McNamara’s Efforts at Persuasion

  • Jane E. Stromseth
Part of the St Antony’s Series book series

Abstract

McNamara’s case for improving NATO’s non-nuclear forces rested on three main arguments. First, he contended that a strong conventional defence would enhance deterrence since the nuclear arsenal could not credibly deter all threats, especially those at the lower end of the spectrum. Second, he stressed that a conventional response to a non-nuclear aggression would be less destructive and less risky than a nuclear response. It would both convey NATO’s determination to defend itself and support diplomatic efforts to stop a crisis before it escalated. Third, McNamara claimed that a strong conventional defence was within NATO’s reach, in the light of American reappraisals of the NATO/Warsaw Pact conventional military balance .

Keywords

Europe Assure Defend Timothy PEMA 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 2.
    See the discussion in David N. Schwartz, NATO’s Nuclear Dilemmas ( Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1983 ) pp. 156–65Google Scholar
  2. John Steinbruner, The Cybernetic Theory of Decision, pp. 200–13; and Desmond Ball, Politics and Force Levels: The Strategic Missile Program of the Kennedy Administration ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980 ) pp. 196–8.Google Scholar
  3. 40.
    Timothy Stanley, NATO In Transition (New York: Praeger, 1965) pp. 266; 354–6Google Scholar
  4. Harlan Cleveland, NATO: The Transatlantic Bargain ( New York: Harper & Row, 1970 ) p. 82.Google Scholar
  5. 63.
    Robert S. McNamara, ‘The Military Role of Nuclear Weapons: Perceptions and Misperceptions’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 62, No. 1 (Fall 1983) p. 79; Personal Interview, Robert S. McNamara, 18 January 1983, Washington, D.C.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Jane E. Stromseth 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane E. Stromseth

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations