Dr. Bernard Loo is Assistant professor and Coordinator of the Revolutions in Military Affairs Programme at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, specializing in war studies, conventional military strategies and strategic problems of middle powers. Dr. Loo completed his doctoral studies at the Department of International Politics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
2005 0-7734-6093-4 The traditional understanding of strategic stability, as a condition wherein adversarial states refrain from waging a strategic war, is in the first place flawed as it conflates the concept with the wider issue of causes of war, it places too great an emphasis on arms racing and crisis management, and it has focused too much on nuclear strategy. This study situates the concept directly with the phenomena of accidental or inadvertent wars, and proposes an understanding of strategic stability as a condition wherein policy-makers do not feel pressured into knee-jerk decisions concerning the use of military force. This study proposes a framework of conventional strategic stability. It includes a geographic and strategic cultural milieu that frames the processes by which policy-makers and strategic planners identify and assess the threat posed by potential adversaries. It directs attention away from armaments to other military-strategic factors such as interpretations of strategic doctrines and intelligence and early warning processes. Finally, drawing from the Clausewitzian politics-war paradigm, it focuses on how domestic and external political conditions provide clues as to how and why strategic stability either maintains or fails, because decisions for war are ultimately political in nature.