The French Communist Party, Nuclear Weapons, and National Defense: Issues on the 1978 Election Campaign,
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC RESEARCH DIRECTORATE
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With the possibility that Communist or Communist-dominated coalition governments could be elected in certain countries of Western Europe, it is important to consider the implications for the Atlantic Alliance and the defense of Western Europe. France is alone among the NATO Allies in possessing both an independent nuclear strike force FNS and a Communist party with the prospect of playing a key role in a coalition government Historically, the parties of the French Left have been opposed to the FNS and the Atlantic Alliance. Therefore, it was an intriguing volte-face when the Parti Communiste Francais PCF announced, prior to the 1978 French General Assembly elections, that it no longer opposed the FNS. The author probes beneath the rhetoric to reveal inconsistencies and contradictions inherent in the PCF positions on the FNS and the co-related issues of force structure, deterrence strategy, and the French role in the Atlantic Alliance. Despite PCF claims of acting in the French tradition of independence, he argues that PCF positions on the various issues serve the interests of the USSR to such an extent that implementation of PCF policies would neutralize the French nuclear force and seriously impair the stabilizing effect of NATO.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics