Potential Soviet Responses to a Nato Retaliatory Offensive Strategy
This chapter focuses on the types of political-diplomatic and military responses as analysts seek to answer how the USSR would respond to a hypothetical North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) adoption of a retaliatory offensive strategy. A Soviet political-diplomatic assault in Western Europe in response to a proposed NATO retaliatory offensive strategy doubtlessly also would emphasize the divergence of West European and American interests. NATO's assertions that an offensive into Eastern Europe would be launched only in the event of a Warsaw Pact attack on Western Europe may carry some weight in offsetting the probable Soviet assertion, but how much is open to debate. The chapter argues that the Soviet Union has a variety of options to choose for its response to a NATO retaliatory offensive strategy. It concludes with an assessment of the impact the political-diplomatic and military combined responses may have on deterrence in Europe and beyond.