PART III -- THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IN DEFENSE AND ARMS CONTROL

Chapter 14 - NATO-Warsaw Pact Conventional and CBW Forces and Arms Control

Summary

In the areas of NATO-Warsaw Pact conventional, or “general purpose,” forces and chemical and biological weapons (CBWs), Reagan’s and U.S.-NATO intelligence assessments and public reports detail highly asymmetric Soviet force buildups and major Soviet arms control treaty violations in both areas. Reagan’s U.S.-NATO Conventional Force modernization efforts focused on rebuilding lagging Western defensive capabilities, and, along with his tough stand on regionally-focused Intermediate Nuclear Forces, added important defense capabilities to deter attack and press the Soviet Union to seriously consider new U.S.-NATO arms control proposals on Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) and at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) which achieved the Stockholm Agreement in September 1986. In the CBW area, Reagan Administration analyses and public diplomacy reports broke existing U.S. “détente” taboos by publicly exposing the Soviet Union’s violations of CBW arms treaties with Soviet research programs and its battlefield use or support of chemical and toxin weapons in Afghanistan, Laos and Cambodia. Reagan’s innovative 1984 U.S. arms treaty initiative on CBW included a proposed multilateral negotiations on a Chemical Weapons ban to be leveraged, in part, by modernized U.S. CW Defense forces and on-site verification.

[Book pg. 321]

Pages