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Nixon, Kissinger View on Arms

May 03, 1987

Nixon and Kissinger's criticism of current arms control proposals deserves serious consideration, yet one seems to hear from State Department people such responses as "unrealistic" and "you can't get an agreement on that." Does the Reagan Administration really think any agreement better than none?

Some reflect the view that the imbalance of forces in Europe can be dealt with by the Europeans building up their conventional strength. Now, with conventional force more expensive than nuclear, who is being unrealistic? Moreover, that would be a funny way to disarm. Most important, while one can have "little" quarrels with conventional weapons, the Big Nuclear Devil--give him his due--has for more than 40 years now prevented the Big War.

It would be interesting, too, to hear the Soviets explain why they must keep 100 medium-range missiles. If, as reported, these weapons can reach 3,000 miles, the Soviets could bring into range--with our official approval, mind you--all of Japan and Pakistan, and most of India and China. (Meanwhile, our "counterbalance" missiles could reach mostly salt water.) How long would it take the Soviets, do you suppose, once the ink on such an agreement were dry, to make propaganda hay out of our expressed concern for Europe but lack of concern for the people of Asia?

J. SCOTT

Ontario

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