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Perle's Departure From Pentagon

March 23, 1987

Perle was actually the only one who saw the light in the dark days of the rapidly multiplying SS-20s, three-warhead atomic menace, by insisting on a "zero option" in the long and arduous negotiations with an obstinate and intractable Soviet Union.

This steadfast position became the official policy of the United States, with Perle in the vanguard, adamantly demanding compliance with the zero-option principle.

After suddenly and ominously terminating negotiations, the Soviets also saw the light of Perle's zero option (having no other option) came back, but only after five years and a couple of dead dictators, accepting Perle's principle was Mikhail Gorbachev himself.

Had Pike's position of caving in to the Kremlin prevailed, we would now have an extremely dangerous impasse in Europe.

Pike, in his blind dislike of Perle, apparently did not comprehend this U.S. triumph at the time. All he saw in Perle's zero option was a traitorous wrecking of the Euromissile negotiations of the early 1980s.

Rarely have I seen such an undercurrent of disdain in an editorial column.

Pike's gloating at Perle's resignation from the Defense Department is too obvious.

LOUIS E. HYMAN

Los Angeles

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