THE GAME OF DISARMAMENT: How the United States and Russia Run the Arms Race by Alva Myrdal
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THE GAME OF DISARMAMENT: How the United States and Russia Run the Arms Race

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An ambitious account of failures to end the arms race and possible future approaches, written by a participant in the Geneva Disarmament Committee negotiations, a leading Swedish governmental and educational figure. Adopting a nonaligned tone, Myrdal holds ""the superpowers"" equally responsible for the dangers of nuclear war, though she asserts finally that the US started the weapons buildup, and sabotaged several major openings for disarmament thereafter. Examining the later NATO doctrine of ""limited nuclear war,"" Myrdal valuably emphasizes a little-discussed and horrifying dimension--implementation of the doctrine would physically destroy Europe. Citing evidence that the USSR rejects the doctrine, Myrdal nevertheless contends that both ""superpowers"" want to keep ""sanctuaries"" at home. They also connive with each other to sustain the weapons buildup, which explains the character of SALT I as ""a mutually agreed continuation of the arms race."" Among the points on the book's agenda for disarmament are a unilateral gesture of disarmament to show US good faith; binding measures for multilateral nonproliferation and control of nuclear weapons; tough efforts to abolish chemical and biological weapons; and an army control policy based on ""deterrence, not prosecution."" Most of all, Myrdal concludes, acknowledging the political sphere, ""trust"" is required. The terms of arms treaties, and such issues as the absence of technological limitations in the SALT I accord, are merely alluded to, not explained, so readers of this provocative study had better do their homework first.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 1976
Publisher: Pantheon