This article examines the growth of the American nuclear strategy of counterforce, by investigating three factors which contributed to its successful development in the first Reagan administration. These factors are: first, the excessive worst-case forecasting of policy-makers in dealing with Moscow's military intentions and capabilities ; secondly, the technological hard-sell of the idea that "star wars" defenses in the future might protect the U.S. from a Soviet nuclear attack; and finally, the bureaucratic momentum of military demands for more weapons to satisfy organizational interests and the ideology of offense.
For some time now, within the sub-discipline of studies on security, a passionate debate has been opposing the supporters of research on peace and the theoreticians of strategic studies. This often emotional and controversial debate interferes considerably with the emergence of a truly scientific approach to the study of conflicts. It is from such an angle that this article reviews this dissension in strategic studies. It aims to assess and to criticize those arguments which dispute the legitimacy of the strategic approach in international relations. It is suggested that the factitious conflict between "pacifists" and "strategists" can and must be overcome in order for this sub-discipline to be recognised at truly university level.
Soon after the opening of hostilities between Iran and Iraq in September 1980, the Soviet Union offered military assistance to Tehran while simultaneously suspending arms deliveries to Baghdad, a formerly faithful client. Following Iran s refusal of assistance, and possibly in reaction to a percieved threat from the spreading of Iran's Islamic revolution, Moscow re-opened arms shipments to Iraq. This ambivalent behavior on the part of the Soviet Union is partially explained by the history of its interests in the region.
The Soviet Union has long Had strategic ambitions to bring Iran under its influence. Moscow welcomed any opportunity to increase economic and political des with Tehran even if in the short term the results were only partial. On the other hand, Iraq is an influential member of the Arab community - a useful relationship for the USSR, and one that while mutually1987 advantageous for both parties, has not required extensive commitments.
One cannot ignore the possibility that important events in the Gulf War will cause an abrupt shift in Soviet attitudes and actions in the region.