New Weapons and NATO: Solutions or Irritants?

By Robert Kromer | Go to book overview

10
Strategic Defense Initiative--The New Technology of the Decade

In March 1983, during a televised address to the American people, President Ronald Reagan announced his vision of a world free from reliance on nuclear weaponry. 1 In very brief terms near the end of his speech, the American president announced his intention to scrap the present system of nuclear deterrence, which he deemed "immoral and obsolete." While some administration spokesmen have since acknowledged that the president may have been too optimistic, the announcement did set in motion a variety of processes that have developed an increasing degree of momentum. Debates about the degree of "leakage" achievable or necessary, the desirability of "smart rocks" versus chemical lasers, the effect of the research on present and future arms control agreements, the morality of a concept which explicitly employs nuclear weapons for defensive purposes, and the effect of such a program on an already soaring federal budget deficit promise to make the proposal for a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) a permanent feature of the American political scene for some time.

Although the SDI has the potential for a fundamental revision of a large section of the political-military landscape, this discussion will concentrate on its potential consequences for the NATO alliance. Using the observations gleaned from the manner in which NATO responded to the introduction of previous instances of new

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New Weapons and NATO: Solutions or Irritants?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - The Lure of New Weapons 1
  • Notes 20
  • 2 - Alliance Formation in the Postwar Era 25
  • Notes 39
  • 3 - Tactical Nuclear Weapons 41
  • Notes 50
  • 4 - Nato's Environment and the Integration of Tactical Nuclear Weapons 53
  • Notes 62
  • 5 - Tactical Nuclear Weapons-- an Assessment 65
  • Notes 76
  • 6 - Centrifugal Forces in the 1960s 81
  • Notes 91
  • 7 - The Alliance in the 1970s: Continued Strains and New Technology 95
  • Notes 107
  • 8 - Precision-Guided Munitions and Nato in the 1970s: Mixed Results 111
  • Notes 125
  • 9 - Case Study Summary and Conclusions 131
  • Conclusions 135
  • Notes 149
  • 10 - Strategic Defense Initiative--The New Technology of the Decade 151
  • Notes 169
  • Appendix 1 Defense Spending as a Percentage of Gross National Product by Selected Nato States 171
  • Appendix 2 Military Personnel Strength of Selected Nato States (thousand of Persons) 172
  • Appendix 3 Selected Air-To-Surface Pgms 173
  • Appendix 4 Selected Anti-Armor Surface-To-Surface Pgms 176
  • Appendix 5 Selected Surface-To-Air Pgms 178
  • Selected Bibliography 179
  • Index 183
  • About the Author 187
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