The survival of all participants in the international arena rests upon the maintenance, short of actual and viable disarmament, of a system of effective mutual deterrence among the major participants. This system-is based on the capability of each major participant to inflict an intolerable degree of destruction upon any other who might strike first with nuclear weapons. Given such a capability at present and for the foreseeable future, effective mutual deterrence in turn depends upon the major participants' adequate knowledge of their respective capabilities and intentions, sufficient to reveal a relative balance and thereby to deter a nuclear first strike by any of them.
The Developing International Law on Gathering and Sharing Security Intelligence,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol1/iss1/4