Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cross-Domain DeterrenceStrategy in an Era of Complexity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Eric Gartzke and Jon R. Lindsay

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190908645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190908645.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 February 2020

Signaling with Secrets

Signaling with Secrets

Evidence on Soviet Perceptions and Counterforce Developments in the Late Cold War

Chapter:
(p.205) 10 Signaling with Secrets
Source:
Cross-Domain Deterrence
Author(s):

Brendan Rittenhouse Green

Austin G. Long

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190908645.003.0010

How do you credibly communicate a threat that you cannot reveal? This problem is endemic for modern space and cyberspace capabilities, but the challenge of secrecy constraints in cross-domain deterrence is not a new phenomenon. During the late Cold War, nuclear forces deterred conventional attack, theater nuclear forces deterred strategic nuclear escalation, and conventional threats to nuclear capabilities deterred conventional attack. Some of these capabilities, particularly intelligence collection and electronic datalinks, depended on sensitive tactics and technologies that could not be revealed lest the enemy develop effective countermeasures. Secrecy created uncertainty about the true balance of power, which should have made conflict more likely, according to rationalist theory. This chapter shows, however, that the United States was able to use several mechanisms to communicate its capabilities to the Soviet Union without thoroughly compromising the ability to use them. Leveraging historical evidence from senior Soviet leadership, the chapter argues that U.S. nuclear counterforce strategy, which leveraged clandestine capabilities in many domains, nevertheless was effective in shaping Soviet perceptions and influencing Soviet policy.

Keywords:   Cold War, nuclear weapons, nuclear counterforce, deterrence, cross-domain deterrence, secrecy, Soviet leadership

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .