The New Cold War
America, China, and the Echoes of History
Where does West Germany stand in the Great Debate about the future shape of the Atlantic Alliance? Are the "Atlanticists," represented by Chancellor Erhard and his Foreign Minister Schröder, really on the wane? Is the "Euro- Gaullist" school of thought, led by former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, former Defense Minister Franz-Josef Strauss and Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg, in the ascendancy?
It would be easy to draw wrong conclusions from this controversy within the governing party in Bonn. The salient fact is not that it has occurred at all but that Dr. Erhard, as soon as he took a firm and determined stand, had no trouble putting the Euro-Gaullists in place and re-asserting the Atlanticist point of view which has been underlying his policy ever since he took over from Dr. Adenauer a year ago. Certainly the controversy will go on smoldering; the Euro-Gaullist spokesmen, egged on by personal preference or ambition, will continue to proclaim their views; and this fronde may well become a permanent feature of the German scene, just as Gaullism is likely to remain a feature of the world scene. But one would do well to remember that the malcontents, although prominent and vociferous, constitute only a minority, are regularly outvoted in the party caucus, and can act only from the periphery of power-Adenauer from the C.D.U. chairmanship, Strauss from his parochial home base in Munich. Nor do they have widespread popular support.
Most Germans discount the idea of a Gaullist Europe. They need only look to Berlin to realize the value of the link with the United States. Small wonder, then, that they distrust all those doctrines which, if practiced as well as preached, can have no other effect but to break that link. They know such doctrines are primarily designed to increase the weight and influence of those who advocate them; purporting to secure the independence of Europe from America, they conjure up the spectre of an America trying to secure her independence from Europe. But any estrangement between the two halves of the Alliance would be widely deplored in Germany, where such concepts as Atlantic partnership or Atlantic Community are still regarded as equally valid today as they were when first conceived-if not more so.
There are several reasons why the major lines of European and American interests may be expected to converge for a long time to come. The first and foremost is that the cold war is by no means over. The Kremlin leaders have called off one particular offensive, and they have also adjusted their grand strategy to the new thermonuclear weapons environment. This must be a source of gratification to us, but it should not lull us into carelessness. As Professor Walt W. Rostow has pointed out: "Whether, in fact, the turning point of 1962-63 becomes a watershed in human history, in which the cold war gradually gives way to the organization of a peaceful and progressive community of nations, or whether it leads merely to a parenthesis between two Communist offensives, depends primarily on what we in the free world make of the interval."[i] Indeed it does. For only if the Western nations remain together, even in the absence of an acute threat to Europe's danger point, Berlin, and in the face of seeming Soviet reasonableness-only then can they hope to harvest the fruits of their past labor. Western unity alone can keep Khrushchev from embarking on an aggressive course again; Western discord would put a premium on renewed Soviet adventurism.
The second reason is the fact that the simple power pattern of the postwar world is breaking up much less radically and much less rapidly than is generally supposed. To be sure, the bipolar structure of world politics has been modified by the growth, both in numbers and in influence, of the new nations; it is further being challenged by those who-like Mao Tse-tung or Charles de Gaulle-resent such discipline as bipolarity imposes on them. But while new centers of ambition have sprung into existence, no new centers of power are visible anywhere on the map of the present world. This situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. For a considerable period only the two superpowers will possess the technological basis, the financial and scientific resources, and the wide open spaces which are the prerequisites for an efficient, credible nuclear strategy, and therefore an effective global policy. Thus the confrontation between the American-led Western bloc and the Russian-led Eastern bloc would appear to remain the main feature of world politics. The true measure of the importance of any event anywhere on the globe will be its relevance to this basic feature. Bipolarity might be obnoxious to some, but it will nevertheless remain the dominant fact of international relations.
The third reason is related to this. In the opinion of most Germans, neither Europe nor the United States has a viable alternative to partnership. It is a Gaullist delusion that it is possible for Western Europe, as it was during the nineteenth century, to maintain a stable equilibrium with Eastern Europe on a quite independent basis. The old balance cannot be reëstablished-simply because the old scales have been toppled over. In the thermonuclear age, Western Europe can make up for the disadvantages of its geography only by a close and indissoluble alliance with the United States. The Old World needs the New World for the great and delicate balancing act in Europe; in their confrontation with the Soviet Empire, the Europeans cannot but identify themselves with the wider Atlantic grouping and defense system. Conversely, it is an illusion of American isolationists to believe in the possibility of the United States "going it alone," without Europe, in a world full of problems and troubles. American security is thoroughly bound up with the security of Western Europe. Thus NATO is indispensable to the West, for it is equally essential for the survival of Europe as it is for that of America. And it is indeed hard to see how this basic and historic rationale of the North Atlantic Pact could be rendered invalid during the next 15 years. It may be obfuscated by ambitious men, but it cannot simply be preached out of force.
These are three good reasons for clinging to the undiluted concept of Atlantic partnership. There is a fourth, a special German reason. More than any other country, the Federal Republic depends on her allies-and on the cohesion amongst these allies. Without the United States, the Central European status quo can be neither maintained nor changed; Germany's present security as well as her future hopes rest upon Europe's transatlantic links. No solution of the German question is imaginable unless both American power and the combined strength of the alliance can be brought to bear upon the world scene. And while Europe can neither be organized nor defended without France, hardly anyone in West Germany harbors the delusive hope that France could ever be a substitute for the United States.
Certainly General de Gaulle is trying to create an alternative. So far, however, he has not found a large following outside France. He spreads distrust vis-á-vis the United States but has nothing to offer himself. He casts doubt on the supranational institutions of postwar Europe, blocking their future development, but his appeal to old-fashioned nationalism can only ruin what has been achieved hitherto. He claims to speak for Europe but does not even speak for the Europe of the Six; and where he purports to act on behalf of Europe, he is only acting for himself-witness Pompidou's sentence: "C'est à la France de jouer le rôle de l'Europe." The suspicion is not unfounded that he wants to use Europe in order to build up the glory of France, rather than using France to promote the evolution of Europe; and there is a fairly widespread feeling that he seeks for himself in European politics exactly the position which he begrudges the Americans in Atlantic politics: the role of hegemonial power. The General's press conference of July 1964 strongly reinforced this impression; it provided an eye-opener to many who had still been inclined to grant him the benefit of the doubt.
Dean Acheson has said: "The conception of a united Europe revived and strengthened only to be controlled and directed by a European power for its own national purposes, as an elephant is controlled by a mahout riding on its neck, has no appeal in the United States." One ought to add: it has no appeal in Europe either, and none in the Federal Republic. To be sure, most Germans do look forward to a "Europe revived and strengthened." But they do not want, in the process of establishing it, to undermine the alliance with America. To quote Professor Klaus Mehnert in Christ und Welt (February 7, 1964): "De Gaulle rejects the Atlantic Alliance because there France (and the other states) depend on America's nuclear armory, but he desires a European alliance in which the other partners depend on the nuclear arms of France. Now, if as a German I will have to rely on the nuclear weapons of some other power (and that will remain the case in the foreseeable future), then I have more confidence in the loyalty of the Americans." And, one might continue, also in the credibility and the efficiency of their armory. Or, in the same vein, Professor von der Gablentz in Der Monat (November 1963): "France missed its chance of leading Europe when it voted down the European Defense Community in 1954. The 'fatherlands' on which de Gaulle banks no longer exist. The old nationalism is finished, and a new European nationalism cannot be based on the countries of the Six. For although the blocs may appear to be crumbling, the Atlantic ties of Europe's western half and the Russian ties of its eastern half are much too strong."
De Gaulle's continental partners do not believe that Europe could, either politically or militarily, become a third force in world affairs. They know that the French bomb can never be the basis for great power policy within the alliance. While some of them might be prepared to take a closer look at the idea of a European deterrent, they cannot see any encouraging sign of French willingness to consider the force de frappe the nucleus of a truly European deterrent. Anyhow, most would appear to be wary of the concept if it involved the risk of splitting the alliance between Europe and America. A European nuclear force built without or in opposition to the United States might cause the Americans to withdraw from Europe. One would have to expect Washington to pull half a million G. I.'s out of Europe if they could be jeopardized by actions over which it had no control; and it is not inconceivable that the U. S. President would make clear to his opposite number in the Kremlin that he assumed no responsibility whatsoever for any nuclear adventures of the Europeans. Apart from that, no European nuclear force would make sense without an equitable control arrangement. In a "Europe des patries" such a control arrangement would appear to be out of reach; the squabbles now besetting Atlantic nuclear policy would be hardly less stultifying in a European context, and the vexing problem of how many fingers on how many triggers would remain unresolved. A European deterrent presupposes a European federation and, more especially, a European President able to act in any crisis with unquestioned authority. It is hard to see such a "Fatherland Europe" on the horizon of the sixties or even the seventies. And it is quite ludicrous to believe that the bomb could function as a "federator." In the absence of a common political will and a general congruence of views, nuclear weapons would tend to divide rather than unite.
All this adds up to the conclusion that Charles de Gaulle will not be able to lead Europe in the direction of a third force. To succeed, he would at least need the support of Germany. But although a small group within the ruling party likes to echo Gaullist slogans, the majority of the Christian Democrats is firmly committed to the Atlantic idea. So is the Social Democrat opposition party. Chancellor Erhard, Foreign Minister Schröder and Defense Minister von Hassel are all avowed "Atlanticists." The preamble which the Bundestag affixed to the Franco-German Treaty of 1963 also proves the Atlantic bent of the West German mind, and recent opinion polls bear out that it has widespread popular support. Last April, the percentage of those who regarded de Gaulle's policy as detrimental to Germany was higher than at any other time since August 1962, shortly before the General's German tour: 38 percent versus 32 who considered Gaullist policy rather favorable for Germany (61 percent in October 1962.) Other polls show that most Germans want to "stick to the Americans." They think little of making common cause with de Gaulle-but much of remodeling the Western Alliance to fit the exigencies of a changed and changing world.
The causes of the present state of Western disarray are well known. Firstly, the North Atlantic Alliance is suffering from its very success. In 15 years of cold war NATO has prevailed; and while its members used to knit firmly together at moments of acute crisis, it now appears to lack a cementing challenge.
Secondly, there is the vexing question of NATO's nuclear structure in an age of two-way deterrence. Even those European leaders who see no reason to doubt the validity of the American defense commitment have grown increasingly anxious to gain a wider measure of active participation in strategic planning. Likewise they are pressing toward a sensible sharing of nuclear control within the alliance-and the firmer their decision not to embark on national nuclear programs, the harder this pressure is bound to be.
Thirdly, the brilliant economic recovery of Western Europe has revived the ancient pride of the continental nations. Today, Europeans find unquestioning subordination to the United States harder to put up with than in the immediate postwar era. Most would accept a measure of inequality that is natural to any relationship between small nations and a superpower, but they would like their interests, their judgments and their sensitivities respected by that superpower; they do not relish the idea of having to act the part of the Delian Leaguers vis-à-vis an American Athens. If in the military field they demand a voice in the formulation of alliance strategy, in the political field they want a place in the Western mechanism of crisis management. Also there is a vague yearning for some system of pre- crisis management-a system, that is, for common intelligence and policy assessments transcending the geographical limits of NATO's treaty area as well as for the management of intra-alliance differences in times of relative quiet.
Three urgent tasks, then, would seem to confront the Western Alliance. The North Atlantic partners must rebuild NATO on a basis of hope instead of the basis of fear that provided the chief element of cohesion when NATO was founded in 1949. They must find a reasonably satisfactory solution to the problem of nuclear control-not by encumbering the American finger on the trigger in the event of conflict, but by subjecting it to agreed rules and standards of action. And they must secure for the Europeans a role both in the pre-crisis game of deterrence and in the formulation of world-wide policy. What the alliance needs to reëstablish is both a military and a political consensus.
One difference which will have to be resolved relates to the proper strategy for the defense of Europe. Right now, it would seem, there is no strategy which is either agreed upon or, in the event of war, tolerable. The task remains to deter any form of aggression by preparing to respond adequately at any level of force. Europeans will have to learn that a flexible response must also be a controlled response; Americans will have to learn that "controlled response" cannot be restricted to mean "exclusively American-controlled response." Europeans will have to grasp that the threat of escalation is not the only deterrent to conventional attack; Americans will have to grasp that the possibility of escalation, while raising the heinous spectre of nuclear war, must nevertheless be impressed on the mind of the opponent in order to deter him. More particularly, however, Europeans must learn to appreciate that their insistence on an automatic nuclear response to any aggression must eventually prompt the Americans to withdraw the bulk of their land forces from Western Europe. Instead of keeping the United States committed, such insistence could lead only to a weakening of its interest in the actual defense of Europe, and it might well undo the most important feature of NATO: an American guarantee not only given on paper but made visible by the presence of sizable U. S. forces right along the Iron Curtain and elsewhere in Europe. Luckily, there seems to be a growing awareness, at least in Germany, that an exclusively nuclear doctrine would spell disaster for the Federal Republic if deterrence failed; it is generally realized now that the threat of self-destruction should not be the only means of defense available. (Accounts of recent French man?uvres have had an extremely sobering effect on many military men in Bonn.) A sensible compromise does not, therefore, appear impossible of achievement.
Such a compromise on strategy is all the more important as it furnishes the only instrument to forestall friction in another field: that of arms control in Europe. Only against the background of a jointly arrived at and agreed upon defense doctrine (plus the military establishment to support it) is a European-American arms control consensus conceivable. This goes for anything from the establishment of ground observation posts at one end of the spectrum to a thinning out of troops or a denuclearization at the other end. For inevitably there will be European-and especially German- resistance to even the most innocuous move toward arms control as long as there is neither strategic doctrine nor military apparatus both to explain and to justify it. But if there is, the often-heard outcry against a Russian-American "duopoly" need not worry us unduly.
This duopoly is inherent in the present power situation. Protests will not change it, nor will pathetic protestations of ambition. Of course, it makes for good copy in many French and also in a few German newspaper offices. But it was a Frenchman, Raymond Aron, who has provided the most lucid analysis of the precarious relationship between "les frères ennemis," stripping it of its sinister implications by pointing out both the motives and the limits of Russo-American coperation. And an increasing number of Germans have come to realize that there is no reason for them to be unhappy about any great power agreement that limits the risks of war. Such limitation, indeed, is in the interest of the European nations as much as in that of the United States and the Soviet Union. In order to prevent further cracks in the alliance, however, the allies will have to be kept fully posted on future developments-and at an earlier stage in the game than was the case, for instance, during the test-ban negotiations; never should the impression be created that Washington was prepared to conclude agreements with the Kremlin at the expense of its European partners. Improved consultation practices would seem to be an absolute prerequisite to any new American-Soviet moves toward East-West détente.
Beyond that, improved and-particularly-more systematized consultation would seem to be the precondition of a new lease on life for NATO. Such a consultative system ought to repair the two main deficiencies of the alliance: its loose diplomatic organization, and its outdated geographical limitations. It is indeed strange to think that NATO rests militarily on the principle of integration while politically it still clings to the old prescription of coalition diplomacy; while it has an integrated military command structure, it has yet to establish similar political institutions. And it is difficult to imagine that nowadays, when shots fired in some faraway region are likely to reverberate around the world, the outlying areas continue to be treated as though they were none of NATO's concern. The Cuban crisis of 1962 ought to have taught us a different lesson. Do we have to wait for the events unfolding in Asia to bring the lesson home? Mao's shadow is lengthening over the Pacific, America's backyard. It is incontestable, however, that the emergence of China as a world power is a matter of concern not to the United States alone. Neither lack of interest nor pathetic rivalry adds up to a policy for Europeans. What is needed now is their participation, together with the United States, in a cooperative effort-at least an effort jointly to assess the risks and dangers looming on the Oriental horizon. NATO must build the apparatus for concerted contingency planning encompassing the whole of the globe. The Four Power group that has been dealing with the Berlin problem for the past few years could usefully serve as a pattern for such a consultative body.
The reforms and adjustments outlined above would be difficult to implement even under the most favorable circumstances. Now one might easily despair of them, as the indolence of the many is powerfully reinforced by the obstructionism of one. No longer, so it would appear, can a mere overhauling of the present transatlantic machinery satisfy the ambition of the French President. The whole concept of interdependence is anathema to him, and so is the principle of integration. Instead of interdependence he desires independence, instead of integration merely cooperation. While the other Europeans continue to uphold the broad conception of NATO and the Atlanticist "grand design" for its future, de Gaulle repudiates both. By resuscitating old-fashioned nationalism in France he arrests the movement toward European unity-and thus he blocks the straightest road toward a transatlantic partnership on an equal and equitable footing. But although Europe cannot become a real partner for the United States as long as it remains a fragmented multitude of nations, there are no indications that this pernicious fragmentation can be overcome soon. The question, therefore, arises: Does European stagnation condemn the West to Atlantic stagnation, too? Is there no way around de Gaulle? It is an ill wind that blows nobody good, and one may wonder whether the slackening of the European pace might not, in the end, be turned to the advantage of the wider Atlantic Community.
There have always been two schools of thought with regard to the relationship between European unification and Atlantic integration. One thought the two aspirations reinforced each other; the other thought the two integrative movements were bound to obstruct each other. Whatever the original validity of the first expectation, today, clearly, the assumption of a pre-stabilized harmony between the European and Atlantic goals seems rather too facile. Indeed, even without de Gaulle one might have expected difficulties between the United States and a Europe which was growing in strength as well as in self-confidence. The psychological need of the Europeans to manifest their new sense of identity could easily have led to a kind of "profile neurosis": a policy more intent upon underlining European separateness from America than on emphasizing European solidarity with her. Today, mindful of de Gaulle's aspirations, we recognize the temptation and the danger. In retrospect, therefore, the "dumbbell" concept of the future relationship between the United States and Europe might seem less brilliant than when it first gained currency. Dumbbells-linking, as they do, two spheres of equal weight-in fact have a built-in tendency to break in the middle. There is, as has been pointed out repeatedly, no guarantee that relations between two equal Atlantic halves would of necessity result in a consensus between the two, or in recognized and effective leadership of one over the other. This is especially true in view of the fact that the European sphere could at best gain theoretical equality in the field of nuclear armaments and strategy.
Conversely, however, there is no evidence that all dumbbells do break. The dumbbell, or "twin pillar," concept may work-or rather, it might have worked, given the right spirit and the right approach. But in the decade ahead, there is not going to be any European center of power such as envisaged in John F. Kennedy's Grand Design. Not only is the Europe of the Six hamstrung by Charles de Gaulle in its efforts to establish closer links with the Europe of the Seven; it is failing even to make headway toward its own political integration. Thus the American pillar of strength will most probably remain without a European twin. For even if de Gaulle's successor should initiate a new policy, it is far from certain whether the British, still smarting from the blows of January 1963, could and would adjust to the situation then arising.
But waiting for de Gaulle's successor, or for Mr. Harold Wilson, does not constitute a policy. Powerful though the temptation may be to settle down, more or less uncomfortably, in one of those recurrent cycles of futility which seem to mark the development of common Western institutions, we must attempt to make the best of a muddled situation. One question in particular deserves attention and study. Even if no new impetus toward integration can be expected within a purely European framework, is it not, perhaps, possible to go right ahead (right around de Gaulle, too) and lay the foundations of an Atlantic partnership based not so much on the dumbbell concept as on the image of an umbrella which could give shelter to all those who actually desire such shelter?
It is not only possible-it is necessary. There is no other way of ensuring that the ties across the Atlantic are not weakened or cut while the Europeans mark time in the construction of Europe. A transatlantic effort of cooperation between all those willing to coperate here and now might serve as a catalyst for non-Gaullist Europe. It would establish a pattern of interdependent interaction that looks more fruitful than a dejected retreat into bilateralism between the United States and individual European countries. And it would prove to de Gaulle the futility of his own efforts. At any rate, it would not, as any compromise was bound to do, put a premium on his obstreperousness.
Such a transatlantic effort would have to be made on two distinct but complementary levels: the institutional and the practical level.
One task would be the creation of an organizational skeleton around which the Atlantic partnership-and, in due time, an Atlantic Community spelled with a capital C-could take shape. There are already plenty of proposals how this should be done. Government Committees for Atlantic Unity, a Permanent Council, a Consultative Atlantic Assembly have variously been suggested as institutional foci for a common Atlantic venture. Such bodies will be helpful. But they alone cannot generate nor keep up any integrative momentum. When all is said and done, only some eye-catching project of practical cooperation can engender a new spirit of cohesion and mutual confidence. So far, no better proposal for such a project has been made than that envisaging the creation of a Multilateral Nuclear Force.
One may doubt whether there is a crying military need for the M.L.F., but it can hardly be doubted any longer that it will be able to play a useful role when it materializes. It is worth pointing out that in 1970, if established, it will muster a deterrent force of 140 megatons; the French Mirage fleet will amount, in the same year, to little more than six megatons. And the political value of the M.L.F.-or, to be precise, an M.L.F.-seems incontrovertible. It would diminish the risk of proliferation; advance the nuclear education of the Europeans; give Europe a share in strategic planning and, in time of crisis, a voice in the operation of the deterrent; but above all it would be an important step toward integration of American and European forces. Its chief objective, then, would not be to make the Germans happy but rather to cement the alliance. The principle of mixed-manning is an enormous advance, and so is the principle of joint ownership of nuclear warheads. In the face of General de Gaulle's obstinacy, the M.L.F. could provide a vital new link between the two halves of the Western alliance. It could spark the development of a genuinely Atlantic Community in much the same way in which the European Coal and Steel Community furnished the initial impetus toward European integration. Possibly the road to a European deterrent may lie through the M.L.F.-if Europe came into existence as Europe, and if it then felt the need for a nuclear deterrent of its own (which, however, by force of its genesis, would have the least anti-American tinge). Hopefully, at the end of the road something else may be waiting: namely a single Atlantic deterrent which would include all U. S. forces as well as all European nuclear units.
While we may still be very far from that goal, we should nevertheless work toward it. In any case, we should not create a number of tiny European nuclear sovereignties but rather try to prevail upon the Americans to abandon some of theirs. This, at any rate, would seem to be one of the greatest advantages of cooperative ventures like the M.L.F.: that the United States would at least make a start toward the transfer of sovereign national rights. One of the drawbacks of the dumbbell concept was the fact that it imposed sacrifices of sovereignty only on the Europeans (who, in order to create Europe, were expected to sign away their national birthrights in favor of the wider union); no similar sacrifice was demanded from America. Under the umbrella concept, this would be different: the United States would be expected to give up as much as her partners on the other side of the ocean. The M.L.F., then, might teach the Europeans the refined logic of the nuclear age, but it might also teach the Americans the beginnings of that difficult art-supranational integration.
More immediately, the M.L.F. seems the only system in the framework of which European (minus Gaullist) and American interests can be reconciled at the present juncture-the only system, too, in which the momentum toward greater Atlantic fulfillment can be regained. The London Economist (April 18, 1964) put the point very succinctly: "The M.L.F. suggests both the possibility of a revivified NATO and, if that proves impossible, then some substitute for it (consisting essentially of a tripartite agreement between America, Britain and Germany).... If the managing committee of the M.L.F. proved successful in handling the business of joint operation of a nuclear weapons system, there might well be a good case for adopting a similar structure in other fields in which closer allied cooperation is desirable. . . . The presence, present posture-and, indeed, the indispensability-of France in NATO makes the treaty organization itself a rickety framework for such consultation. . . . In the difficult period between now and 1969, America and those of its allies who want to see Europe, both defensively and positively, take an 'Atlantic' shape have to try to make General de Gaulle see how much France has to lose by obstructing further military and political integration within NATO. . . . Enlarging upon the M.L.F. machinery could never be a complete substitute for a rejuvenated (and perhaps renegotiated) NATO. But at least it would not leave the West at such a loss for alternatives if another resounding 'No' rings out from the Elysée."
Indeed, we need not wait for Europe to take shape as United Europe before we go about reorganizing and reinforcing the ties of partnership across the Atlantic. The unfulfilled desire for the one must not obstruct the speedy realization of the other. The ideas of Atlantic partnership and European unity are not mutually exclusive, and while it is regrettable that circumstances thwart their simultaneous fruition, we must not miss the opportunities which the present moment offers-opportunities for cooperation, even integration, despite all obstacles.
Nowhere is the spectre of the dissolution of the Atlantic Alliance feared more than in the Federal Republic. Narrow nationalism presents neither an option nor a temptation to Germany. La Germania farà da se? The old slogan about Germany looking out for herself does not stand the test of sobriety. The spirit of Rapallo is dead; no one need fear that the Federal Republic will settle the German problem in a "deal" with Russia, thus double- crossing her allies and sneaking out of the Western community again. European nationalism is likewise rejected because of its divisive effects. The Germans really believe in the indivisibility of Western politics and aspirations, and the state of disarray within NATO causes them more agony than most. They are willing to do everything in their power to help settle the differences that rend the alliance; Chancellor Erhard's recent call for a top-level conference to deal with NATO's malaise testifies to their concern. But the Germans also realize that their power is limited.
The country on whose imagination, moral courage and determination the fate of the Western community will continue to turn is the United States. While it would be wrong to expect the American leaders to work wonders, nothing would be more detrimental to the morale of the Atlantic world than a United States policy of despondency or loss of interest-or a retreat into American continentalism. America must continue to give a lead-so that, as Dean Acheson has said, "others will follow and the opposition will have to buck a tide instead of using inertia as an ally." And we must all remember John F. Kennedy's dictum: "Lofty words cannot construct an alliance or maintain it-only concrete deeds can do that."
[i] Speech before the American Chamber of Commerce, Brussels, March 16, 1964.