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Arms Control and Deterrence: The Euromissiles, Then and Now

03 Sep 2023 - 10:28
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Paper series - Strategic Stability: Deterrence and Arms Control

Arms Control and Deterrence: The Euromissiles, Then and Now

The prospects for meaningful arms control negotiations seem slim these days. In recent years, commentators have speculated widely about the decline of arms control in international politics. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, widening the war first launched in 2014, has only exacerbated this sense of pessimism about the future of arms control.

Looking to the past can help us consider the advantages and potential risks resulting from this broad approach. Revisiting the history of NATO’s struggles over the Euromissiles – the theater nuclear forces (TNF) or intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) deployed in Europe during the late Cold War – can shed light on some of the basic dilemmas and difficulties facing arms control and deterrence today. With that in mind, what follows highlights four central takeaways from the history of the Euromissiles before turning to reflect on the similarities and differences between then and now.


The authors

Susan Colbourn

Edited by Paul van Hooft - The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS)