The Defence of Western Europe: Papers Presented at the by John C. Garnett

By John C. Garnett

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With the Americans, whose contribution to NATO in Europe they regard as the linchpin of West European defence. They do not really believe that it is worth negotiating seriously with the other FUTURE SOVIET POLICY TOWARDS WESTERN EUROPE 49 members of NATO unless the theme of American reductions is central, and Soviet preference is still for direct negotiations with the United States. R. talks might take place or evolve; if the Russians cannot persuade the Americans to talk bilaterally, their second preference would be for multi-lateral talks within the framework of the 'All-European Commission' or a specialist committee meeting independently of the European Security Conference.

After the failure of the Berlin blockade in 1949, the Soviet Union, as it were, 'accepted' a kind of stalemate in Europe - and turned to the Far East, where Mao Tse-tung had just taken power in China. The 1949 stalemate, however, which I arbitrarily call 'Stalemate Mark 1', was fundamentally a stalemate based on weakness. So that when the Soviet Union achieved super-power status and reached rough strategic parity with the United States - by the late 1960s - it was natural and characteristic that the Soviet leaders should seek ways of improving upon it.

How much consensus exists among governments, 12 Ibid. 26 TIlE DEFENCE OF WESTERN EUROPE and between governments and people, on defence postures relevant to NATO and the East? How much elasticity exists in public budgets for major new defence efforts? IS It seems to be clear that there is no single European view of defense sans les Americains. NATO doctrine shifts must be made in the light of their selective effects on the various countries. Tactical nuclear weapons launch and use doctrine, for example, is closely tied to German notions of the optimum battlefield.

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