European Reactions to SALT II

Report Defense

European Reactions to SALT II

February 23, 1979 22 min read Download Report
Jeffrey G.
Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs
(Archived document, may contain errors)

75 April 17, 1979 revised from February 23, 1979 EUROPEAN REACTIONS TO SALT I1 INTRODUCTION Many American critics of the proposed SALT I1 agreements were undoubtedly confused and upset early in January by the outcome of the Guadeloupe summit meeting. For months now these Americans had been hoping that the major European l eaders would publicly indicate what are reported to be strong reservations about certain aspects of the SALT I1 agreements. However, at the conclusion of the Guadeloupe talks, French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Brit ish Prime Minister James Callag h an, and West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt instead declared their support for the swift con clusion of the SALT I1 negotiations. As Alexander MacLeod wrote at the time in The Christian Science Monitor clared at a news conference that it would be trasic if a SALT I1 Mr. Callaghan de treaty was not ratified. Mr. Schmidt undertook to urge early rati- fication at every opportunity. The French President agreed on the need to move quickly to the conclusion of SALT 11 It was all quite difficult for most Americ an SALT I1 critics to understand.

They knew that the European leaders clearly had doubts about certain aspects of the proposed agreements, but then they saw three major European leaders publicly supporting President Carter's SALT ini tiatives. Why? This pa per offers some tentative explanations EUROPEAN RESERVATIONS ABOUT SALT I1 European worries about the proposed SALT I1 agreements first became publicly known in this country in early December 1977 during the semi-annual NATO ministerial meeting. Major con c erns 2 at that time centered on the agreements' potential for excluding the transfer of U.S. cruise missile technology to the European allies. As a news story of the time put it What worries the Europeans, according to defense officials here, is that the S oviet Union wants any new arms agreement to restrict the spread of cruise missiles and already appears to have persuaded the Carter Admi nistration to limit deployment and testing of the weapon for the first three years of the projected eight-year treaty.

The Europeans fear that these temporary restric tions may become permanent ones and result in their be ing prevented from buying cruise missiles from the United States or acquiring the American-developed tech nology involved in their construction. 1 That December it took the combined efforts of American Secre tary of Defense Harold Brown and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance to Brown told the assembled ministers that the United States had made I no commitment not to transfer technology to its European allies listening to its European allies and that any limits that would be I imposed on cruise missiles by the three-year protocol would be com pletely lifted when the protocol ran out. These assurances ap parently had the intended effect of calming European fear s . Brit ish Foreign Secretary David Owen told the ministerial meeting We have no criticism of the way the United States has consulted Europe on SALT."2 Mr. Vance has promised us ever fuller consultations on these mat ters as things proceed 1977 could, at b e st, have had only a temporary settling effect on European fears, and, as the months of 1978 passed by, worries about the SALT I1 negotiations again reasserted themselves. In these months, as the shape of the strategic arms limitation agreements became bet t er known, the central concern about the transfer of assuage European fears. On December 7, for example, Secretary I A day later, Secretary Vance stressed that the United States was NATO Secretary-General Joseph Luns remarked that Nevertheless, the optimis tic American assurances of December 1. Paul Lewis, "NATO Allies Fear U.S. Concedes Too Much in Soviet Arms Talks,"

The New York Times, December 6, 1977, p. 2 2. Owen had gone on to say SALT pr ocess who are concerned with the,minutiae of negotiations should champion the cause of arms limitation. A SALT agreement would be a mayor achievement and have the full support of Her Majesty's Government Quoted in Bernard Gwertzman, "Vance Asks Backing In NATO On Arms Talks," The New York Times, December 9, 1977 p. 7 It is important not to feed the critics of the Instead, we 3 cruise missiles broadened to encompass several other issues 1978, four issues directly linked to the proposed SALT I1 agreements co u ld be discerned: the possible ban on transfer of cruise missile technology, the proposed limitations on cruise missile ranges and deployments, the adequacy of the agreements' treatment of the ques tion of "grey area" weapons systems, and the question of t he verifi ability of the SALT I1 accords By mid The fitst issue had, of course, been the major concern for the Western European leaders in 19

77. Writing in the fall of that year Manfred Wd'rner, the Chairman of the Defense Committee in the West German Bun destag, had commented If NATO wants to be in a position to repel (and thus deter) a large-scale Soviet conventional aggression, it must also take the following measures 1) Exploit optimally all technological possibili ties that loom beyond the classical s pectrum of conven tional weapons (e.g cruise missiles).3 Even as WErner's words were being published; however, propo sals were being negotiated at SALT that would severely curtail.

NATO's chances of acquiring cruise missiles. In December 1977 Secretary of State Vance hastened to assure the NATO ministers that the limitations imposed on cruise missiles by the proposed protocol would last only three years. He argued that after the expiration of the protocol the United States would be perfectly free to fur ni sh cruise missiles or cruise missile technology to its European allies. This assurance, however, came into question in 19

78. The Europeans wondered if the temporary limitations might not be ex tended. As Kurt Birrenbach noted In theory, an option on these weapons remains open to Americans and Europeans after three years but this is a highly doubtful prospect."4 There are several reasons for this European lack of faith.

First, the European leaders understand that short-term agreements often acquire a legitimacy which later hinders their cancellation particularly in cases where negotiations are continuing, as in SALT.

They know that the extension of short-term limitations of the pro tocol could well be used by the Soviets as a prerequisite for nego tiating SALT 1

11. In addition the European leaders know that one of the provisions being negotiated at SALT I1 precludes the 3. Manfred mrner NATO Defenses and Tactical Review, Volume 5 (Fall 19771, p. 15 4. Kurt Birrenbach, "European Security: NATO Volume 22 (S ummer 19781, p. 302 Nuclear Weapons Strategic SALT and Equilibrium I Orbis 4 c'ircumvention of the purposes of the agreements--a provision that if adopted could be interpreted by the Soviets so as to deny the transfer of cruise missile technology to third parties.5 While the United States insists that such would not be the case, the Soviet Union sees the issue differently. The Soviet interpretation of the provision is reportedly that the transfer of cruise missiles or cruise missile technology in any form would circumvent the purposes of the agreements.

The second issue which concerns the European allies has to do The with the nature of the limitations which the SALT I1 agreements could impose on the range and deployment of cruise missiles.6 Europeans do no t understand why the United States agreed so readily to a maximum range of only 600 kilometers for ground- and sea launched cruise missiles. After all, the Soviets have already de ployed intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Europe (SS-20s which can st r ike any European target west of.the Urals.7 They also worry that the Soviet insistence that air-launched cruise missiles with ranges greater than 600 kilometers could only be carried by heavy bombers" would keep the European NATO members from deploying su ch missiles, since they have no "heavy bombers" as defined by the agreements.

The third issue of special concern to the Europeans involves the adequacy of SALT'S treatment of "grey area" systems--those nuclear weapons delivery systems that lack intercontin ental range but which exceed the range needed for use as strictly tactical nu clear weapons delivery systems (i.e theater nuclear weapons 5. Both sides have apparently agreed to a non-circumvention proposal. As Paul Nitze wrote in his latest analysis of t h e SALT I1 agreements Both sides are agreed that there will be a commitment that neither side will take any action which would circumvent the purposes of the agreements. Such a provision would appear to ban the significant transfer to third countries of we a pons limited by the agreements. The extent to which it would ban the transfer of components or technology associated with such weapons is not clear. The USSR interpretation has been reported to be that the transfer of components, blueprints, and tech nolo gy directly pertinent to such weapons is included in such a ban Paul H.

Nitze, "Current SALT I1 Negotiating Posture," Committee on the Present Danger January 15, 1979, p. 4; see also "SALT: Basic Agreement Would Stop U.S.-NATO Data Flow," Defense Q Foreign Affairs Daily, December 21, 1978, p. 1 6 influence the American development and deployment of the MX missile.

In a collateral matter, the Europeans worry about how the agreements will 7. See Second German-American Roundtable on NATO: The Theater Nuclear Balance.

Summary of a Transatlantic Dialogue (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, 1978 pp. 12-13 5 delivery systems Europeans fear that the proposed Statement of Principles might be too specific in discussing how "grey area" s ys tems would be treated in SALT 1

11. As Takashi Oka noted in The Christian Science Monitor This is because there is as yet no allied consensus on what to do about so-called 'grey area systems I' This particularly concerns the British and the French beca use their nuclear forces fall into this category. In addition the NATO partners worry that the hoped-for NATO medium-range ballis tic missile, and even the extended-range PERSHING 11, might be severely constrained or even eliminated by the "principles" se t forth in SALT I1 for negotiating SALT 111 The Europeans are also bothered by what they consider the United States' casual treatment of the term "strategic European leaders believe-that by agreeing to the Soviet contention that strategic" weapons systems c onsist of those systems capable of targeting each other's home territory, the U.S. ignores the reality that systems already deployed by the Soviet Union (the SS-20 missile and the BACKFIRE bomber) are quite capable of devastating European home territories and are thus just as strategic to Western Europe as the other systems are to the United States and the Soviet Union.

As West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt told an American reporter in October 1978 Not only intercontinental str ategic weapons, but also continental strategic weapons have a bearing on the security of Europe and Germany I The United States' ready acceptance of the powerful Soviet nu clear presence in Europe (aker ail, the Europeans noted that the U.S. did-not attem p t to trade off cruise missile limitations for some equivalent Soviet concession on the deployment of the SS-20 served to again bring up the question of the strength of the United States' strategic nuclear commitment to Europe As The Economist editorialize d in August 1978 Some Europeans have always doubted whether the Americans would fight a nuclear war for Europe and even the trusters,are beginning to think that what might have been true when the United States had a commanding lead is not neces sarily true now. Hence the Europeans worry about the growing grey area problem It was, in part to still this European doubt about the decoupling of the United States' nuclear guarantee that the Carter Administration, in November 1978, began pushing for the de velopme nt and deployment of a medium-range, land-based nuclear missile system for NATO.

The final issue of concern to the Europeans leaders is the whole problem of the verifiability of the strategic arms limitation agree ments. Many Western European leaders doubt that it will be possible to verify the limitations which the agreements or the separate written assurance on BACKFIRE impose on the number of MIRVed war heads actually placed on each MIRVed missile and on the deployment 6 and war-fighting characteristics of the BACKFIRE bomber They echo the belief of some American critics of 'SALT I1 that certain aspects of the SALT I1 agreement would require on-site inspection for adequate verification-a condition which the Soviets have always rejected As Paul Nitze note d on the problem of verification In many instances unambiguous verification of the SALT 11 limitations will not be possible. For this reason the arms control community now uses the phrase adequately verifiable I It is correct that "verifi ability" is not a n absolute requirement; it is a means toward the end of a good agreement The difficulty however, rests in determining which provisions are Strategically significant" to us and what is meant by the word "adequate."g 1t.might be said that Western European le a ders have their doubts about the way that the Carter Administration might choose to apply the "adequate verification" yardstick THE EUROPEAN SILENCE ON SALT I1 I One would think that the above reservations concerning the nature of the proposed SALT I1 agr eements would be sufficient to cause the Western European leaders to voice open criticism of cer tain aspects of the agreements. Obviously, this has not happened.

On the contrary, at Guadeloupe the leaders of Great Britain, France and West Germany declared public support for President Carter's SALT 11 negotiating posture. There are a number of reasons for this evident disparity 1) First, the influence of the domestic political situations in the respective European countries mitigates against public 8. As J o hn Lehman noted with regard to the BACKFIRE The Soviets would be required to provide assurances that the Backfire would not be used as a strate gic vehicle: Since the strategic capability inherent in the Backfire bomber is not seriously disputed, the limi t ations requested of the Soviets would be limi tations of intent. It is impossible to verify limitations of intent Emphasis added John F. Lehman, "The Carter Comprehensive SALT Proposal: Verification and Grey Area Systems," in Paul H. Nitze, John F. Lehman , and Seymour Weiss, The Carter Disarmament Proposals: Some Basic Questions and Cautions (Coral Gables Florida: Center for Advanced International Studies, University of Miami, 19771 p 21. See also John G. Behuncik, "Examining SALT Violations and the Proble m s of Verification," Backgrounder No 60, The Heritage Foundation, June 6, 1978 9. Paul H. Nitze, "Considerations Bearing on the Merits of an Agreement Com mittee on the Present Danger, January 15, 1979, p. 10. 7 I criticism of SALT 11's effects. Domestic p o litics in Europe often narrow the operating latitude of a government with regard to a particular issue such as SALT. As a general rule, strong pro-defense stands are not popular with vocal segments of the populations of the Western European countries. One need only remember the public furor that arose in various European capitals almost a year ago over public'discussion about the potential deployment of the "neu tron bomb" in NATO. In Amsterdam, for example, over 50,000 people participated in an internatio nal demonstration against the bomb sponsored by The Netherlands "Stop the Neutron Bomb" group. This same issue had caused the resignation of the Dutch defense minister.

In France and Italy there are large and vocal Communist parties to which the government s must pay attention. Speaking in general of these Western European Communist parties, Pierre Hassner noted All accept, more or less, the Western structures (NATO, the Euro pean Community) which the Soviet Union criticizes as aggressive but in actual deba t es or negotiations on East-West relations in Europe (from the neutron bomb to East-West trade) they usually see the Soviet Union on the.side of the angels."lO In Norway and Den mark, on the. other hand, the general public is opposed to the sta tioning of n on-national NATO troops on national soil and are parti cularly opposed to the introduction of nuclear weapons there. But aside from what might be called anti-military sentiment, it is safe to say that in Western Europe as a whole, there is. a general per ception that arms limitation talks are a useful thing, both for limiting defense spending and for aiding detente.

In addition to the influence that public sentiment has upon, the European governments, there is the influence that the internal poli tical sit uation has upon each European leader. For example, in both West Germany and Great Britain the leaderships' legislative support is shaky. In September 1978, Helmut Schmidt was ruling an SPD/FDP coalition government with only a ten-vote majority. Even withi n his own party, the Chancellor has been forced to hold off the more leftist members, who desire much greater accommodation with the Soviet Union.

These left SPD members now comprise almost half of the party's membership. They are led by, among others, Ego n Bahr (formerly the Brandt government's orchestrater of Ost olitik and currently SPD secretary-general) and Herbert Wehner chairman of the SPD faction in the Bbdestag a man who has always believed in the necessity 10. Pierre Hassner Western European Perc eptions of the USSR Daedalus Volume 108 (Winter 19791, p. 134. a of closer relations between Germany and the Soviet Union because of the U.S.S.R.'s pivotal political role on the Continent.

The left SPD members view the current state of detente between East and West, under which they believe West Germany has been able to establish a special relationship with the Soviet Union, as extre mely important to their country's continued wellbeing. For this reason, they continue to seek new ways to strengthen the Fed e ral Republic's ties with the U.S.S.R. and they denigrate attempts to add to NATO's tactical nuclear arsenal as being both unnessary for Ger many's security and overly provocative to the Soviets. In public party-leader Wehner couches his call for greater G e rman-Soviet co operation in terms of the changing balance of power in Europe. He argues that United States' leadership in the Atlantic Alliance is weakening and that it is therefore only practical that West Germany attempt-to foster a better relationship wi-th the ever-more-powerful Soviet Union.

The Chancellor's task of holdjng off these forces of his party's left wing will prove considerabty more difficult now that Schmidt's supporter, Willy Brandt, has been incapacitated by heart trouble.

In Great Brit ain, on the other hand, the situation would be compli cated for Prime Minister James Callaghan even if he wanted to speak out on SALT I1 (which he does not) by the massive economic troubles which must necessarily occupy most of his time. As he tries to co pe with the ever-burgeoning labor strikes, he is constantly aware of the watchful gaze of Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives, who are waiting for the May elections that they fully expect will bring them to power.

In Western. Europe as a whole, the necessity of governing by coalition makes for continuing problems of leadership stability Under the above-mentioned circumstances, it is not easy for Euro pean leaders to take public stands in favor of a stronger American negotiating stance at SALT 2) European lea d ers also hesitate to openly discuss the SALT I1 agreements for fear that such discussions could have an influ ence on the NATO commitments of the United States that the Carter Administration might judge their comments on SALT I1 to be interference in inte r nal American politics critics of SALT I1 believe that Defense Secretary Brown's empha sis on improving NATO's defense capability shoul'd be sufficient to reassure the Europeans that. the United States has no intention of lessening its NATO commitments. Th e y further argue that some questioning of President Carter by his allied leaders on SALT I1 matters would be entirely proper and would not be construed by the Carter Administration as interference. The European leaders con tinue to wonder They believe Amer ican West Germany is particularly careful not to antagonize the Chancellor United States by making eublic criticisms of American initiatives in areas not directly linked to Germany's policies.

Schmidt, in a May 1978 interview, noted: 9 We Europeans are con cerned about the expansion of Soviet influence--political and military On the other hand Germany is a medium, non-nuclear power the size of Ore gon in a very delicate and vulnerable situation. No German leader will ever forget this It would be un realisti c and improper for a German head of government to be indulging in those fields of world politics out side our area of responsibility, or even giving advice to the leading Western power the United States7.11 The Germans are not the only ones reluctant to ma k e public criticisms of the proposed SALT If agreements. British Foreign Secretary David Owen reminded all the NATO ministers in December 1977 that it-was "important not to feed the /&ericaa7*critics of the SALT process at such'interference could conceivab l y spur a general American de sire for further separation or even disengagement from Europe As Pierre Hassner commented in DaedaluS The Europeans are forever afraid that American-Soviet relations are either too close to col lision or too close to collusion The fact that most Americans would find such fears'excessive does nothing to lessen the fact that such fears are very real to some European leaders Many European leaders worry that-American pique 3) Many European leaders, believing that the SALT I1 agree m ents are a fait accompli, feel that any criticism will be futile anyway. Only the "minutiae" (to use David Owen's critical expres sion) can still be argued about, as far as the Europeans are con cerned. How could we have any influence, they emphasize, on a ne gotiation which, except for the signing, has already been concluded 4) The European leaders feel that for the sake of allied solidarity they mist lend support to President Carter in this ne gotiation. The expressions of support at Guadeloupe from Call aghan d'Estaing, and Schmidt which so dismayed American critics of SALT came about, in large part, for this reason.

West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who has had his problems in the past with President Carter, felt that he could not weaken the America n leader's position at a time when many of the Carter Administration's foreign.and domestic policies were in disarray.

The West German leader's major concern was to keep from damaging Carter's international prestige any further than current events such as Iran have already damaged it. In the past, Schmidt has often criticized the President in off-the-record talks for his weakness of leadership. Privately, the Chancellor still believes that Jimmy Carter is performing his job poorly. This view of Carter's a m ateurishness is also shared by French officials. For example, one French official at Guadeloupe noted that his government was not worried that President Carter would intentionally jeopardize Western European interests It is the unintentional worries US he said 11 YOU," Newsweek, May 29, 1978, p. 46.

Interview between Arnaud de Borchgrave and Helmut Schmidt blunder that Schmidt After 10 The low-key support for SALT that French President Giscard d'Estaing expressed, revealed more a current French interest in general arms limitation talks than a heartfelt support of Carter's SALT I1 negotiating position fic comments in favor of Carter's SALT I1 agreements, he at least avoided criticizing the idea of arms limitation negotiations as De G aulle or Pompidou would have done from the Gaullist position which has held sway in France for almost twenty years. At the same time, the new French position does not seem to indicate that France would be pleased to enter into the discussions on "grey are a " systems that will probably come up in SALT 111, particularly since it has decided to continue upgrading While Giscard did not make any speci This marks a major change its nuclear deterrent I 5 Finally, Western European leaders basically favor the princi p le of arms limitation and see SALT as a vital component of detente with the Eastern European bloc. Although detente has re cently been. seen by'both the United States and Western Europe as be ing less beneficial in changing Soviet policies than had been h oped the context'of European politics has made it harder for European leaders to adjust their policies in accordance with this new per ception of detente. Thus, they continue to hope for the best in regard to the SALT agreements.

The Western European leade rs would like to have a larger share of consultation with the United States when the SALT I11 negotia tions take place. It should be remembered that consultation and participation are two distinctly different activities. The West Germans are particularly i nterested in participating in the SALT I11 discussion of "grey area" systems. They have nothing to lose by participating. The British an& the French, on the &her hand would, in all likelihood, have to see their nuclear forces placed on the negotiating tab le" if they took part in these talks. Thus they are less enthusiastic about participating.

In addition to increased consultation on SALT 111, the Euro peans would like to have the United States more closely ally SALT and MBFR (Mutual and Balanced Force Red uctions They see this as vitally important if the West is going to avoid the dangerous lack of. coordination in bargaining positions that currently reigns.

Given the absence of a European role in the SALT I1 negotiations though, there is some considerable doubt that the United States will allow the Europeans either a major consultative role or the kind of close SALT/MBFR alliance that they desire. 11 CONCLUSION On November 23, 1978, the CDU/CSU faction in the West German Bundestag sent the Government a fo r mal paper questioning its views on disarmament.12 Schmidt's government answered this document on February 16th of this year. On March 8th and 9th. the debate on the nature of strategic arms controi questions in.genera1, anti SALT 11 and SALT I11 in partic u lar, was held. During this debate the CDU and CSU speakers made a number of important points Among these were limit the modernization and development of NATO's theater nuclear forces by preventing the transfer of weapons technology to the European allies; 2) that the Europeans should look for an official American guarantee before the treaty ratification) that all options for new weapons such as the cruise missile will be open after expira tion of the three-year protocol; 3) that it is important to have fur t her development of mid-range and tactical nuclear (and conven tional) weapons to fill the defense gap that will exist in the early and mid-1980's; and 4) that the Alliance should develop a common ne gotiating strategy (before ratification of SALT 11) for t he SALT 111 negotiations. 13 1) that the non-circumvention 'clause should not be allowed to However, just as important as the stands that the CDU/CSU faction took, were the stands which it avoided taking. For example the whole question of treaty verificat i on was ignored, because it was felt that. verification is a problem for the Americans, not the Europeans. Also, the CDU/CSU speakers argued that the judgement about the merits of the SALT I1 agreements is an autonomous judge ment for the American Presiden t and Congress to make and that the Europeans must! not interfere in the pros and consbof the ratifica tion debate 14 For his part, Chancellor Schmidt, in a two-hour speech during the debate in the Bundestag, accused the CDU/CSU opposition of lending fuel t o American congressional opponents of SALT If and argued that if SALT I1 was not ratified, it would lead to a grave crisis of confidence throughout the world."l5 The impact that the debate had I 12 tung und den Abbau der pol&tischen Spannungsursachen I 13 pert Dirnecker Informationen und Thesen zur Sicherheitspolitik tung skontrolle und Abrktung March 1979, pp. 15-17 Erhaltung und Festigung des Friedens durch Sicherheit, dstungskontrolle 14. Ibid p. 15 15. Quoted in David Shears Europe is second safest con tinent, says Schmidt,"

The Daily Telegraph (London March 10, 1979. 12 in West Germany remains to be judged the sort of public discussion that American critics of the SALT I1 agreements have long been hoping for from the Europeans. The speeches had much to tell American leaders about the deep-seated European fears concerning the possible effects of SALT If. They should be read very carefully by interested persons in this country. The in fluence that the German debate will have on the ratification pro cess i n the United States Senate will depend upon whether certain cumently uncommitted Senators are made aware of the questions posed in the Bundestag debate and whether they find these questions per tinent to American concerns. Yet, whatever the debate's influe n ce on the matter of SALT 11, it is hoped by both the German and American critics of the SALT process that it will have a positive impact on Nevertheless the debate was SALT 111 Some-SALT critics in this country probably believe that the Germans did not go far enohgh in their questioning of the SALT pro cess. They would have liked to have seen the CDU/CSU members argue against ratification of 'the SALT I1 agreements However, it is un realistic for Americans to have expected that the West .Germans would indu l ge in the sort of dramatic give-and-take on SALT that some here would desire. Even within the CDU itself, there remained divided counsel on the proper approach to take in the debate. One faction of the party clearly looked back with a special fondness to t he CDU's history of support for general arms control measures. And the party leadership had no wish to be on the losing side of the SALT question. If the CDU/CSU faction had taken a strong stand in opposition to certain aspects of the proposed SALT agreem e nts and then the United States Senate passed the agreements, it would have been placed at a serious political disadvantage to the SPD/FDP coalition In such a case, the SPD would have been in a position to say We were always in favor of the arms control ne g otiations. We are the party of peace Of course, the SALT SI agreements could fail to pass the Senate, in which case the CDU/CSU faction would have found itself on the winning side, but it would have been hard to take such a chance when so much was at atak e In Great Britain, while the Callaghan government maintains discrete silence on whatever doubts it may have concerning SALT 11 a few men of stature still believe that it is important to be heard.

Thus, on February 7th of this year, in a special national B BC tele vision broadcast, former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan expressed his grave reservations about the course of the SALT I1 negotiations It alarms me. I must be frank. I said we could have peaceful co-existence if we keep up our guard and it's a dut y not to ourselves, but to the Soviet imperialists, too, because they will only be able to hold back their extremists if we do keep up our guard the West as a whole 13 But'what, in fact, has happened? aerica weaker I tell you quite frankly I am alarmed abo ut the SALT discussions which look like abandoning or en dangering the safety of Europe In this case, it is clear that Harold Maanillan's non-official status allowed him to say things that the British government would not dare to say.

Such public candor is a precious commodity in Western Europe today has remained critical of America's policies in Europe, has decide to avoid public comment on SALT 11. Public criticism of the Carter Administration's negotiating at SALT could prove politically hazardous Even t he French government, which since the days 0f.DeGaulle In a sense, this situation is an accurate mirror of the Western European dilemma. The European leaders may have serious reserva tions about an issue -as important to their security as SALT, but they b e lieve that they cannot afford to make their reservation known in a public manner. The activity that looks so simple from an American perspective--European questioning of SALT proposals that. might prove detrimental to their security--could have untold con s equences for European leaders whose political power can be sub ject to sudden, possibly ruinous reverses Jeffrey G. Barlow Policy Analyst I would like to thank Jurgen Schwarz, a professor at the Uni versity of the Federal Armed Foreces Munich (currently T he Heritage Foundation's Visiting Scholar), for assisting in the analysis of many of the issues discussed in this paper.


Jeffrey G.

Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs