Of Arms Control, Summit Meetings, and the Politics of Make-Believe,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Soviet systemic insecurity for its political system exhibited in this study rather than any military threat makes the establishment of a relationship of mutual trust and friendship with the West impossible. Short of a major internal democratization, the mere existence of the Western alternative presents a security threat to the Soviet system. This does not mean that we cannot have a stable and correct security relationship with Moscow. Despite the chasm that separates them, both superpowers are vitally interested in preventing nuclear conflagration, and a stable modus vivendi based on this overriding objective could and should be achieved. But such a relationship could be built only on the basis of a strong American defense capability and a sober and realistic strategy for dealing with the Kremlin, and not by means of the arms control panaceas and summit quick-fixes, advocated by the practitioners of the politics of make-believe. It is not the failure of arms control that is one of the most serious foreign policy problems we are facing today but the failure to educate the American people in the realistic objectives and limitations of arms control and dispel the myth of arms control as a universal panacea for our security predicament.
- Government and Political Science