paper - The Development of NATO Terrorism and WMD Policy...

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The Development of NATO Terrorism and WMD Policy and its Implementation POLS 273 Professor G. Sanjian November 17, 2006 In April 1949, NATO, and its purpose as a military organization, was established with the Washington Treaty. 1 Article 5 of the treaty reads: The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. 2 This idea of collective defense was the core function of NATO, making the organization the “bedrock of European security and the anchor for maintaining the transatlantic political and military bridge”. 3
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2 As the center of European security, the fear of attack by weapons of mass destruction (WMD), particularly nuclear but also biological and chemical (NBC weapons), has struck the Alliance since its inception. A few months after NATO was formed, the Soviet Union successfully tested its first nuclear weapon. This nuclear capability, paired with the Soviet Union’s superior conventional capacity, encouraged a NATO reliance on nuclear arsenals of its member states and the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Europe and the USSR. 4 As threats to NATO states evolved, so did NATO policy on these threats. The 1980s, particularly after Gorbachev came into power in 1985, brought about arms reduction agreements. After the fall of communism in Europe in 1991, NATO’s focus shifted from NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict to fears of attack from any non-NATO state and a continuing fear of WMD attack. The attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 renewed these fears and produced reports and revised policies and initiatives regarding WMD and terrorism. The purpose of this paper is to describe this evolution of WMD and anti-terrorism policy as well as the differences in the beliefs of European and American leaders in regards to proper response to threats and attacks. The 1980s The American presidential election in 1980 brought in Ronald Reagan and an administration in deep contrast to its predecessor. Unlike President Jimmy Carter, Reagan viewed the world as divided between good and evil and saw the United States as the barrier between good and the evil Soviet empire. 5 Reagan’s anti-Soviet attitude was displayed in American foreign policy and bilateral agreements. When Poland imposed martial law in 1981, Reagan responded by not only
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3 imposing a trade embargo against Poland, but also against the Soviet Union. Europeans saw Reagan’s reaction as an overreaction, especially after the Reagan administration suspended all
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paper - The Development of NATO Terrorism and WMD Policy...

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