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Evaluates the plan to modernize NATO's theater nuclear forces by deploying 572 long-range missiles in Europe, at an estimated cost of almost five billion dollars to the United States. The author analyzes arguments that deployment is necessary to convince the USSR of NATO's willingness to match the Warsaw Pact modernization and that theater nuclear arms control talks can be held only if NATO deals from a position of strength. Reviewing the background and NATO response to present U.S. nuclear force deployment in Europe, the author concludes that new deployment is not justified by any major, new contribution to NATO's security. Considering the relative value of this missile deployment in the larger context of the limited U.S. defense budget and other strategic objectives, he argues that the resources would be more usefully spent on U.S. central force modernization. A revised version appeared in [Scientific American], December 1980.

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