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July 2004

The Fulda Gap and defense in depth strategy

East of Frankfurt, Germany, lays the Fulda Gap, once the focal point of the largest peacetime concentration of military forces in history. During the Cold War, more than a million NATO and Warsaw Pact troops faced off, waiting for ?the balloon to go up" (as they'd say in the military), signaling the start of World War III. The Fulda Gap was the most likely avenue of approach by Warsaw Pact forces in their march toward the Atlantic. World War III, as it was envisioned during the Cold War, would be a test of Western technology versus the Soviet Union's numerical superiority. While technology would eventually win the war (we hoped), NATO planners concluded that nothing could blunt the initial Russian thrust. Thus, the Fulda scenario called for a fighting retreat to positions near the Rhine River. NATO would then use its superior knowledge of the terrain, its advanced weaponry and superior tactics to slow and thwart the Russian invaders. Enterprise networks are a lot like the Fulda scenario, in which enterprise security managers ...

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