In this closely reasoned and lucid analysis, an important thinker on American strategy surveys weapons technology and its military and political implications for the 1970s. J. I. Coffey refutes the argument that American national security requires “superior” strategic offensive forces or extensive air and missile defenses. In so doing he assesses in simple terms the various factors involved in this complex and difficult subject.
While many books on strategy deal only with a single area or a particular weapons system, this work synthesizes technical and non-technical considerations across the whole range of national security issues affected by strategic power-war-fighting, deterrence, Communist behavior, alliance relationships, nuclear proliferation, and arms control. Its orderly and authoritative marshaling of tabulated data, its citations from Department of Defense documents and congressional hearings, and its classifications of the alternative options which strategy makers can now pursue, are all invaluable to both the student of national security and the professional strategist.