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Minimum Arsenals

October 24, 1985

Upon reading Kilpatrick's latest column, I found myself utterly flabbergasted by his apparent ignorance and illogic in dealing with this most important subject. His concluding sentence is an avid example: ". . . nuclear war is too serious to be left to the experts anyhow." Would Kilpatrick disregard the advice of heart specialists if he were facing a bypass operation? I think not.

There are numerous statistical and logic flaws in Kilpatrick's article, owing to a visible lack of detailed knowledge of this subject area. While I strongly agree that a superpower nuclear war could be highly destructive and must never be fought, I feel that Kilpatrick's proposal to reduce the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal down to twenty 300-kiloton warheads (he doesn't specify the delivery system) aimed at the 20 largest Soviet cities, regardless of Soviet reciprocity, is both simplistic and naive.

By disregarding the "serious" problems of warhead survivability, alliance defense and cohesion, targeting options, responses to limited nuclear attacks, and the fundamental importance of deterrence in preventing a Soviet attack, Kilpatrick does himself a great disservice, as does anyone who reads his article.

T.D. WILSON

Altadena

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