von Hassel, Kai-Uwe
January 1965
Foreign Affairs;Jan1965, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p209
The article focuses on the adoption of common defense strategy in Western Europe. The importance of the military potential of Western Europe in any East-West conflict is undeniable. Since any war would be a catastrophe not only for Europe but also for all the nations of the alliance, it is of the highest importance to see that the risk for the potential aggressor remains incalculable and that deterrence remains credible. The maintenance of that credibility in the atomic age calls logically for a system of graduated deterrence, since resort to a system of total nuclear defense, which would be tantamount to self-destruction, is not credible. The concept of flexible response in Europe--both political and military--must not be interpreted to mean that the so-called atomic threshold can be raised unduly high, without reference to political considerations. In order to prevent this, atomic demolition mines, nuclear air defense weapons and, if need be, nuclear battlefield weapons must be made ready for employment in an early phase of a recognizable attack on Europe.


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