Sakharov, Andrei
June 1983
Foreign Affairs;Summer83, Vol. 61 Issue 4, p1001
This article presents the author's opinion on the dangers of nuclear war. A large nuclear war would lead to a calamity with unpredictable consequences. According to data from the United Nations, by the end of 1980 the world's overall supply of nuclear weapons consisted of 50,000 nuclear charger. Eighty percent of the U.S. arsenal consists of submarine-based nuclear missiles and silo-based missiles. I agree that if the nuclear threshold if crossed, the further course of events would be difficult to control. Nuclear weapons cannot be viewed as a means of restraining aggression carried out by means of conventional weapons. The restoration of strategic parity is possible by investing large resources and by an essential change in the psychological atmosphere in the West. I stress that a restructuring of strategy could be carried out gradually in order to prevent a loss of parity. It is necessary to conduct a balanced reduction of the nuclear arsenal, and a first stage in this process of nuclear disarmament is a mutual freeze on the existing nuclear arsenals. Decisions in the area of nuclear weapons should be based on the criterion of achieving a reliable deterrent and not on other additional demands relating to nuclear war.


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