Essay: The Shaky State of NATO

In the rolling Franconian countryside, near the point where West Germany, East Germany and Czechoslovakia meet, a U.S. Army helicopter is giving a brisk guided tour of the frontier. The helicopter cruises parallel to the ugly belt of East German barbed wire and minefields, staying about 100 yds. to the safe side. Occasionally the pilot banks sharply to avoid stray "peninsulas" of East German territory jutting out from the fencing. "You have to know this border by heart," says the pilot. "You could get yourself shot at." His passengers are appreciative. "We call...

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