chapter  2
19 Pages

The Reagan Administration: Negotiating Arms Control with the Soviet Union

WithCharles R. Gellner

This chapter explores several aspects of President Ronald Reagan's arms control policy during his first term and his attempts to negotiate arms control agreements with the Soviet Union. The Reagan Administration's evolving policy on arms control can be more clearly understood if it is conceived of as passing through four stages during the four years of his first term, 1981-1984. There are many factors that have led to the Reagan Administration's record of lack of achievement in arms control, but one of the most prominent has been the administration's insistence on the notion that a buildup of US military forces would compel the Soviet Government to negotiate fairly on arms control proposals. The Reagan principle of building military forces as an incentive to negotiate fell on hard rock in the Soviet Union. The Reagan military programs appeared to the Soviets as a drive to superiority, as they said on innumerable occasions.