NATO and the Defense of the West by Laurence W. Martin

By Laurence W. Martin

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Direct defence involves defeating an enemy attack at the place it occurs and at approximately the level of warfare chosen by the enemy: in particular, if the enemy does not use nuclear weapons. NATO would try to avoid doing so either. This constitutes the most decisive departure from the previous trip wire strategy embodied in the planning document 14/2. If the defence mounted on this basis began to crumble to the point at which defeat was immi- nent or the "integrity" of the territory of an ally — not easy matters to judge by the flexible rea coalition under pressure sponse calls for "deliberate escalation".

That is to say, while recognizing that the primary purpose of introducing nuclear weapons was deterrence, hoping to scare the aggressor into calling a halt for fear that this "deliberate escalation" might come to deserve the other common descriptive use of the term escalation, as an unintended and uncontrollable slide towards catastrophe, the guidelines recognized that this gesture would lack credibility if it did not seem to offer NATO some practical military advantage. It was thereForces Employed Flexible Response Level of Response Direct defence Tactical unclear I Deliberate escalation Theatre^nuclear General unclear response Strategic nuclear Current balance Trends in the military balance Panty uncertain NATO advantage Warsaw Pact improving relative to Warsaw 38 NATO Pact advantage to NATO improving relative Warsaw Pact Below.

Possibly includmg the use of some "strategic" weapons and perhaps parallel to the outbreak of a strategic nuclear "exchange" involving the United States and Soviet homelands. Because of the severe political and strategic restrictions likely to be imposed on such strikes, the qualitative supposed quantitative and advantages of each side categories of weapon may not be in certain significant. Below: The diagram shows a purely hypothetical depiction of how escalation might occur and how the target areas might detonation as advocated by some strategic theorists.

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