Communications under fire: NATO's Achilles heel?
This thesis examines the effectiveness of current communication systems in supporting NATO's mission to act both as a deterrent to war and as a counter-force against possible Soviet aggression in Western Europe. The survivability of the NATO communication system is predicated on obsolete technology developed during the 1950's and 60's functioning in a modern warfare environment. The thesis examines the following issues: NATO troop deployment--strengths and weaknesses; Warsaw Pact troop deployment--strengths and weaknesses; Warsaw Pact military strategy and threat elements; an assessment of NATO's communication systems; and a projection of what would happen to NATO communication systems during three types of warfare--conventional, theater nuclear and strategic nuclear. The results of this analysis reveal that the current NATO communication systems as developed twenty to thirty years ago cannot effectively respond in the environment of modern warfare such as: electronic, chemical, and nuclear. Without the demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with troops and command centers in current military conditions, NATO's capability for deterrence and defense is questionable.