chapter  Chapter 5
13 Pages

Nuclear-Conventional Tradeoffs: The Debate in Europe

WithCatherine McArdle Kelleher

This chapter focuses on the nature of the European debate, and the problems of political logic and economic constraint it reveals. It discusses the causes of increased interest and commitment to conventional alternatives and describes the actual range of opinions among the key North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners. The chapter highlights the factors critical for policy change and propositions developed for delimiting conventional options in the near future. The basis for defense planning, therefore, must be deterrence and the avoidance of any rhetorical or operational signal that conflict, either nuclear or conventional, could be tolerated or confined. Nuclear war and nuclear strategy clearly command the greatest share of attention at all levels of knowledge and emotional involvement. The paradoxes among the British and French response patterns are even more pointed. More than sixty percent of each national sample favors retention of the national nuclear deterrent.