Conventional Deterrence

In This Review

Conventional Deterrence

By John J. Mearsheimer
Cornell University Press, 1983
296 pp. $29.50

Using a number of historical case studies, the author argues persuasively that, if one side has the capacity to launch a blitzkrieg, "conventional deterrence" is likely to fail. But, turning to the conventional balance in Europe, he concludes that the Warsaw Pact could not score a quick and decisive victory over NATO-in other words, the prospects for conventional deterrence in Europe are quite good. The value of new precision-guided weapons should not be overestimated-they will not render the tank extinct-but by reducing the chances of a successful direct blitzkrieg, they enhance deterrence. This is an intelligent, well-researched and organized study which should be of special value to professional strategists.

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