How Russia Decides to Go Nuclear
Deciphering the Way Moscow Handles Its Ultimate Weapon
Are the bases on which Western security in Europe has rested since the Atlantic Alliance has been in existence threatened? Is it true that with the change in generations there is less and less realization in public opinion of the solidarity in destiny of the peoples on both sides of the Ocean? Is it likely that a substantial withdrawal of U.S. forces on the Old Continent could be imposed on the Reagan Administration by Congress? Did the President say what is in the plans of the Pentagon, or did he make a slip of the tongue, when he mentioned the possibility of a nuclear war limited to Europe?
These questions were already on the minds of many responsible leaders in the West, and in the fairly large community of people who reflect on the problems of security, when four prominent American personalities came out, in these pages, with a proposal to move to a declared commitment of "no first use" of nuclear weapons by NATO. A few weeks later Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, speaking at the United Nations Special Conference on Disarmament, committed his country not to make such first use and urged the Western powers to make a similar announcement.
The suggestion of the four Americans was answered in the Summer issue of Foreign Affairs by such qualified persons as General Bernard W. Rogers, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, and Karl Kaiser, Georg Leber, Alois Mertes and General Franz-Josef Schulze of the Federal Republic of Germany.1 But, since it raises the most fundamental issue-whether the defense and deterrence concept upheld by the Alliance for more than 30 years is still valid or should be modified-the discussion is likely to last quite a while.
If a Frenchman now ventures to offer a few ideas on this matter, in spite of France's position in the Alliance which has made her remain silent on these questions for more than 15 years, it is in the first place because the present French government, in power since the spring of 1981, has shown more public concern over the problems of defense within the framework of the Alliance than its predecessors. President François Mitterrand has come out openly in favor of the deployment of Pershing II and cruise missiles, thus backing the December 1979 decision of the NATO Defense Council; moreover, all French political parties (except of course the Communists) have expressed a commitment to a policy of closer cooperation with our allies. And, second, because, rightly or wrongly, this writer, now confined to his own wisdom or folly, thinks that there is now, more than ever, both a need and a possibility for a substantial "rapprochement" between France's and her partners' thinking on the problems of deterrence and defense in Europe in the coming decades.
Contrary to what one might think, the Soviet declaration of "no first use" is not the most important element in the debate. In the first place, there is no possibility of offensive Western military action to which it might be relevant. Whatever their genuine or pretended fear of being encircled, the leaders in the Kremlin could never believe that the Western powers would take the initiative of aggression in Europe. There was a time when the U.S. monopoly or superiority in nuclear weapons could have lent some plausibility to that fear. That time has passed forever and has now been replaced by the situation characterized by the end of the "balance of imbalances"-Soviet superiority in conventional forces being no longer compensated by American superiority in strategic and tactical nuclear arsenals.
Moreover, from the standpoint of any Soviet military action, the Soviet position is too obviously tailored to fit Moscow's problems. It is generally admitted that in conventional warfare the offensive requires a numerical advantage-and today the balance in tanks and aircraft favors the Warsaw Pact by roughly three to one. But the use of that numerical advantage for offensive operations requires large concentrations of forces. With an agreement on no first use of nuclear weapons, these concentrations could take place at no risk, thus favoring the only camp that could be the aggressor.
Finally, the use of force would be a violation of the commitments taken under the Charter by all members of the United Nations. One has to consider that that pledge is either to be trusted or not trusted. In the first case there should be no fear of any kind of war. But why, in the second, should anyone believe that the "no-first-use" commitment would be better kept than the "no war" one?
This being said for what relates to the Soviet stand, let us now return to the proposal of our four Americans, one which poses to a Western mind a more acute dilemma.
Far from having any quarrel with the Four over their plea for an improvement in the level of conventional forces, there is every reason to support their view on that point. In that sense it is certainly to be regretted that the negative part of their proposal-an eventual formal commitment to no first use (premised on an adequate conventional posture having been achieved)-should have attracted so much attention that it completely overshadowed the positive aspect, which was their insistence on the need for conventional buildup.
It is the thesis of this article, to be explained later, that such a buildup should not be carried out, as their article suggests, as the ultimate measure to insure NATO's security in itself, but rather as part of an across-the-board updating of NATO's current doctrine of deterrence and defense. Such an updating would be consistent with, indeed proceed from, the view that the Alliance should avoid at all costs putting itself in the position where it would have to resort to tactical nuclear weapons from the very first hours of conflict. At the same time it would rule out a formal commitment to no first use as militarily, morally and diplomatically wrong and self-defeating.
Let us briefly review some of the arguments made to condemn the basic threat on which deterrence against Warsaw Pact forces has rested for more than 30 years-that of using nuclear weapons as late as possible but as soon as necessary, as West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt once put it, with the inherent risk of escalation.
It seems that it is that risk of escalation which creates the major problem, since it means the possibility of general holocaust. Surely this is the case, but it means also that the territory of the aggressor itself would be somewhere on the path of destruction as operations escalated from a European to a global scale. We can readily agree with the Four that there is a quantum jump from conventional to nuclear warfare. But the risks of the latter could not be limited to the Old Continent. This may explain why, in the minds of Europeans, it is indeed the instantaneity and globality of the dangers involved in any initiation of nuclear exchange which have spared our planet the disaster of a Third World War. While agreeing that the way to achieve that result-avoiding war altogether-is less attractive than the result itself, the result is, in the last analysis, what defense policy is all about.
Militarily, then, any NATO commitment to no first use appears highly dangerous. Moreover, one would like to know if the argument is carried to the point where we should aim at being able to defeat the Warsaw Pact in an open battle. When the threat ran in the opposite geographic direction, Napoleon and Hitler were driven back to their capitals although they had started by invading deeply inside Russia. It would be difficult to envisage a reversed scenario in a war that would begin with an initiative of the Red Army crossing the Elbe westward from its peacetime deployment in the center of Europe.
Accordingly, since the basis of deterrence must rest on the risk that the aggressor would suffer intolerable losses as a consequence of the fighting, that risk, in the case of the Soviet Union (or of any superpower), can only come from the eventual use of nuclear weapons. If NATO adopted the no-first-use proposal, the prospect of being utterly destroyed would be immense for the Europeans. It would be nonexistent for the Russians. No wonder it should now be an official position for the Kremlin.
The Four consider that there would also be a quantum jump in immorality in the decision to use nuclear weapons.
It is difficult to argue about moral issues. But one can legitimately consider that the sin lies with aggression and not with preparing to defend oneself with whatever means, even if that "whatever" includes the atom. The ultimate evil would be in a doctrine that would guarantee immunity for the aggressor and devastation and loss of freedom for the peace-loving nations. To make the world safe for aggression would be the apex of immorality.
Finally, in diplomacy, there is always, in the background of any confrontation of will and interests, the capacity that one has, or does not have, to say "no" to the demands of the other side, and the knowledge that one can, or cannot, without taking enormous risks, bring the matter to a showdown. If the risks are almost negligible for one side and boundless for the other, the game is entirely rigged and the former is sure to win, be it on small or momentous issues. It is not too much to say that the whole picture of international relations would be altered to our permanent disadvantage if the no-first-use proposal were to be adopted.
To be sure, the Four say that to "keep the firebreak between nuclear and any other kind of conflict is in the deepest interest of all mankind." Yet the interest of mankind is to prevent, to deter, any kind of war. And it appears for the time being that deterrence must rest on the plausibility that the fire, once started, would not stop.
In short, nothing could be more contrary to the interests of the free world at large-which these four American personalities served with such distinction in the past-than a shift of the Atlantic Alliance to a defense doctrine that would put uneven risks between East and West in any emergency.
Unquestionably, important changes have taken place in the balance of forces in Europe since the NATO strategy of flexible response was first established in 1967. The question is whether it is possible to frame a new or modified defense concept and a set of force postures that would at the same time restore confidence in deterrence, not be based on the assumption that nuclear arms would have to be used at once in all eventualities, retain the threat of escalation, and strengthen mutual trust among the allies.
This should indeed be possible if every member of the Alliance is ready to take a fresh look at the problem. It will be seen that this "every member" includes France to a large extent.
Let us in the first place address ourselves to an argument which has been partly responsible for the difficulty public opinion has in understanding the need to improve the level of conventional forces. That argument is the hypothesis of a Soviet first strike destroying the key defensive points of NATO in Europe and/or the land-based missiles in the United States.
Whether the technical capacity to perform such a "surgical operation," as it is sometimes referred to, exists now or will exist in the future is not the point, although there is no surgery that does not shed blood. And to think that the destruction of some 600 targets, in an area as densely populated as Western Europe, with nuclear weapons could be realized without extensive damage requires much stretching of the mind.
But what makes one deeply skeptical about the likelihood of such a course of events is not so much military as political considerations.
To take that initiative, the leaders in Moscow would have to believe that it would not entail the risk of a major confrontation with the United States. In other words, that the American government and people would accept becoming, on the face of the earth and in a matter of minutes, a second-class power whose status and influence in international affairs would be dictated in the Kremlin.
It seems very unlikely that such an assumption could become the rationale of Russian policy. If it did, it would mean that the global relation of forces, military, moral and political, had so deteriorated that the die would be irretrievably cast against the West and nothing could save us.
Yet a fixation on this unreal possibility paves the way for the attitude of "what's the use?" of any defense effort, in some sections of public opinion. Does it make sense, it is asked, to spend such enormous amounts of money on equipment, nuclear or conventional, if it can be destroyed in a matter of minutes? Isn't it better to adhere to the pacifist philosophy and hope for the best?
Technicality has to be the basis of any planning of defense decisions. But not to the point where technical feasibility, when it exists, would make one ignore political possibilities or impossibilities.
The reasons that call for a conventional buildup are both military and political. First, if the NATO conventional posture is such as to rule out a surprise attack, any aggression would have to be preceded by concentrations and massing of land units giving warning of something being prepared against which we should get ready to react. A warning is not always properly understood, and there are cases, such as Egypt's early successes in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which show that even a government as cautious as that of Israel may fail to read the writing on the wall. Human errors can never be discarded. But it is one thing when a would-be aggressor can be sure that the gates are open before him, and quite another when, to proceed with his plans, he must bet on a wrong interpretation by the other side.
To have a NATO military posture that would, in all cases, compel the Red Army to give such warning is therefore an absolute requisite, so that Western forces may take their alert stations, both first-line troops and reinforcements.
The second reason is that, the lower the conventional defensive capacity, the sooner the West would face the dilemma between using tactical nuclear weapons or surrendering. With the debate now raging over such use, there is little doubt that in any crisis and before any fighting had broken out, Western governments would have much more freedom of movement if it were known that their decision to resist pressure did not mean immediate nuclear war.
Moreover, reasoning on this problem generally fails to take into account that any failure by the Red Army to crush in a very few days the armies of the West could create very serious problems with its lines of communications. The logistic support for any operations against Western Europe is contingent upon free movement through the satellite states. Recent events in Poland alone, including the care Moscow has taken to use the Polish army and militia as proxies to suppress a situation almost unanimously supported by the people, shows that things might become very sticky if, on the hypothesis of a major war in Europe, Soviet rulers could not be sure of immediate victory.
And Poland is not the only country in Eastern Europe where peoples would be ready to run risks if there were hope of getting rid of a regime which is not only imposed by a powerful neighbor, but is also a blatant economic failure and the negation of those nations' cultural values.
A buildup of NATO's conventional forces would therefore be a double action move: it would remedy one of our weaknesses and increase one of the Soviet Union's. In the central terms of deterrence, the benefit would be great.
It is beyond the scope of these reflections to examine in detail how the Western nations could reach the level of forces required to achieve those goals. Suffice it to recall that, with advanced electronics, the shortening of time that would elapse between acquisition of enemy targets, transmission and exploitation of information will bring substantial changes in favor of the defenders. The same applies to the possibility of blinding radars, destroying tanks, or attacking airfields, all with conventional armaments, not forgetting the use of the third dimension in land warfare through extensive intervention of helicopters.
As the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe has made clear in the already mentioned article, the necessary conventional posture does not exist now. "Currently," he says, "we must measure our ability to sustain combat in Europe in days, whereas we can estimate the Warsaw Pact's sustainability in weeks or months."
But, given adequate modernization of forces-which, SACEUR estimates, could be obtained with a yearly real increase of defense expenditure of four percent-the Alliance could attain the "capability to hold lead divisions of the Warsaw Pact conventional attack," conduct "an effective interdiction and destruction campaign with conventional means against its follow-on forces" and attack with first-line and reserve units such enemy forces as might or would have penetrated Western defenses.
Let us however envisage that, in spite of measures taken to deter war at the conventional level, the Red Army would cross the line, and that NATO was unable to stop it and faced being overrun. That is the time when the no-first-use theory would be unacceptable and when it would be necessary to consider the dramatic option: resorting to nuclear weapons or conceding defeat.
There is no reason for dismay at the present paradox of the Western powers being the ones that would never be the aggressor, but would nonetheless contemplate initiating the use of the most terrible weapon ever conceived, at the risk of global destruction. They are the defending side and, as long as defending their peoples is what governments are there to do and since deterrence remains the only rationally and morally justified attitude, it is necessary to have a clear-cut doctrine to handle the situation.
This is where an amendment to the concept of flexible response could be introduced, making first use less difficult and, one hopes, more efficient for deterrence. The idea would be that the Western powers, unable to defend any longer by conventional forces alone, and having maintained their determination to use nuclear weapons if and when absolutely necessary, would render indisputable the fact that this is in a defensive way, by restricting their first nuclear attacks strictly to invading forces (preferably, in my view, employing enhanced radiation weapons which would diminish collateral damages to friendly forces and environment).
But, as soon as the enemy replied at the nuclear level on forces or targets inside allied territories, NATO would immediately strike military objectives inside the Soviet Union itself. In other words, there would be no process of escalation in weapon yields or depth of attacks that destroyed Western Europe step by step before it reached the real enemy, the one responsible for the aggression.
Rather than a flexible response, the doctrine would thus call for an "inflexible response" against the use of nuclear weapons by the enemy, in the context of his aggression.
The purpose of this suggestion is not primarily to set at peace the minds and consciences of some sections of public opinion, however respectable their ethical misgivings. Rather it is to restore immediate deterrence by confronting the Soviet leaders with the impossible choice between either replying on American territory-a big jump toward all-out warfare-or abstaining from such a reply, which would amount to recognizing that the United States was a sanctuary when the Americans would have shown that, for them, the Soviet Union was not.
It may be argued that, by limiting the first use to Western territories, this doctrine still sounds like preparing to add nuclear devastation to conventional destruction for the West European side only. That would certainly be too high a price to pay for the sole benefit of proving that we are only defending ourselves.
But that is not the case. For, unless the Red Army accepted having its forward echelons submitted to nuclear fire without retaliation-which is hard to believe-it is the very successful outcome of any conventional attack against the West that would provoke, in short order, strikes at the Soviet Union.
This whole question has to be seen in the perspective of Moscow's aims, as revealed by its attitude over the present Euromissiles program-the Pershing IIs and cruise missiles now scheduled for deployment in 1983.
If no Soviet nuclear weapons could be used against Western territory without immediately provoking American nuclear attacks on targets within the Russian boundaries (confronting the Kremlin thereby with the dilemma mentioned just now), the coupling between European defense and American strategic forces would be more solidly established than ever. Soviet diplomacy directed against the Pershing II and cruise missiles aims to provoke that decoupling and to keep any weapons system capable of reaching the Western districts of Russia from being deployed on European soil-in other words to make full use of geography which puts an ocean between the most powerful member of our Alliance and the most vulnerable ones.
Inflexible response would nullify that accident of nature and even turn it to our advantage by making good the land continuity between Europe and Russia, placing the latter in the greatest danger of being contaminated by any war that broke out on the continent.
Another consequence of a new doctrine of inflexible response would probably be to allow a substantial reduction of NATO's short-range tactical nuclear weapons now deployed on the continent. Right now, about 60 percent have a range of less than 30 km with a majority with a range under 15 km. This clearly means that they would be employed inside Western territory against invading forces and/or immediately around the dividing line between the two Alliances. The need for several thousands of them would seem much less justified in the concept here proposed.
And finally, this has to be related to the strategy SACEUR wants to implement which, as we have seen, far from restricting military operations to defensive moves, contemplates massive conventional attacks inside enemy territory to prevent second and third echelons from joining first-line units. No fear on our side, no hope on the other should be entertained that a war, once started, could be limited, at any level, to the territories of the victims of aggression.
Where would France come into that picture? It may be useful, here, to remind the reader of the special situation she has made for herself in the Alliance since 1966.
General de Gaulle decided then to withdraw French forces from the integrated NATO military structure. This means that French representatives to the North Atlantic Council no longer take part in decisions related to allied military policy, and that French forces are no longer assigned or earmarked for assignment to the NATO military commanders. The situation is a classical alliance relationship, not one of integration.
The reason given for the de Gaulle decision was that there was in integration an inherent risk of being automatically involved in a conflict to which the United States would be a party, but which might not call into operation Alliance commitments nor concern France's vital interests.
At the same time, General de Gaulle directed the Chief of Staff of French forces to conclude agreements with the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe that provided for effective cooperation of France's and NATO's forces in a crisis that fell under the provisions of the Atlantic pact.
In short, it can be said that France's defense policy as outlined then and maintained ever since is to meet two goals: (a) not to be involved in a conflict foreign either to her commitments or vital interests; (b) to be in a position to throw in her lot with her allies if these conditions are fulfilled.
Agreements to that effect, in the form of contingency planning, have been worked out, covering the cooperation of land, air and naval forces and the logistic support to be brought to the common cause, making good the geographical feature that puts French ports, airfields and lines of communication closest to the Atlantic. Both General Alexander Haig, when he was Supreme Allied Commander, and his successor. General Rogers, have said publicly that they have full confidence in the part French forces would play in a case of emergency, or worse.
Essentially, present contingency plans envisage that the land units which compose the First French Army are to act as a general reserve in operations against the Warsaw Pact. They consist notably of eight armored divisions deployed partly in the Western part of the Federal Republic and partly in eastern France-more or less on both banks of the Rhine, with none stationed at the frontier between the two military systems that face one another in Europe.
France also has nuclear weapons of strategic and tactical types with a deterrence strategy of her own. The strategic forces consist of five nuclear submarines (a sixth is nearing completion), each equipped with 16 missiles now in the process of receiving six warheads each.2 There is also a land-based component of 18 missiles deployed in the south of the country and the aging Mirage IV bombers. The tactical forces are composed of 42 short-range missiles (the Pluton) equipping the land units and dual-capable strike aircraft.
The French strategic concept, as exposed in official papers, is entirely focused on deterrence. The First Army would engage the enemy with conventional means (provided of course that no nuclear weapons had been used to that point). But should the pressure exercised by the other side become irresistible (and it is admitted that, just as for the Alliance, the capacity to hold in the conventional field is now measured in days) the tactical weapons would be fired as a final warning (ultime avertissement) that, should the enemy press on with his offensive, the use of strategic weapons would become inevitable. Unlike the NATO doctrine of flexible response-and for the obvious reason that French tactical weapons are very limited in numbers-the French concept envisages no possibility of limiting a nuclear war, once initiated, to the lowest possible level of violence.
In the confrontation between the weak and the strong, the former can only present a problem to the latter if he can threaten him with risks so great that they bear no relation to the stakes. This is the basis of France's deterrence strategy, which targets its strategic weapons on major demographic and economic centers in the Soviet Union. In any circumstances, deterrence of an aggressor stems from the prospect of damage to its own territory and from the credibility of the threat to inflict such damage. The element of credibility would, under the concept, arise from the calculation that French strategic retaliation against Soviet territory would be likely, if not inevitable, the closer operations come to French national territory and the higher the threat to French vital interests.
Does this difference in the doctrine adhered to by NATO on the one hand, and by France on the other, create problems? At one stage, doubts were voiced in the United States about the usefulness of French efforts to develop a significant nuclear capability. But the importance of the French deterrent is no longer in question now that the French nuclear force has attained a substantial size and quality evident to all.
In Paris, the NATO doctrine of flexible response has been criticized on the grounds that it risks decoupling European theater forces (both conventional and nuclear) from U.S. strategic nuclear forces, thereby weakening deterrence. This was an ill-founded objection, in the opinion of this writer, so long as American superiority in both strategic and theater nuclear weapons made possible the control of escalation and would have presented a more difficult problem to the other side than to ours.
Now that these conditions are no longer fulfilled, there is a need and an opportunity to reappraise the situation with the hope of bringing closer to one another the thinking of France and the other allies on these matters, while adding, for the common good, the positive part of each approach.
A basic consideration appears to be that coherence of the fighting capacities of all allied forces in the conventional field is likely to become more important for the future than divergencies over when and how to use nuclear weapons. Some differences are bound to remain in that field since, for instance, NATO's Euromissiles would be used, even in the concept of inflexible response, against military targets in the Soviet Union, which means in an essentially tactical way, while French long-range forces can only be used for strategic purposes, i.e., cities and similar centers of production.
But this is not all-important. Rather the opposite. For there would be no point in adding the relatively small number of French weapons to the overabundant American ones for the implementation of the same strategy, while, at the service of their own strategy, these weapons add to the global deterrent posture of the Alliance-as was recognized by the Ottawa Declaration of 1974. The existence of two independent centers of decision in Europe (Paris and London) must inevitably complicate the calculations of any would-be aggressor.
The situation is different in the conventional field. For if the Alliance, or rather the integrated forces under SACEUR, are to upgrade their strength, it would be of considerable importance, if French forces are to play their role of general reserve, that they be able to hold on in conventional operations as long as those fighting alongside them. The whole benefit of conventional upgrading might be jeopardized if French forces had to resort early to their nuclear arms.
The need for coherence in the conventional field is therefore obvious, and it follows naturally that land and air forces should meet the same problems with means and tactics that are more or less alike. The total strength profits by the increase in volume and quality of each component.
Equally important would be the role that France would have to assume in the logistic field. If the Western conventional posture is to provide for a greater capacity to stem a Warsaw Pact offensive, full use of French territory, facilities, lines of communications, etc., would be required. Contingency planning might well have to be reviewed in that light. Indeed, it could well be that the possibility of increasing the level of allied conventional defenses would be very much contingent on the part France assumed in the scheme.3
Assuming that this was done, French authorities would enjoy more freedom of initiative and decision as to when and where it would be necessary for them to give their "final warning." And even more so if that signal, instead of being, as it now appears, mainly tied to the operations and situation of the land forces, could also be given by the tactical airforce. (A new air-to-surface missile, now being developed, seems particularly well qualified for that type of mission.)
At the same time, a result of these measures would be to create more uncertainty, for the enemy, as to when and where would lie the danger of crossing the tripwire. This would extend deterrence, not only for France herself but equally for her allied neighbors.
Needless to say, there is no way for France (nor for the United Kingdom) to give non-nuclear allies a guarantee that she would use her strategic forces in any case of aggression on their territories. But that notion of a guarantee, so often referred to, is awfully misleading. Even the United States, as soon as massive retaliation was out of the question, could not give the assurance it would reply with all-out warfare, should the U.S.S.R. attack Europe (and the same for Japan). Such was the meaning of Henry Kissinger's speech in 1979 in Brussels which caused so much emotion. What Washington has constantly said is that the independence and security of Europe are vital interests to America. And that was all that needed to be understood where it mattered that it was understood.
Clearly France is not in a position to speak that language. But French governments have been careful not to give definitions of situations which would be liable to strategic strikes. Recognizing rather the advantage of leaving the matter in doubt, they have made a point of declaring that threats to the nation's independence and vital interests are not limited to the danger of immediate invasion.
This is probably as far as one can go when it comes to defining the use of strategic arms. Yet it is inevitable that if this ambiguity works positively for deterrence with foes, friends might understandably regret that it could not be made more binding. This is an additional reason why an improvement in the coherence of France's and her allies' vision of the future requirements, in Europe, of their common security would be an important positive development all around.
Revising one's stand over such momentous issues as a defense concept takes a long time. So does adapting a military posture to new situations. And financial constraints are always there to make choices enormously difficult.
Agonizing decisions are therefore inevitable. The question is whether we shall take them in a disorderly or concerted way. But it would be well worth the trouble, as it would prove our shared inflexible resolve to improve the security of the West in Europe for the coming decades. The political consequences could not fail to be quite substantial in our dealings with the Soviet Union and might include, in addition, a starting point for a more coordinated approach, by the Europeans, to the problem of defense of their continent.
Such changes as here proposed would also have the merit of not being an attempt to put the clock back and try to steer our course as if nuclear weapons were not there to stay, which seems to be the case with the no-first-use proposal. It would rather take them into account in the light of the new relation of forces between East and West and of the changing political situation which is emerging on both sides of the ocean which has given its name to our Alliance.
2 All figures quoted are taken from The Military Balance 1981-82, London: International Institute for Strategic Studies. It must be remembered that there are no standardized units in the Atlantic Alliance and therefore divisions of different countries may present substantial differences in strength.