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

By Robert M. Soofer | Go to book overview

3
SDI and Deterrence: A Western European Perspective

EUROPEAN DETERRENCE LOGIC: A BASIS FOR ANTICIPATING EUROPEAN VIEWS ON SDI AND BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE

To understand and analyze European anxieties over SDI and BMD, it is important to understand the nature of European strategic logic. Though all members of the Atlantic Alliance subscribe to the official doctrine of "flexible response," each member's interpretation of how it works will differ depending on its unique security predicament.

The United States tends to emphasize the direct defense component of NATO strategy, as this statement by Secretary of Defense James Schlessinger makes plain:

We would prefer where possible to deter through provision of direct defense and denial of Warsaw Pact military gains (e.g. seizure of territory), rather than deterrence only through the threat of escalation and all-out retaliatory attacks on Warsaw Pact resources--though these latter options will be maintained.1

Official European statements usually concur with the need to present a stalwart conventional defense in the hope of terminating hostilities short of nuclear escalation. Nevertheless, as this chapter will demonstrate, most European military and civilian strategists, and politicians, do not view a strong conventional defense as a substitute for the threat of nuclear use. For most Europeans, it is necessary to emphasize the dangers of escalation from a conventional conflict to tactical nuclear weapons on up to the use of strategic nuclear forces. It is the risk, for the Soviets, that NATO will begin an escalatory process that will lead inexorably to U.S. nuclear attacks on Soviet territory

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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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