About this book
Rarely if ever have the political, economic, and military foundations of the Western Alliance been in such a state of flux. Walter Laqueur and Leon Sloss, therefore, deserve credit not just for the quality of the analysis in this superb book but also for the timeliness of its appearance. As Laqueur says in his chapter "Touring the Western European Defense Hori zon," if the likely development of European defense policies is not particularly reassuring, at least it gives no grounds for despair. The list of problems we face is a daunting one. First there is the spiralling cost of defense expenditures, particularly in the absence of significant NATO or inter-European cooperation. This is particu larly serious in light of the reluctance to increase, or even maintain, current expen ditures in the midst of Mikhail Gorbachev's "peace offensive" and the extraordinary changes in Eastern Europe, both of which have had a dramatic impact on Western public opinion. There is also a problem in the perceived relative economic decline of the United States vis-a-vis Western Europe and Japan, which only exacerbates calls to reduce the number of American troops in Europe. Other dangers to the political cohesion and military credibility of the alliance include demographic trends that threaten current manpower levels, transatlantic acrimony over the burden-sharing issue, and political pressures (particularly in West Germany) toward denucleariza tion and even neutralism.
cooperation Europe foundation Germany NATO organization