The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence

By Francis A. Boyle | Go to book overview
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The Deadlocked Geneva Negotiations

It is the purpose of this chapter to analyze the prospects for success during the current round of stalemated negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union at Geneva over nuclear and space weapons. These negotiations consist of two interrelated components: First, negotiations on President Reagan's so-called Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), which involve new antiballistic missile system technologies in space and on the ground as well as antisatellite weapons. Second, strategic nuclear arms reduction talks (i.e. START), which, in essence, are a continu- ation of a previous set of negotiations on this subject between the United States and the Soviet Union that were broken off by the latter in December of 1983 in direct reaction to the decision by the Federal Republic of Germany to permit the actual deployment of U.S. Pershing 2 missiles there during the immediately preceding month. 1

A third element of the Geneva negotiations that dealt with so-called Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) successfully culminated in the U.S.-USSR Treaty on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, signed at Washington, D.C. on December 8, 1987. 2 INF are therefore no longer (or at least not yet again) a serious source of contention between the two superpowers and their respective European allies. Nevertheless, the Reagan administration precipitated another mini-crisis in the NATO Alliance by its insistence upon the modernization of shorter-range nuclear weapons systems that fell below the INF Treaty's threshold, most of which will be deployed in Germany. 3

Although both elements of the race between the two superpowers to deploy new nuclear arms and to develop space weapons have been incorporated into one set of negotiations at Geneva, there exists a major conflict between the respective positions of the Soviet Union and the United States concerning the nature of the interrelationship between these two


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The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence


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