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INF Treaty and Arms Control

December 06, 1987

Brody and Chow find the INF agreement "fundamentally flawed" because, they claim, it would ban all intermediate-range, ground-launched cruise missiles, conventional as well as nuclear. As a result they claim the agreement would do great harm to efforts to increase the robustness of NATO's conventional defenses and allow the Soviets to "trade a small part of their current nuclear arsenal for a major constraint on future NATO conventional defenses." These claims are simply not true.

Again and again in their column, Brody and Chow state that the INF agreement would ban all intermediate-range, ground-launched non-nuclear cruise missiles. According to all information so far made public concerning the INF agreement, this statement is demonstrably false. That agreement is between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and bans only U.S. and Soviet weapons. It does not restrict the weapons of any other nation. There is no technological, economic or legal bar preventing development and deployment of similar missiles by France, Great Britain and the Federal Republic of Germany, if they wish to do so.

In fact, if the cruise missiles in question are of such importance, the INF agreement offers a splendid opportunity for Europe to demonstrate increased cooperation and resolve in defense matters. Let France and West Germany, and perhaps also Great Britain if not all of NATO, undertake the joint development of a non-nuclear, intermediate-range, ground-launched cruise missile. This would help to provide for the common defense and to quiet critics of the INF agreement.

BERNARD SPRINGER

Encino

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