How to apply it

Downey, Thomas J.

THOMAS J. DOWNEY How to apply the pastoral to the real world MY READING of the first draft of the pastoral letter on peace and war has left me with a mixture of gratification and disappointment....

...it is dangerous...
...3. There is decreased competence among our national decision-makers...
...I suggest the following system: For support of SALT II ratification, give two points...
...These include the following: Visceral hostility to arms control, and fixation on military forces as the only solution to military threats...
...Second, the long-term effects of superpower nuclear war will possibly render the earth uninhabitable to human life, or mammalian life, or all life...
...Let me now suggest a framework for doing this...
...Trident I would be permitted, as would a certain number of long-warning bombers and cruise missiles...
...It would phase out land-based MIRVs (the U.S...
...The freeze is, therefore, infinitely more beneficial than the administration's START or the various across-the-board reductions being proposed...
...The Soviets have already signed SALT II and are eager to ratify it...
...failure to understand that pressuring, frightening, or inciting the Soviet Union to initiate nuclear war is not in the interest of the United States...
...We now have a president, vice president, secretary of defense, deputy secretary of defense, and director of Central Intelligence who came to their jobs with no knowledge of national security issues, and there is no evidence that they have dug into their subject matter...
...The morality of any act regarding nuclear war must be judged solely in terms of its effect on the probability of nuclear war...
...The bishops write: "We cannot be content with restating general moral principles...
...The real benefit of the freeze lies in its prohibition against testing of all nuclear weapons...
...We must look at the nature of existing and planned weapons systems, the doctrines and plans that would govern their use in time of war, and the consequences of use under various conditions...
...For support of the Hollywood freeze (the Jackson-Warner resolution in the Senate...
...Thus, a short-warning attack with large numbers of accurate missiles-the essential requirement for a first strike-would be impossible...
...It exists in people's minds...
...Is electoral action appropriate...
...Anyone with a score of plus-one or higher is part of the solution and deserves support...
...To sum up the relationship between three plans: SALT II is a quickly available although limited first step, fully compatible with either the freeze or the Gore plan, and by its ratification would render either of the other two easier to negotiate...
...SALT II is double-weighted because it alone can become real arms control immediately...
...For example, President Reagan's statement of a year ago that "The argument will be over which weapons, not whether we should forsake weapons for treaties and agreements...
...Absurd as this may sound, many current U.S...
...ICBMs is equated with destruction of the U.S...
...Here is the general problem: First, superpower nuclear war would most probably, within a few hours or days, destroy the civilization man has devoted thousands of years to building...
...For the present, we should not...
...Gratification, because of the quality of its general thrust and because of its dramatic superiority over anything a similar project would have produced only a few years ago...
...Specific policy changes could be made which would radically lower the probability of nuclear war, but they will not be made by the people presently possessing the power to make them...
...Compulsive fixation on "response in kind" to a Soviet attack, even when it won't work and better responses are available...
...The probability that the world will rise above nuclear deterrence during the next decade or two is negligible...
...Minuteman II and the Soviet SS-17, SS-18, SS-19) and permit their replacement with single-warhead ICBMs (Minuteman II for the U.S...
...they have unofficially expressed support for both the freeze and the Gore plan, although whether this would evaporate at the negotiating table remains to be seen...
...If the Soviets believe we consider ourselves inferior, it becomes logical for them to believe we will retreat if pressed, and therefore to be less concerned about avoiding direct military confrontation...
...First, what can be done about the technological problem...
...Less accurate submarine-launched missiles such as the U.S...
...Here, then, is the immediate problem: The diplomatic means to neutralize the technological stimulants of nuclear war exist, but are opposed by the people with the power to implement them...
...By thus over time lowering nuclear weapon reliability, the freeze would cause the predicted outcome of a nuclear first strike to become progressively less favorable to the attacker and less likely to be tried...
...the Broomfield amendment in the House), subtract one point...
...Because they are highly classified and the public can never be sure what is or is not in them, it is futile to seek to erase certain war plans through public pressure...
...THOMAS J. DOWNEY is Congressman from the 2nd District on Long Island...
...If it would not, we now face a spectacular opportunity to erase the specter of global nuclear war...
...and a new ICBM type for the Soviets...
...doctrine cannot...
...One might as well ask if nuclear war prevention is appropriate...
...agreed to this, yet the requirement to attack Soviet ICBM silos continues to dominate our ICBM planning and strategic force comparisons...
...But the existence of an unwise war plan is no danger unless it is used...
...would gradually eliminate first-strike weapons from the world's arsenals...
...strategic weapons programs are based on this assumption...
...For example, the destruction of U.S...
...I say this not just because of disagreement with their policies...
...In contrast, Secretary Weinberger's appearances before congressional committees have demonstrated such insecure and shallow grasp of nuclear issues that most of us have abandoned serious questioning of him to avoid national embarrassment...
...This is a subject of heated debate among scientists, and involves complex compound unknowns which cannot be resolved in advance of the event...
...President Reagan's claim of Soviet military superiority is not only incorrect...
...The widest variety of the weapon-employment plans exists in the computers of the Strategic Air Command...
...He regularly dealt with arms issues as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and now serves on the Ways and Means Committee...
...the intentions of the originators of the act are of only academic interest...
...Desire to facilitate military expenditures by minimizing the probable consequences of nuclear war...
...Weapons can be legislated...
...To think otherwise is merely to confess that one's contacts are confined to the kind of fine people who read this fine magazine...
...Should we not, instead, concentrate on seeking an end to nuclear deterrence and to military conflict altogether...
...There are, however, three major arms control plans which effectively improve deterrence and lower . the probability of nuclear war: SALT II would limit the number of warheads an ICBM can carry, prevent rapid reloading of ICBM silos, and eventually prevent the testing and deployment of many new weapons types...
...Therefore, the best-possibly the only-way quickly to lower the probability of nuclear war is to replace these people...
...I disagreed even more fundamentally with the coun-terforce theories of Nixon's Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, but there was never any doubt he understood the subtleties of the nuclear equation...
...Specifically, if the Soviets attack our ICBM silos and we respond against their remaining silos, there is zero probability that they will sit there and let us wipe out their unlaunched ICBMs...
...New, highly accurate submarine-launched missiles including the U.S...
...On the contrary, our counterattack will merely insure that their ICBMs will immediately be launched against our population and industry...
...But the two could mesh and reinforce each other if appropriate exceptions were made to the freeze...
...Failure to understand the danger of denigrating our military capability...
...Contemplation of the circle of civilians who would make the decisions in a nuclear crisis today is a frightening exercise...
...Disappointment, because it chooses not to follow through with directions for specific application to the world...
...As the Reagan administration's failure to find a technically feasible ICBM basing mode is demonstrating, not all first-strike war-threatening technological threats are amenable to technological solutions...
...As a red herring, they have devised the Jackson-Warner-Carney-Brobmfield "Hollywood freeze," which calls for a freeze after the U.S...
...Fourth, most importantly, this is not a situation in which virtue is its own reward...
...2. Doctrinal developments are tending to increase the probability of nuclear war...
...The nuclear freeze is far more effective than most of its proponents as well as opponents believe...
...Senate...
...It's not difficult to identify them...
...Yet I do not find the letter fulfilling this direction...
...Anyone with a zero or negative score is part of the problem and needs replacement-in November 1982 if possible, 1984 if not...
...has it...
...Trident II and any Soviet equivalent would be banned altogether, as would the MX...
...For support of the Gore plan (may be difficult to determine), give one point...
...The freeze's prohibition on deployment and production of new weapons, which has been at the center of most public controversy surrounding it, is of secondary importance...
...The probability that the world will fall below nuclear deterrence into annihilation is thousands of times higher...
...For support of the real freeze, give one point...
...These are not the people who now hold the power of life and death over the world...
...The one is the only practical route to the other...
...If an act has no effect, or a heightening effect, on this probability, that is what matters...
...Finally, there is the question of whether SALT II ratification followed by the freeze and/or the Gore plan is too modest a goal...
...In short, how our society plans and prepares for the conduct of war...
...The sole purpose of the Hollywood freeze is to enable arms control opponents to embrace the image of arms control while opposing its reality...
...Every military witness I have questioned has...
...A novel reduction plan by my colleague Albert Gore (D., Tenn...
...Why is the probability of superpower nuclear war rising...
...Overemphasis on the national value of strategic weapons...
...Belief that there is no such thing as a bad weapon as long as the V.S...
...Now let us move up one level of specificity...
...There are, nonetheless, solutions...
...There is some apparent conflict between the freeze and the Gore plan, in that the latter requires new stabilizing retaliatory weapons to be deployed to replace old destabilizing first-strike weapons...
...In the near term, this primarily concerns the ability to deliver large numbers of reliable, accurate nuclear warheads quickly, with very little warning...
...The need to change quickly by changing people is even more dramatically valid if we look at the doctrinal rather than the technological factors...
...The testing freeze would also prevent new first-strike weapons-the most dangerous of these is the Trident II (D5), which is the only weapon meeting my technological criterion (1) above-from being brought to the point of military utility...
...Third, the probability of superpower nuclear war is unac-ceptably high and is, for reasons I will outline, increasing...
...Our immediate and essential task is to preserve deterrence by prompt, concrete, and effective electoral action...
...all senators have, by co-sponsoring or not co-sponsoring various resolutions, indicated where they stand...
...By the time this is published, the House of Representatives will probably have voted on SALT II, the real freeze, and the Hollywood freeze...
...The administration opposes all three plans, as does a majority of the U.S...
...1. Technological developments are tending to enable a disarming first strike by one superpower against the other- that is, to weaken the deterrent effect of potential retaliation...
...has built up and achieved parity to the satisfaction of those overwrought missile-gap enthusiasts who have always and will always view the Soviet military as superior to ours...
...We can choose competent executive-branch decision-makers who are not attracted to suicidal strategies and will not use them...

Vol. 109 • August 1982 • No. 14


 
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