Missile Defenses And Western European Security: Nato Strategy, Arms Control, And Deterrence

Hardcover | November 1, 1988

byRobert M. Soofer

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The NATO alliance has come under increasing strain since President Reagan's announcement of plans for the strategic defense initiative (SDI) in March 1983. This study examines the logic underlying Western European reactions to SDI and assesses the validity of European anxieties about missile defenses. Systematically analyzing the positions of France, Britain, and West Germany on the full spectrum of NATO defense issues, the author attempts to determine whether strategic and tactical missile defenses can in fact contribute to U.S. and Western security. In his introduction, the author traces the history of NATO's doubts concerning the strategic nuclear guarantee, which were frequently expressed after the Soveits' first successful missile launches in the late 1950s. He next looks at Western European reactions to the SDI announcement and NATO's strategic thinking on deterrence and escalation. He discusses the relation between arms control considerations and the strategic defense initiative, focusing on NATO fears that SDI would lead to the abrogation of the 1972 ABM Treaty and with it the end of the arms control process. Turning to antitactical missile defense, Soofer argues that despite political opposition, there exists a substantial strategic rationale for missile defenses deployed in Western Europe. Offering clarification and new perspectives on many complex defense issues. Missile Defenses and Western European Security will be an important contribution to the current debate on how new weapons initiatives will affect prospects for world peace. This timely book is for specialists, students, and academics in the fields of strategic studies, peace studies, arms control, diplomacy, andinternational relations.

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From the Publisher

The NATO alliance has come under increasing strain since President Reagan's announcement of plans for the strategic defense initiative (SDI) in March 1983. This study examines the logic underlying Western European reactions to SDI and assesses the validity of European anxieties about missile defenses. Systematically analyzing the posit...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:188 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:November 1, 1988Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313263515

ISBN - 13:9780313263514

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?Some West European officials have endorsed Ronald Reagan's strategic initiative (SDI), but a broad majority remain skeptical or opposed. With this book Soofer--a congressional defense analyst and SDI enthusiast--aims to summarize and refute what he sees as the illogical European arguments against missile defense. Soofer attributes fear of an adverse impact upon America's nuclear umbrella to blind faith in mutual assured vulnerability. He thereby quickly dismisses as spurious the analysis of estimable European experts and labels any view that lacks coherence in military terms as mere politics, though many might argue that security in the nuclear age is more political than military. Soofer also rejects fear about the effect of missile defense on arms control, which--despite the INF treaty--he believes offers no hope of reducing the Soviet missile threat in Europe. At the same time this book is an informed case for the view that missile defense, at the strategic as well as the theater level, need not damage and could enhance deterrence by sheltering the US and its allies from Soviet strikes. The section on the impact of missile defense on NATO and Warsaw Pact strategies is especially valuable. If supplemented by Ivo Daalder's The SDI Challenge to Europe, this book will be useful to those interested in NATO security policy.?-Choice