Without sufficiently large conventional armies --which could serve as a pillow in such
instances any minor clash may conceivably evoke the threat of a nuclear response from the treaty-bound transAtlantic ally.
Another argument favouring the stationing of U.S. soldiers in Europe is endorsed by a broad coalition, from Spain's Francisco Franco to French socialists.
In case of a U.S. withdrawal, De Gaulle would be confirmed in his charges of America's unreliability as an ally.
Moreover, a chain reaction might be set off: neutralist tendencies would be strengthened throughout Western Europe; West Germany would be then certain to decide to increase its military potential, which in turn would appear to East Europeans as a grave threat to peace.
A third argument has been advanced by Raymond Aron, the chief columnist of Le Figaro. Aron says that Western
Europe alone does not have at the moment sufficient means to balance the weight of Soviet power.
Until Western Europe can assemble and mobilise its own resources — which may take five or six years—American presence in Europe is indispensable.
Up to such a time, Aron considers U.S. garrisons in Europe necessary for either "a coexistence without a settlement" or "a grand negotiation" with the Fast.