The Soviets have received Henry Kissinger in Moscow with something less than their previous eagerness to sign new agreements on strategic arms limitations. Some commentators have speculated that this is because the Kremlin is moving more cautiously in dealing with Gerald Ford because they are not sure he will be reelected in 1976.
The real reason why the Soviets are playing their cards close to their chest is that they don’t want another strategic arms agreement. Why should they? They got everything they wanted in the SALT Agreements signed by Brezhnev and Nixon in May 1972. Those agreements gave the Soviets everything they could possibly need to advantage them and disadvantage us.
In 1974 the Soviets simply want the unamended continuation of the 1972 SALT Agreements — under which the Soviets will continue to build weapons at a wartime rate, and under which the United States is not adding a single missile launcher, either land-based or sea-based.
One of the biggest lies put out in connection with the SALT Agreements was that they stopped the spiraling arms race. It is now completely obvious that the Soviets have never stopped racing, but have redoubled their speed, while we have been standing still.
Since SALT, the Soviets have developed five new series of ICBMs. Their SS-16 is a mobile missile, and under SALT the Soviets have every right to deploy this by the hundreds, or even thousands, because there is absolutely no restriction in SALT on mobile missiles. Their SS-18 is a tremendously powerful ICBM, probably twice as powerful as the SS-9 and 50 times the power of our Minuteman missile. The Soviets have every right to deploy the giant SS-18s because their silos were dug before SALT was signed, and therefore construction was begun before the cutoff dates.
The Soviets can freely replace their old light missiles (the SS-lls and SS-13s) with their new heavy SS-17s and SS-19s, which have three to five times the throw-weight, because the SALT Agreements did not define what is a heavy missile. The Soviets have tested all these new types of powerful ICBMs with MIRVed warheads.
In addition, the Soviets recently tested their new submarine launched intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of nearly 5,000 miles, that is, 2,000 miles longer than our best submarine launched missile.
So cocky are the Soviets with their new missile superiority tha-r; without ever giving any promise to allow even one member of the Jewish faith to emigrate, they demanded, and got, the Ford Administration to authorize the shipment this year of 2.2 million tons of wheat and corn, on credit and at low interest rates. It is now clear that the so-called Soviet “promise” to allow 60,000 Jews to leave Russia annually was not a “promise” and involved no actual number of persons.
The Soviets don’t need or want a new strategic arms agreement. All they want is to stall us into thinking they want one, while they continue to build more and more weapons and import more and more of the fruits of our free enterprise system.