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INF Agreement

February 04, 1988

In Henry Kissinger's article "Gorbachev Greets an Antagonist" (Opinion, Jan. 17), Kissinger stated that "Almost all wars have been caused by the failure to solve central political issues, not by arms races." While this claim is true, using it to attack the Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement is unsound.

Kissinger failed to point out what the central political issues between the Soviet Union and the United States are. The principle problems between our two nations are a lack of communication and a lack of trust. Were these "central political issues" resolved, war would certainly be averted.

Kissinger seems to feel that the INF agreement will only be effective in treating the symptoms of political tension (the arms race), and that it will not be effective in treating the causes of that tension. The reality of the situation is that arms control provides solutions to both of the above stated problems. The summits and negotiations leading to a successful arms control agreement allow necessary interpersonal communication between Soviet and American leaders. Once established, the arms control agreement will create opportunities for trust between our two nations.

We would be foolish to trust the Soviets completely at this point, and our current arms control agreement certainly does not require that we do this. It does give the Soviets an opportunity to earn our trust, as well as giving us an opportunity to earn theirs.

The INF agreement thus is not only a symptomatic solution, but a casual one as well. It opens the doors for trust and communication. Once open, these doors will provide the solutions needed to many other problems facing the two world powers, not the least of which is the prevention of global annihilation.

JAMES D. NEWMAN

Fullerton

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