Money and security : troops, monetary policy and West Germany's relations with the United States and Britain, 1950-1971 /

By Hubert Zimmermann | Go to book overview

9
The Trilateral Negotiations of 1966–1967

FULFILLING THE MCNAMARA—HASSEL AGREEMENT

On October 11, 1966, President Lyndon Johnson announced that the governments of the Federal Republic, the United Kingdom, and the United States were about to

undertake a searching reappraisal of the threat to security and — taking into account changes in military technology and mobility — of the forces required to maintain adequate deterrence and defense in Central Europe. The reappraisal will also deal with: equitable sharing of defense and other comparable burdens, the impact of troop-deployments and force levels on the balance of payments of the United States and the United Kingdom, the effect on the German economic and budgetary situation of measures designed to ameliorate balance-of-payments problems.1

This program amounted to nothing less than a fundamental review of the Atlantic security system and its economic foundations. The trilateral negotiations are usually viewed as the first step toward the reform of NATO in the late 1960s, paving the way for NATO's so-called Harmel report on “The Future Tasks of the Alliance” at the end of 1967.2 At issue was not only whether NATO would survive the crisis of 1966–7 but also whether the dollar-gold system could be preserved and whether a mechanism different from the previous offset practice could absorb the frictions between the monetary and the security systems. How this task was resolved and what factors determined the solution is a largely unknown story.

____________________
1
PP Johnson 1966, II: 1139.
2
The best analysis of this process is Haftendorn, Kernwaffen. On the Trilaterals, see Treverton, Dollar Drain; Wightman, “Money”; Georg F. Duckwitz, “Truppenstationierung und Devisenausgleich, ” Aussenpolitik 8 (1967): 471–5.

-209-

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