« PreviousContinue »
THE LIMITATION OF STRATEGIC ARMS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 1970
U.S. SENATE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON STRATEGIC
ARMS LIMITATION TALKS OF THE
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in room 3302, New Senate Office Building, Senator Henry M. Jackson, chairman, presiding. Present: Senators Jackson, Symington, and Inouye. Also present: Senator Dominick.
Staff present: T. Edward Braswell, Jr., chief of staff; Richard Perle, professional staff member, Subcommittee on National Security and International Operations.
OPENING STATEMENT OF THE CHAIRMAN
Senator Jackson. The committee will come to order. This hearing of the subcommittee is the first installment of a serious public review on a range of issues that bear on the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.
If there is any single proposition associated with the SALT talks to which all of us would readily assent it is that the subject is enormously complex. The issues involved in the talks transcend differences in the Government about specific weapons systems. The talks relate to the very heart of our strategic posture; they bear importantly on issues of stability and the durability of the strategic balance.
The SALT talks are bilateral, between the United States and the Soviet Union. The implications of these talks, however, touch upon a wide range of strategic relationships that embraces, for example, our position in Europe, the requirements for conventional strength in the NATO alliance and our emerging strategic relationship to Mainland
The relationship between the SALT talks and our national efforts at defense decisionmaking is vitally dependent on the view one takes of the proper approach to negotiating with the Soviets. I am hopeful that we shall shed some light on this difficult issue in the course of this subcommittee's study.
Gerard Smith, Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and Paul H. Nitze, Consultant to Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird were previous witnesses in executive session) before the subcommittee. Both Mr. Smith and Mr. Nitze are members of the U.S. Delegation to the SALT talks.
I am happy to announce that Secretary of Defense Laird will be appearing before the subcommittee shortly in open session. We will also hold a hearing soon on issues of Soviet economy and technology as they relate to the Soviet approach to arms control. At that time we will take testimony from Dr. Robert W. Campbell, Professor of Economics, and Faculty member of the Russian and East European Institute, Indiana University; and Dr. Thomas W. Wolfe, senior staff member of the RAND Corporation, and Faculty member of the SinoSoviet Institute, George Washington University.
We are very pleased to have with us today two distinguished historians of Russia and the Soviet Union. Between them, Professor Black of Princeton and Professor Pipes of Harvard have published works covering three centuries of Russian history.
We have invited them to appear in the belief that the salient themes of Russian history that bear on her contemporary foreign and defense policy should be explored by the subcommittee.
It is essential in any negotiation to understand the other side as clearly as possible. This is a crucial first step in formulating the strategy with which we approach the conference table, and in informing the conduct of our representatives in the negotiating process.
The importance of such an appreciation in the tactics of bargaining is evident; it is less evident, but equally important, in arriving at a view of the probable range of agreement, the potential of alternative sorts of initiative, and the innumerable implications of possible out
No decisionmaker ever acts independently of the history and tradition of his country. No regime, however revolutionary, can escape
A deep sense of our own past, even more that of others, is difficult to achieve. It is far easier and far more common to settle for vague historical images and myths—whose capacity to cloud our vision is immense and which are all too likely to lead to seriously deficient policy decisions. But in rejecting superficial historical images, we must not reject history itself-like some theorists who make the mistake of believing that the world is infinitely malleable, and can be shaped like soft clay.
We need history to guide us, especially as we approach crucial negotiations on the limitation of strategic arms.
Professor Black and Professor Pipes are here today to assist the subcommittee in its effort to go beyond the dim outlines of Russian history. Dr. Cyril Black is professor of history and director of the Center of International Studies at Princeton University. Dr. Richard Pipes is professor of history and director of the Russian Research Center at Harvard University.
Gentlemen, we are delighted to welcome you to the committee this morning.
I think the best way to proceed would be for Dr. Black to speak first, and then Dr. Pipes. We will then ask questions that will probably be directed to each of you, and you can respond in your own way:
Senator DOMINICK. Mr. Chairman, will you yield for just a minute? Senator JACKSON. Yes.
Senator DOMINICK. I just want to express my appreciation to you that, although I am not a member of this particular subcommittee,
you, knowing my interest, asked me to be present here today; and I am delighted
to be here. I look forward to listening to the testimony and will be following these hearings all the way through with great interest and great concern, because, obviously, we are dealing with matters of enormous national impact. Senator JACKSON. Thank you, Senator Dominick.
I think—and I speak for myself, at least—that it is great to go back to school again, because we have some distinguished professors, and this is an opportunity to gain a firm footing in the Russian area which is so essential to the work of our subcommittee in connection with the SALT talks.
STATEMENT OF DR. CYRIL E. BLACK, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, DIRECTOR, CENTER OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
Dr. BLACK. Thank you, Senator Jackson. The Interpretation of Russian History
In seeking to draw conclusions of contemporary significance from the long historical record of the peoples of Russia, it is important to identify the recurring patterns of behavior that give evidence of the characteristic conditioning of peoples with a common historical experience. To the extent that such patterns can be identified with some assurance, they can provide guidelines of significant value to the evaluation of policy.
Just as a mature person can alter the habits of many years with difficulty, even in the face of a challenge that may threaten his very existence, so nations with deeply ingrained ways of conducting their affairs change only gradually under the impact of new experiences. In this sense, history is always with us. The leaders of a nation can modify historically evolved institutions and values only to a limited degree, and at any given moment the genuinely new elements in a nation's life are relatively few and those that have deep roots in the past are inevitably much more influential. This very substantial degree of historical continuity in all societies is perceived as an obstacle by those seeking rapid political, economic, and social change, and as a powerful support by those concerned with the stability of institutions and values in times of stress and strain.
Historians who wish to determine the range of variation that a given society is likely to undergo must seek to identify those salient characteristics that are not likely to change very substantially in a decade or a generation, and to distinguish these from the more or less ephemeral policies that men and women in positions of great political authority may be able to change drastically in a short time. To say this is not to minimize the role of individuals in history, but simply to place this role in its social context. Individuals may have great influence in decisions that can be directly implemented, but even a totalitarian government can hope to effect only gradual change when the internalized habits and attitudes of many millions of people are concerned.
It is significant in this connection that Russia is one of the few countries whose peoples have lived together for several centuries as independent states within approximately their present territorial confines. Among the major countries, England, France, Japan, and China share this experience, but most of the other one hundred and fifty in which the peoples of the world live today have been formed rather recently. Most European countries emerged in their present form only in the nineteenth century and several did not gain their independence until after the First World War. In other parts of the world, no less than seventy countries have taken their present form only in this century. In this sense the United States, which will soon celebrate the 200th anniversary of its independence, is one of the oldest and most firmly established countries in the modern world. To the extent that the peoples of a country have a long experience of facing problems together, one can with greater confidence identify those institutions and values that have enduring significance by virtue of having stood the test of time.
While Russia is thus different from most other countries in the age and continuity of its institutions and values, it shares with most other countries the experience of having undertaken the profoundly difficult task of transforming an established agrarian society consisting predominantly of peasants and led by a small minority of landowners, merchants, and government officials, into an urban, industrial society.
Americans seeking to interpret Russian history bring to this subject important advantages, but also serious handicaps. The advantages arise from the relative detachment of a country which has never confronted Russia in war and which in fact has been an ally in the two major wars of our era; which is strong enough to deal with the Russians as an equal at the international level; and which also has the resources and talents to become the principal foreign center for the study of Russian history and institutions. In seeking to understand the Russian historical experience, in other words, Americans do not suffer the handicaps of neighbors who have been engaged in a bitter struggle with the Russians, or of those within the Soviet political orbit who are unable to express themselves freely, or of more distant peoples who have not been able to accumulate libraries of Russian books and journals and train a generation or two of scholars to use them.
At the same time we have some handicaps, and these stem from some of the same sources as our advantages our historical experience has been so different from that of the Russians, that we have great difficulty in seeing things from their point of view, of overcoming the feeling that we are right and they are wrong. Most of the peoples of the world, from England clear across to China, have faced the problem of transforming deeply imbedded traditional societies in modern times under the impact of the scientific and technological revolution. That is the hard way to do it, but they had no choice except to start with what they had.
We did it the easy way. We started with an empty continent, with bountiful resources, and filled it with vigorous immigrants from across the oceans. We know that some came here unwillingly, but a very significant majority came to the new world for the specific purpose of breaking away from their traditional institutions and