Role of Conventional Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles in United States Military Strategy [open pdf - 2MB]
This study explores the role of conventional intercontinental ballistic missiles (CICBM) in United States military strategy and finds potential roles for CICBMs in three areas: conventional deterrence, operations other than war (QQTW), and fighting major regional conflicts (MRC). Conventional deterrence is the concept of deterring conventional warfare without using weapons of mass destruction as part of the threat. CICBMs are accurate, unmanned, and unaffected by weather, time of day, or enemy defenses. CICMBs would make a significant contribution to the United States ability to rapidly bring force to bear on the enemy. Army doctrine lists thirteen QOTW activities. CICBMs could have a role in six. They are: show of force, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, arms control, combating terrorism, peace enforcement, and attacks and raids. Using CICBMs would constitute an "attack, but the attack could support one of the other five activities. MRCs are the near-term future strategy and CICBMs have a clear role. CICBMs do not require deployment to theater Battlefield environment. The value of the CICBMs is enhanced when fighting two nearly-simultaneous MRCs.