Jerome B. Wiesner

Contributor

  • Containing the Arms Race

    Some Specific Proposals

    Jeremy J. Stone

    “The unique characteristic of this book is that it musters the facts and arguments pertinent to current and emerging public debates....” Jerome B. Wiesner, Special Assistant for Science and Technology to President Kennedy

    Avoiding abstract models of conflict, speculation on national character, and other generalized frameworks for debate, Containing the Arms Race is distinguished by its specificity – by its attempt to discover and analyze the arms control problems associated with specific proposals. This concrete discussion of possibilities for arms limitation, or for disarmament, will probably double the number of arms control proposals that have been given a detailed analysis in documents. Dealing with the disclosed characteristics of both U.S. and Soviet strategic weapon systems – bombers, missiles, antimissile systems, missile-firing submarines – as well as the major political stumbling blocks, Dr. Stone devises plans grounded in the actual technical and political problems. The book will be eye-opening to those whose desires for disarmament exceeds their appreciation of its problems, while the specialists will undoubtedly be curious to discover how well concrete problems can be studied from unclassified sources only.

    The book is composed of five closely related chapters. Two are devoted to bombers, and one each is given to missile defense, to missile reduction, and to a proposal to limit strategic force levels. Every chapter puts forth a policy suggestion and argues for it. But by revealing the basic political and technical issues that are involved in any proposal concerned with a certain weapon system, the chapters allow the reader to consider for himself what other policy might be followed.

    The first chapter sets forth the situation and argues that missile defenses should be avoided. The second chapter discusses heavy-bomber disarmament and argues that the elimination of heavy bombers from the armories of both major powers should be considered. It sets forth the underlying considerations, as of early 1964. By late 1964 it was becoming possible to see how the problem of dismantling heavy bombers would be handled by the major powers in the absence of a formal treaty. The third chapter describes the situation and suggests that informal bomber disarmament agreements are more likely to be implemented than formal ones. Chapter Four treats the problem of missile reduction and suggests that a Soviet proposal calling for “reductions to strictly limited and agreed numbers” of missiles might be accepted in principle. A proposal is made in Chapter Five that the United States should consider a particular kind of freeze of strategic weapons.

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