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It is far more convenient simply to assume the opponent will behave rationally and reasonably, and thus predictably. , the balance of nuclear forces. When deterrence is defined only in terms of maintaining a particular level of military capability relative to an opponent, then it is not difficult to conclude that stability is relatively "easy" to calculate and predict. However, if the necessary decision-making variables identified above are taken into serious consideration, it is easy to understand that deterrence is a much more complicated process.

See, Jeffrey Record, "Defeating Desert Storm (and Why Saddam Didn't)," Comparative Strategy, Vol. 2 (April-June 1993), pp. 127-128. 50 The Fallacies of Cold War Deterrence and a New Direction aggression, we welcome confrontation .... The futile people say: How can Libya resist America? We have not said only that. We are all ready to perish, and we will not surrender to America. •m Extreme determination and commitment to an intangible goal often is attributed only to non-Western religious or ideological zealots.

S. strategic force posture. That is, conclusions are offered concerning how a specific change in strategic forces will affect the probability of war. " 23. Among the numerous examples see, Glenn A. Kent, Randall J. DeValk, and David E. Thaler, A Calculus of First-Strike Stability (A Criterion for Evaluating Strategic Forces), A RAND Note, N-2526-AF, June 1988; Paul L. Chzanowski, "Transition to Deterrence Based on Strategic Defense," Energy and Technology Review (January-February 1987), pp. 31-45; and Dean Wilkening, Kenneth Watman, Strategic Defenses and First-Strike Stability, R3412-FF/RC (Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, November 1986).

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