There are three simultaneous arms races—the Soviet-American competition in nuclear arms, the spread of nuclear weapons to additional countries, and the worldwide traffic in conventional arms. All three have been flourishing, at a worldwide cost of over $300 billion a year. Until recently, these interlocked arms races have cast a deepening sense of despair among the specialists who monitor them. Predictions of nuclear war in this century have multiplied, particularly since India showed that a Third World country could develop a nuclear”device” from atoms supposedly designed for peaceful purposes.
The Carter administration, however, is changing the climate in which decisions about arms are made. In his inaugural address, Jimmy Carter reiterated a campaign theme when he said: “We will move this year a step toward our ultimate goal— the elimination of all nuclear weapons from this earth.” In his first contacts with the press, the new President asserted...
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