Euromissile Negotiations

May 24, 1987

Report Outline
Special Focus


The fate of the most promising superpower arms control negotiations in years may depend as much on London, Paris and Bonn as on Washington and Moscow. The three-day talks in Moscow between Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze and Shultz' meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev ended April 15 with optimistic predictions on both sides of an early agreement on the removal of medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe. Tass, the official Soviet news agency, called the talks “timely and useful,” while Shultz said that” very considerable headway” had been made, adding that “it should be possible to work out an agreement.”

But the secretary of state stressed that acceptance of a new Soviet proposal to eliminate short-range nuclear missiles would depend on the consent of America's West European allies. “We are a member of a strong alliance and on matters of this importance. of course, we don't respond immediately,” he said, “We consult carefully with our allies.” Shultz went directly to Brussels to discuss the proposal with America's increasingly skittish European allies. who are concerned that a reduction in U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe would leave it vulnerable to Soviet conventional forces and weaken nuclear deterrence.

Indeed, the vision of a nuclear-free world is sending shock waves through the continent. Fearful that the United States may decouple its strategic interests from those of Europe, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dismissed that vision as “a dream” when she visited Moscow several weeks ago. “You cannot base a sure defense on dreams.” she told Gorbachev. who has proposed that all nuclear weapons be eliminated within the next 10–15 years. President Reagan, who initially welcomed Gorbachev's proposal during their October 1986 summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, has since backed away from the idea.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Jul. 29, 2016  Modernizing the Nuclear Arsenal
Mar. 08, 2002  Weapons of Mass Destruction
Jan. 31, 1997  Chemical and Biological Weapons
Jun. 24, 1994  Nuclear Arms Cleanup
Jun. 05, 1992  Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 29, 1990  Obstacles to Bio-Chemical Disarmament
Apr. 22, 1988  The Military Build-Down in the 1990s
May 24, 1987  Euromissile Negotiations
Jul. 11, 1986  Chemical Weapons
Apr. 27, 1984  Reagan's Defense Buildup
Jun. 04, 1982  Civil Defense
Jul. 17, 1981  Controlling Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 05, 1981  MX Missile Decision
Aug. 15, 1980  The Neutron Bomb and European Defense
Sep. 07, 1979  Atomic Secrecy
Mar. 17, 1978  Nuclear Proliferation
May 27, 1977  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1977  Politics of Strategic Arms Negotiations
Nov. 15, 1974  Nuclear Safeguards
Jul. 01, 1970  Nuclear Balance of Terror: 25 Years After Alamogordo
Jun. 18, 1969  Chemical–Biological Weaponry
Jun. 30, 1965  Atomic Proliferation
Mar. 21, 1962  Nuclear Testing Dilemmas
Aug. 16, 1961  Shelters and Survival
Oct. 12, 1959  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1959  Nuclear Test Ban
Dec. 04, 1957  Scientific Cooperation and Atlantic Security
May 15, 1957  Changing Defense Concepts
Jul. 03, 1956  Civil Defense, 1956
Nov. 16, 1955  International Arms Deals
Oct. 04, 1954  Industrial Defense
Apr. 15, 1954  National Defense Strategy
Feb. 10, 1954  New Aproaches to Atomic Control
Oct. 10, 1953  Atomic Information
Apr. 11, 1952  Biological Warfare
Oct. 03, 1951  World Arms Race
Feb. 04, 1948  International Control of Atomic Energy
Dec. 06, 1946  International Inspection
Aug. 27, 1943  Gas Warfare
Jul. 24, 1937  The New Race in Armaments
May 05, 1932  Abolition of Aggressive Weapons