Tension in the Western Alliance:
Europe Awaits the Meeting at the Top
SOVIET Premier Khrushchev’s impending visit to the United States, and President Eisenhower’s visit to Europe to consult with America’s principal allies, come as the climax to a summer in which the content and method of Western diplomacy has been under critical scrutiny. As early as June, when the Atlantic Congress met in London to celebrate the first ten years of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, real disagreements about the role of the alliance were evident, disagreements which reflected genuine uncertainty as to NATO’s relevance in a strategic and political situation very different from that of 1949. The uneasy debate that has been going on for some time within NATO, and even more markedly among some of its principal European members, has involved not only the major problems of world politics but also the economic relations of the Western European “Little Six” (France, West Germany, Italy, and the Benelux countries) to the other European states.
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