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

By Robert M. Soofer | Go to book overview

Introduction

No one in America can say if, where, how or to what extent American nuclear weapons would be employed to defend Europe.

Charles de Gaulle ( 1963)

The raison d'être for this study is the fear that Charles de Gaulle may have been right. De Gaulle's underlying concern was that a United States vulnerable to Soviet nuclear attack might not be willing to risk its own destruction for the sake of its North Atlantic Treaty commitments. It is axiomatic that the security of NATO Europe is inextricably linked to the capability and willingness of the United States to carry out its nuclear guarantees to the Western Europeans. It is further acknowledged that American vulnerability to a growing Soviet intercontinental nuclear capability has complicated seriously the calculation of American resolve to defend Western Europe should that involve the use of strategic nuclear weapons.

The transition to a strategic environment incorporating strategic and theater missile defenses holds inherent significance for Western European security. If doubts concerning the efficacy of U.S. nuclear guarantees are the result of America's vulnerability to Soviet nuclear attack, it follows that lessening the vulnerability of the United States through strategic defense might help restore the basis for extended deterrence and thus enhance Western European security.

The erosion of confidence in the U.S. nuclear umbrella is not a recent phenomenon; it can be traced back to the mid-1950s. Although the United

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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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