U. S. and Soviet security policy and the "Missle Gap": Controversy, origins, and impact
Hobson, Bernard E
Doran, Charles F.
Master of Arts
A theme central to this thesis is that the missile gap controversy resulted from varied and repeated misconceptions by the Soviet and American participants. Reciprocal misinterpretations of actor’s intentions and capabilities during the 1957-1961 period led to an essentially reactive pattern of Soviet-American relations. This pattern had substantial consequences for later phases of the strategic arms race. In examining the missile gap issue, a number of questions are asked of Soviet and American defense policies, true (as compared to estimated or projected) capabilities for each side, and domestic political catalysts and constraints. In short, the thesis explores developments associated with the evolution and demise of the missile gap as a major strategic issue, weighing the significance of the controversy for the larger realm of Soviet-American security policy.