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Viewing the Cold War

June 13, 1988

Brzezinski claims the Soviets spend 20% of their gross national produce on defense and that Western confidence in perestroika should await "truly significant cuts in Soviet military expenditures."

He doesn't state what percent of our GNP (or that of the NATO/Warsaw powers) is spent on defense and he neglects to mention that our GNP is more than twice that of the Soviets so that 10% of our GNP would produce twice as much money. (Incidently, the World Almanac for 1988 says the Soviets spent 12-15% of their GNP on defense.) Also, he doesn't consider that Russia has very long land boarders with China and Europe and has been invaded by Europeans twice in this century.

This is typical of the selective statistics and considerations which the Cold War warriors use to influence, confuse and frighten American voters into giving more and more of our resources to the arms makers. These warriors cannot seem to adjust to the fact that modern war is not cost effective, even for the winner (but it is very cost effective for the arms makers). The warriors also seem unable to comprehend that a workable arms reduction deal must preserve the safety of the Soviets as well as the Western nations.

Survival has always depended on the ability to adapt to changing situations and needs. Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev demonstrate this ability, but our Cold War warriors may yet make dinosaurs of us all.

VIRGINIA LOUAILLIER

Woodland Hills

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