NATO Restoring American Leadership

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NATO Restoring American Leadership

February 11, 1981 31 min read Download Report
Jeffrey G.
Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs

(Archived document, may contain errors)

I 132 February 11, 1981 NATO= RESTORING AMERICAN INTRODUCTION The firs t months of each new presidential administration are crucial to the way in which the relationship between the United States and its European allies functions during the following four or eight years. For it is in these early days of the govern- ment that n ew foreign policy. initiatives are set forthJand certain old Dolicv directions are reaffirmed It is a testins time for a beginning-President, not just with the Congress and the American public, but also with his country's friends and allies. It is a cruci a l period of weeks when these states search avidly for signs that the new American leader possesses a direction of purpose and a clear understandincr of his international resnonsibilities. Hasty or ill-c'onside;ed ,actions during these early days can creat e an.impression of American ignorance or irresolution that may hamper the relations between dis country and its allies for the rest of a President's term in office It is too easily forgotten in this country that NATO-is the military manifestation of an und e rlying political' commitment In the first decade of the Alliance's existence there was-little need for American Presidents to comprehend fully the-nature of the delicate intertwining of the military union with the multiple national political aspirations r e presented therein, since the United States, both militarily and economically, was manifestly the predominant power in NATO. In the decade of the 1950 Great Britain was still intent on maintaining its "special relationship with the United States despite th e cost, France was suffering through a series of leadership crises that culminated in the return of Charles de Gaulle to power, and West Germany, a new entrant to the Alliance, was still developing its economic miracle under the political leadership of Der Alte Konrad Adenauer. So important was the United States-nfluence over its NATO partners during this period that the open disapproval of the 2 Eisenhower Administration was sufficient to force an ignominious end to the British, French and Israeli Suez ope r ation in 1956, an outcome that proved so shattering to British morale that it brought about the downfall of the Eden government It was in the mid-1960s that the United States first learned of the problems that could arise when European Alliance members pu r sued independent policies, when France withdrew from the military organization of NATO. This decison, although not entire ly unportended (the French fleet had been withdrawn in 1962 undoubtedly came as a shock to the United States. Charles de Gaulle, hopi n g for France to become, at the very least, the European power broker for the Superpowers and dreaming of a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals I' sought development of an independent French nuclear deterrent the force de frappe capable of defending agai n st attack from any-ction (a tous azimuts This French move had the effect of demonstratkg to theted States that in the future its leadership of the Alli ance would require a constant acknowledgement of (-and sometimes even adjustment for) the influence of t he individual national political interests of its other members CARTER'S WOES Jimy Carter entered office in January 1977 as an unknown quantity to the Europeans. They knew nothing of the character or the leadership abilities of this obscure former Georgia governor who had campaigned for the Presidency as an outsider determined to clean house in Washington they waited expectantly for the first indication of his interna tional outlook, hopeful that he would assert American leadership within the Alliance and yet almost equally fearful that he would lead them in directions they would not want to go.

Ironically, the new President's fitness for leadership of the Alliance was soon called into question over actions that had to do only indirectly with NATO. Several weeks before his inaugu ration, Mr. Carter had told an interviewer II'd like to continue to play a leading role in the search for an enhancement of human rights. 1I.d like to do everything I can as President to ensure world peace, a reduction in the arms r ace. I don't mean to preach to other countries. I'm not going to try to set a standard on the type of government the other nations should have Within a matter of weeks, however, Carter's bland assurances about not preaching to other countries or setting s t andards to which they would have to conform were.belied by his Administra tion's policy. One of its first foreign policy stances concerned human rights: Jimmy Carter's interest in human rights received international prominence when the Soviet Union was si n gled out as one of the first targets of the Administration's attention As with each new President, however 1 Carter: I Look Forward to the Job Time, January 3, 1977, p. 24. 3 In early February 1977, the State Department harshly criti- cized the USSR for i t s treatment of dissidents. President Carter followed up this action by affirming in his first press conference his intention to "speak out strongly and forcefully whenever human rights are threatened not every instance, but when I think it's advisable.II2 Eschewing any belief in the idea of linkage, Jimmy Carter further insisted that he could see no reason why his strong criticism of Soviet human rights policies would have any effect on the arms limitation talks which the Administration at the same time wa s attempting to pursue with the Soviet Union of concluding a strategic arms limitation agreement with the Soviet Union that would go beyond that which had been embodied in the Ford-Brezhnev Vladivostok agreement.3 Accordingly, when Secretary of State Vance was sent to Moscow in March 1977 with two alternative SALT proposals and a great deal of public fanfare hopes were high in the White House that real progress was going to be made. Within a few days, however, the Soviet leadership had made it clear that it was not willing to cooperate with the President's plans. The two United States SALT proposals were rejected outright, in a manner that was almost contemptuous ness. Some months later the President remarked There has been a surprising adverse reaction in t he Soviet Union to our stand on human rights. Apparently, that has provided a greater obstacle to other friendly pursuits, common goals, like SALT, than I had anticipated. It4 Events were to prove him wrong.

When he first took office, the new President har bored hopes The lesson took time to sink into Jimmy Carter's conscious Unlike the new President, the Western European leaders were quick to grasp the dangers in his hastily contrived approach toward the Soviet Union.

United S.tates intentionally upset the Soviet leadership with its continuing public pronouncements on human rights when, to the Europeans' minds, it gained no advantage, but instead slowed Soviet cooperation on other matters. German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt undoubtedly spoke for many of the o ther Allied leaders when he commented, some time later The normal thing for a European head of government is to try to influence the policies of his partners within the Western community and this is not done by making headlines, but through diplomatic and personal persuasion 5 They could not understand why the Quoted in "Carter and the Russians 19

77. D. 10.

Semi-Tough Time, February 21 See Carter: Quoted'in "Rebuffs at Home, Flak from Abroad Time, July 11, 1977, pp 16-

17. Of course, there.were reasons for the Soviet rejection of his SALT proposals other than just Carter's human rights campaign Schmidt: After You interview between Arnaud de Borchgrave and Helmut Schmidt Newsweek, May 29, 1978, p. 56 I Look Forward to the Job p. 25 5 4 The Europeans fear ed that by continuing to hammer away with his human rights campaign, President Carter was chancing the permanent endangerment of U.S.-Soviet arms limitation agreements and with this the whole Western policy of detente with the East.

Western Europe had much to lose in such an event. It should be remembered that, by and large, the Western European governments had been coaxed into accepting a policy of detente with the Eastern bloc by President Nixon and Henry Kissinger at the begin ning of the 1970s, during t he first blush of euphoria over the emerging SALT agreements. By the latter part of the decade however, the interweaving of the East-West economic relationships on the Continent had acquired a strength not easily dispensed with for the sake of changed pol i tical perceptions in the United States. As Uwe Nerlich expressed in Daedalus Kissinger's foreign policy had set in motion political processes in Europe that then turned out to be difficult to 'Thus, the Carter policies directed toward the Soviet Union had an unintended but nonetheless profound influence on the European allies.

And the new President's inauspicious introduction to the Allies was not helped by his early policy disagreements with West German Chancellor Schmidt, a leader who by virtue of his co untry's strong economic position and its major military contribution to the Alliance was already becoming a force among the European allies. As Hans Gatzke concluded The two men, both self assertive, were otherwise quite different in outlook and tempera m e nt. Schmidt the calculating pragmatist was baffled and at times annoyed by Carter, the moralizing idealist. The president- complained that the chancellor was. obstinate and didactic; the chancellor found the president erratic and inexperienced Both tried t o overcome their differences, but they never quite.suc ceeded I To the poor personal relationship was added a basic disagree ment over particular national policies. For example, in March 1977, the Carter Administration in line with the Presidentts strong v iews against nuclear proliferation, requested that Germany cancel a lucrative 1975 trade agreement with Brazil, wherein West Germany had offered to supply a complete nuclear fuel facility to that country in return for a supply of nuclear fuel and for bila t eral 'cooperation with uranium exploration and mining. The American request produced immediate bad feelings in the Federal Republic, since the Germans resented this interference in their affairs. An additional stumbling block to U.S.-West German relations proved to be Carter's 1977 request that Germany reflate its economy to help pull the world economy out of its slump.8 Uwe Nerlich, "Western Europe's Relations with the United States Daedalus Vol. 108 (Winter 1979), p. 101.

Hans W. Gatzke, Germany and the United States: A "Special Relationship Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980), pp. 231-232.

This was .a turnabout from two years before, when Schmidt had unsuccessfully urged President Ford to fuel up the U.S. economy for the sake of the rest of the industrialized world 5 Schmidt understood the need for the major Allied governments to coordinate their economic policies to avoid a new recession, but he adamantly refused to overstimulate the German economy.

The final blow to the Carter-Schmidt relationship came from the President's handling of the Itneutron bombNr affair In the summer-crf 1977 the Senate was engaged in deternjining whether to appropriate money for production of enhanced radiation warheads for the-Lance battlefield missile and 8-inch artillery pieces.

During the course of Senate hearings, this proposal received large and primarily u nfavorable publicity in the press both here and in Europe. This was heightened by a well coordinated Soviet propaganda campaign against the "neutron bomb however, the Senate passed the funding bill containing production money for themis Nonetheless 8 foll o wing this congressional approval, the President balked at unilaterally ordering production of the warheads and attempted to shift responsibility for the decision onto the European allies NATO -members would have to arrive at a consensus that such warheads were needed in Europe before he could decide to proceed with I By virtue of President Carter's support for the warheads Carter .made it clear that the weir production.

Naturally, this set off an intense debate in the Federal Repub-lic. The left wing of th e Chancellorls SPD party was parti cularly vocal in its opposition. For example, Egon Bahr, the General Secretary of the SPD, publicly branded the neutron bomb During the course of the next eight months, the Carter Administration con tinued to pressure th e European governments to support production of enhanced radiation warheads. Although Schmidt furnished scene-s on -obtaining his party's acceptance, despite the political costs. He was ultimately successful In early April 1978, the German Foreign Minister , Hans-Dietrich Genscher, travelled to Washington and while there publicly expressed his government's support for the production decision. Just several days later however, President Carter announced that he was deferring produc tion of the new warheads. Hi s statement noted The ultimate decision regarding the incorporation of enhanced radiation features into our modernized battlefield weapons will be made later, and will be influenced by the degree to which the Soviet Union shows restraint in its conventiona l and nuclear arms programs and Ira symbol for the perversion of human thinking.rt little pw-li-c support during this time, he worked behind the For the Senate debate on the "neutron" warhead, see Robert J. Pranger and Roger P. Labrie, eds Nuclear Strategy and National Security Points of View Washington, D.C Research, 1977 pp. 333-367 For a concise account of the "neutron bomb" affair, see S. T. Cohen American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy lo The Neutron Bomb: Political, Technological and Military I ssues (Cambridge Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc November 1978 pp. 35-55. 6 force deployments affecting the security of the United States and Western Europe It Publicly, Helmut Schmidt kept his temper in check, telling one interviewer only that 'Ithe same decision would have been better if we hadn't had to go through the irritating process of the last few months."12 berating the President for his inconstancy of purpose.

Privately, he had one more reason for AMERICAN LEADERSHIP AND NATO Almost four years have passed since President Carter's disastrous introduction to the European allies, and a new Admini stration is now preparing to take over the reins of government.

Once again, the Western European leaders are carefully awaiting signs that the U nited States will assume a forceful leadership role in the Atlantic Alliance. Thus the advent of the new Reagan Administration is an opportunity for the United States to guide NATO's destiny for much of the new decade, to reinvigorate an Alliance whose su ccessful deterring of war in Europe these past thirty-one years ironically has made it seem increasingly less vital to the generations born since its inception.

Successful leadership of the NATO Alliance has proved to be as much an art as a science. The ve ry act of leadership has become much more complex over the past decade, as the European member states increasingly have asserted their right to pursue independent political and economic policies toward the East. It should be understood that whatever NATO' s outward military trap pings, its political relationship has changed dramatically over the course of its history. The United States therefore can no longer expect to have the dominant role over Alliance policy-making that it once had, whereby it could ann o unce policy changesand expect its European partners to dutifully fall into line behind them protection in 1949 are no longer the same. Just as their leader ships have changed drastically over the last three decades and their economies have regained health so too their publics perceptions of the proper role of the Alliance in their political lives have changed The war-torn countries of Europe that joined together for It must be remembered that the European powers banded together because of a common adversit y and not because of belief in a common direction As Francois Bourricaud noted Accumulated l1 "Enhanced Radiation Weapons Statement by the President, April 7, 1978, I Public Papers of the Prisidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter 1978 Book I January 1 t o June 30, 1978 (Washington, D.C USGPO, 19791, p 702 l2 "Schmidt: After You p. 56 7 disasters had finally made a great number of Europeans sensitive to their unity in misfortune It is in this sense [only] that one can speak of Europeans having a sense of c ommon destiny after 1945 I1 President Reagan will find that the European allies look to him for a leadership that is at the same time both forceful and skillful. This leadership must furnish a clear sense of direction and yet be handled pragmatically enou g h to respond adequately to the political hesitations of particular members A major aspect of this skillful pragmatism will be the regular and systematic consultation by the new Administration with its European partners on policies both directly and indire ctly affecting the Alliance.

This is especially important because of the uncertainty about its direction that Western Europe is currently experiencing.

Assistant Secretary of State George Vest testified in 1979 It is, however, preeminently, a confused cli mate and I think that is what characterizes it more than any. The leaders give off the impression of confusion.1t14 side 0.f the Atlantic, Lord Chalfont recently wrote.that "it is clear that Western Europe faces a dangerous crisis of leadership purpose, a n d vision.1t15 As Echoing this view from the other Under such circumstances, President Reagan should work to insure a U.S. leadership in NATO that shows consistency and resolve on important issues and yet does not expect to achieve the full consensus of th e European allies on all of them.16 DEALING WITH D I SAGREEMENT IN NATO The new Administration should realize at the outset that it cannot afford to push with equal force for European acceptance of the American position on every issue. The result of such a n attempt would be a European antagonism toward American leadership that would only hinder Alliance cohesion over the longer term coupled with a weakening of the United States' effort on those issues of greatest importance instead attempt early to differen tiate between the issues which in its view are of manifest importance to the continued effective functioning of NATO and those which are, at best, secondary.

Once this has been accomplished, the United State can concentrate on pressing its case to the Euro peans on the most vital issues The Reagan Administration should l3 l4 Francois Bourricaud, "Individualistic Mobilization and the Crisis of Professional Authority," Daedalus, Vol 108 (Spring 1979 p. 4 Testimony in House, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Revie w of Recent Develop ments in Europe, 1979: Hearinq, 96th Congress, 1st Session, July 12 1979, p. 16 l5 Lord Chalfont, "Triad Of Influence? An Opportunity For British-French German Statesmanship On The World Scene," Europe, November-December 1980 p 10 le Ho u se, Committee on Foreign Affairs, NATO and Western Security in the 1980s The European Perception Report of a Staff Study, 96th Congress, 2nd Session, April 9, 1980 p. 3 8 i.e., theater nuclear force modernization was one which the Carter Administration fa c ed), while giving issues of secondary importance a good deal less effort An example of one of these secondary issues which the Carter Administration unwisely gave far too much attention in recent months is the allied goal to increase defense spending by 3 percent in real terms each year. When this goal was agreed upon by NATO in May 1978, it was couched in terms of being a target for the individual countries to strive to meet, rather than being a fixed commitment. However, over the past two years it came t o be viewed by the Carter Administration as a means of measuring NATO's resolve, and thus a sacrosanct commitment. The truth of the matter is that the 3 percent figure has no inherent magic and should not be looked upon as if it had. Although a yearly incr e ase of 3 percent in the defense budgets of each of the NATO countries would provide a continuing modernization for a portion of NATO's present military forces, it would not provide the major increase in defense strength that would be required to balance S oviet and Warsaw Pact numerical strength in main battle tanks, medium and heavy artillery, and army divisions.

The Carter Administration acted as if meeting this 3 percent European leaders understand that continuing goal is the primary demonstration of NAT O allegiance. It is nothing of the sort improvements are needed in their contributions to NATO's conven tional defense and the majority of them have been making a major effort in this-time of economic downturn to approach the 3 percent yearly increase. Th ey have not been uniformly successful, but this should,not be interpreted as a sign of allied disarray?

And certainly these leaders have no desire to give the United States reason for lowering its own NATO commitment for the pro-SPD Suddeutsche Zeitunq wro te following the American elections As a reporter The Carter Administration was displeased at Bonn's reluctance to fulfill its NATO commit ment to increase defense spending by three per cent per annum in real terms. it is common knowledge in Washington th at America is.worried lest Bonn grow too reliant on Moscow l7 This' point is made by Steve Canby in a recent "think piece."

Canby, "The NATO 3% Has Become Part of the Problem," December 3, 1980 copy of a typescript document By no means, however, is this st atement meant to minimize the very real danger that certain NATO countries with vocal pacifist minorities and/or expensive welfare state constituencies might, if not effectively pressured by the U.S lapse into some form of self-Finlandization or Denmarkiz ation Steven L l8 9 The Bonn government must definitely do something to prevent such fears from spreading and gaining more widespread currency.

Otherwise it will risk the decline of its influence in Washington, a slump in its leadership fortunes in Europe and an encourage ment of isolationism in the United States.lg The Reagan Administration should drop the present intense effort directed at obta i ning agreement from the Europeans on a specific percentage increase in defense spending each year, in favor of a more generalized and less confrontational approach designed to maintain European support for a continuing moderniza tion of national forces as signed to Alliance defenses.

Next the new Administration should understand that it cannot expect to receive official NATO sanction for actions the United States undertakes in regions, such as the Persian Gulf, which lie outside of NATO's jurisdiction. Ther e is very little chance that the North Atlantic CounciJ would approve a formal enlargement of NATO's geographical responsibilities in order to allow allied operations in the Mid-East, for example. Such decisions would have to be unanimously approved in th e Council and a number of the smaller NATO members would have reasons to veto such a change.2 Nevertheless, several of the NATO countries, which as former colonial powers retain an interest in parts of Africa and the Mid-East, maintain naval and army units capable of rendering support to American forces in the Persian Gulf/Indian Ocean area and could conceivably participate on a bilateral basis. Informal cqordination of this type of 'joint effort through NATd channels might also prove possible, at least to t he.extent of non participating NATO members (West Germany, for example) helping to take up the slack on the Continent and in the North Atlantic for certain American units which might have to be withdrawn temporari ly for transfer to the crisis area.21 Fin a lly, the Reagan Administration should understand that while it will receive the support of the European allies on many non-NATO issues of importance to it, it can not expect and should not worry if it does not obtain allied support on other issues In the p ast, the U.S. failure to receive European support on such l9 Dieter Schrb'der Schmidt, Reagan, Get Down to Preliminaries I' Scddeutsche Zeitung 22 November 1980, reprinted in The German Tribune, 30 November 1980, p 1 See NATO and Western Security in the 1 9 809, pa 3 This possibility is suggested, for example, by the FRG's former Ambassador to Israel, Rolf Pauls. See Wolfgang HGpker, "NATO: The Options as Seen by Rolf Pauls," Rheinischer Merkur/Christ und Welt, 10.October 1980 reprinted in The German Tribune 26 October 1980, p. 3 2o 21 10 issues has often been perceived by Administrations as evidence of a loss of Alliance solidarity. As former European Community Ambassador to the United States Fernand Spaak explained: there is nothing final about many decisio n s taken in the United States. Even when the public bargaining between Congress, the White House, and special interests is apparently over, the decision is still contested It is at this point that the executive turns to its friends and allies overseas and expects to find from them the support it cannot muster at home.

When that support is not automatically forthcoming, there is a sense of betrayal, of a lack of solidarity. This is made all the more acute by the use that is then made domesti.cally and politi cally of the fact that the President has not been able to win Ameriza's friends and allies around to his position Suddenly, it appears that Europe can no longer be counted on in a crisis.22 The important thing for the new Administration to remember is tha t differences will often exist in American and European perceptions of particular international events. Accordingly, the United States should keep from exaggerating these differences in its private discussions with its allies and in its public pro nounceme n ts and thereby increasing the scope for allied antago nisms. Such situations are ready-made for Soviet meddling SALT AND MIDDLE EAST Two specific issues which appear destined to generate dis agreements between the Reagan Administration and the Europeans i n the coming months are the state of the strategic arms limitation talks with the Soviet Union particularly the fate of SALT I1 and the role of Israel in Americals Middle East strategy In regard to the first issue, the continuation of SALT is indis solubly linked in the minds of most European leaders with the fate of detente. These leaders worry that without some new concrete manifestation of.the SALT process, such as American ratification of the SALT I1 Treaty, U.S.-Soviet cooperation will be imperilled an d with it the entire framework of dCtente in Europe. Thus, as a congressional staff study reported last year IIEuropean officials interviewed expressed unanimous support for SALT I1 ratification."23 22 23 Fernand Spaak Europe and America Europe, May-June 1 980, p. 34.

NATO and Western Security in the 1980s, p. 4. 11 c On the other hand, the Reagan Administration, in looking at SALT I1 from a strategic perspective, believes that the treaty cannot be ratified in its present form without endangering U;S securit y interests. It looks instead to a new SALT I11 Treaty which can be negotiated in a manner that at least guarantees these vital interests SALT is therefore an issue on which.the new Administration must go its own way despite allied disagreement while maki ng sure, of course, thatjt keeps its partners informed of its actions so as to minimize additional fears and antagonisms.

The new Administration's pro-Israeli stance is another issue on which a European divergence of view can be expected.

Reagan Administration sees Israel as a vital friend and ally in the Middle East, a source of stability in a region of often shifting political currents, with an important military capability.

The European leaders, however, see Israel's perceived intransigence on the retu rn of the West Bank and the creation of a Palestinian state as a stumbling block to the region's achievement of long-term stability. As Fritz Stern commented: IfEuropeans are skeptical about our policy toward the Middle East; they see Camp David as a dead end and would like the United States to pressure Israel to meet what they increasingly regard as legitimate Arab demands."24 In part, this European stance is directed by the Continent's heavy dependence upon Arab oil The On this issue too, the United Stat es must make its policy without expecting agreement from the allies views is simply too great to be successfully accommodated.

Again, however, the Reagan Administration needs to keep it allies informed of American initiatives.

The key to the successful ma nagement of such apparent diver gences of view is the awareness that allies can "agree to disagreeIs on some matters without this calling into question the solidarity of their alliance. As Stephen Artner stressed in an article in Aussen Politik account of their unavoidable differences without losing sight of their more fundamental common interests. 'I2 The divergence of It western foreign policy makers must take GERMAN NAVAL ROLE IN NATO There are a number of issues on which the new Administration should b egin immediately to obtain European cooperation issues will prove of immense importance to NATO's continued vitality over the next few years.

West Germans the need for their Bundesmarine (Navy) to undertake The'se First, the Reagan Administration should impress upon the 24 25 Fritz Stern Germany In a Semi-Gaullist Europe Foreign Affairs, Vol 58 (Spring 1980 p. 871.

Stephen J. Artner D6tente Policy Before and After Afghanistan," Aussen Politik, No. 2/1980, reprinted in The German Tribune Political Affairs R eview, No 36 (8 June 1980 p. 7 8 12 the patrolling mission in both the Norwegian Sea/Greenland-Iceland United Kingdom Gap area and, to a lesser extent, in the North Atlantic, in order to relieve the pressure on units of the U.S Second Fleet which may have to be diverted to the South Atlantic or Mid-East for particular operations. This change in German naval responsibilities would necessitate a major change in German thinking In the Paris Agreements which the West German government signed in October 1954, t h e Federal Republic not only reaffirmed that its navy would consist only of light coastal defense and escort vessels but also gave up the right of building warships of more than 3,000 tons displacement.26 When the Bundesmarine was established a year later, the Federal government also imposed an operational restriction that West German warships would not operate beyond twenty-four hours' steaming time from the Baltic Approaches, thus effectively preventing the new navy from patrol ling west of Calais or nort h of the 61st Parallel (the Norwegian coast above Bergen However, in practice, during the 1950s the naval patrols stayed even closer to the German coast. It was not until. the 1960s, at NATO urging, that German naval units began regularly patrolling the No rth Sea, even though it was still within the twenty-four hour steaming prohibition.

The current crises in the Persian Gulf region and the sudden realization that continuing American obligations in that area of the world could draw down U.S. naval units for merly available in the Atlantic have now given impetus to NATO's desire for a wider German naval role In June 1980, representatives of the Western European Union recommended that the 1954 restrictions on German warship size be lifted In July, Bonn, at the request of other NATO members, lifted its self-imposed restriction on Bundesmarine patrolling.. And that same month the WEU's Council of Ministers formally eliminated the restrictions on the size of West German warships.27 However, much remains to be done to convince the West German government to undertake a major new role in NATO's maritime defense. One of the problems associated with open ocean patrol ling is the reduced sea-keeping ability of small naval vessels 26 Protocol No. I1 On Forces of Western E uropean Union, Article I1 and Protocol No. I11 On the Control of Armaments, Annex I11 Paris Agreements October 23, 1954; NATO Basic Documents (Brussels: NATO Information Service, n.d pp. 58, 62-

63. See also M. E. Bathurst and J. L. Simpson Germany and the North Atlantic Community Stevens and Sons Limited, 1956 pp. 165-166.

See John Vinocur, "Bonn Moves to Lift 'Curbs on Fleet, Opening Way to Wider War Role," The New York Times, July 18, 1980, p. A4 FRG: Naval Operations Zone Widened," Defense Foreign Affairs Daily, Vol. 9 (July 23, 1980), p. 1; and "FRG: Naval Size Curbs Lifted," Defense Foreign Affairs Daily, Vol. 9 (July 25, 1980 p. 2 A Legal Survey (London 27 13 In the late 1960s, the Bundesmarine received special permission from the WEU to build four guided missile destroyers that exceeded the WEU tonnage limits.

German navy still consists of warships below 3,000 tons displace ment, in cluding major vessels such as its four aging ex-Fletcher class destroyers and six K8ln class frigates. While the Germans are now building six new Type-122 frigates to replace the K81n class ships, they have no intention at present of building the larger w a rships that are better able to perform continuing open ocean patrolling in the North Atlantic. Indeed, German officials assert that the primary reason they are pleased that the WEU tonnage restrictions have been lifted is that now West German shipyards wi l l be able to accept foreign orders for larger naval vessels. Also, the Bundesmarine expresses little desire to patrol beyond the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom Gap.28 the Schmidt government to undertake an enlarged naval role will need to include urging Germany both to increase the patrolling radius of its Bundesmarine units and to increase the number of its standard destroyer-size vessels 4000-5000 tons), and'possibly even add a few warships in the light cruiser range (8000 tons Nonetheless, much of the rest of the It is therefore up to the Reagan Administration to convince This PhF MODmI?&TION Next, the new Administration should move immediately to reaffirm the United States' strong support for the December 1979 NATO decision on modernizing its theater nuclear forces. It should be remembered that the NATO TNF decision was hard-won requiring intense persuasion from the Carter Administration.

While the new Administration has been settling in, certain constituencies in Western Europe have taken the opportun ity to lobby against implementation of the modernization program. In West Germany, the pivotal partner in the plan, the left wing of the'ruling Socialist Democratic Party has become vocal in its opposition to the new missiles. Recently, the foreign policy spokesman of the SPD's parliamentary group (and former head of the Juesos-Young Socialists) announced that if the United States Senate failed to approve the SALT I1 Treaty, the NATO TNF moderni zation decision would have to be 1'reconsidered.t129 This pro nounce ment by Karsten Voigt was quickly countered both within his own 28 Martin S. Lambeck* "Bundesmarine is to redress NATO's naval balance,"

Hamburger Abendblatt, July 16, 1980, reprinted in The German Tribune August 30, 1980, p. 5; Dieter von Kb'nig Shipbuilding ban lifted,"

KSiner Stadt-Anzeiger, July 23, 1980, reprinted in Ibid FRG Growth Forseen," Defense Foreign Affairs Daily, Vol. 9 (August 14 1980 p. 2; and "Vice Admiral From Comments on Navy's Role DPA (Hamburg in Foreign Broadcast Information S ervice: Western Europe, Vol. 7 (January 9, 1981 p. J1.

John Vinocur Bonn Leftist Faults NATO Missile Plan," The New York Times January 6, 1981, p. A6 No Naval 29 14 party and by the Schmidt government.

Dietrich Genscher made it clear that the Federal Rep ublic would stick by its commitment Foreign Minister Hans Nevertheless, in some other NATO countries concerned, the government stands have been less resolute. Belgium, in its December 1979 vote in favor of deploying the new missiles, quali- fied its decis i on by statin that it reserved the right to review the decision in six months 81 men the time for the review arrived in June 1980, the coalition government of Wilfried Martens informed the Alliance that Belgium would instead put off the decision on deplo i n g the new missiles until Ilsome time before the end of 1981.'l x office a coalition without representation from the Liberals who favored the missile deployment the chances have been increased that Belgium will balk at deploying the ground-launched cruise m issiles on its territory unless it is effectively pressured by Washington Now that a new Martens government is in A somewhat analogous situation is'present with regard to the Netherlands, which had announced back in December 1979 that it would withhold it s decision on deployment of the missiles for two years. and neutralist sentiments. Having received a lion's share of Soviet anti-missile propaganda during the fall of 1979, the Netherlands, interestingly enough, now finds much of the vocal opposition to th e TNF modernization plan coming from influential members of the Dutch churches, led by the inter-church peace council among the various Dutch political parties about the efficacy of the missile deployment, Holland too will require assiduous lobby- ing from the Reagan Administration if it is eventually to agree to the-deployment plan.33 Holland has a long and honored tradition for both pacifist Since there continues to be widespread disagreement 30 For example, Genscher told interviewers on January 24, 1981 I think trying to call in[to] question the counterarming decision, meaning one part of the two in the dual decision of December 1979, is extremely dangerous. the alliance, dangerous to the basis of arms control and arms limitation negotiations Radio Bremen Network, January 24, 1981, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Western Europe, Vol. 7 (January 27, 198l), p.

53. See also Jonathan Carr, "Party rebukes missile rebels The Financial Times (London January 9, 1981, p 2. For the background information on the TNF debate, see Jeffrey G. Barlow NATO and Nuclear Force Modernization," Backgrounder No. 110 (The Heritage Foundation, February 4, 1980).

The primary cause for the delay was the negative attitude on the TNF modernization decision expressed by the Socialists in the coalition.

Interestingly, Dutch and German oppositions have apparently already begun to pool their anti-missile campaign efforts Attack on the Missile Arsenal ,I' Siiddeutsche Zeitunq (Munich), January 9 1981, reprinted in Foreign Broadc ast Information Service: Western Europe Vol. 7 (January 12, 1981), pp 52-54 It is dangerous to our security, dangerous to the cohesion of Genscher Views World Situation, U.S. Relations 31 32 33 See Christian Potyka 15 THE SOVIET GAS PIPELINE DEAL Third, t h e Reagan Administration should use its political influence with the Western Europeans, and particularly the West Germans, to turn down the Soviet Yamal Peninsula natural gas pipeline deal energy planners for at least five years It would involve the buildi n g of a 3,600-mile natural gas pipeline from the Yamal Peninsula (north of the Arctic Circle) in Siberia through Poland and Czechoslovakia and into West Germany. The project would not only require the construction of the longest such pipeline in the world, but would necessitate the acquisition of large amounts of special equipment, including hugh quantities of extra-large 56-inch pipe, expensive refrigeration systems to keep the hot gas from melting the permafrost, and numerous gas compressor stations natur a l gas. The total cost of such a project could exceed fifteen billion dollars. For such a project, therefore, the Soviets hoped to involve a large number of Western European countries This project has been of major interest to Soviet to maintain the neoess a ry pressure for transportation of the I In December 1979, Soviet officials first invited officers of the Federal Republic's Deutsche Bank to lead a German banking consortium to raise some five billion dollars to begin the pipeline project.34 And in the su m mer of 1980, Soviet negotiators were busy attempting to play off West German and French bankers, one against the other, in an attempt to extract the best price and lowest credit terms for the overall project. At first this standard Soviet negotiating tact i c appeared to be successful A three-bank French consortium headed by Credit Lyonnais, with French government support, offered the Soviets an interest rate of 7.8 orders g5 The German banking consortium, led by Deutsche Bank, started off asking for 9 perce n t interest, but under pressure from home finally agreed to counteroffer 7.75 percent interest on ten billion Deutsch marks (of an eventual twent billion DM figure for purchase of German pipeline equipment.3K The Soviets and the Germans signed a letter of intent and the deal was publicly announced in mid-November 19

80. The Soviets would-pay back their loans in natural gas some forty billion cubic meters annually to Western Europe. The primary German consumer was to be Ruhrgas AG in Essen. At this point, ei ght European countries were involved the Federal Republic, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden ercent on 85 percent of the financing for French equipment The Soviets, however, were, hoping for 7 percent interest I 34 35 Ibid p . 13 36 David Brand, "Russia's Bargainers Made a Costly Blunder in Pipeline Loan Talks," The Wall Street Journal, January 23, 1981, p. 1 BallkS Giving USSR 'Unprecedented' Credit for Gas," Der Spiegel, November 17, 1980, reprinted in Foreign Broadcast Inf ormation Service: Western Europe, Vol. 7 (November 19, 1980), pp. 52-

53. One of the considerations that turned around the thinking of the Deutsche Bank's Ffiedrich Christians was Frankfurt AEGIS unsatisfactory schedule of equipment orders, which would be greatly improved by the deal. 16 however, the worsening situation in Poland began to influence the outcome of the French-Soviet negotiations. By December, the French government, concerned about a possible Soviet move into Poland ana by the potential influ e nce of the pipeline deal on the upcoming French elections, suddenly withdrew its backing from the Soviets, and then the,West Germans allowed their October letter of intent to expire at the end of the month.37 time, therefore, only a Japanese agreement to f inance a three billion dollar purchase of Japanese pipeline equipment remains in force.38 opportune moment for the Reagan Administration to use its influence to postpone further pipeline negotiations businessmen in Europe who serve to benefit from the pip e line deal, the construction of such an advanced natural gas pipeline At the present Because of the present Soviet negotiating failure, it is an Despite the claim of And second, the new pipeline would greatly increase Western Europe's dependency on Eastern Bloc energy supplies. For example the Federal Republic of Germany currently receives fifteen percent of its annual natural gas supply for the USSR. The Yamal pipeline eventually.would double' this dependency to thirty percent.

Neutral Austria is in worse shape of its total natural gas supply (2.5 out of 5.2 billion cubic meters) from the Soviet Union.40 Such energy dependency would prove a potent weapon to Soviet policymakers. As Juergen Eick commented in the Frankfurter Allqemeine It now receives nearly half If somebody wants to cut off supplies to somebody else, there is hardly anything more ideal than a gas pipeline. It is a classic 37 Brand Russia's Bargainers p 13. The French elections will take 38 Ibid. 39 place in April 1981.

Wolfgang Hoffmann What Hurts the. Soviets Die Zeit, December 19, 1980 reprinted in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Western Europe, Vol. 7 (December 19, 1980 p. 53 USSR Cuts Natural Gas Quota by One-Third Vienna Domestic Service, 40 January 8, 1981, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Western Europe Vol. 7 (January 9, 1981 p. El. 17 means for exerting pressure without any possibility of retort. The fine thing about it for the Soviets is that they do not even have to apply that pressure; the eff e ct is there simply because of the pipeline's exist ence 1 The potential for such pressure was recently demonstrated by the Soviet Union's announcement in January of major gas supply cutbacks to Western Europe during the winter of 1980-1981 because of Vech n ical difficulties" with the already existing pipeline THE NATO RESPONSE TO POLAND Finally, the new Administration should be prepared to reaffirm with the European allies the need for strong sanctions against the Soviet Union in the event of an invasion of Poland. At the December 11 meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the fifteen Foreign Ministers agreed to have their permanent Ambassadors to NATO begin to draw up a list of ossible sanctions that could be taken against the Soviet Union.49 These sanctions , which range from the diplomatic realm to the political and economic realms, could be applied in varying strength depending upon whether Soviet intervention consisted of a full-scale invasion by the Red Amy or a more subtle "creeping takeoverf1 preceded b y a propaganda barrage against the tlanti-socialist elements economic sanctions if an outright invasion does occur. Such sanctions would include not only a rejection of new credits to the USSR and Poland but also additional restrictions on the sale or tran s fer of high technology and strategic materials to the Soviet Union and the other Eastern Bloc countries, up to and including a total cutoff of such trade.44 of the NATO allies including France, which has made it clear that it might have to take ltdefensiv e 1' sanctions as well, it might well bother the West Germans.45 As Wolfgang HOffmaM pointed The Reagan Administration should press its allies.for strong While this strong stand would not necessarily trouble many I 41 Juergen Eick, "The Other Side of Securi ty," Frankfurter Allgemeine Nox-ember 21, 1980, reprinted in Foreign Broadcast Information Service Western Europe, Vol. 7 (November 24, 1980), p. 53.

Bradley Graham, "NATO Agrees on Need for Tough Anti-Soviet Moves The Washington Post, December 12, 1980, p. Al; and John Palmer; "NATO agrees on tough lines," The Guardian (London), December 12, 1980, p. 6.

David Adamson, "NATO's Secret Talks Reflect Growing Fears," The Daily Telegraph (London), December 12, 1980, p. 4.

East Germany currently receives preferential treatment from the Common Market because of the Federal Republic's insistence that it is one of two states in one German nation.

Adamson, "NATO's Secret Talks," p. 14; John Vinocur, "NATO's Resolve Soft Spots Show Up," The New York Times, December 15, 1980, p. A3 42 43 44 45 18 out Some 42 percent of German exports to the Soviet Union consist of machines, electrotechnical products, precision instru ments, optical tools, vehicles and hips In addition, the Federal Republic receives substantial quanti t ies of important industrial minerals such as palladium, uranium and molybdenum from the USSR minerals that would probably be cut off at the source in retaliation for a NATO economic boycott. Thus, the American effort to stiffen the spine of the Alliance i n regard to sanctions will require careful preparation.

CONCLUSION Given the potential for increasing U.S.-European disagreement on issues of fundamental importance to the Alliance, as the United States concentrate on strengthening its military f orces and the Europeans cling hopefully to the remnants of detente, it is vital that the Reagan Administration seek to re-evaluate America's leadership role in NATO. It must separate the issues.which it feels are central to the Alliance's .continued well- being from those which are secondary, and then it must concentrate on the former. Also, it must understand that allies can disagree on certain matters without this disagreement neces sarily weakening NATO.

The United States can achieve a successful leaders hip of the Atlantic Alliance in these changed times but it will require an even greater effort of will than in the past will require a strong sense of direction, a determination of purpose and a pragmatic understanding of the political realities of a chan ging Alliance Such leadership Jeffrey G. Barlow Policy Analyst 46 Hoffmann, "What Hurts the Soviets p. 53


Jeffrey G.

Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs