Letter to Defense News - 27th May 2011

In your leading article – SIZING UP THE FUTURE – May 23, 2011 – you write of “high-end forces needed [by the US] to fight against a sophisticated nation-state like China”.

Surely no-one in the US is contemplating fighting a war “against a sophisticated nation-state like China”?

It took the Soviet Union and the United States some two decades to realise war between them would be the end of each of them (and of their allies as well) and they settled for MAD – Mutual Assured Destruction, which amounted to the relative stabilities of Mutual Assured Deterrence.

Will something like this happen between the US and China?

From the recognition of MAD a degree of Arms Control could reasonably follow – and did: mutually agreed levels of Strategic Arms reduction.

Today things are somewhat different: just what is happening to “high-end forces” deterrence in the age of Cyber-war is hard to discern: are they vulnerable to unsuspectable hacking? Equally what may be the impact of Missile Defences?

Elizabeth Young

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