[fa.arms-d] Arms-Discussion Digest V0 #147

C70:arms-d (07/26/82)

>From HGA@MIT-MC Mon Jul 26 02:11:24 1982

Arms-Discussion Digest                            Volume 0 : Issue 147

Today's Topics:
                  Palestinian state on the West Bank
                     More Comments on arms sales
                    New heights in standardization

Date: 24 Jul 1982 0118-PDT
From: Herb Lin <LIN at WASHINGTON>
Subject: Palestinian state on the West Bank...

Part of this msg should go to POLI-SCI, but there is an issue relevant
to ARMS-D.

Israel claims that a Palestinian state on the West Bank would be a
major threat to Israel's security.

Consider the following proposal:

1. Allow the estabilishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank,
subject to the condition that no heavy weapons be deployed there.

2. Monitor the new state continuously by satellite.

3. Clobber any indication of heavy weapon deployment.

This proposal seems to meet Israeli security objections, because heavy
weapons such as tanks, artillery, APC's, jet fighters, and so on are
needed to pose a security threat to Israel.  Small arms and anti-tank
weapons seem not to pose such a threat.

Precedent exists for a similar arrangement - the post-war Japanese
constitution excludes capital military equipment.



Date: Saturday, 24 July 1982  14:41-EDT
From: Jon Webb <Webb at Cmu-20c>
Subject: CIA

    [pur-ee!Physics.els at UCB-C70]
       Concerning the CIA, the laws are such that they can barely do
    their job of gathering intelligence without Congress butting in,
    much less cause anarchy on a global scale as the Soviets do.  I'm
    certain that there are those in the CIA who want to overthrow
    particular governments, but they do not have a free hand to do

I'm not sure why you say this.  Don't you know of CIA action against
the government of Salvador Allende in Chile, or their installation of
the Shah in Iran in the 50s?  I suppose you know about these things,
but think of them as things that happened in the past and can't happen
now because of the new laws.  But how can you be sure?  After all,
when the CIA was doing things like this people like you were saying
just what you're saying now: the CIA wouldn't/couldn't do such a
thing, all the unrest in these countries is due to freedom-loving
people fighting opression by their government, etc.  And all the other
side had was rumors and mostly poorly supported allegations that the
CIA was doing these things.  Isn't the weight of evidence on the other
side: the CIA has overthrown governments in the past, and may be
trying to do so now?



Date: 26 Jul 1982 00:35:09-CDT
From: pal at uwisc
Subject: More Comments on arms sales

     I have a few more comments and questions about arms mongering.
As pointed out by Herb Lin in Vol.146 there are several ways of
measuring arms sales.  I suppose that what I really meant was *to what
extent do such sales affect the amount and level of conflict in
various parts of the globe*.  I can conceive of situations in which
arms sales would *lessen* the possibility of war in a region, but I am
equally sure that there are situations where the introduction of
sophisticated weapons systems would upset the regional balance of
power in the direction of instability.
     Now to throw out a topic.  What are the views of readers of this
list on the following points? -- Are US arms sales primarily
ideological in motivation, or are they for profit?  What about the
USSR?  France, I would think, sells arms primarily for the money,
since there are situations where *both* sides in a conflict are
supplied by the French.
     I am now going to stick out my neck and suggest that
ideologically motivated arms sales are in some sense defensible.  That
is, if one believes that the purpose of a superpower is to make the
world a better place to live in (from *their* viewpoint, hence by
spreading their viewpoint around), then arms sales that help to shore
up friendly regimes against *outside* attack are *necessary*.
However, weapons sales to governments for use against its own citizens
are decidely less defensible.  Sales of arms to guerrillas is a tough
one.  Such sales make for wars (civil), but they could also be deemed
ideologically "good", such as western aid to Afghans, or Soviet/Cuban
aid to El Salvadorans.  Obviously, whether one regards such movements
as "the people trying to throw off the yoke of oppression" or as "a
few radicals trying to overthrow the government" depends on one's
ideological standpoint.
     It also seems that it is possible for countries to get arms from
the superpowers by making the right kind of noises.  I would venture
that neither Pakistan nor Saudi Arabia, both of which recently
received substantial military assistance from the US to counter the
perceived threat from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is really
scared of a Soviet attack, but is rather using this as an excuse to
extract arms which the US would probably not give them under normal
circumstances.  What motivates such arms sales? Domestic political
pressure? or a genuine belief that the Soviets are about to invade


Date: 22 Jul 1982 at 0011-PDT
From: Andrew Knutsen <knutsen@SRI-UNIX>
Subject: new heights in standardization

	If you thought ADA was bad...

    By Bruce Ingersoll
    (c) 1982 Chicago Sun-Times (Field News Service)
    WASHINGTON - A Reagan administration plan to standardize the
design of military computers has raised fears on Capitol Hill that the
armed services will be saddled with obsolete technology.
    Several members of Congress also believe that standardization will
boomerang on the Pentagon by reducing competition among defense
contractors in the electronics industry.
    At stake in the little-noticed controversy is not only the wartime
effectiveness of computerized weapons, but also billions in defense
    By 1990, the Defense Department will be spending $38 billion a
year on tactical computers, the Electronics Industries Association
estimates. One Pentagon technocrat called that cost projection low.
    In pursuing computer standardization, the Pentagon would develop
and own its computer design instead of buying militarized versions of
off-the-shelf computers.
    ''I find it incredible that DOD (Department of Defense) is
planning to adopt a technical approach which has proven to be a
failure and forgo the significant innovations available from the
private sector,'' Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Tex.) wrote to Defense Secretary
Caspar W. Weinberger.
    ''I strongly recommend that you flatly reject this proposal on the
basis that it will not only grossly waste the taxpayers' money but
will undermine rather than enhance our nation's defense,'' he said.
    Brooks, chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee
on national security, will hold hearings Wednesday and Thursday on the
Pentagon proposal for standard ''instruction-set architecture'' for
    To a great extent, congressional anxiety over the proposal, being
pushed by Richard DeLauer, undersecretary of defense for research and
engineering, has been stirred by a General Accounting Office report.
    The GAO concluded that the proposal, if adopted, would lock the
services into the use of inferior technology and prevent them from
exploiting the rapid rate of innnovation in the computer industry.
    GAO investigators also found that standardization would
''effectively eliminate many competent computer companies from the
militarized computer market,'' their report said. ''Very few companies
are willing to compete on procurements mandating obsolete
    One computer expert, who insisted on remaining anonymous, argued
that the Pentagon is really bent on a costly and unnecessary
duplication of what can be bought off the shelf.
    H. Mark Grove, an aide to DeLauer, said the Pentagon's objective
is to curb the proliferation of computers in aircraft, missiles and
other weapons systems. The services have hundereds of different
computers, each requiring unique software, or computer programs, and
logisitical support. The Pentagon is spending $6 billion a year on
software alone.
    ''If we let chaos reign, we're going to pay some high prices,''
Grove said.
    The GAO urged the Pentagon to forget about standardizing computer
designs and, instead, concentrate on developing a common
''language''-known as ADA - for programming its computers. Such an
approach is favored by most of the computer experts interviewed by the
nyt-07-21-82 0219edt


End of Arms-D Digest