Simons Center Director Bob Ulin welcomed the ARNSF members, some of whom also introduced their guests. As lunch wound down Simons Center Deputy Director, Lt. Col. (Ret.) John Nelson introduced Ulin as the day’s guest speaker.
In this presentation of the forum, Ulin delivered a presentation on NATO’s nuclear posture in the 1970s and 80s, the 1983 Soviet nuclear war scare and touched on the prospect for nuclear war today.
Ulin was a private first class in 1961 assigned as a special (atomic) weapons assembler with the 3rd Gun Battalion, 39th Artillery (280mm Atomic Canon). In the 1970s he was a nuclear weapons employment officer as a captain with the 56th Field Artillery Brigade (Pershing Missiles). During NATO exercises he plotted targets in Eastern Europe to be attacked by Pershings should nuclear war break out. In 1983, as a lieutenant colonel, he was assigned as a policy analyst at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) during the nuclear war game “Able Archer 83.” It was during Able Archer 83 that Soviet leaders believed the U.S. was preparing to launch a nuclear first strike.
At the height of the Cold War, both NATO and the Warsaw Pact had thousands of tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Europe to guarantee Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) – a policy that sought to deter war. The belief was that any use of nuclear weapons would quickly escalate into a thermonuclear war thereby destroying both NATO and Warsaw Pact countries. A recently declassified top secret document notes that in 1983 “Soviet leadership was seriously concerned about the possibility of a sudden strike launched by the United States and its NATO allies… arguing that the U.S. was seeking strategic superiority in order to be able to launch a nuclear first strike.”
After the presentation and a question and answer period, Ulin closed out the luncheon with a short brief about the schedule for future gatherings of the Forum.
The Arter-Rowland National Security Forum (ARNSF) is led by the CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center and is an exclusive professional information sharing and networking forum for senior executives.
Members of the Forum and their guests meet periodically at guest speaker events in downtown Kansas City. National and regional guest speakers representing all elements of national power (Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic) highlight the meetings. The Forum is nonpartisan, but elected government officials may present from time to time.
The Forum is named after Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Arter, Founding Chairman of the CGSC Foundation, and Mr. Landon Rowland, the Foundation’s first major donor who was well-known in Kansas City for his keen interest in national security issues and his leadership in business and philanthropy.
ARNSF events are only open to ARNSF members and their guests. If you are not a member but are interested in joining, contact Bob Ulin at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Forum page on the Simons Center website for more information.
The Arter-Rowland National Security Forum is an exclusive professional information sharing and networking event exclusively for members of the forum and select invitees of the CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center and the Kansas City Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (KCAUSA), the co-hosts of the Forum.