The Strategic Defense Initiative and European Security

A Conference Report

by Nanette Brown


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This report summarizes the presentations and discussions of a conference on the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative and European Security held in March 1985. The conference participants were government officials and defense analysts from the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Great Britain, and the United States. The conferees overwhelmingly supported research on the Strategic Defense Initiative as a hedge against Soviet ballistic missile defense programs. However, support for development or deployment hinged in part on whether Soviet actions were seen as being linked to U.S. actions. These views, along with the assumption that the Soviet Union would field defenses if the United States did, reflected differences in concern about the implications of strategic defenses for (1) deterrence in general, (2) NATO strategy and deterrence in Europe, (3) arms control, and (4) European technological interests.

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