World: Europe: Of Defense and D

IN its 21 years of existence, NATO has always had the rich kid's problem: it carries plenty of big bills but is forever short of small change. U.S. nuclear warheads have protected the alliance's 14 other members against the doomsday stockpile of any potential aggressor, but the problem has been with less powerful armaments.

In the 1960s, NATO planners began to broaden their defenses with a strategy of "flexible response," employing larger numbers of conventional forces, backed by tactical nuclear weapons. But the shift in emphasis came slowly, and so did the money to...

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