applying in their arms control dealings "a spirit beyond national interests"
(the quote is from President Reagan's 1983 address before the U.N. General
Assembly) and they abandon the game playing and search for unilateral
advantage that now occupies so much of their time.
In summary, the superpowers are pursuing arms control only when it
serves their own long-term interests. The worldwide outcry for an end to
the arms race, the marches and peace demonstrations, are irrelevant to the
process. So is Article VI of the NPT, which calls upon them to pursue
negotiations toward a treaty on general and complete disarmament. Arms
control must serve the superpowers' own interests or it serves no purpose.
The superpowers are aware that the odds are extremely low that areas
of potential agreement will ever be found. Accordingly, while pursuing the
search for illusive deals, they also act to convey to the world an earnest
effort at finding solutions. For the benefit of world public opinion: they
publicize their unfailing opposition to the nuclear arms race but continue
to build bigger and better weapons;
41 they warn of the irrationality of
nuclear war but blindly pursue actions likely to increase the risk of nuclear
war; they preach of the need to reverse the process but refuse to take even
the most minute risks on the route to nuclear sanity.
In many ways, the superpowers are playing games with nuclear arms
control, the kind in which points are scored for gaining national advantage
rather than for practical measures to end the nuclear arms race.
Richard Nixon, 1999: Victory without War ( New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988), p. 66; and Harvard Nuclear Study Group, Living with Nuclear Weapons
( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), p. 5. For the opposite view, that
nuclear weapons can be totally "eliminated," see George F. Kennan, The Nuclear
Delusion ( New York: Pantheon Books, 1982), p. 72.
Jerry F. Hough, "Soviet Decision Making on Defense," Bulletin of Atomic
Scientists, August 1985, pp. 84-88; George G. Weickhardt, "The Military Consensus Behind Soviet Arms Control Proposals," Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, September 1987, pp. 20-24.
Harvard Nuclear Study Group, Living with Nuclear Weapons, p. 195.
George Shultz, "Realism and Responsibility: The U.S. Approach to Arms
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Realism, Strength,
Negotiation: Key Foreign Policy Statements of the Reagan Administration ( Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1984).
Robert M. Gates, "The Uneven Cycles of Kremlin Reform," Washington
Post, April 30, 1989. See also Interview with Gen.
John Galvin, NATO commander, "Keep the Power Dry," Time, May 29, 1989.
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Security and Arms Control: The Search for a More Stable Peace ( Washington, DC: U.S. Government Print
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Superpowers and Nuclear Arms Control:Rhetoric and Reality.
Contributors: Dennis Menos - Author.
Publisher: Praeger Publishers.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1990.
Page number: 45.
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