Moving in SALT Outside of SALT.

by S. T. Cohen

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In discussing the prospects for success of SALT II, the author maintains that any truly significant future agreement will have to focus primarily on arresting certain key qualitative features of offensive strategic weapons, i.e., a ban or limitation on MIRV. Because of verification problems, such an agreement would be difficult to enforce. However, seismic verification techniques have now improved to a point where nuclear testing relevant to strategic warhead developments can reliably be picked up and verified. Thus, in the interest of progressing toward strategic weapon limitations, the problem of warhead development should be moved to the nuclear test ban conference table at Geneva, where, if halting all nuclear tests appears impossible, it may be possible to place a threshold on underground tests pertinent to MIRV progress. If the United States and the Soviet Union were to agree on a Threshold Test Ban Treaty, and other nations would become parties to it, the proliferation of strategic nuclear forces could be curtailed. 7 pp.

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