Nuclear Planning in NATO: Pitfalls of First Use

In This Review

Nuclear Planning in NATO: Pitfalls of First Use

By Daniel Charles
Ballinger, 1986
200 pp. $19.95

NATO's nuclear strategy remains a conundrum: Can a tactical nuclear war in Europe be limited and controlled, and if not, is the current first-use strategy credible? This is a carefully written, thoroughly documented and researched analysis of the many dilemmas involved. The irrationality of NATO's strategy is explored, but rather than issuing a facile condemnation of it, the author recognizes its political necessity and goes on to probe such issues as the difficulty in achieving coherent guidelines, managing crisis stability (when the Pershing missiles are dispersed from their storage sites), release procedures, adequate consultation among the allies, and the ultimate question of whether political control can be maintained. Disturbing questions are raised in an irreverent but responsible manner.

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