East-West Arms Control: Challenges for the Western Alliance by David Dewitt, Hans Rattinger

By David Dewitt, Hans Rattinger

Assuming a flow in the direction of detente, East-West hands Control assesses the position and relevance of hands keep watch over in an period of quickly eroding bipolarity and East-West disagreement. It takes a sober examine the importance of what has been completed to this point, the place the hands keep watch over procedure is at present heading and what customers and demanding situations the Western Alliance will face.

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Sample text

As conceived, flexible response is essentially an escalatory doctrine designed to ensure that deterrence operates across a range of possible military threats to Western Europe. In practice, it has rested on two somewhat contradictory premises: first, that the alliance by exercising escalation control would achieve some military and bargaining benefit from initiating the escalatory process; and, second, that crossing the nuclear threshold would be the first step in an escalatory chain linked to US strategic forces.

In East and West, the readiness to make significant reductions in the conventional forces was not imminent. 64 Flexible response as a war-fighting strategy does not allow political or economic utilization of arms control. 65 In light of the Warsaw Pact’s assumed large conventional superiority, mutual reductions would almost be impossible. At most, confidence-building measures could be agreed upon to contribute to the reduced danger of a surprise attack. In contrast, flexible response as an escalation strategy is compatible with goals other than military stability.

In coming of age, NATO’s strategy has lost much of its viability. In recent years the adherence to this strategy was only possible through the acceptance of high political 26 NATO strategy and alliance politics costs at home. The experience with NATO’s double-track decision starkly unveiled these consequences. With the intensified and more public controversies over military strategy on the governmental level, the strategy has also forfeited its objective of reassuring the Western public. The security dilemmas in German–American relations, which are due to geographical and political conditions and the insolvable paradox of nuclear deterrence, will not go away.

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