NATO, the Subjective Alliance

The Debate Over the Future

by Robert A. Levine

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This report analyzes the range of differing views on policy with regard to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the 1980s. It considers (1) the issues over which those who debate NATO policy in the 1980s differ and (2) how these differences have developed from the debates of the 1960s. The author concludes that Europe has been stable and Western Europe secure for a long time, and this security and stability will continue if NATO remains strong. In addition, both the American and European sides of NATO need to avoid suspicions of each other. Finally, the Gorbachev era may make possible substantial improvements through arms control agreements that increase Western security and East-West stability.

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