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The SALT II Crisis: An Opportunity to Limit the Dangers
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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We are in the final rough passage of a journey beginning over seven years ago when the US and Soviet governments undertook the second series of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. After extended, painstaking negotiations, the SALT II treaty was signed on 18 June 1979 at the Vienna Summit Conference by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev. The treaty was transmitted to the US Senate where extensive hearings began in July in three committees-Foreign Relations, Armed Services, and Intelligence. SALT II is now before the full US Senate for debate, with a final vote on ratification of the treaty expected shortly. A two-thirds majority, or 67 of the 100 Senators, must vote to approve the agreements of SALT will be rejected. No more important decision than the ratification of SALT II will be made by this Congress. Indeed, the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty is possibly the most important treaty to be submitted to the US Senate since the creation of the North Atlantic alliance over a quarter century ago. The outcome of the Senate vote will influence the dimensions of the Soviet strategic threat to the US in the 1980s. The vote can partially determine the level of information we are able to gather on future Soviet strategic programs. And the Senate decision can also largely determine whether the US-Soviet strategic nuclear weapons race accelerates or is brought under increasing control.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE