The Middle East: Critical Choices for the United States

By Eugene V. Rostow | Go to book overview

9
SALT, Detente
and the
Middle East

ELMO R. ZUMWALT, JR.

To examine what has happened to the United States in the field of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), it is necessary first to remind ourselves that, although there are many who look upon these strategic arms control negotiations as abstract kinds of things, every once in a while in the course of human events, we find ourselves and the Soviet Union confronting one another, each taking stock of the strategic nuclear balance as it then stands. And on those occasions, for those in authority at the time, the difference in power is stark and real and controls the outcome.

In October 1962, there was the Cuban missile crisis, when, incidentally, the man who is the foreign minister of the Soviet Union today, Andrei Gromyko, who speaks to us of the virtues of detente, was then lying to the president of the United States about what the Soviets were up to as they installed their missiles in Cuba. You will recall that the Soviets were seeking to double the megatonnage and cut in

____________________
Adm. Zumwalt was chief of naval operations 1970-74, and visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, the University of Nebraska, and Whittier College, 1974-75.

-127-

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