NATO Military Strategy And Forces
SUBJECT AREA Strategic Issues
TITLE: NATO MILITARY STRATEGY AND FORCES
I. Purpose: To examine the military strategy and forces that
NATO employs for the defense of Western Europe.
II. Problem: NATO's conventional inferiority has been an accept-
ed fact for some time now. But still at issue is NATO military
strategy from which two related questions arise: (1) whether a
conventional defense is feasible, given the size of Warsaw Pact
forces; and (2) is a conventional defense necessary since Western
nuclear capability offers a convenient and cheap substitute.
III. Data: Current NATO strategy calls for forward defense and
flexible response. This translates to defending, holding and re-
pelling Warsaw Pact forces by whatever means--conventional or nu-
clear--NATO commanders and governments find appropriate. Given
the present Soviet parity in both strategic and tactical nuclear
weapons, the advantage of escalation is probably no longer with
the West. Moreover, once war has begun, according to deferrence
theory, escalation by the West could not necessarily be controlled.
With its numerical advantage the Warsaw Pact can launch a massive
attack on relatively short notice. To counter this possibility
NATO strategy for the 1990's--which envisions a heavy dependency
on "smart munitions to prevent enemy follow-on forces from reaching
the front line after an initial attack--is currently under review.
IV. Conclusion: A good military strategy must satisfy NATO's
strategic imperatives and be credible to Soviet military planners,
while remaining affordable and politically acceptable to alliance
members. The objective of NATO's strategy cannot be merely to re-
place nuclear risk with non nuclear certainty. Instead, it must be
flexible enough so that an agressor is never able to predict with
confidence how NATO would respond to attack.
V. Recommendations: Upgrading NATO's conventional forces must be
an Alliance priority. The need for allied cohesion is more vital
than ever before. Restoring and maintaining the strategic balance
to reverse years of neglect is vital to demonstrating our credibil-
ity and resolve.
NATO MILITARY STRATEGY AND FORCES
Thesis: This paper will examine the military strategy and forces
that NATO employs for the defense of Western Europe
I. NATO Current Military Strategy
A. Goal Of NATO Strategy
B. Article 5 of North Atlantic Treaty
C. Military Balance Based On Nuclear Superiority
D. Flexible Response
E. Nuclear Response
F. High-Tech Strategy
G. Political and Economic Strategy
II. NATO Force Deployment
A. Based On A Central European Conflict
B. Power In Favor Of Warsaw Pact
C. NATO Forces
D. Soviet Naval Fleet
E. Northern Flank
F. Southern Flank
III. NATO Strength and Weakness
A. Balance Of Power
B. Weapons and Equipment
C. Soviet Capabilities
D. NATO Capabilities
E. Control Of The Sea
For over three decades, the North Atlantic Treaty Organiza-
tion (NATO) has preserved the National Security interest of the
United States (US) and Western Europe. NATO has weathered the
Suez crisis of 1956, the Middle East wars of 1967 and 1973, the
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the institution of mar-
tial law in Poland in 1980, and weathered the Pershing II and
cruise missile deployment of 1983. Since the mid-70's however,
the Soviet Union's modernization of its conventional and nuclear
forces and the debate over appropriate NATO responses have raised
questions about the political cohesion of the Alliance.
In addition to political cohesion within the Alliance there
are military, and economic issues that must be examined when re-
viewing NATO's military strategy. Although there are shared in-
terests and objectives among the members of the Alliance, it must
be remembered that each member country has its own interest as
well. Blending this diversity of interest toward common Alliance
goals is not always achieveable. This presents the continuing
problem of conflicting demands on limited resources and complicates
the military, economic, and political solidarity of the Alliance.
This paper will examine the military strategy that NATO em-
ploys for the defense of Western Europe. I will do so through an
examination of NATO's strengths and weaknesses; an overview of
NATO's land, sea, and air force deployment; and an analysis of
NATO's military capabilities. This paper will conclude with sev-
eral specific recommendations to address the various challenges
that face the NATO Alliance today.
NATO'S MILITARY STRATEGY
The goal of US strategy for the defense of Europe, and of
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ever since its founding,
has always been deterrence.1 The existence of the Alliance and
the US commitment to defend Europe is intended to avert a Warsaw
Pact attack by showing that such an invasion would cost more than
it could gain or win.
Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty states that an attack
on one member shall be considered an attack on all. NATO's stra-
tegy for the defense of Europe has no more important goal than that
of making this principle credible. If NATO members linkage to each
other is credible then deterrence is insured.2 This approach has
secured peace in Europe for 39 years. While many parts of the
world have experienced armed conflict during the same period of
time, Europe has not experienced any serious conflicts despite the
ever-present East-West confrontation.
In the past, NATO has always created a military balance with
the Warsaw Pact Nations by relying on some form of Western nuclear
superiority to offset its perennial conventional inferiority. More-
over, NATO has invariably threatened nuclear retaliation for any
conventional attack. However, the alliance and its allies can no
longer rely on an unquestioned Western nuclear superiority to deter
all uses of nuclear weapons by the Soviets. As a result, the assump-
tion that several hundred allied and Warsaw Pact divisions might
engage in a conflict in Europe with neither side resorting to
nuclear weapons is simply unrealistic.3
Historically, during the 1950's and early 1960's American
policy proposed "massive retaliation" on the Soviet Union for an
unstoppable Soviet attack on Western Europe. Since the late 1960's,
NATO policy has shifted to the doctrine of "flexible response".
This is a strategy that relies on mutually reinforcing conventional
forces, theater nuclear forces, and strategic nuclear forces. Thus,
under this strategy, NATO might now react to an unstoppable Soviet
attack on Western Europe with theater nuclear weapons-artillery
shells, short-range missiles, or air strikes.4 The adoption of a
strategy of Flexible Response occured when the protracted debate
over its adoption made clear the realization that NATO's earlier
doctrine, based on massive retaliation, had in effect committed
the Alliance to "inflexible response".5
At this point it is necessary to point out that American nu-
clear policy in Europe is fundamentally different from American
nuclear policy at the strategic/intercontinental level. At the
strategic level, nuclear weapons are basically restricted to second
use, that is, respond to any first use of strategic nuclear weapons
by the Soviet Union.
In Europe, however, the US and NATO plan to request first use
of nuclear weapons as a warfighting strategy if deterrance fails.
General Bernard W. Rogers, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, has
Under current conditions, if we are attacked
conventionally, we can only sustain ourselves
conventionally for a relatively short time. I
then will be forced to follow the guidance I
have received from ministers and ask for
the authorization from my political author-
ities to use nuclear weapons.6
The Soviet Union's unprecedented arms buildup of the last
15 years has threatened to undermine the credibility of NATO's
deterrent. In addition to the Warsaw Pact's superior conven-
tional strength, a dangerous new element is the Soviet monopoly
on intermediate-range nuclear missiles which can strike Europe.7
In order to renew the viability of the NATO military strategy,
all of the NATO nations made a two-part decision in December 1979.
First, to deploy in Europe NATO weapons capable of deterring an
attack by Soviet SS-20's and other intermediate-range nuclear
forces (INF). Second, was a decision to enter into negotiations
with the Soviet Union to reduce the level of these weapons on both
Both of these decisions were essential in order to maintain
the strategy that has always been the basis of NATO deterrence,
i.e., maintaining linkage between the US and its NATO Allies. The
deployment of a new generation of INF weapons is essential in or-
der to redress the Soviet monopoly on intermediate-range nuclear
Last year NATO defense ministers adopted a new, high-tech
strategy for the early 1990's called FOFA, for "follow-on forces
attack." It envisions a heavy dependence on "smart" munitions
still in a costly development program; long-range airborne radar,
and target selection by computer. It also calls for attacks
across the border into Eastern Europe. The goal of FOFA will be
to prevent enemy "follow-on" forces from reaching the front line
after an initial attack. FOFA will give the alliance an alter-
native to nuclear weapons by reducing its numerical disadvantage
against the Warsaw Pact in tanks, artillery and men. General
Rogers, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, said: "We must let the
Warsaw Pact know that if they initiate an attack, their forces
will not enjoy sanctuary in their own territory."9
The security of the NATO Alliance is based not only on mili-
tary strategy, but also on the political solidarity and economic
soundness of member countries. The role of economic sanctions,
the need for more high level talks, arms negotiations, and East-
West trade relations in general, remain a source of differing
Most European governments hold the position that, not being
at war with the Soviet Union, that trade should not be interrupted,
provided it is based on national interest without unilateral gifts,
and it excludes military-sensitive products. Also Europeans em-
phasize the inefficiency of embargoes: they think it is a mistake
to try to solve military problems by economic means.10
Although there are numerous differences of opinion between
the US and its NATO Allies on strategic debates and perception
of the threat, NATO strategy remains as sound and as valid as
the day it was formally adopted. NATO's strategy of "flexibility
in response" continues to provide a sound basis for meeting to-
day's security requirements. For the strategy to remain effective
however, NATO needs to improve its conventional forces so that
together with Allied nuclear capabilities they form a strong de-
The prospects for a credible NATO conventional option have
brightened against the background of the faltering credibility
of nuclear "deterrence-on-the-cheap," and with the emergence of
promising technology that can be harnessed particularly to "deep-
strike" missions against Warsaw Pact air assets and follow-on
The objective of NATO's efforts to improve its conventional
capabilities cannot be merely to replace nuclear risk with non
nuclear certainty. That would simplify the evaluation for a poten-
tial aggressor. Instead it must insure that an aggressor never pre-
dict confidently how NATO would respond to attack. In an era of
overall nuclear parity, reinforcing that uncertainty requires an
effective mix of conventional and nuclear capabilities that neither
forces NATO to early nuclear use from conventional weakness nor
precludes such use should the Alliance so choose.13
NATO strategy has always been one of war-preventing. The
strategy has worked. Like any dynamic element in the arena of
International Affairs, change and constant adjustments are always
necessary. The NATO Alliance is equipped to address changing in-
NATO FORCE DEPLOYMENT
United States policy has been to let the planning for our
conventional forces be determined primarily by the requirement
for fighting a war centered in Europe, in which NATO forces would
be attacked by the Warsaw Pact.14 This emphasis recognized that
Soviet military forces were concentrated in Central Europe. Con-
centrating on the need to be strong in the center led to the
assumption that if the Alliance could meet this greatest threat,
it could counter lesser threats.
In reviewing the defense of the Central Region, the balance
of military power clearly favors the Warsaw Pact. NATO's forces
are now so thinly deployed along the central front that a sustained
defense in depth is not possible.15 The main forces of the Cen-
tral European Command are Allied Air Forces Central Europe (AAFCE),
the Northern Army Group (NORTHAG), and the Central Army Group
(CENTAG) with their associated Allied Tactical Air Forces. Addi-
tionally, the 2nd French Corps consisting of three divisions is
stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) under the terms
of a Status of Forces Agreement. Should France commit these forces
futher reinforcement would occur.
Soviet presence is strongly obvious on the Northern Flank,
where the Soviet Northern Fleet has dispersed from its home base
at Murmansk to the Barents and Norwegian Seas. This establishes a
strong threat in most of the North Atlantic north of the Greenland-
Iceland-United Kingdom (GIUK) gap. Allied convoy operations could
seriously be impeded by the Soviets during any conflict on the
Northern Flank. Rapid reinforcement and supply have always been
the central defense problem in the north. The Soviet Naval ex-
pansion has threatened sea control since NATO's defensive positions
in Norway are now behind Soviet maritime forces. The NATO base
structure in the north is also thin. Security of the flank depends
on the continued use of bases in Iceland and Greenland.16
NATO's Southern Region is the largest area in Allied Command
Europe (ACE) covering almost half a million-square miles, including
the strategically important Mediterranean, and the nations of
Greece, Turkey and Italy. The Southern Flank is also important be-
cause it is linked geopolitically to the Middle East. The US 6th
Fleet is charged with supporting Greek and Turkish land forces in
Turkey is of critical importance to the defense of the South-
ern Region. In addition to sharing a land border with the Soviet
Union, Turkey controls the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Control-
ling these straits and airspace in this region severely constrains
Soviet Naval power.17
Greece is also of great importance to the Alliance. There are
major airbases in Greece where US aircraft committed to NATO are
based. Additionally, Greek ports have serviced units of the US
6th Fleet and naval vessels of other NATO Allies. Protecting
these NATO sea lines of communications are critically important
because, in time of war, the majority of war material to the penins-
ular nations of Italy, Greece, and Turkey would come by sea.18
Recent Soviet incursions into Southwest Asia and the Horn of
Africa signal a much different type of threat to the Alliance in
the comming decade. The Alliance must increase the range of con-
tingencies for which it will have to generate Alliance support,
specifically, reliance of NATO on Persian Gulf oil and dependency
on the African Continent for strategic minerals.19
NATO MILITARY STRENGTH AND WEAKNESSES
The strategic assumptions under which the Alliance has been
operating are no longer correct and in fact have not been correct
for some time. The nuclear superiority of the United States has
disappeared. Because the credibility of NATO's deterrent posture
and strategy depended largely on the overwhelming strategic nuclear
superiority of the United States, it was only a matter of time be-
fore that credibility began to erode. Unfortunately, that grace
period was shorter than NATO had planned. Despite early indica-
tions of this erosion, the West did nothing to address increasing
vulnerabilities. In addition, the US lead in military technology
was sufficient advantage for many US defense policy makers; we
could always depend on the "state of the art" advantage to carry
us through a difficult period.20
In 1982, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization published
NATO and the Warsaw Pact - Force Comparisons. In his foreword,
NATO Secretary General Joseph M.A.H. Luns stated:
The numerical balance of forces has moved
slowly but steadily in favor of the Warsaw
Pact over the past two decades. During this
period the members of the North Atlantic
Alliance have lost much of the technological
edge which permitted NATO to rely on the view
that quality could compensate for quantity.
It is clear that the trend is dangerous.
Nevertheless, the overall deterrent continues
to safeguard peace.21
Western Europe possesses a substantial portion of the world's
wealth, technology, industrial capacity, and military power. The
Soviet goal in Western Europe is to weaken the Alliance to the
point that it is no longer a viable entity. In wartime, the
Soviet's primary objective is to seize the initiative quickly
and defeat NATO forces before they could mobilize or be rein-
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engi-
neering William J. Perry stated before Congress that the US would
have to roughly triple the production of ordnance to match that
of the Soviet Union. And then, he added, "as we finally got those
weapons deployed, we would have to double the size of our peace-
time Army to man those weapons."22
The US capabilities are declining relative to those of the
Russians according to former Defense Secretary Melvin Laird. Not
only do they have a large force structure now, they will have an
even larger one in the future. Over the past ten years, the Soviets
have introduced into their conventional forces four new classes of
tactical fighters and a new class each of tanks, armored personnel
carriers, sea control aircraft carriers, and amphibious ships. They
have produced one new attack submarine per month (we produce one
per year). By late 1985, the Soviets will begin construction of
three nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, complete a class of 32,000-
ton cruisers, replace the forward edge of their armored force in
Central Europe with a more heavily armed and heavily armored tank,
and increase significantly their arsenal of surface-to-surface
NATO and US forces have also been strengthened in recent years,
but not as rapidly as Warsaw Pact forces. Allied ground and tac-
tical air forces are programmed for major modernization. This
includes larger numbers of new tanks, combat aircraft and other
systems. The Army is receiving the M-1 tank and Bradley fighting
vehicles, as well as the Multiple Launch Rocket System, improved
anti-tank weapons and air defense weapons. Allied air forces
continue to modernize by acquiring European NATO F-16 fighters
and Tornado strike fighters. These combined Allied measures should
significantly strengthen NATO's forward defense capabilities, and
more importantly, reverse the negative trends in the NATO-Warsaw
Pact force balance.24
If flexible response is to be credible, this strategy must
be backed by strong strategic forces. The Soviet Union achieved
strategic parity with the US in the 1970's. Today, the Soviets
enjoy an advantage in virtually every component of conventional
strength in Europe.25
The Europeans have become politically paralized by their fear
that a reduced American commitment will focus the destruction on
Europe, leaving the homelands of the two superpowers untouched.
US doctrine concedes the loss of a substantial amount of territory
early in any conflict.26 Forty percent of West Germany's popula-
tion is within 60 miles of the border, along with many of the Allies'
air bases and stores of ammunition and fuel.27
The Soviet Union leads the US in the number of interconti-
nental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) launchers, 1,398 to 1,054; and in
Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) launchers, 950 to 656.
In addition, the Soviet inventory includes at least 308 heavy mod-
ern ICBM's - the SS-18 which is undergoing systematic moderniza-
tion - while the US is deactivating its heavy Titon II system.
Additionally, the Soviet Long Range Aviation force of long-range
bombers consists of 49 Bison bombers, 100 Bear bombers, approxi-
mately 70 Backfires, 320 Badgers, 140 Blinders and the new long-
range bomber called the Blackjack.28 During this period of rapid
and intense Soviet modernization of their strategic systems, the
US has deployed just the Trident submarine system and is still
developing advanced ICBM and bomber systems. The soviet buildup has been
thorough and relentless in conventional, chemical, and nuclear
weapons. It has been a buildup that far exceeds any legitimate
requirement for defense. Most destabilizing of all aspects of the
buildup has been its deployment of SS-20 missiles, most of which
are aimed at the heart of Western Europe.29
At a time of rough US-Soviet parity of the Strategic level,
the emergence of the powerful SS-20 force has given the Soviets
the capability they have long sought; to intimidate Western Europe.
Consistent with NATO longstanding consensus on deterrence, the
Alliance made a unanimous decision in December 1979 to respond to
the Soviet military buildup. This decision has two dimensions or
tracks. NATO would deploy Ground Launched Cruise Missiles and
Pershing II's in Europe, but at the same time, would try to bring
the Soviet Union to the negotiating table for the purpose of making
In the mid-and late-1960's, the West had a clear advantage
in European Theater weapons. US Polaris submarines committed to
SACEUR, NATO medium-range strike aircraft, the British bomber and
Polaris submarine fleets, and the French nuclear forces were con-
sidered superior to the medium bombers and 750 Mid-Range Ballistic
Missiles (MRBM) and Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM)
the Soviets had deployed for use in Europe.
Today the Soviets field a formidable array of weapons for
use in Europe. They currently have deployed more than 600 MR/IRBM's
and SLBM's and nearly 500 nuclear capable aircraft to support the-
ater-wide nuclear operations. This compares with the West which
(including French theater forces) has approximately 190 Intermedi-
ate Range Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (IR/SLBM) and 580
tactical/strike aircraft earmarked for Europe. The composite of
theater nuclear capabilities now available to the Warsaw Pact
suggests that the balance of nuclear forces has shifted from favor-
ing the West to favoring the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact
The mission of the Soviet Navy is two-fold; first, to pro-
tect the seaward approaches to Warsaw Pact territory and coastal
waters including submarine patrol areas, and, second, to neutral-
ize allied maritime forces which could threaten the success of
Soviet military operations. Each of these two major missions
requires distinct groups of ships and aircraft.32
Of the two Soviet Naval missions, the second mission poses
the greatest threat to NATO forces. The reason for this is be-
cause the members of the Alliance depend on the sea lines of
communication to transport energy and raw materials. Western
Europe is particularly dependent on the Middle East for oil. Fur-
thermore, NATO strategy of defense depends on US reinforcements
transported by ship from the United States.33
Allied Command Atlantic (ACLANT) is responsible for the
North Atlantic area from the North Pole to the Tropic of Cancer.
In the event of war, its duties are to participate in the strate-
gic strike role and to protect sea communications. Other naval
forces are contributed by Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the
Netherlands, and Portugal. The nucleus of the striking Fleet
Atlantic has been provided by the United states Second Fleet with
five attack carrier groups. Allied Command Channel (ACCHAM) would
in wartime control the southern North Sea. Many of the smaller
warships of Belgium, Britain, and the Netherlands are earmarked
for this command, as are some maritime aircraft.34
Finally it is significant to note that Pact naval forces are
especially vulnerable at certain geostrategic choke points. The
Black Sea Fleet has to pass through the narrow Turkish Straits,
the Baltic Fleet must traverse the Danish Straits, and the North-
ern Fleet must pass through the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom
gap to "burst out" into the Atlantic Ocean. All three choke points
present tactical advantages to NATO naval forces.35
Recognizing that NATO is an Alliance of many nations with
many individual interest, it becomes apparent why achieving inter-
operability is such a complex task. For example, tactical commun-
ication equipment used by land, sea, and air forces of Alliance
nations usually cannot communicate directly with each other because
of differences in operating frequencies, or encryption method. A
total integrated system for NATO would require many compromises
from individual member nations. Because this is unlikely, it will
remain an area of weakness in the NATO Alliance.36
Finally, when reviewing inter and intra-theater logistics,
other war planning and war prosecution problems surface. Rapid
reinforcement of men and equipment is an element critical to NATO's
military strategy. US reinforcement efforts are logistically
supported by a combination of airlift, sealift, and prestockage
of material. Prepositioned organizational material configured in
unit sets (POMCUS) is a system of overseas storage of US military
equipment for the initial reinforcing units. This is the first
step in moving large numbers of US troops into Europe for the
rapid reinforcement of NATO that is necessary to redress the numeri-
cal superiority of the Warsaw Pact. Exploiting the best features
of US airlift and sealift, including all available national reserve
air and sea assets, still is not enough to meet logistics require-
ments of moving men and equipment. To alleviate this shortage,
NATO nations will provide ships and aircraft to move US troops and
The Warsaw Pact can move many of its central reserves rapidly
by road and air; some of its airborne and air-mobile forces could
be moved even more rapidly. NATO cannot sustain an effective de-
fense against these reinforced Warsaw Pact forces solely with in-
place personnel and equipment. A successful defense therefore is
largely dependent upon the timely arrival of substantial reinforce-
ments, not only from the United States, but also from Canada and
within Europe itself--from the United Kingdom and Portugal. The
transportation problem obviously would be considerable even in
the event of reasonable warning period. Rapid reinforcement is a
very complex operation that demands the timely availability of
numerous resources, particularly transport aircraft and shipping.
As a result, inter and intra-theater logistical planning efforts
Comparing NATO's military strengths and weakness with those
of the Warsaw Pact reveals that there are many asymmetries which
make it impossible to conclusively determine which Alliance is
the most capable of winning a war.
The continued improvement in Warsaw Pact strategic and thea-
ter nuclear capabilities over the last fifteen years has signifi-
cantly altered the military environment in Europe. Because NATO
does not have the conventional, theater nuclear, or strategic
forces to meet the Warsaw Pact threat there is a credibility gap
between NATO strategy and NATO capabilities.
The US and its NATO allies can no longer rely on an unques-
tioned Western nuclear superiority to deter all uses of nuclear
weapons by the Soviets. Under conditions of strategic parity
coupled with probable Alliance theater nuclear inferiority, a NATO
nuclear response to non-nuclear Warsaw Pact aggression is self-de-
feating. Responsibility for deterrence in Europe therefore has
shifted to NATO's conventional forces which are outnumbered and
questionably deployed. The need for allied cohesion is more vital
today than ever before, yet where is the flexibility of response?
In the broadest sense what is needed is to reestablish a mili-
tary balance between the Warsaw Pact and the Alliance. History
shows that an imbalance of military power between two rivals leads
to trouble. Economic balance certainly favors the Alliance over
the Pact. Considering the Pact's internal turmoil, especially
in Poland, the political environment in NATO is also healthier
than in the East.
Upgrading NATO's conventional forces must be an Alliance
priority. At a NATO summit meeting in Bonn, President Reagan
and other leaders of the Alliance reaffirmed their belief that a
credible conventional defense is paramont to ensuring European
security. A strengthened conventional balance could alleviate
the nuclear dilemma. It could bolster deterrence of a Soviet
conventional attack and at the same time raise the nuclear thres-
hold. The first step toward improving conventional forces is to
do better with what NATO already possesses. Training, doctrine,
force structures and dispositions, approaches to the preposition-
ing of equipment and the time-phasing of reinforcing capabilities
must now be optimized. Shortages in airlift and sealift assets,
both so critical for rapid reinforcement, must be addressed. Ammu-
nition and war reserve material stockpiles must be replenished to
proper levels. NATO must focus its efforts toward improving its
ability to conduct combined-arms operations that involve the
integrated use of conventional and nuclear weapons.
Restoring and maintaining the strategic balance is another
necessary condition for deterrence to be credible. Perceptions of
the strategic balance affect the judgements of adversaries and
friends around the globe who rely on the US. The US must signal
its resolve to friend and foe that it intends to maintain this
cornerstone of the military balance. Since US strategic forces
are the ultimate guarantor of European security, it is a must to
continue and perhaps accelerate the deployment of strategic weapons
systems such as the Peacekeeper ICMB, the B-1B bomber and the ad-
vanced technology bomber, as well as the Trident submarine.
As part of NATO's need to reverse years of neglect in respond-
ing to the Warsaw Pact threat, continued modernization of theater
nuclear forces is a must. This NATO has started with the deploy-
ment of the Pershing II and ground launched cruise missile sys-
tems. There are movements both in Europe and in the US to stop
the deployment of these missiles. The Alliance must resist pres-
sure and remain firm in its commitment to continue deployment until
the Soviets remove their SS-20 missiles. Additionally, NATO must
continue to review and improve its military strategy for the 1990's
In the final analysis, the NATO Alliance must demonstrate
credibility and resolve through its strategy and forces. If the
threat of force still has meaning, then the political messages
that the Alliance sends to the Warsaw Pact may be more important
than the military medium they use.
1Casper Weinberger, "NATO's Sixteen Nations Assessing Current
NATO Strategy," Baltimore Sun, 31 January 1985, p. 38.
2"NATO's strategy and Current Myths," Department of State
Bulletin, March 1983, p. 3.
3Robert Kennedy, "Soviet Theater Nuclear Forces," Air Force
Magazine, March 1981, p. 83.
4Ibid., p. 79.
5Casper Weinberger "NATO's Sixteen Nations Assessing Current
NATO Strategy," Baltimore Sun, 31 January 1985, p. 38.
6Anthony H. Cordesman and Benjamin F. Schemmer, "Interview
With General Bernard W. Rogers, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe,"
Armed Forces Journal International, September 1983, p. 72.
7Robert Kennedy, "Soviet Theater Nuclear Forces," Air Force
Magazine, March 1981, p. 81.
8"NATO's Strategy and Current Myths," Department of State
Bulletin, March 1983, p. 23.
9Robert Ruby, "New NATO Strategy Uses 'Smart' Arms, Raises
Worries on Cost, Casualties," Baltimore Sun, 6 February 1985, p.
10Soviet Pipeline Sanctions: The European Perspective, Hearing
Before the Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States,
97th Congress, 2nd Session, Washington, GPO, 1983, p. 27.
11Casper Weinberger "NATO's Sixteen Nations Assessing Current
NATO Strategy," Baltimore Sun, 31 January 1985, p. 38.
12Robert W. Komer, A Credible Conventional Option: Can NATO
Afford It?" Strategic Review, Spring 1984, p. 33.
13Casper Weinberger "NATO's Sixteen Nations Assessing Current
NATO Strategy," Baltimore Sun, 31 January 1985, p. 38.
14Jed Snyder "Strengthening the NATO Alliance: Toward A Strategy
for the 1980's, "Naval War College Review, March-April 1981, pp.18-19.
15Ibid., p. 24.
16Ibid., pp. 32-33.
17Ibid., p. 32.
18Ibid., pp. 33-34.
19Ibid., p. 35.
20Ibid., pp. 18-19.
21Joseph M.A.H. Luns, NATO and the Warsaw Pact: Forces
Comparisons, North Atlantic Treaty Organizations 1982.
22Edgar Ulsamer, "The Politburo's Grand Design: Total Military
Superiority," Air Force Magazine, March 1981, p. 44.
23Ibid., p. 46.
24Richard N. Perle, "NATO at 35: Strong and Resilient," Defense
85, January 1985, pp. 18-19.
25Jed Snyder "Strengthening the NATO Alliance: Toward a Strat-
egy for 1980's," Naval War College Review, March - April 1981, p. 24.
26Ibid., p. 21.
27Robert Ruby, "New NATO Strategy Uses 'Smart' Arms, Raises
Worriers On Cost Casualties," Baltimore Sun, 6 February 1985, p. E-1.
28Edgar Ulsamer, "The Politburo's Grand Design: Total Military
Superiority," Air Force Magazine, March 1981, p. 48.
29"NATO's Strategy and Current Myths" Department of State
Bulletin, March 1983, p. 23.
31Robert Kennedy, "Soviet Theater Nuclear Forces," Air Force
Magazine, March 1981, pp. 80-81.
32Joseph M.A.H. Luns, NATO and the Warsaw Pact: Forces Compar-
isons, North Atlantic Organizations 1982.
33Ibid., p. 16.
34"The North Atlantic Treaty: The Military Balance 1982/83,"
Air Force Magazine, December 1982, p. 84.
35Joseph M.A.H. Luns, NATO and the Warsaw Pact: Forces Compar-
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