President Johnson said recently of Europe: "The Europe of today is a new Europe. In place of uncertainty, there is confidence; in place of decay, progress; in place of isolation, partnership; in place of war, peace." Confidence, progress, partnership and peace-what better testimonial could there be to the health and vitality, both political and economic, of Europe today; and what better promise for Europe's future?

During the summer, in a month of hearings, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee examined "the Europe of today." Our discussions ranged over the entire continent, literally from the Atlantic to the Urals, and beyond. For a diagnosis of the Atlantic Alliance means considering not only de Gaulle's aims, but the prospects for German reunification, Britain's association with the Common Market, nuclear arms control, greater European cohesion, East-West détente, the impact of Viet Nam, and much more. These problems are connected to each other in a seamless web that joins the United States with Europe, linking us together in the future as inextricably as in the past.

When the Committee's hearings began, it was announced that their purpose was educational. In preparation for them, I visited Europe in May for interviews with governmental leaders, including Wilson, Erhard and de Gaulle, along with prominent spokesmen of the opposition parties and other knowledgeable political observers. I have now had a chance to test my tentative conclusions against what the Committee has been told by a number of distinguished American experts on Europe.

The fact that there is in Europe today confidence, progress, partnership and peace is due, in no small part, to farsighted policy decisions we have taken since the end of the war. But we may stand in danger of being so dazzled by past successes that we could easily stumble into future failures. For Europe is now rumbling, not with discontent, but with a new spirit of independence, in both East and West. We seem to hear the sound, but we may not understand its meaning. To me it is the murmur of widespread European assent to the proposition: "Resolved, that the postwar period has ended."

Testifying before the Committee on July 13, Under Secretary of State George Ball said: "The 'NATO Crisis' [not the postwar period] . . . is over." Such a statement assumes that the principal problem facing NATO is France's refusal to continue her participation in SHAPE, or to permit NATO bases to remain on French soil, and that because the other allies have decided to retain a relocated military headquarters for the Alliance in Belgium, the crisis has ended.

But the questions General de Gaulle has raised have a much deeper significance. For he is the symbol of the growing desire of European countries to exert more control over their own destinies-the longing for a larger measure of national independence. To the extent that he has appealed successfully to these sentiments, General de Gaulle is not isolated, either in France or in Europe. And, perhaps more importantly, by leading the assault upon the old barriers of the cold war, which all Western Europeans want removed, he appears to many, if not to most, Europeans to be moving with the current of history, while the suspicion grows that we are anchored to the past. Europeans recognize that de Gaulle's perspectives exceed his power, but they also believe that we are so preoccupied elsewhere, particularly in Viet Nam, and so tied to cold-war concepts, that we fail to take advantage of the openings our power presents. As one astute European observer remarked, "France has the objective but not the means, while the United States has the means but not the objective."

Perhaps our resistance to the mood of Europe is most clearly reflected in our relations with de Gaulle's government. We seem to have a peculiar ability to get under each other's skin, to use one another as a foil. McGeorge Bundy described the present foreign policy of France as "disappointing in its manners, costly in its pride, wasteful in its lost opportunities, irrelevant in much of its dramatics and endurable in its fundamentals." Though an intriguing epigram, Bundy's assessment must be weighed on the scales of recent French history. When the General returned to power, France was on the verge of civil war. The Fifth Republic may be hard to live with, but who would prefer the France before de Gaulle, with its revolving-door governments? The previous régime was marked by feeble central power, a faltering economy, poor national morale, mutinous armies and a chronic inability to extricate France from costly and questionable colonial involvements. France today is prosperous and stable, shorn of her outdated imperial burdens, aglow with the rekindled pride of her people, and engaged in an enterprising diplomacy of her own design.

How has de Gaulle achieved all this for France? Perhaps, as Professor Henry Kissinger suggested, it was because the General saw the need to teach his country and Europe generally "attitudes of independence and self-reliance," in the belief that "before a nation or an area can mean something to others it has to mean something to itself." Above all, we should remember that, however disconcerting we find de Gaulle's policies, or imperious his style, he has proved time and again, most recently in Moscow, that he is a man of the West.

Yet, despite de Gaulle's basic loyalties, the present occupants of the seventh floor of our State Department will not forgive him for throwing roadblocks in the path of a united Western Europe. Secretary Ball, in his appearance before the Committee, referred repeatedly to the "compelling logic" of a unified Western Europe, to be built, presumably, in the general image of the United States. His testimony, in line with many previous Departmental statements, was replete with warnings that the alternative to unity is a return to the "corrosive nationalist rivalries" of prewar Europe, as though there were no middle ground.

Actually, there is scant basis to fear that Western Europe-knit together by a flourishing common market-is in any danger of unraveling, and even less reason to apprehend a reversion to the pattern of militant nationalism which plagued the period before the wars. The "either-or" argument is unreal, a rhetorical duel between two straw men. When pressed, Secretary Ball himself conceded that Western Europe was not likely to revert to the old habits of a discredited past. Summing up, he sought a more plausible case, declaring that "the central issue before the American government and the American people . . . is what kind of Europe and what kind of Atlantic world we want."

My talks in Europe, and the comments of witnesses during the hearings, brought home to me the fact that it is not the kind of Europe we want that any longer governs. The question is really what kind of resurgent Europe the Europeans themselves will build. We can encourage them to move in certain directions, largely because they have looked to us for leadership. But we should avoid pressing them too hard to adopt our favorite schemes for solving their problems. Looking back over the statements of leading State Department officials, one is struck by the fact that they seem to hold out for Europe no alternative between our form of unity and chaos, no awareness that European sentiment may have shifted toward a different arrangement, that what might have been achieved in the vision of such men as Jean Monnet when Europe lay prostrate after the war may no longer represent a practical possibility. In brief, I believe it isn't wise to keep insisting that Western Europe should grow to resemble the United States of America.

At best, it is a dubious policy to keep prodding our NATO partners for their reluctance to make new offerings at the altar of European union. For we cannot forecast with any certainty that our Grand Design for Europe, even if it were to happen, would necessarily prove a blessing to the world.

What real assurance is there that world peace would be promoted by the emergence of another gargantuan state, comparable in size and strength to the United States or the Soviet Union, and equally capable of waging global war? Is it not just possible that a looser association of European countries, which rejects subordination to a single executive authority, might turn out to be the safer arrangement? After all, Bismarck's Reich welded together, under one Emperor, the separate principalities which had composed the German Bund in a union which proved a curse to peace. Yet the Bund itself was once touted for having been "impregnable in defense and incapable of aggression."

Can we really be so confident that a united Western Europe would always remain our faithful partner? We are dismayed by de Gaulle because he dissents from our view about how European defense, European political life and European relations with the rest of the world should be conducted. Why should we believe that a great European Union would not prove even more assertive, contrary and-dare I use the term?-disobedient than de Gaulle's France? Perhaps, as Professor Kissinger suggested, there are advantages to be found in preserving pluralism in Europe.

In any case, the fact remains that in Europe today there is a desire for diversity. Therefore, the task for us is to cast our policy so that it encompasses both the quest for cohesion and this desire for diversity. To accommodate these two aims concurrently, we should avoid taking rigid ideological positions. We must not insist that Europe evolve in any way which does not correspond to the real feelings of Europeans. Surely the United States does not hold the only patent on a Grand Design.


The same insistence on the solution we want-and that we think Europeans should want-has been applied to the nuclear sharing problem. Thousands of pages have been written on this subject. I can add nothing new to the debate. It does seem to me, however, on the basis of the accumulated evidence, that we have handled this problem with a rather heavy hand. The Committee, to be sure, was told that the United States had not been doctrinaire on the subject of a multilateral nuclear force, that we had been "very, very careful not to try to bring pressure" on our allies to accept the Multilateral Force (M.L.F.), and that the charge that there has been pressure is "nonsense."

Our diplomats may believe that they avoided bringing heavy pressure to bear on behalf of the M.L.F. proposal, but this is not the frank opinion of most European officials directly involved and of most disinterested experts on both sides of the Atlantic. If we are so unaware of the resentment our tactics produced our antennae are in need of major repair.

Likewise, at the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva, the United States has nearly isolated itself in insisting upon retaining the so- called European clause in our draft proposal for a nuclear non- proliferation treaty. This clause would leave the door open for the creation of an independent European nuclear deterrent, although the necessary precondition for such a force is a degree of political unity which Secretary Ball himself has described as "far exceeding that foreseen in the near future by even the most optimistic proponents of European federalism."

The official argument, rooted once again in our Grand Design for Europe, is that we are unwilling to foreclose the possibility that some future European Union might organize a nuclear deterrent force in which the Germans could participate. Besides, we want to preserve our option for a "hardware" solution to the nuclear-sharing problem within the Western Alliance. We say that the clause, which one knowledgeable observer has described as though written with a "ball-point corkscrew," would not lead to proliferation because it permits no increase in the total number of "nuclear entities" in the world. I wonder what our attitude toward such an option would be if mainland China announced its intention to form an M.L.F. with Albania, Mali and North Viet Nam, or the Soviet Union an M.L.F. with Poland and Cuba.

In any event, the State Department insists that the European clause is "not the real obstacle to a non-proliferation agreement." The Committee was told that German access to nuclear weapons, under an M.L.F. or a similar "hardware"-sharing scheme, would not even prove a serious obstacle to German reunification, which "will come about when conditions are ripe for it." Most Europeans would disagree.

Our refusal to drop the European clause seems to indicate that we have decided it is more important to bind West Germany more tightly to a truncated NATO than to improve relations with the Soviet Union. I think our priority is wrong. As far as I can determine, the other European nations at Geneva, including our allies, feel that we are mortgaging the present for the sake of a highly problematical future. In other words, most Europeans-I will mention West Germany in a moment-who would participate in a separate European deterrent and whose interests this hypothetical, if not visionary, force would presumably serve, are not pressing us to retain the European clause. Why, then, should we insist on keeping an option for them which they do not demand, or at least do not think is important enough to jeopardize closer relations with the Soviet Union? Is this in our interest- or in theirs?

In discussing the ultimate goal of our policy in Europe, Mr. Bundy said: "Settlement is the name of the game." If we are going to play the game, we must remember that the ball is labeled "relations with the Soviet Union." If we are not going to play, we will discover that the game will go on without us, and we shall soon become spectators in Europe rather than participants. However much we may doubt the Russians, most Europeans are persuaded that the danger of a Soviet attack has receded, and that, as a result of developments in the Communist world-particularly the revival of nationalism in Eastern Europe and the necessity for Russia to turn about and face the challenge of a hostile China-the time has arrived for a diplomatic assault upon the unwelcome barriers which split the Continent. For the partition of Europe at the Elbe is regarded by Europeans on both sides as transitory and unnatural.

The United States should lead its allies in their reach eastward across the Elbe, for we alone can deal, on equal terms, with the Soviet Union. But whether or not we choose to lead them, they will press on, believing, as more Europeans do every day, that in Europe, at least, the cold war is over. It would be tragic for all concerned-except the Soviets-if by standing so far behind our Western European allies we forced them to turn their backs on us in order to seek reconciliation with Eastern Europe, as they are bound to do.

To lead the new search for a European settlement, we need not join in the European consensus that the Russian threat has faded away. We can parley without discarding the Western Alliance, to which even France proclaims her continuing fidelity. NATO still exists as a fort for the West, should the Soviet Union turn militant again.

On the diplomatic front, the best place for a breakthrough remains Geneva, where we may have come within reach of a non-proliferation treaty. Negotiations should not be permitted to break down on the issue of retaining the European clause. It is reunification, not nuclear sharing, which concerns the Germans most. Europeans, including many Germans, hold generally to the belief that reunification can come about only after much better relations have been established between the two halves of Europe. Maintaining the option for increased German access to nuclear weapons can only add to the fears and suspicions; closing the option, on the other hand, would tend to lessen tensions. As Mr. Bundy pointed out, so would a clear public statement by the West German government accepting the Oder- Neisse line. I have the impression, and several witnesses before the Committee did too, that German public opinion is coming around to a realization of the need to strengthen the East Europeans' confidence in Germany. I would think that we should encourage the Germans to do so. I do not see why we, alone among the Western powers, seem unwilling to accept the thesis that reunification will follow relaxation. I do not see why we, again alone, continue to assert an almost mystical belief that eventually, for inexplicable reasons, conditions will somehow materialize making German reunification possible. By holding to this view, by insisting on a European clause as a prerequisite for a non-proliferation treaty, we are running the risk of not only falling between two stools but of knocking both over. For the prospect of an integrated European nuclear deterrent is most likely to prove a mirage. An empty hope can only disillusion the West Germans, causing them-more in sorrow than in anger-to pull away from NATO's close embrace.

And even if the unfulfilled promise does not produce disaffection, another factor, considered more important even now by some in Germany, is likely to do so. That is the contradiction inherent in enticing West Germany into ever closer military ties with NATO and, at the same time, pressing for concessions from the Russians, against whom NATO's military organization is directed. While I would not presume to predict the shape of the settlement which will eventually be reached in central Europe, I am personally convinced that the State Department errs in preaching that reunification will come about by "the adhesion of the East German people to some . . . system of Western unity"-in other words, by appending themselves to a united Western Europe.

What seems far more likely is that a German settlement will be reached as the last stage in a gradual healing of the breach between the two parts of Europe. And the price the German people will have to pay for reunification will surely include abstention from nuclear arms. By preserving the option of Bonn's participation in an improbable Western European deterrent force, are we not jeopardizing the possibility of German reunification as part of a central European settlement? Many Germans think so now. Many more may think so in the future.

Hence, by retaining the European clause we will, in my view, not only fail to tie West Germany more firmly into the NATO alliance, we may also sacrifice a non-proliferation treaty with the Soviet Union. If the European clause is retained, the Russians almost certainly will reject the treaty. Of course, even if the clause is stricken, the Russians may not sign. But if they refuse, we have lost nothing in making the offer to delete it.

Quite apart from the immediate consideration of the treaty, our national interest calls for a consultative rather than a "hardware" solution to the nuclear sharing problem in the alliance, building on the work done by the McNamara Committee. This would provide a much sounder basis for German partnership in NATO-sounder because what matters is how governments decide on the use of nuclear weapons, not where governments arrange to store them; sounder because it keeps many options open for West Germany and closes none; and sounder because it is what the European allies of Germany-and, I believe, the German people-prefer.


With regard to Europe, President Johnson deserves credit for a number of specific moves he has made recently. First, I commend his decision to restrain the State Department from over-reacting to de Gaulle, for I agree with Mr. Bundy that as "very few Frenchmen are anti-American . . . it remains the part of wisdom and sentiment alike that no American should be anti-French." Secondly, the President should be congratulated for ordering an end to the M.L.F. campaign, for the pressure felt by others in NATO was causing strains within the Alliance that far outweighed any possible gains. Thirdly, he has taken a step forward at Geneva by asking for new language which might break the deadlock on a non-proliferation treaty. Finally, I applaud the President's stated objective to "build bridges" with Eastern Europe.

My uneasiness arises, therefore, not from decisions emanating from the White House, but from the doctrines so deeply imbedded at the Department of State which impede, if they do not preclude, a timely and adept response to the new outlook in Europe. The same dogmatism leads also to a self- certainty which borders on condescension.

Another fault in our approach may be due to the tendency in the State Department to regard the problems of our European allies as essentially military, rather than political. Nuclear sharing, force goals and command arrangements are no longer the issues on which Europe's interests center. Now, when Europe is less concerned about defending itself than in fending for itself, less absorbed with building barriers against the East than with mending fences with the East, those who make our European policy should know both parts of divided Europe first-hand; they should be men whose background and experience-the two most important words in the manual of those who match men to the work to be done-help them in understanding, rather than hinder them from understanding, the shifting subtleties of a highly political continent.

For our fundamental national interests can easily accommodate the changing mood of Europe. We need sacrifice nothing to keep our policies relevant. But only by so doing can we preserve our influence in the Europe of today- and tomorrow.

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