Cover: Treating NATO's Self-Inflicted Wound

Treating NATO's Self-Inflicted Wound

Published 1973

by Robert W. Komer


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The advent of nuclear parity makes conventional deterrence and defense much more important than before. Yet inflated manpower and weapon costs risk pricing them out of the market. When America's allies, and increasingly the United States itself, shrink from fielding a credible conventional defense, they are victims of a pervasive myth that effective nonnuclear defense against a Warsaw Pact attack is impossible, at least without massive military outlays. But the myth of inevitable Pact superiority is largely a self-inflicted wound. NATO's inferiority springs from its own failure to optimize its defense posture. The solution presented is to restructure NATO's existing force posture, freeing up needed resources by cutting back on marginal activities, emphasizing tradeoffs rather than add-ons, and reallocating existing budgets rather than buying more forces.

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