American Military Policy (Point Counterpoint) by Dr Alan Allport

By Dr Alan Allport

American army coverage is hotly debated.

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They are a permanent part of our lives, and rather than simply recoil from them in horror, we have to learn to control and harness their critical deterrent value. In this way, we may be able to avoid ever seeing them used again. 59 America Should Reduce Its Nuclear Arsenal n June 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a journal published by the nonprofit Educational Foundation for Nuclear Science, ran on its front cover the striking picture of a “Doomsday Clock,” with its minute hand pointing to seven minutes before midnight — meaning nuclear Armageddon.

The Reagan administration’s policy of building up America’s military strength proved so difficult for the financially weak Soviet Union to match that Mikhail Gorbachev, its leader after 1985, effectively abandoned the arms race and began a program of political and economic reforms—“Glasnost” and “Perestroika”— that eventually led to the collapse of the Communist bloc. S. policy of nuclear deterrence might have frightened and even appalled some, it ultimately paid off: The Soviet Union and its satellite dictatorships fell apart, to be replaced by new, generally more democratic regimes.

How severe do you think an attack would have to be for the United States to actually put its nuclear arsenal to use? Does the fact that a nuclear retaliation is highly unlikely make enemies less intimidated by the United States? This is an alarming prospect, but it underlines more than ever the need for the United States to retain its nuclear deterrent. There is some argument about whether the traditional MAD policy will be enough to keep unstable regimes in check. This is driving the debate over the costs and benefits of an additional Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) program.

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