Winter Semester 2000


Your Name___________________________________________________

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 11 January 2000


Prof’s Questions: (1) “It is possible to shape and control our future and a knowledge of history is necessary to do so successfully.” Agree or disagree?  (2) “War is an inevitable, not necessarily bad, result of human society. Consequently, human society will survive war.” [Useful info in pondering this question: About 5 tons of explosive energy was required to kill a civilian in W.W.II.  During the Cold War, more than 30 billion tons of nuclear explosive energy was available to be quickly used by the major powers.]   Agree or disagree? Why?  (3) “Man is a tool-using animal” and weapons are just another set of tools.  Agree or disagree? Why? (4) “Humans have shaped, and been shaped by, their tools.  Hence weapons have been significant in the evolution of human society.” Agree or disagree? Why? (5) “Defensive means, e.g., the shield, have always been found to counter new offensive tools, e.g., the spear, and vice-versa.” Agree or disagree? Why? (6) “It is possible to uniquely differentiate between offensive and defensive weapons.” Agree or disagree? ?  (7) There are two possible responses to a new weapon - “symmetrical” and” counter”, and the former is much more prevalent. Agree or disagree? Why?   (8)...the basis for the claim that an effective BMD capacity is impossible is much stronger than the basis of the nineteenth-century claim that  humans would never fly in a heavier-than-air craft.” Agree or disagree (9) Weapons secrecy allow one side to dominate indefinitely. Agree or disagree? Why?

Your Answers

Group Answers

Thursday, 13 January 2000


Prof’s Questions: (1) What is the “nuclear dilemma”?  (2)  What is “offense dominence”?  How can an  offense posture be “defensive”?  (3)  How is a nomadic society different from an urban-peasant society?  What are its relative military advantages and disadvantages? (4) What has theft got to do with war? (5) “Feudalism in Europe is the result of technological changes.”  Agree or diagree? Why?  (6)  The mounted European knight and the Greek phalanx  are different ways of fighting.  What is the technological base for these differences? What do these differences tell us about the differences in the two societies?  (7) “Technological advances led to the superiority of the West over China” Agree or diagree? Why? (8)  What is the difference between “interspecific violence”  and “intraspecific violence”?  How do the weapons used in these two situations differ?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 18 January 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) How did soil fertility determine type of social organization?  (2)  How did merchants support/disturb the kingdoms of the ancient and medieval worlds?  (3)  How does a market culture differ from, and undermine, a traditional village culture?  (4)  Is a city just a large village or fundamentally different?  what are the military implications of the growth of cities?  (5) What was the role of “the bankers” in military affairs?  who were they?  (6) What are the relative advantages, disadvantages, of market and command economies in securing military power?  Give examples.  (7) What was the “military-commercial complex”?  Why did it succeed more at sea?  (8)  How and why did the power of knights wax and wane?  (9)  What is the difference, with respect to role in society, between knight and soldier and what were the differences in their training? (10)  What’s the difference between a mercenary and a soldier?  (11) How did the role of citizen, in defense of their community, change with time?  How did these military roles effect civil roles and vice-versa?  (12)  What’s the difference between a bureaucratized military and a “free lance” military?  (13)  What were the relative advantages and disadvantages of the long bow and the cross bow and what are the social implications of these differences?  (14)  Where, how, and why, did guns evolve?  (15) What were the two “bronze ages” and how did they effect society?  (16) Why and how did iron substitute for bronze militarily?  (17)  Was the cannon a defensive or an offensive weapon?  (18)  What were the strengths and weaknesses of the “tercio”?  (19)  Why did the Mediterranean naval powers lose their initial primacy to the North Atlantic states? (20) Did the non-European powers cease military innovation?  If so, why?  (21) Did Europe lead the rest of the world in other-than-military innovation and, if so, why?  (22)  What, and why, were the differences between Europe’s military impact internally, peripherally, and at great distances?

Thursday, 20 January 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) What is the smallest possible unit of: water, oxygen, helium, iron?  (2) What is the difference between a hydrogen atom and a hydrogen molecule?  (3)  Describe the structure and constituents of U-239.  What would be the mass of a lump of U-238 containing the same number of molecules as one gram of hydrogen? (4)  I triple the mass and double the speed of a cross-bow bolt; how does this change the amount of work the bolt can do on it’s target armor?  If the armor material doesn’t change, how much thicker armor can the new bolt penetrate? (5) If the wave length of an X-ray is one-thousandth of that of visible light, how do the two frequencies compare? How does the energy, per photon, of the two radiations compare?  (6)  I heat a gas from 0 to 100 degrees Celsius; what change occurs in the average speed of its molecules?  (7) If the energy in your daily diet could be bought at the rate at which you buy electrical energy, how much would it cost to feed you per day?  How many daily diets is represented by one “megaton”?  (8)  Will a bomb, exploding next to a ship, do more damage to the ship’s hull if it explodes in the air (above the waterline) or in the water (below the waterline)?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 25 January 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) How were so few Europeans able to overthrow the complex societies inhabited and defended by so many indigenous Americans?  What effects did this have “back home”? (2)  Compare Russian and British expansionism during the 17th -18th centuries.  (3) What were the four limitations in the use of military power among the European nations during these centuries?  How, when, and where, were these limitations broken?  (4)Who were Jean Maritz and Gribevauval, what were their accomplishments, and what were the reactions to them?  (5) What were the relative roles of the bourgeois and the nobility in the European armies of these times?  (6) Compare the roles of private and military-governmental enterprises in pushing industrial innovation in the Europe of these times.  (7) What was the role of population growth in the Europe of these times and how did the various nations cope with it?  (8)  What was the role of the Army in the French Revolution?  In what ways did the Army change, in what ways remain he same, as a result of the Revolution?  How did these changes effect other armies?  (9)  How did the availability of transport effect the Napoleanic Wars and their outcome?  (10)  What was the connection between the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution?  (11)  What was the impact, on civil and military affairs, of the creation of the Prussian “Great General Staff”?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 27 January 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1)  What was the role of commercial shipping in the evolution of naval warfare? (2), What was the role of the English-French rivalry in the evolution of naval warfare? Why were armies slower to change than navies?  (3)What was the cause of the Crimean War, how was it decided, and what did it presage?  (4)  What is the difference between muskets and rifles, breech-loading and muzzle-loading guns? Compare their history and use in civil and military affairs.  (5) What was the impact of the”American system of manufacture” on European civil and military life?  (6) What were the lessons of the American Civil War? Were they learned?  Did they have any impact upon the European powers?  (7)  What was the Prussian model of war, how did it differ from those of its contemporary nations, and what were its consequences?  (8)  Explain: “escape from freedom was often a real liberation”, “army officers” ..[had]..a Janus-like role”. (9)  Compare the role of private and state arms manufacturers. (10)  Compare the American and the European impacts upon the rest of the world in the nineteenth century.

Tuesday, 1 February 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) Who were J.A. Fisher,  A.T.Mahan, Adm. Tirpitz, and what were their impacts? (2) What was the impact of the democratization of English politics on the European naval arms race?  How did fear of democracy influence German military development?  (3)  What was the military impact of the growth of the iron and steel industry during the Napoleanic wars?  (4)  Why did the late 19th century technological innovations have more impact upon the navy than upon the army?  (5) What was the impact of foreign trade and industrial rivalries upon the European arms race?  What about the rivalry between government armories and private arms manufacturers? (6) What was the “military-industrial complex”?  (7)  How did the European arms race in the last quarter of the 19th century differ from that in the third quarter? (8)  What was the impact of the arms race on parliamentary democracy?  (9) Compare the evolution of the Anglo-French rivalry with that of the Anglo-German one. (10) What was the role of the torpedo, of the Dreadnought, of Krup, in the European naval arms race?  (11)  Was the “better” military machine always adopted?   In this era, which was “boss” - people or technology? (12) What was the difference between the battle cruiser and the battleship?  (13)  What was the “two -power standard”?  (14)  What was the Schlieffen plan and what were its implications?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 3 February 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) “How did the Thirty Years War” differ from its predecessors and followers? How were its consequences different in Eastern and Western Europe?(2) Who was Grotius and what was his significance? (3) What was the relation between “war” and “national security” in the years before the twentieth century?  (4) What was the “Concert of Europe”? (5) When and why did “spheres of influence” become important and dangerous?  (6)What did W.W.I do to Western Civilization?  (7) Trace the role of ideological conflict, world connectivity, and technological “progress’ in world history.  (8) What is meant by “the technology of technology”?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 8 February 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) Describe three theories which have been advanced to explain the extreme bloodiness of the wars of the Twentieth Century.  (2) What were the initial expectations, and results, of the participants in W.W.I? How did the “Schlieffen Plan” contribute to the shortfall of Germany’s war supplies? (2) How did France manage production of war materials and what did they accomplish in early W.W.I? How did this compare with British, Russian, American, and German efforts? (3)  Why did the Germans intensify their war effort after 1916?  What were the results? (4) What is meant by “command invention”? What about “command society” (“national socialism”)?  (5)  Explain: “...freedom and justice changed sides when people ceased to believe that victory at any price was a self-evident good.”  Why did Russia leave the war? (6) What was the source of the interwar German feeling that they had “been stabbed in the back”? What was the effect of this belief?  (7)  How effective was inter-Allied cooperation in W.W.I as compared with that in W.W.II?  (8) Compare how the different major nations reacted to the end of W.W.I.  How did these nations prepare for W.W.II?  (9)  What is meant by the dilemma of”...too much too soon...too little too late.”  (10) Compare the role of the submarine  in W.W.I and W.W.II.

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 10 February 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) What is the difference between the “nuking” of a single city and a mass nuclear attack against an entire nation?  (2) How much “choice” did Truman have in deciding to use nuclear weapons against Japan?  (3) What was the “demonstration option” and why wasn’t it used?  (4) Given all the opportunities for use of nuclear weapons (see”B”,Table 2.1), why do you think they have not been used after W.W.II?  (5)  What is the significance of a “threshold” of “firebreak”?  (6) Who, and what, are “mature nuclear powers” (as distinct from “young nuclear powers”)?  (7)  What is meant by “the self-sustaining character of nuclear fission” and why is it necessary for large-scale nuclear energy production?  What is the source of the radioactivity following upon nuclear fission?  (8)  What is “the trick” of making a nuclear fission explosion?  How can it be accomplished? (9) What is the difference between a nuclear fission weapon and a nuclear fusion weapon?  (10)  How does civilian nuclear science and energy production contribute to nuclear weapon proliferation?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 15 February 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) What are: alpha decay, beta decay, gamma decay? How do they differ in their end products? (2) How does the concept of “radioactive half life” differ from that of human average life?  Suppose I start with 1000 atoms of barium-140; how many barium atoms  will I have after 52 days? If barium-140 is an alpha emitter, what else will I have at the end of this time? (3)  What is the difference between spontaneous and induced radioactivity? Give examplesd.  (4) Why are the energies associated with nuclear transformations so much larger than those associated with atomic or molecular change?  (5)  What is the difference between “stable”, “unstable”, and “meta-stable”?  (6)  What must be done to fission an iron nucleus? to fuse two iron nuclei together? (7) What is the difference between a “fissile” nucleus and a “fertile” nucleus?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 17 February 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) Given a sub-critical mass of some fissile material, how can I make it super-critical? What would normally prevent me from doing so? (2) Which requires more fissile material - a uranium fission bomb or a plutonium fission bomb?  Why?  (3)  Which is the constraining factor in creating a fission bomb - design ability or materials availability?  Why?  How do you get around the constraints? (4)  Why is there a limit on the size of fission explosions?  Why is there no such limit for fusion bombs? (5)  What are the difficulties in producing a fusion weapon and how are they overcome/  (6) What is the role of non-fissile uranium in a “standard” nuclear weapon?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 24 February 2000


Prof.’s Questions: (1) Both chenical explosives and nuclear explosives produce burns in their victims.  What is the difference between the burn mechanisms and the results? (2) Both chenical explosives and nuclear explosives produce shock waves.  What is the difference between the shocks and the results? (3) What other damage mechanisms are characteristic of nuclear explosions that are not found in chemical ones?  What is the order in which the various damage mechanisms of a nuclear explosion reach their targets?  Which do the military rely upon and why? (4) What is the characteristic “signature” of a nuclear weapon from a great distance?  (5) Suppose I wanted to level every frame structure (usual dwellings) in an area within a circle of radius 2 miles. How big a bomb must I explode? How far from this bomb must I be to escape third degree burns on exposed skin?  (6)  I wish to place an “observer” located 2000 yards from a 1MT nuclear blast.  What must be done to protect him/her?  (7)  Since nuclear weapons were used in WWII, what would be so novel about a “nuclear war”? (8)  What is the difference between “tactical” and “strategic” warfare? (9)  Why has the U.S. downsized the yield of its nuclear weapons?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 29 February 2000
The Start of the “Cold War


Prof.’s Questions: (1) What were the two possible concepts of securing peace and security following W.W.II, their pros and cons? (2) What were, and how significant were, the changes in US security organization following W.W.II?  Why was little attention paid to then Army? (3)  What was the “containment policy”, its pros, cons, implications, shortcomings, its relation to the “Truman Doctrine”, the “Marshall Plan”?  What was the significance of Germany and Czechoslovakia to these ideas? (4)  What is the meaning of “B-36 deterrence”? What were its alternatives?  What is the relation between “deterrence” and “credibility”?  (5) What pressures led the US to develop the “H-bomb”?  (6)  What was the significance of NSC-68?  Why was “..the first Soviet atomic explosion...more significant... than the first  American one.”?  (7) According to  Clausiwitz, what is war and what is required to win it? (8) Why has the shovel become as important as the gun to the modern soldier?  (8)  What is meant by a “war of attrition”?  What methods were suggested to avoid it?  Did they, or did they not, succeed?  (9)  What is the relation between an “action-reaction” and ”bureaucratic interests”
 explanation of the Cold War and its arms race? How do “key individuals” fit into these explanations?  (10) What is the relationship between the 19th century Prussian General Staff and “SIOP”?  What is the difference between a strategy of “preventive war” and one of “preemption”? (11)  What is “C3I”  and why is it more important now than in the past?  (12) How did the differences between the Soviet and the US style of government effect their respective approaches to the use of nuclear weapons?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 2 March 2000
Massive Retaliation - the “big stick”


Prof.’s Questions:(1) How did America’s plans for the defense of Europe in the late ‘40s differ from that in the early 40’s?  What were the technological constraints on these differences? What “shocks” destroyed these plans? What was the impact of NSC-68? (2) What is the difference between “tactical” and “strategic” nuclear weapons? What are the advantages and disadvantages of aircraft and missiles - cruise and ballistic -  as tactical and strategic weapons? (3) What was Dulles’ “massive retaliation”, how did it differ from the plans of the 40’s, why was it adopted, why  was it abandoned?  (4)What are the similarities and differences between the late 20th century notion of “limited war” and the “limited wars’ of the 19th and previous centuries?  (5) What was “graduated deterrence”, why was it invoked, what were its deffects? (6)  What are the meanings of “counterforce” and “countervalue; what differences are implied in the technology required to carry out the two “counters”?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 7 March 2000


Prof.’s Questions:(1) What was the “trip wire function” of US troops in Europe?  How did “conventional forces” contribute to “deterrence”? (2) What is “first strike capability”, “second strike capability”, the meaning and importance of “preempt”?  (3) Compare the concepts of “stability” and “instability” in physical systems, such as nuclei, and in international arms races. (4)  Why would a nation publicize its security strategies and capabilities? .  (5)  What was the “missile gap”; what were its consequences; was there any reason to be cynical about it?  What was the significance of the time gap between the U-2 and SAMOS? (6) Were the first generation ICBMs any more secure than SAC? How did the second generation address these problems?  (7) What are the advantages, disadvantages of the different legs of TRIAD?  (8)What was the technological basis of the Cuban Missile Crisis and its outcome?  (9) What are the differences between the Nike-X, Sentinel, Safeguard, and the present NMD (National Missile Defense) programs?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 9 March 2000

Prof.’s Questions:(1) Is it true that the state of technology is the sole determinant of whether or not new weapons are developed and deployed?  Why ? Give examples. (2) What is the relation between war doctrine and technology?  Are weapons acquired on the basis of plans or are plans created on the basis of weapons availability? (3) Discuss the dilemma: How do we ensure against the “unauthorized use” of nuclear weapons without losing the ability to use them “when needed” ? Why is this a particular problem in the nuclear age?  How did the US/SU respond to the problem? (4) What were the implications of Sputnik as compared to other Soviet technological advances?  (5) What is the “military-industrial complex”?  Is it a primarily 20th century or American concern?  (6) Discuss the relative vulnerabilities of bombers, liquid-fueled missiles, solid- fueled missiles, submarine missiles. (7)  Why did Eisenhower keep silent when Kennedy attacked him over the ICBM “gap”? (8) To what rivalry was the “TRIAD” addressed? Will the TRIAD proliferate -why or why not?  What are the international security implications of your answer?  (9) What is “nuclear deterrence”, why adopt it, and what are its implications?  What is “minimum deterrence”, “extended deterrence”, “intra-war deterrence”? Which is more dangerous and why: “light” or “rugged” deterrence?  What are the arguments for and against a nuclear strategy of “city avoidance”? Does it matter if you perceive your opponent as “less than human”?  (10) should the President have options in SIOP?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 21 March 2000
Nuclear Relations and Proliferation


Prof.’s Questions:(1) What was the relation between “tactical” and “Strategic” nuclear weapons in the Cuban Missile Crisis?  Which side, if any, “won”? Was it nukes or conventional forces which determined the outcome?  What was the impact of the crisis upon the weapons policies of the two antagonists?  (2)  How did the nuclear configurations of the two “sides” change between the two Berlin Crises?  Did these configurations or this change effect the outcomes? (3) Does the role of “bluffing” or “signaling” differ in he nuclear era from that in the pre-nuclear era?  (4) What was the “cold war” and what was the role of nuclear weapons in it?  (5) How and why do nations acquire nuclear weapons? Is it getting easier or harder for them to do so? (6)  Why don’t nations acquire nuclear weapons?  How have these reasons changed with time?  (7) When the U.S. Senate rejected the CTBT, was it acting with a “liberal’, “institutionalist”, or a “realist” perspective?  (8) Is “nuclear proliferation” dangerous?  If so, what could be done about it?  (9)What is the difference between “state terrorism” and “terrorism” ?  How do we deal with each?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 23 March 2000
Arms Control


Prof.’s Questions:(1) What is the difference between ”disarmament” and “arms control” (give an example of each) and how do they relate to” national security” or “national aggrandizement”? (2) What were the advantages/disadvantages of the “Baruch Plan”?  Why didn’t it succeed? (3) What was the significance of “Pugwash”? of ACDA? (4)  What hindered, what helped, “test ban” treaties?  What were their results?  (5)  What’s the difference between “vertical proliferation” and “horizontal proliferation”?  (6)  What was the relation between SALT and ABM?  Between MIRV and ABM?  (7) How did MIRV lead to “favorable exchange ratios” and what was their significance? What is the tie between MIRV and the “military-industrial-bureaucratic complex”?  (8)  What are the differences (and their significance) between qualitative and quantitative arms control? (9) What was the point of “exchanging” bombers for forward-based systems in SALT? (10) Was the SALT process guided primarily by technological-national-security issues?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 28 March 2000
Breakdown in Arms Control


Prof.’s Questions:(1) How did Soviet strategic arms procurement policies and accomplishments change after Krushchev was replaced by Brezhnev? What about their other forces? How were these changes viewed in the US? (2) How did European military analysts feel about first use of nuclear weapons? How did “the people” feel? What was the impact of the SS-20? What was the “two-track decision”? (3) What was the relative balance between US and SU strategic forces during this period?  What was the major drive in US weapons policy during this era - Soviet results or the “technological imperative”?  (4) What was the “window of vulnerability” and how did this relate to the MX program? (5) What was the role of the cruise missile during this decade?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 30 March 2000
Nuclear War Fighting


Prof.’s Questions:(1) ) Very often, increased international suspicion, hostility, and even war, are the results of non-technological factors: culture, economics, ethnics, history, etc. But sometimes it is advances in technology which leads to this suspicion and its consequences. Give some examples. (2) Compare and contrast the roles of the “Committee on Present Danger” and the “peace movements”.(3) Compare and contrast the INF and START negotiations.(4) How did the nuclear choices in Soviet military doctrine compare with those discussed (implemented?) in the US? (5) Compare and contrast (with examples) multilateral, bilateral, and unilateral means for controlling nuclear weapons. Where do these means fit on the “liberal-institutional-realist” continuum? (6)  How does planning for a nuclear deterrence national security posture differ (if at all) from planning for a nuclear-war-fighting posture?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 4 April 2000
Living with Nukes


Prof.’s Questions:(1)  What is the relation between nuclear deterrence and “just war theory”?  How will governments, their militaries, and their people react to this relationship?  (2)  Is there a relation between the contemporary growth of fundamentalism (in all of it  forms) and our dependence upon nuclear weapons?  Define and Explain! ( 3) What is meant by "the end of history"?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Tuesday, 11 April 2000
Defense Against Nukes


Prof.’s Questions:(1)  How did Pres. Reagan and the “peace movement” agree, how disagree, on SDI as the goal of national security?  What was the relationship between SDI and a “deterrence mode” of national security?  (2)  What are the advantages, the disadvantages to a missile defense system focused on the “boost phase”, the “busing phase’, the “midcourse phase”, the “terminal phase”, a “layered defense”?  (3) What are the differences between “explosive weapons”, “directed energy weapons”, and “kinetic energy weapons”?  What else, besides weapons deployed in space or upon earth, is absolutely essential for a BMD? (4) With respect to BMD, what are the meanings and significance of Nitze’s two criteria: “lack of vulnerability” and “favorable cost-exchange ratio”? (5)  What are the advantages, disadvantages of an ASAT program?  (6)  What was, and what were the political implications, of “nuclear winter”?

To be done for (before!) the class of
Thursday, 13 April 2000
End of the Cold War

Prof.’s Questions:(1) What was “common security” and what did it have to do with the winding down of the Cold War?  What did each side give up, what did they each gain, in the INF Treaty? in the CFE Treaty?  What was their significance? (3) What are CSBM’s and what are their significance?  (4) What was the role of missile “modernization in damping down the Cold War?  (5)  What was the relation between SDI and START?  (6)  Did START help end the Cold War or did the end of the Cold War facilitate START?  (7)Who had the bigger role - Reagan and the Committee on the Present Danger or Gorbachev and his “new thinkers” - in ending the Cold War?  (8) How did the Cold War contribute to the demise of the Soviet Union?  Was the Cold War a net gain or loss to the US?  (9) Who “won” the Cold War?