Accession Number:

ADA256882

Title:

The Great Strategy Debate: NATO's Evolution in the 1960s

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1991-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

160.0

Abstract:

The 1960s were an especially important decade in the history of both NATO and the Cold War, one that set the stage for many of the events in European security affairs that were to follow in the 1970s and 1980s. During this decade, the West was confronted with the unpleasant fact that the Soviet Union was acquiring an invulnerable nuclear deterrent of its own. This long-feared development undermined NATOs military strategy of massive retaliation, which had rested on U.S. nuclear dominance over the Soviet Union. As a result, NATO was compelled to search for a new strategy that was better suited to the nuclear age and relied considerably more on flexible response and strong conventional defenses in Central Europe. This study seeks to determine whether, to what degree, and why the Alliance was successful in crafting an appropriate military strategy and fielding the kind of forces that were required to execute it. The explanatory portion of this study examines the painful process of debate that the Alliance underwent during the 1960s. It directs particular attention to the political interaction between the United States, the principal exponent of strategy reform, and its often-recalcitrant West European allies. The normative part examines the policy outputs of this decade -- strategy and forces -- in relation to the Wests evolving security requirements in Europe.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE