The Ecphorizer

A Proposal to End the Threat of Nuclear Armageddon
Joseph P. Rankin

Issue #25 (September 1983)

In order to secure the interest of the USSR in a verifiable nuclear arms freeze and the eventual reduction in deployed nuclear weapons and stockpiles, the US would propose an economic bonus to the USSR. This bonus would consist of an agreement [quoteright]to loan, invest in, grant, or otherwise favor the USSR and its satellites with up to 50% of the savings that such an agreement would allow the US to make in its defense budget. The amount of bonus could be computed annually after approval of the defense budget and determination of savings accruing from the agreement. Good faith on both sides will be insured by the publicity and by monitoring of the agreement by the United Nations. The following benefits would accrue immediately upon signing the nuclear arms control agreement:

  1. The arms race would be halted and discussions on a disarmament phase begun.
  2. Funds could be made available to the USSR and satellites to begin raising the living standard of their people.
  3. Half of the savings from the reduction in our defense budget would be available for reducing our huge budget deficits.
  4. The economies of Europe, Japan, the Third World Countries, and the US would be greatly improved because of the USSR's, and its satellites', increased ability to satisfy its demands for consumer goods, including food. Large investments would also be surely made in the infrastructure of the USSR. This would involve such things as roads, bridges, canals, dams, and sewer systems.
  5. Thousands of engineers now employed in the defense department in nuclear weapons R & D would be available for employment in the private sector for development of non-defense technology. This would stimulate private sector employment and reduce government supported employment.

A schedule such as the following might be followed:

  1. Immediate cessation by the USSR and the US of nuclear arms production immediately upon conclusion of agreement for mutual verification of defense facilities to insure compliance with the agreement. The UN might play a key role in the verification process.
  2. Meeting to determine procedures and schedule for mutual reduction of equivalent tonnage of deployed and stockpiled nuclear weapons for each leg of the triad of land, sea, and air. Might also discuss reduction of conventional weapons to those required for border defense only. 

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