In 1974, the United States Department of Navy made an assessment of the nuclear missile capabilities of the US military. In this portion of the report, focus was made on current and future developments in the field of strategic missile development with the time frame of 1985-1990. Future combat scenarios explored included the likelihood of small scale conflict in Europe, holocaust scale war, and general peace. Future world relations explored included peaceful unification, turmoil, bipolar world, and various levels of fragmentation. The Soviet Union was a major concern outlined in the report, stating that their level of nuclear weapon delivery systems closely matched that of the United States. Differences were that the Soviet nukes had greater destructive power. Response methods to Soviet nuclear attacks were suggested and analyzed.
The report aims to understand how to mold the U.S. missile systems to best prepare for the near future. The Soviet Union is a key nuclear weapons threat. In the report, it is suggested that the existing precision based nuclear weapons system would be most effective at dismantling Soviet counterstrike.
“The ICBM force, the heart of which is the Minuteman series, continues to give us the accuracy, flexibility, and control necessary to deal with and thereby deter a wide range of attacks on military targets. It provides the most reliable source of limited response options so essential to nuclear deterrence under conditions of nuclear parity.”
This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).