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McNamara on Nuclear Strategy

February 12, 1987

Former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara's article (Opinion, Jan. 25), "Nuclear Proposals, Disposals," was very constructive and deserves appreciation.

I thank your newspaper for publishing good articles such as this. All existing nuclear proposals in the world must only be disposed as they won't work for their intended purposes.

The thoughts and views expressed by the former secretary of defense and former president of World Bank were very wise and meaningfully realistic.

Even though the famous scientist Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a warning that it was essential for the United States to quickly develop nuclear weapons at that time nearly 50 years ago, military use of nuclear weapons will ever become neither essential nor rationally acceptable for human survival for all times in the future.

Even if they were once used by the United States in Japan in 1945 by the late President Harry S. Truman due to certain circumstances that were beyond control at that time, these nuclear weapons will not be used in the future, as humanity has now fully realized and is more aware of their dangers than they were 40 years ago.

Neither the United States nor the Soviet Union will ever be able to develop any strategic plans for the use of nuclear weapons in the national interests to gain any advantages except to destroy each other and a major part of the world.

Despite the clear evidence of the above facts, the world now possesses more than 50,000 nuclear weapons after spending trillions of dollars that could have been constructively used otherwise for the relief of poverty, eradicating diseases and illiteracy, and for other humanitarian purposes.

Both superpowers must soon change their defense course as quickly as they can with proper future vision, necessary insight, rational defense strategy, and wisely workable national security direction without spilling over a large portion of tax funds for worthless defense purposes all the time.

Neither the United States nor the Soviet Union can ever survive a full-scale nuclear first strike before planning the second strike, and hence both nations must only have to abandon all their plans for full-scale nuclear attack against each other.

I agree with McNamara's conclusions that "any attempt to strengthen deterrence by adding strategic defenses to strategic offensive forces will lead to a rapid escalation of the arms race," and we can't have both deployment of "Star Wars" and arms control at the same time. We must finally give up the one that makes no sense in order to rationally achieve the other that really makes sense.

There is no other alternative for the United States except to stop the deployment of an anti-ballistic missile defense system if the United States is to know how to achieve some progress in arms control. There is no use to pursue a nuclear strategy that is fully bankrupt with no military value.

McNamara's proposition that all nuclear warheads have no military use whatsoever except to deter an opponent's use of such weapons for mere psychological satisfaction will also become a globally recognized fact in the future.

DONTHALA P. REDDY

Garden Grove

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