According to conventional US notions of arms control, widely accepted in the West, it is imperative to safeguard the security of East and West alike. Both sides are to enjoy the best possible guarantee that they will not become embroiled in war against each other. A military balance seems a suitable basis that leaves neither side the option of going to war with the promise of its own survival and a military victory. As this philosophy of war prevention has it, the risk of incurring unacceptable damage and the improbability of success bear the optimal guarantee of a renunciation of military threats by both sides. Consequently, the following seem to be required:
Both sides renounce endeavors for military superiority and work towards a stable relationship of balance. Accordingly, each side strives to thwart the respective other side's option of waging war with its own military capacity, which also implies the willingness to relinquish that option oneself.
The mutual deterrence from war assumes the capacity and the will to keep the other side from the inadmissable option of waging war because in case of contravention, one would certainly put the threatened consequences into effect by military means. At the same time, however, it must be clear that no threatening initiative is intended. With regards to the eventuality of war, preparations for defensive military behavior seem appropriate, the more so since offensive operations are believed to necessitate the availability of superior forces.
The renunciation of offensive military planning brings with it the renunciation of the element of surprise. This appears correct not solely for military reasons. It is at least an equally momentous consideration that in case of a war-threatening crisis, neither side be attempted to attack "in anticipation of" a possibly expected war, as this would render illusory any success for efforts aimed at the prevention of war.