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U.S.-Soviet Nuclear Accord

December 13, 1987

I agree with Ernest Conine that the rhetoric surrounding the treaty on intermediate-range nuclear missiles is excessive (Op-Ed Page, Dec. 8). But proponents of the INF treaty are just as guilty as the political right of "wanderings into fantasyland." Take Conine, for example, who writes that the Soviets "are obliged to give up four nuclear warheads to each one eliminated by the American side." The fact of the matter is that the treaty does not require anyone to give up a single warhead. The treaty only requires that some specific delivery systems be given up. In the Soviet case, the missiles slated to be destroyed are largely obsolete and redundant.

If the political right is excessively suspicious, Conine and his side are operating on excessive faith. What we need, and are not getting, are facts.

A new generation of Soviet leaders has discovered that the American political left and right respond to symbols rather than to reality. If we are going to successfully deal with the Soviets, we are going to need more serious people than we have on either side of the rhetoric.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Washington, D.C.

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