How big is the threat to Europe: transatlantic debates over the balance of forces

by Jorg Baldauf

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In the past, European and American assessments of the Warsaw Pact threat have varied considerably, despite apparent, but superficial, agreements on joint documents such as the annual NATO document, MC 161. Underlying factors were differences in the quantity and quality of intelligence, analytic techniques, bureaucratic organizations, and political calculations. This paper, adapted from the author's dissertation on implementing flexible response, undertakes a case study of a failed attempt in the 1970s to arrive at detailed European-American threat assessment, explores the factors that explain the differences, and briefly discusses the implications of the failure for NATO force planning.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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