will swing the balance toward thendefense, for awhile.nIf Mearsheimer is right, then thenNATO defenses in Europe are in prettyngood shape, but they may not be enough.nHe stresses that caution is required:nFor the cases examined here shownthat when a nation has a powerfulnmotive for war, it will go to greatnlengths to find a suitable militarynstrategy. Military planners will bensubjected to unremitting pressure.nFurthermore, a defender who becomesncomplacent is likely to bensurprised, as were the Israelis in 1973nand the Allies in May 1940. Thencentral message for status quo powersnis clear; beware in a crisis, becausenyour opponent is seeking a way tondefeat you.nThis is alesson well worth rememberingnduring discussions about nuclear warnand worth keeping in mind when readingnPaul Bracken’s Command andnControl of Nuclear Forces, though it isnby no means Bracken’s principal theme.nHe mainly concentrates on examiningnthe interaction of intelligence, earlywarningnsystems, and the military andnpolitical control of strategic nuclearnweapons. Bracken is more concernednwith the possible developmerit of nuclearnwar by unintentional mutualn”escalation” in a crisis than with a “boltnfrom the blue” attack. Despite more thann22inChronicles of Culturena few genuflectiotts in the direction ofnliberal arms-control orthodoxy, some ofnhis conclusions should not be veryncomforting to the adherents of thatnprogram. Others won’t be very comfortingnto anyone else, either.nFor example, our warning and intelligencensystems are far from perfect, fornthe collectors of intelligence are bringingnin more data than can be used. Therenis a lack of the sort of oflScer or civiliannofficial who has an overall grasp ofndefense problems; most involved havenspecialized expertise. Bracken doubtsnthat nuclear war is likely to be precipitatednby a false alarm or an accident innthe usual sense. He suggests, in feict, thatnsafeguards and precautions built into thensystem, as well as a well-settled propensitynto dismiss a real attack as unthinkable,nrender a “mistake” unlikely—^butnthese things may, instead, lay us open tona surprise attack. Since Soviet strategicndoctrine, by Bracken’s own admission,nplaces great emphasis on “preemption”nand the value of surprise, the discussionnof this type of attack does merit morenspace than it receives.nBracken emphasizes the problem ofnunintentional war in a different way. Thendanger is not that some electronic partnwill go haywfre, but that control of thensituation may be lost in a crisis whennboth sides go on the alert and try toninterpret each other’s closely observednmoves on very short deadlines, fornnnwarning times are very short indeed.nHence, weapons that provide very shortnwarning time, e.g., the Pershing 2 missilenand the Soviet’s Yankee class missilefiringnsubmarines (which patrol off ournshores) are “destabilizing” and armsncontrol should focus on pullbacks ofnsuch weapons. Another point Brackenntries to make is that of the very likelynuncontrollable nature of a nuclear warnonce it gets started; a ceasefire is going tonbe very tough to arrange after things getngoing. This would appear to be a pointnscored against those who discuss thenpossibility of “limited” nuclear war—nthat is, an exchange of attacks directednagainst military forces, rather than thenmutual genocide people usually think ofnas nuclear war. However, this is not thencase, for Bracken warns that “decapitation”nattacks directed against politicalnleaders and military headquarters andncommunications might just permit annattacker to avoid retaliation by his victim.nWhatever the worth of Bracken’snevaluations, however, he gives a usefiilnaccount of oiu- nuclear warning systemsnand the evolution of American war plans.nMore important, the book reveals alarmingngaps in American warning and communicationnsystems. Some elements arenextremely vulnerable to sabotage ornother interruption. NORAD, the NorthnAmerican Air Defense Command Headquarters,napparently does not even havenan adequate emergency power supply.nMoreover, and it is a measure of thensilliness of much of the discussion ofnarms issues that this sort of thing doesnnot receive much attention—our missilesnmay not be very reliable, either.nAccording to Bracken, the Minutemannmissile, supposedly our main reliance,nhas received only three operational testsnsince the mid-1960’s, and all three testsnwere failures. If this is the case, then itnsuggests that one important feature ofnnuclear war fully reproduces a lessonntaught by past warfare: he who thinksnthat he can depend on peacetime preparations,nand dependably predict or dictatenthe course of events, once armednconflictisunleashed,isadamnedfi3oL Dn