Walinsky, Louis J.
December 1982
Foreign Affairs;
This article addresses several issues concerning the defense strategy adopted by the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies against the Soviet Union. One vital benefit which is struggling to emerge from the prolonged debate about U.S. President Ronald Reagan's military budget proposals is a recognition that the U.S. and its NATO allies have until now lacked a meaningful and coherent strategy of defense against the Soviet Union. Appreciation of this fact may not yet fully have penetrated the Pentagon or been recognized by U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. But it does appear to have reached the White House. The first indication of this came in a little noticed but potentially vastly important statement made by William P. Clark, the President's National Security Adviser. The new strategy, he declared, would include diplomatic, political, economic and informational components built on a foundation of military strength. In a limited application of this concept, he noted that the nation must force their principal adversary, the Soviet Union, to bear the brunt of its economic shortcomings. The stiff opposition and criticism the Reagan initiatives encountered both abroad and at home, were based on quite other grounds.


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