Planning for NATO's Nuclear Deterrent in the 1980s and 1990s

by James A. Thomson

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NATO's defense planners face critical issues about the future of NATO's nuclear deterrent, but the intense political controversy over the impending deployment of new Long-Range Theater Nuclear Forces in Europe has submerged these issues. This paper looks at some of the issues planners face when confronting the problem of NATO's nuclear deterrent. Those issues include the flexible response debate; NATO's continued adherence to flexible response; accounting for changes; the military balance; criteria for planning NATO's response; force structure issues; how to direct the force; and the size of the nuclear stockpile.

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