Would you enter into a solemn agreement with liars and gangsters?
Perhaps you wouldn’t, but your elected officials would. In fact, that is
what the arms-control process has been. Since the 1960s American officials
have been sitting down with the disciples of Vladimir Lenin to hammer out one
agreement after another. The sticking point today, long after the supposed
collapse of the Soviet Union, is the ABM Treaty. President George W. Bush
would like to escape from this treaty. Earlier this week Bush offered a
far-reaching plan that promises to extricate us.
First, the president is promising a unilateral reduction in our
strategic missile forces (perhaps to placate the Russians). Second, he is
promising that American ABM defenses will not be effective against Russian
missiles. Bush may think he is tossing a few meaningless bones to Moscow,
but those bones have meat on them.
The primary missile threat to this country is from Russia. Making a
National Missile Defense that cannot stop Russian missiles is pathetic. It
has to be remembered that small rogue states cannot destroy our country, even
if they acquire several bombs that can reach us. Any war exclusively between
a small rogue state and the U.S. would result in the destruction of the small
rogue state. Russia, on the other hand, has an extensive national ABM
defense system (as documented by William Lee’s book, “The ABM Treaty
Charade”). Russia has massive underground structures for protecting
population and industrial assets. Russia also has thousands of nuclear
weapons which could be used to reduce the United States to rubble. In other
words, Russia has been preparing to fight and win a future nuclear war for
over four decades. The U.S. has not matched Russia’s ABM or civil defense
With regard to Bush’s proposed National Missile Defense, a few points
are in order. In the first place, all politically informed persons know that
a Democratic Congress or a Democratic president would instantly kill any
National Missile Defense program dead, just as the Democrats killed President
Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. If readers remember, we were promised
a defense against ballistic missiles 20 years ago — and it never
materialized! Today the Russians are mocking Bush’s plan as “Son of Star
Wars,” a project that will take a decade to complete. Any grownup can see
that if the Democrats get control of Congress or the White House at any time
during the next 10 years, the program is dead.
Finally, with regard to Bush’s proposed unilateral reduction of the
U.S. nuclear arsenal: There are over 5,000 hardened military targets in the
former Soviet Union. If the U.S. nuclear forces are reduced to 2,500
missiles or less, how are we going to hit all those targets?
According to Peter Vincent Pry’s study, “Nuclear Wars: Exchanges and
Outcomes,” an actual war with Russia would result in many launch failures.
More than 10 percent of our missiles would fail to reach their targets
because of error and mishap. A Russian preemptive strike might eliminate the
bulk of America’s arsenal, whether kept on submarines or in silos. Russia
ABM systems might shoot down a significant percentage of U.S. missiles.
Furthermore, U.S. nuclear missile submarines can be detected and preemptively
destroyed, as Pry points out in his book.
How can President Bush seriously offer such a proposal?
The president is clearly following a long-established pattern in
American strategic behavior. This pattern is the pattern of Western
liberalism, which is a suicidal ideology. Whether we are talking about
Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev or Gorbachev, there is something deep down
inside of us that wants to deny the Russian threat. We deny Russian cheating
on arms control. We deny that they have retained a hidden stockpile of
nuclear weapons, that they have cheated on the chemical and biological
warfare treaties. We deny that they are hiding missiles under Yamantau
Mountain. Deny, deny, deny.
Consider what Soviet bloc defector Jan Sejna wrote over a decade ago
in the appendix of Joseph D. Douglass Jr.’s “Why the Soviets Violate Arms
Control Treaties.” Sejna affirmed that there was a long-range Soviet plan.
One of the major issues in this plan “revolved around how to design arms
control agreements so that the United States and NATO nations would
ultimately be compelled to eliminate their own strategic weapons,” while the
Russian side would keep its weapons.
“The Soviets expressed their belief that in the long run,” wrote
Sejna, “nuclear weapons would be the first to be eliminated.”
The Russians, said Sejna, would use chemical and biological weapons to
secretly replace their nuclear weapons. They would also retain a hidden
stockpile of nuclear weapons, as they have done. (The Russians are now
saying they are too poor to take their nuclear weapons apart, and use this as
an excuse for noncompliance with the START agreements.) As it happens, the
Russians have openly retained nearly 20,000 tactical nuclear weapons while
the United States has eliminated its stockpiles.
If we look closely at Bush’s strategic proposal, it seems that the
U.S. president does not believe Russia has hostile intentions toward the
United States. He also does not take Russian capabilities seriously.
Therefore, his policy ignores Russia’s capabilities, Russia’s history of
cheating and Russia’s intentions — which are clearly revealed by Moscow’s
growing alliance with the Chinese communists in Beijing.
President Bush needs to get a different pack of advisers. He ought to
realize that there is a massive deception taking place regarding Russia’s
long-term intentions. U.S. national technical means of intelligence
gathering, our manner of analyzing Russian moves, and our own corrupt
financial motives combine to paralyze our strategic comprehension. The liars
and criminals are still in charge of Russia. Whether they call themselves
communists or democrats matters very little. They are still murderers at
heart, as the Chechens will tell you, and they envy U.S. power and prestige.
In the last analysis we remain their number one target.
In 1905 Lenin stated, “Promises are like pie crusts, made to be
broken.” In 1919, after coming to power, Lenin wrote, “It is ridiculous not
to know the history of war, not to know that a treaty is a means of gaining
President Bush may think that he is “gaining strength” by building a
missile defense that cannot stop Russian missiles. He may think it clever to
unilaterally reduce our nuclear deterrent, but there is no strength in his
plan and no cleverness in his proposal. To understand how we have been
swindled for decades, and how this swindle has led to this pathetic attempt
at policy, one should consider the internal bureaucratic logic that has
guided America’s arms control agenda since the Nixon era.
When the ABM Treaty was finalized in 1972, National Security Adviser
Henry Kissinger said that Russian compliance was expected. But Kissinger
didn’t bother to verify Russian compliance, and purposely ignored evidence of
violations. After all, evidence of Russian non-compliance was embarrassing
As you might guess, Kissinger’s aversion to the truth about Russian
compliance trickled down to the lower reaches of the intelligence
bureaucracy. Through a selective sorting of data, supportive of the treaty
itself, institutional blindness to Russian cheating became a given within the
U.S. intelligence community. In other words, rather than uncovering the
truth about Kremlin cheating, the intelligence community was encouraged to
fudge the truth. With so many promotions, demotions, hirings and firings, it
is easy to see how the political bosses in the White House and State
Department could bend time-serving analytic minds to specific preconceived
“In 1982” wrote William R. Graham, “President Reagan asked me to serve
as the Chairman of his General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and
Disarmament.” This was the committee tasked to review Russian compliance
with various arms control treaties.
“It took the General Advisory Committee about a year to review the
entire record,” wrote Graham in his introduction to William Lee’s “The ABM
Treaty Charade.” And what did the committee find?
“Neither the institutions of the State Department nor the Intelligence
Community were cooperative,” noted Graham. Nevertheless, with help from “a
few knowledgeable individuals,” a highly classified report of 300 pages was
issued. In Graham’s words, the report uncovered “a systematic pattern of
Soviet violations of their arms control commitments in the post-WW II era.”
Predictably, the report was attacked by intelligence intellectuals
across the board. The house that Kissinger built — the house of denying
Russian violations — was a strong house.
The pattern of Russian cheating did not change during the following
decade. According to an April 9, 1992, report entitled “Soviet Noncompliance
with Arms Control Agreements” submitted to Congress by the White House,
“documented Soviet violations of major arms control treaties and agreements
… included the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, SALT I and II, the
Geneva Protocol on Chemical Weapons, the Helsinki Final Treaty (LTBT), and
the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.”
According to recent reports, Russian cheating continued through the
1990s — on nuclear, biological, chemical and ABM treaties. According to
Bill Lee, a veteran CIA and DIA analyst, there is a large Russian nuclear
stockpile unaccounted for by the arms control inspectors. Lee also asserts
that Russia has a nationwide ABM defense today, clearly in violation of the
ABM Treaty. But President Bush’s plan does not take this into account. The
Russians are allowed to cheat, they are allowed to retain hidden reserves of
strategic striking power while the White House responds by advocating a weak
ABM system which cannot stop Russian missiles, that will take a decade to
deploy, that is politically unsustainable as a project.
But watch us unilaterally reduce our arsenal.
To our European and Asian friends we must apologize. This is how it
goes with America. Bureaucratic stupidity and wishful thinking is
progressively overthrowing America’s power. At the same time, the strategic
vacuum will be filled by Russia, China and various “rogue states.” These
will increasingly bully and dictate, swindle and blackmail the world’s other
The peace and prosperity we see today hangs by a thread. The only
reason the United States has not visibly crumbled is because of timing. As
long as we continue to disarm peace will continue. Our enemies will leave us
unmolested. Finally, when we stop disarming, the incentive for leaving us
alone will be gone. Peace will be at an end.
If only the American president understood this.