Since nuclear deterrence began, some of the forces providing deterrence for the West have been stationed in Europe. In the early period, when delivery systems did not yet enjoy intercontinental range, European real estate was essential for America's strategic deterrent. But with new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and sea-based nuclear missiles, introduced in the late 1950s, the U.S. nuclear deterrent no longer required bases in Europe: the age of geographic deterrence identity between the United States and its European allies had come to an end.
The military and political problems of the European theater nuclear balance have arisen since
Source URL: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/1981-12-01/implications-theater-nuclear-weapons-europe