In a flurry of cables from February 1986, Canadian assessments focused on a chronic issue within NATO: in consultation within the alliance. The Special Consultative Group was used as a forum to “air views of allies,” hold briefings on the current state of negotiations, and to share a new negotiating position right before it was tabled. Canadian officials also warned of disagreement to come between the Europeans and the Americans over the “zero option,” the longstanding proposal to reduce both US and Soviet INF to zero.
February 27, 1986
Brussels to Department of External Affairs (Canada), 'Zero Option and the Europeans'
Canadian officials warned of disagreement to come between the Europeans and the Americans over the “zero option,” the longstanding proposal to reduce both US and Soviet INF to zero. This dispatch from Brussels reported “substantial unhappiness” amongst the Europeans that the United States and the Soviet Union would discuss disarmament “even if neither of them believed in it.” Nuclear deterrence had prevented war in Europe for the preceding four decades, and US-Soviet discussions of disarmament only made it even more difficult to convince public opinion of deterrence’s continued importance
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