West German NATO Policy

The Next Five Years

by Ronald D. Asmus


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This Note assesses future West German attitudes toward NATO and the factors that are likely to shape them into the mid-1990s. As the 1980s come to a close, changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe confront the NATO alliance with a host of new challenges, while the Soviet threat appears to be dissipating. This Note provides a guide for understanding the West German security debate. It also highlights and explains four changes that have taken place in the West German security debate in the 1980s. These changes have made it difficult to maintain the balance between preserving Bonn's strong Western ties and attenuating the costs of national partition and improving West Germany's ties with the East. Finally, it links domestic trends and their effect upon West German security thinking with the broader evolution in East-West relations in Europe.

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