Courtesy Reuters

Atlantic Policy


STRATEGIC problems are no longer the exclusive province of the military; on the contrary, now that strategy has invaded politics and diplomacy, it is primarily the statesman who must analyze it down to its components. If this gives pause to a soldier who essays to write in a primarily political journal, a second consideration is that whatever a European or even a Frenchman (on the assumption that the French are the "hard core" of Europe) may have to say on the problems posed by the advent of thermonuclear weapons has already been said by Americans, who did not wait until 1963 to discuss frankly and objectively the problems of deterrence, the control of nuclear weapons and the maintenance of the world balance of power-in other words, peace. Indeed, the European point of view on all these subjects could be presented by putting together excerpts from Henry A. Kissinger, Bernard Brodie, Herman Kahn and less specialized authors such as Walter Lippmann and Nelson A. Rockefeller.

Thus Clemenceau's famous quip that "war is too serious a matter to be left to the military" could be echoed even more strongly in our day by Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Khrushchev. But the converse is equally true, and matters of defense, despite and perhaps even because of their political and diplomatic implications, should be pondered jointly by the statesman and the soldier. Moreover, the fact that the European position on problems born of the nuclear era is implicitly expressed in a number of American studies does not mean that the innate originality and justice of that position are necessarily understood and accepted in the United States. I shall therefore try, though with many hesitations, to define briefly the problem which dominates our era and on the solution of which depends not only our freedom but our very existence.

I shall begin by attempting to place the problem in its proper context, in order to dispel any possible misunderstanding of the spirit in

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