Military exercises and the dangers of misunderstandings: the East-West crisis of the early 1980s

Heuser, B. (2016) Military exercises and the dangers of misunderstandings: the East-West crisis of the early 1980s. PFUR Bulletin of International Relations, 160(3), pp. 391-404.

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This article analyzes the risks of mutual misunderstanding caused by NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO) large-scale military command-and-staff exercises in 1983. The problem of mutual misunderstanding is analyzed in the context of the classic «Security Dilemma» elaborated in 1951 by J. Gertz and adapted to military exercise issues by D. Adamski. In spite of all the available knowledge, analysis, intelligence and other forms of communication between the West and the East, a problem of mutual misunderstanding appeared between two blocs. This was highlighted during the command and staff exercises of the NATO countries «Able Archer 83» when the world was put on the brink of nuclear war. Given that the Western countries have considered exercises as a deterrence of possible attack by the WTO, the Eastern Bloc countries considered such activities directly threatening their military security. According to the author, these were military exercise carried out by both sides, which represented the most important factor of the sharp deterioration in relations between the West and the East in the early 1980s following the period of détente in the 1970s. The article is based on a large empirical data, archives data, personal interviews by the author of the participants of these events.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heuser, Professor Beatrice
Authors: Heuser, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:PFUR Bulletin of International Relations
Publisher:RUDN University
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Хойзер Б
First Published:First published in PFUR Bulletin of International Relations 160(3): 391-404
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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