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Premise: If Americans are to be asked to support, make sacrifices for, and if necessary die for a national security policy, they should understand it and participate in its formulation.
The new Carter administration has both an opP°r tunity and an obligation to make this premise a f"aCt The basis for our present national security P®*1 was formulated in the early 1960s and reaffirmed 1972. It has been overtaken by events, politic and technologically. An up-to-date strategy f°r C 1980s is required.
If the American people are to understand the n strategy, they must have access to the broad P0^ cal, technological, and military assumption5 ^ which it is based. They must be convinced that t assumptions are valid. The people must then dec1 on the nation’s long-term objectives and de 1 America’s vital interests around the world. In 5110 ’ the people must participate in the formulation or national security policy. i
The Moscow Peace Package: In the past, the Stan practice has been to classify our “Basic National curity Policy” papers top secret. They were cons1 ered so sensitive that even our ambassadors and t ter commanders in the field were not sent copie5’
In May 1972, President Richard M. Nixon set^ new precedent. At his Moscow summit meeting"'j Communist Party General Secretary Leonm Brezhnev he negotiated three very important P° ^ documents. Instead of handling them on a oef to-know, limited distribution” basis after return to this country, the President sent them to the gress and asked for an “expression of support.
other two were executive agreements that did not ^ quire legislative branch approval. These were ^ SALT I (strategic arms limitation talks) accord an ^ “Declaration of Basic Principles for Mutual ^
Between the United States of America and the U of Soviet Socialist Republics.” Together, these t constitute the framework for our present relacl ^ with the Soviet Union. Thus, the key element5^e our national security policy were submitted to
One of these documents was the anti-ballistk sile (ABM) treaty which, under the Constitution* ^ quired the “advice and consent” of the Senate-
on5 ,iof> tree ;oHs ; °f the
'•nh^e°^e’ thrvugh their elected representatives, were granted an doCuecedented opportunity to approve a trio of important foreign policy s’8ndubbed the Moscow Peace Package,” which President Nixon hea‘it!*1*0 ^aU September 1972. Similarly, President Carter ought to
secUr- e vox populi—the voice of the people—as he forges the basic national lty policy that will govern future AmericanlSoviet relations.
elected representatives of the people for open discussion and approval.
During August and September 1972, both the House and the Senate reviewed these agreements. After a protracted Senate debate led by Senator J. William Fulbright on the one hand and Senator Henry Jackson on the other, the Congress passed House Joint Resolution 1227.
By this action, the Congress:
^ Approved SALT I which set limits on certain strategic offensive forces
^ Provided guidance for any subsequent negotiations affecting the balance of strategic weapons (i.e., SALT II) specifying that any future arms control treaty “. . . not limit the United States to levels of intercontinental strategic forces inferior to the limits provided for the Soviet Union.”
^ Endorsed portions of the Declaration of General Principles
^ Commended the President for negotiating the ABM treaty and agreeing to limit strategic offensive armaments
^ Urged the President to seek strategic arms reduction talks which would include the People’s Republic of China and other countries as well as the Soviet Union
^ Announced that the success of SALT I was “dependent upon the preservation of longstanding United States policy that neither the Soviet Union nor the United States should seek unilateral advantage by developing a first-strike potential.”
When the joint resolution was signed by President Nixon on 30 September 1972, it then became Public Law 92-448.
The Moscow Peace Package of 1972 is still the law of the land. Since the SALT I agreement expires on 3 October 1977, unless replaced by “. . .a more complete strategic offensive arms agreement,” the policy issues associated with SALT II must already weigh heavily on President Jimmy Carter’s mind. Nearly five years have passed since that historic Nixon- Brezhnev meeting, and many changes have taken place on the world scene. It is time for the American people themselves to reassess this peace package.
Has it accomplished its purpose of strengthening peaceful relations between the United States and the Soviet Union? Is the strategic balance more stable, and is America more secure as a result of these three agreements? Does the record show that the calculated risks for peace which the United States accepted in 1972 were worth taking?
The MAD Doctrine: Before considering these agreements individually, it is important to understand the strategic concept on which they are all based and on which the nation’s security depends to day. It is called mutual assured destruction (MAD)- The doctrine goes back to the early 1960s and stems from the following lines of reasoning:
► Nuclear weapons possess the power to destroy civilization. Therefore, neither the United States nor the U.S.S.R. can “win” a nuclear war in a practic3 political sense.
^ A finite number of nuclear weapons exploded in the Soviet Union would cause intolerable destruction and eliminate its war-making capability.
^ Our stockpiles already exceed this finite number' Thus, we have an “overkill” capacity. This being die case, there is no point in devoting national resources, which could better be used for other purposes, t0 increasing our strategic nuclear forces.
The MAD doctrine seeks to create conditions under which policymakers in both Moscow and Washing ton will be convinced that no matter which si launched an initial nuclear attack, the other coin absorb the resulting damage and still be able to re taliate, inflicting intolerable destruction on the ag gressor. Thus, a true “balance of terror” would achieved, and nuclear war would no longer be a r‘l tional option. As long as this balance can be rnalfl tained, progress could then be made toward furdief step-by-step reductions in strategic arms.
The mutuality of the strategic balance was to maintained through strategic arms limitati°nS agreements, starting with SALT I. Assured destruc tion was to be achieved through the ABM treat) wherein both sides agreed not to build any natio° wide ballistic missile defenses.
As it turned out, the two sides had widely diff^ ing interpretations as to what constituted a “mutU‘ strategic balance.” As far as the United States concerned this meant “essential equivalence 0 strategic nuclear forces. That is to say, while the t"° sides did not have to be identical in every comp°nent of their nuclear forces, overall their strategic capabilities would be essentially equal. The Soviet’ on the other hand, have insisted on “equal secuf'D taking into account geographic and other cons> erations.” To them this means that they are entity to a strategic capability equal to the sum of the U -5’’ British, French, and Red Chinese nuclear forces.
The important thing for the American people remember is that the MAD doctrine and the princ‘P of “essential equivalence” are strictly U.S. concept Experience during more than five years of ^ negotiations—as confirmed by independent reseaf, . by Sovietologists in this country—indicates that c Kremlin planners: ^
y Do not consider nuclear war “unthinkable.
c°ntrary, they are preparing the Soviet Union not
y \Y ^°Pu^atlon and industrial base. fk °uld avoid a nuclear war unless it is forced upon f111 ^y some perceived threat to Russia’s vital inter- V "^hey are seeking a “war-winning” capability for
r°rmer Secretary of State Henry Kissinger s far reSS*0n—a. “free ride” to the undefended U.S.
Under the State Department’s interpretation, (j S. hostage treaty provides that the peoples of the ^‘ted States and the Soviet Union “are to remain eVeerlV vulnerable to a missile attack.” Kissinger is k Uiore specific. He describes the present situation cif one *n which “under virtually no foreseeable ^stances could the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. avoid 2, Million dead in a nuclear exchange.” s()ese figures emphasize how much of a direct per- stake every American family has in our current t security policy. This bilateral treaty, which
dQcether with SALT I serves to implement the MAD
was ratified at a time when the Senate was world of two superpowers.
^ v to survive a nuclear war, but to win it.
ave made no commitment not to develop a first- r* e capability. In fact, their military literature y Pports the doctrine of “preemptive strike.”
^ earned from the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 cljC s'^e r^e preponderance of strategic nu- ar forces does have a decisive political advantage can attain its ends without necessarily resorting ade the policy decision in the mid-1960s to leve a “war-winning” capability for their strategic the ^ ^°rces anc^ a “war-survival” capability for
Cl I* . . •
country so that it will have the ability to lm- fre lts will on other nations in future political con- “entati°ns. They are determined that in the next So^ a^'t0‘eyeball” encounter, it will not be the tT ^n‘on ^at backs down, tre e Treaty: America has entered into many
bo^165 s‘nce it became a nation—treaties to define Pro ri<^ar'eS’ t0 facilitate trade and commerce, to |j rtlote the peaceful exploration of outer space, to armaments, and to end wars. But on 3 August gav ’ the Senate by an overwhelming vote of 88-2 fr°rn *tS Consent to a treaty pledging us to refrain g tfie common defense of our people, to ^ Prohibiting any nationwide defense against in- tees'n® ballistic missiles, this treaty in effect guaranis the incineration of roughly half the American ^Pulation in the event of an all-out nuclear attack ft ensures that enemy missiles, re- ess of where they may originate, will have to former Hpnrv Kissinger s
,ri8 in terms of a ________________ - , .
evact chat the ABM treaty has been overtaken by ts has been underlined four times in the past
year as the Red Chinese fired their successive nuclear tests. The most recent four-megaton thermonuclear blast at Lop Nor should make the two “utterly vulnerable” populations in America and Russia realize they can no longer ignore the growing and legally uninhibited threat from mainland China.
Given the tense present situation along the Sino- Soviet border, it would be naive to assume that the tough, realistic men in the Kremlin would allow the ABM treaty with the United States to stand in the way of the civil defense and ABM measures required to protect the Russian people from their ideological rival’s nuclear missiles.
The evidence shows that it has not. The Soviets’ ABM research program has actually been accelerated since the treaty was signed. Experts estimate that they now have the capability to activate within one year a nationwide ballistic missile defense system based on their new X-3 phased array transportable radar and their high-altitude SA-5 interceptor missile, both of which are already operational.
To improve their war-survival capacity, the Soviets in 1974 spent eight times as much as did the United States on their strategic defense forces. Their civil defense program, which has been in operation for the past 20 years, has a current budget estimated at around $1 billion each year. (Comparable U.S. expenditures are running less than $80 million annually.) The Russians have elaborate evacuation plans for their cities, and these could be implemented on short notice. There have been recent reports that they are planning a major civil defense exercise during 1977 which would include the evacuation of at least one of their larger cities. So much have the Soviet war-survival capabilities improved since the ABM treaty was signed that official U.S. studies now concede that the U.S. is ten times as vulnerable to a nuclear attack as the Soviet Union.
By contrast, U.S. missile' defenses are now zero. In November 1975, the Congress voted to shut down on grounds of economy our only ABM complex (two were authorized under the original treaty). As a result, shortly after this $6 billion installation became operational, the ABM sites defending our Minuteman silos in North Dakota were completely dismantled. This was done despite the protests from the Army pointing out that the technicians had not even had time to gain any practical experience from the operation of this complex defensive weapon system.
Summing things up, the Department of Defense’s fiscal year 1977 annual report states that because of the ABM treaty, it is continuing “. . .to reduce its emphasis on actively defending the continental United States against all-out strategic attack.”
since SALT I was signed in Moscow, U.S. spent* on its strategic nuclear forces (including research & development) has continued to decline steadily- v'n funding for these forces in fiscal year 1976 reach1 the lowest levels in the past 15 years. The strate^r forces’ share of the defense budget in fiscal f ^ 1977, while higher than in 1976, was still less t half that spent annually (in fiscal-year 1977 PrlC£ during the early 1960s. n
In a March 1976, report, Donald Rumsfeld, c Secretary of Defense, stated flatly that these adve strategic trends—the U.S. forces down; those of 1 ,f Soviets up—have acquired a momentum of c j own. This momentum is the result of the long ie®g times involved in modern weapon systems1 months to prepare a missile silo, two and a half ye to build a B-l bomber, and four years for a Tfl submarine. Even with major increases in U-S- fense appropriations, it would take years to reV£t these trends. According to Rumsfeld, “The Pres* £cC in the mid-1980’s will have little basis for confi^el^y in the adequacy of U.S. military capabilities then, unless America takes drastic action,
SALT I: SALT I has been called “the heart of detente.” It is a five-year interim arms limitation agreement designed to stabilize the balance of nuclear capability between the two superpowers by freezing their strategic forces into what the American negotiators believed was a condition of “essential equivalence.” Unless replaced by a follow-on accord, it automatically expires this October. In November 1974, a few months after he assumed office, President Gerald R. Ford met with General Secretary Brezhnev in Vladivostok and worked out a set of guidelines for SALT II. Unfortunately, there still remain wide differences as to the interpretation of certain key terms that were used at that time.
In 1972, when the Congress expressed its approval of SALT I, it recognized that it was conceding to the Soviet Union a 3:2 numerical superiority in intercontinental ballistic missiles and a 4:1 advantage in throw-weight, or missile payload. The Congressmen did this with their eyes open, hoping that this gesture would increase mutual trust and create a momentum for future reductions in nuclear armaments. They did, however, specify that any future treaty “. . . not limit the United States to levels of intercontinental strategic forces inferior to the limits provided the Soviet Union.” Any subsequent permanent agreement was to be based on the principle of “equality.”
Unfortunately, such “essential equivalence” as may have existed in 1972 has diminished markedly as far as the United States is concerned. How did this happen? How did the Soviet forces become stronger while on the U.S. side there was no comparable improvement? What happened was that the Soviets pursued vigorous programs directed toward qualitative improvements in the accuracy and yield-to- weight ratios of their warheads as well as quantitative increases in the numbers of their MIRVs (multiple independently-targeted reentry vehicles). In brief, the Soviets meant what they said in 1972 and did what they said, but we did not.
Here is what the Soviets said: During the Moscow summit, Brezhnev and his colleagues made it “absolutely clear”—to use President Nixon’s expression when he briefed members of Congress in the White House on 15 June 1972, after his return—that Russia was going ahead with its programs in the strategic offensive area which were not specifically limited by SALT I.
Here is what the Soviets did: They developed four new high-technology ICBMs, each with greater throw-weight than those they are replacing. Three of them have MIRV warheads. They are deploying one of these new missiles, the SS-16, as a land-mobile missile. A mobile, MIRVed intermediate range ballistlC missile, the SS-20, has also been placed in operati00, and experts agree it could readily be modified to g‘^e it full intercontinental range. Two new secon generation nuclear submarines have joined the Soviet fleet, one carrying 4,200-nautical mile range Over 100 supersonic Backfire bombers are estimate to have been deployed with operational units of 1 Soviet Air Force. Backfires have an intercontinent range capability. A most significant advance is two of the new Russian ICBMs can be c° launched” from their silos with compressed gas, c permitting the silos to be quickly reloaded. Th|S development and that of the land-mobile miss* which can evade detection by satellite photogtap promises to render meaningless all arms control l'1^1 rations based on monitoring numbers of launchers this means.
Meanwhile, here is what the United States sa> When the Congress passed Public Law 92-448 &P. proving SALT I, it emphasized that the attainment: ^ more permanent and comprehensive arms contf agreements in the future was dependent upon t ^ ”... maintenance under present world condition* a vigorous research and development and modem12® tion program [for our strategic forces] as require^ a prudent strategic posture.
And here is what we did: During the five )fe‘
strategic capabilities will come to be seen as sup1 to that of the United States.” ,
The Declaration of Basic Principles of Mutual K
ervened openly and massively in Angola, pro- lng more than $400 million in military equip- aetlt> hundreds of military advisors and transporting sce^’^90-man Cuban expeditionary force to the
^ p .
c r°vided, both directly and indirectly, arms, hib^S> adv*ce> and encouragement to the Palestine f eration Organization, thus impeding negotiations a lasting cease-fire in the Lebanon conflict.
^'AX >ner!Cas essent*al national interests: Our essential ,, l0nal interests are categorized as “supreme” or ltah The term “supreme national interests,” as
ln Public Law 92-448, refers to the survivabil-
<j.ns Between the United States of America and the Union Soviet Socialist Republics: This declaration, some** referred to as the “Charter for Detente,” has st much of its credibility since it was signed in °scow in 1972. Despite the pledges made at that that both parties would make special efforts to strategic armaments, would try to prevent con- lcts which would increase international tensions, nd Would forswear efforts to obtain unilateral advan- ^ §es at the expense of the other, the Soviets have: Accelerated ,-he buildup of their strategic nuclear
ccncouraged and helped the North Vietnamese ^.rry °ut the armed conquest of South Vietnam in eIrect violation of the 1973 Paris accords which jQrided the Vietnam War. (The U.S.S.R. formally tned with other powers to guarantee the implemen- ► t-i°n °f this agreement.)
j rained and equipped the Egyptian and Syrian ^ rueS ^°r t^le‘r 1973 surprise attack on Israel, in nCOura«ed the Organization of Petroleum Export- q g Countries (OPEC) to place an embargo on crude r during the 1973 Mideast conflict and to quad-
^ f e the price afterward.
th' t^le nat'on itself—a very real problem, given 1(Capabilities of modern nuclear weapons, to ^'ta^ mterests” are those of sufficient importance ^arrant the commitment of American forces. The
defense of Western Europe is the classic example of a vital U.S. interest. The oil crisis of 1973-74 brought home to Americans the reality of the interdependence of nations, particularly as it applies to energy, food, and the resources of the seas. It reemphasized not only the strategic but also the economic importance of our alliance system. At the same time, it highlighted some of the forces which are tending to pull the system apart. There are any number of cases which illustrate the disturbing results of:
► The shifting balance of nuclear power to the U.S.S.R.
► The decline of our national credibility after the fall of Vietnam
► The growing possibility that some Western European countries might become “Communist by consent”
► The shortsighted political expediency demonstrated by the unseemly eagerness of certain Congressmen to abrogate our defense treaty with the Chinese Nationalists on Taiwan and to reduce our token forces in South Korea
► The Kremlin’s announcement that the Soviet nuclear umbrella has now been spread over "wars of national liberation” wherever they may occur (with Angola and Zaire setting an ominous precedent).
Interdependence also reemphasized the fact that our vital interests all hinge on our being able to maintain our traditional role as the preeminent maritime power, capable of guaranteeing the freedom of the seas. Access to strategic raw materials, the support of NATO, maintenance of our global alliance system, and the defense of the homeland itself all depend on our Navy’s ability to project our power
Ar n’!' ■bome ,u tf
across the oceans of the world.
Yet the U.S. Navy has been cut almost in half over the past eight years. Today, our entire fleet has fewer ships than at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. Meanwhile, the Soviet Navy, under the vigorous leadership of Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Sergei Gorshkov—an outspoken proponent of Russian control of the seas—has been given a high priority call on Soviet resources by the Politburo. As a result, the Soviet Navy, which already has twice as many nuclear-powered, missile-armed submarines as we do, may soon be in a position to achieve Gorshkov’s “first salvo” goal of being able "... to destroy the military-economic potential of the enemy by direct assault on his vital industrial centers.” The records shows that over the decade from 1965 to 1975, the U.S.S.R. spent 70% more than did the United States on its naval forces.
Over the brief period since the SALT I talks began in 1969, the Russians have moved from inferiority to rough equivalence to overall parity. They are now working hard to achieve acknowledged supremacy in the field of strategic nuclear forces. As they have grown in strength, detente has changed, and our alliances have shown signs of an initial erosion. What was once to have been a mutual effort to ensure a diverse, but more stable, world has resulted in an unstable balance of power which is beginning to favor the Communist side.
Thus, as we approach the 1980s, we find America drifting into second place as a world power. Present national security policies tend to confirm rather than to reverse this drift. Clearly a new U.S. strategy is needed, one which clearly establishes four basic security objectives:
^ First: We must regain our acknowledged supremacy in strategic nuclear forces.
^ Second: We must provide for the defense of our homeland against ballistic missile attack. We owe this to our children.
^ Third: We must rebuild our Navy. Our security and continued economic growth depend on its being able to carry out its traditional role of maintaining the freedom of the seas.
y Fourth: We must revitalize our worldwide alliance system. This requires us to demonstrate once again our moral integrity and our willingness and capability to meet our treaty obligations.
Needed: A Review of National Security Policy: Unfortunately neither the public nor the press has given the proper attention to the three policy documents that make up the Moscow peace package. Certainly, no effort has been made by the American people to assess the results of this package after nearly five
years of hard experience. Nor have they been asked to help the government decide on the essential objec fives for a new strategy. ,
The procedure used by President Nixon in subm|C ting these policy papers to the Congress was a maj°r breakthrough—as far as it went. The trouble is it did not more directly involve the electorate z^e 100 million hostages.
The Carter administration has an opportunity duf ing its first year in office to adopt an entirely ffeS approach to the formulation of basic national security policy. Now that his new Cabinet members have ha a reasonable shakedown period and have establish control of their respective departments, the Preside^ should direct that Public Law 92-448 be review and revised to meet the national security requ're ments of the coming decade. He would require that this review be undertaken concurrently by. the tional Security Council and by a special joint cotu mittee of the Congress. The National Security Coun cil would conduct its review in private sessions accordance with its normal procedures within the executive branch. The congressional review would e conducted through open hearings with spokesmen from all sectors of opinion being invited to presen their views. At the completion of these concurred reviews, the results would be brought together >n joint resolution which, after approval by the C°n gress, would be submitted to the President, for h'j approval. Only then will it become public law a° basic national security policy. >
Were such a procedure to be adopted, it w°u insure open discussion of these vital defense issues^ would directly involve the American public’s e*eCtj representatives in the decision-making process, a° ’ as a result, would provide the President with a Pu lie fully mobilized behind his new national secut* policy for the 1980s.
General Black graduated from the U.S. ^'*'^55 Academy with the Class of 1940 and served in rhe ^ in the European Theater during World War IL ^orT1
Division, served as Military Assistant to three ^ Secretaries of Defense, and attended the National War College- BelW 1962 and 1965, General Black served two tours of duty with the ^ tary Assistance Command in Vietnam. He was Director, ^eS Hemisphere Region, OSD (ISA), until December 1966, when h<^ sumed command of U.S. Army Forces in Thailand. During rhis 6 tour in Vietnam, he was assistant division commander, 25th 1° a Division. After his retirement from the Army he became Director, n ^ national Business Development, the LTV Corporation. General Bl*f now Advisor for Economic Development for the government of Amef Samoa.