to deter their use
by others; the main purpose of using the weapons is to stop the use of
the weapons (end the war) as quickly as possible.  We must go beyond
first-strikes, LOW, MAD ... to what ?  These capabilties may prevent
us from acting rationally (who knows, we might even be tempted into
acting humanely), as if these strategies themselves were not the
result of a good deal of supposed rationality.]

Zraket quotes several paragraphs from The Catholic Bishops' Pastoral
Letter expressing sketicism about the ability to wage 'limited'
nuclear war and to maintain a policy of 'discriminate targeting'.
He then says:

"... before discussing how an enduring C^3I system can ameliorate the
situation envisioned [by the Bishops - the probability of loss of
control, and consequent millions of civilian casualties]...

The United States will have no credible, prompt counterforce to Soviet
ICBM's until the MX ... or .. submarine D-5 missiles ... are deployed.
Thus the Soviets can continue to depend mostly on strategic warning and
can maintain lesser readiness in its nuclear forces ...

When and if the United States deploys a credible counterforce to
Soviet ICBM's ... we can expect the Soviet Union to pursue more
aggressively the same kinds of worldwide crisis C^3, tactical warning
and surveillance, and reconnaisance as the United States ...

These concerns [about the need to upgrade space surveillance,
intelligence, warning, and ASAT] may push [the Soviets] to maintain
higher states of readiness in their strategic forces ..."

[In other words, if we deploy MX and D-5 and continue to lead the
Soviets in deployment of space-based C^3I systems, they may react by
putting their ICBMs at a higher state of alert - not exactly a
stabilizing development.]

"Long-term endurance and reliability [of C^3I] in a large scale
exchange are impossible to achieve because of nuclear devastation of
the environment due to direct effects and climatic phenomena [Zraket
references the TTAPS study here] ... To deter large-scale attacks,
including attacks on C^3I, only an assured retaliatory capability is
needed, not an enduring, discriminate one ..." [sounds like MAD to

It's an interesting article; I recommend reading the whole thing.

[End of ARMS-D Digest]