Deterrence and detente — our primary aims

General Sir Peter Whiteley, KCB, OBE, er født i 1920 og kom i 1940 til Royal Marines som sekondløjtnant. Generalen er uddannet jagerpilot og har efter 2. verdenskrig bl. a. gjort tjeneste i Malaya og Borneo. Efter gennemgang af stabskursus i Camber ley har han tjenestegjort i forskellige stabsstillinger. I perioden 1972—75 var generalen stabschef ved HQ AFNORTH og efter en periode som Commandant General Royal Marines vendte generalen i 1977 tilbage til Kolsås som chef for Nordkommandoen.

I am greatly honoured in being asked to contribute to this issue of Militært tidsskrift. 1977 has been an important year for NATO and in particular for countries of the Northern European Command. In the first place, and most important, has been public recognition of the' growth of military power in the Warsaw Pact and that this increase is not of a predominantly defensive nature. Their conventional forces, backed by a huge arsenal of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons, have been carefully designed to produce a force sufficiently powerful to threaten the isolation of Europe from the vital reinforcement base of America. By the development of modern, powerful and well trained ground, amphibious, air and naval forces they have given themselves the flexibility to deploy wherever within Europe they choose.

The increased threat has been recognized by the NATO Governments and we have a last begun to take some measures to meet the challenge. The agreement by the Nations in response to President Carter’s initiatives in the Defence Planning Committee meeting of May 1977 has been encouraging. In outline these initiatives are that Nations should increase their defense expenditure by not less than 3 % annually in real terms, a number of short term measures should be taken at once to improve our conventional defence posture and in 9 areas of weakness plans should be made for specific and urgent improvement in the context of a long term defence review programme. The represent on the lowest end of a scale a halt to the recent trend towards unilteral disarmament within the NATO alliance and at the other end, a real advance to meet the threat to our security.

There has been no change to the triad of conventional force, theatre nuclear force and strategic nuclear force, on which our defence posture was based, but there is now a recognition that only a substantial strengthening of the conventional forces can preserve the validity the of the concept and prevent an early return to the unacceptably dangerous ’’trip wire” concept of the 60’s. Close co-operation between the national Ministries of Defence, the Chiefs of Defence and the NATO HQs has already proved to be a corner stone for the success of the work associated with the initiatives. I have very much welcomed the continuing opportunities for close and harmonious co-operation with the Royal Danish Forces and Ministry of Defence. I look forward to further success in 1978.

One of my personel priviliges as CINCNORTH and one which I value greatly, has been the opportunity to visit the defence forces. I have been fortunate to spend time with units of the Navy, Army, Air Force and Home Guard. I have also seen some of the schools and fixed installations. During all my visits I have been impressed by the spirit, morale, dedication and high degree of professionalism shown by those involved. We must ensure that deterrence and detente remain our primary aims and that the public is made increasingly aware that these aims and the preservation of peace can only be attained from a position of alertness and strenght. In this respect, all of us who are in the Armed Forces are its Public Relations Officers; we should do our utmost to ensure that our countries’ need for a strong, collective defence system is well understood by the general public.

 

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