Concerning Robert R. Bowie's article on Dec. 28 [``There's no room for a do-nothing US policy in the Mideast'']: Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, there were many wars among the various Arab states as well as actions against minority groups within Arab countries. Since the establishment of Israel this has not changed. However, despite the differences among the Arab countries, they all agree they will not tolerate a Western democracy (Israel) and have even formed unsuccessful federations (Egypt, Syria, Egypt-Libya) in an effort to combine forces to overwhelm Israel. It is in the interest of the United States to maintain a strong, Western democratic presence as well as a very strong military Israel. Considering the constant rivalries and fighting among the Arab countries, this is progress. Yale J. Berry Boston
Lee H. Hamilton's article on Jan. 3, ``US and West Germany: persuading a friend to change,'' is based on many faulty assumptions. How can he think we can demand more defense outlays by our allies, especially West Germany, if they have no direct control on how they are used? Dr. Kissinger recently called for more European control of NATO. Also, when was the last time Mr. Hamilton asked any German Bundeswehr soldier how well he knows his job skill after only 15 months of training before he is discharged. Any American Army officer working with troops who were required to stay in our Army for only this long and still maintain a high level of combat readiness would be in a state of panic. The Nunn-Roth amendment does not go far enough. We should begin to pull our troops back gradually and tell the Germans to replace them with their own. This kind of action could result in more responsible foreign policy. This may be the best action to strengthen NATO. Steven P. Schneider Olympia, Wash.
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