Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger’s testimony last September before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was recently released, and it gives us the facts of life about the naked power of the new Soviet supermissiles, the SS-18s. They have a payload of 15,000 pounds — in contrast to the largest American missile which has a payload of only 1,200 pounds.
The new Soviet supermissile is thus 12½ times more powerful than ours, and the Soviet MIRVs are correspondingly more powerful than our MIRVs. Despite these revelations, Secretary Schlesinger offered no plans to increase the U.S. defense budget, now running at only five or six percent of our Gross National Product.
Armed with charts and graphs, Secretary Schlesinger spun out a scenario of how the Soviets can use their nuclear missiles, and how the United States would react. He told how the Soviets could deliver a nuclear strike on us that would wipe out our ICBM silos, our SAC bases, and our nuclear submarine bases.
This much was not news. What was a stunning surprise was Dr. Schlesinger’s description of U.S. reaction to this calamity. He said that the Soviet attack would kill only six million Americans and would hardly disrupt our economy; that the psychological impact probably would result in an initial “loss of confidence in [our] government,” but that the American survivors would adapt to the situation and “support re-establishment of normal cooperative relationships at all levels of community life.”
There is no way to read this amazing testimony except that our Secretary of Defense has given the Soviets advance assurance that, even if they kill six million Americans and destroy our ability to resist or retaliate, the Soviets can count on the remaining 204 million Americans continuing to cooperate with the Kremlin.
The accurate term for Schlesinger’s scenario is “strategic surrender,” that is, permitting an enemy to attain a first-strike disarming capability against us so that he can demand our total military and political surrender. After we have passed the “preemption point” (the point in time at which the Soviets have achieved first-strike disarming capability and can credibly threaten a strike to preempt our attempt to build additional weapons), any “cooperative relationships” we might seek with the Kremlin could only be on the same basis that the slaves in the Gulag Archipelago cooperate with their captors.
Anyone who is relying on our Polaris submarines to save us from such a fate should know that they are regularly monitored by Soviet attack submarines. These Soviet “killer” subs are always in reposition to fulfill their mission when the Kremlin gives the orders. Our Polaris submarines are trailed, so closely that last November 3 a Soviet submarine actually collided with a Polaris in the North Sea.
Although the ominous significance of Schlesinger’s recent testimony was apparently lost on most of the U.S. press, we can be sure it was not missed by the Kremlin strategists who eagerly await the day when they can get their money’s worth from the billions of rubles they have spent on new longrange supermissiles.