A Plan to Reshape NATO

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panoply of weapons. For example, there are at least five kinds of battle tanks within NATO, different types of artillery and different standards for calculating the rate of consuming ammunition. In a major conflict it would be nearly impossible to keep this hodgepodge offerees supplied.

Thus the paradox: the vitality of the Atlantic Alliance requires Europe to develop greater identity and coherence in the field of defense. I am not talking about traditional "burden sharing," paying more for the existing effort. I have in mind something more structural—a more rational balance of responsibilities. The present allocation of responsibilities fails to bring the allies to reflect naturally about either security or political objectives. Everyone has been afraid to take the initiative in changing the present arrangement, lest doing so unravel the whole enterprise. But since drift will surely lead to unraveling—if more imperceptibly—statesmanship impels a new approach.


Structural reform cannot substitute for a sense of purpose and clear doctrine. But if pursued with care and sensitivity, it can help catalyze the development of shared political purposes. These common objectives require that European judgments on security, East-West diplomacy and other matters emerge from Europe's own analysis. Mere acquiescence in American decisions, briefings and pressures provides a facade of unity; shared purposes require a deeper sense of participation. Specifically:

1) By 1990 Europe should assume the major responsibility for conventional ground defense. This is well within the capability of a group of countries with nearly one and one-half times the population and twice the G.N.P. of the Soviet Union. The Soviets, moreover, have to divide their forces on at least two fronts.

2) This requires that planning for Europe's defense become a more explicitly European task. Heretofore, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) has been American. In the new arrangement a European officer should take that traditionally American place, probably with a U.S. deputy. Such a change is also likely to give a new perspective to allied strategic planning. The U.S. has generally achieved its military successes by the weight of the equipment that our vast industrial potential has made available. This has tended to tempt our military leaders to equate strategy with logistics. European nations have rarely enjoyed such a material margin; rather, they have had to rely on superior leadership, training, initiative and tactics—precisely what NATO needs in an age of nuclear parity and renewed emphasis on conventional defense.

3) Since the beginning of NATO, the Secretary-General, who is responsible for running the alliance's political machinery, has been European. In the new structure, with its greater emphasis on political coordination, it would make more sense for this official to be American—whenever the new Secretary-General, Lord Carrington, decides to retire. Meantime, no Western leader is better qualified for guiding NATO's transition than the wise and thoughtful Carrington.

4) Europe should take over those arms-control negotiations that deal with weapons stationed on European soil. The INF negotiations with the Soviets (for intermediate-range missiles) and the MBFR negotiations (on conventional

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