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In we are the national educational radio network presents special of the Week this week from Kansas State University in Manhattan Kansas. I look at defense spending and arms control with Republican Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts Senator Brooke was the first speaker in this year's series of Landon lectures on public issues at Kansas State University. He is a member of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Banking and currency and is uniquely qualified to speak to the question of dollar demands and national security. Senator Edward Brooke some of you no doubt recall the famous Civil War General Joseph Hooker very. Well may bring him Lincoln appointed to replace the slow moving General McClellan. You have made a special effort to demonstrate that he was a true man of action. And in his first days in command sent to the president a dispatch headed at headquarters in the south.
Mr. Lincoln was not exactly pressed. The trouble with a hooker he remarked is that he's got his headquarters with his hindquarters ought to be. A lot of Americans are wondering in 1969 whether those responsible for the nation's defenses have their headquarters in the right place namely on the job of meeting our national security needs economically and the fact that we are witnessing an unprecedented display of citizens against the military establishment not only of the uniformed military. But the civilian leaders and private contractors and gays in defense activity is bearing the brunt of an unusual public criticism. Part of this criticism stems of course from the frustration and bitterness engendered by the Vietnam War.
However one assesses that conflict. It has triggered a major loss of confidence in the capacity of our government in general and of our military in particular. But the new and growing skepticism toward the military is compound it of other political and economic factors as well. That has long been a need for responsible criticism in the field of national security policy. But there are obvious reasons why it has been difficult to develop a. Defense Policy is intimidating replete with complicated technicalities. Awesome weapons arcane strategy is stratospheric by troops. It quite understandably has many of those who might normally have contributed independent judgments. Furthermore much relevant information has been classified and withheld
from public debate sometimes necessarily. Often one suspects merely for convenience and the horrors of the nuclear age numb the mind. Many aspects of contemporary defense policy have seemed unthinkable to some of our citizens. Thus the inclination to leave this vital field of policy to the experts has been a powerful one. The American people have become increasingly aware over the years that the great power of nuclear weapons is sufficient only to insure our mutual deterrence. It does not and cannot provide meaningful military superiority against a nation also armed with thermonuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. This view apparently has been accepted by the leaders of the Soviet Union also. At the present time. Neither side can hope to
attain superiority. Both the United States and the Soviet Union have over 1000 long range missiles. These weapons are armed with nuclear warheads. Can either be land based or sea based and in the case of the Soviet Union. Nearly all are land based. Nearly half of the United States missiles are based at sea on our Polaris submarine fleet. In addition the Soviet Union has constructed a rudimentary anti ballistic missile system around the major cities of Moscow and then an grad some theorist of argot that an ABM system by protecting the major population centers could give the Soviet Union a first strike capability. That is an time of major international tension. The Soviets could conceivably launch what is known as a preemptive attack upon the United States
knowing that their initial attack would wipe out a portion of our offensive capability and that their ABM system could protect their administrative and population centers against the remains of our missiles. It was this consideration which prompted many of our citizens to support the construction of a similar anti ballistic missile system for the United States. However the Soviet ABM system is not as technologically advanced as the one we are planning to construct. And the Soviets seem to have stopped deploying the original system because it will not work adequately against US missiles. Thus for the time be both sides are left with a rough compare ability in strategic weapons and confusing as it may be offensive weapons. Numerous and powerful enough to devastate an opponent even if he were to strike first.
Are our best insurance against the outbreak of war. Now however we are faced with a new technology which threatens to disrupt this carefully maintained balance of power. I refer specifically to murder. The innocent sounding acronym for multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle murders of multiple warheads placed on a single missile. Instead of a single nuclear bomb in the top of a missile. And the Soviets are now developing the capability of placing three or more bombs in the nose of each rocket. And through complicated electronic engineering each of these bombs can be guided to a separate target. With this new generation of weapons about to strike from the arsenals of the Soviet Union and the United
States. I have been joined by almost half the Senate and a sizable number of House members in calling for a joint moratorium on flight tests of the so-called Merve systems. These weapons multiple independently talking about re-entry vehicles are by far the most dangerous technology to be devised by man. Where would multiply the offensive forces of the two sides several fold. The significance of murder has tended to be lost in the intense controversy over the proposed ABM deployment. Many of us have opposed the ABM deployment at this time. But even if the decision is made to proceed it will be years before the system is operational. Doing that period we will
have many opportunities to reassess the need for such a defense. In other words ABM deployment remains a control of them decision in the sense that unilaterally or cooperatively with the Soviets. We still have an opportunity to limit or terminate the program. If that promises greater mutual security. By contrast the insidious quality of merde technology lies in the fact that we are very near the stage at which these systems will no longer be controllable by technical practical and politically feasible means. Once an intercontinental missile is resting in its silo we may allow longer be sure whether it has one or several warheads. Or whether it is capable of striking one
or several targets. It has become increasingly clear to close students that short of a highly improbable system of on site inspection of deployed missiles. The most promising approach to controlling murder is to prohibit the test programs which are necessary to perfect multiple warhead devices. By banning nerve test flights which can be observed with some confidence by both sides it may be possible to forestall actual deployment of these weapons by preventing the achievement of the reliability and accuracy that would be required. At the least. A murder test moratorium should slow the development of this medicine weapon. Allowing additional time to seek workable arms control agreements in this round. And time has become.
The most precious commodity where murders are concerned. The United States is nearly halfway through the Test series that may lead to initial deployment of the Minuteman 3 and Poseidon merde systems late next year. While the Soviet Union appears to be working on a less flexible system it also has conducted a number of tests of a large weapon capable of striking more than one target. If these tests continue year unabated each nation will have to assume that the other has actually deployed. This is likely to be a critical turning point in the history of the great. And the reasons are many. But the fundamental point can be stated briefly merde threatens to erode one of the basic barriers to
nuclear war. Namely the certainty that neither the Soviets nor the Americans could carry out a nuclear attack without suffering devastating retaliation. But when a single missile becomes capable of destroying several other missiles. A nuclear war may become more likely. This is not to say that my deployment. Condemns us to inevitable Holocaust. But in moments of acute crisis. When each side knows that the other has the capacity to wipe out much of it to retaliate or of course. The tendency to strike first will probably grow. When the risk cost of great the dis asked of war so total We cannot afford to tempt fate. It may be possible to survive in a world populated by
murderers. But it would be far preferable to live in a world free of. The end certainly has such a system would add to the present balance. Tara. Would make a significant control agreement exceedingly difficult to achieve and would lead us into a less stable strategic relationship with the Soviet Union the likely result would be yet another defensive arms race. With the ever increasing burdens and ever decreasing security on both sides. It is my profound hope that the president will accept the proposal to seek a joint test moratorium. Without it. I have grave doubts. The planned negotiations which can be successful in turning us away from the perilous path on which we have been
proceeding will not fail. There has been far too little sense of urgency in the nation and in the government regarding those negotiations the so-called Strategic Arms Limitation or SALT talks the Soviet Union initially accepted the American suggestion for such talks over a year ago. But the invasion of Czechoslovakia. The United States election campaign and other factors combined to the way that President Nixon indicated four months ago that the United States was prepared to proceed with these vital negotiations. But the clock has been ticking and the Soviets seem to have grown even more wary of these talks. At present it is clear that the issues for the SALT talks have been vastly
complicated by the rapid advance of technology on both sides doing recent months. But the opportunities still exist for earnest and productive diplomacy. To curb the arms race. Mertes continued ABM deployments proceed weapons decisions are made. But the cause of enlightened negotiation is stymied. This is no time for consideration of national pride. Or calculation of narrow advantage. To intrude. The stakes in these negotiations are nothing less than the security of mankind. THE SALT talks when and if they began will no doubt be pro-law around and complex. Yet the fundamental question they must address
can be reduced to a single point. Are the two powers prepared to build their futurist strategic relationships on the doctrine of mutual deterrence. That is in fact the question. Which President Nixon put to the Soviet Union in his notable speech of March 14 the president for the first time. Confirmed that the United States has adopted a policy of strategic sufficiency and has concluded that neither side can successfully or safely pursue the elusive goal of military superiority. He made clear his understanding that the United States and the Soviet Union should forego certain weapons not only because they are costly. But because they jeopardize strategic stability. For example the president rejected a
heavy city oriented ABM system and a massive expansion of our offensive forces. Precisely because they would threaten the Soviet Union's capacity to retaliate. Such deployments would force them to make countermeasures of a very dangerous character. President Nixon has expressed a vivid appreciation of the central power docs of our time. Namely that mutual security depends on mutual vulnerability. If the Soviets respond affirmatively in the soft talks. By grain that mutual deterrence must be the touchstone of future security arrangements. Many specific consequences will follow. Agreement on a number of issues should become more feasible. For example in agreeing that mutual deterrent should be a common goal. The two sides should also be able to agree that unlimited
deployment of ABM systems would be incompatible with mutual The terms a freeze on a number of our offensive delivery systems should also become more possible since continued expansion of such forces underlines mutual deterrence especially if technology is not inhibited. And even some limitation of anti-submarine warfare may become workable. Since a breakthrough in a mighty road the distinctive deterrent value of a missile launching submarines. These are not easy or comfortable questions. An ideal world would not have to contend with them. Ford would have no nuclear weapon no intercontinental ballistic missiles and for that matter. No war was. But in the world as it is those concerned about the
well-being of life on this planet. Must come to grips with these problems in a realistic and constructive way. THE SALT talks offer a precious opportunity to do so. And that opportunity must not be squandered. The limitation of nuclear weapons and the prevention of nuclear war are feasible. Rather than succumb to frustration and despair. We have to take stock of what we have and what we can do in this field. The record is by no means entirely bleak for several years the United States had a virtual monopoly on nuclear weapons. And could have exploited them to rule the world. Yet there was never any real likelihood that it would do so. Having the power to dominate America made clear its goal of a just world
order by declining to use that power. In later years the Soviet Union has overtaken the United States lead in nuclear weapons. And peace has come to rest on a balance of terror. The recognized fragility of that balance. Has been a powerful incentive to seek better and more dependable foundations for peace. The lesson has impressed itself on every form of mind. National security is inseparable from international security. In the words of Maxim that have enough. Peace is indivisible. The fruits of this lesson. Write them slowly but they have begun to write. By the decade of the 60s. It became possible for the Soviet Union and the United States after arduous negotiations to
reach significant arms control agreements. The nuclear test ban treaty concluded in 1963. Not only inhibited nuclear fallout from the atmosphere it also curtailed further development of even more refined and destructive nuclear devices. Another agreement sought to stop the threatened extension of such weapons into the N. touched environment of outer space. And has been declared off limits to military installations. Recognizing that the quest for a durable peace would be jeopardized by the continued spread of nuclear weapons most members of the United Nations supported efforts to devise a nonproliferation treaty which has now been concluded a hotline has been installed to maintain emergency communications between Moscow and Washington. And to reduce the dangers of accidental conflict. At
this stage prospects are hopeful for additional limitations on military uses of the ocean floor and on the horrendous chemical biological weapons which we have all read. Perhaps more important than these formal arrangements to reinforce world stability have been the tacit and unilateral steps taken by the great powers. Both sides have come to employ a space based on observation systems which provide vital information about the number and kinds of weapons available to the two countries. In a sense. Technology has given us the open skies which President Eisenhower proposed over a decade ago. The contribution of such peacekeeping systems is immeasurable. Furthermore both nations have learned that a stable balance of power cannot rely on vulnerable weapons which are only usable in a first strike.
Hence the Soviet Union has followed the American lead in deploying weapons suitable for a second strike but less vulnerable to an initial attack. And both Moscow and Washington have gone to great lengths in Cuba and Vietnam and burn in the Middle East to avoid even minor clashes between Soviet and American military units. In some respects the fear of escalation has been enormously helpful. It has induced a kind of Soviet American restraint that must prevail if prices are not to become calamities. It is this kind of mutual restraint which has allowed us time to explore nonmilitary approaches to the problems of national security. These promising measures are of course. Only half steps toward the world we seek
but they are solid accomplishments which demonstrate that we can begin to erect a peaceful order through co-operative undertaking given time and hard work. We and the Soviets can transform our realisation of Common Prayer or. Into appreciation of common interest. And those common interests are the basis for fashioning meaningful limitations on the types and levels of weapons we maintain. It would be naive to conclude that these halting beginnings I guarantee a major future successes at the conference table. But it would be equal and I have been far more dangerous to the values we hold most dear if we are prey to the misconception that attempts to achieve arms control are condemned to failure and just
concern is fully warranted. A pervasive sense of futility is not. The reward for progress on the Arms Limitation front. I measured not only an increased security formation. They also appear in the vast opportunities to reallocate resources now devoted to military expenditures. At present some 200 billion dollars a year is spent on national security programs throughout the world. If we can liberate. Even a small fraction of that. By reducing the necessity for such expenditures. Think what it could mean for the prosperity. For the health and for the sanity of this global. Programs to speed development of the impoverished lands to relieve the blight infecting urban communities in every country
to feed and clothe and heal those in need. Even a diversion but 10 percent. Of the world's military budgets would be a boon to mankind. Again my message is that it can be done already on our own and without requiring parallel action by the Soviet Union we are finding ways to shift resources away from some military programs and then do other priority after us. A year ago those of us advocating adjustments in U.S. defense spending discussed the possibility of a five billion dollar reduction in the budget. No one really expected that to occur. But in the period since January of this year executive and legislative action has in fact trimmed defense spending by very nearly that amount.
The budget for 1977 will be in the 7 to 7 billion dollar range as opposed to the more than 81 billion dollars recommended by the previous administration. It could be even less. In my opinion it should be considerably less. Depending on how the two billion dollar cut proposed by the Senate Armed Services Committee is finally resolved. That's progress toward controlling the defense budget has been dramatic and substantial. The dilemmas of national security are complex. And must be aired widely. If the collective wisdom of the American people is to be informed enough to be effective. Problems like these defied dogmatic and India logical
Special of the week
Issue 44-69
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Special of the week; Issue 44-69,” 1969-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 17, 2021,
MLA: “Special of the week; Issue 44-69.” 1969-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 17, 2021. <>.
APA: Special of the week; Issue 44-69. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from