We should now see that new defensive concepts may be necessary in a future environment of "beyond containment." This logic may lead to a military strategy of gradual return of forces to the United States--one that is reversible--for the next decade. Out attention in Europe would turn to conceptual and resource alternative defenses as the drawdown occurs. Dr. Thomas L. Wilborn has provided an interesting survey of existing alternatives in the following section of this book.
by Thomas L. Wilborn
After a CFE agreement is implemented, flexible response and forward defense may or may not be militarily feasible strategic concepts for NATO, depending on the provisions of the treaty. It is at least possible that capabilities will be cut to such low levels and restrictions on deployments will be so confining that the necessary capabilities for flexible response and forward defense cannot be provided.1 Whether that occurs or not, the political atmosphere, both in Europe and the United States, is unlikely to provide as strong a basis of support as now exists for the current NATO strategy. In Europe--especially West Germany--support for deploying nuclear weapons on the territory of the FRG already has waned, and the belief that there is a real, military threat from the Warsaw Pact is held by only a small minority of the population.2 Moreover, annoyance and sometimes anger at the inconvenience of the presence of large numbers of foreign forces are increasing.3 On both sides of the Atlantic, Gorbachev's initiatives and frustrations with high defense budgets have begun to dangerously erode support for