[fa.arms-d] Arms-Discussion Digest V1 #59

root@ucbvax.UUCP (10/17/83)

From LARSON@MIT-MC  Mon Oct 10 22:36:20 1983
Arms-Discussion Digest                            Volume 1 : Issue 59

Today's Topics:

		The Massacre cont. (3 msgs)
		York article on US/USSR negotiations
		Spending Spree
		McNamara Article
		More on KAL007

[This issue was delayed due to problems resulting from MC's incorrect
 assignment to MILnet .. JnL] 


Date: 1 October 1983 05:03 EDT
From: Robert Elton Maas <REM @ MIT-MC>
Subject: The Massacre

What does the USA and S.Korea have to gain? Well, at a sacrifice of
only a few tens of USA citizens and a couple hundred others, we got an
immense propaganda boost. Sometimes I believe Reagan would stoop to
such a gamble, perhaps not so much for international reasons but to
win the next election. I don't know, just guessing, and proposing a
plausable answer to your question.


Date: 1 October 1983 19:14 EDT
From: James A. Cox <APPLE @ MIT-MC>
Subject:  The Massacre

    Date: 1 October 1983 05:03 EDT
    From: Robert Elton Maas <REM>

    What does [sic] the USA and S.Korea have to gain? Well, at a
    sacrifice of only a few tens of USA citizens and a couple hundred
    others, we got an immense propaganda boost. Sometimes I believe
    Reagan would stoop to such a gamble, perhaps not so much for
    international reasons but to win the next election. I don't know,
    just guessing, and proposing a plausable [sic] answer to your

Let me get this straight.  You think it's plausible that Reagan,
worried about winning the next election, called up the South Korean
government and told them to send a KAL flight over Soviet territority.
That he (1) knew that the Soviets would shoot it down; (2) knew the
Soviets would behave so uncompromisingly after they shot it down as to
create an international incident; (3) knew Japan would be certain to
intercept the Soviet pilot's transmissions; (4) knew those
transmissions would contain just what the U.S. needed to persuade
world opinion of the truth of the U.S. charges; (5) knew that the
American public would interpret this as demonstration of Reagan's
resoluteness in crises, thus boosting him in the polls; (6) knew such
a boost would persist through the next election, more than a year
away; and finally (7) knew that no one, in either the Korean or
American governments, who happened to know of this would be tempted to
reveal it to the public.

If any of the assumptions (1) to (6) turned out to be wrong, Reagan
would not be benefited in the election, and if (7) turned out to be
wrong, it would create the worst scandal in the history of American
politics, leading certainly to Reagan's impeachment and conviction,
and probably to his being sent to jail.  The odds are pretty bad, so
even if Reagan is such a rascal as to be morally capable of sending
269 people to their deaths to gain a marginal benefit in the election,
simple self-interest would have argued against such an action.

I wouldn't have taken the trouble to respond in such detail to such
patently ludicrous charges, but there seems to be a trend today in
politics, especially among the left, of glibly spouting accusations of
immoral behavior and evil intentions by one's political opponents.  In
another context, and at another time, such behavior was called


Date:  2 Oct 83 00:20:14 EDT  (Sun)
From: Velu Sinha <velu%umcp-cs@UDel-Relay>
Return-Path: <velu%umcp-cs@UDel-Relay>
Subject:  Re:  Arms-Discussion Digest V1 #58
Via:  UMCP-CS; 2 Oct 83 0:31-EDT
Reply To: <APPLE @ MIT-MC>'s message of 26 Sep 83 (0347)

Come on now. I am not pro-Soviet in any sense of the words, but
it is almost obvious that the US has been shoving a lot of anti-
USSR propoganda at us in these past few weeks. As a matter of fact,
the US is acting very much out of place by refusing to let Gromyko
enter the United States in peace (ie in a civilian airliner, at a 
civilian airport) to attend UN meetings. 
   1. About the UN - the US by hosting the UN is doing the
        world quite a service. But, the US is getting much back into
        its own system from the people/employees of the UN who live in the
        US. (yes, they don't pay taxes, but they still pump money it
        into the economy...) But, I do not think that making someone
        who hopes to come in peace go through such humiliation is very
        un-diplomatic... (more on this if I get flames back....)

   2. About KAL 007 - If the Jap's and the Yank's could monitor and
        record soviet military radio transmissions about the impending
        tragedy, why did they not warn the airliner??? First the US says
        that there were no tracer bullets fired, then they say that after
        further analysis the tapes show that bullets MAY have been fired...
        When do we get the next version of the tapes??? All I know is what
        the US Gov't wishes to tell me - which is anything they *$#! well
        please - I can trust them as much as I can the record office here at

        It just don't make sense, people!!!

        Oh yeah - about the last KAL flight to be shot down (forced???)
        the CIA did admit that they had some listening gear in the plane...

        One thing which the SR-71 and satellites cannot do  -  test how
        long it takes the Russians to respond - that could be the
        purpose of the WHOLE incedent (???).

                I expect I am going to get a lot of flames -
                                Flame on!!!

                                Signed - 
                                Striving for the truth!
                                        - Velu
Date: 2 Oct 1983 2046-PDT
Subject: York article on US/USSR negotiations

In the October 83 issue of Scientific American (Vol 249, No 4,
PP149-160) there is an article titled "Bilateral Negotiations and the
Arms Race" by Herbert York.

York starts the piece with a rhetorical question - "Why is it so hard
for the US and the USSR to negotiate mutually beneficial arms control
agreements ?"  He goes on to discuss the history of US/USSR arms
control negotiations from the late 1950s to the present.

At the end of the article York comments on some interesting aspects of
the present situation.  Some quotes:

"...in my judgement there is no chance whatever that a practical
operational [particle beam or X-ray laser] device of even limited
capability will be deployed in space during this century.

Although the development of such [directed-energy weapon] systems is
not now prohibited by any international agreement, their development
is strongly inhibited by an even more powerful factor: their extremely
high cost. ...

the deployment of a system capable of intercepting more than a small
fraction of the Russian strategic force would cost a large fraction of
a trillion dollars. ...

The US and the USSR each have unique characteristics that make them
particularly difficult as negotiating partners when they are dealing
with each other or with third parties.  In the case of the US the most
serious of these special difficulties ... are the requirement for a
two-thirds vote in the US Senate for ratification of a treaty and the
exceptionally long presidential campaign that the nation goes through
every four years. ...

as time goes on in a negotiation the US position undergoes sudden
changes, not in response to what the other side may have proposed but
in a difficult and sometimes futile process of presidential
maneuvering to please a few key senators and those members of the
executive branch, particularly in the uniformed military, who have
special influence with those senators. ...

the bureaucratic difficulties that plague all complex societies also
have a strong negative influence on the ability of the US to
negotiate.  This is primarily because the 'nay-sayers' have only to
stop or slow the process in any way at all to achieve their goals,
whereas those who want to help the president achieve his arms-control
goals must find a genuinely suitable pathway through what is often
uncharted territory.

Perhaps the most serious problems with the Russians as negotiating
partners are their penchant for secrecy and their tightly controlled
political system. ...

one of the general problems that has persisted throughout the entire
postwar period of bilateral negotiations is that the Americans always
ask for more intrusive means of verification than the Russians are
willing even to discuss, much less accept, and the Russians are always
complaining that the Americans persist in trying to spy on them, to
undermine their sovereignty, and to otherwise interfere in their
internal affairs. ..."


Date:     2 Oct 83 16:20-EST (Sun)
From: Steven Gutfreund <gutfreund.umass-cs@Rand-Relay>
Return-Path: <gutfreund%umass-cs.UMASS-COINS@Rand-Relay>
Subject:  spending spree
To: space@mit-mc
Cc: arms-d@mit-mc, politics@mit-mc, ellis.umass-cs@Rand-Relay
Via:  UMASS-COINS; 3 Oct 83 16:41-PDT

Yes, it is very odd to find the military complaining about the cost of
the space station. On Sept 30, the military had the largest one day
spending spree in its history (NYT). They had $4.2 Billion dollars on
hand at the end of the Federal Fiscal Year. If they did not spend it
by the the next day, they would have to give it back to the Treasury.
Of course, no government agency likes to do that. So they spent all
$4.2 billion of it in one day. Naturally, they did not look to closely
at what they were buying, Most of the contract descriptions were under
2 lines of text for expenditures in the multiple millions.

                                - Steven Gutfreund


Date: 8 Oct 1983 2253-PDT
From: CAULKINS@USC-ECL          
Subject: McNamara Article

In the Fall 1983 issue of Foreign Affairs (Vol 62, No 1) Robert
McNamara has an article titled "The Military Role of Nuclear Weapons:
Perceptions And Misperceptions"

McNamara explores four questions:

- What is NATO's present nuclear strategy, and how did it evolve ?

(McNamara recounts this history in considerable detail; he helped make
some of it.)

- Can NATO initiate the use of nuclear weapons, in response to a Soviet
attack, with benefit to the Alliance ?

(McN describes several simulations of various European nuclear war
scenarios; casualties range from 400K to hundreds of millions.  McN
concludes that destruction on these levels cannot benefit NATO.  He
says: "It is inconceivable to me, as it has been to many others who
have studied the matter, that 'limited' nuclear wars would remain
limited - any decision to use nuclear weapons would imply a high
probability of the same cataclysmic consequences as a total nuclear

- Even if the "first use" of nuclear weapons is not to NATO's advantage,
does not the threat of such use add to the deterrent and would not the
removal of the threat increase the risk of war ?

McN says "... To the extent that the nuclear threat has deterrent value,
it is because it in fact increases the risk of nuclear war. ..." He goes
on to point out that under the present circumstances with approximately
5,000 NATO nuclear weapons in the battle zone and nuclear first use
stated NATO doctrine, the Soviets, if they decided to go to war, would
be very likely to start it with a nuclear first strike.

- If it is not to NATO's advantage to repond to a Soviet conventional
attack by the use of nuclear weapons, can NATO's conventional forces,
within realisitic political and financial constraints, be strengthened
sufficiently to substitute for the nuclear threat as a deterrrent to
Soviet aggression ?

McN endorses the improvements in NATO conventional forces suggested by
General Bernard Rogers [Supreme Allied Commander in Europe].  These
would cost about $5 billion/year for five years, and, McN believes,
would have a high probability of deterring the Soviet threat without
the need for nuclear weapons.

In his conclusion McN makes the following emphatic statement about
nuclear weapons: " ... nuclear weapons serve no military purpose
whatsoever.  They are totally useless - except only to deter one's
opponent from using them. ..."

Date: 10 Oct 1983 2016-PDT
Subject: More on KAL007

Stories in the 5 and 7 Oct 1983 San Francisco Chronicle shed
additional light on the KAL007 tradgedy.  Several senior Soviet
officers have been removed from their jobs because of a massive
failure of Soviet fighters to locate the KAL 747 until it was about to
leave Soviet airspace.  Soviet sources say that the Soviet Far East
command had been in direct telephone contact with top military
officials in Moscow; they suggested that the political leadership had
not been consulted.

US intelligence experts have reviewed all available evidence and found
no indication that Soviet air defense personnel knew it was a
commercial plane before the attack.  The experts said in interviews
this week that, given the difficulty of identifying a plane from
below, they believe the Soviet pilot probably did not know what kind
of plane he was shooting down.

The informants said the experts had reached agreement that the Soviet
Air Defense Force had displayed a poor capacity to intercept aircraft
in Soviet airspace, to distinguish between commercial and military
aircraft and to identify a plane before shooting it down.


[End of ARMS-D Digest]