Arms Control and European Security

By Graeme P. Auton | Go to book overview

in fact help stabilize the situation in Europe. Yet there is enough evidence of new thinking and fresh insights in Moscow on arms control in general to justify the belief that an effort is being made to change policies.

In the final analysis, attitudes on arms control reflect the realities of the contemporary international situation, and there is no doubt that arms-control agreements play a significant catalytic role in redefining the superpower relationship and assisting the process of change in the international environment. But there will always be difficulties. The technological condition of the arms race has acquired an inherent dynamic that more often than not has overcome attempts at arms control. Technology does not retreat in the face of negotiation; at best, it only marks time. The principal adversaries are reduced to a leapfrogging approach, and even though Gorbachev seems set to put an end to this drain on resources, it is doubtful that he will succeed. That could be done only if the present state of East-West relations were to be transformed into a partnership of trust and cooperation, but this would necessitate a degree of ideological coexistence and a weakening of the military-industrial complexes, which neither side seems prepared to countenance.


NOTES
1.
See the New York Times, 8 December 1988. In his December 1988 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Gorbachev announced that the Soviet Union would unilaterally reduce its troop strength by 10 percent over two years. This reduction would include the withdrawal of 5,000 tanks and 50,000 troops from the GDR, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary.
2.
Soviet Government Statement, TASS, 18 December 1987.
3.
AP, 23 December 1987.
4.
Pravda, 15 January 1987.
5.
Interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich, 31 December 1987. Strauss also described Gorbachev as "light years removed from a man like Brezhnev," "pragmatic, open-minded, humorous, thrusting, ready and able to maintain his positions with determination and force."
6.
TASS, 22 September 1987.
7.
These were put forward in May 1987, and were strongly supported by General Jaruzelski ( Warsaw Radio, 8 May 1987).
8.
TASS, 26 December 1987.
9.
Krasnaya zvezda, 9 January 1988.
10.
Trud, 9 January 1988.
11.
Interview with Deutsches Allgemeines Sonntagsblatt, Hamburg, 4 October 1987.
12.
See Stephen Shenfield, The Nuclear Predicament: Explorations in Soviet Ide

-70-

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