The Missiles of Europe

In the jargon of nuclear strategists, the linkage of West European security to the U.S. nuclear arsenal has always been known as coupling. American bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons were first flown to Europe in 1948 as a gesture of resolve during the Berlin blockade. It was not long before the Soviet Union began building up its own Euromissile arsenal, which eventually surpassed that of the West. In 1979 NATO decided to modernize its intermediate-range nuclear forces by procuring 108 Pershing II ballistic missiles (now all in place) and 464 low-flying cruise missiles (160 of which are already installed). When...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!