The independent resource on global security

The Uncertain Course: New Weapons, Strategies and Mind-sets

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN 0-19-829115-9
349 pp.
What is the present likelihood of war? Which elements need to be taken into account when making such an assessment? As the world enters the post-nuclear, or 'second' nuclear age, it has to take account of a new revolution in military affairs. In this comprehensive analysis of the strategic, military, and technological forces which are changing the nature and likelihood of war, the contributors explain and chart exotic technologies, 'Star Wars', the cruise missile explosion, new naval dynamics, the US Army's Forward Air/Land doctrine, the Soviet 'Operational Manoeuvre Groups' and 'Theatres of Military-Strategic Operations', battle management, and new challenges complicating international security calculations. They discuss the contradictions which occur when we have twenty-first century weapons but nineteenth century ways of thought, and when computers and artificial intelligence are lessening our comprehension and control. Their conclusion is that the risk of inadvertent war is increasing even as the risk of deliberate war is diminishing.

The Uncertain Course: Introduction

Carl G. Jacobsen


Part I. Old mind-sets, new weapons

Paper 1.1. International dynamics: Arms defiant

Carl G. Jacobsen

Paper 1.2. Arms Control Impact Statements (ACISs): Critique and prescription

Laurel C. Schneider

Paper 1.3. New challenges and old mind-sets: Ten rules for empirical realists

Ken Booth


Part II. New military capabilities, new doctrines

Paper 2.1. New military capabilities: Propellants and implications

William H. Kincade

Paper 2.2. Strategic defence and international security

Gerald Segal

Paper 2.3. Soviet military doctrine and space in the 1980s

David R. Jones

Paper 2.4. Conventional force modernization and the asymmetries of military doctrine: Historical reflections on Air/Land Battle and the Operational Manoeuvre Group

Jacob W. Kipp

Paper 2.5. US naval strategy and nuclear weapons

Richard W. Fieldhouse

Paper 2.6. Soviet strategy: The naval dimension

Carl G. Jacobsen

Paper 2.7. Future cruise missiles: Nature and impact

William H. Kincade

Paper 2.8. The implications of increased mobility, force diversification and counterforce capabilities for strategic arms control

Michael Krepon


Part III. New complications for international security

Paper 3.1. Modernization of British and French nuclear forces: Arms control and security dimensions

Edward A. Kolodziej

Paper 3.2. Chinese nuclear forces: Overview and ambitions

Richard W. Fieldhouse

Paper 3.3. Strategy, security and advanced computing

Allan M. Din

Paper 3.4. Emerging technology, exotic technology and arms control

Phil Williams


Part IV. Beyond the security dilemma

Paper 4.1. Battle management: The control of war, crisis and armed peace

William H. Kincade

Paper 4.2. Beyond the security dilemma: Technology, strategy and international security

Nicholas J. Wheeler and Ken Booth