July 30, 1987 | Lecture on Europe
PANEL I: Political Considerations PANEL II: Military and Security Considerations
Melvyn Krauss Jeffrey Record New York University and Hudson Institute the Hoover Institution Josef Joffe David Abshire, Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung Center for Strategic and International Studies Stephen Haseler Kim Holmes University of Maryland The Heritage Foundation
Derek Leebaert William Lind Catholic University The Military Reform InstituteModerated by W. Bruce Weinrod
May 8, 1987 The Lehrman Auditorium The Heritage FoundationPANEL I- P01MCAL CONSIDERATIONS W. Bruce Weinrod On behalf of The Heritage Foundation and my colleagues, I welcome you to a discussion on the U.S. and NATO. Before introducing our panelists, I would like to take a couple of moments to reflect on the context for this afternoon's program. There can be no doubt that the NATO alliance has been an historical success story. It has played a crucial role in maintaining peace and freedom since its founding. Conditions, however, have changed and will continue to change. Just because a policy was once wise and s uccessful does not automatically mean it will always be wise and successful. Changes include a shift in the strategic theater and conventional military balances toward Moscow's favor; growing tendencies in Europe, particularly in left of center political movements, to question at least the military dimensions of NATO; and a rethinking of the U.S. role in NATO by a number of Americans. Other shifts also are emerging: resurgent European nationalism, resentful of the U.S. presence and influence; differing per ceptions of the nature and seriousness of the Soviet threat; differing perceptions of the benefits and lessons of detente; different priorities of a global power such as the United States in contrast to those of regional powers in Europe; the emergence of a successor generation on. both sides of the Atlantic which does not share the experience of the World War 11 era. On the other hand, there remain certain common core strengths of the alliance including: its continuing ability to develop new initiatives, such as those in the conventional arms area spearheaded by Ambassador Abshire; the overall ability of NATO to develop unified and reasonably tough stances on East-West negotiating positions; and the fundamental linkage of shared values and institutions. W hat then can one say about the U.S. and NATO? First, perceptions of NATO are in a state of ambivalence and flux. Granted, tensions and problems have been inherent in the relationship from the beginning and there have been some very rough moments. But the c urrent situation may be different. While it is impossible to know at the time the historical significance of trends, it may be significant that questions and critiques of the U.S. role in NATO are coming as never before from all parts of the American poli t ical spectrum, and in some cases, have been accompanied by calls for withdrawals of substantial numbers of U.S. troops. These trends and developments call for a thorough and responsible examination of the U.S. and NATO. We hope that this symposium will co ntribute to that process and to the security of the U.S. and its allies. Let me now begin Panel I on political considerations regarding the U.S. and NATO. Our first speaker will be Professor Melvyn Krauss of New York University and the Hoover Institution, author of How NATO Weakens the West.
Profewor Melvyn Kraim
After World War H, the devastated and demoralized Western Europe felt vulnerable to a Soviet invasion. To pacify European anxieties and deter a potential aggressor, the United States agreed to station the equivalent of six infantry divisions in Europe. According to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, first supreme commander of the allied forces in Europe, U.S. troops were to remain in Europe for a limited time only. When the economies of the Eu r opean allies recovered, it was envisaged that the U.S. troops would be brought home. "When I went back to Europe in 1951 to command the forces of NATO," wrote President Eisenhower in 1963, "the United States agreed to supply the equivalent of six infantry divisions, which were to be regarded as an emergency reinforcement of Europe while our hard hit allies were rebuilding their economies and capabilities for supporting their own defense. Now, twelve years later, these forces, somewhat reinforced, are still there." Indeed, today, some 36 years after President Eisenhower took up his NATO command, more than 340,000 U.S. troops remain in Europe, despite the fact that aggregate European gross national product now equals that of the United States. Ile cost of the s e troops to the U.S. taxpayer is enormous. It is estimated that the U.S. government spends between $130 and $160 billion per year to -support NATO. If the U.S. were to withdraw from Europe, a significant portion of this money could be saved and used for o t her purposes. For example, as a result of the savin cut, or the (&derived from the U.S. troop withdrawal, taxes could be federal cit reduced, or an anti-missile system, such as SDI, financed. Such savings, of course, would be foolhardy if sufficient benef i ts to this country from our gargantuan expenditures on NATO could be proved, that is, if the benefits from NATO could be shown to be greater than their costs. NATO supporters claim that the most significant benefit from U.S. troops in Europe is that they h ave kept the peace for some 40 years, a dubious argument that makes the 'elementary error of confusing correlation with cause and effect. True, there has been peace in Europe for 40 years, and just as true, the U.S. troops have been in Europe for nearly t hat same period of time. But just because one of them correlates with another in no way implies a causal relationship between the two.
For example, President Eisenhower wrote, in 1963, "1 believe the time has now come when we should start withdrawing some of the U.S.'troops. One American division in Europe can now show the flag as definitely as can several."
Do NATO defenders, such as Da vid Abshire, Richard Burt, and Lawrence Eagleberger, really mean to imply that, had the U.S. followed the advice of this most preeminent NATO expert and removed the five infantry divisions from Europe, war would have broken out in Europe? NATO supporters also claim that the3 affiance, has strengthened our European allies. The truth, however, is the opposite. 'By providing Europe with a defense guarantee symbolized by the troops in Europe, the U.S. has robbed its aWes of the incentive to defend themselv es. In 1983, for example, the U.S. spent 6.6 percent of its gross national product on defense, while non-U.S. NATO spent only 3.6 percent of its GNP. It should come as no surprise, then, that of aU our Western European allies, France, which is least depen d ent on the United States for its defense, is the least accommodationist toward the Soviet Union, while West Germany, which is most dependent on the United States for its defense, is the most accommodationist. Not only has NATO created weak allies when it i s supposed to create strong @n@s, but to a large extent, it is responsible for the world living on the nuclear precipice. Feeling safe because of U.S. nuclear guarantees, the Europeans neglected to build up their conventional defenses as their economies r e covered from the devastation of World War 11. At the same time, the Soviet Union built up its conventional forces to the point where it currently enjoys a three to one edge in tanks, a five to one edge in infantry fighting vehicles, a five to one edge in a rtillery, better than parity in attack aircraft, a monopoly on automated tactical fire control, a one and a half to one edge 'in manpower, a huge edge in chemical weapons, a virtual monopoly in 50- to 500-mile range baUistic missiles. Indeed, because the p resent balance of conventional forces so strongly favors the Soviet Union, if Moscow were to launch a conventional attack on Western Europe, according to the outgoing NATO Supreme, Commander Bernard Rogers, NATO could fight for only days, not weeks, befor e facing the doomsday decision of surrender or launching a nuclear first strike. This is the so-called problem of the nuclear threshold. The only way the nuclear threshold..can be increased would be for Europe to spend more on its conventional forces. But Europe has been unwilling to do this, so long as U.S. troops remain on European soil and the symbol of U.S. defense guarantee persists. The low nuclear threshold puts the lie to the often heard claim by NATO supporters that the U.S. troops in Europe provi de this country with forward defense. This forward defense argument, "Beggar thy neighbor in the extreme," is that, in case of a Warsaw Pact conventional attack, it is better that the fighting take place on our allies' soil than our own. This argument is false. Because of the conventional imbalance, a prolonged conventional exchange is not very likely. Conventional fighting could be expected to escalate rapidly to nuclear weapons. The sad truth is that, thanks to NATO, the West has little, if any, conventi onal deterrent in Europe. This does not mean they do not have conventional forces, but that they are not a deterrent. What deterrent is there, then, to prevent a Soviet invasion? Die centerpiece of NATO, of course, has been the U.S. nuclear umbrella. But as the Soviet Union has approached, and perhaps surpassed, nuclear parity with the United States, the credibility of the U.S. nuclear guarantee has been called into question. Would the
destruction of American troops by invading Soviet forces serve as a tripwire to bring on American nuclear strikes against Moscow? I think not.
Plus, the American troops in Europe today promise the Europeans something the U.S. has no intention of delivering. The troops, however, do serve an important function as a politi cal symbol. They give European politicians the excuse they are looking for to justify their unwillingness to cut into their welfare states and spend. on defense. In the meanwhile, these same leaders bribe the Soviets with economic and political favors to give Moscow a vested interest in preserving the status quo in Europe.
Not only have the U.S. troops in Europe created weak allies who are more apt to appease than confront an enemy, they have fanned the flames of anti- ' Americanism abroad. This is particu larly true in West Germany. Now some West Germans view the U.S. troops as protectors. Others, still traumatized by their defeat in World War H, see the troops as a continuing army of occupation. Rather than t e Germans feel more a part of the Western team opposing Soviet impen s American troops make them feel disengaged and resentful. Were the U.S. to withdraw its troops in Germany, on the other hand, the Germans would feel less like spectators and more like players in the East-West struggle. If the United States troops in Europe serve this country's interests so poorly, why, then, is there such resistance in the country to calls for their withdrawal? Perhaps because of the association in the public's mind of troop withdrawal with isolation. But this associ a tion clearly is mistaken. Isolationists -typically argue. - that. America needs no allies. Yet, advocates of U.S. troop withdrawal from Europe, like Tom Bethel, Angelo Codevilla, Gregory Fossedal, Irving Kristol, and myself, recognize that the U.S. needs s trong allies and are concerned that NATO has made our allies weak. Ironically, pulling the troops out of Europe is not an isolationist argument; today, it is an internationalist one. A more likely explanation of the resistance to withdrawal is simply that the Europeans are vehemently against it. The State Department, for example, typically seeks to please U.S. allies, even when such an attitude is less than appropriate. To justify their compliant posture, State Department officials argue that a U.S. troop withdrawal would split or decouple Europe from America, which we are told is precisely what the Soviets want.
However, the Soviets have made no concerted effort to get the U.S. troops out of Europe, comparable, for example, to their effort to get the Persh ing missiles out of Europe, or shortcircuiting President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. This should come as no surprise. The NATO link between the U.S. and Europe has very much worked to the Soviet's advantage. Without doubt, since the late 1960s, the Europeans have been the foremost lobby to convince the United States not to defend itself seriously. When Americans try to decide whether or not to build neutron bombs, whether to rely on missiles or treaties, whether to oppose Soviet conquest in some comer of the world, or whether to build an anti-defense missile defense, we can count on the Europeans to weigh in to our political process with this message: "If you do this thing that you naively5 believe will add to your strength and security, you will lose us." No one who reads communist literature can fail to notice that the Soviet Union7s main message to its followers in Europe is not to decouple from the United States, but to use that coupli n g to Soviet advantage. Finally, resistance to U.S. troop withdrawal also comes from that I call Comment= Conservatives. Named after Comment [y Magazine, they are people like Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Steve Munson, and Alvin Bernstein, who fear that E urope would collapse if America pulled its troops out, as if the only thing standing between Europe and total Finlandization was the political symbolism provided by U.S. troops. The implicit assumption of this argument is that Europe's values have deterio r ated so badly that Europe could not or would not stand on its own feet to oppose the Soviets. The evidence, however, does not support this view'. Europe's values today appear as sound as our own. For example, the recent severe decline of the influence and popularity of the Communist Party in several West European countries, France and Italy in particular, is evidence that Western values have strengthened, not declined, in Europe. The defeat of domestic terrorists in Italy and West Germany through legal mea n s is evidence that Western values of due process and democracy are alive and well in these countries. The British proved their values meant more to them than many had expected when, in 1982, they fought a war with Argentina to recover the Falkland Islands . By this action, the British showed they were willing to fight and die to keep the Falklands British. Would they dare do less for Britain itself.? In all their lamentations about failed American resolve and the expansion of Soviet power, Commenta Conserva t ives fall into the Soviet trap by their apparent willingness to concede substantial amounts of political influence within the Atlantic Alliance to forces that serve Soviet interests, that is the Europeans. The myth that Europe would collapse if the U.S. w i thdrew its troops is a powerful lever. Europeans and their spokesmen in this country use it to shape U .S. foreign policy and military policy, for the troops in Europe are the symbol that keeps NATO and the doctrine of allied unity alive, a doctrine that t he. Soviets can and do use to influence American foreign policy-to their own advantage. If NATO and allied unity did not exist, an important avenue of influence over U.S. foreign policy would be closed to the Soviets. Mr. Weinrod: Thank you very much, Pro f essor Krauss, for a thorough presentation. I think the gauntlet has been thrown down. I did want to say just a word, although I was not ng to talk about our speakers' backgrounds. But we are particularly pleased to %Oai ve David Abshire here. Dr. Abshire w as our Ambassador to NATO and is particularly well positioned to respond to Professor Krauss's comments. We are very grateful to you for joining us. We know you are busy, as you resume your duties with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. S o we look forward to hearing your comments.
Dr. David Absbire Thank you very much. I am delighted to be here at Heritage for this discussion and exchange. And, by the way, I have great hope because I believe that Professor Krauss will write a sequel, 4ow NATO Can Strenaen the Wes.
the rearvi The problem today is that many people are looking throug ew mirror toward Eisenhower and de Gaulle, toward people in the ast who are much admired. But they are not really looking through the windshiel at what lies ahead.1 Some of the pessimism about the dangers I fully share. But I also have hope when I note that Senator Sam Nunn moved from a troop withdrawal amendment to supportig a partnership with NATO in the last three years. This did not get into Professor Kr a uss's book--the troop withdrawal amendment did, but not Nunn!s support for a partnership role. As we look at these problems, 1, too, could work out a retreat. I had a Jesuit friend, with whom I disagreed, who worked out a theory of preventive surrender, a n d there are many ways of handling such things. But I think it must be recognized that, however well intended, the solution just offered would give the Soviets that great, long sought after, but denied strategic victory. I agree that Europe must be strengt h ened. The reason for the commitment, in my judgment, is not cultural ties, investment, trade, Pacific Basin -versus Atlantic Community, and I spent a lot of time in Japan and greatly admire the country. The reason is that we experienced World War I and Wo r ld War II with 65 million people lost. Those wars could have been prevented. They were not prevented. There were aggressors, but even Hitler did not expect world war. No one expected world war in the summer of 1914 on the German general staff. Their intel l igence report was against it and the Kaiser was at Carslbad. So when you have these loose commitments, unclear alliances, it may lead to not just fimited war, but world war, and if that happens now, it may well be with a nuclear exchange. That is the purp o se, not econonucs. It is to prevent World War III. And I am one of those people--there are not many around--who thinks that could happen. Human minds are capable of repeating such folly in the circumstance of a fog of crises and unclear commitment such as we had in those two cases. We have an organization, but I am not a status quo man. And I think that orgam ation could so deteriorate that, under certain circumstances, I could see withdrawal. But I am not now sounding the trumpet to retreat when we have m ade1. In his remarks, Ambassador Abshire referred to his Burger Memorial lecture on NATO given in April 1987. For the teid, contact the Center for Strategic and International Studies. h
- 7 - such progress and when the dangers before us are so great, because in my net assessment, the nuclear balance has changed. We do not have escalation control. The maritime situation has shifted. The Soviets, in the 1990s, will be able, within two weeks, to put their northern fleet in the Norwegian Sea. They would h a ve what we used to call a "fleet in being" in classical naval strategy that will dominate the northern flank. They can, in fact, do so under exercise conditions without violating international law. They will be down in the GIUK gap.2 They can put their su b marine barrier down within three days, and they will have blocked the reinforcement of Norway and isolated Denmark and turned that flank. The Soviets study military history much more that we do. They even use it for operational purposes. They have their o p erational maneuver groups modeled after Guderian, and they would like to see their deep breakthroughs as he did it. And I think that NATO has got to make many adaptations to come to meet that new danger. I do not believe they have a policy of wanting to g o to war. They want influence; they want dominance; they want the capitals of Europe to clear their foreign policy with them, and they would like a neutral zone. And they are going to get a conventional, usable, more threatening conventional capability, fa r more threatening than the SS-20s, where NATO maintained its unity despite Soviet efforts. So the conventional balance becomes central in the 1990s. You then need to look ahead through that windshield for new ways of creating deterrents at that level wher e we have lost so much of our flexible response. As you look at the NATO picture, it is not that it is universally weak along the line. It is not that it is universally strong. It is uneven. If you had been the French Minister of Defense in 1938 and you re cognized there was a problem and you threw money at it and you strengthened the Maginot Line, you would not have changed what happened on May 13, 1940, on a mile and a half breakthrough at Sedan.
So we first have to understand the new nature of the threat of the 1990s and come to grips with it. And, of course, troop withdrawals or troops to reinforce Europe after it is too late will not help solve that problem. Let me say if the Soviets have this kind of potential of a fleet in being and no MiGs in being a i med at the northern army area, and there is a crisis, whether it is in the Persian Gulf or the Indian Ocean or the Caribbean, they have significant leverage in those Third World situations. So if you are going to withdraw troops, you will play i@to the ha n ds of the new tactics, blitzkrieg tactics of the Soviet Union, at a very important time, tactically and strategically, and contribute to the success of what they win have in the 1990s. If you withdraw those troops, you are not going to save any money unle ss you
2. The Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom gap (GIUK) is the designation for the sea lanes runnmg between these countries, which forms a sort bf chokepoint for Soviet ships and submarines going Erom their North Sea ports to the Atlantic.8 eliminate them, and you are going to spend $5 billion on readjustments.. And if you are going to build the airlift to get them back in there, you are going to get them back in there too late. Anyway, I am a resource strategist. I believe in investment strategies, a nd this one does not even make my list. If the United States, in a burst of leadership, were going to withdraw troops amd be the leader in an a la carte alliance, if we were to set that example, then we would really be recreating the conditions of the sum m er of 1914 or the 1930s. Now I paint a grim net assessment, and a lot of old NATO hands do not agree with it. Some of my neoconservative friends say that Europe is the last place where there will be any trouble. "Go to sleep there." 11at is not my view. ' n ere is going to be trouble in the 1990s, and it may come at a time when Moscow is 'at a crossroads, when it needs that external success because of internal failures. Is there a way out? Yes. Senator Nunn and I think there is. We already, in the last three years, have instituted some creative new thinking, a strategy for a better return on investment, and I think we should go forward to step two, which Senator Nunn calls revolutionary conventional defense developments. Let me just say, first, a better retur n on defense investment, in general, is going to be the name of the game. It is going to be one of the big debates in the coming election. One of the reasons we gained support and Congress came with us is because they saw that we were setting out to revers e structural disarmament and to get better return on investment in NATO. In a resources strategy, you have to know your net assessment. You have to understand the critical deficiencies--we are agreed on them. Some of the old hands, including some in the Pe n tagon and elsewhere, said, You can never do this. You'll never get such agreement." We got it. We developed a conceptual military framework. We moved from six years to 20 years ahead. We improved the whole ning pri 'ties pl. and gon goals process and had a n effect on the Pentagon when Will t, deputy level, also the man wh became, at the o chairs the Defense Resources Committee. Next you look at how these things work together for better return on investment. Ile services also began to join in the effort bec a use of the stretched dollars. We have the Nunn programs, coalitions, solutions, like multiple launch rocket systems, terminal guidance warheads, where we are putting in 40 percent, Europeans 60 percent. We will. have 12 Memorandums of Understanding this y e ar, where we are working together on early research and development, and we Will end off-the-shelf buys. So we are all going to get more money out of our investment. We have not turned the whole thing around. We have started turning it. But it is not just throwing money at the problem. As for those who say that an alliance of sixteen democracies just pulls us down, that is what the Soviets thought. They thought that they could break us apart on the Intermediate Range Nuclear Force (INF) deployment. They to tally miscalculated and they were shocked. They walked out of the negotiations. But they came back; they are back with a zero-zero option exception. That is a
9 strategic victory, like the Cuban missile crisis. That is the kind of unity where you pull up the weakest member in this kind of alliance situation. MY last omit. I am not a status quo man. I believe in a two-pillared alliance. I beteve in a better Eurppean defense identity. I believe in the use of the Western European Union. I think it is good t h at the.-European defense and foreign ministers met recently. I want to get the finance ministers in there, talking about upping investment and looking at the dangers of reduced warning, Soviet surprise attack capability in the 1990s, and the political lev e rage that comes from that, in other words, looking at the real areas of weakness. I support the independent European program group, which has done a report on trying to construct a military industrial complex that avoids waste and duplication. I believe i n interaction with the economic community on such matters. And now that we are down to the nub of the problem, the cutting edge of the conventional balance in the 1990s, we see a role to be played, if we can keep our allies and others from looking out of t h e rearview mirror and thinking that we are in a situation reminiscent of the 1950s or the 1960s. Thank you. Mr. Wefinu& Thank you very much, Ambassador Abshire. And now, our first commenter, Dr. Stephen Haseler. Dr. Stephen Haseler First of all, may I con g ratulate Professor Krauss on opening a very serious debate. And as the one non-American on this panel, I am going to start by saying these positions are yours, and yours alone, and all I can do is offer advice and ideas. I would like to deal, just quickly , with four points raised by Professor Krauss in his book and in his talk. First, that Europe is some kind of political agent coming into this country and holding views that debilitate the Western system. Look, Europeans weigh in, as does everybody, on for e ign policy matters. The essential debate about American- foreign policy is always an internal one. It is not the Europeans coming in; it is an internal debate in this country. The second one on the question of troops. May I suggest to Profess or Krauss th e following argument--that a superpower, the United States, probably allocates its forces not according to European desires or wicked, old-fashioned European designs, but according to where the other superpower's troops are. The reason there are large numb e rs of American troops in Western Europe is because there are a large number of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe. And if it so happened, in another historical context, there were 900,000 S&iet troops in'Mexico, you would find 300,000 American troops in Texa s and New Mexico, and so on and so forth. This is not a European intrigue or a European design. It is where the Soviet concentration of conventional forces happens to be. The dependency argument. I find that the most persuasive of Professor Krauss's points , and he is very eloquent, on page 238 in his book, suggesting that10 - you would like to see us more independent, more prideful. We are quite prideful in Europe. We have a history of being able t o fight for ourselves, alone, sometimes for a bit. And we do not necessarily have a serious problem on this particular issue, although I do agree that since World War H, when the. continent -was divided, unfairly divided, there has been some type of depen d ence that the Western Eurnnean have felt on the United States. And I could not agree more that this dependency is the root of anti-Americanism. I do agree with that. Yet, my argument would be that the way we deal with the dependency question be some kind o f orderly statesmanlike manner in which, depending on the way one looks at it, troops can be shaved off, reduced, in agreement with'the Europeans. The Europeans can do things in agreement with the United States. But the thing that worries me is that unila t eral cuts of troops--and I understand that Professor Krauss's actual argument at the end of his book is for no American troops in Western Europe at all after five years. A unilateral cut of troops is exactly the wrong way, leading to a lethal political dy n amic. And I believe that the political dynamic is the great unthought of and unstated issue here, a political dynamic that could get out of hand, which would proceed as follows: The Americans would start reducing their troops unilaterally. In response to t hat, there would be in Europe, obviously, the growth of national sentiment for bilateral deals with the Soviet Union. Please do not believe that any unilateral U.S. decision to withdraw troops on the kind of scale Professor Krauss is envisaging would, at t he present moment, lead to serious European defense unification efforts. - - -4; - There are some talks involving the French at the nuclear level now, and French and Germans at the conventional level. But nothing serious is going to happen. And there is a very serious time problem here, that if this started, in my view, the impulse within most of the European nations would be to talk bilaterally to the Soviet Union. I would not favor that myself, but I think it would be considered. That would lead to furth e r accusations of wimpishness, further accusations of free riderism, which would feed on isolationism in this country, and when the whole thing gets out of hand, becomes what I would like to term as a lethal political dynamic. And now, of all times, with t h e INF issue going on in Europe, I would argue this is a major problem. The financial point about free riding is an interesting one. I think it is slightly more sophisticated than Professor Krauss points out. But on the general issue, his major argument is dependency. I agree with that and I agree we have to do something toward that. What he is suggesting, however, is precipitous and could get completely out of hand in this present atmosphere and for the next five years, at least. Mr. Weinro& Thank you, Ste phen. For our final comment, Dr. Derek Leebaert. Dr. Derek Leebaert Bruce opened the discussion by talking about tensions having existed from the beginning in the Alliance. Are these tensions different today than they were at the
beginning? I do not thi nk so. And it is unlikely that the extent of current tensions presage the dissolution of the Alliance. Here is a quote, for example, from the WashingLon Post: "It will take strong efforts to arrest NATO's disintegration into a welter of excuses. But the t i me is rapidly approaching when, if nothing more tangible-is produced, the U.S. will have to think of other arrangements in its own interests." Interestingly, that is a quote from December 1952. My point is that we have been over this ground time and time a gain. Instead of some day implementing such threats as the P-W articulated in 1952, the task of making the alliance work, as Greg Treverton stated in his great book, will be, as in the past, grubby, detailed, and plodding. These are the facts of coalition politics. And one of the facts of coalition politics is that the search for what is perfect is nearly always the enemy of the search for what is good. Nevertheless, much of the acrimony from the alliance's early years persists. Europe's fear of abandonmen t or its fear of being the center of a superpower cataclysm and America's impatience with allied malingering are all old hat. Indeed, the charges that Americans have been making against the alliance are extremely familiar if you look back at the charges an d debates of a generation ago, made amid calls for less agonizing and more reappraising. So what I want to do is examine quickly the most persistent charges that American critics have directed against NATO in the past 35 years, focusing on the very early c h arges. - Charge Number One, nuclear parity has discredited the ultimate guarantee of European security. That is something you hear constantly now. Interestingly, though, the topic of no first use in U.S. policy goes back to Senator Flanders of Vermont in 1 948 when there was a lot of polling. In late 1948, the State Department secretly conducted, through the National Opinion Research Center, a poll of the American public. Nobody was for no first use. A month after the Soviet detonation in autumn 1949, 70 pe r cent of the American public were for no first use of American nuclear weapons in Europe. The Europeans noted this right away, and it immediately put the deterrent into question, even at a time of essential U.S. monopo . And it was not too much longer when , after Sputnik, the great British strategist, Alastair Buchan noted that we already essentially had a strategic U.S.-Soviet deadlock in Europe, and this was by 1958. So the question of nuclear parity has not transformed Alliance questions. A second charge is that European lethargy prevents NATO's creation of effective conventional forces. This also goes back to the very beginning and Americans have always thought that what prevents effective Eurojpean defense is the Europeans' psychological state. Early in the 1950s, there were already criticisms. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Tom Connolly denounced the possibility of U.S. backing for malingering Europeans in view of their reluctance to defend themselves. A third charge is that the strategic deadlock, a s well as the allies' inadequate forces, should encourage Washington to reform its own military policy12 by concentrating on air and sea power. One can even take this debate back to the interwar years when the British spoke of limited liabilityj of havi ng an emphasis on the navy and the air force and leaving the Europeans to their own conventional defense. That was not terribly convincing then; I doubt whether it would be terribly convincing now. One finds the same words, the same phrases popping up aga i n and again. George Marshall, Chief of Staff, spoke about the hollow U.S. Army and our inadequacy in defending Europe. This was said 30 years later to the day, unintentionally, by former Chief of Staff Edward Meyer, talking about the hollow army in Europe . I think one can go on and on about the similarities. One can list more than ten similar charges concerning, for example, European socialism and the willingness of Europeans to sacrifice long-term security for short-term economic gains. The most vicious o f the inter-alliance debates on strategic trade, for example, were not recently over the pipeline. They were over the pipeline in 1959, the Friendshi i li . They concerned British trade with China during the Korean p Pipe me War, and they concerned the sal e of the state-of-the-art British jet engines to the Soviets in the late 1940s. My point is, if you look at any one of these sectors, whether it is trade, conventional forces, nuclear balance, every successive generation of questions, there is an immense h i storical data base that tells us we have gone through- this time and again and will likely go through it for years to come with the Alliance hardly unraveled. Mr. Weinrod: I would like now to offer our two main speakers an opportunity to respond. Professo r Krauss. Professor Krauss: I would like to make a comment or two. First of all, when I was asked about appearing here, they asked me for some information on my biography, and I asked to be listed as maligned professor of economics, and they refused to do i t. A very conservative group here. Maligned NATO critic, and you can see why. For example, all kinds of charges are thrown at my position. For example, I am accused today in a suitably political way of being in favor..of retreat. Mr. Abshire kept implying , without specifically saying it, that@ if you are in favor of U.S. troop withdrawal, you are interested in retreat. He is not interested in retreat; he is a patriot. Well, I am a patriot, too. The fact of the matter is Mr. Abshire also fancies himself as a n investment strategist. I would like to ask him, as an investment strategist, "When you are locked into a bad stock, for example, do, you retreat, that is sell,'or do you stick with it and lose your shirt?" I am afraid that we are locked into a bad arran gement. The arrangement is not working. Perhaps retreat, in quotes, is a strategic decision. It does not imply you are a coward. It implies that you are a wise man. That is number one.
And I have also been accused of being somebody who looks out the rearview mirror, as opposed to those who always look through the windshield. Well, it seems strange to me, as a person who is proposing a radical realignment in the structure of America7s alliances, that I am considered somebody who is looking out the rea rview mirror.
I would like to make a comment in that respect about my overall strategic concept. I think a major problem is that we do not get enough support from our allies. America cannot oppose Soviet imperialism alone. We have to have more help from th e allies. After World War II, it was another problem. Today, we live in another world. The question is how to get this help.
My critics are very good in attacking what I have to say in my proposals. Most of them have very little to offer in the way of the ir own proposals, except cooperation, political means, all of which is very vague. The fact of the matter is I have come up with a specific proposal to strengthen our European allies and, also, in my book, to strengthen Japan. My great fear is that Americ a is spread too thin. We cannot do it alone. We need the help of our allies, but we do not get the help of our allies. And so my.vision of a good world, that is, a secure world for the United States and its allies, is where the U.S. would be joined by a un i ted and rearmed Europe and a rearmed Japan to deter the Soviet Union. Now I think the proper point on which to join this debate is whether what -I propose will lead to that kind of world. But to call names, not only Mr. Abshire, but many of my critics, th i nk that they win the debate just by saying I am in favor of retreat or if I look out the rearview mirror, I am supporting the enemy, which I think is the wrong way to go about it. I would like to hear some specific program that can compete with my program in that respect. Dr. Absbire: Well, let me apologize for retreat and rearview mirror--I coined those much before you, and I applied them to some very eminent friends of mine, and not in a malicious way.
But I have honestly found that a lot of people who h ave been involved with NATO for a long time do not really understand the changed set of circumstances, though it is a different mix of threats that we are dealing with. And in my judgment, Moscow will have more usable military force of a different nature because of shifts in the strategic balance and because of the loss of NATO's escalation dominance.
Let me make some basic points. We are all in agreement about this state of dependency, we know that is one of the reasons for this very curious set of anti- American attitudes that have developed. And further, an alliance of sixteen dernocracies is unparalleled in human history. I am not satisfied with it. If you read history, just as you read the military side, there has to be change. I just question the nat ure of your solution on that change. And I have come back from having been there three and a half years a lot more confident on the possibility of14 progress, even where a lot of people say you cannot get p rogress. And they have said it so hard, they have worked against you. But as in a range of historical circumstances, if there is a combination of factors and you choose the right moment, and I think that is the moment we have-- we have to move away from d e pendency. We have to move toward the two pillars. There are a lot of people in our diplomatic establishment who do not like that. And in terms of armaments and the industrial complex and the some $340 billion that NATO invests in procurement all year, thi s is critical because the basic problem facing NATO is better organization of its superior resources. We have begun to make something of a breakthrough in an area that, in looking at military history, is very difficult to achieve. We have superior technolo gies and we are beginnin to develop some methods to further move those in armaments and tactics. I go back to May 1940. The French had the same technologies the Germans had. By the way, they were superior in most areas. And the Soviets and some of those S o viet generals have a fear of SDI, which is an information revolution that I am strongly for. I think they fear that information revolution more than any particular mode of deployment. And they have been more native than we early on, grasping the translati ons that can be made into conve .on defense, whether it is in the field of kinetic energy, rail guns, robotics, things helping on the Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM) problem, and so forth. But something else is needed and this is on the political le vel. I have been very outspoken about this at NATO, and people did not like it. I guess that some are glad I am gone for that reason. I think you have to push to the top your weaknesses and get them on the top of the table. This is one thing I have liked a bout former Supreme Allied Commander, General Bernard Rogers. If you are going to run out of ammunition in seven or nine days, he puts it up on the top of the table, not under the table. And he has been more forthright than any SACEUR in telling the truth . We &ot the armaments cooperation really going by putting it up to the deputy defense ministers, away from the bureaucrats. I think, at the level of defense ministers, if you could initiate the same discussions of the weaknesses in the line, people would t hink smarter and you would get at some of these things that, in a combat situation, are going to be just as important as in that situation in 1940, because a good opponent attacks your weaknesses. And if you discipline your investment to get at those area s, you get an investment multiplier. The fact that zero-zero options has made Europeans nervous about their defense is good. I hope the knees knock a little bit and that we can translate that into action. And that is why I want to see a NATO summit before we see a Reagan-Gorbachev summit, and let us lay it out on a second revolutionary wave of conventional defense improvements and really guide these technologies, as well as politically pressure the countries that are getting the poor report cards. If you h ave to give them a tutorial, fine, but get them up there and let us close off these weaknesses while we have the chance, because we have absolutely the resource base to do it.
Mr. Weinrod: Thank you, Ambassador Abshire. Now for questions.
Guest I am Chris Manion. I handle European affairs for the Republican side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The title of this panel is Political -Considerations, and. the-theme has. been woven in and out of the comments. I wonder if each of the panelists, especially Dr. Krauss and Ambassador Abshire, would address the political considerations and ramifications of Dr. Krauss's proposed plan, domestically within the United States, and internationally with the NATO community. Specifically, just address what the political attractions and distractions will be from both points of view, please.
Professor Krauss: Well, first of all, I would like to make a comment about the political ramifications in Europe. It has been charged that, if we withdraw, it would encour age the leftist, softer on defense crowd in these countries and discourage the more conservative pro-defense crowd, if I can distinguish between, say, a pro-defense and a sort of anti-defense grouping in different countries. And I think that is a useful w ay to look at it.
Now we have had some evidence, and I have always argued it on an a basis, that I would expect a withdrawal of troops or decoupling in some form, for exa!nple, the withdrawal of the Pershing missiles from Europe, would have the effect of i ncreasing the power and influence of the pro-defense crowd and decreasing the influence of the anti-defense crowd among our European allies. And that is encouraging for my thesis, which is that, if we withdraw, Europe would rearm,- that Europe would not c ollapse.
Let us look at some of the evidence because we do have sort of an experiment going on now. What effect has President Reagan's proposal to withdraw the missiles had on the political situations of different European countries? Well, it is much too e arly to come to a conclusion, but certain preliminary observations arc warr@nted. For example, within the United Kingdom, we notice that Mrs. Thatcher now is experiencing a surge in popularity that has gratified even her most ardent admirers.
It is my int erpretation that part of her renewed popularity is because people in the UX are worried more about their defense. If we should pull out missiles, they say, "This part of decoupling. We're going to have to defend ourselves, perhaps." So who do they look to ? They look to the parties that are pro-defense, rather than anti-defense. As long as we provide the defense and we provide the defense guarantees, then they just say, "While America provides the defense guarantees, we can fool around with other things bec a use they basically won!t compromise on defense objectives, so we encourage leftism, pacifism, neutralism." In fact, the general population could go for the latest fad'and fancy because their defense is provided by us. But as soon as we withdraw that, we c an expect they would start to worry about defense. Now this is, indeed, what is happening in the U.K
Now this is not proof positive because another thing that is happening in the U.K is that the British economy is showing substantial strength and the pound is up16 for that reason. It could be argued counter to my argument, that perhaps it is those re asons, and not the strategic reasons, that are causing Mrs. Thatcher's surprising popularity. My own view is that perhaps it is a bit of both. We have seen from Reykjavik the reaction of the Europeans to the threat of a U.S. withdrawal of the HIqF missile s .. But their response has not been--as my critics have said it would be if we pulled out--that the Europeans are fighting among themselves because it is our presence in Europe that pacifies and brings the European countries together. The exact opposite ha s happened. The Europeans are cooperating now for the first time. The Germans, the French, the British are getting together to talk about common arms control policies, common defense policies. All of a sudden--in the air--nuclear weapons are no longer a di r ty word in Europe. For example, before Reykjavik, nuclear weapons were a dirty word and provided the rallying cry f@r the peace parties, the pacifists, anti- nuclear weapons. Now nuclear weapons are in in Europe. Everybody is in favor of nuclear weapons. Why? Because we have threatened to pull our weapons out. What about the conventional balance? You know, a year ago, very few of us were talking about the problems of the conventional balance, although Senator Nunn was certainly talking about it, but the Eu ropeans were not talking about the conventional imbalance. They wanted to push that one under the table because they knew a liability when they saw one. But now that we are threatening to pull the missiles out, all of a sudden, this question of convention al deterrence is very big in Europe. Dr. Abshire: Well, Chris, I would make, I guess three points. First, I think I agree with the opinion expressed by another member of the panel, that if this was really done in ways that Professor Krauss proposed, it wou ld introduce instabilities beyond the capability of managing them. If you are moving from one entity to the other, the management of that transition is important. I think shock treatment is needed. One different argument is if you could get your end produ ct without the instability of transition, would we be better off with two entities, but not an alliance between? Looking at the history of war and my concerns about this last great imperial empire that confronts us, I like this link because I think we nee d it. But, second and third, on a very practical basis, we have begun to get at some of the duplication in Europe, such as ten companies in seven countries trying to produce anti-tank weapons, but we have not gone nearly far enough. We have to take the lea d in that. And their defense potential can only be maximized when they get more of an overall military industrial complex. The European Program Group is working on that, some elements in the European Community. We are not there yet; we need to help push. As we do that, we have to watch their protectionism so that we do not get squeezed out of those markets. But there can be subcontractors, trans-Atlantic te i g. Lastly, there are political mechanisms, because where NATO is so unique in history is that, if you give it leadership and you make it dynamic, rather than static
or retrogressive, you have a mechanism for pushing people up, for making them play ball over their heads, above their national political capabilities. I would rather recharge it and develop some new modalities to meet these challenges and gain what I think all of us up here want to see, less European dependencies, for a lot of reasons.
Dr. Hase1w. It is an interesting commentary on the state of European political 0 , * th t after al l the marches, demonstrations, public opinion polls, all that kind opinion a , stuff, the people who actually get elected in Europe are the people most identified with the U.S. presence and most identified with the U.S. troops. That is Chancellor Kohl, Mr s. Thatcher) and now, increasingly, the French, as well.
Everyone said the poodle effect would work against Mrs. Thatcher; that is in Britain, the poodle effect, the running poodle, because of Libya, but it has not worked at all because people there see the need for these troops and they see the need with this p roblem. On the specific point that Chris Manion asked, the perception of the Americans--and this is an inchoate psychological notion--but the perception of the Americans going home, which is what it would be painted as, together, at the very same time as glasnost' and Big Mister Softie, with his nice wife, that combination of events is potentially deeply fatal. Now is not the time for major retrenching, especially with glasnost' and with Gorbachev, now really is not the time.
Dr. Imbaert:- It is always extraordinary the extent to which the Europeans are simultaneously able to focus on the dying embers of U.S. isolationisni, yet, at the same time, exercise themselves over itchy American fingers near the triggers.
Guest: Steve Canby, military analyst with C& Associates. It seems to me that, in the debate, we have heard everybody really talking past each other, and part of the problem is that we do not have an analytical framework to put the troop withdrawals in perspective and we are merely arguing anecdota lly.
Now with Reykjavik, as Mr. Abshire said, with Reykjavik, Double Zero, and the talk of troop withdrawals; we have the Europeans' attention for the first time. And the Dutch and the Belgians are now willing to put troops back in Germany for the first ti me. ne Germans are going to upgrade their mobilization forces, so we do have their attention. But if we take out our hundred thousand troops, they are just going to either do nothing, possibly go belly up, or possibly rely more on nuclear weapons. So we h ave their attention, but that is not a solution. It does not solve problems.
Now, then, we have the problem of what I call over the rainbow and pot of gold policies, the policies we have been pursuin for the last fifteen years, which are standardization, i nteroperability, and now called resource management. And it has been a briar patch and it may well be a briar patch for some reasons behind it. Number one is there is no pot of gold there, as we have been arguing for fifteen years. We are talking about 20 percent. The weapons suitable for standardization amount to about 20 percent of the country's budget, the R&D another 10 percent. If you have standard economies of scale in the margin, you are18 talking roughly 20 percent savings, 20 percent or 30 per cent, 6 percent savings. That is a mighty small mouse for what we have gone through and it is blocking what really has to be done. Dr. Absbirr. Steve, I think my comments have addressed your concerns on the imbalance. We have to get European investment up , but. we cannot beat. them over the head. I think you have to develop a strategy to do it and you have to develop a more coherent technological and industrial base that is less protectionist within Europe. We have to put more behind that, and I think we h ave new opportunties to do it. And, second, a better return on investment is very important in our own defense structure. I do not put it just in terms of standardization; we are''not back in those days, a two-way street. We have people thinking in the con ceptual military framework 20 years ahead. It is not perfect, but they were not doing it before. It is new to NATO. There are some changes; there are some differences. And it has the potential of effecting better return on defense investments, and the sam e is true in the Pentagon. Professor Krauss: I have heard Ambassador Abshire mention protectionism twice. The danger of protectionism is not so much from the Europeans, Ambassador, it is from U.S. defense industries, because one of the logical opponents of my proposal, which is to withdraw the troops and to reindustrialize and remilitarize the Europeans, will mean, naturally, that the Europeans will be spending more on their own defense and more have their own defense industries. Now who is likely to oppose that, the European defense industries or the U.S. defense industries? If there is going to be this charge of protectionism lodged at anyone, it is at the U.S. defense establishment, which is obviously working very hard to undermine the kinds of changes I am trying to bring about. Guest My name is Andrew Baroch. I am a reporter with the Voice of America, and I have this question for the former NATO Ambassador. You told Mr. Krauss that we are all in agreement on the state of dependency. I just question the nature of your solution, beyond bureaucratic reorganization? Dr. Abshire.- Well, the nature of my solution is to encourage institutions and forces that would Ove a better European identity, political, economic, and military. And I cite such things as the Euro Group, which was here yesterday, which has come alive. That is the European countries in NATO. 71ey meet separately, before the NATO Defense Planning Council meets. The Westerm. European Union has limitations, but unlike some friends in the State Dep artment, I say let us strengthen it and get them to talk about defense investment and get their finance ministers in there and get the finance ministers educated on the threat of the 1990s. ' We have some key countries that are not performing too well in N ATO. It is not perfect, but it is something. And it is this kind of thing that I would encourage. And I think the nuclear draw-down gives an opportunity, but I look at that with a little different angle. I think it also gets us out of a false sense of pro tection that was there in the 1950s and 1960s and is not going to be there in
quite that way. It is going to be there, but not in quite that way in the 1990s. And the new nature of this threat is something that they can do something about.
G uest: Stanley Kober, Center for Naval Analysis. Professor -Krauss, -you said -that American nuclear guarantee in Europe was no longer credible. I was wondering if you have any evidence that the Russians believe that the American nuclear guarantee is no lo n ger effective, any statements from any of their officials. Professor Krauss: The answer is obviously not. One has to make a judgment about the behavior of, basically, the Europeans. The changed behavior of Europeans to their perceptions is really based on perceptions of the Europeans about the credibility of our nuclear guarantee. My reading of their perceptions and my own feeling about the political situation in this country is that the United States will not go into a nuclear war, will not enter a nuclea r exchange because of Europe. My great fear is that the United States would not enter a nuclear war if we were attacked.
Guest: Eric Stefan, Armed Forces Journal. You say that many Germans regard. the U.S. forces in Germany as an occupying force. My question is how many Germans think that and where did you get your polling data?
Dr. Haseler. The answer is that I did not get my polling data. We do not always discover the truth through polls. One has to have some kind of empirical evidence - and polling data on this kind of stuff, and the broad reason why Kohl and Thatcher get elected is a combination of domestic factors. But on the foreign policy issue, which is very salient in Britain now and has been salient in Germany, the British people and the German p e ople, by and large, do not trust the Soviet Union, and they see the implications of it. Dr. Abshire: I think we have extraordinary political opportunities before us if we seize them. It would be good for this Administration to seize it, a President that I vFry much admire and an able Secretary General of NATO. We have a set of circumstances that -come together when you take everything that we have discussed to move for better return on our defense investment, including NATO. We are beginning to get a handl e on developing two pillars, a more healthy state. It is. an atfitudinal thing on our part. First, we have had a lot of people against this, less dependency, and above all, we are doing this in a rather critical time in the life of this Soviet empire, whic h has a very able leader who can cause us a lot of trouble if we do not get our act together strongly and maximize these alliance assets in the last part of this century.
Professor Krauss- So long as Europe could not afford to defend itself, U.S. troops in Europe made sense and NATO played a positive role in securing the West. But the troops were not intended to be permanently stationed in Europe. They were viewed as an emergency measure that would remain in force only until Europe recovered from the war.20 - Realizing the enormous economic advantages of not having to defend themselves, the Europeans have demonstrated col,,-"... political skill and diplomatic skill in convincing the United States that the troops in Europe are in American, as well as Eur opean, interests. But the time has long since passed when the United States can afford to continue its support for the status quo, first, because the economic cost of NATO has become. too great- for us and, second, because European military weakness is en dangering our national security in a not insignificant way. Forty years after the close of World War H, the return of U.S. troops from Europe is long overdue. Mr. Weinrod: Thanks to all our panelists for joining us for this first session. We will break for ten minutes and then come back for the second session, which we will cover conventional military issues and the INF question.
PANEL H: NMLX]rARY AND SECURYrY CONSIDERAIIONS
W. Bnwe Weinrod
As already noted, the first session focused mainly on the political implications of the U.S. role in NATO. And even though,the political and military dimensions clearly are interrelated and also overlap, we thought it would be useful to have a session tha t focused more on the military dimension and included not only the conventional dimension, but also in light of recent developments, the INF issue, which I think will also be very appropriate to discuss.
So I would like to proceed with the same format as in the first session. Therefore, I would like first to introduce Dr. Jeffrey Record, who has recently joined the Hudson Institute.
Dr. Jeffrey Record
Let me make a couple of general comments on what has already been said. The issue so far seems to have be en defined as between those who favor no change whatsoever, certainly in terms of U.S. force levels in Europe, not to withdraw a single platoon of U.S. troops, since that might begin the unraveling of the Alliance, and on the other hand, people like Melvy n Krauss, who propose a complete withdrawal of all U.S. forces in Europe. I fall somewhere in between, probably closer to the high side of U.S. force levels than to no force levels at all.
We have talked almost exclusively about Europe. I would remind my f ellow countrymen that Europe is certainly the most important theater of potential military operations, but it is not the only place where we might find ourselves called upon to fight. And strate&ic considerations extending far beyond Europe must, of neces s ity, shape our judgment with respect to how we allocate our forces overseas. As some of you know, I have in the past proposed modest, limited, and selective force withdrawals under certain conditions in Europe. I would be adamantly opposed to any complete pullout or wholesale abandonment of NATO.
With respect to limited withdrawals, let me make a few points. The first is that the U.S. accession to the NATO Treaty in 1949 entailed no formal or even tacit commitment or pledge to the United States to station ground combat troops in Europe. Major U.S. force presence was established in Europe only in the wake of the North Korean attack on South Korea in 1950. And to repeat what Melvyn Krauss has said, neither the Truman nor the Eisenhower Administrations regard e d the presence that was established in Europe in the 1950s as anything other than a temporary shield behind which Europe would recover economically and eventually assume the responsibility for its own defense. As long as everybody is in the businss, of qu oting Eisenhower, I will quote a letter that he wrote in 1951. He said, if in ten years, "...all American troops stationed in Europe have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project [i.e., NATO] will have failed."
Let me also point out that, since 1950, U.S. force levels in Europe have fluctuated widely with no apparent effect on military stability in Europe or on-22- deterrence. We started out in 1950 with 145,000 troops in Europe. That went up to an all-time high three years later of 427,000, back down to 379,000 in 1960. From there, they dropped to another low of 291,000, rising again to the current, about 352,000, which suggests that 100,000 U.S. troops could be withdrawn, as proposed by Brzezins1d and others, without endangerin g military stability in Europe, depending upon the manner in which they are.withdrawm.- If -we -took out 100,000 troops for strategic reasons and wanted to make a modest reallocation of forces in Europe or in some other areas of potential conflict, such as Southeast Asia, that would still leave behind 250,000 U.S. troops in Europe, more than enough, credibly, to underline the U.S. commitment to Europe's defense and to guarantee the heavy engagement of U.S. combat forces in the event of a war in Europe. Thir d, the U.S. force levels in the past 38 years in Europe bear no'visibI6 relation to the putative requirements of U.S. and NATO strategy. Under the strategy of massive retaliation, for example, annual U.S. troop strength in Europe averaged almost 400,000 m e n, compared to an average of a little over 300,000 during the era of flexible response. In other words, during massive retaliation, conventional forces were relegated to the role simply of being a trip wire. We actually maintained about 80,000 more troops in Europe than we have since flexible response, which presumably assigns to our conventional forces a mission of something other than a nuclear trip wire. Fourth, Europe is quite capable of assuming greater responsibility for its own conventional defense. More specifically, it is quite capable of replacing a limited withdrawal of U.S. forces from Europe. Fifth, and here I agree with both Ambassador Abshire and Mel Krauss, the present level of Europe's dependence on the United States for its security breed s an enervating psychol *cal dependence that, in the long run, is bad, both for the United States andolor Europe. If I may quote Helmut Schmidt, "Dependency corrupts and corrupts not only the dependent partners, but also the oversized partner who is maldn g decisions almost singlehandedly." Most of the European governments rely too much on American nuclear weapons and most of them neglect their own conventional defense. An improved military equilibrium requires that the military equipment of the French rese r ve troops be increased. It also requires more British reserve troops. We need to strengthen the conventional usable German Air Force and to provide more conventional munitions for the German Army. Under such qualitatively and quantitatively improved condi tions, a partial withdrawal of American troops would not necessarily be a misfortune. The Europeans would be playing a role of their own. Finally, and in some respects most important, changes in th6 international geostrategic environment and in the American domestic political environment make it increasingly difficult for the United States to maintain for an indefinite period the present level of U.S. forces in Europe. The loss of American stategic nuclear = ty and the rise of new Soviet and non-Sov iet threats to common Western outside the NATO Treaty area have combined to place enormous demands on U.S. conventional forces, demands that in the long run cannot be met, absent an
adjustment of the U.S. force presence in Europe. There is also the u ndeniable fact that public and congressional pressures on U.S. force levels in Europe are rising and will continue to rise, pressures reinforced by the collapse of the Reagan Administration's first-term defense budget bonanza.
I think if of great signific ance that calls -for, unilateral troop withdrawals from Europe, which in the old days were confined in this country to traditional isolationists and libertarians, are now coming from prominent members of the traditionally Atlanticist foreign policy establ i shment, from such people as Irving Kristol, Henry Kiss n er Zbigmew Brzezinski, and even Sam Nunn, none of whom i i g can be accused of be ni isolationist. Mr. Weinrod: Thank you very much, Jeff. Our next speaker is Josef Joffe, foreign editor designate o f the Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich.
Dr. Josef Joffe
Let me begin with a little anecdote, which is actually true and can be read in Barbara Tuchmarfs book, The Guns of Augus. In 1911, if I recall correctly, the British Marshal Wilson came over to France to have talks with his counterpart, Marshal Foch, and he asked him, "Listen, in the Alliance, we're talking about how many British soldiers do you need on French soil to make you believe that we will be involved in a war against Germany?" And with his Gal lic logic, Foch replied, "We only need one British soldier and we'll make sure that he gets killed in the first hour of the war."
Now the logic of that is self-evident. But the question is, could we transfer that logic to the current case? Would one GI, wh o gets killed, be enough to embroil the United States in a kind of credible execution of its commitment to West European security?
Well, first of all, Ido not think that one soldier was enough in 1911 or 1914, because great powers always have been forced to ignore nationals killed by enemies. Even then, one soldier would not have been enough. But we are now living in a nuclear age and that, as Kennedy used to say, has changed all the answers and all the questions. Certainly, one or even many hostages do n o t, would not automatically embroil the United States because the risks of being embroiled. are now so gigantic. They have risen so exponentially that it takes a much greater provocation to make sure that the United States is actually credibly involved. Fo r a hostage position today to be really credible, the value that hostage force represents has to be big enough to approach somewhere in the vicinity of the risks that you have to incur if you really get involved. The assets that you put in a hostage positi on have to be valuable enough to make credible resorting to the ultimate weapon. That is the difference between a conventional and nuclear situation.
Let me put this thought in a different way. It is an ancient article of faith in Europe, certainly, and probably here too, that the nuclear threat posed by the United States has been slowly devalued in a parity situation with the Soviet Union,24 because the U.S. will not sacrifice Chicago for Hamburg or Milan. So the dilemma is how do you make commitments credible in a nuclear age? The United States will not sacrifice Chicago for Milan, but the threat does grow a great deal more credible, I would submit, if you are wielding that threat not just on behalf of European cities, but on behalf of city-sized con tingents of youir own nationals, who happen to be situated on. foreign soil. The point I am trying to make is that the credibility of the U.S. commitment does dpenq on numbers. It cannot just be a trip wire, not in the nuclear age. Trip wires, just pure tr ip wires, will not work. The value that has to be threatened has to ap proach the risks that you might face if you execute your commitment. But the question is how many soldiers do you need to make that commitment credible? Let me just say that I do not have an answer, but let me go back to the great sage of international politicsInamely, to Henry Kissinger, some 20 years ago, when we had the first wave of a troop withdrawal campaign, also known as Mansfieldism, named after t he then Senator, later the Ambasssador to Japan. In the 1960s, Mike Mansfield introduced his annual resolution in the Senate calling for substantial troop withdrawals from Europe. And so when Henry Kissinger was asked, "Well, how many troops do you really need for credibility," he said, to paraphrase him, "in the nuclear age ... the price of credibility may have risen to six divisions." How did he know that? Well, he did not, but what he meant was that six divisions have been the status quo since the decis i on was taken to beef up the two divisions left after the war to six. And what he meant was, if you take out a substantial number, as Mansfield was then asking, and if you do so -- in -the - -absence of compensating events in the system, such as the draw-d o wn of Soviet troops, if you change the status quo unilaterally, you signal something. You send a message to friends and foes alike, "Listen, you guys, friends and foes, I no longer care as much as I once did about my position in Europe and the security of my allies." Why is commitment such an important thing? If you give a guarantee to your allies, to your weaker allies, there have to be two conditions. I would call those the clarity of commitment and the certainty of commitment. Now clarity means that you . say, under such and such clarified circumstances, I will help you, no matter what. That is a clear commitment. But that, unfortunately, is not a sufficient condition. To really make the guarantee tight, you have to have certainty. Why certainty? The Frenc h and the British gave a very clear comrmtment to the Poles in 1939: 'If you're attacked by Germany, we're going to declare war on them." But that did not quite work to deter the Germans; they attacked anyway, because the commitment was not certain. The co mmitment was not certain because, in the end, the French and British did not live up to their commitment, at least not for a long time. And so the criterion of certainty that I am invoking means that you create a situation that, no matter what you would li ke to do in the moment of truth as a guarantor, you cannot just bug out. You have to be at the front line, as the French and the British were not, and you have to be in a position where you are embroiled, no matter whether you want to be or not. And you h ave to do so with enough numbers, which somehow compresses the irreducible gap of geography and
sovereignty, because, after all, it is not your country that you are defending; you are defending somebody else. And you have to force the enemy to thre aten values of yours, which somewhere approach the importance of core values, of the nation's integrity, the nation's border, the nation's population, and so on.
Now the question is still--what about 100,000, what about 200,000 troops? Is it not enough if you put them on the front line? Is not that enough to underline both the clarity and the certainty of the commitment? And I have my grave doubts here. Let me give you a number of reasons why. The first arises from the fact that we may withdraw entire cat egories of nuclear weapons from Europe. If you pull out conventional troops at a time when they necessarily become more important because of the draw-down on nuclear weapons, then you are sending a very grave signal.
Let us look at the military situation. Ut us look at the central front. There are really only two armies worth talking about on the ground, and those are the American and the German armies. Why? Well, first of all, the German Army is the largest. It is half a million people, and the second lar g est is, of course, the American contingent. And then what else do we have? Well, we have the British Army on the Rhine, good people, well-trained force, as they showed in the Falklands. But as the name says, it is the British Army on the Rhine. They are w a y back, far away from the potential confrontation. This cuts into your certainty principle. Then we have the French with 30,000 people; well-armed, nuclear armed, tough fighters. But look at where they are. They are tucked away in the southwest comer of W est Germany, because that is the French occupation zone. But let me also suggest that the historical fluke has a nice payoff because they do not get automatically embroiled if a war breaks out.
And then there are the Belgians and the Dutch, who are suppose d to take their place in the "layer cake" defense along the Iron Curtain. But it so happens that the Belgian and Dutch are not there either. They are supposed to go there by rail, for instance, from their garrisons at home. And I suggest that, given the n ature of modern warfare, they are not going to get there when they have to get there.
And the Danes--nothing against the Danes, but I think that the Danes are gqilng to detract from the central front, rather than add to it, because the Germans w1l have to go up there and defend the Danish.
So who is going to defend the old Fulda Gap there? Well, some American critics of NATX) say let those Germans, French, Danes, and Belgians make up for the gap left by the Americans who can be withdrawn. But I suggest tha t we all know in our hearts they will not, contrary to what Mr. Melvyn Krauss says. And there are lots of reasons.
First, there are the demographics. Those Europeans do not breed enough any more. People in the Germany Army are going around traumatized, asking what are26 we going to do in *the 1990s, when we will not have enough recruits in the pool of -+-" -rest 18-year-olds to m ... Y'@ mt peacetime strengths? And there is that old welfare state, which, if you loo"k, at the long-term numbers in the k ey European countries, has not been all that bad. It is true that, as their gross national product expanded, defense spending expanded as well. But defense spending has not expanded as fast as the welfare budget. In absolute terms, defense spending has ri s en steadily, risen much more steadily than in this country, mind you, but it has not risen as much, proportionately, as the welfare state. And then look at the third factor, which is the disappearance of anti-Sovietism or anti-communism as a kind of legit ' g, mobilizing value system. But how will this troop withdrawal really work? How do you make others do more for their defense when you--I mean the United States--by your own actions, namely withdrawing, are signaling that conventional power is not important any more? Has anybody ever tried to work this logic on kids, saying do not do what I do--do what I say? It does not work with kids, and it does not work with nations. You cannot say "I am going to draw down my conventional presence here, which means the threat is not big enough an y more for me to stay here. But on the other hand, I want you to increase your contribution because the threat is looming quite dramatically." You cannot say both of these things at the same time. It does not work. And let me suggest some more analytical r easons why it does not. The basic logic of the troop withdrawals in this country is, if we kick them hard enough in the butt, they will get off the same. If we really pull out, if we finally do what we have threatened o do, they will have no other choice but to fend for themselves. They have to. If they care about their security, they are going to have to do what we have provided for them all these decades gratis. They have the money. 1,et them get the guns and the men, too. Now I am not sure at all whethe r that theory is correct. I think it is bad psychology, bad politics, and even bad economics. And I suggest to any economist who makes economic arguments in favor of troop withdrawal to study The Lngic of Collective Action by Mancur Olson. Ile message of t his book is that certain collective goods like defense, parks, or roads are provided only if there is one partner in the group who is so big and so committed that he produces most of the collective goods himself. In this respect, the history of the Atlant i c Alliance confirms very nicely the model of n I opurb ollective Action. It is quite doubtful whether the Alliance would have got olr the ground without the United States' willingness to invest in organizing it. What is more likely, or at least as likely a n outcome of the "kick them in the butt so they'll get off it" school of thought is that, instead of producing more of the collective good, none of these little Europeans, rich as they are, will produce the collective good, but something else, which is th ey will make their own side deals.
And the side view in terms of international politics would go like this in the European context: here is a bunch of small nations, faced with an objective loss or objective reduction in the supply of security. Inste ad of making up that supply by generating more of it, they will likely reduce their demand for security. They will want to make sure that their common enemy has fewer and fewer reasons to threaten and to attack. That is called the policy of accommodation or propitiation, or even nastier, appeasement. And that common enemy happens to be the Soviet Union.
And I suggest that part of the logic of Ostpolitik which was a policy of accommodation between West Germany and the Soviet Union in the early 1970s, was dr iven precisely by Mansfieldism. In an age when the clarity and certainty of the American commitment suddenly began to wobble, the Europeans wanted to make sure that, as the supply of security went down, the demand for security went down, too. And, therefo re, you get into a policy of accommodation with your common enemy.
Let me get to my conclusion. The whole troop withdrawal debate comes down to a bet. And the question is whether the United States is likely to win that bet. My answer is no. You want to mak e a bet on the basis of a hidden premise. If the Europeans are going to do what you expect them to do--and I outlined the logic why this may not happen--and if you still want to go ahead and make that bet, then you must accept the fact that Europe no long er matters as much as it once did. And if you scratch any of those new isolationists, such as the Pacific Firsters, you find a resentment against Europe and a sense that Europe - does. not matter so much any more.
And there is another hidden premise behind the bet. Even those who believe that Europe still matters can say: "Well, you know, if the bet goes wrong, we can always reverse it." We have reversed this bet twice already. After not going into Europe soon enough in 1917, we left Europe after World War I was over, making that bet again on isolationism, but then having to go back in 1941, or at least declare war in 1941. So you can say: "Well, you know, we reversed the bad bet twice in the past. Why can't we reverse it again?"
And I would come back in co nclusion to where I began, which is that the nuclear age has changed all the answers. It is one thing to go in against Kaiser Bill, another thing to go back in 1944 against the conventional and weakened enemy, and it is another thing to go back into a Eur ope dominated by an intact, large, nuclear-armed superpower, and to go back in the shadow of the apocalypse, in the shadow of nuclear weapons. I do not think a third wrong bet can be reversed.
And so I suggest that the whole'issue really'boils down to the crucial philosophical queiiFon, which is, how important is Europe in the global rivalry between the two great superpowers?
And let me suggest that the Soviet Union has never believed that Europe no longer matters. Quite the contrary. It is easy to forget how important Europe is28 here. The Soviets have never forgotten that the real stakes, the real competition are not in Korea but in Europe. Mr. Weinrod: Thank you. Let me now introduce Kim Holmes, Deputy Director of Defense Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Dr. Kim Holmes We have heard a number of quotations from Eisenhower today about what the original purpose and shape of the NATO Alliance was supposed to be, and that somehow, in the last 20 years, we have sort of lost the original purpose. It is said that the U.S. forces, those six divisions that were sent over there, were supposed to be a temporary and expedient measure to help the Europeans get back on their feet after World War 11, and that once the Europeans had reached a position where they could defend themselves, we could perhaps draw those troops out, or at least some portion of them. I think that it would help a bit if I or someone raised a very fundamental question about what has changed geostrategically since the 1950s, in the relationships of the global balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States. If there have been changes, which indeed I think the re have been, what bearing does that have on the whole question of U.S. troop withdrawals today and on the whole question of actually using the argument that NATO has lost its original purpose in support of draw-down on U.S. troop levels in Europe. These questions are pertinent to Melvyn Krauss's thesis of total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Europe, and I think they are pertinent to Jeffrey Record's argument for a modest reduction of U.S. troops in Western Europe, as well. So what has changed? Well, first of all, the Soviet Union has changed. Since the 1950s, the Soviet Union has at least reached strategic parity with the United States in the area of ballistic missiles, which has redefined the whole concept of nuclear deterrence as it existed from the 195 0s. Second, the Soviet Union has increased its global force projection capabilities, its military reach, not only with the development of a global navy, but, also, with the increase of military assistance to allies, even in this hemisphere. And even in Eur ope, the Soviets have increased their conventional capabilities enormously. They have also made their tactics and strategies more offensive. This has enhanced their ability to multiply the very strategic advantages they have in Europe by being closer to t he theater of operations and by being able to take advantage of the fact that NATO is a defensive alliance. The@ have developed new blitzkrieg tactics.' They have reorganized their ground forces, developing Operational Maneuver Groups (OMGs), which could b e used in a very quick strike a - t NATO forces in Western Europe. They have deployed a new generation of Tshort-range intermediate ballistic missiles that could be used also in a preemptive strike against NATO. They are improving their technology base as well, and that has a force multiplying effect on their
conventional capabilities, not only in Europe, but in other areas. That is what is changed in the military balance. Now what has chrged in the political psychology of this military balance? For one thing, we are in a post-detente era, at least in Europe. This has redefined the whole concept of defense in. Europe. It has -created a -new definition of security as being something that one gets by cooperating with the Soviet Union and not necessaril y by confronting it with military force alone. And the whole psychology of detente, which is now really part of the consensus in Western Europe, is what is at the bottom of some of the reluctance of Europeans to do more for their own defense.
The United St ates approaches the Soviet Union as a global military -rival. The Europeans approach the Soviet Union as a military threat that is on their borders, but nonetheless, a threat that can perhaps be reduced by promoting a regional type of detente, which envis ages cooperation with the Soviet Union and its allies as a way of hedging their bets against the possibility that the United States may not come to their aid in case of a Soviet attack on Europe.
So what would we have to change? What would have to change before we can safely say that we could draw down U.S. troops in Western Europe without resulting in the unraveling of the alliance?
Well, I think, one, you would have to have a change in the geostrategic: situation, and on a global scale, to the point where the Soviet Union- is-4ess of a global threat to the United States that it is now.
The fact is that the threat of the Soviet Union has been globalized, and this makes Europe even more important than it ever has been before, n ot less Z ortant. Why? Because Europe is still the primary prize in Soviet strategy. Pd the fact that they can challenge us outside this area does not make Europe any less important than it was in the 1950s. Second, I think there would have to be a change in the detente psychology of West Europe. West Europeans will have to realize that detente is not a substitute for defense and that there is a necessity on the part of European nations not only to support the U.S. in NATO but outside NATO as well.
And I t hink also, finally, there would have to be certain changes in the olitical culture of Western Europe, which I do not foresee in the near future. I @o not agree at all with Mel Krauss that, if we would withdraw, the West Europeans somehow would start getti n g religion and start looking out for their own defense more than they have in the past. I have a feeling that perhaps the opposite would happen, given the fact that there are large and potentially popular political parties in Western Europe, who would jus t as soon try to reach some type of separate deal with the Soviet Union in order to reduce the perception of the threat, rather than actually pay more for defense, actually cutting into the domestic budgets of the West European welfare states.30 I woul d like to ask another question. How does this whole question of U.S. troop withdrawals affect the issue of reaching an INF agreement? I think it is very clear that, if you have an R417 agreement with the elimination of the Pershing 11 missiles, Ground-Lau n ched Cruise Missiles, and SS-20s in the European theater, and perh@ps also some short-range U14F systems as well, that the psychology of nuclear coupling that these systems provide would be - reduced. - If this -is so, then it makes the presence of U.S. t r oops, the current levels of U.S. troops in Europe, and the coupling effect that they would have even more important. And, finally, a question for Jeff. In your book, Revising U.S. Strategy. you recommend that we cut the U.S. Army by three heavy divisions. But I am not sure whether these divisions would actually be eliminated from the force structure or would be brought back and relocated for the Persian Gulf. Okay, if that is'th6"' case. If there is a zero sum gain, where would we get the funds to enhance stratep.*c mobility and some of the other things to enhance our conventional capabilities? If you are not going to be saving any money, does this mean that we will have to add to the U.S. defense budget in ways which we perhaps have not foreseen? Mr. Weinrod: Our final commenter is William Lind of The Military Reform Institute. William Lind I have been asked to comment from the milit@ry perspective; - First- -of all, we are currently subsidizing to the tune of somewhere in excess of $100 billion a year a place that can, in fact, defend itself. Now one of the meanings of that is that those dollars are not available for other defense needs. We now face such increasing claims on defense resources as SDI. Those are clearly not going to be funded through defen se budget increases. They are going to have to come out of some other element of the defense budget. So money that is going to support NATO is not available for other defense tasks. Second, we refer to NATO as an alliance, but it really is not. We need a b etter word. It is, in effect, a neocolonial relationship. We are pledged to support the Europeans if some sort of a fracas starts in Europe, but if we get into a conflict with the Soviet Union outside Europe, as is much more likely, they have no, such ple dge in return to us. We will get their hearty neutrality and best wishes. So it is really a mistake to talk about an alliance here. T'hird, should we ever execute the strategy that we have pledged for NATO, it would quite possibly be the worst strategic de cision in all history. Why? Because we are pledged, if a conflict erupts over there and we are losing at the conventional level, to initiate a strategic nuclear exchange, the result of which will be large numbers of strategic nuclear warheads landing on A merican soil and on American cities. You heard talk earlier about the 350,000 hostages we have over there. Now if we look specifically at the question of the defense of Europe, first of all, we are talking here consistently today about defending Western Europe or losing Western
Europe. We must recognize that that is no longer an issue because of the French nuclear deterrent. The French nuclear deterrent draws an effective line at the Rhine. The French will be abl e, by the mid-1990s, to put 500 nuclear weapons on Soviet cities. I can assure you, that is quite an effective deterrent. What we are talking about is not whether the United States should be willing to trade Chicago for Western Europe, but, rather, for me rely West Germany and perhaps -for Denmark and Norway, if anybody wants them.
Second, we do not have an adequate conventional defense in Europe today. We have a military cordon, which is completely ineffective in modem war against an armored attack. And th e Germans are the first to know that because they specialized in destroying such defenses in World War H.
When Napoleon was presented such a defense for France, his comment was, "What's it for, to prevent smuggling?" The key problem is that all the forces are in a layer cake along the border because of the Germans' demand for a forward defense. There is virtually nothing in operational reserve. It is a Maginot line without the benefit of fortifications that will collapse immediately and irreparably, and t h e Germans know that perfectly well. They have wanted it that way because they want the lowest possible strategic nuclear threshold for the highest possible deterrence value. Their view is that, if the Soviets know, as they surely do, that a cordon defense has no conventional defense capability and will collapse immediately, the implication is immediate escalation to strategic nuclear warfare which from the German perspective will enhance deterrence. The question from the American persepctive, of course, is whether that is equitable burden sharing,, particularly when it is up to the U.S. to initiate the strategic nuclear exchange in that event. I would note that there are some militarX Fhanges underway in Europe at the moment that are interesting, and I thin k , promising. First, the Germans, for the first time, are showing interest in conventional defense. That is largely because the development of U.S. strategic weapons has made it clear to them that escalation may not lead to an immediate U.S.-Soviet strateg ic exchange but, rather, to a prolonged nuclear exchange, confined to Europe, which has unfortunate implications tor them.
The key to a serious conventional defense is to create an effective European reserve system of the type that the Germans themselves d eveloped in the Napoleonic period. This type of reserve system is the key to the Soviet Army's strength today. The reason the Soviets have as many divisions as they do is because they have the classic German reserve system, and today, the Germans and the Europeans generally do not.
There is growing interest in this once again in Europe, and with it, it is quite possible to raise the number of divisions that are needed at an affordable cost. There is new interest in Europe in force specialization. Instead o f everybody having their own comic opera army, navy, and air force, it would be better to have certain countries focusing on naval power, others on land power, and so on. This holds considerable potential.32 Ile French and the British continue to wres tle with their nuclear deterrents, which are obviously of considerable importance to the future of European defense, if the United States is going to act rationally on its commitment to Europe. And I would stress particularly the French deterrent, because the French, though they will not talk about it openly, have been quite aware of the fact that they are really building a deterrent for Europe. And I would touch on just two other things that were mentioned earlier, the classic reliability-standardization i nitiatives, the co-production issue, and all of this sort of thing. As Steve Canby pointed out, there is no pot of gold at the end of that rainbow; the savings are really quite small. And, finally, there were a number of references earlier to NATO's Follo w -On Forces Attack (FOFA) plan, to the use of new technologies to create a high-tech national defense line in place of the current national line. I would caution that the new generation of brilliant weapons is not likely to work any better in combat than t h e current generation of smart weapons, which, for the most part, have proved to be very dumb weapons in actual use. And in the meantime, this has the potential of sucking enormous amounts of money away from the reserve formations that the Europeans really require. Some recommendations. First of all, two really extreme positions were laid down earlier this afternoon. One was for the U.S. to pull out immediately, and the other was to stay for the next 300 years like the Romans. In fact, there is another alte r native, which is to make it clear that the United States will somedayvleave; Europe. We need not pull out overnight, but we should pick a date sometime within the next ten or twenty years, so that everyone has lenty of time to adjust, while knowing that t h e Europeans at that time will be re ponsible for their own defense. The key problem here, as I said, is Germany. The rest of Europe is covered effectively already by the French deterrent. I would suggest that we pay particular attention here to former Wes t German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt's proposal to extend the French deterrent over West Germany and to form a joint Franco-German army of 30 divisions. That is the sort of solution that we should be encouraging. Finally, from the American perspective, what we need to think -about. seriously. is a maritime strategy. Now by that, I do not mean the fraud that the Navy has been perpetrating under that name. I mean a maritime strategy in the classic sense, as the term was used by Corbett and by Mahan, where we m ight make a continental commitment that would be essentially limited in nature and would certainly not commit our continued national presence to a battle on or for the continent, as we do under our current strategy. Finally, we have heard a number of refer ences to historical examples. The two we have heard most about are 1914 and 1939. 1 would like to throw another one out, that of 17th Century Spain, because increasingly, that seems to be the model relevant to our own situation, a country that began the c entury as the world's first world power, but as the century went on, the treasure on the fleets got smaller in quantity, the armies fell apart, the navies didift do so well any more, and the
currency had to be debased to keep the revenues up. But the re were these commitments, you see. There was the Spanish Netherlands and there was the empire, and there was Northern Italy, and what we now call credibility was then called reputation. And everyone knew that it was impossible for a king to give up anyth i ng that touched on his reputation. And so, finally, it all went into a headlong plunge that lasted for three centuries. The Spanish model, I suggest, may have more relevance for the U.S. today than do the models of 1914 and 1939, overextended as we are, t rying to support commitments we made when we were far more wealthy and far more powerful, relative to the rest of the world, than we are today.
Mr. Weinrod. Thank you very much. Who would like to respond first?
Dr. Record: I would like to remind Joe Joffe that Europe is divided, in part, because of the strategic incompetence of his own country.
Dr. Joffe: That is bygone days.
Dr. Record: Bygone days. I know you were only a child at the time. The question for you, Joe, is it your view that Western Europe must forever remain a U.S. military protectorate on pain of threatened European accommodation with the Soviet Union?
Second question, and I generally share Bill Lind's view with - respect -to the - - inadequacies of so- called forward defense in Europe, but you seem to think that we should have more people on this line than we now have. The question is largely a political one, which is a recurring one in the United States. Why should Americans be prepared to die along th e inter-German border in place of Dutch, British, and Belgians, who refuse to do so? And if it is really that concerned about maint g a robust forward defense, why has Germany rejected the common wisdom of virtually every military man in Europe, including its own army, and erected serious barrier defenses along the inter-German border?
With respect to paying for this reallocation of three heavy divisions coming back from Europe, very simply, I would cut the last two Lehman carriers out of the bFdget, and th ere would be more than enough money to convert these divisions into divisions more suitable for employment outside of the NATO Treaty area. Or, as a matter of fact, I could even conceive of reducing the size of the army in favor of an expansion of other k inds of forces more relevant to Third World contingencies.
Dr. Joffe: How long is Western Europe going to be a protectorate of the United States? Well, that is a question you have to ask yourselves. How long do you want to remain a great power? If 'you wan t to remain a great power, then part of the definition of U.S. great powerhood is to withhold that great strategic asset, Western Europe, from Soviet domination. In his somewhat forceful way, Mr. Lind really stated that issue. Do you want to remain a grea t power? He seems to suggest no, that the United States should not remain a great power, that it should get rid of its commitments. Because being a great power will involve the U.S. in the fate of Spain.34 Dr. Record. If I may say a word on Bill Lind's behalf, I believe we would all agree that Great Britain was a great power. The decline started when she began assuming-- Mr. Lind: Continental responsibilities. Dr. Joffe: Anyway, it still is the great question, I think. And, obviously, the role of a gre at power does not sit easily on American shoulders. We have heard it here on the left and the right. Americans probably do not like to be a great power. They have not discovered the pleasures of rule, yet. And maybe they never will. But I understand, that is history. It is the'firsf, democratic great power, and democracy and great power may not go together very well. Y@%y should U.S. soldiers die on the Fulda Gap and along the Iron Curtain? But the issue is not between withdrawal and dying. The whole point --and this would also apply to what Mr. Lind says--is that you do not want to execute the kind of threat that will make the world go up in flames. That is precisely why America is there, why those troops are there, precisely to make clear to the Soviets t hat they would have to threaten core values, American core values. This makes the unleashing of the apocalypse more credible and raises the probability of doing so. That is the whole point. nose troops are there so you do not have to execute it. .: . .. Le t me just briefly touch on a few factual points. We have no conventional defense in Europe? What are those 500,000 German troops doing there? What are those almost one million highly trained, well-equipped West European and American troops doing on the ce n tral front? I admit that they are maldeployed. I admit that we could do a bit more for reserves and for mobility. But I would not think that the greatest peacetime concentration of power in the history of mankind does not add up to a defense. And what are we doing if the Germans can raise 1.3 million reserves within less than a week? Is that no reserves? Somehow, I don1 share the factual assessment that was represented here. Mr. Lind says that for the first time the Germans are getting interested in conventional defense. That is a very puzzling assessment, given the fact that they have the largest conventional army on the continent, that they are the only nation of any conseq uence, besides the French, who have maintained conscription. But let me return and finish with a key question. I think that, for all the debatable points that Mr. Lind has thrown into the debate, he has raised the key questions, which are: Does the United States want to remain a great power? What does it have to do to remain a great power? And perhaps, can the United States remain a great power, given some of those economic realities, which evoke some pretty frightening parallels with past empires, the Bri tish, the Roman, and the Spanish? Mr. WefimW: Thank you. Now I want to try to get in a few questions.
GuesL- Bill Hunsett from the Atlantic Council. Does great power status derive only from our presence on the continent? Could it also be derived f rom our presence in space? Dr. Joft A eat power is in the world. - That . is . why the - Spanish analogy falls down. One oFe reasons the Spanish analogy falls down is that we live mt' a bipolar world, which by definition leaves no peripheries. If you tell the Soviets, "Go ahead, take Europe. Take the Gulf. Take the Middle East or dominate it. In the meantime, we'll conquer Mars," that is not winning the bipolar game. That is not the way you remain a great power. Guest John Patrick, private defense company. Could Mr. Lind please commienton the relationship between being a great power and national power--is there necessarily a relationship between the two terms?
Mr. Lind: Well, the problem is precisely that. In other words, if a power that is declining as a n ational power attempts to continue to maintain its former ambitions, in all respects, it becomes hollow. It becomes the pretense of a great power. The notion that we can remain a great power without any regard to what is happening here at home, without an y regard to what is happening in our economy, means that ultimately, we can be reduced to the Manchu Empire. When the enemy finally appears, you send war junks down the river, banging gongs and shooting firecrackers. The fundamental fact we have to deal wi t h is that, when the United States made the commitments around the world, not just in Europe, we controlled. a.. considerable portion of the world's wealth and power. That is no longer the case. And we are no longer, by the way, in a bipolar world. We are n ow in a world in which there are many competing interests, and our own power is only a small portion of what it was then. In many ways, that is a testament to our policy after the war because it was our deliberate policy. We are not entirely comfortable w ith the pleasures of power. Perhaps those pleasures are greater if you are occupying France, I do not know.
But I would say that that is precisely the issue the United States has to face. And as the previous questioner pointed out, we are not talking about a dichotomy between being a continental power and isolationism; we are talking about other forms of being a great power.
Guest My name is Bhud Atami. I am the editor of a Lebanese magazine. I am worried about the U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East alto gether, but there is one point which has not been mentioned by the panels, either the first or the second. What if the U.S. withdrew from Greece and then withdrew from West Germany and then withdrew from the United Kingdom? Could this be a strategic plann i ng on behalf of Israel and the United'States in the Middle' East so that Israel would take over more responsibilities in the Middle East, and how would the West Germans regard this U.S.-Israeli plan if at all present? Dr. Joffe: Ile real conspiracy is thi s. They pull back, and then they just send the NEW JERSEY every other month to shell Beirut.36 Mr. Atami What would Israel do? Dr. Joffe: Look, the Israelis do not seem to work very well as a continental sword for the United States, and there are a nu mber of reasons for this, one of them being that Israel also happens to be a democracy. As we keep seeing in case after case, democracies do not work..very well in imperial situations. That was the essence of the Lebanon war; that was the first imperial w ar, and it almost tore Israel apart. That was Israel's Vietnam. Mr. Und. I would make one more observation using a closer analogy than the U.S. and Israel, which would be Imperial Russia and Serbia. They can get us in a lot easier than they can get us out. Guest: Walter Hitchcock, U.S. Army, retired. A quick point and then a question. First of all, I have been amazed at the admiration for the French. I suffered through the redeployment of American forces out of France in 1966, 1967, and the notion of the gr a ndeur of France has clouded every judgment that theX have had for quite some time. I would not quote de Gaulle on anything when it comes down to having a perceptive analysis of the world situation. He destroyed us as far as our logistical tail was concern ed and we still have not recovered. Going to Bremerhaven is not the way to support U.S. forces in Europe. Dr. Joffe: Bremerhaven is hostile territory. Mr. Hitchcoelc My question is why not start phasing out and placing the obligations on the other Europea n countries to replace U.S. ground troops on a brigade-by-brigade basis, rather than this massive, "Oh, let's pull out a few divisions," approach? That does create the wrong message, but we are g to have to face the economic reality that our enlisted men in Europe cannot aVord to live there much longer. We had major personnel problems and morale problems when the dollar was high about eight years ago. You are going to have them again, but they will not hit for another year. Dr. Record. I probably share you r view that the French, as individuals, are less than the most pleasant people one could meet. In the long pull of history, though, and certainly in postwar history, one has to have great admiration and respect for the French, irrespective of the mistakes they made in 1940. Let me point out that, of our major allies in Europe, the French are not, as has already been pointed out, plagued by a lot of national self-doubt with respect to whether or not they should maintain military forces, including nuclear fo r ces. And as much as we clapped our hands over President Reagan!s very bold decision to drop a few bombs on Libya back in 1985 at the same time he was selling arms to the Ayatollah, it is the French who really gutted the Libyan military with some assistanc e from us. It is the French who, for example, in Africa, against threats against common Western interests, have been willing to put their money, and their troops I may add, on the line and do the kind of fighting that no Congress and no president in this c ountry would tolerate. This is a case where I think Lyndon Johnson's old adage works in reverse. I would rather have the French outside the tent than inside the tent. I think, in the
long run, an independent France does more for Western security and European security than a France integrated into the military command of NATO.
Dr. Holmes: I would also remind you of the role which France and Mitterand played, very unexpectedly, in supporting the INF deployment. Mr. Linck I would finally comment it is typical of the American Army to reject strategy in preference to logistics.
Dr. Record: One comment. Kim Holmes talked correctly about the changes in the geostrategic environment, the international geostrategic environment. Bill Lind has touched on this . Most of these discussions usually focus upon the decline of American military and economic power in relation to that -of the Soviet Union, a:' development which I think we would all concede.
What is equally important, but much less discussed is the decline of American power in relation to that of its allies. And it is there where, it seems to me, the strategic slack can be taken up on the part of our allies. They must and can do more.
Mr. Wehirod: Thanks, everybody, for coming, and to our panelists, we very much appreciate your being here.}}