[news article published in Pomona College's The Student Life, Friday, December 11, 1987]
NATO Commander Addresses Claremont
By Alex Linder
Recently resigned NATO commander Bernard Rogers gave an address titled "Disarmament and the Balance of Power" at the Bauer Center on Wednesday, November 18.
As Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe, Rogers was directly concerned with the defense-related issues encompassed in the INF treaty, and he spent most of his speech critiquing the treaty and its effect on the NATO-Warsaw Pact balance.
Rogers said that his job was to determine what was best for NATO as a whole. NATO, he pointed out, is made up of fifteen free and independent democracies, many of which are headed by coalitions, making effective leadership frequently difficult.
Rogers also noted that the U.S. and Europe have different sets of concerns. While the U.S. is worried about friction in Europe leading to an American nuclear response, the Europeans oscillate between fear of isolation and getting into an unwanted war.
Turning to the Warsaw Pact, Rogers described Pact attempts to intimidate, coerce, and blackmail the nations of the West which are integral to the Pact's long-term goal of world domination by means of an expansionist foreign policy.
"Gorbachev," said Rogers, "does not have the best interests of the West on his priority list." Rogers went on to note that despite glasnost's facade of openness, there have been no "changes of substance in Soviet foreign policy." The Soviet Union continues to devote 17 percent of its GNP to defense, a significantly higher figure than in the U.S. Further, noted Rogers, membership in NATO is voluntary, unlike the Warsaw Pact.
Before addressing the INF treaty specifically, Rogers laid the groundwork concerning the role of NATO and the recent history of arms control. According to him, the U.S. forward deploys over 300,000 American troops in Europe as a measure of our commitment to defend Europe.
Last edited by Alex Linder; December 6th, 2013 at 04:26 PM.