New York — President-elect Ronald Reagan may be faced with his first potentially controversial defense decision as soon as he takes office. Mike Wallace believes that the United States has allowed itself to fall behind the Soviet Union in its preparation for chemical warfare, Monitor TV critic Arthur Unger reports. In Sunday's "60 Minutes" on CBS, Mr. Wallace interviews US Army experts who say the Soviets intend to make use of chemical warfare in case of war.
According to Mr. Wallace: "The ban that President Nixon 10 years ago put on the production of any new chemical weapons" is a great hindrance to any effective US protective and reciprocative deterrent. Congress last month voted funds for a new chemical-warfare plant, but actual production of new chemical weapons cannot begin until the president gives the word. If Jimmy Carter does not act, the decision will be in the new president's hands in January.