Détente and the origins of the euromissile crisis, 1969-1979

The "Euromissile Crisis" was a defining event of the late Cold War. As traditionally interpreted, it began with the NATO 1979 "Dual-Track Decision" to deploy additional 572 warheads in Europe installed on new generation cruise and Pershing missiles. The missiles would not be deployed until 1983 and in this four-year window, the United States and the Soviet Union attempted to resolve the issue by means of arms control. The research question that guided this dissertation was: Why did NATO decide to procure and install new long-range cruise missiles in 1979? This dissertation has argued that the decision to deploy these weapons was largely divorced from the kind of rational considerations regarding military doctrines for the deployment and employment of nuclear weapons that NATO ascribed to it. This dissertation argues, instead, that the roots of the dual-track decision were to be found, to a large extent, in the détente and the arms control processes that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the concurrent rise of Europe as a significant actor in devising the nuclear policy and politics of the Alliance. In arguing this, the dissertation also proposes a historiographical revision, a transformation of the "Euromissile crisis" from a four-year "crisis" to a long durée, more complex and nuanced historical process, an unintended consequence of détente and arms control that developed in the strategic, cultural and political context of the long 1970s.


Publication infos:
Geneva, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, 2017
Publication year:
2017
Number of pages:
214 p.
PhD Director(s):
Directeur de thèse : Professeur Jussi Hanhimäki
Call number:
HEITH 1228

Note: The file is under embargo until: 2020-11-27


 Record created 2018-02-06, last modified 2019-08-06

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