Deterrence and Defense: Opportunities for a Future European Defense Policy

Working Papers

Published By


March 1997

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The renewed American debate over ballistic missile defenses (BMD) echoes loudly in NATO, in Europe, and in France. This issue will be decisive for the future of European political organization and its security and defense. The issue will also be important for the future of relations between Europe, the United States, and Russia.

Faced with the potential threat of ballistic missiles equipped with nuclear warheads (or biological and chemical payloads) that could strike French and European territories, deterrence is sufficient and offers the greatest cost-effectiveness. In this analysis, the question of the broadening of the French and British deterrent and the political organization of a possible European anti-missile defense system will be discussed. Then, a new transatlantic strategic partnership, the robustness of which lies in counterbalancing the vulnerabilities of its members, will be described.

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