FIRING LINE: PULL OUT OF NATO? (TV)

Summary

One in this talk/interview series hosted by William F. Buckley, Jr. In this episode, Buckley is joined by Melvyn Krauss and Lawrence Eagleburger for a discussion on NATO and Western Europe. First, Buckley introduces his guests. Krauss is a professor of economics at New York University, a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute, and the author of the recent book "How NATO Weakens the West." Eagleburger has been a foreign service officer of the United States for twenty-seven years and currently serves as president of Kissinger Associates. After Buckley quotes briefly from Krauss's book, the author theorizes that Western European countries are in the process of making a deal with the Soviets; the Europeans will do what they can to please the Soviet Union if that country will refrain from invading them. Buckley argues that Krauss is talking about a minority of Europeans and that such a situation has not yet materialized. Krauss goes on to discuss the positions of France and Germany, which he views, respectively, as the most independent and most dependent European countries on the United States in terms of defense. Coincidentally, he suggests, France is also the most anti-Soviet of all the European countries, while Germany is the least aggressive toward the Soviet Union. He argues further that American defense support in Europe has created a European dependence on the U.S. and a tendency among Europeans to be more accommodating to Soviet interests. Eagleburger agrees with the point Krauss is making, but he adds that it is important to consider history, particularly the time after World War II. He says he does not believe that withdrawing American troops from Western Europe will make the nations involved do anything to strengthen their military force. Krauss argues against what he calls Eagleburger's "if it's not broken, don't fix it" mentality, and he brings up the $130 billion a year that Americans spend on troops in Western Europe.

The two go on to talk hypothetically about a Soviet invasion of Europe and its possible consequences. Eagleburger argues that the prime imperative is to create a more united Western Europe, and he discusses his reasons for disagreeing with Krauss. Krauss brings up his book again, stressing its argument that the United States has encouraged Europeans to not build up conventional defenses. Buckley interrupts to say that he sees no reason to believe that the Europeans would change their attitude if the United States withdrew American troops. The topic of Communist parties in Europe is then discussed. Krauss goes on to suggest that Europe has been demoralized by the defense support of the United States. He argues that the Soviet Union's greatest fear is a rearmed and united Western Europe; the question is, he adds, whether a pullout of American troops will make such a Europe more likely. Eagleburger disagrees with Krauss's conclusions, and the two go on to debate allied unity and the United States' need for strong allies.

(Network affiliation varies; this program was also syndicated from 1966 to 1971 and from 1975 to 1977.)

Cataloging of this program was made possible by Mr. and Mrs. Theodore R. Stanley.

Details

  • NETWORK: PBS
  • DATE: 1987
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:57:52
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:61854
  • GENRE: Talk/Interviews
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Europe - Defenses
  • SERIES RUN: PBS - TV series, 1971-1999
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Warren Steibel … Producer, Director
    • Paul Sweeney … Associate Producer
    • Dorothy McCartney … Researcher
    • Henry Fasciani … Researcher
    • John Virtes … Researcher
    • Russell Jenkins … Researcher
    • William F. Buckley, Jr. … Host
    • Melvyn Krauss … Guest
    • Lawrence Eagleburger … Guest