chapter  3
24 Pages

On military capabilities: facts and methods of assessment

A number of methods have been developed to estimate military capabilities for evaluating the arms buildup and comparing the pre-war capabilities of one side against those of another. Yet the so-called ‘net assessment’ or the more broadly defined ‘correlation of forces’ in numerous analyses of the US-USSR, NATOWarsaw Pact, Arab-Israeli and North-South Korean military balance have produced more controversy than consensus. Since the East-West Cold War is ended with the disintegration of the huge Soviet military machine, the whole question of the US-USSR strategic nuclear balance or the conventional balance in Europe is academic. It turns out that the Soviet military power was not as formidable as it was evaluated to be by many pessimists in the West.1 The cold war is not over on the Korean Peninsula. In fact, assessing the Korean military balance, coupled with alarm over the North Korean nuclear programme is still one of the most important issues being discussed in South Korea’s national security policy and post-Cold War US military planning.2