Missiles in Europe: The Case for Deployment

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Missiles in Europe: The Case for Deployment

October 27, 1983 26 min read Download Report
Manfred R.
Senior Visiting Fellow
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300 October 27, 1983 I MISSl LES IN ;I EUROPE THE: CASE FOR DEPLOYMENT I r INTRODUCTION Barring a last-minute agreement at the negotiating table in Geneva, NATO governments will initiate their intermediate-range nuclear force (INF) modernization program this December, as they agreed to four years ago. Fierce opposition by some Europeans to INF deployment of the first batch of missiles in three NATO countries will be a critical test of the Alliance's political resolve and c0hesion.l initial deployment.

Yet there is. no reason to postpo ne the To the contrary. There are compelling political and military reasons why deployment must proceed as scheduled. Only the arms control process will determine whether the full complement of 108 Pershing 11s and 462 ground-launched cruise missiles (GLC M s) will eventually be stationed in Western Europe proposal outlined by President Reagan in his address to the United Nations on Sep.tember 26, 1983, offers a good platform for further negotiations and displays a high degree of flexibility on the part of t h e Alliance The new negotiating I. The political symbolism of the need to implement the deployment decision was underscored by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's statement If we break our word, we would plant the seeds for the destruction of NATO The Dai ly Telegraph, Serbzmber 19, 1983, p. 5.

In his address to the United Nations, President Reagan modified the U.S negotiating position.

U.S. and Soviet missiles in Europe and indicated that the U.S. might deploy the difference elsewhere to accept fewer than the maximum number of Pershing I1 missiles.

York Times, September 27, 1983, p. A16 He dropped U.S. insistence on an equal number of H e also noted that the U.S. is prepared The New 2 Deferring INF deployment would engender serious discord among the allies and likely unravel the carefully balanced deploy ment scheme It would embolden the opposition forces in many NATO countries to intens i fy their pressures for unilateral Western concessions that would weaken further NATO's deterrence to the growing Soviet European theater nuclear threat. To postpone deployment at this juncture, moreover, would cast doubts on NATO's ability to sustain poli t ically indispensable military force posture decisions at the negotiations in Geneva, indicate Western susceptibility to Soviet propaganda, and confer upon Moscow a facto veto over NATO's military planning the Soviets may have to reach arms control agreeme n ts, whether on INFs or strategic forces It would also reward Soviet intransigence This would eliminate whatever incentives The case for INF deployment, in fact, is even more compelling today than it was when NATO adopted its Vwo-track approach" of moderni z ing its INFs while simultaneously seeking an arms control agreement with the Soviet Union.3 Using the same criteria that NATO applied in 1979, the.number of missiles that NATO should be deploying ought to be much higher than it is. Soviet SS-20s have trip l ed since 1979, while Moscow has not dismantled older SS-5s and SS-4s at the pace of SS-20 deployment. In addition, the Soviets have enhanced their shorter-range nuclear capabilities by deploying a new family of missiles and advanced technology nuclear cap a ble aircraft. The Soviets also have increased their conven tional capabilities--numerically and qualitatively. The combined effect of this Soviet military buildup has been to so erode NATO's deterrence posture that it is about to lose ~redibility The NATO deployment of new missiles is not to increase the West's threat to the Soviet Union. Rather it is to offset--and only partially--an increasing new threat from the Soviets. NATO's INF, at most, is a slow minimal reaction to a buildup that Moscow launched a half-dozen years ago I THEATER NUCLEAR BALANCE ESSENTIAL TO NATO DOCTRINE NATO's dual-track decision of 1979 culminated two years of NATO studies of the implications for nuclear doctrine and force posture of changes in the international strategic environm e nt.5 For a detailed discussion of the evolution of NATO's deployment decision see The Modernization of NATO's Long-Range Theater Nuclear Forces, Report prepared for the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the Commit tee on Foreign Affairs U.S. H ouse of Representatives, by the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, December 31, 1980, pp. 15-36.

Lawrence Freedman Nato Myths Foreign Policy (Winter 1981-82 pp 48-69 and Francois de Rose, "Updating Deterrence in Europe: Inflexible Respons e Survival, March/April 1982, pp 12-23 Uwe Nerlich Theater Nuclear Forces in Europe: Is NATO Running out of Options The Washington Quarterly, Winter 1980, pp 100-1

24. The evolution of NATO's nuclear strategy to cope with the nuclear dilemmas of the allia nce is discussed well in David N. Schwartz, NATO's Nuclear Dilemmas Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1983). 3 These studies were initiated in response to growing European fears that strategic arms control agreements, such as SALT, and the Sovi e t buildup of theater nuclear forces would place European security interests seriously at risk In part, the studies also were intended to defuse West European suspicions that the U.S would sacrifice allied security interests for the sake of reaching a stra tegic agreement with the Soviet Union, or that the U.S might not stand by Europe in the event of a Soviet attack.

West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt first drew attention to the impact of strategic nuclear parity as codified in SALT I when he told the No rth Atlantic Council on May 10, 1977, that Ithe SALT process may lead to a paralyzation of the Soviet and American central strategic forces.i16 Six months later he voiced concern that "SALT magnifies the significance of the disparities between East and We s t in nuclear tactical and conventional wea pons.!l7 ment of the TU-26 Backfire bomber and of the SS-20 missile, beginning in 1974 and 1977, respectively. Europeans were also alarmed by the Carter Administration's willingness to exempt the Backfire from SA L T I1 while concurring to restrictions on the deployment of cruise missiles, a weapons system that Europeans hoped would offer a low-cost opportunity to rectify the growing theater nuclear imbalance on the European continent.8 These disparities were growin g because of Soviet deploy Europeans clearly felt that the continued credibility of extended deterrence" based on the American pledge to the nuclear defense of Western Europe was being undercut severely by strategic nuclear parity and the progressive devel opment of a separate theater nuclear deterrence relationship in Europe. These factors spurred new concerns as the credibilit Ilflexible response" was seen at stake.

The U.S. and the West Europeans have never seen eye-to-eye on the role of nuclear weapons l ocation on the faultline in any East-West military conflict, the West Europeans have sought consistently to commit the U.S. to a strategy of absolute deterrence based on early recourse to strategic nuclear weapons. Therefore, they have steadfastly refused to think beyond deterrence or to contemplate the operational use of theater nuclear weapons stationed in Europe. Nor have they accepted such concepts as nuclear warfighting that have been increasingly stressed by U.S. strategists and found expression in o f NATO's doctrine of 4 Conscious of their geographic Chancellor Schmidt's speech was reprinted in Survival, July/ August 1977 pp. 177-178.

Reprinted in Survival, January/February 1978, pp 2-11 Richard Burt, "The Cruise Missile and Arms Control," Survival, January F.ebruary 1976, pp. 10-17.

Andrew Pierre, "Long-Range-Theater Nuclear Forces in Europe The Primacy of Politics," in Marsha McGraw Olive and Jeffrey D. Porro, eds., Nuclear Weapons in Europe (Lexington: Lexington Books, 1983 pp. 39-48 I 4 the Presi dential Directive 59, issued in July 1980 by the Carter Administration.lo By contrast U.S. officials more and more have sought military options designed to postpone as long as possible conflict escala tion to the strategic nuclear level. Thus they have co n sistently stressed the need for military capabilities to deter war at all possible lower levels of engagement through what is called assured escalation dominance. This refers to NATO's ability to bring about an early termination of a military conflict on favorable terms by deliberately raising the level of conflict and then prevailing at that higher level.

When NATO adopted flexible response as its new doctrine in 1967, the allies struck an uneasy compromise between these two fundamentally contradictory approaches to nuclear deterrence.

The doctrine was kept deliberately ambiguous with respect to the precise military requirements and operational concepts to be employed when escalating a conflict. In this respect, the doctrine accommodated the divergent int erests of both sides to the extent they could be reconciled. Essentially, therefore, "flexible response was a political compromise couched in'military terms It stated deterrence of aggression as its cardinal objective but beyond this general observation, was so vague as to defy operation al application.

The Europeans seemingly acknowledged the logical validity of U.S. insistence that a credible deterrent depended on the ability to meet aggression at any level of violence through a range of options across t he entire spectrum of warfighting. With respect to their own contribution to NATO's deterrent, the Europeans accepted the need for stronger conventional forces to raise the nuclear threshold as well as to improve their battlefield capabi lities. They thus concurred with the basic U.S. premise that to dominate the escalatory process, NATO must possess a panoply of nuclear systems short of strategic weapons, even though the actual use remained largely undefined.12 In practice, however, the West Europeans hav e never fully subscribed to "flexible response." Rather, they have pursued a lo For a discussion of the evolution of the directive, see Colin S. Gray Presidential Directive 59 pp. 29-

37. Its implications for nuclear targeting are discussed in a historical context in Desmond Ball Targeting for Strategic Deterrence,"

Adelphi Papers, No. 185, 19

82. Christopher Makins TNF Modernization and 'Countervailing Strategy Survival, July/August 1981, pp. 157-1

64. This ambiguity regarding the operational use of nuclear weapons is criti cized by many strategists as one of the principal weaknesses of NATO's theater nuclear posture. See, for instance, Jeffrey Record, NATO's Theater Nuclear Force Modernization Prog r am: The Real Issues, Special Report Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc Boston, November 1981 Flawed But Useful Parameters, March 1981 l1 l2 5 strategy of '#conventional sufficiency, It meaning they have sought to prolong their own inability to wit h stand Soviet conventional aggression without early recourse to nuclear escalation expressed their intentions of maintaining the near automaticity of escalation by the U.S. to the strategic nuclear level at which the U.S. and USSR attack each other directl y with nuclear weapons despite the changes of NATO's declaratory policy In this sense the Europeans continue to pursue a slightly modified version of massive retaliation 13 This THE CRITICS OF DEPLOYMENT Due to the complex interpenetration of the po'litica l and military elements, NATO's INF decision has drawn criticism from groups spanning the entire ideological spectrum. The most destruc- tive and politically potent criticism comes from those who chal lenge not only NATO's military strategy and continued r e liance on nuclear deterrence but also seem to embrace a pacifism that prompts them to reject alliance with the U.S. and involvement in the systemic conflict between East and West. Though found also in the U.S these critics are mainly in the European antin u clear movement. Composed of polyglot groups of largely leftist political orientation and varying intellectual backgrounds, this movement has dominated the antideployment campaign in Western Europe and now.threatens to drive some NATO governments into advo c ating arms control agreements that critically erode NATO's force posture.14 The critics of deployment mount six main arguments The SS-20 Poses No New Threat to NATO It is contended that NATO has lived with the threat of Soviet long-range theater nuclear f o rces for a quarter century and that replacement of obsolete missiles by the Soviet Union does not increase this threat.15 This argument ignores the l3 l4 The Modernization of NATO's Long-Range Theater Nuclear Forces, op. cit For a country-by-country analy s is of the status of and pressures in the pp 11-12 domestic debate, see Second Ikerim Report on Nuclear Weapons in Europe prepared by the North Atlantic Assembly's Special Committee on Nuclear Weapons in Europe, A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relatio ns, U.S. Senate, January 1983, pp. 34-58.

For this argument see, for instance Heading Off Disaster: The Need to Combine the INF and START Negotiations The Defense Monitor., Vol. 12(6 1983, p. 3, and Raymond L. Garthoff The Soviet SS-20 Decision Survival May/June 1983, pp. 110-1

19. Garthoff contends that there is "no evidence to support the idea that the Soviet leaders saw a political 'option flowing from their SS-20 military deployment decision and that there existed a compelling military technical ration ale for the SS-20 deploy ment pp. 113 and 114 l5 6 significant differences in the capabilities of the vintage SS-4s and SS-5s and those of the SS-20s. While the older missiles were able to strike time-urgent targets, their ability to do so was severely co n stricted by preparing their liquid-fueled rocket engines forces termination of the missiles' readiness status after a few hours to avoid explosion of the liquid propellant. Furthermore the SS-4s and SS-5s are stored in fixed silos, and thus are more vulne rable to NATO attack than the mobile SS-

20. The older missiles carry large, one-megaton (MT) warheads with relatively inaccurate guidance systems and, therefore, are typical counter city weapons unsuited for selected targeting of in-theater military asset s This process not only takes hours to complete but By contrast, the SS-20 is a solid-fuel missile, ready for firing within minutes, and carries three smaller warheads of 150-kilotons (KT) each. Both Pershing 11s and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs ) carry only one warhead of lesser yield.

The highly accurate reentry vehicle (RV) guidance system of the SS-20s is capable of delivering the low-yield warheads within 300 meters of the target. Finally, the reload capacity of the SS-20 launcher has suggest ed to military planners that this weapon unlike its precursors, is designed for a sustained military campaign. Thus, to argue that the SS-20 does not increase both Soviet capabilities and risks to NATO is to ignore the opera tional logic of technological advancements.

Deployment of the SS-20 is even more .destabilizing by virtue of the ongoing modernization of shorter-range theater nuclear weapons for battlefield use. For instance, the Soviets are systematically replacing older model SCUDS and FROGS as wel l as SCALEBOARD with more advanced SS-Z~S, SS=2ls, and SS-22s and are upgrading the quality of their frontline dual-capable aircraft. They also have announced they would retaliate against NATO's INF deployment by stationing their new SS-24 missile in East Germany.

The synergistic gains from these across-the-board improvements of Soviet theater nuclear forces and their implications for NATO are undeniable.

I (2) INF Deployment Provokes the Soviets by Posing a New Threat.

This conveniently overlooks the fa ct that it is Moscow which has provoked the looming crisis by deploying the SS-20s. The Soviets apparently intend to separate the West Europeans from the U.S. by establishing a Eurostrategic theater and opening Western Europe to nuclear blackmail. Whereas MOSCOW'S theater nuclear modernization program poses a new threat to NATO, the alliance's measured response will not significantly increase the physical damage it can inflict on the Soviet Union potential list for INF destinations currently can be covered by the submarine-launched missiles (SLBMs) deployed on U.S. Poseidon submarines assigned to the Supreme Allied Command in Europe (SACEUR) and, to a lesser extent, by the 164 F-111 fighter bombers stationed in Britain under U.S. command. Instead of imposin g a I All targets on a 7 new military threat, INF deployment will only ensure that the Soviet Union cannot wage a nuclear attack on Western Europe and maintain its homeland as a sanctuary, short of strategic nuclear escalation by the United States.16 There f ore, deployment of INF will shift the escalatory burden onto Soviet shoulders It is for this reason that the Soviets have mobilized all their propa ganda resources to prevent the implementation of NATO's deployment deci~i0n.l 3) INF Deployment Is Destabil izinq.

This argument is.based on two interrelated assumptions.

First, that the vulnerability of INFs and the threat they pose to the Soviet Union will invite Soviet preemptive nuclear strikes before they can be used by NATO are first-strike weapons that w ould create a hair-thin nuclear trigger during East-West confrontations. Of course, NATO INFs could be attacked by Soviet missiles if NATO has insufficient warning time to disperse INFs to reduce their vulnerability. But the Soviets are prepared in any ev e nt, according to their doctrine of "combined arms warfare to use nuclear weapons whenever necessary to attain their military objectives. Thus, INF station ing by itself would not precipitate a Soviet first use of nuclear weapons. Conversely, after INF dis p ersal by NATO, the Soviets could no longer count on their ability to destroy in a preemptive strike a large enough number of these systems to make the costs of NATO retaliation either predictable or to'lerable. This uncer tainty strengthens deterrence of a Soviet preemptive strike.18 Second, that the Pershing 11s To ascribe Ilfirst-strikell qualities to the Pershing 1.1 is at best to use a wrong term, at worst to deliberately confuse the public. Its short flight time and the accuracy of its warhead enables the P-I1 to strike hardened priority targets (an ability the Soviets have against virtually all European targets with their SS-20s). But to use its hard-target capability as proof that it is a "first-strike" weapon endowing NATO with a "first 16 17 18 Jam e s A. Thomson Nuclear Weapons in Europe, Planning for NATO's Nuclear Deterrent in the 1980s and 199Os Survival, May/June 1983, pp. 98-109 After failing to keep NATO from taking the INF decision in 1979, the Soviets have carefully manipulated the Western pu blic and have lent material support to various anti-nuclear groups in Western Europe review of the Soviet strategy, see Jeffrey Barlow MOSCOW and the Peace Offensive Heritage Backgrounder No. 184, May 14, 1982.

A number of strategists point up the danger o f preemption in the context of criticizing the INF deployment mode as too vulnerable instance, Jeffrey Record Theatre Nuclear Weapons: Begging the Soviet Union to Pre-empt Survival, September/October 1977, pp. 208-211, for a general critique of NATO's the ater nuclear posture and Jeffrey Record p 100 For a See, for NATO's Theate; Nuclear Force Program detailed critique of the INF deployment plan.

The Real Issues, op. cit for-a 8 strike" potential is misleading lity is restricted in its use to the ability to exercise a disarm ing first strike against an enemy strategic development has been the longstanding objective of the U.S. in the SALT and STAR T negotiations. And the 108 Pershing 11s that are being deployed are hardly sufficient to target the Soviet Union for a disarming first strike, for even Moscow is beyond their range.lg The term 'Ifirst-strikell capabi To avoid such a destabilizing 4 Critic s of NATO's INF deployment reject as unfounded the claim that the loss of U.S. strategic superiority has affected the viability of the doctrine of "flexible response.11 They maintain that the awesome spectre of an all-out nuclear war inherent in the very u n certainty instilled by the existence of the strategic arsenals of both superpowers is a sufficient deter- rent against Soviet aggression. Implicitly they contend that because nuclear war is uncontrollable, nuclear weapons for sub strategic nuclear warfare are undesirable, if not counterproduc tive. Thus, their denial of the impact of strategic parity on NATO's deterrent posture is based on the notion of maximum deter rence through minimal capabilities below the strategic nuclear level.Z0 Impact of Strateqi c Parity is Denied.

By contrast, the doctrine of "flexible response'l has critical- ly depended, at least implicitly, on U.S. strategic superiority for its credibility. Its second pillar has been the availability of a range of military options through whic h to terminate a conflict before it escalated to the strategic nuclear level. In its efforts to fend off European concerns about the implications Carter Administration for a long time denied that the strategic nuclear force balance codified in SALT had an y bearing on the credibility of the U.S. commitment to Europe or its ability to imp.lement it. But it ultimately acknowledged the validity of Chancellor Schmidt's contention that the effect of.strategic parity had been magnified by changes in the theater n uclear balance in Europe that placed I1flexible responseIr at risk.

The opponents of INF deployment thus fundamentally reject Iflexible responsei1 as a viable strategy. Thereby, they erode European security interests, and they question whether the Atlantic security relationship serves European needs I of SALT for NATO doctrine and European security interests, the I the delicately crafted political compromise between U.S. and I At the same time l9 Wolfgang Schreiber, Der Nato Doppelbeschluss (Sankt Augustin : Konrad 2o Adenauer Stiftung, 1983 p. 7 This perspective clearly underlies the argument presented in Karsten D Voigh$"Das Risiko eines begrenzten Nuclearkrieges in Europa, Zur Diskussion filer die westliche Militgrdokrin und den NATO-Doppelbeschluss vom D e zember 1979," Europa-Archiv, Folge 6, 1982, pp. 151-160 I 9 9 paradoxically, .they base European security on a total commitment by the United States to initiate all-out nuclear war on their behalf, in spite of the doubts they harbor about U.S. reliability to fulfill this pledge. Being ardent critics of nuclear war and weapons on moral grounds, they also base their security on the morally unsustainable threat of mutual annihilation.21 If NATO is to safeguard the viability of its strategic doctrine, it will h ave to counter the ramifications of the U.S loss of strategic nuclear superiority and the concurrent buildup of Soviet theater nuclear weapons. INF deployment as configured will strengthen NATO's deterrent posture but, by itself, will not meet all of NATO 's needs 5) INF Deployment Reinforces Decouplinq.

This proposition is based on the assumption that the U.S commitment to the defense of Europe even with strategic nuclear weapons has not been affected by the loss of U.S. strategic superiority and that the U.S. nuclear umbrella of "extended deterrence" remains intact. Simultaneously, however, proponents of this viewpoint charge the U.S. with trying to extricate itself from its strategic nuclear commitment of "extended deterrence" by emplacing weapons system s in Europe that will allow it to fight a nuclear war confined to the European continent. There are a number of logical contradictions in this position. First, if nothing has changed, why should the U.S. seek to extricate itself from its nuclear commitment to Europe? Second, if nuclear war is indeed uncontrollable, how can the U.S. conceivably succeed in limiting nuclear war to Europe? Third, if the Soviet Union adhered to its declared posture that any attack on its territory from Western Europe with nuclea r weapons controlled by the U.S will be considered a U.S. attack resulting in retaliation against the continental U.S how could the U.S. evade strategic nuclear escalation?2 6) Present Weapons Systems are Adequate.

Many opponents of INF deployment contend that no new'weapon systems need to be deployed because the present inventory of European-based nuclear weapons is fully adequate, if not already excessive. Their principal arguments are: first, the U.S 21 The moral dimensions of nuclear deterrence have re c ently attracted a great deal of attention in the Christian churches. For a brief review of the status of the debate, see Phyllis Zagano, ed The Nuclear Arms Debate," Bookforum, Vol. 6(3), 1983, and the author's contribution to the forum section of Orbis, Fall 1983 (forthcoming).

Christian Coker and Heinz Schulte, "Strategiekritik und Pazifismus, Zwei Haupttendenzen in den westeuropiischen Friedensbewegungen Europa.Archiv Folge 14, 1983, pp. 413-4

20. Their discussion emphasizes the linkage between the deb ate on NATO strategy and the resurgence of neutralism and pacifism 22 10 controlled F-111 bombers, U.S. Poseidon submarines assigned to SACEUR, and dual-capable aircraft stationed in Europe constitute an adequate deterrent and are capable of performing th e long-range missions for whic.h INF are designed; second, British and French nuclear forces currently undergoing modernization should be considered part of NATO's deterrent but are deliberately omitted in the comparisons of NATO-Warsaw Pact capabilities; t hi'rd, NATO maintains short- and medium-range nuclear weapons numbering over 6,000 in Western Europe, which should suffice to deter Soviet aggre~sion.2 Contrary to these assertions, however, NATO's theater nuclear posture suffers from a mismatch of availa b le but hardly useful systems and those needed to uphold the strategy of Ilflexible response.Il The F-111 medium-range bombers stationed in the United Kingdom are not only aging but can no longer confidently penetrate Eastern European and Soviet airspace b e cause of .enormous improvements in Warsaw Pact air-defense capabilities. Unless equipped with air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) that would give these aircraft a stand-off capacity, these F-111s will progressively lose their operational utility. The sam e applies to nuclear-capable fighter bombers and the British Vulcan bombers of early 1960s vintage. Furthermore, all dual-capable aircraft currently earmarked for nuclear missions are therefore unavailable for air superiority and ground support tasks signi f icant drain on NATO's already thinly stretched conventional air assets. To increase reliance on aircraft for nuclear missions would exacerbate this aleady precarious situation. Most signifi cantly, NATO's medium- and long-range theater nuclear forces are q ualitatively inferior to the modern, missile-based Soviet nuclear forces. Aging bombers and sea-launched ballistic missiles cannot be compared on a one-on-one basis to land-based nuclear missiles because of their inferior survival rate, speed, accuracy, a n d state of readiness This amounts to a It is undeniable that the French and British nuclear forces contribute to NATO's nuclear deterrent, but these weapons are under the national control of these NATO countries and, for purposes of definition, must be co nsidered strategic systems.

They are designed as weapons of last resort to deter an attack on the homelands of their owners. Furthermore, to include these systems under the overall NATO ceiling in an arms control agreement along the lines suggested by the Soviet Union would freeze the U.S. out of its central role in the European theater nuclear balance and result in its separation from the central strategic balance. Finally, this would violate the principle of equality between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and, when applied to the 23 Richard H. Ullman, "Out of the Euromissile Mire," Foreign Policy, Spring 1983, pp. 39-

52. The European opposition to INF deployment has embraced these contentions which are also shared by the U.S. nuclear freeze campaign and t he arms control community. 11 asymmetrical alliance commitments of both superpowers, would result in unequal security for this is the only weapons category in which NATO still holds an edge over the Soviet Union, though it is shrinking. Recognizing the li m ited utility of these weapons, their age, and'the excessive ness of the existing stockpile, NATO has already withdrawn 1,000 of these tactical nuclear warheads and another 2,000 to 3,000 are slated for retirement beginning this fall. Most critically howev e r, despite the remaining size of the stockpile, these weapons are useless as substitutes for NATO INFs because of their limited range. Thus, to compare the relative theater nuclear capabilities of NATO and the Warsaw Pact in pure'ly quantitative terms wit h out regard to their qualitative differences is highly misleading and does not support the case against INF deployment Insofar as short-range theater nuclear weapons are concerned At the other end of this spectrum are those who deride NATO's deployment dec i sion on numerous counts. First, they charge, as claimed by Alexander Haig, that the small number of new warheads is a llpolitical expedient and tokenism1! because it does little to correct the growing theater imbalance between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. Wi t h respect to GLCMs, they consider them of small military value because they are not being deployed in numbers necessary to overwhelm enemy defenses. Second, these critics assail the weapons mix and its deployment configuration as inflexible and highly vul n erable. They also contend that NATO has failed to evolve an operational doctrine for the eventual use of these systems.25 In fact, they consider the deployment decision an expression of NATO's unwillingness to reassess its theater nuclear strategy so as t o resolve the inherent inconsistencies of Ilflexible responsell and to align declaratory doctrine with military capabilities unrealistic, because NATO possesses little bargaining leverage by offering deployment limits on weapons that are not fully operatio n - al The arms control position is also depicted as Moreover, they express the fear that NATO may lock itself 24 Charles Gellner, British and French Nuclear Forces in the INF Negotiations Congressional Research Service, Issue Brief No. IB 83117, July 25, 1 983.

Gellner provides an excellent exposition of the arguments for and against the inclusion of the Britlish and French nuclear forces in the 1F agreement.

The principles of equality and equal security were agreed upon in .SALT I even though they are oper ationally contradictory noted that the USSR did not insist on the inclusion of French and British forces until late in 1981 It should also be 25 Jeffery Record, NATO's Theater Nuclear Force Program op. cit offers the best exposition of this line of critic i sm of the INF The Real Issues decision. 12 into a position of permanent theater nuclear inferiority through a too narrowly focused arms control approach.26 POLITICAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST DEPLOYMENT Paralleling the strategy debate permeating arguments against INF deployment is a much broader debate, mainly among West European youth, on the desirability of Europe's continued security relation ship with the United States.27 In many respects, this controversy exemplifies the fragmentation of the postwar consensus on foreign and security policy, the essential underpinning of the Atlantic alliance.28 interests of their countries as differing from those of the United States In fact, some even believe that the direction methods, and even motives of U.S. foreign policy jeopardize a wide range of their countries' interests.

These feelings manifest themselves in resurging pacifism, neutralist sentiments, and anti-Americanism in a number of European countries, where they had been submerged in the past. At present this oppo sition is expressed by rejection of the deployment of INFs, but the trend among the European postwar generation portends more profound and far-reaching future changes in U.S.-European relations unless a new consensus restores allied unity. Among the argum e nts against missile deployment are A growing number of Europeans perceive the security 26 27 28 NATO decided in 1979 to seek first negotiations on the SS-20 and deliberate ly excluded the Backfire bomber, shorter-range theater nuclear weapons and nuclear- c apable aircraft. This approach was intended to simplify the negotiations the upgrading of Soviet short- and medium-range nuclear weapons inasmuch as SALT I had neglected the impact of the SS-20 deployment on NATO's deterrence posture. Thus, unless accompa n ied by collateral limitations on SS-2ls, SS-22s, SS-23s, and SS-24s as well as other components of the theater nuclear arsenal, limitations on the SS-20s will tend to magnify the import.ance of these weapons systems for the theater nuclear balance in Euro pe.

Through SS-20 deployment, the Soviets also exploited the gray zone between strategic and theater nuclear weapons two-stage SS-16 and the third stage can be added within hours, thus converting it to a strategic missile. Second, by substituting a light s ingle warhead for the three reentry vehicles, its range can be enhanced significantly. Finally, its range is roughly 3,000 miles and, when stationed in the Kamchatka Peninsula, it is capable of striking Alaska.

See Christian Coker and Heinz Schulte Strategiekritik und Pazifismus op. cit and Benjamin F. Schemmer A Growing Anti-Alliance Attitude Threatens Free World Defense Armed Forces Journal International, February 1982, pp. 66-77.

Klaas G. de Vries, "Security Policy and Arms Control: A European Perspec tive in Marsha McGraw Olive and Jeffrey D. Porro, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, op. cit., pp. 51-64, pp. 51-53 However, it was shortsighted in that it failed to anticipate first, the SS-.20 is a 13 1 Achieve Securi ty Through Arms Control.

Many Europeans take issue with the need to capable nuclear weapons in Europe. They stress station more the need to enhance security through U. S Soviet arms control agreements.

These critics argue: first, that arms control can be an adequate substitute for NATO force modernization; second, that the Soviet military buildup is less menacing than NATO alleges and its implications, less significant for NATO's deterrence posture; third, that the U.S. is not negotiating in earnest and i s responsible for the stalemate at the negotiations; fourth that Soviet insistence on counting British and French nuclear systems against the NATO ceiling is legitimate; fifth, that NATO deployment at least can be postponed to allow additional time to reac h an agreement; sixth, that even if no agreement can be reached, NATO should cancel deployment.29 These critics fail to acknowledge that the Soviets, not NATO, started and sustained the arms buildup that tilted the military imbalance in Central Europe.

NAT O's de facto 1979-1983 moratorium the Soviets tripled the number of warheads targeted against Western Europe (while maintain ing that a nuclear balance still existed the concessions and innovative new proposals made by the U.S. at the negotiations. Most f undamentally, they forget a cardinal lesson of history: that appeasement invites aggression They ignore that during Critics also ignore 2) U.S. Foreign Policy Is Contrary to Europe's Interests.

The steep deterioration of East-West relations after a deluding spell of detente has heightened concerns that U.S determination to resist Soviet aggression on a global scale might result in a military conflagration that could spill into Europe.

This danger, it is argued, will grow when INF enables the U.S. to strike Soviet territory with nuclear weapons from Europe. There fore, according to this argument, stationing INF in Europe will solidify the U.S. ffstrangleholdfl over Western Europe and perpetuate the inability of Europeans to exercise control over their own s ecurity.

This charge rests on the myopic belief that Europe can insulate itself against the global ramifications of Soviet expan sionism.30 It is also predicated on the assumption that the U.S 29 30 This general line of reasoning is shared to varying degre es by the diverse groups comprising the peace movement.

This new "Eurocentric" worldview was best illustrated by European reluc tance to react forcefully to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It is also expressed by the unwillingness of the European NATO allies to join the U.S. in countering the Soviet threat in regions outside NATO's defense perimeter, such as the Persian Gulf. However, it is unlikely that Europe could escape a U.S.-Soviet confrontation elsewhere in the world.

Towle, Europe .Without Ame rica: Could We Defend Ourselves London Institute for European Defense and Strategic Studies, Occasional Paper No. 5, 1983 p. 25 Philip 14 is embroiled in a global power struggle akin to that among the great powers of with the Soviet Union he 19th century. Finally it is based on the conviction-that military instruments of policy have lost their utility in the nuclear age.

Coupled with this reasoning are deep suspicions about U.S motives in foreign policy, which place the U.S. in the same category as the Sov iet Union. Such thinking discounts the U..S role as the guardian of the Free World; it repudiates the common values shared by all democratic societies which are worth defend ing--if necessary by force. It is imbued with a strand of pacifism and neutralism and poses a fundamental challenge to the Atlantic Community 3) INF Deployment Sets Back Europe's Denuclearization.

This argument is predicated on the assumption that NATO should reduce reliance on nuclear weapons. The first step in this direction should b e a renunciation of NATO's doctrine of nuclear lffirst-uself in response to Soviet conventional attack followed by progressive nuclear disarmament would be a so-called European nuclear free zone. INF deployment by NATO, goes the argument, would increase N A TO's reliance on nuclear weapons and complicate efforts to negotiate such a zone for Europe The eventual outcome While it is very desirable to decrease reliance on nuclear weapons by strengthening NATO's conventional forces, proponents of this argument do not necessarily support the increased military outlays called for in NATO's 1978 Longterm Defense Program.31 Even if conventional forces are substantially bol.stered, they would still be far inferior in numbers to the Soviet juggernaut..

As a result, NATO could not renounce the right to use nuclear weapons without jeopardizing its deterrent, which is founded on NATO willingness to escalate a conventional conflict to the nuclear level. This instills the uncertainty into Soviet war planning upon which succe ssful deterrence depends a nuclear-free zone in Europe increase stability on the continent.

Increased cooperation between East and West notwithstanding stability on the continent is fundamentally a polit ical problem unrelated to a particular military force posture the Soviet Union does not relinquish its control of Eastern Europe and disavows its ideological commitment to extinguish democracy by brute force, NATO cannot let down its defenses including re l iance on nuclear deterrence Nor would And as long as 31 In fact, most opponents of INF deployment are also ardent critics of stronger conventional defenses modeled on the "Rogers Plan" or the proposals advanced by the European Study Group. See Report of t h e European Study Group, Strengthening Conventional Deterrence in Europe, Proposals for the 1980s (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983). 15 CONCLUSION I Over the past several years, NATO governments courageously have withstood wave after wave of Soviet disi n formation and intimidation. They have stood firm on INF deployment, should there be no arms control agreement, despite the domestic political costs associated with their steadfastness. Most recently, the Soviets have stepped up.their intimidation of Weste r n Europe by threatening to deploy, for the first time, nuclear weapons in East Germany and elsewhere outside USSR borders. The Western press has headlined this as a new threat and an escalation of the nuclear arms race, even though the Soviets did this so m e time ago. General Nikolai Chervov, a member of the Soviet military leadership, confirmed this again in a recent interview. He also warned that, by forward-positioning its missile force, the Soviet Union would threaten the U.S. with the same short warnin g time it would have following INF deployment.

Contrary to the impression of the qualitatively new threat to U.S. security that General Chervov wanted to create, the Soviets have had this capability in the form of sea-based missiles for a long time. And pl acing intermediate-range .missiles in Cuba or Nicaragua would be such a daring and provocative act as to risk a serious confrontation with the U.S.

Even though the arms control negotiations have not yielded concrete results, NATO must not be temDted to commomise its legitimate security interests at the negotiating table in the vain belief that any arms control agreement is better than none.

Nor will such an agreement silence those who adduce.some of military and political reasons for delaying or canceling INF deployment.

Since NATO's decision in 1979 to deploy the INF (unless there is an arms accord it has become clear that the Soviet Union is intent on increasing its advantage in intermediate-range nuclear forces. Contrary to MOSCOW'S earlier pledges tha t it would observe a moratorium on SS-20 deployment during the negoti ations at Geneva, the Soviets have continued deployment within striking distance of NATO targets deploy a single missile and, even once the full contingent of its INFs will have been de ployed in the late 1980s, its theater nuclear posture will require further improvements because imbalances will persist.

If NATO is to reach an agreement with the Soviets, it must not waver from the deployment schedule. Only through deter mination will it convince Moscow that it is in Soviet interests to reach an agreement at Geneva By contrast, NATO has yet to Manfred R. Hamm Policy Analyst I


Manfred R.

Senior Visiting Fellow