Theater nuclear force modernization as an issue in West German politics, 1977-1980
Glad, Thomas Carl
Yost, David S.
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This thesis reviews the dominant opinions within the main political groupings of West Germany regarding the two major theater nuclear modernization issues of the recent past-enhanced radiation weapons (ERW) and long range theater nuclear forces (LRTNF) . The broad strategic context of both the ERW and LRTNF questions sets the scene for exploration of the major hypothesis : whether differences in the capabilities of proposed new theater nuclear systems are a principal variable in explaining the positions adopted by each of the three major political party groupings in West Germany--the CDU/CSU, the SPD-FDP government, and the left wing of the SPD. The thesis concludes that weapons characteristics did influence the government . Characteristics of the political balance in the West German political system, however, as well as perceptions of Soviet threat and reliability of American guarantees to Europe, were also significant.
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