War Scare: Russia and America on the Nuclear Brink

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 1999 - History - 340 pages
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Why do some American intelligence officials maintain fallout shelters and private contingency plans to evacuate their families in the event of a Russian nuclear strike—even in today's post-Cold War era of U.S.-Russian partnership? The frightening answer lies within the pages of War Scare, a terrifying assessment of the prospect for nuclear holocaust in our day. Written by Peter Vincent Pry, a former CIA military analyst, War Scare provides a history of our country's little-known brushes with nuclear war and warns that, contrary to popular opinion and the assurances of our political leaders, the possibility of a Russian attack still exists. Nuclear deterrence has been the foundation of Western security for the last 50 years, but since the end of the Cold War, Russian military doctrine has become more destabilizing, and much more dangerous, than is commonly believed.

By making use of a wealth of declassified and unclassified material, Dr. Pry illustrates how Russia's brutal past continues to shape the consciousness and decision making of its leaders, many of whom are unreconstructed ideologues from the old Soviet regime. Gripped by a perpetual perception of imminent threat—a war scare—the Russian General Staff, which controls the technical capability of launching a nuclear strike, has shown itself to be unstable at best. The author explores recent history and near-disasters such as the Bosnian crisis, the Norway missile incident, and U.S. air strikes on Iraq from the perspective of the Russian General Staff, believing that only by understanding their viewpoint can we minimize the risk of unintentionally provoking a deadly attack. Wary of NATO expansion and reeling from the Russian economy's descent into chaos, the General Staff may interpret Western military exercises and operations in the Middle East and elsewhere as concealing surprise aggression against Russia. This is a grave situation, indeed, as even after the START I, II, and III agreements, Russia will retain enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world—not to mention significantly expanded chemical and biological warfare capability. War Scare convincingly shows that we ignore these facts at our peril.

  

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War scare: Russia and America on the nuclear brink

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The arrival of the year 2000 will find humankind's basket of worries distressingly full, with issues like Y2K, global warning, and biological terrorism lurking around the corner. Yet how many ... Read full review

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Contents

December 121979
3
Operation VRYAN May 1981
9
The Pershing II Crisis May 1981 November 1983
16
The Polish Crisis September December 1981
23
The KAL 007 Crisis September 1983
27
ABLE ARCHER November 2111983
33
The Death of Andropov February 1984
45
August Coup The Fall of the Soviet Empire August 19211991
51
Democracy of the Generals
131
Rutskoy
137
The Warning Alexandria Virginia June 111993
145
Whos Got the Button?
149
Ukraine and the Hot September
158
Live on Larry King
170
Northern Lights The Norwegian Missile Crisis January 251995
183
Dangerous Men
185

Gorbachev at 20000 Feet August 41991
53
Kryuchkovs Coup August 181991
57
The Warsaw Pact Crisis 19891990
64
Twilight August 181991
69
Operation THUNDER and the Fall of the Old Guard
77
The CoverUp
83
The Armenian Crisis May 1992
87
The New Russia
89
The US Threat
99
The Great Debate May 27301992
102
The RussoUkrainian Nuclear Crisis October 1991May 1992
109
War in the Caucasus Genesis
114
The October Coup September 21 October 41993
129
Aurora Borealis
195
Dark History
203
Black Brant XII
214
Dangerous Minutes
228
The West
241
Black Prophecies Civilian Threat Perceptions
249
START A More Dangerous Balance
255
Winning a Nuclear War
262
Flashpoints
273
Selected Sources
295
Index
323
Copyright

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Page xii - We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the costs of world-wide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth— but neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must be faced.
Page xiii - In our recent NIE, the Intelligence Community reaffirmed earlier assessments that the current threat to North America from unauthorized or accidental launch of Russian or Chinese strategic missiles remains remote and has not changed significantly from that of the past decade.

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About the author (1999)

PETER VINCENT PRY, formerly with the CIA, is currently a professional military advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives on national security issues.

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