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Battleground of the Alliance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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“Be afraid. Nuclear death threatens us all!” So read the banners unfurled at this June's biennial assembly of the German Protestant Churches in Hamburg. In Frankfurt a businessman was adamant. “The best days are behind us. Now the Americans will drag us into a nuclear war. And all for what?”

Fear is abroad in West Germany, fear of what may happen if American medium-range rockets are installed on West German soil to counter the threat from the Soviet SS-20, Opposition to the proposed deployment has emerged as the one issue that may crystallize the disparate strands of unease and discontent within the country into something much more powerful-something that could, if unchecked, not only hasten the collapse of the ruling coalition of Social and Free Democrats, but rock the foundations of the Atlantic Alliance until it collapses.

Research Article
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1981

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