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

By Robert M. Soofer | Go to book overview

that U.S. strategic defenses will provoke Soviet insecurity. According to Lord Carrington, the Soviets run no risk as a result of U.S. BMD:

First of all because any question of deployment is a long way down the line, and the Soviet leaders know it: just as they know that the open nature of American society gives them many more opportunities of keeping an eye on things than is the case the other way round. Secondly, because if deployment were thought desirable once the results of the SDI research programme had been thoroughly evaluated, it would be very much in the interests of the United States to do what they have made clear that they would do--which is to seek to negotiate the transition to a strategic balance more dependent on defensive and less on offensive weapons. And finally, because whatever problems may be left can surely be dealt with by negotiating appropriate safeguards to accompany or form part of any new agreement on offensive arms.37

The Reagan administration has, for its part, continually stressed the importance of a negotiated transition and has been discussing the subject with the Soviet Union in the Defense and Space Talks forum. In the January 1985 White House pamphlet on SDI, President Reagan states:

We are examining ways in which the offensive/defensive relationship can be managed to achieve a more stable balance through strategic arms control . . . Deployments of defensive systems would most usefully be done in the context of a cooperative equitable and verifiable arms control environment.38

The most recent draft of the Defense and Space Treaty, presented by the United States to the Soviets in Geneva on January 22, 1988, specifically addresses the transition issue by proposing intensive discussions of strategic stability before the two sides deploy any strategic defenses.39


CONCLUSION

It is clear that arms control is an important element in the European conception of security. While most conservative European governments recognize that arms control is not an end in itself, but only one of several means for achieving national security and deterrence stability, the politicization of arms control, fueled by growing public interest in nuclear matters, forces governments to emphasize the arms control and détente conception of security much more than the traditional approach to security that pays more attention to the relative balance in military forces.

Western European support for arms control is manifested in their strong support for the 1972 ABM Treaty, long heralded by arms control supporters as a major hallmark in the arms control process. The erosion of the ABM Treaty, it is believed, would lead to a deterioration in East-West relations, as

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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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