more than four decades now, even if some unilateral U. S. reductions take place. The present level of NATO conventional capabilities might be expensive, but it is hardly burdensome. Given the changes that may be taking place on the other side of the continent, it would be prudent for the Western powers to deploy military forces that deter while preserving the capacity to maintain continental stability. Arms control is not an end in itself, but--rather--one means of moving toward a more stable and secure international system. Arms control that destabilizes, as some conventional-force reductions well might, is worse than no arms control at all. Western governments must approach the CFE and CSBM processes with a degree of circumspection; they must not be determined to make these processes "succeed" at any cost simply because public sentiment in the West--as a result of the Gorbachev initiatives--now embraces a substantially diminished perception of the potential Soviet threat.