NATO: Looking Southward

NATO has spent most of its 18 years worrying about the possibility of an attack across its central front by the 89 Communist divisions poised in Eastern Europe. Last week, at the first meeting at NATO's new Brussels headquarters, the defense ministers of the 14 military allies had a new concern: the sudden Soviet buildup in the Mediterranean, on NATO's southern flank.

Last January no more than a dozen Soviet warships sailed upon what has been for years the NATO domain, of the 50-ship U.S. Sixth Fleet. Now 45 to 55 Soviet ships, including missile-firing destroyers, plus a dozen submarines,...

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