Strategic Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence

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Science  22 Jun 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4655, pp. 1306-1311
DOI: 10.1126/science.224.4655.1306


Command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3l) for nuclear forces are essential elements in the deterrence of nuclear war. The present C3l) system has vulnerabilities associated with its reliability, survivability, and endurance under attack, thereby weakening deterrence by increasing the ambiguity in our capabilities. Development of a reliable and enduring C3l) system would reduce this ambiguity. Its reliable, positive control of nuclear forces would give the national leadership more time to assess situations, ensure discriminate retaliation, and improve our ability to manage crises in general. These capabilities could help to stop a war rapidly should one start. A reliable and enduring C31) system will be needed for a long time to come, even if a freeze on strategic nuclear forces is accomplished or other arms control successes achieved. Indeed, C3l) may be the best source today of confidence-building measures to reduce tensions and the threat of nuclear catastrophe.