EUROPE: The Great Nuclear Debate

At issue: the future of the French and British deterrents

Dec. 31, 1985: Frustrated by a six-year-old East-West diplomatic standoff over Afghanistan, the jittery post-Brezhnev leadership in Moscow sends ten Warsaw Pact tank divisions rumbling across the border into West Germany. Pushing back the outnumbered NATO forces, the invaders head for the French border. As the attacking army crosses the Rhine, the French President orders the use of tactical neutron bombs to protect his country's "territorial independence." In response, a Soviet-made SS-20 missile, armed with three nuclear warheads, rises from its silo...

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