By Jane E. Stromseth
This booklet examines NATO's debate over method within the Nineteen Sixties which pitted American proposals for higher emphasis on traditional protection opposed to ecu personal tastes for heavy dependence on nuclear deterrence. the writer brings to gentle US views on tactical nuclear guns and non-nuclear protection within the Sixties, and probes the numerous responses in France, nice Britain and West Germany.
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Extra info for The Origins of Flexible Response: NATO’s Debate over Strategy in the 1960s
As General Taylor explains, he was urged by Defense Secretary Wilson to make requests for 'newfangled items with public appeal' rather than the 'prosaic accoutrements of the foot soldier'. 56 Taylor responded by creating 'the Madison Avenue adjective "pentomic"' to describe the new atomic-capable pentagonal Army division formation. As he put it: While it was true that at the time the Army had only the cumbersome Honest John rocket and the heavy eight-inch howitzer capable of firing nuclear munitions, nuclear weapons were the going thing and, by including some in the divisional armament, the Army staked out its claim to a share in the nuclear arsenal.
The custody of the nuclear warheads would remain in American hands. 60 The conclusion of nuclear stockpile agreements with the European allies in the late 1950s added a certain institutional base to NATO's nuclear bias, and made it difficult for future American officials to consider adjustments of more than a marginal nature without raising sensitivities both in Congress and in Western Europe. In short, the next American administration would not start with a clean slate in the area of NATO strategy and force posture.
A year later, the North Atlantic Council agreed to the stockpiling of American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe for the use of European troops and the equipping of allied forces with appropriate delivery systems. Also in 1957, the United States pressed for the placement of Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs) on allied territory because of US concern about a Soviet advantage in long-range nuclear missiles. These were subsequently installed in Italy and Turkey under the control of the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Europe (SACEUR) and in Great Britain under dual control.