Colucci Addresses 30th Anniversary of Able Archer 83

Lamont Colucci, associate professor of politics at Ripon College, has an opinion piece on the website of U.S. News & World Report. “Failing to Plan for War Causes More War” addresses the 30th anniversary of the “Able Archer 83” exercise, a NATO exercise that determined NATO forces, even if they employed chemical weapons, would fail to blunt a conventional Soviet invasion.

This and subsequent war games revealed “a strategic failure by the United States and her European allies to fund, train and equip a large enough conventional force to stop Soviet aggression. … It was the unwillingness of the U.S. Congress and others to properly study the lessons of history and prepare for war.”

He adds, “We are currently making horrendous decisions concerning the funding, training and equipping of the American military. The foolishness of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester will place an ever larger burden on those forces and place greater reliance on America’s WMD deterrence capability, a deterrence that only works if one is prepared to use it. …

“But Able Archer 83 reminds us that failure to plan for war causes war. Worse, it causes greater catastrophe in the lives of soldiers and civilians. This failure destabilizes international relations worldwide and makes a mockery of American foreign policy.”

Read the full article here.


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Lamont Colucci