The Cuban missile crisis is rightly regarded as the most dangerous confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union of the Cold War. Another less remarked but perhaps equally dangerous period preceded the ‘war scare’ of 1983. Relations between the American and Soviet governments deteriorated gradually between 1979 and 1983, on account of the cumulative disagreements and misperceptions growing out of several episodes. Some Soviet leaders convinced themselves that there was a nontrivial likelihood of a US nuclear first strike in the near future, and Soviet intelligence agencies were tasked to anticipate it. This study examines the historical, political and military-strategic aspects of the ‘war scare’ crisis, including attributes of US and Soviet military forces in 1983 that might have contributed to higher levels of anxiety about surprise attack.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Plant Science