Arms Control and European Security

By Graeme P. Auton | Go to book overview
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Arms Control and NATO's Maritime Dimension

Robert S. Jordan

Since the end of World War II and the emergence of the Soviet Union as America's chief adversary, concern has been continuously expressed that the political-military goals of the United States are not in line with the means provided to achieve them. In part this is a problem of reconciling a global policy of containment with specific and shifting domestic and international political conditions. The dilemma has often been expressed as a "mismatch," with the three U.S. military services calling either for a scaling down of goals or a beefing up of means, usually to no avail. This essay discusses how, from the earliest post-World War II beginnings to the present, the United States has turned to nuclear weapons to close this mismatch between doctrines and resources, and especially--as technology has permitted--to do so at sea. It also discusses the implications of this effort for arms control, and the continued reluctance of NATO to confront the realities of escalatory nuclear war at sea in the context of conventional war termination and nuclear arms reduction.

The current warming of relations between the United States and the Soviet Union has resulted in increased tensions among America's NATO allies, both with their patron superpower and among each other. 1 The arms control debate in the West involves three sets of interrelated questions: First, whether (as the West Germans prefer) further nuclear weapons cuts in Europe should involve the shortest-range (i.e., bat


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