Kissinger’s article misses the mark in two crucial ways. First, he states that the Soviets have an interest in perpetuating the nuclear status quo because they have a population “largely ignorant of the consequences of nuclear war.” This statement is false. In fact, there have been several programs shown on Soviet television about the dangers of nuclear war, and the Soviet chapter of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War is very active in educating the Soviet people.
Those I know who have traveled to the Soviet Union state categorically that the citizens are very concerned about nuclear war. There is no doubt that Soviet citizens know more about the consequences of nuclear war than we do.
With this error in his hypothesis, Kissinger then proceeds to an incorrect conclusion, which is that we can somehow solve the problem between us by technological means. To the contrary, we have a people problem, caused by mutual ignorance and suspicion. The only way out of it is for us and the Soviets to get together and figure out how we’re going to learn the survive together.
JOSEPH C. KIERSE JR.