Your Dec. 20 article, "Baker Backs Nuclear Russia as a Deterrent," quotes Secretary of State James A. Baker III as stating, "I am not prepared to walk away from the concept of nuclear deterrence that has kept the peace for more than 40 years. I would like to see zero weapons targeted on the United States, but I am not prepared . . . to subscribe to the philosophy of denuclearization." Besides overlooking the end of the Cold War and the new status of the republics of the Soviet Union, Baker overlooks some 150 non-nuclear wars since World War II.
There is a great irony in our encouraging the Russians to maintain a nuclear deterrent, particularly when most of their weapons are aimed at the United States. The bankrupt policy of encouraging the Russians to maintain a nuclear arsenal, presumably so that we may do the same, is not worthy of this country.
Rather than rebuilding our nuclear arsenals, we need to get on with the task of rebuilding the infrastructure of our nation. The tremendous expenditures now devoted to nuclear arms research, development, testing and production should be transferred to civilian projects which could provide millions of badly needed jobs for Americans.
President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation