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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Letter from Premier Bulganin to President Eisenhower, on European security, the Rapacki Plan, and disarmament, December 10, 1957,   pp. 220-226 PDF (3.2 MB)

Page 222

tions of this alliance is expected of them. No little pressure is being
exerted upon them to obtain consent for the stationing of nuclear and
rocket weapons in their territory.
Apparently for the purpose of reducing the dangers which are fully
understandable and are caused in these countries by the prospect of
having nuclear weapons stationed in their territory, military circles
in the West are attempting to implant the idea that the so-called
"tactical" atomic weapons are not very different from conventional
types of weapons and that their use would not entail as destructive
results as that of atomic and hydrogen bombs. One cannot fail to
see that such reasoning, designed to mislead public opinion, consti-
tutes a dangerous attempt to justify preparation for unleashing an
atomic war.
Where can all this lead?
The military situation of the U.S.A. itself, in our opinion, will in
no way improve as a result of this; the U.S.A. will become no less
vulnerable, while the danger of war will increase still further.
It is doubtful that such a policy would even lead to a strengthen-
ing of relations between the U.S.A. and its European allies. The
contrary might be true, for in the last analysis no country can be
content with a situation where it is compelled to sacrifice its inde-
pendence for the sake of strategic plans that are alien to its national
interests and to risk receiving a blow because of the fact that foreign
military bases are situated in its territory.
As for plans to transfer nuclear weapons to allies of the U.S.A.
in Europe, such a step can only further aggravate an already com-
plicated situation on that continent, initiating a race in atomic arma-
ments among European states.
One likewise cannot fail to take into account, for example, the fact
that the placing of nuclear weapons at the disposal of the Federal
Republic of Germany may set in motion such forces in Europe and
entail such consequences as even the NATO members may not con-
One of the arguments advanced in military circles in the West to
justify the demand for expanding military preparations is the so-
called theory of "local wars." It must be most strongly emphasized
that this "theory" is not only absolutely invalid from the military
standpoint but it also extremely dangerous politically. In the past
too, as we all know, global wars have been set off by "local" wars.
Is it possible to count seriously on the possibility of "localizing"
in our time when there exist military groupings opposing one another
in the world and including dozens of states in various parts of the
world, and when the range of modern types of weapons does not
know any geographic limits?
One's attention is also attracted by reports regarding the existence
of plans for combining in some form the military blocs created by
the Western powers in various parts of the world-NATO, SEATO,
and the Baghdad Pact. I cannot but say to you, Mr. President, that
we evaluate the development of such plans as a trend directly opposed
to the principles of a joint strengthening of international peace and
security, in the name of which the U.N. was created with the active
participation of our two countries. In fact, if even now the existence
of so-called military blocs exerts a baneful influence on the entire

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