Military criteria for NATO TNF options for the 1980s

by Carl H. Builder

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The author addresses two questions: (1) What is it that we want and can reasonably expect NATO's theater nuclear forces (TNF) to do in the decade ahead? (2) If NATO could start from scratch, what would a sensible nuclear force posture look like? His analysis uses four simple ideas to discriminate between key issues: distinguishing between NATO and its members; distinguishing between nations; distinguishing between national interests; and distinguishing between nuclear forces. These ideas are used to discuss implications for the states (the frontier states, the interior states, and the overseas states), implications for the policies, and implications for forces (battlefield forces, theater nuclear forces, and strategic forces).

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