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Gorbachev Cuts Troops

December 18, 1988

Americans should loudly applaud Mikhail Gorbachev's courageous demilitarization of key Eastern Bloc European buffer states. The reduction of Soviet conventional forces from its satellite countries will enhance superpower relations, and the unilateral move is the Soviet Union's most historic reform ever of its once uncompromising foreign policy.

The troop and armor reductions that remove offensive deployment in favor of defensive posturing also morally extend past the recent arms reduction treaty. This unsurpassed act of Soviet good faith means Gorbachev's perestroika will have a full realization.

With the ball now placed squarely in America's court, President-elect George Bush should consider a similar move of non-offensive posturing in relation to the Star Wars defense system. It is a moral obligation that is also a political mandate.

This gesture of good will by Gorbachev mandates a U.S. policy revision of the Strategic Defense Initiative. Its potential offensive capabilities, even if not utilized, surely will undermine Soviet peace proposals in lieu of what Gorbachev's plans entail.

We should continue this momentum of peace gestures to ensure a furthering of friendly relations.

MICHAEL JOHN ROTSTAN

Los Angeles

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