Poor Caricatures of 'Rich' Arms controllers.(LETTERS)

Article excerpt


In their shrill June 28 Commentary column, "Arms controllers and anti-missile weapons," Peter Huessy and James Hackett make a number of inaccurate and misleading claims about those who support arms control treaties and who are skeptical about national missile defense.

Mr. Huessy and Mr. Hackett would have us believe that the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was developed by men and women working in "palaces" along Massachusetts Avenue whose palatial lifestyle was supported by million-dollar grants from "liberal" foundations such as MacArthur, Rockefeller and Carnegie.

Leaving aside such obvious caricatures about the buildings that house the scholars who provide information and analysis about foreign-policy issues, the actual size of the grants and the ideology of the foundations, I will just note that the ABM Treaty was negotiated by the Nixon administration (some of whose members discussed blowing up one of the "palaces"), modified by the Ford administration and adhered to by the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration.

Moreover, the organization that characterized the national missile defense program as "a rush to failure" was the Institute for Defense Analysis, which was created and funded (much more generously than the think tanks on Massachusetts Avenue) by the Pentagon and is led by a former Air Force chief of staff. In addition, Richard Garwin, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, a member of the Rumsfeld Commission and the individual credited by Edward Teller with inventing the hydrogen bomb (hardly a professional arms controller), has argued that the proposed national missile defense system will not be able to overcome North Korean countermeasures outside Earth's atmosphere. …