REVIEW ESSAY Helmut Schmidt Euromissiles and the Peace

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HELMUT SCHMIDT AND THE PEACE MOVEMENT 149, hitting European targets in six minutes the SS 20s gave the Soviets an overwhelming. nuclear advantage in the European theater where they already enjoyed conventional military. superiority 3 With strategic nuclear parity between the superpowers having reduced the cred. ibility of the intercontinental American nuclear guarantee the unanswered Soviet intermediate. range deployment raised the specter of decoupling the non nuclear states of Western. Europe from their nuclear protector the United States 4 Unless America was unswervingly. prepared to risk the sacrifice of one of its cities to save a German one West Germany might be. vulnerable to Soviet political blackmail 5, In December 1979 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO responded to the. Soviet deployments by announcing its Dual Track Decision NATO would begin. deploying Tomahawk Cruise and Pershing II Euromissiles in West Germany and in at. least one other country by the fall of 1983 track two if negotiations for reciprocal. limits track one failed 6 This decision came to pass largely because of an early warning. from the West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt In a now legendary English language. speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London on October 28 1977. Schmidt publicly aired European concerns that strategic i e intercontinental nuclear. parity had reduced the credibility of the American nuclear guarantee and magnified the. need to address military imbalances within the European theater 7 But the Dual Track. Decision also produced a formidable Western backlash a peace movement that staged. some of the largest popular protests of the entire Cold War. been deployed in 1976 Nuclear Crisis 73 By October 1983 i e one month before the onset of Western. counterdeployments of Cruise and Pershing II missiles the Soviets had roughly 250 SS 20s aimed at. Western Europe along with 175 aimed at Asian countries See Walter Pincus Soviets Posture Shifts. As SS 20s Deployed Washington Post Oct 25 1983 Each SS 20 could carry three individually targeted. W R Smyser From Yalta to Berlin New York St Martin s 1999 280. Defense Minister Georg Leber SPD June 1976 quoted by William Burr in Euromissiles 127. Contemporaries employed an alphabet s soup of abbreviations for weapons whose range was less than. intercontinental but more than battlefield tactical The designation TNF Theater Nuclear Forces origi. nally referred to battlefield tactical weapons whose range was less than 100 kilometers But TNF modern. ization was partly a response to Soviet deployment of mobile multiple warhead Intermediate Range. Ballistic Missiles IRBMs also called INFs the SS 20s The range of these missiles was 5 000 kilometers. Tim Geiger and Oliver Bange in Nuclear Crisis 54 58 71 Ultimately the Western Euromissiles were. Ground Launched Cruise Missiles GLCMs and Pershing II missiles whose range reached 2 500 kilometers. Bange in Nuclear Crisis 72 It can be confusing that these weapons systems were sometimes called Long. Range or Long Range TNF to distinguish them from Short Range Nuclear Forces SNF On the. Western side the latter were known as Lance missiles which had a range of circa 130 kilometers and whose. nuclear payload could have been the neutron bomb discussed later To avoid terminological confusion the. term long range will not be used in this essay Non intercontinental missiles whose range matched European. continental dimensions Cruise missiles Pershing IIs SS 20s and certain predecessors will be referred to. consistently as Euromissiles or INFs Since SS 20s could be redeployed in Siberia to threaten Japan. their mobility further complicated any negotiations to remove them from the European theater. The foundational work here is Jeffrey Herf War by Other Means Soviet Power West German Resistance and. the Battle of the Euromissiles New York Free Press 1991 Older work includes Thomas Risse Kappen The. Zero Option Boulder CO Westview 1988 Lothar R hl Mittelstreckenwaffen in Europa Baden Baden. Nomos 1987 Strobe Talbott Deadly Gambits New York Vintage 1984 Besides the publications. under review in this essay recent work includes Phillip Gassert Tim Geiger and Hermann Wentker. eds Zweiter Kalter Krieg und Friedensbewegung Der NATO Doppelbeschluss in deutsch deutscher und interna. tionaler Perspektive Munich Oldenbourg 2011, Helmut Schmidt The 1977 Alastair Buchan Memorial Lecture Survival 20 no 1 1978 2 10. Downloaded from https www cambridge org core IP address 149 202 202 5 on 23 Aug 2020 at 18 26 59 subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use available at. https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0008938919000104. 150 NOEL D CARY, Marking Schmidt s one hundredth birthday anniversary the following essay critically. examines two recent biographies of Schmidt before sampling the most recent topical litera. ture on the chancellor and the anti nuclear protests that took place during his administration. A new edition of journalist Michael Schwelien s bestselling 2003 biography which was revised. and reissued one month after Schmidt s death late in 2015 supplies a convenient point of entry. for assessing the public memory of Schmidt and his record Kristina Spohr s succinct but dense. analysis of the Global Chancellor s crucial role in the crises involving energy and armaments. issues helps pull together the policy strands that made Schmidt the most versatile Western leader. of his epoch A book by Andrew Tompkins turns the tables by using the issue of civilian nuclear. power to explore the pushback against technocratic excess as seen from the bottom up Two. edited anthologies featuring an international group of nearly fifty experts delve into various. aspects of the missile crisis from above and below The first one henceforth referred to as. Euromissiles offers three focal points the national and transnational deliberations that led to. NATO s Dual Track Decision the motives behind the Soviets unilateral SS 20 deployments. and international public opinion The second Nuclear Crisis revisits the origins of the crisis and. then concentrates on the peace movement, Armed with memoirs and interviews and taking advantage of extensive access to the.
papers of Schmidt Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan Spohr reinforces the work of previous. authors who note Schmidt s sure handedness Carter s lack of it and Reagan s fortuitous. combination of instinct and timing 8 The topical studies for their part bring forth new per. spectives on the development of movement politics and the origins of NATO policy 9 On. the whole Schmidt emerges as a figure whose handling of multiple existential crises was. abetted by a wisdom that crucially facilitated both the augmentation of Western strength. and the Cold War s soft landing Yet the antinuclear and peace movements for all their. errors of judgment and their frequently polarizing impact succeeded at least in deepening. democratic engagement and in lastingly enhancing mainstream awareness of major issues. at the intersection of politics and applied science. For a lively overview see Smyser From Yalta to Berlin Schwelien remains more skeptical of Reagan. Moving beyond leadership qualities and personality differences Klaus Wiegrefe notes differences in the. effects of the 1970s oil crisis on West Germany and the United States the natural desire of a rising power. for more latitude and an inadequate American understanding of the changing West German political. scene See Klaus Wiegrefe Das Zerw rfnis Helmut Schmidt Jimmy Carter und die Krise der deutsch amerikani. schen Beziehungen Berlin Propyl en 2005 See also Hartmut Soell Helmut Schmidt 1969 bis heute Macht. und Verantwortung Munich Deutsche Verlags Anstalt 2006 Hans Joachim Noack Helmut Schmidt Die. Biographie Berlin Rowohlt Berlin 2008 Martin Rupps Helmut Schmidt Ein Jahrhundertleben 2nd ed. Freiburg Herder 2013 Relevant memoirs include Helmut Schmidt Men and Powers A Political. Retrospective trans Ruth Hein New York Random House 1990 idem Die deutschen und ihre. Nachbarn Menschen und M chte II Munich Goldmann 1992 Hans Dietrich Genscher Erinnerungen. Berlin Siedler 1995 Franz Josef Strauss Die Erinnerungen Berlin Siedler 1989 Jimmy Carter. Keeping Faith Memoirs of a President New York Bantam 1982 Zbigniew Brzezinski Power and. Principle Memoirs of the National Security Advisor 1977 1981 New York Farrar Straus and Giroux. 1983 Cyrus Vance Hard Choices Critical Years in America s Foreign Policy New York Simon and. Schuster 1983 For an insider s defense of Carter s presidency see also Stuart Eizenstat President Carter. The White House Years New York Thomas Dunne 2018, In addition to the publications under review see Gassert et al Zweiter Kalter Krieg Eckart Conze Martin. Klimke and Jeremy Varon eds Nuclear Threats Nuclear Fear and the Cold War of the 1980s New York. Cambridge University Press 2016 Matthias Schulz and Thomas A Schwartz eds The Strained Alliance. U S European Relations from Nixon to Carter New York Cambridge University Press 2010. Downloaded from https www cambridge org core IP address 149 202 202 5 on 23 Aug 2020 at 18 26 59 subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use available at. https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0008938919000104. HELMUT SCHMIDT AND THE PEACE MOVEMENT 151,Lord of the Flood. The crises Schmidt faced were legion As Chancellor Willy Brandt s third finance minister in. three years Schmidt inherited the collapse in 1971 of Bretton Woods i e the dollar. based gold convertible fixed exchange international currency regime In the fall of 1973. came a Middle Eastern oil embargo bringing simultaneous recession and inflation stagfla. tion and interrupting the momentum toward European integration Schmidt s accession to. the chancellorship the next spring followed the discovery of an East German spy on Brandt s. staff By retaining the chairmanship of the Social Democratic Party SPD Brandt still his. party s favorite son problematically interjected himself between his moderate successor. and their party s left leaning base Schmidt s chancellorship 1974 1982 coincided with. worsening stagflation radical domestic terrorism vigorous protests against domestic. nuclear power plants turmoil within the SPD and the North Atlantic alliance over deploying. the neutron bomb another oil price shock in 1979 and last but not least the collapse of. superpower d tente This last development involved the post Vietnam extension of. Soviet power into further areas of Asia and Africa a Soviet naval buildup and watershed. Cold War crises over Afghanistan Poland and the missile deployments. Schmidt s predecessor Willy Brandt was known as a visionary It was he who had trans. formed German foreign policy through bold but calibrated engagement with the East. known as Ostpolitik 10 But the moody Brandt proved better at initiating dramatic change. in one area than at handling the daily flood of governmental decision making Schmidt. seemed to embody the reverse As a local official he had achieved national prominence. through his life saving response to a genuine flood the deadly natural disaster of 1962 in. his native city of Hamburg Over the next two decades the Lord of the Flood built a rep. utation as a crisis manager a man who got things done Macher rather than as a man with a. vision 11 But it was Schmidt whose vision or at least foresight led NATO to take timely. action on the missile issue, The conservative Christian Democratic Union CDU its Bavarian sister party the. Christian Social Union CSU and the liberal and business oriented Free Democratic. Party FDP all supported the Dual Track Decision whereas much of Schmidt s own. party including Brandt was skeptical In 1981 1982 complicated machinations by the. FDP over budgetary policy further roiled the governing Social Liberal coalition which. had been in power since 1969 On September 17 1982 the FDP s governmental ministers. resigned led by Foreign Minister and Party Chairman Hans Dietrich Genscher Two weeks. later the FDP joined the opposition CDU CSU in voting no confidence in Schmidt and. replacing him with Helmut Kohl of the CDU Schmidt had used the FDP s maneuvers to. choreograph the terms of his own fall around economic issues In this way his party remained. united in its nominal support for him But it was in large measure the missile crisis and the. For detailed discussions of the enormous literature on Ostpolitik see Julia von Dannenberg The. Foundations of Ostpolitik Oxford Oxford University Press 2008 Noel D Cary Reassessing Germany s. Ostpolitik From D tente to Refreeze Central European History 33 no 2 2000 235 62 idem. Reassessing Germany s Ostpolitik From Refreeze to Reunification Central European History 33 no 3. 2000 369 90, Der Spiegel March 7 1962 as quoted in Spohr Global Chancellor 42. Downloaded from https www cambridge org core IP address 149 202 202 5 on 23 Aug 2020 at 18 26 59 subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use available at. https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0008938919000104. 152 NOEL D CARY, dissension it caused in the SPD that made Schmidt reach the end of his tether 12 With his.
departure from the chancellorship the crisis manager left behind his greatest crisis with. no solution in sight, Yet even so a solution did come In November 1981 President Reagan proposed his. Zero Option no INFs for either alliance with dismantlement and intrusive forms of. inspection Since only the Soviets had already deployed INFs Reagan s critics deemed. Relevant memoirs include Helmut Schmidt Men and Powers A Political Retrospective trans Ruth Hein New York Random House 1990 idem Die deutschen und ihre Nachbarn Menschen und M chte II Munich Goldmann 1992 Hans Dietrich Genscher Erinnerungen Berlin Siedler 1995 Franz Josef Strauss Die Erinnerungen Berlin Siedler 1989 Jimmy Carter Keeping Faith Memoirs of a

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