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Mr. McFarlane's Interview on "This Week With David Brinkley" Q. Let us first deal with the question of the "bargaining chip," if it exists, which apparently it does not. Mr. Reagan said he would make no concessions--and correct me if I'm misquoting--on the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), otherwise known as "Star Wars," even though the Russians are insisting that that is the first step toward some kind of agreement. Where does that leave us?
A. I think probably your show is unique in affording a chance to explain fundamentals, and you cast a question which is the central public policy issue of this generation, I think.
For 25 years, we've relied on the notion that stability comes from offensive nuclear balance where each side can threaten the other. There is very clear evidence that that proposition will not be stable within this very decade because of the kind of offensive nuclear power the Soviets are going to deploy--weapons which we won't be able to find, or count, and, therefore, that we simply won't know what the balance, or imbalance, really is. In short, we're going to have a very unstable future if we rely on nuclear offensive weapons.
So the President believes that we have to ask the question, "Isn't there an alternative?" and that might be non-nuclear defensive systems. And we really don't have any choice, for as long as the Russians go ahead with these kinds of systems, and we cannot, then we have to have some military means of compensating for their advantage. So you begin a research program, when you find something that looks promising you have to test it, and at that point the President has said he would stop, talk to the Soviet Union, and our allies, and try to find a way where this non-nuclear future could be established, and there is quite a lot to negotiate, quite a lot to talk about. But it would be irresponsible not to, at least, ask the question, which some …