The View from the United States
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The U.S. debate on NATO nuclear deterrence has been since 1991 a barely visible and sometimes behind-the-scenes contest between the traditional view, which is supportive of long-standing U.S. and NATO policy, and the diverse views of various proponents of change. The principle of maintaining a credible NATO nuclear deterrence posture has continued to command widespread support. Most of the controversy has concerned how to maintain such a posture and, above all, whether nuclear sharing arrangements involving U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe should be sustained. This essay reviews the point of departure for this debate — the decisions taken by the United States government in 1991 — before describing the traditional view and the views of advocates of withdrawal of the residual U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe.