The `illusion' of arms control

WHY do many conservatives oppose arms talks with the Soviet Union? Dr. Edward Luttwak, a senior fellow at the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies, refers to arms control talks as a ``monster'' and an ``illusion.''

Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R) of Wyoming says he would be delighted if US-Soviet talks on strategic and tactical nuclear arms were halted.

Conservatives charge that the Soviets violate treaties with impunity. Senator Wallop observes that President Reagan has complained about Soviet arms violations but has essentially done nothing about the problem.

The United States, say conservatives, is failing to address the most fundamental arms control question of all: What happens if one side violates the treaty?

``In the new [Geneva] negotiations, we talk a lot about verification, new and strict verification,'' Wallop says. ``It's a pointless concept'' unless the US knows what it will do to counter a violation, he contends.

One possible reaction could be to declare a treaty null and void once it is violated. But instead, conservatives say, Americans tend to blame themselves when there are violations.

Wallop says there's an inclination in this country to think that ``we alone are responsible for the climate that surrounds summits [and] joint power relations [and] arms control. Of course, as long as we have that attitude, the advantage is all in the Soviets' court.''

Dr. Luttwak says Americans fail to understand that in international affairs, many things are the opposite of what they seem. ``If you want peace, you have to prepare for war.'' Many Americans have trouble comprehending that, he says. --30--{et

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