On disarmament, Republicans forget the legacy of Reagan

December 22, 2010

Your editorial ("START treaty test," Dec. 21) briefly notes that the first START was a signature diplomatic achievement of President Reagan. It is worth remembering that START was part of a broader agenda of disarmament that President Reagan pursued throughout his two terms of office. Despite their professed admiration for the Reagan administration, Republicans in Congress now call President Obama's similar disarmament goals unrealistic and impossible. It is worth recalling how President Reagan responded to that line of criticism after signing of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on December 8, 1987:

"For the first time in history, the language of "arms control'' was replaced by "arms reduction'' — in this case, the complete elimination of an entire class of U.S. and Soviet nuclear missiles. Of course, this required a dramatic shift in thinking, and it took conventional wisdom some time to catch up. Reaction, to say the least, was mixed. To some the zero option was impossibly visionary and unrealistic; to others merely a propaganda ploy. Well, with patience, determination and commitment, we've made this impossible vision a reality."

Cory Evans, New York

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