National Security:

Perspectives on Worldwide Threats and Implications for U.S. Forces

NSIAD-92-104: Published: Apr 16, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 1992.

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GAO summarized the views presented at a GAO-sponsored conference on worldwide threats to U.S. national security that was designed to provide insight into potential military threats to U.S. security interests and necessary modifications to current and planned U.S. forces to meet those threats.

GAO found that: (1) conference participants discussed and analyzed the possibility of U.S. and allied involvement in various regional contingencies in Europe and the Soviet Union, East Asia and the Pacific, and the Near East and South Asia; (2) topics ranged from the possibility of nuclear war to a general discussion of low-intensity conflict; (3) participants agreed that for many years the Soviet/Warsaw Pact threat to Europe shaped U.S. force planning, but the Soviet Union no longer posed a conventional threat; (4) nuclear weapons held by the former Soviet republics and other nations remain a concern; (5) participants did not agree on the methodology for sizing U.S. forces; and (6) participants suggested several options for responding to the changing security environment, including assisting former Soviet republics with denuclearization, reducing forward-deployed U.S. forces in Europe and the Pacific, increasing U.S. efforts at missile nonproliferation in the Near East, and reforming the organization and control of low-intensity conflict operations.