Brown, Harold
April 1969
Foreign Affairs;Apr1969, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p422
This article discusses the role of strategic arms limitation in protecting the national security of the U.S. In military and technical terms, one can envisage agreements to limit strategic arms which would be sufficiently verifiable to be enforceable and which would enhance both the security of the U.S. and the security of the Soviet Union. It remains true that weapons have certain important characteristics that cannot be limited effectively by agreement without disclosures which go beyond what can be obtained unilaterally. Strategic arms limitations could produce extra bonuses in addition to improved military security among them the possibility of increasing the resources available for other purposes, of increasing East-West coöperation and of adopting additional arms-control measures. A carefully designed agreement to limit strategic weapons could help to preserve deterrence on both sides. It could also provide both sides with some ability to limit damage in case of irrational or accidental war. But in order to be acceptable an agreement could not permit one side to achieve the capacity for an overwhelming first strike since this would be incompatible with the other side's requirement to be able to deter such an attack.


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