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INF Treaty and Arms Control

December 06, 1987

Let me get this straight. Richard Brody and Brian Chow (Op-Ed Page, Nov. 29) are advocating scrapping a treaty to eliminate ground-launched cruise missiles because these systems might be useful as conventional weapons? Keep your eyes on those shells, folks. We've got some real pros working this case.

First, Brody and Chow say that the INF treaty is "fundamentally flawed" because it eliminates ground-launched cruise missiles, upon which "future NATO defense and deterrence are asymmetrically dependent." This debatable (and probably debated) proposition is presented as evident. It isn't.

Second, these gentlemen find a fatal flaw in the fact that the INF treaty is "intrinsically unverifiable." The Soviets might disguise ground-launched cruise missiles as sea-launched cruise missiles. Wow! Holy Fear!

The big problem with cruise missiles in the first place is that they are all intrinsically unverifiable. They can be moved around, put on trains, trucks, planes, trawlers and sheds.

No. Let's quit listening to sophistry and get on with the job of rational arms control. Nothing in life is a sure thing, but with the odds on nuclear buildup leading to nuclear use, the alternative of relinquishing potential or actual nuclear systems by fair-trade treaties is a rational and moral necessity.

JIM SCHRIDER

Santa Monica

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