Elizabeth H. Payne [Cover Art] Fairfax, VA: National Institute Press, 2008. First Printing [Stated]. Trade paperback. xiii, , 471,  pages. Figures. Foreword by Colin S. Gray. Introduction; Deterrence: In the Beginning; The "Stable" Balance of Terror Theory of Deterrence: A Multitude of Virtues; The Competition for U.S. Policy; The Balance of Terror: A Bipartisan Monarch; Extending Assured Destruction and Balance of Terror Tenets to Twenty-First Century Threats; End of the Line: "Rational" opponents Are Predictably "Deterrable"; What is New and Different? What Difference Does It mane for Deterrence and Defense?; On Nuclear Deterrence and Assurance; Index. Keith Payne is President and co-founder of the National Institute for Public Policy, a nonprofit research center. Dr. Payne most recently served in the Department of Defense as a Senior Advisor to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Previously he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Forces Policy for which he received the Distinguished Public Service Medal. Dr. Payne served for many years as the Chairman of the U.S. Strategic Command’s Senior Advisory Group, Strategy and Policy Panel. He also served as a Commissioner on the bipartisan Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board, and as co-chairman of the Department of Defense’s Deterrence Concepts Advisory Group,. He participated in the 1998 “Rumsfeld Study” of missile proliferation. Dr. Payne received a Ph.D. (with distinction) in international relations from the University of Southern California. The Great American Gamble examines the past, present and prospective future of U.S. deterrence theory, strategic forces, nuclear weapons and policy. It provides a detailed explanation of the competing schools of deterrence theory that emerged during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Based on an extensive review of previously classified documents, it demonstrates how and why U.S. Government policies came to adhere to the guidelines established by the theory of deterrence popularly called the balance of terror. Dr. Payne presents the assumptions, judgments and hopes that led U.S. policy makers in consecutive Republican and Democratic administrations to that choice. Acceptance of a balance of terror as official policy was challenged on occasion during the Cold War under both Democratic and Republican administrations, but it persisted as the lodestar for U.S. strategic policies. Most Americans presumed they were defended, but U.S. Government choices were predicated on the belief, as noted by Henry Kissinger; that vulnerability contributed to peace, and invulnerability contributed to war. Looking forward, the key question is to what extent the basic tenets of Cold War academic deterrence theory provide useful guidance to contemporary strategic policy given contemporary threats and conditions? The conclusion offered herein is that familiar Cold War guidelines are a manifestly imprudent basis for U.S. policy. Much of what we believed we knew about deterrence during the Cold War now appears to have been more fleeting hope than wisdom. Condition: Very good.
Keywords: Nuclear Weapons, Balance of Terror, Mutually Assured Destruction, Defense Policy, Arms Control, Ballistic Missile Defense, Cold War, First Strike, Herman Kahn, Leadership, Decision-making, Thomas Schelling, Strategic Forces