The basis of NATO deterrence strategy is the manipulation of the nuclear "threshold." When NATO's conventional component is strong and the exact nature of its nuclear threshold is uncertain to Warsaw Pact countries, NATO's deterrent will be strong. Attempts to improve the “quality” of the nuclear arsenal by making the outcome of nuclear conflict more predictable weaken NATO's deterrent power. It is the possibility that NATO may use nuclear weapons, as well as the uncertainty of the consequences of such use, that strengthens the deterrent. The number of nuclear weapons in the NATO arsenal could be reduced with no appreciable damage to the deterrent posture. Qualitative improvements in the conventional component, while increasing deterrent strength, also serve as safeguards in case of deterrence failures. To the extent that political unity within NATO increases the predictability of a NATO response to Warsaw Pact aggression, it is possible that political disunity actually adds to deterrent strength.