"[Arms Control Today is] Absolutely essential reading for the upcoming Congressional budget debate on the 2018 NPR and its specific recommendations ... well-informed, insightful, balanced, and filled with common sense."

– Frank Klotz
former Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration
March 7, 2018
United States

Agreed Framework Between The United States of America And The Democratic People's Republic of Korea


This framework between the United States and the DPRK resolves the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula by replacing the DPRK’s graphite moderated reactors and related facilities with other alternative energy arrangements.


The Agreed Framework between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea seeks to resolve the issue of nuclear reactors and plants on the Korean Peninsula. The United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea agreed to replace any graphite moderated reactors and related facilities with other alternative energy arrangements. One such alternative could have been the light-water reactor power plant.

Opened for Signature: 21 October 1994

Entry into force: pending

Official Text: http://www.nti.org/media/pdfs/aptagframe.pdf

Status and Signatories: http://www.nti.org/learn/treaties-and-regimes/us-dprk-agreed-framework/

ACA Backgrounder: https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/agreedframework

Country Resources:

Subject Resources:

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II (START II)


This treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation implemented reductions in two phases in order to meet the established limit on strategic weapons for both states.


The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II (START II) complemented START I. START I’s provisions were unchanged; START II established a limit on strategic weapons and required that reductions be implemented in two phases. Phase I obligated the United States and Russia to reduce their arms to a certain quantitative limit by the end of the phase. Phase II obligated the states to eliminate all heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) by the end of the phase. States were verified by on-site inspections, like in START I, but START II also included inspections to confirm the elimination of ICBMs and their silo launchers. START II created the Bilateral Implementation Commission (BIC) as a forum where the United States and the Russian Federation could work towards compliance.

Opened for Signature: 3 January 1993

Entry into force: never

Official Text: https://2009-2017.state.gov/t/avc/trty/102887.htm

ACA Backgrounder: https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/start2

Brief Chronology: https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/start2chron

The 1997 START II/ABM Package at a Glance: https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/pack

Country Resources:

Arms Control and the 1992 Election

In this issue of Arms Control Today, the Arms Control Association continues its tradition of providing a forum for the major presidential candidates to present their views on some of the most pressing security and arms control issues of the day. Since 1976, this tradition has provided both ACT readers and the public at large the opportunity to learn in detail the opinions, ideas, and plans of those who seek the office of president.  In this fifth presidential forum in Arms Control Today, we have expanded both the scope and the number of questions to be addressed by the candidates.  Their responses, we believe, will help focus the national debate over critical security and defense questions that are all too often left unanswered during the “sound bite” wars of modern presidential campaigns.

In February, ACA submitted nine questions to each of the major candidates for president.  Here we present the responses from Democratic candidate Bill Clinton and the incumbent, President George H.W. Bush.

Democratic Response: Bill Clinton

ACT: What should the United States be doing to reduce the nuclear risks potentially posed by the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Bill Clinton: No national security issue is more urgent than the question of who will control the nuclear weapons and technology of the former Soviet empire. Those weapons pose a threat to the security of every American, to our allies, and to the republics themselves.

There are three key parts to this problem: (1 ) ensuring that responsible authorities maintain control over the nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union; (2) preventing the migration of former Soviet nuclear weapon scientists and engineers to work on Third World nuclear weapon programs; and (3) aggressively pursuing further reductions in nuclear weapons on both sides. The Bush administration has been slow to react on all three counts. In fact, Congress had to step in and fill the vacuum in U.S. policy when Sam Nunn (D-GA) led the effort in the fall of I 991 to earmark $400 million in the Fiscal Year 1992 defense budget to help the former Soviet Union dismantle some of its weapons.

The United States should take the lead in the West in making clear to the new republics that have Soviet nuclear weapons that the continuation of Western aid is conditioned on their actually ceding control over those weapons to either Russia or to a responsible authority of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

I support American leadership in any coordinated Western effort to support the cadres of Soviet nuclear scientists and engineers, for at least a limited time, to dismantle Soviet nuclear weapons or in developing relevant technologies that will help the Soviet economy. For a tiny fraction of what the United States had spent on nuclear weapons, the West can make a major contribution to securing the peace that the end of the Cold War promises us.

The United States should also move soon to begin negotiations with Russia that seek to reach quick agreement on substantial further cuts below the levels provided in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that currently awaits Senate ratification. Fewer nuclear weapons means fewer weapons vulnerable to misuse.

ACT: What approach would you take to further reductions and limitations on nuclear arms, beyond those contemplated in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and last fall’s reciprocal nuclear cutback initiatives?

Bill Clinton: With the end of the Cold War, we can safely make fundamental revisions in U.S. targeting policy and doctrine that have driven so much of U.S. strategic force developments in the past. By drastically reducing the “target set” and adjusting our deterrence policies to fit the real world, we can move to substantially lower numbers of weapons.

Weapons reduction proposals should continue to be guided by an emphasis on stability, but stability for the new age. In addition to moving toward weapons with fewer warheads, we should also put a premium on weapons that can be more easily controlled by central authorities. As president, I would seek a ban on mobile, land-based missiles and a ban on land-based missiles with more than one warhead.

ACT: In the new environment, would you cut the defense budget more than is now planned? If so, by how much? Are there specific systems you would cancel, or others you particularly support?

Bill Clinton: Any discussion of defense spending must necessarily look at what we want our defense posture to defend against. I believe a prudent set of coherent, integrated reductions across force structure, procurement, and research and development can maintain a strong defense posture for the United States. I would emphasize systems and forces that are more relevant to the types of conflicts we are likely to face in the future than those we have faced in the past. President Bush’s $50 billion reduction in a $1.5 trillion, five-year defense budget is inconsistent with the implications of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War I would reduce the five-year budget by a net of at least $50 billion more, with further cuts possible if current favorable trends in the international climate continue. This net figure would include some increases in areas that I believe are not being adequately addressed by the Bush administration.

First, we should stop production of the B-2 bomber. I would make significant cuts in Strategic Defense Initiative funding, while fully funding theater missile defense and preserving the option of deploying a limited, ground-based defense for the United States. I would make major cuts in research and development for new nuclear bombs, maintain a force of 10 aircraft carriers rather than 12, further reduce our forces in Europe, and make some reductions in our intelligence resources that are directed toward the former Soviet Union.

At the same time, I would integrate the lessons of Desert Shield and Desert Storm into our defense planning. As part of this, I would step up production of fast sealift ships, which Desert Shield showed was a critical weakness for the United States, and enhance our airlift modernization through procurement of the C-17.
We need to plan for the conflicts of the future, not those of the past, and as president I would ensure that our force posture reflects tomorrow’s security needs.

ACT: What additional steps would you take to reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation?

Bill Clinton: We must do more to stop the threat of weapons of mass destruction from spreading. We need to clamp down on countries and companies that sell these technologies, punish violators, and work urgently with all countries for tough, enforceable, international nonproliferation agreements.

I would follow a two-track approach in dealing with the proliferation problem. First, I would learn the lessons of what went wrong that allowed Iraq to get as close as it did to achieving a nuclear capability and Pakistan to achieve its capability, and would strengthen International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to reflect these lessons. I also would seek from Congress legislation that would bar imports of goods and services from those foreign companies that knowingly provide direct or indirect support for the nuclear weapons programs of non-nuclear-weapon states.

The second track would be to seek much greater cooperation and support for the use of economic and related leverage in discouraging countries seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. For example, Japan and South Korea should be extremely concerned about the prospects of a North Korean bomb. I would coordinate a coherent international response that provided strong economic incentives to North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapon efforts and to open up its facilities for inspection, and severe economic penalties for failure to do so.

ACT: Do you believe that the global trade in conventional weapons should be restrained, and if so, how would you pursue that goal?

Bill Clinton: Our experience with Iraq has demonstrated that a failure to come to grips with conventional arms sales carries with it a very high price tag in terms of instability, conflict, and the tragic human loss, vast property damage, and high financial cost of the measures needed to apply to regional conflict. A Saddam Hussein who was denied the quantity and quality of weapons that were available to him in the international arms bazaar might not have invaded Kuwait, might have been easier to pressure to leave, and would certainly have been easier to dislodge by force.

A coordinated international approach to this problem is required, one that addresses the demand for such weapons as well as their supply. Unilateral restraint by the United States can at best achieve only modest results. On the demand side, the United States should encourage the policies adopted by some donor countries and the World Bank in tying aid levels to the amounts spent by a country on arms. Where needed, economic sanctions could also be considered in certain circumstances. On the supply side, the United States should negotiate with the major supplier countries on limiting such sales. Initial negotiations could focus on the most militarily significant weapons, the ones with the greatest offensive orientation. As success is achieved in these areas, follow-on negotiations could address overall arms sales levels with an eye toward achieving sharp reductions. Other approaches are certainly possible, but the key imperative is to begin the process, something that the Bush administration has failed to do.

ACT: What would your approach to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and the Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty be?

Bill Clinton: We need to bring a healthy dose of reality to the SDI program, a quality that it sorely lacks today. Our SDI program should be geared to the real threats we face today and are likely to face in the future, not the fevered rationalizations of a weapons program in search of a mission. I fully support the development of a defense against tactical ballistic missiles to provide protection for limited areas abroad, such as selected U.S. troop deployments as in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, or key areas of tactical or strategic military significance, as Israel was during the war.

I would keep open the option of deploying a limited single- site, ground-based defense in the United States. This would not require the wasteful levels of SDI spending that the administration is requesting.

The ABM Treaty has well sewed U.S. security interests since it was ratified 20 years ago. I would only consider modest changes in it that clearly enhanced U.S. security interests and were negotiated in good faith with Russia after full consultations with our NATO allies. At present, such changes are not needed.

ACT: Do you support a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing, or other testing limits?

Bill Clinton: Yes. A comprehensive test ban would strengthen our vital efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries, which may be our greatest future security threat.

I believe we should consider a CTB in a two-step process: through further reductions in the testing threshold of the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and a cap on the number of tests permitted annually at levels well below present practice. Such experience in this reduced testing environment should demonstrate that the dangers conjured up by opponents of a CTB about testing limits were groundless. With this experience under our belts, assuming no major surprises in the international environment, we could then proceed quickly to a full, comprehensive test ban.

ACT: What role should the United Nations play in dealing with regional conflicts and regional arms control?

Bill Clinton: In the same way that multilateral banks serve to share the economic and political burdens of international financial assistance, the United Nations can play the same role in addressing regional conflicts. Although not perfect, the Desert Shield-Desert Storm experience was a useful model for future U.N. actions. The Security Council should be encouraged, under U.S. and other Western leadership, to adopt necessary measures running the spectrum from verbal through economic to full military action if warranted to deal with regional unrest or regional conflict. While the United States must continue to reserve the right to exercise unilateral action under some circumstances, we should seek to make maximum use of the United Nations to meet our security objectives now that it has been freed from the shackles that hobbled it during the Cold War. I have suggested, for example, that we explore the idea of a U.N. rapid deployment force.

Likewise, the United Nations has a greater role to play in regional arms control than was true during the Cold War. The U.N. registry of arms sales is just a start. The United Nations can be an appropriate forum for getting regional adversaries to enter into a dialogue, and then negotiations, to restrict the numbers and kinds of weapons they acquire. Such steps are not a substitute for measures that address the underlying issues that are the heart of the conflict, but these steps can complement such measures and serve to facilitate the fundamental negotiations.

ACT: Are there other major arms control priorities that you would pursue?

Bill Clinton: I believe that our efforts in nuclear proliferation should be expanded to address the problem of nuclear delivery. The continuing fascination of the Reagan and Bush administrations with weapons of mass destruction delivered by ballistic missile has obscured the more likely reliance by new nuclear states on aircraft, cruise missiles, trucks, and other nontraditional means of delivery of such weapons. The tragic loss of 240 U.S. Marines in Lebanon in 1983 shows that a determined adversary can employ decidedly “low-tech” means to attack targets that the United States highly values. Early establishment of a tough and effective global ban on production and use of chemical weapons under the Chemical Weapons Convention should also be an American priority, as well as controls on space weapons like antisatellite weapons that could threaten U.S. access to and use of space.

Republican Response: George H.W. Bush

ACT: What should the United States be doing to reduce the nuclear risks potentially posed by the collapse of the Soviet Union?

George Bush: The United States is actively engaged on a broad front to reduce the risk that the dissolution of the Soviet Union could lead to nuclear accidents, unauthorized use, or proliferation. We have made clear to all the independent states that no more than one nuclear-weapon state should emerge from the former Soviet Union, and that all the non-Russian republics should join the Nonproliferation Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states. We are also working actively with the independent states to prevent the spread of nuclear material or technology. In that respect, I would point particularly to the establishment of the International Center for Science and Technology and our assistance to the independent states to establish effective export control regimes consistent with democratic, free-market economies.

In my nuclear initiative of September 27, 1991, I called on the Soviet Union to join us in discussions and cooperation on nuclear command and control, safety, security, and dismantlement. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev accepted that idea on October 5. Thus, contacts in this area were well underway when the Soviet Union dissolved.

We have welcomed the independent states’ agreements in Alma-Ata and Minsk on nuclear command and control arrangements, and on the timetable for nuclear weapons withdrawals to predismantlement storage facilities. The United States is near agreement on several initial projects for assistance, using funds under the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991, to ensure the safe and secure transportation, storage, and dismantlement of nuclear weapons.

ACT: What approach would you take to further reductions and limitations on nuclear arms, beyond those contemplated in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and last fall’s reciprocal nuclear cutback initiatives?

George Bush: I strongly believe that the next step in nuclear arms reductions should be an agreement to eliminate all multiple warhead (MIRVed) ICBMs. By eliminating the most threatening strategic systems, such an agreement would build on, and greatly advance, the process begun in START both to reduce strategic forces and to restructure
them to enhance stability Under the agreement I propose, the United States would eliminate our entire Peacekeeper force and reduce the number of warheads on each of our Minuteman UI ICBMs from three to one. In my State of the Union message on January 28, 1991, I also announced major additional steps that we would take as part of an overall agreement to eliminate all MIRVed ICBMs. Specifically, we would reduce by about one-third the number of submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads that we planned to deploy under START, and reorient a substantial number of our strategic bombers to a primarily conventional role. The net result of my proposal would be to lower the actual number of nuclear weapons in our strategic forces by about 50 percent below planned START levels, If Russia agrees to this approach, we would be willing to discuss possible subsequent reductions in our strategic forces.

ACT: In the new environment, would you cut the defense budget more than is now planned? If so, by how much? Are there specific systems you would cancel, or others you particularly support?

George Bush: Three years ago, foreseeing many of the remarkable changes which have since occurred in the world, my administration developed a new, comprehensive defense strategy. That strategy was designed to be responsive to an uncertain future and yet allow us to reduce our forces by 25 percent, without creating a hollow force. Those reductions are already taking place, at a pace that will avoid destroying the quality of the force that performed so magnificently in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The budget that I have just submitted proposed savings of $50 billion over the next five years in addition to the savings already planned.

Since the beginning of my administration, we have terminated 100 weapons programs. Many of the divisions that kept the peace in Europe throughout the Cold War have been deactivated. We are retiring 100 ships and cutting back 10 fighter wings. In the next five years, we will reduce U.S. active forces, reserves, and civilian support by a full one million people. We will close 500 military installations worldwide. By 1997, U.S. defense spending will be at 3.4 percent of gross national product, the lowest it has been in 50 years. Further budget reductions below these dramatically reduced levels would threaten the ability of our forces to protect U.S. national security interests around the world.

ACT: What additional steps would you take to reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation?

George Bush: I have given the highest priority to reducing the danger of nuclear proliferation. We are working hard to reduce the risk that the breakup of the Soviet Union could spur the spread of nuclear weapons, materials, or technology. We will continue to advocate universal adherence to the Nonproliferation Treaty and seek its indefinite extension at the 1995 extension conference. The North Korean nuclear program constitutes a grave security threat in North Asia, and it is of the utmost importance that North Korea accept International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and bilateral inspections of its nuclear program and fulfill its agreement with South Korea to establish a nuclear-free peninsula. I have given particular priority to my Middle East arms control initiative, which has several nuclear elements, including a call on all countries in the region to forswear acquisition or production of fissile materials. We also must ensure that all Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and capability to produce such weapons, are destroyed in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 687. We support the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in South Asia, and have called upon India and Pakistan to join with China, Russia, and the United States in a five-party conference that would address the South Asian proliferation problem.

We have recently witnessed significant successes in nuclear nonproliferation. Argentina and Brazil have reversed longstanding positions by adopting full-scope IAEA safeguards and taken steps toward bringing the Treaty of Tlatelolco into force. The Nonproliferation Treaty has been joined by South Africa, most of the “front-line” African states, China, Lithuania, and Estonia. Prance has also committed to join. The 27-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group has just agreed to establish a multilateral regime to control exports of “dual-use” technologies, technology and equipment which could be used to develop or produce nuclear explosive devices as well as for peaceful purposes. Despite this progress, Jam firmly committed to seeing that much more is done to reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation.

ACT: Do you believe that the global trade in conventional weapons should be restrained, and if so, how would you pursue that goal?

George Bush: Yes I do. That applies especially to conventional arms transfers that fuel offensive military ambitions or destabilize regional balances. To that end, the United States cosponsored the U.N. resolution to create a global arms transfer registry which would provide the openness and transparency to expose emerging imbalances before they become critical.

Further, through my Middle East arms control initiative the five leading suppliers of conventional arms to that troubled region—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China—have agreed to observe common guidelines of restraint and to exchange information about arms sales.

The most effective restraint against destabilizing arms buildups is a government’s sense of security within its own borders. Arms transfer freezes artificially imposed from the outside can undermine that sense of security. Indeed, U.S. arms transfers are designed to enhance the security of our friends and allies while promoting regional stability. They do so in several ways: by deterring aggression against friends and allies, by reducing the likelihood that U.S. forces will have to be employed directly in regional contingencies, and by increasing the ability of U.S. forces to operate jointly with regional forces—a key element to the success of the coalition forces in the Gulf War.

ACT: What would your approach to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and the Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty be?

George Bush: In my State of the Union speech last year, I outlined a new direction for the Strategic Defense Initiative, to develop Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS). This new concept was designed to respond to significant changes in the strategic environment—a receding Soviet threat combined with the increasing threat of missile proliferation—as well as to the enduring requirement to protect the United States, our allies, and our forces overseas from accidental, unauthorized, or rogue nation ballistic missile attacks.

The system we seek to deploy has three elements: ground- based interceptors to protect the United States; theater defenses to defend our forward deployed forces and our allies; and global space-based sensors and interceptors, to provide the worldwide and layered defenses necessary to protect against even limited attacks.

In late January 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin proposed that the United States and Russia cooperate in the area of global defense against limited ballistic missile attack. This landmark departure from previous Soviet policy offers the promise of real cooperation with the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union as well as with our allies in ballistic missile early warning and protection.

ACT: Do you support a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing, or other testing limits?

George Bush: My administration remains committed to a step-by-step process for further limits on nuclear testing. The amount of nuclear testing we conduct has been steadily going down. Moreover, the nuclear initiatives that I announced last September and in this year’s State of the Union message will reduce the size and nature of the U.S. nuclear deployment worldwide, to make it smaller, safer, and more stable. Those changes in our nuclear forces could have some impact on our nuclear testing program.
Nevertheless, nuclear deterrence continues to play a critical role in U.S. national security strategy. As we reduce our nuclear deterrent, we must ensure that it remains credible and safe. The United States tests only as clearly required for our security and to ensure the reliability; safety, security, and survivability of our nuclear deterrent.

My State of the Union proposals and the implementation of my September nuclear initiative, including the safe and secure dismantlement of the nuclear weapons to be eliminated, remain my highest priorities in the area of bilateral nuclear arms control. These extraordinary moves to reduce and better control nuclear stockpiles deserve our closest attention.

ACT: What role should the United Nations play in dealing with regional conflicts and regional arms control?

George Bush: The United Nations has a vital role to play in supplementing regional efforts to maintain regional peace and security. The past few years have seen a growth in this role in settling regional conflicts, as parties or regional organizations turn to the experience and capability of the United Nations. U.N. missions in Namibia and Nicaragua helped create the conditions for free and fair elections and the establishment of democracy. Coalition action authorized by the United Nations liberated Kuwait, and the United Nations is destroying Iraq’s ability to destabilize and threaten its neighbors. We have high hopes that new U.N. missions in El Salvador, Cambodia, and Yugoslavia will bring peace to these lands racked by civil war

The United Nations can also play an important role in regional arms control. We believe that the United Nations can usefully act as an information repository, as with the U.N. regional disarmament centers and the recently established U.N. Register of Conventional Arms.

ACT: Are there other major arms control priorities that you would pursue?

George Bush: A major priority of my administration has been the conclusion of a total ban on chemical weapons, an effort I have been pressing personally for years. We have taken bold, positive steps to renounce the use of chemical weapons for any reason, including retaliation, and to commit unconditionally to the destruction of all our chemical weapons, as a spur to persuading the world to sign up now to a total ban. American leadership is making this ambitious goal achievable, and I am hopeful that we will see a convention concluded this year.

We have been equally vigorous in trying to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention’s (BWC) prohibitions on those terrible weapons. At a conference to review progress in achieving the BWC’s goal last fall, the United States was successful in achieving agreement to a number of proposals to increase adherence to the BWC and make its measures more effective. We continue to press the international community to do everything practicable to shore up this vital international standard.
I am proud of the role this country plays in leading the fight against these weapons of terror, as well as against the spread of nuclear weapons and missiles. We will give the highest priority and put increased emphasis into global efforts to reduce and control proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.



Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I (START I)


This treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russian Federation was the first to call for reductions of U.S. and Soviet/Russian strategic nuclear weapons and served as a framework for future, more severe reductions.


The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I (START I) was the first treaty that required U.S. and Soviet/Russian reductions of strategic nuclear weapons. It was indispensable in creating a framework that ensured predictability and stability for deep reductions. The dissolution of the Soviet Union caused a delay in the entry into force of the treaty, as the classification of states as nuclear or non-nuclear had to be determined, among other things. Reductions of nuclear weapons had to be completed within seven years after entry into force and maintained for another eight years. States were verified by on-site inspections. Both the United States and The Russian Federation continued reduction efforts. A new treaty, START II, soon came into effect, which allowed START I to expire.

Opened for Signature: 31 July 1991

Entry into force: 5 December 1994

Official Text: http://fas.org/nuke/control/start1/text/

Status and Signatories: http://fas.org/nuke/control/start1/

ACA Backgrounder: https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/start1

Country Resources:

Arms Control and the 1988 Election

As the 1988 presidential campaign moves into full swing, the Arms Control Association is pleased to present an exclusive ACT feature: a forum in which the major Democratic and Republican candidates give their views on key arms control and national security issues. As in the last three presidential campaigns, ACA believes that providing this opportunity for the candidates to describe their positions can only raise the level of debate on this crucial area. Hopefully, the opportunity to compare the candidates’ views, in writing, will help the interested public to understand the candidates’ areas of agreement and disagreement, their relative emphases, in more specific, programmatic detail than is usually found in campaign material.
In November, ACA sent identical questionnaires to both major candidates, Democrat Michael Dukakis and Republican George H.W. Bush. Only five questions were included, each dealing with a major concern in the arms control arena. Each candidate was asked to discuss not only his basic goals and perspectives on national security, but also the arms control initiatives he would undertake if elected.  Their statements are presented here.
Following are the questions addressed to the candidates:
1) What would you do with the Strategic Defense Initiative program, and would your SDI policy be guided by the narrow or broad interpretation of the ABM Treaty?
2) How would your approach to limiting strategic offensive arms differ from that of the present administration?
3) Would you seek to negotiate a comprehensive test ban or other nuclear testing limits?
4) What strategic concept would govern your procurement of strategic weapon systems and what new programs would you support?
5) What new initiatives would your administration undertake to control nuclear arms and reduce the risk of nuclear war?

Democratic Response: Michael S. Dukakis

SDI/ABM Treaty Reinterpretation: The administration’s SDI program is a fantasy—a technological illusion which most scientists say cannot be achieved in the foreseeable future. The defenses they envision won’t make the United States more secure—they will simply fuel the arms race, as each new system produces a counter-system, with no increased security. Deploying defenses could make nuclear war more, not less, likely. At a time when the defense budget will remain stable at best in the coming years, the United States cannot afford to waste billions and billions for a system we don’t need and which can’t work.

The United States and the Soviet Union should abide by the traditional, correct interpretation of the ABM Treaty. The treaty is clear: “Each party undertakes not to develop, test or deploy ABM systems or components which are…space-based.” Period. Congress, under the leadership of Senator Sam Nunn, has affirmed the importance of abiding by the correct interpretation of the treaty; it is time for the administration to reverse the dangerous precedent it has set, which could seriously harm future efforts to gain Senate support for arms control treaties.

Only if the United States and the Soviets agree to maintain the treaty can we hope to achieve durable cuts in strategic nuclear weapons. The administration’s attempt to sidestep the issue at the Washington summit, and to base an agreement for deep cuts in strategic weapons on an unresolved ambiguity over the meaning of the treaty, could increase superpower tensions in the future.

Rather than creating new ambiguities, we should work through the mechanism established in the treaty—the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC)—to resolve differences over interpretation and compliance and to make sure that new technology does not undermine the treaty.

The SCC has been effective in the past, but the current administration has been unwilling to take advantage of the procedures established for settling these disputes.
I support continued research on strategic defenses at about the funding level in 1983—before the President announced the Strategic Defense Initiative-as long as the research is consistent with the ABM Treaty. This will permit the United States to guard against a Soviet breakout from the treaty, and to conduct basic scientific research, without threatening the treaty itself.

Strategic Arms Limitations: The framework agreed upon by the United States and the Soviet Union in the Washington summit is a good beginning. It would put a brake on the growth of each side’s nuclear arsenal and bring the number of warheads to about the level that existed when President Reagan took office. It would cut in half the number of SS-18s—the Soviets’ most dangerous and destabilizing strategic nuclear weapon. The agreement also acknowledges the need to place limits on sea-launched cruise missiles.

But the agreement would not by itself stop or slow the race to build new, highly accurate, multiple-warhead ballistic missiles. Over time, unlimited development of new nuclear weapons could make both sides worse off.

We need to go beyond the framework outlined during the summit:
• agree to respect the traditional interpretation of the ABM Treaty;
• negotiate an end to testing and development of antisatellite weapons that threaten satellites on which we rely for communication and early warning of nuclear attack;
• negotiate a comprehensive test ban;   
• stop the never-ending spiral of new, more accurate systems until both sides can agree on what systems, if any, will make the nuclear balance more stable in a world with far fewer nuclear warheads than we have today.

Nuclear Testing Limits: I place high priority on negotiating a comprehensive nuclear test ban—an agreement which was nearly reached at the end of the Carter administration. A test ban is essential if we are to end the nuclear arms race, and concentrate instead on ways of reducing the risk of nuclear war. A test ban would put a halt to third-generation nuclear weapons, including the x-ray laser, and new battlefield systems, such as the neutron bomb. A CTB would end the illusion that nuclear security can be achieved through ever more sophisticated nuclear weapons.

Strategic Concept/New Programs: My approach is quite straightforward—we should pursue a strategy to prevent the use of a single nuclear weapon, by calculation or miscalculation, by a superpower or a regional power or terrorists.

A sound approach to strategic weapons and strategic arms control is one component of that strategy. Both superpowers must realize that ever increasing numbers of sophisticated nuclear weapons will not guarantee our security—but will bankrupt us and increase the risk of nuclear war.

We need a strong and survivable nuclear deterrent. We have it today. Our goal must be to reduce significantly the number of nuclear weapons, especially the highly accurate, MIRVed ICBMs which pose the greatest threat of unleashing nuclear war, while retaining a survivable retaliatory force so that neither side perceives any advantage in launching a preemptive first strike against the other.

I believe we should maintain the triad of land-based, sea- based and air-delivered nuclear weapons, because it complicates Soviet attack planning and thus contributes to deterrence. I oppose developing the Midgetman missile—which will cost $50 billion over the next 15 years. It’s a question of priorities. Midgetman is not essential to maintaining an effective deterrent; investing in our conventional forces will do more to reduce the risk of nuclear war—because conventional weakness invites conventional war, and conventional war can lead to nuclear war.

I support continued research on the D-5 missile, but I would withhold deploying the D-5 pending the outcome of arms control negotiations. If we can agree with the Soviet Union to eliminate multiple-warhead, hard target missiles on both sides, we will not need to deploy the D-5.

I also support continued development of the Stealth bomber. I believe that the United States should maintain an effective bomber force. But a final decision on Stealth production will depend on its affordability, on a careful assessment of whether the Stealth can perform its mission effectively and our relative need for another new bomber in the context of an arms control agreement reducing the number of nuclear warheads.
We must begin to explore with the Soviet Union more effective ways of controlling sea-launched cruise missiles. Unlimited increases in cruise missiles could create new risks of nuclear war in a world with far fewer ballistic missiles, particularly as the new generations of cruise missiles become more “stealthy” and provide little or no warning of attack.

We must continue efforts to assure the survivability of our strategic command, control and communications, an important element of deterrence. Our program should not seek to develop a nuclear warfighting capability, but to demonstrate to the Soviet Union that they could not destroy, with a nuclear first strike, our ability to retaliate.

Arms Control Initiatives:
I would begin by giving priority to two arms control initiatives which have been all but abandoned by the current administration: a mutual ban on antisatellite weapon testing and a comprehensive test ban treaty.

I would seek a mutual moratorium on flight testing of strategic ballistic missiles, to set the stage for an agreement on deep reductions of strategic weapons.

I would convene a meeting of experts from both the United States and the Soviet Union under the aegis of the Standing Consultative Commission to develop guidelines and common understandings on how to prevent the erosion of the ABM Treaty as a result of technological developments which could have an impact on the ABM Treaty (such as improved anti-tactical ballistic missiles).

I would strengthen the new risk reduction centers, by initiating discussions (involving both government and nongovernment experts) on how both sides should restructure their strategic nuclear forces as part of deep reductions to reduce the risk of nuclear war and enhance stability. We should also accept the Soviet offer to discuss military doctrine—conventional and nuclear—as a way of increasing confidence in each other’s intentions, and to pave the way for reductions and restructuring of our forces.

I would move quickly, in concert with our European allies, to propose large, asymmetrical reductions in conventional forces in Europe, focusing on the Warsaw Pact’s advantage in armored units, which pose the greatest threat to NATO, and which could trigger a nuclear conflict.

I would place high priority on efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons, by strengthening and enforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), by tightening safeguards against transferring nuclear technology, and working with other countries to do the same. I would insist on strict interpretation and enforcement of our nuclear export laws and would halt military aid to countries which violate our laws. As President, I will ask Secretary Gorbachev to issue with me a joint invitation: on the day we sign an agreement banning underground nuclear tests, France, China, Israel, Pakistan, India, Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa should sign the NPT, as well.

Republican Response: George Bush

SDI/ABM Treaty Interpretation: We must actively support the Strategic Defense Initiative. It is our best hope to reduce the nuclear danger. The principle underlying SDI is important: to develop a defensive shield that targets weapons, not people.

Since the time I was director of the CIA, we have known that the Soviets were working on an SDI-type system. Gorbachev admitted that in his recent interview. We are playing catch up. But we are doing a good job—and that’s got the Soviets worried.

The Democrats say we cannot afford SDI. I say we cannot afford to lag behind the Soviets in this important technology. I do not believe for a moment the Soviets’ rhetoric that they are spending billions on a program that they do not plan to deploy.
We must vigorously pursue development and testing of SDI. And as soon as it is ready, it must be deployed.

We should abide by the ABM Treaty—and so should the Soviets. While it has not been in all instances honored by the Soviets, the ABM Treaty nonetheless provides some controls and stability with respect to the strategic arms race. As to SDI, the ABM Treaty permits research, development, and testing work on new and advanced technologies, including SDI.

Strategic Arms Limitations: The INF Treaty President Reagan signed in December was a major step forward in our relations with the Soviet Union. It is not the millennium. But it is something we can build on, and it is a victory of will and determination. The President first proposed the so-called “zero option” six years ago, when the Soviets had a monopoly on these intermediate-range missiles in Europe. They said no to our offer—and so we countered their missiles with our missiles. Then they changed their mind.

Just as important as our strength was our steadiness—our refusal to be stampeded into unwise concessions by our desire for peace. Now the President may go to Moscow this spring for another summit. We must maintain that same resolve. While we should be willing to take bold steps for peace, we must not do so under artificial deadlines.
I believe the INF Treaty will be looked upon some day as a watershed agreement—the first to actually reduce—not just limit, but reduce—the number of nuclear weapons in the world; one that achieves a balance through asymmetrical reductions—1600 of their warheads to 400 of ours; one that breaks new ground on verification and puts us on a new track toward a more stable and enduring deterrence. I hope the Senate gives the treaty its full support, and I am confident it will.

What is significant is not just that we are eliminating a small percentage of our nuclear arsenal, but that we are reversing the patterns of the past—away from more and more weapons and toward greater stability and safety.

The verification requirements are a major achievement in themselves. The Soviets have agreed to a new level of openness— openness we have sought for many years. Our scientists will now be allowed to visit Soviet weapons plants that were completely shut off to the West. Soviet inspectors will have equivalent access to our installations.
These on-site, on-demand inspection procedures are major steps forward—ones that will reveal far more about the Soviets than simply whether they are willing to abide by the terms of the treaty. They will, in my view, demonstrate just how far the Soviets are willing to go in seeking a new kind of relationship with us, and they may be the beginning of a whole new chapter in East-West relations.

But we must be realistic. From my days at the U.N. and the CIA to the White House, I have observed that the Soviets test every president and push every agreement to its limits and beyond. We must be vigilant, and we must be tough, and we must stand up for the values that define us as a nation.

Nuclear Testing Limits: I do not support the nuclear test ban recently proposed by the Soviets. As I noted earlier, the INF Treaty President Reagan signed in December was a major step forward in our relations with the Soviet Union. At the end of the summit, we issued a detailed joint statement that built on the INF breakthrough and instructed our negotiators to push for similar progress on the START treaty. Success in these talks would bring a measurably safer world.

Strategic Concept/New Programs: We must always deal with the Soviets from a position of strength—which means we must maintain a strong balance in nuclear capabilities and conventional forces, and must continue to develop strategic defenses for the future.

Arms Control Initiatives:
We have taken the first step toward a more stable nuclear balance. What is the next step, and how will it move us toward our destination?
We have proposed to the Soviets that we cut in half the number of weapons in our strategic forces—with a particular eye on the Soviets’ destabilizing, multiple-warhead, land-based missiles.

Such substantial reductions in our nuclear arsenals would move us away from a deterrence strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction, toward a more stable balance based on fewer missiles and the development of a strategic shield.

The INF Treaty and a START treaty will give us a way to measure Soviet intentions more concretely, and to reduce our forces, step by cautious step, without compromising our security That’s why the verification process is so important. We will be breaking down the Soviets’ wall of secrecy and observing whether the reality matches the rhetoric—laying the groundwork for future negotiations.

In the coming months and years, we must seek reductions in the Soviets’ substantial advantage in conventional and chemical weapons. The Warsaw Pact has half again as many combat divisions as NATO. It has more than twice as many tanks and artillery pieces. Our commitment to the defense of Western Europe is at the very heart of our defense strategy, and it is absolutely essential that we maintain a deterrent to aggression. To do so, we must properly equip and modernize our conventional forces, and that will not be cheap.

We must also move toward the verifiable elimination of chemical and biological weapons. On the President’s instructions, I put such a proposal on the table in Geneva in 1984, and it would be a top priority of my administration. Our allies and the Soviets both support the elimination of these weapons in principle.

We can start by reducing their numbers to much lower levels. We must develop stringent new verification techniques to prevent cheating—a very difficult assignment, but a critical one. Ultimately’ these terrible weapons should be banned from the face of the earth.
Overshadowing this arms control agenda, however, is the inescapable fact that the threat of nuclear attack comes not only from the Soviets. In the 1990s, more and more countries will have the capability of building a nuclear bomb.

Many of us have concluded that such weapons are more likely to be used in a regional conflict or in a terrorist attack than in a standoff between the superpowers. Yet any use poses enormous dangers to us all.

Nuclear proliferation is even tougher to restrain by negotiation than the arms race. But it is our moral obligation to do everything we can to keep nuclear blackmail out of the hands of madmen like Qaddafi or Khomeini.

Our strategy depends on multiple sources of nuclear restraint. Bilaterally, we have a very effective process in place to screen U.S. technology exports for nuclear-related technology. Our participation in multilateral nonproliferation agreements, even with our adversaries, has also been a model of effective restraint. We can exercise through our formal agreements very effective impediments to proliferation.

We should spearhead a new effort to commit every nation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and we should push more countries to be open to on-site inspection. We must also strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency—one U.N. agency that does its work well.

We must promote the perception among populations and leaders of non-nuclear countries that nuclear weapons are simply not useful to them. Their acquisition requires an expensive and difficult cycle of maintenance and testing and gives them no security benefit commensurate with the costs or dangers.

It is this last negative aspect of proliferation that I think is the most persuasive. That it is well understood accounts, I believe, for most of our success to date in restraining proliferation.

In the years ahead, we will face challenge and change in our dealings with the Soviets. If Gorbachev can transform Soviet society—not just economically, but in terms of human rights as well—we will be waiting for him, at the door of a new century, ready to move from an era of confrontation to one of cooperation.

In the meantime, we must remain ever watchful. We must act with high resolve as well as high hopes—with a strength that is real and that is recognized by the world as real.
As we move ahead, the question remains unanswered: What will prevail—the voices of hostility and fear that counsel us never to bargain, the voices of trust and faith that tell us to deal at any price, or the voices of confidence and hope that call us to seize the opportunity to make the world safer for generations to come?

I promise you, I will be a voice for freedom and peace.



Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty


This treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union requires destruction of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with certain ranges, and associated equipment within three years of the Treaty entering into force.


The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty required that both the United States and the Soviet Union destroy their ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with the range of 500 to 5000 kilometers, as well as the missiles’ launchers and support structures. This was to be met three years after the Treaty gets entered into force. As the Soviet Union reached nuclear parity with the United States and started vamping up the qualitative element of their missiles, this Treaty helped pacify the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Several proposals were made between President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev. When the Soviet Union dissolved, the United States sought full implementation of the INF Treaty with twelve former Soviet republics.

Opened for Signature: 8 December 1987

Entry into force: 1 June 1988

Official Text: http://www.state.gov/t/avc/trty/102360.htm#text

Status and Signatories: http://www.state.gov/t/avc/trty/102360.htm#narrative

ACA Backgrounder: https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/INFtreaty

Country Resources:

Arms Control and the 1984 Election

Building a Safer World

Walter F. Mondale*

Public concern with the threat of nuclear war has grown markedly during the last several years. Half of America watched a gruesome television program showing a city in our heartland being destroyed by nuclear missiles— a depiction that actually understated the consequences of nuclear war. Hundreds of thousands read the book The Fate of the Earth and absorbed its main point that nuclear war is unique in human history because it may threaten the extinction of mankind. The term “nuclear winter” is a new and horrible addition to our vocabulary. The Catholic Church has raised serious questions about the morality of nuclear war. Millions have voted in convincing majorities for nuclear freeze proposals on ballots in many states and localities.

The troubled mood of Americans is driven by concerns with the general trends of the nuclear arms race—and the conduct of the Reagan Administration. People are concerned with the existence of some 50,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s arsenals. They are concerned that some of these weapons seem better designed to start wars than to deter them. They are concerned with loose talk in high places blithely suggesting that someone could win a nuclear war. They are concerned that the peaceful area of outer space is being transformed into a possible new battlefield. They are concerned that the number of nuclear armed states will continue growing. They are concerned at this fateful time over the collapse in nuclear arms negotiations.

These concerns are well founded. I believe we are falling far short of our responsibilities.

We must deal with these harsh realities. The leaders of the Soviet Union are no friends of freedom. They are cynical, ruthless, and dangerous. Their relentless military buildup—well beyond defensive needs—directly challenges our security and that of many other nations, including our friends and allies.

Thus the foundation of a safer world must be built upon the bedrock of our ability, together with that of our allies, to counter the Soviet Union’s military power. If we fail to maintain sufficient well-equipped, well-trained, and well-motivated forces, we court disaster. If we fail to maintain allied unity, we dissipate our strength. History has sadly proved that military weakness invites attack.

Recognition of the essential role of a strong nuclear and conventional defense is why I support a defense budget that is based on a coherent strategy and growing at a steady, sustainable rate.

While recognizing these realities, we must not be trapped by them. Military power is not an end in itself. But never in our history have our leaders given us less sense of purpose, less vision of the destiny our strength must serve. Instead there is growing anxiety at the prospect of an endless arms race and an inevitable conflict. Increasingly the question many people ask is not whether there will be a war, but when. We must reject the sense of fatalism that follows from this vacuum in leadership. Our world was shaped by human endeavor and we have the power to change it. There are positive arms control steps that we should take to reduce the threat of conflict and the menace of nuclear war.

Step 1. We should make certain that our nuclear forces support the objective of stability. Since the reason for nuclear arms is to deter attack, we should not field farces that invite it. That is why I support programs that pass this test, such as the Trident submarine, the Stealth bomber, cruise missiles, and improved command and control. These programs reduce the potential military gains an adversary might see in starting a nuclear war.

In contrast, the Administration’s proposal to place the new MX missile in vulnerable fixed silos fails this crucial test. This idea was also raised when I was the Vice President. I opposed it then as I oppose it now.

Our Minuteman force had become a problem because it could conceivably invite attack. It had been obvious for many years that increased missile accuracies, and even more important, MIRVed missiles would create such stability problems. That is why I originally opposed MIRVed missiles over a decade ago.

When I was the Vice President, I worked with the National Security Council in searching for a sound replacement for Minuteman. That search was a difficult one, but the continuing deterrent strength of our strategic bombers and submarines provided, and still provides, the time we needed to do this job right.

We examined a variety of missile and basing systems to find ones that would be secure from attack and consistent with arms control. My preference was for a smaller missile, if possible one that could be made mobile by deploying it on land, in our submarines, or even in an air-launched made. Since my time in the Senate, I had been convinced that mobility was an essential ingredient of survivability. Mobility, of course, had to be arranged for in such a way as to meet the arms control requirement of verifiability.

Ultimately it was determined that the MX could be deployed in a survivable basing mode and would be consistent with SALT II. On that basis I was prepared to endorse it. Now, of course, without mobility or even multiple protective shelters, the MX has lost survivability and become a vulnerable priority target.

I believe that, in the absence of a freeze or other effective arms control measures, our security would be enhanced by the Midgetman concept. Smaller, unMlRVed missiles would be deployed in a mobile configuration so that there would be no advantage for the Soviet Union to attack.

In light of the Midgetman alternative, it is amply clear that deploying the large MX in vulnerable, fixed silos is a step backwards. Rather than reducing the potential military gain of attack, it will place a premium on such an attack. Plans for putting MX in silos should be dropped immediately. We should concentrate instead on replacing Minuteman with a small mobile missile.

Step 2. We should pursue serious arms control agreements vigorously. Unlike this Administration, Americans recognize that sensible arms control strengthens our security. It can curb the arms race. It can reduce the arsenals. It helps us predict what the other side will do. It reduces the risks and costs of maintaining a military balance. It can ban or discourage destabilizing weapons developments. Reductions in nuclear arms can enable us to use scarce defense resources to strengthen conventional forces, as we must if we are to raise the nuclear threshold.

Serious arms control agreements must, of course, be verifiable. Appropriate verification provisions must be a critical part of any agreement. We should bring possible violations immediately to the attention of the alleged violator through established channels to clear up any ambiguities. We should insist firmly on adherence to the agreement, and be prepared to protect our national interests if the agreement is violated. We should press for negotiations on a mutual, verifiable nuclear freeze. We should update the SALT II Treaty and resubmit it to the Senate for advice and consent. SALT II is a good treaty that took seven years to negotiate. We can use its framework to seek even greater reductions, restrain the most destabilizing systems, and create incentives to move away from MIRVs.

We should develop a comprehensive approach that will enable us to press forward the negotiations on intercontinental, intermediate nuclear, and conventional forces. Such a comprehensive approach should facilitate reducing our dependence on short-range, or battlefield, nuclear weapons.

We must also reaffirm the ABM Treaty. President Reagan’s “Star Wars” proposals will inevitably lead to Soviet countermeasures, and touch off a destabilizing and expensive arms race. And, in the meantime, his development proposals threaten to violate and jeopardize the valuable ABM Treaty.

Reagan’s promises are also a cruel hoax. They try to persuade us that more defensive weapons can protect against the holocaust of nuclear war. This laudable goal is unfortunately a dangerous mirage. No effective population defenses appear feasible in the foreseeable future. Only preventing nuclear war can ensure our security and that of our children, and only a combination of prudent defense measures, effective arms control, and negotiation, not illusions of a perfect defense, can prevent nuclear war.

The neglect of diplomacy in dealing with the threat of an arms race in space is equally dangerous. Four years have passed since we negotiated with the Soviets on the issues of anti-satellite weapons and space warfare. It is high time to get back to the bargaining table to prevent outer space from becoming a new arena for tension and confrontation.

We must also resume efforts for a comprehensive test ban treaty. Further, in contrast to the Reagan Administration’s almost laissez-faire approach toward the spread of nuclear weapon capabilities, we should reimpose restraints on the distribution of materials that can be used for building nuclear weapons, and should rejoin the fight against nuclear proliferation.

Step 3. We should place greater emphasis on measures to reduce the possibilities for accidental nuclear war, or for an uncontrolled spiral into all-out nuclear war as a result of an accident or crisis. The Administration’s proposal to upgrade the “Hot Line” and to create new communication channels between the United States and the Soviet Union is a useful step, but more can be done.

Senators Sam Nunn (D. Ga.) and John Warner (R. Va.), for example, have recently made a bipartisan proposal that the United States and the Soviet Union establish nuclear risk reduction centers in Washington and Moscow. These centers would maintain a 24-hour watch on any events with the potential to lead to nuclear incidents. They would be linked directly to senior political and military authorities in both countries.

Some defense experts have also suggested adopting or negotiating one or more policies such as no-early- first-use of nuclear weapons. These proposals reflect a genuine fear that tensions in Europe could suddenly escalate to nuclear war. For example, nuclear weapons positioned close to the border between East and West Germany would be in serious danger of being overrun in the early stages of a fast-breaking conventional attack. The Alliance would feel pressures in such a situation to use the weapons, rather than lose them.

Reckless Administration comments about nuclear warning shots and winnable nuclear war have further fueled European concerns. Despite these irresponsible statements, we must not lose sight of the fact that nuclear weapons in NATO are a necessary deterrent to possible Soviet aggression in Europe, at least so long as the Soviets possess advantages in the balance of conventional forces there.

To reduce the risk of uncontrolled escalation to nuclear war in Europe, we should: (1) reaffirm NATO’s policy that we would use nuclear weapons only as a last resort; (2) review carefully our safety and security arrangements to ensure that our nuclear weapons cannot be used in an unauthorized way; and (3) examine the weapon stockpile and deployment pattern for Europe to make sure that we have only what is needed to meet NATO’s genuine deterrence requirements.

Step 4. We should reduce our dependence on nuclear weapons to deter non-nuclear, or conventional, attack. We can raise the nuclear threshold by strengthening our and our allies’ conventional forces.

To this end, we should strongly encourage our NATO allies to reaffirm and live up to the commitment they made in 1978 to raise real defense spending by 3 percent per year, if not do more. Indeed, authorities such as General Bernard Rogers, the NATO commander, and a broad-based group of U.S. and European experts have recently concluded that NATO can have a more credible conventional defense against the Soviets by the end of the decade—but only if our NATO allies increase their efforts. The failure of the Administration’s leadership was clearly in evidence when the recent NATO Ministerial meeting dropped the 3 percent commitment from its communique. And behind this unfortunate move lies a deeper failure. The Administration’s economic policies have curbed international economic growth—an essential ingredient of a more vigorous Allied defense effort.

Step 5. We should revitalize the Government’s arms control machinery. The Reagan Administration sharply cut back on funding for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and on its research. More funds should be provided. Research in arms control is relatively inexpensive and we need all the good ideas we can get.

Money isn’t the chief problem though—it’s people. By placing ideologues with little arms control experience in the top arms control jobs, the Administration has weakened the intellectual and political leadership for sensible arms control. It is no surprise that the best thinking on arms control today comes from sources outside the Administration, and that the strongest and most responsible advocates of arms control within the Reagan Administration have been the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

If ACDA is to be a wellspring of good arms control ideas, it needs bright and experienced leaders who know how to encourage the generation of new ideas. When I am President, I will ensure that the Director of ACDA is an active participant in all important arms control decisions. He would be a regular participant at formal and informal meetings of my senior national security advisors. I would also appoint arms control experts to top-level positions on the National Security Council staff.

These five steps—nuclear forces that enhance stability, a vigorous arms control effort, measures to reduce the risk of nuclear war, conventional forces to reduce the dependence on nuclear arms, and revitalization of America’s arms control machinery—are actions that our citizens have the right to expect from the most powerful nation in the world.

To move forward, we need to talk with the Soviets. But today, negotiations have been suspended. As things stand, Mr. Reagan will become the first President since Herbert Hoover never to have met with his Soviet counterpart. The less we talk with the Russians, the more we feed their xenophobia and threaten peace.

I believe it is time for a summit with the Soviet Union; for annual, institutionalized summits thereafter; and for regular discussions between military and Cabinet officials of both nations.

By history, not by choice, America has had thrust upon it the responsibility for guiding the world toward peace. No other nation on earth can do so. President John Kennedy once observed, “Some say it is useless to speak of world peace, or world law, or world disarmament—and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I also believe we can help them to do it.”

We can do it by making sure that we have sufficient military power, together with our friends and allies, to defend our interests. We can do it by making sure that our forces and our doctrines do not invite attack or uncontrolled escalation. And last but not east, we can do it by taking the initiative to establish a new agenda of negotiations with the Soviet Union.

This agenda must encompass a comprehensive arms control effort, new institutions to control crises, and equally important, a revival of political dialogue aimed at eliminating points of confrontation. Only America has the strength, the regard for human values, the generosity of spirit, and the historical confidence to build a safe world. We have always regarded ourselves as a unique people in history, and we are. The world looks to us for the leadership required to ensure that history shall not end.

*Note: Ronald Reagan did not answer the survey in 1984.

Arms Control and the 1980 Election

The Arms Control Association believes that controlling the worldwide competition in armaments, preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and planning for a more stable world, free from the threat of nuclear annihilation, are goals that should take first priority for the United States and its leaders. The voters who go to the polls in the primaries and the general election have the right to know in detail the candidates’ position on these issues. Accordingly, this year, as we did in 1976, we asked the leading candidates for president—Governor Ronald Reagan, Republican, and President Jimmy Carter, Democrat—for their views on a number of critical questions involving arms control, disarmament, and national security. Their answers, provided by their campaign committees, are reproduced in full in this issue of Arms Control Today.

ACA: Are you in favor of the prompt ratification of the SALT II Treaty and Protocol as reported by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee? If not now, when, if ever, should they be ratified in this form? If you find problems in the Treaty and Protocol as reported, what specific changes do you consider essential before they should be ratified? How long do you believe ratification can be delayed to attain such changes?

Carter: In his June 18, 1979, address to the Congress President Carter stressed the importance of SALT II and the need for its ratification. He stated: “The SALT II Treaty must be judged on its own merits, and on its own merits it is a substantial gain for national security for us and the people whom we represent, and it is a gain for international stability.”

SALT II is much more comprehensive and better suited to America’s future strategic needs than SALT I. SALT II goes well beyond SALT I in almost all of its provisions. For example, the Treaty establishes a new precedent by setting equal ceilings on all major intercontinental strategic delivery systems, as well as important subcategories of MIRVed missiles. This requirement reflects a key demand expressed by the Senate when SALT I was negotiated. Furthermore, this negotiated principle of equality will require an actual reduction in the Soviet Union’s intercontinental forces. They will have to eliminate more than 250 systems.

The Treaty also imposes an effective upper limit on the number of warheads that can be placed on each MIRVed ICBM. This is critically important because it simplifies our future strategic planning and adds more certainty to our military projections.

SALT II also limits each side to developing and deploying one completely new ICBM before 1985. This provision will inhibit the qualitative expansion of the arms race, while still permitting us to develop an entirely new ICBM and a more secure basing mode for our ICBM force such as the mobile MX.

The Treaty unambiguously establishes that verification is a necessary component of arms control agreements in general, and SALT II specifically. It establishes that national technical means of verification, such as satellite photography, is the means for insuring compliance. It prohibits both interference with these means of verification and deliberate concealment that could impede the collection of necessary information. The agreement mandates that both sides follow special procedures to make verification easier.

These important steps significantly reduce the uncertainty about the threat each country faces. One of the major triggers of increased arms competition is uncertainty about what might exist. The SALT II Treaty takes a critical step toward reducing that uncertainty.

After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Carter asked that the Senate delay consideration of the SALT II Treaty so that the Congress and the executive branch could devote primary attention to the legislative and other matters required to respond to this crisis. Although the President has postponed consideration of the Treaty, he continues to believe that it is a sound treaty and should not be altered.

In a March 7, 1980 Message to Congress, the President stated: “I intend to ask the Senate to take up this treaty after these more urgent matters have been dealt with. As I said to you in my State of the Union Address, ‘especially now in a time of great tension, observing the mutual constraints imposed by the terms of (such) treaties will be in the best interest of both countries and will help to preserve world peace.”

Reagan: I believe the SALT II Treaty should be withdrawn, and I especially believe that the U.S. should not abide by its terms prior to ratification. To abide by the terms of the proposed agreement would violate Article XXXIII of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act of 1961.

SALT II is not Strategic Arms Limitation; it is Strategic Arms Build-up, with the Soviet Union authorized to add a minimum of 3,000 nuclear warheads to their arsenal, and the U.S. embarking on a$35 billion catch-up program which will not be complete until 1990, if then, and there will be ten very dangerous years in between.

ACA: In the absence of SALT II, what should the U.S. do this year, and urge on the Soviets, with respect to continued compliance with the Interim Agreement on Offensive Weapons, which lapsed in 1977, and the signed but unratified SALT II Treaty and Protocol?

Carter: President Carter believes that SALT II is the most effective means for pursuing a constructive strategic relationship with the Soviet Union. However, until the Senate ratifies the Treaty, the President has pledged that the U.S. will not take actions that would undermine the spirit and purpose of the SALT II Treaty. He has also pledged that the U.S. will continue to abide informally by the terms of the SALT I Interim Agreement so long as the Soviets do likewise. In the absence of a new Treaty, the United States will continue to meet regularly with the Soviets in the SALT Standing Consultative Commission to discuss implementation of the objectives and provisions of the SALT I ABM Treaty and the Interim Agreement as well as the September 30, 1971 Agreement on Measures to Reduce the Risk of Outbreak of Nuclear War.

Reagan: (No response)

ACA: As president in 1981, would you continue the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks? If so, what specific measures or positions would you propose the U.S. take? If not, what alternatives to SALT do you recommend?

Carter: The SALT II agreement is a major step forward in strategic arms control. But it is only one step. In the future, upon ratification of SALT II, President Carter will begin negotiation with the Soviets in SALT Ill on a complex agenda of arms control issues. These issues include significant reductions in strategic weapons, further qualitative limitations, limitations on long-range theater nuclear systems, and still further improvements in our ability to verify arms control agreements. At every step of the way the Administration will work closely with our NATO allies to insure that U.S. efforts in SALT Ill will advance their security as well as our own.

Reagan: The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan indicates that the Soviet Union does not share American expectations for a future in which the role of military power is diminished; we must therefore be prepared to take arms procurement measures best suited to U.S. national security interests.

Should subsequent behavior by the Soviet Union indicate that a reversal of current Soviet policy is credible, then the U.S. should be prepared to discuss an arms limitation agreement which legitimately reduces nuclear weapons on both sides to the point where neither country represents a threat to the other.

ACA: Should the U.S. attain sufficient numbers of MX or other high-accuracy missiles to provide a presumptive counter-silo capability? Do you favor the deployment of the new U.S. high-accuracy MX missile in the mobile ‘racetrack’ basing scheme? If you do not favor the ‘racetrack’ mode for MX, what other alternative(s) to the anticipated vulnerability of fixed-site, land-based missiles do you consider appropriate? [Options proposed include: elimination or reduction of fixed-site, land-based missiles, adoption of a ‘launch-on-warning’ doctrine, deployment of preferential or ‘point defense’ ABM systems around missile fields, mobile deployment of missiles in vertifical shelters (the ‘shell game’), and development of a new shallow, underwater mobile (SUM) deployment vehicle.

Carter: As a result of increasing accuracy of strategic systems, fixed land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) located in silos such as our Minuteman, are becoming vulnerable to attack. Clearly, we would prefer a world in which the silo-based ICBMs of both sides are invulnerable to a first strike. However, we cannot permit a situation in which the Soviets have a counterforce capability against silo-based ICBMs and we have no comparable capability. Mobile ICBMs provide the best alternative for reducing the vulnerability of land-based ICBMs. In light of this situation, President Carter has decided to proceed with full-scale development and deployment of the land-based mobile MX. He made this decision to assure our country a secure strategic deterrent now and in the future.

Reagan: The growth in Soviet strategic nuclear power threatens the ability of U.S. land-based nuclear forces to survive a Soviet first strike because all American ICBMs are now located in concrete silos making it possible for the Soviets to target these forces in advance. These developments make it an urgent matter that the United States take steps to improve the survivability of our land-based ICBMs. The best approach is to make the next generation of ICBMs (i.e. the MX missile) mobile so that it cannot be readily pre-targeted. There are however, many alternative approaches to mobility other than the proposal advanced by the administration that could be more rapidly and cheaply procured. We should seek a survivable basing mode for the next generation of ICBMs that will be readily deployable at an early date.

The race-track deployment proposed by the Carter Administration is enormously expensive and complicated, and will require years to build. This proposed mode of deploying the MX should be scrapped, because it is unworkable.

ACA: In view of recent developments, how can NATO best pursue its December 1979 decision both to deploy 464 new long-range theater nuclear cruise missiles and 108 Pershing II ballistic missiles in Western Europe and to negotiate mutual limits on such weapons with the Soviet Union? As president in 1981, would you seek to alter or follow-up on this decision and why?

Carter: The Administration believes that SALT II relies upon effective deterrence. To achieve effective deterrence NATO must upgrade its capacity to stabilize a conflict in Western Europe and to control nuclear escalation effectively. Vice President Mondale said: “SALT II is the central element in the alliance’s policy of pursuing both defense and detente. SALT II provides a framework for the United States to pursue strategic programs to strengthen our security while also constraining the arms race. In the same way, SALT provides both a foundation for the alliance to build a consensus to proceed with essential NATO theater nuclear force modernization, and it also furthers arms control initiatives to control the Soviet threat to Europe.”

Reagan: I favor development and deployment of the neutron warhead for U.S. theater nuclear forces including ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, artillery, and bombs. The neutron warhead is the most effective technological development available to meet the growth in Soviet armored strength (more than 100,000 troops have been added to Soviet East European deployments since the late 1960s) without risking a major increase in civil destruction. By greatly limiting the local damage from an attack on enemy troops, the warhead would help preserve the homeland of Western Europeans from the devastation of war.

The special characteristics of the neutron warhead would increase deterrence in Europe by improving the credibility of an effective NATO counter to Soviet military power. Such an increase in the credibility of deterrence would diminish the prospect that war would ever break out in Europe.

ACA: What steps would you take as president to deal with the spread of nuclear weapons to additional countries and terrorist groups? Should the U.S. supply fissionable material, sensitive nuclear power technologies, or conventional weapons to non-nuclear weapon states and, if so, why and under what conditions?

Carter: In his inaugural address, President Carter pledged ‘perseverance and wisdom in our efforts to limit the world’s armaments to those necessary for each nation’s own domestic safety.” The Carter Administration believes that limiting the proliferation of nuclear material is an urgent priority. While the President has taken many initiatives on his own, the cooperation of other suppliers of nuclear technology and materials is essential.

In keeping with his non-proliferation efforts, President Carter has initiated a comprehensive program aimed at insuring that the continued peaceful use of nuclear energy does not contribute to the spread of nuclear explosive capabilities. To this end, the Administration began the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation. INFCE is seeking to promote understanding and cooperation among nuclear consumers and suppliers on approaches to minimize the risks of diversion of fissionable materials to nuclear weapons at various stages in the nuclear fuel cycle.

In 1978, Congress enacted and President Carter signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act which established tighter control on U.S. support for International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards against the diversion of fissionable material to weapons use, the Non-Proliferation Act makes acceptance of such safeguards on all peaceful nuclear activities a condition of supply for non-nuclear weapon states desiring U.S. nuclear assistance on nuclear exports.

Reagan: (No response)

ACA: Do you support a comprehensive test ban treaty? If so, would you favor a short- or long-term agreement? Should low-yield nuclear tests be allowed to continue under such a treaty?

Carter: A comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty continues to be one of President Carter’s most important objectives in the arms control field as we seek to impose further qualitative constraints on the nuclear arms competition between the Soviet Union and the United States.

The Administration has been involved in trilateral CTB negotiations involving the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union since October 1977. In the past two years, the three delegations have agreed that the treaty, which will prohibit all nuclear weapons test explosions, will have a fixed duration and will enter into force when a specified number of states have ratified it. The delegations have also reached agreement that a protocol, which will be an integral part of the treaty, will establish a moratorium on all nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes. This moratorium will remain in force for the same duration as the treaty unless, in the course of discussions carried out after entry into force of the treaty and protocol, an agreed way can be found to preclude the acquisition of military benefits from nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes.

By demonstrating the willingness of the nuclear powers to accept restraints on their own nuclear capabilities and to abide by their own regulations, the CTB would put the United States in a more favorable position to pursue other key elements of its non-proliferation strategy.

Reagan: (No response)

ACA: As president, would you favor resuming discussions with the Soviet Union to restrict or ban the development, testing, or deployment of anti-satellite weapons? Under what circumstances would you favor a major U.S. program to develop these weapons?

Carter: President Carter has taken several steps to prevent an arms race in space and to minimize the threat to our own and our allies’ freedom to operate in space.

The United States and the Soviet Union have met for an initial discussion of anti-satellite matters. Two subsequent rounds of ASAT talks have been held. Although progress was made in these discussions, important issues still remain to be solved. A Joint U.S-Soviet Communiqué was issued at the last ASAT talk which stated that both sides “agreed to continue actively searching for mutually acceptable agreement in the continuing negotiations on antisatellite systems.”

The Soviets have conducted a series of tests with antisatellite systems. This limited Soviet ASAT capability represents an asymmetry that the President will not allow to go undecided. President Carter would prefer to eliminate the asymmetry through negotiation; however, in the absence of an effective ASAT agreement, the United States will continue working to improve the survivability of its satellites, and to develop an ASAT capability of its own.

Reagan: (No response)

ACA: What new arms control and reduction initiatives would you propose as president in 1981?

Carter: In the past three years, President Carter has laid the foundation for many new arms control and reduction initiatives.

In addition to seeking ratification of SALT II and negotiating a more comprehensive SALT III agreement the President will continue:
− negotiations on the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. A CTB would put the Administration in a more favorable position to pursue other key elements of its non-proliferation strategy, such as gaining wider adherence to the non-proliferation treaty and persuading other nations not to develop nuclear weapons;
− to encourage nations to accede to the Non-proliferation Treaty;
− to seek greater constraints in the proliferation of fissionable material;
− negotiations to limit anti-satellite weapons;
− investigate the issues surrounding the export of technologies with military as well as commercial applications. The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has taken an increasingly active role in advising on the implication of technology transfer;
− to reduce conventional arms transfer by exercising qualitative and quantitative restraint in U.S. arms transfer. While the U.S. will take the first step toward conventional arms restraint, large reductions in the worldwide traffic in arms will require multilateral cooperation. The bilateral Conventional Arms Transfer talks with the Soviet Union are central to this effort, and will continue to remain crucial in the coming years;
− the Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions negotiations between member states of NATO and of the Warsaw Pact;
− to seek curtailment in European theater nuclear forces. In 1979 the NATO Special Group was formed to give special consideration to the role that nuclear forces can play in contributing to a more stable military relationship between East and West;
− to seek multilateral initiatives to limit arms through the 40-member Committee on Disarmament, an autonomous body linked to the UN through the personal representative of the UN Secretary General;
− to negotiate a ban on chemical weapons. In recent meetings, both the United States and the Soviet Union have outlined objectives for a convention to limit chemical weapons;
− to negotiate a Radiological Weapons treaty between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In July 1979, the two governments successfully concluded the bilateral talks on radiological weapons and introduced a proposal incorporating the major elements of an RW treaty; talks to reduce United States and Soviet Union arms competition in the Indian Ocean.
President Carter considers prudent, equitable, and verifiable arms control agreements the preferred alternative to unrestrained arms competition. The effort to control the competition in weapons will require patience, wisdom, sound judgments and strength of purpose. President Carter believes these efforts are essential to achieve goals that are vital to the U.S. and to all mankind.

Reagan: (No response)

Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II (SALT II)


This treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union replaced the Interim Agreement with a long-term comprehensive treaty that provided broad limits on strategic offensive weapons systems.


The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II (SALT II) replaced the Interim Agreement. The Treaty came close to entering into force, but when U.S. President Ronald Reagan declared that the Soviet Union violated its political commitment to the Treaty, Reagan decided an interim framework, obligating the restraint from undercutting existing arms agreements, would work for the United States.

SALT II would have called for numerical limits on missiles, bans on certain missiles, definitions of limited systems, and verifications. Actions by the United States and the Soviet Union would have been verified through photo-reconnaissance satellites. The Treaty would have been in effect through 1985.

Opened for Signature: 18 June 1979

Entry into force: never

Official Text: http://www.state.gov/t/isn/5195.htm#treaty

Status and Signatories: http://www.state.gov/t/isn/5195.htm#narrative

ACA Backgrounder: https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/USRussiaNuclearAgreementsMarch2010

Country Resources:

Subject Resources:

Arms Control and the 1976 Election

The Arms Control Association believes that controlling the worldwide competition in armaments, preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, and planning for a more stable world free from the threat of nuclear annihilation are goals that should take first priority for the United States and its leaders.  The voters who go to the polls on November 2nd have the right to know in detail the candidates' positions on these issues.  Accordingly, earlier this year we asked President Ford and Governor Carter for their views on a number of critical questions involving arms control, disarmament, and national security—quite literally, matters of life or death.  Their answers, provided by their campaign committees, are reproduced in full in this issue of Arms Control Today.

Arms Control Association: Do you support the proposition that arms control and disarmament objectives are central to national security?  If so, what would you do in your Cabinet appointments and through your policies to implement this view?

Ford: President Ford most definitely feels that continued negotiations with the Soviet Union, in an effort to reduce both the level of tensions between the two nations and the dangerous arms race, are necessary to protect the interests and security of the United States.  As he stated in February of this year:

it is my duty…to do all that I can to reduce the level of danger by diplomatic means.  So my policy for national security can be summed up in three words: peace through strength.  I believe it is far better to seek negotiations with the Soviet Union…(based on strength)…than to permit a runaway nuclear arms race and risk a nuclear holocaust.

To implement these views the President has appointed and retained men, dedicated to such policies, both to Cabinet and sub-Cabinet positions: Donald Rumsfeld, formerly our Ambassador to NATO, later the President's chief of staff, and now serving in another position of high responsibility as Secretary of Defense; Secretary of State Kissinger; Brent Scowcroft, assistant to the President for national security affairs; and Fred Ikle, Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

The President will continue to appoint men of such high quality to these and other positions in the future.  Furthermore, the policy of attempting to negotiate with the Russians will continue.  Arms control and disarmament efforts in other parts of the world will be continued as well.

Carter: I believe that the mutual balance of terror is an inadequate foundation for a peaceful and stable world order.  While maintaining our military strength and the American nuclear deterrent are essential to world order under today's conditions, we also need a positive arms control program as a coordinate element of national security policy.  The specific steps I favor in the various major arms control areas are outlined in my answers below.

Arms Control Association: Do you believe that cessation of the arms race and general nuclear disarmament should be the objective of the United States?  If you do, what specific proposals would you put forward?

Ford: While cessation of the arms race and general nuclear disarmament are the ultimate goals of United States policy, they cannot be attained easily or quickly.  The immediate aim, therefore, of the President's policy of negotiations is the relaxation of tensions and continued steady gains in our relations with the Soviets.  The U.S. policy of controlling the strategic arms race has been carried on under five Presidents; the agreement at Vladivostok is aimed at quantitative limitations on such weapons.  Continuation of our present policy of peaceful negotiations is our best hope for ever attaining nuclear disarmament.

Carter: The international atomic weapons race must stop.  I believe that the ultimate goal of this nation should be the reduction of nuclear weapons in all nations of the world to zero.  Clearly, this is an ultimate rather than an immediate objective, and it may not occur in my lifetime.  But I would work toward ending the world's growing dependence on atomic weapons by specific measures in the areas of SALT, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear testing, as outlined below.

Arms Control Association: Do you believe that The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency should be strengthened and given a more important role in developing and implementing national security policies?  If so, how?

Ford: The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency occupies a prominent position within the decision-making structure of the Ford Administration with regard to national security policies, and no change in that position is foreseen. President Ford regards the Agency as an important factor in the development of policies in its area. The current Director, Dr. Fred Ikle, participates in National Security Council meetings when arms control, disarmament, and arms transfer questions are under consideration, and ACDA also plays a prominent role as a member of the Verification Panel where basic policy discussions in this field are studied. This indicates the esteem in which the President holds the Agency and its officers, and the responsibility he is willing to lay upon it in elaborating upon his policies in this complex and crucial policy area.

Carter: An early task of my Administration would be reform of the organization of our national security agencies. In such a reform, I would emphasize that arms control considerations must be given a major voice in national security deliberations.

The Republican Administration has gutted ACDA, and that is one of the reasons they have made so little real progress in arms control. Its functions must be revitalized.

The exact role of ACDA, or any other agency, would be established in the context of my general review of organizational questions. Certainly I would insure that my Administration would abide by the spirit as well as the letter of the Zablocki Amendment, which requires arms control impact statements on major new weapons programs — a requirement which the present Administration has slighted.

Arms Control Association: Do you favor a SALT II Treaty based generally on the 1974 Vladivostok Accords? If not, explain your objections.

Ford: President Ford views SALT II as an extension of SALT I, inasmuch as both are parts of our major, overall arms control objectives. He feels that SALT I was quite successful and deserves to be followed up:

Those who argue that SALT talks jeopardize the security of the United States are badly mistaken. In Vladivostok we began negotiating an agreement which, if successfully completed, will place equal ceilings on missiles, heavy bombers, and multiheaded missiles…We are continuing the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks with the Soviet Union for the simple but very good reason that these negotiations offer the best hope for sanity in super-power relations.

Carter: The Vladivostok levels are too high. Moreover, despite the ballyhoo, the Administration has not been able to produce an acceptable agreement on the Vladivostok guidelines in two years of trying and there still appear to be important issues unresolved. Information on the details of the obstacles have not been made public. Whether next year it would be best, if there is still no agreement, to seek to implement the Vladivostok ceilings and go on from there to agreements on reductions and technological controls, or whether a new approach would be required is a judgment on negotiating policy that I would make only after careful review of where the talks stand in January, 1977.

Arms Control Association: Do you believe the SALT II Treaty should place restrictions on the deployment of strategic cruise missiles?

Ford: Although cruise missiles may eventually have some limitations placed upon them as part of a comprehensive arms control plan, the Administration does not favor the imposition of unilateral restrictions on their development prior to firm commitments by the other side. At present the development of a U.S. cruise missile is well advanced over Soviet efforts and is continuing as an essential element in our strategic arsenal.*

Carter: I recognize the possible utility of cruise missiles of certain kinds for maintaining the effectiveness of our bomber deterrent. On the other hand, strategic range cruise missiles also present important arms control issues because of the difficulty in verifying their characteristics and the number of platforms from which they could be launched. So cruise missiles pose a case of the need for arms control factors to be considered before deployment decisions by the United States. If I were satisfied that an agreement would be adequately verified, I would accept, in return for appropriate Soviet commitments regarding controls on their weapons, some limits on strategic range cruise missile deployments in a new SALT agreement.

Arms Control Association: After SALT II, what should our goals for SALT III be?

Ford: President Ford sees the intent of SALT Ill as a continuation of attempts to negotiate limits on strategic nuclear arms. The particular goals will depend upon the 4 exact achievements of the SALT II negotiations and the stage of technological development when the SALT Ill negotiations begin. As a general concept, SALT Ills intended to apply quantitative limitations on numbers of vehicles, while SALT Ill would provide the upper limits on quantitative capabilities and stabilize the strategic positions of the two super-powers.

Carter: The core of our dealings with the Soviet Union must be mutual reduction of arms and halting the race in strategic technology. We should negotiate to reduce the present SALT ceilings on offensive weapons before both sides start a new arms race to reach the current maximums, and before new missile systems are tested or committed for production. Attaining these objectives will require hard bargaining with the Soviets, but I’m not afraid of hard bargaining with the Soviet Union, and it would strengthen the support for the agreements that can be reached and I show that SALT is not a one way street.

Arms Control Association: What steps should the United States take to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons?

Ford: President Ford believes that there are several steps the U.S. must take and must continue, in order to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons:
* Through diplomatic channels, encourage universal adherence to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The recent ratification by Japan, and the accession of many of the Western European countries over a year ago, demonstrate the viability of the Treaty.
* Through mutual security arrangements, create the protection that permits countries to forego the acquisition of nuclear weapons. By seeking to lessen regional tensions, the President hopes to reduce the motivation for the development of nuclear weapons by states in that region.
* By following a policy of imposing international safeguards on all exported nuclear facilities, and avoiding the transfer of sensitive materials, help to meet the legitimate needs for electrical power generation without providing a capability for weapons development. At the same time, we must not be quixotic in our supply policy since we will drive recipients to other sources or to develop their own independent capacity, and thereby lose our influence and ability to exert control over international nuclear affairs.
* Because the U.S. is not the only supplier of nuclear technology, President Ford wants to obtain the cooperation of other suppliers in applying safeguards and restrictions on exports. We recently have had good results in concerting the export policies of the major supplier nations, but the president will continue to press for even stricter, and more broadly based, controls and restraints.
* The effectiveness of the International Atomic Energy Agency is an important key to achieving an international nuclear regime where power needs are met under appropriate safeguards against diversion of nuclear materials to weapons. The President believes we should work with the IAEA, both through contribution of money, and the provision of technical support to continuously update and enhance its effectiveness.

Carter: We must make halting proliferation of nuclear weapons a top national priority.
As President, I would take the following eleven steps to control further nuclear proliferation:
1. I would call upon all nations to adopt a voluntary moratorium on the national sale or purchase of enrichment or reprocessing plants — a moratorium which should apply retroactively to the recent German-Brazilian and the French- Pakistan agreements.
2. I would make no new commitments for the sale of nuclear technology or fuel to countries which refuse to forego nuclear explosives, to refrain from national nuclear reprocessing, or to place their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.
3. I would seek to withhold authority for domestic commercial reprocessing until the need for, the economics, and the safety of this technology is clearly demonstrated. If we should ever decide to go forward with commercial reprocessing, it should be on a multinational basis.
4. I would call for an international Conference on Energy, to provide a forum in which all nations can focus on the nonproliferation issue. Such a Conference must also explore non-nuclear means of meeting energy demands of other nations so that no state is forced into a premature Commitment to atomic power.
5. I would support a strengthening of the safeguards and inspection authority of the IAEA and place all of our own peaceful domestic nuclear facilities under those safeguards.
6. I would seek to renegotiate our existing agreements as a nuclear supplier, many of which were entered into before we began insisting on reprocessing safeguards and which are now inadequate.
7. I would take steps to ensure that the U.S. is once again a reliable supplier of enriched uranium — the fuel for civilian reactors which is unsuitable for weapons — by supporting enlargement of our government-owned facility.
8. I would explore international initiatives such as multinational enrichment plants and multinational spent fuel storage areas which could provide alternatives to the establishment of enrichment or reprocessing plants on a national basis.
9. I would redirect our own energy research and development efforts to correct the disproportionate emphasis which we have placed on nuclear power at the expense of renewable energy technologies. Our emphasis on the breeder reactor must be converted into a long term, possibly multinational effort.
10. Finally, I would follow through on my belief that the United States can and should negotiate a comprehensive test ban treaty with the Soviet Union, and reduce, through the SALT talks, strategic nuclear forces and technology.
11. I would encourage the Soviet Union to join us in a total ban of all nuclear explosions for at least five years. This ban would include so-called ‘peaceful nuclear devices.”

Arms Control Association: Should the United States export nuclear fuel and equipment for nuclear power plants to countries which have refused to ratify the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

Ford: The President has not restricted U.S. nuclear cooperation to only those countries that have ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty, because such a policy would not effectively function as a non-proliferation tool. Other suppliers, who may themselves not be parties to the Treaty, could step in and provide the nuclear facilities and materials, with fewer restraints than we require. The U.S. not only insists that all of its exported nuclear material be under international safeguards, but also exercises some additional bilateral controls over the development of the recipient countries’ nuclear program. For example, nuclear fuel cannot be reprocessed abroad without U.S. approval.

Carter: I believe it is important that we create incentives for all countries to participate in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. For that reason, we should refuse to sell nuclear power plants and fuels to nations who do not become a party to the NPT or who will not adhere to strict provisions on international safeguards of nuclear facilities or who refuse to refrain from national nuclear reprocessing.

Arms Control Association: Should the United States insist that non-parties to the NPT to which such materials are exported be required to place all their peaceful nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards?

Ford: The President considers it an important objective to achieve full safeguards on all nuclear facilities in non- weapon states. As the first major step in this direction, the key suppliers have undertaken to require safeguards on all their exports, thereby closing off external sources of unsafeguarded facilities. He would, of course, encourage the application of safeguards to all indigenous facilities as a condition of export, but does not believe we can enforce such a policy without the cooperation of the other suppliers. Again, a unilateral U.S. policy simply would not be effective. We are, however, continuing to meet with the other suppliers, and expect further progress toward this objective.

Carter: I believe such a requirement would be a wise one, and that the United States should negotiate with other supplier nations to make it a condition of all sales. The possibility of achieving such a common position has not been fully explored by the present Administration.

Arms Control Association: Do you support a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, verified by national technical means? Please explain your position.

Ford: President Ford does indeed support a Comprehensive Test Ban backed by adequate safeguards, and has taken steps to bring us closer to such a goal. Such a ban would be useful in stemming the tide of the arms race, first by the ban itself, and second, by fostering a spirit of cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Carter: I support a comprehensive test ban agreement with the Soviet Union, covering both weapons tests and so-called “peaceful’ nuclear explosions. The United States and the Soviet Union should conclude such an agreement immediately, to last for five years, during which they should encourage all other countries to join. At the end of the five year period the agreement can be continued if it serves the interests of the parties. Such a ban would be a significant arms limitation agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union, and, as other nations joined, could have highly favorable effects in reducing the dangers of nuclear proliferation. National verification capabilities over the last twenty years have advanced to the point where we no longer have to rely on on-site inspection to distinguish between earthquakes and even very small weapons tests, so a comprehensive test ban verified by national technical means would be acceptable.

Arms Control Association: Do you believe that the proposed Threshold Test Ban (permitting underground tests up to 150 kilotons and Soviet peaceful explosions of multiple devices totaling higher yields with U.S. observers present) will be a useful step in controlling nuclear weapons? Please state your position.

Ford: The President sees the Threshold Test Ban as a useful step toward the ultimate goal of controlling nuclear weapons, in that it brings us closer to a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban with its attendant benefits to the world. As the President said on June 7, 1976:

For 25 years, American Presidents have been trying to negotiate the peaceful experiments in nuclear explosions. We have been trying for 25 years to get on-site inspection in the Soviet Union, to see whether they were living up to those agreements. I have just signed, about 10 days ago, a negotiated settlement that gives the United States the right to make certain — to make positive — in the Soviet Union, that the agreement they signed is lived up to.

President Ford is concerned that we not stop there, but continue to press forward in our negotiations to achieve still more gains under the nuclear test policy of his Administration.

Carter: The so-called Threshold Test Ban Treaty represents a wholly inadequate step beyond the limited test ban of 13 years ago. The so-called “on-site” inspection provisions of the peaceful nuclear explosions agreement signed recently may be a concession in Soviet eyes, but contrary to Administration claims, they are no compensation for the PNE agreement’s dangerous legitimizing of peaceful nuclear explosions, which are indistinguishable from bombs.

Arms Control Association: Would you increase, reduce, or maintain the present levels of U.S. nuclear weapons in South Korea? In Western Europe? If you favor reductions, over what time frame?

Ford: President Ford has no plans for altering the current level of U.S. military commitments overseas; the present deployment represents a careful balance of forces worked out over a period of many years and is tailored to meet the security needs of the U.S. and our allies. In Western Europe however, we can visualize that under the proper circumstances such as a reduction in Warsaw Pact forces in central Europe, the U.S. could withdraw a limited number of tactical nuclear weapons, and in fact NATO has offered to do just this. At the same time, the President is determined resist attempts at unilateral U.S. disarmament.

Carter: We have many tactical nuclear weapons, some of great size, both within this nation and outside the continental limits of the United States. The present deployments are more than adequate to accommodate our deterrence needs. Tactical nuclear weapons should be withdrawn from unnecessarily exposed positions and their numbers related to realistic missions for such weapons. In particular, tactical nuclear weapons should be withdrawn from Korea as a pail of a gradual withdrawal of U.S. ground forces which in turn would be part of an overall coordinated plan to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. This would involve several steps:

—we must see that Korea can defend itself;
—we will leave adequate air support and build up South Korean air capability;
—we will act only in full consultation with both South Korea and Japan. It is essential that nothing be done to cause turmoil in Japan;
—we will seek to encourage the Communist powers to engage their North Korean friends in a search for a reduction in tensions in the area.

Arms Control Association: Do you believe the United Stales should make it a policy not to be the first to use nuclear weapons in certain circumstances? It so, under what circumstances?

Ford: The policy of the United States, as expressed by the Ford Administration, has always been that it will not precipitate a nuclear war. The nuclear capacity of the United States will be used only when it is seen as absolutely essential to the security of the United States and its for example, an actual nuclear attack upon this nation. Except in such circumstances, the task of our nuclear forces is to act as a deterrent to an attach by any aggressor.

Carter: The use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances would be an awesome step. I am not hoping that any nuclear war could stay limited. The present Administration has been entirely too casual in discussing the possibility of nuclear war, and in appearing to threat initiation of nuclear war for political purposes, or for fight so-called limited nuclear wars. The concentration of our defense policy, especially our nuclear policy, must be on deterrence. Unfortunately, we cannot renounce first use of nuclear weapons in those limited situations where vital and essential United States interests maybe threatened by military aggression against us or our allies. This is part of deterrence; of ensuring that a war will never begin. However, I believe we need to insure that we and our allies have conventional capability to reduce dependence on nuclear weapons.

Arms Control Association: Should the United States initiate efforts to control the sales abroad of conventional armaments? What specific steps should be taken?

Ford: The demand for armaments of all types around the world is great, and the number of suppliers is large. Therefore, any attempt to curtail arms sales will probably be unsuccess1 unless all nations involved in the sales of weapons can come to some sort of agreement. Otherwise, the market will be open only to those who choose not to participate in the agreement. President Ford is unwilling to create a situation in which the more responsible nations are forced to sit by, having agreed to cease arms sales abroad, while the less scrupulous nations who opt not to join the agreement are allowed to be the sole suppliers to the ever-increasing market. Such a unilateral curtailment would do little to restrict the traffic in arms.

Furthermore, the President is determined that the United States retain the option to provide our friends and allies with the weapons necessary to protect themselves. If we expect them to assume the burden of their own defense, they must be able to obtain the resources necessary for that defense. The United States cannot be a party to any agreement that would prevent us from aiding those who depend on our support.

The Ford Administration is, however, being very judicious in the sales of U.S. arms abroad so that arms are provided only to those who can demonstrate a valid need for them. We are encouraging other friendly supplier nations to exercise equal caution along these lines. The President has directed that all possible steps be taken to prevent acquisition of arms from us by those who would put them to illegitimate uses.

Carter: I am particularly concerned by our nation’s role as the world’s leading arms salesman. Our sales of billions of dollars of arms, particularly to developing nations, fuel regional arms races and complicate our relationships with other supplier nations. We cannot be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of weapons of war. If I become President I will work with our allies, some of whom also sell arms, and also seek to work with the Soviets, to reduce the commerce in weapons. We must assess every arms sale on an individual national basis, to insure that the only sales we make are those that promote peace in the regions and carry out our committed foreign Policy. At the same time, there are certain arms sales programs, notably those to Israel, which are necessary so that Israel can pursue peace from a position of strength and security. Our diplomacy in this area should be based on a four part approach: (a) An international conference of suppliers and consumers to put the issue to the forefront of the world’s arms control agenda, (b) greater U.S. self-restraint, (c) work with western suppliers and the Soviets to dampen down arms sales promotion, and (d) support for regional efforts to limit arms buildup.

Arms Control Association: Do you believe the United States should support the proposed World Disarmament Conference?

Ford: The concept of a World Disarmament Conference has been employed as part of a Communist propaganda campaign for many years; the U.S. has consistently held that such a broadside approach is unlikely to yield real results. In keeping with his policy of seeking to achieve peace through negotiations, President Ford has supported plans for various meetings in which nations could gather to formulate programs for specific disarmament objectives. In fact, the U.S. has participated in meetings in Geneva of this nature. The President would not favor our participation in large and unstructured conferences if they appeared to be simply a tool by which certain groups of nations would elaborate unworkable proposals, and subvert such meetings to their own purposes.

The President is of the opinion that the results of arms control and reduction conferences must fully protect the security of the United States. The costs, benefits, and responsibilities of disarmament plans must be fully shared on a fair basis by all nations involved. No nation should be allowed to gain an advantage at the expense of another. An equitable agreement would be one which will bring about true world disarmament.

Carter: Arms control is a worldwide concern: Nonproliferation is important to both nuclear weapons and non-nuclear weapons states. SALT is in the interest of all, not just the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. Arms sales divert resources from development and build regional tensions that could lead to world war; the whole world ultimately bears the burden of expending our planet’s resources on arms. Therefore, all elements of the world population must be fully represented in arms control efforts. As the same time, we must treat arms control as a serious business, not an occasion for posturing or propaganda. For that reason, I am skeptical about very large scale disarmament conferences with no clear agenda. But if we can develop an appropriate agenda, I would favor as broad a conference as possible on the control of conventional weapons in order to move this issue to the front rank of the world’s concerns. I also favor an international Conference on Energy to provide a forum in which all nations can focus on the nonproliferation issue as well as other energy issues.

*During the October 6th presidential candidate foreign policy television debate, however, President Ford offered a different view concerning cruise missiles in SALT:
Question (Henry Trewhitt, Baltimore Sun): “Let me…submit that the cruise missile adds a whole new dimension to the arms competition—and then cite a statement by your office to the Arms Control Association a few days ago in which you said the cruise missile might eventually be included in a comprehensive arms limitation agreement…may I assume that you’re tending to exclude the cruise missile from the next SALT agreement, or is it still negotiable in that context?”
Ford: “I believe that the cruise missile, which we are now developing in research and development across the spectrum from air, from the sea, or from the land, can be included within a SALT II agreement. They are a new weapons system that has a great potential, both conventional and nuclear-armed. At the same time, we have to make certain that the Soviet Union’s Backfire, which they claim is not an intercontinental aircraft and which some of our people contend is, must also be included if we are to get the kind of agreement which is in the best interest of both countries…”



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