Originally published in 1985, this book explores the nuclear confrontation between East and West in Europe: where we stand, how we got there and what the future may hold. Its concluding chapter outlines the prospects for nuclear arms control in Europe, and it frames the debate over NATO strategy and the role of nuclear weapons in the years ahead. Can NATO reduce its reliance on nuclear weapons? Can it cope with the issues at all?
The chapters on NATO theatre nuclear forces and doctrine provide a rich background to current policy issues. The public debate over NATO’s 1979 decision to deploy new American cruise and Pershing nuclear missiles in Europe was hardly unprecedented in NATO’s history: similar controversy surrounded NATO deliberations in the late 1950s and early 1960s. That debate, however, subsided in the mid-1960s; the nuclear question in Europe was relegated to the ‘wilderness’, though efforts – largely unavailing – continued within official circles to define more clearly the role of nuclear weapons in NATO’s defense. Against this backdrop, the nuclear debate emerged again in the 1970s. This title unravels the military and political considerations at play in that debate and maps the European politics surrounding it. Today it can be read in its historical context.
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