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One of the characteristics of the current world-wide military situation is the broad acceptance of the decreasing likelihood of general nuclear war. This situation is variously described as mutual deterrence, the balance of terror, or as the Pax Ballistica. However termed, it describes a situation where both the United States and the Soviet Union are adjudged to possess the nuclear striking power necessary to inflict unacceptable damage upon the other in an all-out war. Particularly in the case of the United States, this capability is further adjudged sufficient to sustain the weight of a Soviet first strike and still respond with adequate force to cause this unacceptable damage. A considerable portion of this assured U. S. second-strike capability is embodied in our Polaris submarines.
The deterrence is mutual because both the United States and the Soviet Union accept and respect the nuclear capability of the other. Secretary Robert S. McNamara has emphasized this point in his annual posture statements to the Committees of the Congress during the past few years. Soviet actions have spoken louder than their words in emphasizing their understanding of the situation, and even the words of their leaders have indicated a very clear appreciation of the perils of all-out nuclear war. This mutual deterrence is based primarily, of course, upon mutual familiarity with the tremendous destructive power of the weapons involved, but it is also very probably based, in part at least, upon a mutual appreciation of the unknown dangers of unforeseen chain of events which this type of conflict would surely entail.
Obviously the maintenance of an assured second strike capability is the military task of highest priority in our national defense establishment. Coupled with other considerations for damage-limiting (i.e., fall-out shelters, missile defenses, bomber defenses, and ASW), it affects, if not the actual physical survival, at least the preservation of our American culture and way of life. Because the consequences of such a conflict are so severe, means to avert it, or to limit damage, are necessarily of prime
importance, no matter how unlikely the conflict may be. The chances of such a war being started by accident, miscalculation, or an irrational act are enhanced greatly by the proliferation of nuclear weapons that has occurred already, and more so by the further proliferation that is almost sure to occur in the future. Nevertheless, the chances are still low for at least some time to come.
Not only is there a decreasing likelihood of general nuclear war but also there is a corresponding decreasing likelihood of large-scale limited war directly between the forces of the Soviet Union and the United States. Here again, the threat of escalation to a nuclear exchange is the primary operative factor. Here again, the stakes are large, and preservation of an adequate U. S. capability to fight such a war is required. And here again, there has been at least a provisional judgment that forces do exist to give us that capability. From the Navy’s point of view, the only major threat to our control of the sea is the Soviet submarine force. Even though that force is a very substantial threat, geographic factors, among others, give us an advantage which is likely to be decisive. Indeed, the existence and maintenance of such a superiority would give the United States a very desirable option to initiate war at sea if there is a need to redress Soviet pressure upon land.
However, all the empirical evidence of U. S. and Soviet actions indicates a mutual desire to avoid this type of war and indeed to avoid any national confrontation that would increase its possibilities. After the Cuban missile crisis, where such a confrontation did occur, Secretary McNamara made the following statement:
We cannot preclude the possibility that the Soviet Union might seek to establish a direct military presence in other parts of the world as they did in Cuba. But we believe that they are well aware of the dangers inherent in a direct confrontation between United States and Soviet military power in those areas where we hold a distinct military advantage.
Soviet leaders have on numerous occasions precisely and specifically indicated that they are well aware of the dangers of total nuclear war and also of the escalatory danger of limited war between major powers. Their actions to avoid a direct confrontation, with the exception of Cuba which probably reinforced the policy, have been even more indicative than their words. The Soviets probably mean it, at least with regard to nuclear war, when they say, “The question of peace has been and remains the cardinal issue of all contemporary life.”
This decreasing likelihood of general nuclear war, or of limited war directly between the forces of the United States and the Soviet Union, does not mean a corresponding decrease in the incidence of all forms of violence.
On the contrary, actual experience in the post-World War II era indicates a definite rise in the incidence of violence. Further, this rise is growing at an increasing rate. The actual numbers vary somewhat, depending upon where the line is drawn—for example, between common banditry and political terrorism. But however that line and others may be drawn, there is an obvious and definite increase. The figure on page 38 shows one compilation of the Frequency of Major Political Violence, 1900-1965 by years. The rate of increase is dramatically apparent.
Causes for the increase in violence are many and varied. They are associated primarily with the world of revolutionary change within which we live. Our world is characterized by a multitude of newly emerging nations, many of which have a weak economic base and a shortage of trained administrators (not only in government but in all sectors of modern life), are rent by tribal antagonisms and are further distressed by endemic poverty, disease, and susceptibility to natural disasters. There is a revolution of rising expectations, but the material, economic, and political base to support these rising expectations in many cases is not yet in being. The relative gap between the rich nations and the poor ones, between the haves and have-nots, is growing rather than narrowing. Still another factor that makes for violence is the tremendous population explosion, concentrated in many cases in the new, unstable, poor countries. Such an explosion intensifies the disregard for the value of human life which already existed in many of these localities.
Paradoxically, the Pax Ballistica supports rather than deters this growth of violence. Possession of such technologically advanced and overwhelmingly destructive power by the United States and by the Soviet Union, in fact, inhibits our ability and theirs to use military power effectively in the kind of world in which we live. With the tremendous power of these two adversaries largely circumscribed by the mutual deterrence of the Pax Ballistica, there is a real opportunity for the lesser powers of the world, many of them in fact militarily insignificant, to act independently on a wide range of issues that do not affect the vital interests of either the United States or of the Soviet Union. Indeed, in some respects and with regard to some issues, the new, small, weak nations can act as the equivalents of the major powers. Voting in the General Assembly of the United Nations is a ready example, but there are many others.
Interwoven with and reinforcing this diffusion of effective power, caused in large part by the Pax Ballistica, is the divisive polycentric trend in both East and West. The gulf between China and the Soviet Union and the increasingly independent, or at least less dependent, policies of the Warsaw Pact countries are examples in the East as are the status
of NATO and the policies of France in the West.
All of this increases the likelihood of violence. Leftist revolutionaries frequently resort to internal violence as a method of breaking up the old order. At the same time, nationalistic rulers of newly independent countries with a penchant for adventure see in external violence a means of diverting criticism from policies and problems at home.
Much of the violence is Communist inspired and certainly the Communists seek to profit by it. Both the Soviet Union and Communist China have indicated very clearly that they consider revolutionary violence as the wave of the future for Communism. Chairman Khrushchev identified “Wars of National Liberation” as “just” wars and further stated that it was the policy of the Soviet Union to support such wars. Communist Chinese Defense Minister Lin Piao has been even more positive in identifying the interest of Communist China in supporting and in fomenting “Peoples Wars,” which he considers to be the way to defeat “U. S. imperialism and its lackeys.”
With the global interests of the United States, and with our status as a foremost world power, it is not surprising that much of this violence has affected us. In over two-thirds of the 66 years of this century, our forces have been engaged in actual combat—in China, the Philippines, Central America, the Caribbean, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and during patrol operations. With our stake in the world, we are inevitably involved in the violence that fills the world.
It is, of course, true that we do not necessarily oppose all violence. We, too, have a revolutionary heritage and there have been and surely will be instances where the violence in fact works towards our ends or goals. However, as the wealthiest nation in the world—the “have” nation par excellence— it is obvious that in more cases than not the violence will oppose our interests.
More than 90 conflicts in the lower spectrum of war that have occurred in the last 20 years are located by this map. Practically all of the violence of which the author speaks has taken place "South of Thirty” degrees of North Latitude. The violence is increasing and there is a high probability that the United States will be increasingly involved.
In an “earth filled with violence” it is interesting to look at the geographical as well as the temporal distribution of this contemporary phenomenon. The map below depicts about 100 conflicts in the lower spectrum of war since World War II. The concentration “South of Thirty” degrees north latitude is readily apparent. Many authorities have commented upon the possibility or probability of a 90-degree shift in the political axis of the world with the North-South problems replacing those of East-West as a major source of conflict. The map tends to support this
thesis. The violence is “South of Thirty;” the violence is increasing; and there is a high probability that the United States will be involved in violence, “South of Thirty,” on an increasing scale.
It is interesting and instructive to note that the Defense Minister of Communist China and the Secretary of Defense of the United States have each, for separate reasons, voiced this conviction that underdevelopment breeds violence and that such violence will be the critical factor in the future. Lin Piao has stated:
Taking the entire globe, if North America and Western Europe can be called “the cities of the world,” then Asia, Africa, and Latin America constitute “the rural areas of the world” ... In a sense, the contemporary world revolution also presents a picture of the encirclement of cities by rural areas. In the final analysis, the whole cause of world revolution hinges on the revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African, and Latin American peoples who make up the overwhelming majority of the world’s population.
Secretary McNamara has said:
The conclusion to all of this is blunt and inescapable: Given the certain connection between economic stagnation and the incidence of violence, the years that lie ahead for the nations in the southern half of the globe are pregnant with violence . . . but though all these caveats are clear enough—the irreducible fact remains that our security is related directly to the security of the newly developing world.
The correspondency in these two assessments testifies to the importance of the southern portion of the world and both predict increasing violence.
There are at least three sets of factors, occasioned by the particular geographic distribution, affecting the naval response to this increasing violence. First of all, “South of Thirty” is the underdeveloped area of the world. Maps of the distribution of low per capita income, of percentage of rural population, of low per capita protein consumption, or of the incidence of malaria, to cite a few examples, demonstrate a remarkable correspondency. Additionally, these areas chart the highest percentage of population increases. They are poor, underdeveloped, rural, and disease-ridden, as well as (or therefore) violent. Underdevelopment carries with it an inadequate infrastructure. There is an acute shortage of roads, railroads, airfields, port and storage facilities—all the things that go to make up modern communication and transportation networks.
“South of Thirty” is also the maritime area of the world. The southern hemisphere is the ocean hemisphere. It is also the island hemisphere. Both Latin America and Africa south of the Sahara are islands in a military sense or with regard to communications and transpor
tation. In this sense, these areas are similar to the islands of Oceana, the East and West Indies, and isolated spots in the South Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. The way to the rich, developed, urban north is by sea and air.
Thirdly, in a military sense, “South of Thirty” is characterized by an absence of sophisticated forces and weapons. The gun, the knife, the gasoline fire bomb, even spears and bamboo stakes are the weapons. The primary military danger is centered about insurgency, not about conventional war.
In assessing any requirements it is necessary to weigh the difference between a less likely but more vital threat, and a less vital but more likely one. This is exactly the case with naval requirements “South of Thirty” as they affect all of our naval requirements. The need for an adequate response to the vital threat is paramount, but at the same time there must be a careful balance to ensure that disproportionate resources are not so committed, to the exclusion of means to counter the more likely threat. The right war to be ready for is the one we are going to have to fight. We must maintain our nuclear deterrent forces and we must be able to fight and win a large scale conventional war, but we also need to be able to counter revolutionary violence.
The basic solutions to revolutionary violence are not military. The violence erupts as a result of underlying social and economic conflict—to a large extent the conflict associated with the disparity between the revolution of rising expectations and the material and economic base required to support that revolution. However, military power is useful, and military action is frequently required, either to prevent or in response to such eruptions, so that political, economic, and social measures can operate in an environment where they will have a chance to ameliorate the underlying causes of conflict. Again there is a paradox. In many cases military action alone cannot stop the conflict, but at the same time the conflict cannot be stopped without effective military action.
Not only are the basic solutions to revolutionary violence non-military, they are also not primarily the concern of the United States. Effective solutions require effective action by the indigenous leaders. In the military field, as in others, the United States can help and part of this military help can and should be naval.
In the first place, the Armed Forces can help in the training and equipment of indigenous military forces through the Military Assistance Programs. This is the best possible way to build military strength for this type of conflict, because it increases the competence and self-reliance of the Free World at the same time that it adds a component of military strength.
The Armed Forces can also help in non-
military areas through civic action programs. The military possess skills in construction, medicine, sanitation, organization, administration and the like which are often directly applicable to the needs of the country concerned. Further, in many underdeveloped countries, it is easier to transmit these skills through military rather than through civilian channels. Our military and our Navy can contribute to nation-building.
In the more traditional military role, the Navy can contribute towards the stability of those areas threatened by revolutionary violence in the same manner as in areas threatened by other forms of violence. The U. S. military presence helps. It cannot do the job alone, but it helps. The presence of forces in being lends support to the government, and the presence of American “ambassadors in uniform” among the civilian population strengthens ties between the United States and the people of the country concerned. The Navy is particularly suited for this role because the presence of the force can be as obvious or as subtle as the situation dictates, and sailors on liberty do not present the kinds of problems associated with military forces actually stationed on foreign soil.
As any particular situation deteriorates the Navy can help with intelligence and surveillance. Both of these functions play a key role in countering insurgency. While the best intelligence in a peoples war comes from the people themselves, still the more sophisticated means of surveillance and obtaining intelligence also provide meaningful information. This is particularly true in the case where indigenous insurgency is being supported or even at times fomented or directed by foreign external forces.
In this latter event, the Navy can do more than merely participate in the intelligence and surveillance effort. Here the Navy can also participate in the effort to interdict this foreign support and direction. The Navy air and sea effort in Vietnam is one example, but better examples are the naval patrol off Venezuela or Guatemala or the quarantine of Cuba. Given the maritime geography south of the Thirtieth Parallel, maritime forces will be effective in isolating insurgency from foreign support. Such isolation, in itself, may well not be enough to quell the insurgency but it obviously makes the job easier.
When an insurgency has progressed to Phase II or Phase III, naval forces, along with other forces, are required in an actual combat role. The Navy’s role in any combat situation is unique, because of the water environment, but this singularity is emphasized in the underdeveloped economic, maritime physical, and unsophisticated military geography that exists “South of Thirty.”
The mission of our Navy is to control the sea in order to use sea communications, to deny the use of the sea to our enemies, and to
use the sea ourselves to project our power ashore. Use of sea communications is vital to the employment of any U. S. forces overseas. This central fact is particularly evidenced by the sea transport statistics for Vietnam. Denial of the sea to the enemy helps isolate the violence from external support and assistance. In countering insurgency, using the sea to project our power ashore has important advantages in mobility and quick reaction. Further advantages derive from the lessened vulnerability, reduced dollar costs, and decreased adverse political effects through avoidance of fixed bases ashore. This is particularly true in the southern portion of the world because of the underdeveloped infrastructure that exists in that area.
Using our control of the sea to help counter insurgency “South of Thirty” does require, however, some shifts in emphasis in weapons systems, in deployment patterns, in training, and particularly in our own thinking, if we are to achieve the levels of effectiveness which are possible. Among these shifts is increased emphasis on less sophisticated weapon systems. This follows from two factors:
• “South of Thirty” is the area of the reduced threat. Only the Soviet Union today possesses forces strong enough and sophisticated enough to provide any kind of a serious threat against our forces at sea. At least in a non-nuclear environment, even this threat is relatively small. The Soviet forces are north of Thirty. Other nations, both Communist and
FREQUENCY OF MAJOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE 1900-1965
Number Of Occurrences Per Year
1 1 MB
\ Si Um
L l h M
1900 10 20 30 40 45 50 55 60 64 65
A graduate of the Naval Academy with the Class of 1940, Captain Chase has served at sea in carriers, cruisers, and destroyers. He has commanded the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754); Destroyer Division 192; and the USS Boston (CAG-1). Ashore he has served in BuOrd, in the Special Projects Office, and in the Office of Program Appraisal. He is an ordnance postgraduate from M.I.T. in 1948, and a graduate of Armed Forces Staff College in 1954, and Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1960. He is currently stationed at the Naval War College in Newport where he is Director of the School of Naval Warfare.
in the non-committed category, have received substantial amounts of Soviet equipment as part of military aid programs. However, in almost every case, even first-line Soviet equipment is significantly degraded in maintenance and operation anywhere outside the Soviet Union and the European countries of the Warsaw Pact.
• “South of Thirty” is also the area of insurgency and counterinsurgency. This type of conflict calls for and indeed requires simplicity in the weapons employed. It also calls for quick reaction if we are to counter outbreaks of violence rapidly.
Therefore, the need in this area tends towards larger numbers of simpler and cheaper weapon systems while the simultaneous need north of Thirty tends towards relatively fewer numbers of more sophisticated and more expensive weapon systems. Both needs must be met. The problem is to obtain a balance. Since our efforts for many years have been directed north of Thirty it is not surprising that “South of Thirty” needs more emphasis.
Our current experience in Vietnam is instructive with regard to the types of weapon systems needed in the southern areas. Certainly there are implications to the use of A-l aircraft and to future introduction of COIN aircraft, to employment of the USS Intrepid (CVS-ll) in a limited attack role, to the need for shallow draft, relatively high speed, inshore patrol craft, to all sorts of expanded roles for helicopters, to the serious mine threat and the need for improved mine countermeasures, and, of course, to a whole new family of muddy water naval craft in the field of riverine warfare.
The dichotomy north and south of Thirty also influences the deployment requirements of our Navy. Since the sophisticated opposing forces associated with the Soviet threat are north of Thirty it follows that our more sophisticated units need to be similarly deployed. In the years to come, with almost certain incipient violence continuing to be widespread throughout the southern areas, our deployments in those areas will tend to become more numerous with simpler and smaller forces.
The association with training follows almost automatically. The current emphasis, occasioned by Vietnam, on counterinsurgency and riverine warfare training, for example, is more likely to increase rather than fall off with the future.
The most important aspect of all these shifts of emphasis, in weapon systems, in deployment patterns, and in training, is the need for a corresponding shift of emphasis in our thinking. This shift in thinking.extends beyond questions of weapon system's, deployments, and training to include any and all ways of improving our ability to use the sea to project our power ashore. As Secretary Paul H. Nitze has remarked, we “need to respond to Communist subversion by the remolding of international concepts of law and order with naval actions in the forefront.”
If we are to respond to the more likely threat of the future, “ South of Thirty,” without forfeiting our ability to counter the less likely but more critical threat north of thirty degrees, we must build even more flexibility into our naval forces and our naval thinking. We face an increasing challenge, but that challenge carries with it an increasing opportunity to contribute to the strength of the United States and of the Free World.
It Makes a Difference
Shortly after the end of World War I, the British Naval Attache at Constantinople forwarded to the Admiralty a report on the inspection of Turkish warships, which he had been ordered to carry out to make certain that the armistice terms were properly executed. In it he told how he had observed framed notices hanging in the magazines of one ship, and had been told that these were prayers for the men stationed there to repeat during lulls in battle.
A few days later he had inspected another ship, but in her magazines there were no such notices. He remarked to her Captain that he appeared not to have the same confidence in the efficacy of prayer as did some of his comrades. The Captain thought for a moment and then said, “Me, Sir, I receive my training in the British Navy.”
Contributed by Captain S. W. Roskill, Royal Navy
★ ★ ★
Enough Men to Put Down One Revolution
Assigned as Assistant Naval Attache in Baghdad, I was on TAD in Cairo when word was received of a revolt in Baghdad. It was reported that the King and the Crown Prince were being dragged through the streets, the British Embassy was afire, and the U. S. Embassy was surrounded.
As another officer and I entered our Embassy in Cairo, we greeted the Marine on duty at the desk.
“Well, Corporal, it sounds like they’re whooping it up in Baghdad. Are you and the rest of the boys ready to go and lend the Baghdad Embassy guards a hand?”
The Corporal drew himself up taut and in a surprised tone replied,
“I don’t know why we should have to do that, Lieutenant, they’ve got an eight-man detachment there.”
-------------------------------------------------- Contributed by Commander R. E. Bublitz, U. S. Navy
(The Naval Institute will pay $10.00 for each anecdote published in the Proceedings.)