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Most dictionaries define deter similar to the following:
"deter v, To discourage; restrain; prevent."
"deterrent - adj. Retarding action; inhibiting; causing inaction through fear of consequences. - deterrent n."
Maybe we deterred them. During the Nike era, there were very few unauthorized Chinese or Soviet overflights of Nike defended areas anywhere in the world including Korea, Europe, U.S. even though the following happened:
So maybe the Nike system had a great deterrent effect over it's defended areas. We may never know, the Soviets and Chinese are not talking about that.
- The Chinese continued to suppress the Tibetans
- The Korean war ended with the U.S. suffering 157,530 casualties; 23,300 deaths occurred in combat. Other nations suffered large losses also
- The Soviet and Chinese supplied North Vietnam attacks on South Vietnam cost 57,000 U.S. lives.
- North Korea continued small border attacks and also captured the USS Pueblo
- 1961, the Soviets built and manned the "Iron Curtain". Soviets blockade Berlin to drive (starve) the Western Allies out, the Berlin Airlift to supply that city.
- Soviet submarines play hide and seek with U.S. forces off San Francisco. (The San Jose Mercury News says that this has continued through October 1997)
- 1962, the Soviets installed and un-installed ballistic missiles 100 miles from Florida
- Various Soviet supplied armies and airforces harass Israel at various times
- 1979, U.S. terminates diplomatic relations with Taiwan under pressure from China
- 1980, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan
We as a nation seem to dislike the idea of "deterrent", maybe it inhibits us.
Assume a large quantity of desirable stuff (money or jewelry as an example) gets moved from one "safe" place to another. If a dozen armed cops are walking or riding near the valuable stuff, and no one tries to "rip-it-off", then a large percent of our population will say that since no robbery was attempted, then the cops were unnecessary.
The idea of "deterrent" seems to be missing or suppressed. The idea that there is some correlation between the presence of the cops and the lack of robbery seems to be missed.
One could say that the Soviet SA-2 missile deterred our U-2s from over-flights of known SA-2 areas after Powers was shot down. How to present and comprehend a similar possibility in the case of Soviet bombers over areas defended by Nike missiles seems to require more sophistication than we are willing to muster.
* The statement "no unauthorized overflights" triggered the following messages:
- From Evans, Frank H.
"Until Desert Storm - the US never fired an AD missile at a declared FOE. In fact in Thule the Soviets flew over our sites often and we never received a weapons free once. Air Force would scramble interceptors, identify and force them to return."
"Hi ed, ... While in Korea in 62-63, we came up for a North Korean jet flying down the west cost of South Korea. We tracked him all the way the the southern tip and back north across the 38th. I think every man in the battery was praying we'd get a release to fire, since this was just after the Russians had shot down one of our plane over the Bering Sea.
Regards and thanks for the site, "
If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail to Ed Thelen
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