Since the 1950’s, nuclear weapons have been the rock upon which the entire NATO defense edifice was built. This initial emphasis on nuclear weapons was a conscious decision by countries tired of war and anxious to get on with the long and costly task of rebuilding their shattered economies. Instead of developing sturdy armies to counter those of the Soviet bloc, the United States and its West European allies chose a less expensive option—an apparently solid defense relying on a relatively small number of overwhelmingly powerful US nuclear weapons. For several decades this nuclear approach served the Alliance well. Its members prospered in evident security. Now the decision has come back to haunt NATO. 1 The West’s emphasis on nuclear weapons has skewed the resulting arms buildup in that direction. Through the decades, the Soviets have matched the US nuclear arsenal while the numbers of weapons on both sides have grown dramatically. The path of nuclear defense, which earlier seemed so beguilingly attractive, now threatens to lead into a blind alley of nuclear standoff. At best, the nuclear stalemate reemphasizes the conventional arsenals, in which the East traditionally has enjoyed superiority. At worst, the dependence on nuclear weapons may lead to cataclysm. More and more insistently the question is raised: Is there another path?