CAN YOU JUST SUMMARIZE FOR ME YOUR
Well, that's well my military
career started a long time ago. I have served in army for 40 years since 1932. And I went
through all stages of the military. Went from soldier to general—lieutenant general and I of
course, I served at the front during the Second World War and I retired in 1972, being a retired
lieutenant general. My last service was in the Academy of Generals staff. I was there at head of
a chair or head of faculty, what they were doing.
WHERE DID YOU SERVE?
Well, I served the Central
Front, the Moscow Front. I started in June 27th, of 1941 as a staff officer of the staff of the
western front there was a name of such front. And then I served on this direction too, I was
from the end of the war I was sent to general staff to work there and then I was sent to the
Academy of General Staff as a student. I was graduated from the Academy of General Staff in
1948, and since then I stayed in the Academy of General staff till 1972.
TELL ME HOW THIS YOU BECOME
FIRST CONSCIOUS THAT WE ENTERED NUCLEAR AGE?
Well if the entrance of the
nuclear or start of the nuclear age we count from August, 8 August of 1944, or 1945, of course
all of humankind entered the nuclear age at that time. But speaking frankly at that time. I
doubt very much that many people really--I mean assessed the comprehensive significance of the
nuclear weapon. Well if we judge at that time of course we understood that the main purpose of
the nuclear bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not against the Japanese were to—even to
end the nuclear—to end the Second World War, but is to show the Soviet Union how strong became
the United States in order to persuade them that United States became a nuclear country the
first one, and it could dictate at that time maybe not whatever it wishes or it wished at that
time, but what that we have to take that seriously into consideration. Because there was a
nuclear threat and the country that possessed this nuclear weapon was the United States. It is
from the political assessment. From the military point of view at that time, I would say neither
in the United States, I am speaking on my behalf of course and I am expressing my personal
opinion and maybe in some somehow here well they really not comprehensively I would say,
evaluated the real significance of the current nuclear age. What will come with it? Nor, what we
came today to the conclusion that there cannot be nuclear war of—I mean nuclear war and there
cannot be a winner in the nuclear war.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE
No, you know what I wanted to
make additional remark saying about the evaluation of the appearance of the nuclear weapon. At
the same time of course, it was well known at that time that the United States possess a very
few nuclear bombs at that time. And there was no idea that it was possible to win a war with the
nuclear weapon. First of all there were very few nuclear bombs and second there were not many
what do you call it, not launches but delivery vehicles I would say, like strategic bombers
which could reach territory without special equipment and so on and so on. So, but at the same
time at the at that time, we were of the opinion that the very terrible I would say weapon
appeared on the scene of the world history and humanity should get rid of it somehow at the
beginning because if we start to develop it would be late to get rid of it. But, and there was
our Soviet proposition on our side. There was so called Baruch plan on the American side which
we considered very one sided...
CAN YOU TALK TO IT...
Because you know the Baruch
plan was based on the supposition that the only country and the monopoly is of the United
States, so everything that is going to be developed or was going to be developed at that time
should be out of the control of the United States. They have to be world inspector and no
countries must confide in them that they will take into consideration the interest of all
country. We, history show they didn't represent our interest. So our plan was based on the as
far as we understand it was based on the supposition that not only the United States is
interested in, but to the world, the rest of the world also is interested and nobody will be
dominant in the inspection, in the control and so on and so on. So we had to reject Baruch plan.
But there were some ideas how to get rid of nuclear weapon. But do you see there were something
that the United States at that time came to the conclusion of the possibility of the atomic
monopoly, atomic strategy of the starting to somehow to keep out communist movement and so on
and so on. And it didn't help them to come to rational decision. And the nuclear weapon started
to develop till today
HOW DID YOU FEEL FIRST TIME,
I DON'T KNOW TO WHAT EXTENT YOU WERE PARTY TO THE DEVELOPMENT BUT WHEN THE FIRST SOVIET BOMB
WENT OFF, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION?
Well it's you know it looks
like a very simple question but at the same time it's a very complicated question. Because still
at that time there were some opinions that humanity should get rid of the nuclear weapon. At the
same time, there were some threats from the United States as we understood it. Let me think. I
think I am expressing my personal opinion, how it looked to me at that time. And the third
reflection it showed and we were of the opinion of the pride of our country that in a short
period, not to the prediction of the American specialists even like at the time or even like
Kissinger at the time or like some other people who predicted that the Soviet Union will get,
will possess nuclear weapon in like ten or 15 years in a very small quantity. All this
prediction were, you know, undermined by our test. It was a certain pride. And, at the same
time, for the military people, it was the task that we had to somehow to think about the
strategy, about the tactic in the new condition when there was the appearance of the Soviet
nuclear weapon and the United States couldn't just threaten with its nuclear weapon. It had to
take into consideration the possibility of the somehow retaliatory blow from the Soviet Union.
WHAT WAS IT THAT THE
EVOLUTION OF THE SOVIET MILITARY THINKING ABOUT THE UTILITIES YOU WANT...IN THE PERIOD AFTER
STALIN, I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE WAS SOME CHANGE IN THINGS, WHAT WAS THE NATURE OF THE
Well, speaking frankly you
know I wouldn't connect it with the name of Stalin because it is connected with the de, more
connected with the development of the nuclear weapon. It happened to the Soviet Union the same
as it happened to the United States, there were very few man, very few nuclear weapon or
charges. And very few nuclear capability of delivery of these charges or the weapon. At that
time, there was a view that first that still in spite of the appearance of the nuclear weapon
from the very beginning of the nuclear in the Soviet Union still there was a view that main
weapon it's uh—uh, in the personnel, it's meant in them. Not only convention but generally, it's
people in the army and the main force is it's, it's the conventional forces and so on. And at
that time you see nuclear weapon, maybe consider to be not in mind even weapon, but for a short
period. But we did development of course. It has impact on the military thinking and military
theory and military strategy and so on, and so on. But at that time still we were—you know from
the way they begin, after the Second World War you have to take into consideration not only the
appearance of nuclear weapon but certain thinking, military thinking even civilian thinking of
the event that happened in June 1941. Sudden aggression from the, from the German fascism, and
we—we've always, we read at that time always take into consideration the possibility that the
other side might prepare. Do you understand that the military thinking was under the influence
of the possibility of the aggression of the sudden aggression against the Soviet territory,
against our allies.
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT SURPRISE
I'm talking about the
surprise attack. At that time we had to take that into consideration because we didn't want to
have a repetition of such a tragic event as had happened in 1941. And that it was natural, and
it's still natural.
IT'S INTERESTING, BECAUSE I
THINK THROUGHOUT THE '50s THE AMERICANS WERE ALSO PREOCCUPIED BY A SURPRISE ATTACK.
Well, you see, when you are
saying that somebody is preoccupied with something, you have to say at the same time whether it
was realistic, or is realistic, or not. Because for a sudden or surprise attack against the
United States, they know for sure at that time in the 1950s that the Soviet Union didn't have
any means for the sudden or surprise attack. I mean you may make a surprise attack just with
aircraft systems, for instance, but what is after that? You have to have some forces to occupy
the country and so on. That's from the purely militaristic point of view, because from the
political point of view of that time after the Second World War the Soviet Union was occupied
not with the idea of sudden attack, but how to reconstruct our industry, how to give people some
food, how to reconstruct our agriculture. So there was no thinking whatsoever about any surprise
attack, because we were occupied with our domestic problems, and it was natural due to the
results of the Second World War.
I THINK THAT POSSIBLY SOME
OF THE REASON THE AMERICANS WERE WORRIED ABOUT IT WERE THAT THERE WERE SOME STATEMENTS, I THINK
A COUPLE OR SEVERAL BY KHRUSHCHEV, WHICH MAYBE WERE MEANT VERY DIFFERENT, BUT WERE READ AS A
THREAT TO MANY AMERICANS. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN, WAS HE TRYING TO ACHIEVE ANYTHING SPECIFIC... WHEN
KHRUSHCHEV WOULD MAKE A STATEMENT LIKE "ROCKETS WILL FLY," "WE WILL BURY YOU"? HE HAD SEVERAL
RATHER POWERFUL STATEMENTS.
Well, I think that there
were some misinterpretation of the statements. Some statements were used purposely, maybe they
were not very strictly expressed, very concretely expressed, ambiguous expressions maybe. But
some of them were used on purpose to justify some military spending, or some military programs.
Because at that time there was the idea of the bomber gap, you see the appearance of the bomber
gap. At that time there was the appearance of the idea of the missile gap. They all were not
true. Not because I am saying this, but because real American facts are saying the same thing.
But the people who were proposing this idea were, be and so on and so on, even that Paul Nitze
who is today is a very important figure in the arms control at that time he was a very also, at
that time he was very important person, and to all this teams who prepared documents about all
these ideas, the first strike from the Soviet Union bomber gap and missile gap, they were, they
fed to you some for propaganda purpose. So they use what Khrushchev said. For instance he said,
"We will bury you." By this, as he's said, he meant that due to the economic, social, political
competition, finally we'll win. Not by burying in the pure meaning of this word, but it was used
in such a way. I'm not saying that it was very exact words, or they were necessary to say, but
it is was said. But from my point of view, speaking frankly, if these words were not said, some
other pretext would be used. You see with such exaggeration as bomber gap and missile gap will
in 20 or 10 or 15 times well, it was not due to this statement. It was due to some other ideas
in order to a real superiority because some circles in the United States were afraid of the
development in nuclear field in the Soviet Union, because they were afraid that they'll lose
superiority at that time.
[END OF TAPE 618000]
...THAT THE NOTIONS OF THE
BOMBER GAP, AND THE NOTION LATER OF THE MISSILE GAP, WERE ALL BASED ON VERY LITTLE INFORMATION
WHICH THEN WERE EXPLOITED OPPORTUNISTICALLY, BUT THAT THE WORRIES WERE GENUINE?
Well, you see I can't agree
with you. I am of a different opinion, and as far as I understand it was not only a problem of
data, it was a problem of mood. It was a problem of ideas. And it was a problem to have some
basis to go to the Congress, ask for money. And there was nothing of the...of the interest to
check it out. This figures were invented, but they were invented not because of a mistake with a
group will or wishful thinking. They were invented on purpose, because they want to accelerate
their program in, to force the program, to accelerate the program of the missile. You know at
that time there were program in Navy about the submarine forces, the program of the Polaris
system. Program of Minuteman program of Atlas, and so on and so on. And they have to they wanted
to accelerate it. So you said if I understood you correctly that the people who were saying
about the bomber gap and missile gap, they didn't have enough information. Well, I think that's
not correct. The people I mean, responsible people in the Administration at that time, people in
the intelligence sources, they knew the real picture. They knew. But they didn't want to tell
it. Maybe I am wrong.
MY IMPRESSION IS THAT IN THE
ENVIRONMENT WHEN THERE IS VERY LITTLE INFORMATION THE TENDENCY WAS TO EXAGGERATE THE DANGER,
WHICH IS A MILITARY STRATEGY.
Yes, but you see there a
serious evaluation of any data it is based not only on the intelligence data that would be
guarded from some sources, I mean like today from national means of verification or from some
other national means of some other sorts. But it is based only on analysis. And analyzed based
on the possible prediction of the situation. They knew the possibility of our industry. They
knew. They knew the possibility of our economy. They knew the possibility of our material and so
on and so forth. They could make a... they could make a scenario and they could count maybe, not
to exaggerate in five, ten or fifteen times, maybe twice. But they exaggerated and it was on
purpose, and ten, fifteen times. Well that's not because they were ignorant or negligent in
data. They knew the data from my point of view, or they were near to real facts, but they didn't
want to publish it. Like they correct many data about our military project. Like they correct
about window of vulnerability as you mentioned before. They said it. No there was even at that
time there was no...
THAT'S... OK. OK. WAS THERE —
IN UNITED STATES THERE WAS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF CONTROVERSY WHETHER TO DEVELOP A THERMONUCLEAR
WEAPON. AND THE CONTROVERSY WAS BOTH — THE ARGUMENTS WERE BOTH OF A SCIENTIFIC AND POLITICAL.
AND THERE WAS ARGUMENTS WHICH WERE MILITARY. WAS ANY OF THIS KIND OF DIALECTICS TAKING PLACE IN
THE SOVIET UNION?
Well, that's speaking frankly
I can't tell you because I was not in the witness of any controversy here. And I can't tell you.
And I doubt very much there was a big controversy according to godfather of the thermonuclear
American weapon. I'm speaking about the physicist Edward Teller, was very great supporter of the
— and he was at that time my man who helped to make decision. And he was of just one-sided
opinion, that the United States must have a thermonuclear weapon.
WHAT IS...WHAT IS THE REASON
THAT IN THE SOVIET MILITARY TECHNOLOGY ROCKETS RATHER THAN BOMBERS BECAME THE DOMINATING MEANS
Well again I am expressing my
own opinion, because you know each side has its own history of the development of nuclear
delivery vehicles. The United States if you are speaking about intercontinental means of
delivery, from the very beginning, because if you take Hiroshima and Nagasaki they were based --
I mean the idea based on the bombers. Then the United States they....developed bombers as B-52
as the main force of delivery. Then came the competition between sea-based, and land-based
missiles and of course sea-based, at that time in the United States were victor at that, between
sea-based and land-based. As far as the Soviet Union, is concerned, the historical events helped
to develop land-based weapons. And from the very beginning we had a great success in land-based
missiles and while it's just ideal the construction, the ideal of the bra...of the human brain
and so on, and so on. There were no special ideas of it. Besides of course, you have to take
into consideration that our territory in comparison with the United States, that's my personal
opinion, that we may based...land-based missiles at our...on our territory much better than
bombers. Besides of course we at that time we didn't start developing bombers with
intercontinental radius or range. So that's — there are technical, political and economical
reasons for this. But as far as I understand the United States is now very much wishes that the
Soviet Union would restructure its forces and to pay much attention — more attention to the
sea-based. Well, I think that's a wrong idea.
IT BELONGS TO A LATER PROGRAM
BUT I AM CURIOUS, WHY DO YOU THINK IT'S THE WRONG IDEA?
OK. Well, we can't we can't
miss, I mean leave without touching the present situation because it is really closely
connected. Because you know the problem of parity, it isn't a problem that to have a mirror,
what do you call a mirror image, forces — it is measured by different measures, but not by this.
The United States well approximately has about 60 percent of its nuclear might in the sea-based
nuclear delivery vehicles and nuclear forces. And the Soviet Union has it in land-based. To
reconstruct it is quite expensive. It will take them much more time, then to make a drastic and
radical reduction. So our proposition, let's have 50 percent reduction, and to have only 6,000
in the first stage, 6,000 warheads. I think it's a rational proposition.
Soviet Views on US Nuclear Strategy
LET ME SWITCH TO WE ARE
DEVOTING ONE PROGRAM TO ESSENTIALLY TO MCNAMARA WHO PRESUMABLY BROUGHT SOME INTELLECTUAL RIGOR
TO THINKING ABOUT IT. INITIALLY I THINK WHEN HE JOINED THE ADMINISTRATION HE WAS VERY MUCH
CONCERNED OF HOW TO MAKE USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS. HE LATER I THINK DEVELOPED. AND HE WAS VERY
MUCH CONCERNED WITH NOTION OF COUNTERFORCE VERSUS COUNTER VALUE TARGETING. I KNOW WHAT AMERICANS
THINKS ABOUT THIS. WAS THERE, AT THAT TIME, THE TIME WHEN WERE THESE A KIND OF CONSIDERATION
EXPLORED BY THE SOVIET MILITARY, AND IF SO WHAT KIND OF EXPLORATION?
Well you know, first of all I
must say that McNamara is a very interesting figure. Not only in the American military thinking
I would say, but in general, in western military thinking I would say in general. Because still
his idea of flexible response still lives and very strongly among NATO strategic people or
command and so on and so on. And it's a pity –
FIRST OF ALL THAT THE
SOVIET RESPONSE, THE SOVIET ATTITUDE, THE SOVIET MILITARY ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE STRATEGY OF
Well, as I said before, I
think McNamara — it's my opinion, is very interesting figure in western military thinking in
general, among many Secretary of Defenses of the United States and even in the western countries
or allies of the United States, he's standing as a very unique figure in this. First of all I am
thinking very often what would happen with him if he would be appointed again as a Secretary of
Defense? What would become with his strategy of, what would he invent in the present condition?
Because as you know, he has now different opinions, which are very interesting and they reflect
the ideology. At that time I would say with all his mental ability and his brain trust, I would
say, because he was surrounded by whiz kids, like Enthoven and Ivan Selin, and other people I
don't want to name them, not to make them publicity. But if even he would take these people and
he would therefore, I think he would come to some very interesting views which will not be
accepted by the present administration. But I am returning to your question about the massive
retaliation counterforce strategy, because it was in his very famous speech in Ann Arbor, you
are meaning this one. Well, you know, we have a different strategy, because we never have had,
and I think will not have a strategy, against population. Against civil targets. Against people
who are against us. It doesn't mean that it has any connection with massive retaliation or
counterforce strategy, because our strategy is a strategy of retaliatory blow. Once he invented
massive retaliation he even counted how many, what is the percentage should be
HOLD ON FOR A SECOND. BECAUSE
WE NEED TO START -- MASSIVE RETALIATION IS NOT MCNAMARA. IT CAME BEFORE HIM. HE, I THINK HE
TRIED TO CHANGE MASSIVE RETALIATION TO FLEXIBLE RESPONSE.
No, no, I don't agree with
you. McNamara himself, in his speeches said that if you--that's his opinion, that's not his
predecessors--that if you destroy about 60 percent of the economy and about one-third of the
population it means what -- he was asked, what do you mean by the massive retaliation, and he
said, I mean about 60 percent dead. Even Harold Brown said about the necessity of the destroying
250 big cities in the Soviet Union in order to win. But it was McNamara, not his predecessors,
about the assured destruction, I mean by the massive retaliation.
In your question there was
McNamara's name. That's why I mixed you... I was confused. You see, at that time the main figure
in the American policy was John Foster Dulles. And he was one of the authors of I think maybe I
am wrong, of the atomic diplomacy. Of the not the retaliation but atomic threat. That he said
that we'll use nuclear weapons when we wish to use, and at the time we wish to make this
itinerary of the users of the nuclear weapons. From our point of view it was a nuclear threat,
it was a real nuclear threat to us. So we had to prepare a retaliatory some reply to this. In
the way of retaliatory blow. But even for massive retaliation he thought about the massive
destruction of the Soviet Union and we have to have some difference at that time. It was
possible and to have some forces to have a reply to this, and to consider it as a real nuclear
threat. And it was not accidental as a matter of fact, because at that time all lands in the
United States were based on the ideal of making blow — a nuclear blow against the Soviet Union.
All documents that are published now show it, I mean plans, SIOP plans that are published now,
they show it.
WE COME BACK TO
Now about McNamara, I don't
want to repeat what I said. I meant assured destruction and assured destruction. His idea, and
but you see his idea, here I would say to look, to have a retrospective view of his idea I think
he will repudiate now his own views.
I KNOW HE DOES.
Yeah. Because you know, at
that time he was a prisoner of the ideas that were existed in Pentagon. And as being a rational
man with a mathematical thinking and having all these people around, young people who were very
bright and also mathematical there, many of them are now in computer business. Ah, they invented
this assured destruction and the other one idea of the to have something different, I mean some
ideas of defense.
Second-strike, retaliatory or
whatever it was. So and he was the inventor of the flexible response, the strategy of flexible
response. It was still a nuclear strategy based on mainly on the nuclear strategy because the
idea of flexible response was to use to be ready to any conflicts, with any scale of conflicts,
and to be ready to use nuclear weapons to be first in usage of the nuclear weapon.
WAS THERE SIMILAR STRATEGY,
AN UNDERLOOKED STRATEGY OF THE SOVIET FORCES? AT THE TIME, I'M TALKING ABOUT EARLY '60s.
No, you see, even at that
time as far as I know and as far as I can judge we were never of the idea to be the first to use
the nuclear weapon. It was always the idea as a reply to the first usage of nuclear weapon by
the other side. Either by NATO or by the United States. That is the difference.
CAN YOU REPEAT, BECAUSE I
WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THE RIGHT TERMINOLOGY AND THE RIGHT CONTEXT. THAT THE SOVIET VIEW
ON THE COUNTER VALUE OR COUNTER CITIES STRATEGIES, HOW DOES, TO THE EXTENT THAT IT'S KNOWN, WHAT
IS THE SOVIET THINKING ABOUT ANN ARBOR SPEECH OF MCNAMARA IN WHICH HE WAS I THINK TRYING TO
CONVINCE THE SOVIETS...?
Yeah, yes. We were not of
that...of such a you see dividing the strategy of counter cities, and counterforce strategy.
Because you know, our main idea not to use nuclear weapon against people, against population,
against cities, against civilians, that's the main idea. As much as possible to listen the
consequences for the people. So at the same time, you had to take into consideration the
possibilities of the nuclear weapon, the collateral results of the usage of the nuclear weapon.
So these ideas or just at that time to have so-called surgical strike, it was just wishful
thinking. They were not realistic even in that time. It was just to cheat the people in order to
have a nuclear strategy. And it helped to give even more the possibility of the idea of the
first strike in general. So we were against these ideas to divide it. Because in general our
strategy is not against cities or against population.
YOU KNOW SORT OF THE STANDARD
PROBLEM POSED BY AMERICAN STRATEGIES WAS IF YOU TARGET WEAPONS AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT
RETALIATORY STRIKES, YOU WILL BE STRIKING EMPTY SITES.
You know, that's one
scenario, what you mentioned. But there is another scenario, because you can't use all of a
sudden so many weapons. Then there will be a launch and warning. And you, both sides will use
something against empty launches. But the collateral results, I'm repeating this. No matter
whether you're trying to destroy silo, or you're trying to destroy air base, the radiation,
after four hours will reach, it is now an open cart about the nuclear winter, and everybody
agrees that the nuclear war cannot be won. And so on, and it is a scene for your program in 1989
or in 2000 or so on and so on. But you see, it is recognized now, but it took so many time, so
much time to come to this conclusion, but still I think there are many people in the United
States who don't agree with this, who are, who still think that the nuclear war cannot be waged
and cannot be won.
BUT ONE OF THE... I THINK
PROBABLY ONE OF THE FIRST PERSONS TO RECOGNIZE THE NOTION OF MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION IS
Yes, so he mutual assured
destruction and damage limitation. That's a... two sides of one matter, I would say. Assured
destruction and damaging mutation. It was his idea. And it still lives in the military thinking
of the United States, assured destruction. Then came mutually assured destruction. It's...it's
philosophy. It's not a doctrine. There cannot be such a doctrine. Mutual assured destruction is
a condition. It's some sort of a condition. It's some sort of a... because if each side speaks
about parity and parity means equal danger, as it is now formulated, equal danger of equal
results of the blow, whether you are making first blow or retaliatory blow, the results will be
the same. So there is such a condition, yes. Object.
WELL, POLITICAL LEADERS AT
LEAST IN THE...IN STATEMENTS ALL OF THEM SAY, CANNOT BE WON, SHOULDN'T BE FOUGHT. I THINK IT'S
MUCH TRICKIER OR MUCH TOUGHER FOR A MILITARY PERSON.
Now you know in our country,
military people or even military leaders are a servant of the political leaders. So this is the
reply to your question because they think the same. They think that nuclear war cannot be won.
And there cannot be any victory in nuclear war.
BUT IF THE...
If, or as you say, God forbid
it, if the war starts and if the other side makes an aggression against the Soviet Union, the
Soviet Union will reply, it doesn't want, but it will be forced to reply. But the results will
be the same for the United States for the western country, the same for the Soviet Union. For
the communists, for the capitalists, for everybody, it'll be not only dangerous, not only
terrible, there will be annihilation of the civilization as far as I can judge. Nobody can check
whether there will be a nuclear winter or not. But I think it's a detail how people will die,
due to the nuclear winter or do to lack of blood to make what you call it, you understand, or to
due to the radiation, big dose of radiation. It doesn't matter. Because each country possesses
according to the specialists, much more than enough to annihilate each other.
LET'S, I KNOW, BUT LET'S COME
BACK TO MCNAMARA AND MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION. I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU KNOW, HE RECOGNIZED IT
IN '67. AND I WONDER WHETHER IT WAS THE RECOGNITION OF THIS BY THE SOVIET POLITICAL AND MILITARY
THINKING, WAS APPROXIMATELY BORROWED... FOLLOWED
Well, you know at that time
in the United States not everybody agreed to... with McNamara, and I think not everybody agreed
here. It is natural you know, because some of the opinion, nobody you know, could check at that
time whether it is correct or not. It was just theoretical, some scenario. But as a matter of
fact, but people here, like in the United States, they came more and more to the conclusion that
nuclear weapon is no weapon whatsoever. It cannot be used, neither for political use nor for
military. It's not weapon as long as it cannot be used in peacetime or in the...wartime, it
cannot be used. No matter, first strike, second strike, preemptive strike, retaliatory, because
there is the same danger to your, what do you call it, I don't want to name enemy, but to your,
another part, the same to you.
AGAIN IN THE CONTEXT OF
MCNAMARA, ABOUT THE GLASGOW SUMMIT, IT'S PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE ABMs, AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE
SOVIET THINKING ABOUT ABMs. OK? THE EVOLUTION OF THE SOVIET THINKING IN THE LATE '60S ABOUT
You mean the proposition of
Johnson and McNamara to meeting in Glasboro and then the SALT Negotiations? There's...is two
stages. One stage that we were against this and well, you see I can't tell you the details I
don't know. I...may express my own opinion, so it's just what I think. You know, sometimes, when
a proposition made in the wrong time, not well presented, even if it is rational, even if it is
a good one, there is a certainology, that it shouldn't be accepted. But when time passes on
there was rethinking of it. And when there was not spontaneous discussion, just all of a sudden
you made — not you but the President of the United States and McNamara made the proposition to
Kosygin who was not briefed and not well prepared for this of course the reaction even to
everybody now what Reagan said, that it is so as the allies, just defensive ideas and so on,
trying to attract attention of the people, so it was in somewhere, I think maybe it was
misrepresented, but it was natural. But when it went to a serious discussion during this
preparatory SALT Negotiations, talks in Helsinki and some other places, of course the idea of
ABM stood in all its size. And it took — had to be evaluated from the point of view of reduction
of strategic offensive forces. And they couldn't be reduced if there is a development and arms
race going on in the defensive nuclear weapon. So first of all there should be at that time it
was considered first of all there should be solved problem of the ABM. It should be stopped. And
both sides agreed to this. And that's why it is not only the, you may call it evolution, but the
it is a concrete and rational reply to the probable...to the... to the dangers that are coming
with the nuclear arms race. That unless defensive weapons are stopped there is always a threat
of the first strike, there is always the idea of the possibility of the first strike. And you
have to stop first of all the ABM weapon. That's why, you know, that's my reply to you. And I'm
not sure whether you said it's right or not.
BUT YOU KNOW, I... I THINK
THAT IT HAS TO DO PROBABLY MORE WITH THE SORT OF THE RECOGNITION OF THE NATURE OF NUCLEAR
WEAPONS IN DEFENSE AND OFFENSE.
No, it was recognition that
no, that's, I don't agree with you, excuse me for saying this. Because you see in the nuclear
war weapons, there is a different approach to the offensive and defensive weapon. Different
approach. If you develop a good defense against nuclear strategy, you at the same time wish your
volance or not, will or not to will, I don't know how to say it in English. You are getting the
possibility of the first strike. You understand? You are getting the possibility, no matter,
what is your perception. And no matter how peaceful you are. And no matter how you are against
the nuclear war in general. But the other side, immediately will come to a conclusion that you
are getting objectively the possibility of the first strike. That's why we're against, now,
that's partially why we're against SDI, because it's a road to the first strike.
BUT THAT'S ALL RIGHT. THE
SOVIETS WILL BE THE GABOSH...
Yes, and to repudiate it. We
get, we got riddled, because we agreed with the Amer... we agreed both of us, mutually agreed
that it's dangerous. Let's stop it. Let's have it symbolic only system. It is symbolic, because
you can't defend the country with one side. No matter whether one side has it or doesn't have
it. It doesn't matter. It's symbolic. The last?
IT'S THE LAST ONE, UNLESS....
WAS THERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE '50s, A CHANGE OF THE MILITARY THINKING, NUCLEAR THINKING,
BECAUSE OF THE CHANGE IN THE RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA? OR HOW DID THE BREAK UP OF CHINA AFFECT
THE SOVIET THINKING?
Well, you have to understand
that military thinking in general, they can't be changed all of a sudden, because it's based on
nuclear weapon which is...exists now, or will appear in ten years, but you can't even if there
is something happened in the world, you can't all of a sudden change your military strategy,
because the weapon that you are planning it will come in ten years anyway. So when you are
saying something happened to change your military thinking, well, we were...we had to take that
into consideration, of course, because at that time in China there was some voices with very
expansionist views, to have some territory, to get back some territory, to… to this and that. We
had to take this into consideration of course. But to change drastically, radically, not only it
was, there was no reason for this but at that time, we couldn't do this.