Missile Defenses and Western European Security: NATO Strategy, Arms Control, and Deterrence

By Robert M. Soofer | Go to book overview

reason why these governments should expend precious political capital supporting a deployment decision that has not yet been made in the United States.

There also exists, in Europe, clear and unmitigated rejection of SDI and the change in nuclear strategy that it portends. Criticism for SDI has come primarily from the opposition Labour party in Britain, and the opposition Social Democratic party (SDP) in West Germany. Rejection of SDI by these two major opposition parties is based less on the strategic merits or demerits of SDI than on the incompatibility of SDI with their philosophical outlook toward security as a whole. The opposition seems to be rallying around a concept known as the "security partnership" or "common security." As explained above, this approach to security regards as destablizing any unilateral approach or solution toward achieving security. The only approach that will succeed, according to this outlook, is a political one. As the SDP parliamentary group states:

Unlike the Social Democrats, who want to achieve stability, security and defensive capability not through weapons but primarily through dialogue, treaties and confidence building measures, the U.S. President relies on solving a political problem by technical means. This approach never worked in the past, nor will it work in the future.53

The above has been an overview of European reactions to SDI; following chapters will examine in greater detail various Western European criticisms of SDI based on deterrence and arms control grounds. Now we turn to the first ABM debate.


NOTES
1.
Editorial, The Guardian, 30 March 1983.
2.
Norman Kempster, "Thatcher Solidly Backs Star Wars," Los Angeles Times, 21 February 1985.
3.
See "Defense and Security in the Nuclear Age," speech by Sir Geoffrey Howe to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), 15 March 1985.
4.
Ibid.
5.
Benjamin Schemmer, "UK Takes the First Step Forward on SDI," Armed Forces Journal International, March 1986.
6.
Social Democratic Party, White Paper on Defense ( London: 1985).
7.
"Britain Wins Early Contracts for SDI Work," London Times, 20 February 1986; and "SDI Genie Must Be Put Back in Bottle," The Guardian, 20 February 1986.
8.
Ibid.
9.
Statement by the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, London, June 1985.
10.
See editorials of 13 June 1984 and 19 September 1984.
11.
Editorial, "New Menace in the Heavens," The Guardian, 14 January 1984.
12.
Editorial, The Guardian, 25 March 1983.

-25-

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Missile Defenses and Western European Security: NATO Strategy, Arms Control, and Deterrence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Military Studies Series Advisor: Colin Gray ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Acronyms xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1- Western European Reaction to the Strategic Defense Initiative 11
  • Notes 25
  • 2- Western Europe and The First Abm Debate: 1965-72 29
  • Notes 37
  • 3- Sdi and Deterrence: A Western European Perspective 39
  • Notes 65
  • 4- Western European Arms Control Perspectives And Sdi 69
  • Conclusion 83
  • 5- Sdi and Western European Support for The Abm Treaty 87
  • Conclusion 99
  • 6- Antitactical Missile Defense, Western Europe, and the Inf Treaty 103
  • Notes 119
  • 7- Antitactical Missile Defense and Nato Strategy 123
  • Conclusion 142
  • Notes 143
  • 8- Summary and Conclusion 147
  • Bibliography 161
  • Index 171
  • About the Author 175
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