EVENTUALLY, THERE WAS A LONG SERIES OF MEETINGS SET UP AMONGST SOMETHING
CALLED THE HIGH LEVEL GROUP. WHAT WAS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE DISCUSSIONS THAT TOOK PLACE IN
THE HIGH LEVEL GROUP IN THE LEADING UP TO SORT OF 1979?
Well you know, the military people thought that our strategy or flexible
response might get endangered. The western systems, the medium range systems grew older. And,
must be some sort of renovation, of modernization. This was one thing, and the second one is we
need weapons to match the spread of SS-20. But we always tried, us Germans, to find an answer
whether the system should be sea-based. We knew at this time that a land-based deployment of the
Pershings and the cruise missiles, would create enormous problems. We didn't know that those
problems would be so enormous, but we feared that there would be some problems. Unfortunately,
the Americans never accepted our ideas, but other west European part, European partners neither.
For example, the Norwegians told us, while the systems would be sea-based, we would never allow
the ships to get into Norwegian ports. Therefore, you know, this debate led to nothing. At the
end we had to accept or where to choose. Whether saying no, accepting the land-basing, and we
accepted the land-basing. So we weren't very much happy about it.