Kissinger, Henry A.
July 1962
Foreign Affairs;Jul62, Vol. 40 Issue 4, p515
Academic Journal
This article highlights the meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defense and foreign ministers held at Athens, which underlined the urgent need to resolve the debate of the past years about the relative role of nuclear and conventional forces, the relationship of deterrence to strategy and the control and use of nuclear weapons. This debate was first given impetus when, shortly after the advent of the new administration, the United States proposed that the conventional forces of NATO be strengthened--specifically, that they be brought up to the level of 30 divisions agreed upon in 1957. This curious dialogue, in which a change of emphasis in United States policy was defended in terms of traditional doctrines of NATO, in many ways only increased the uneasiness of our allies. There were a number of reasons why the NATO goals for conventional forces had never been met. An important one was the fact that in terms of the prevailing NATO strategy these forces did not make much sense. Any prudent planning for NATO in the 1960s must start from the assumption that the utility of a counterforce strategy for the defense of Europe is bound to decline.


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