||Seeking Strategic Stability: The US Approach to Mobile ICBMs at the End of the Cold War
69 , 2017-08-24
This paper reviews the debates within the US government at the end of the Cold War over mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and examines the positions of two distinct groups within US policymaking circles, which both sought strategic stability but whose positions were founded on different logics. The paper addresses the following three questions: (1) Within the Reagan administration, how were the two opposing groups formed? (2) Within the George H.W. Bush administration, to what extent did the two groups from the former administration persist, and how did they affect the debates over mobile ICBMs? (3) How did President Bush respond to the debates between the two groups over mobile ICBMs? This study of the debates over mobile ICBMs sheds light on different perceptions of the Soviet Union, approaches to arms control negotiations with the Soviets, and proposals for means to achieve strategic stability within the US policy circle at the end of the Cold War. It offers useful insights for further study on how the Bush administration perceived and managed the end of the Cold War.