The Soviet Union And The Politics Of Nuclear Weapons In Europe, 1969-1977
By Jonathan Haslam
Cornell University Press, 1990, 227 pp.
Why did the Soviet Union deploy SS-20 missiles aimed at Europe-intimidation, arms racing, sheer inertia, an unintended effect of arms control, or a bargaining chip? This British scholar's answer combines all of these but leans heavily on the last. Thus Moscow reversed course and agreed to dismantle the SS-20 when it finally became clear that its strategy had failed. Haslam reckoned, at least before recent events, that Moscow had learned only a limited lesson from the episode: not the hazard of trying to achieve security through unilateral action, but rather that Western Europe, if still dependent on the United States, "is fully capable of upsetting the superpower apple cart by mobilizing U.S. power to Soviet disadvantage."