Rosenthal, Benjamin S.
January 1973
Foreign Affairs;Jan1973, Vol. 51 Issue 2, p380
The article focuses on the participation of the U.S. in the 1973 European Security Conference (ESC) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The Soviet Union first proposed such a conference in 1954 to forestall West German rearmament. As a manifestation of Russian refusal to recognize the legitimacy of a U.S. presence, the U.S. was to be relegated to observer status. The West has already achieved a great deal from the fulfillment of its preconditions for convening the conference. Perhaps most important was the Warsaw Pact agreement in 1970 to a full role for the U.S. and Canada in the ESC, a move which meant at least temporarily accepting the legitimacy of the U.S. role in Europe. There are serious domestic objections to current U.S. troop commitments in Europe. These criticisms, raised principally in the U.S. Senate, argue in favor of unilateral reductions of U.S. troops in Europe. The reservations about the size of our troop deployment overseas stem from the following perceptions: a dangerously high U.S. balance-of-payments deficit, costly manpower inefficiency, high budget costs, and the absence of military necessity.


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