Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XXXIX, European Security

  • Douglas E. Selvage
General Editor:
  • Edward C. Keefer


This volume focuses on the topic of European Security, a key foreign policy concern for both the Nixon and Ford administrations. It is centered around the basic questions the U.S. Government faced: how best to achieve security and cooperation in Europe, and how to reduce both NATO and Warsaw Pact forces in Europe. This volume has a broader scope than most, and covers the entire span of both the Nixon and Ford administrations, 1969–1976. While the general focus is European security, the specific focus is on two overriding issues that faced the Nixon and Ford administrations: 1) whether to hold a conference on European security attended by the United States and its NATO allies, and the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies; and 2) whether the United States and its European allies would negotiate an agreement with the Soviet Union and its East European allies on mutual and balanced force reductions (MBFR) in Europe. Both President Richard M. Nixon and Henry A. Kissinger (Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and after September 1973, Secretary of State) were skeptical that a conference on European security would achieve very much—they believed that the Europeans were overestimating its potential impact. There were also related issues, such as whether to combine the security conference with negotiations on force reductions. In addition, the question of negotiations with the NATO allies looms large in the volume, which includes many memoranda of conversation between U.S. officials and their NATO counterparts.