CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

'NUCLEAR ANTI-CLIMAX'

Independent – 9 September 2000

According to your report on the Greenham Common anti-nuclear campaign (September 6): "Such was the groundswell of popular opposition caused by the Greenham women and CND that the ... United States Air Force flew its 96 cruise missiles back to America exactly 10 years after the Berkshire demonstrations began."

Certainly this is what the one-sided disarmers would like us to believe – but the facts are against them. NATO's cruise and Pershing II missiles, deployed from November 1983, were removed under the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which also required the scrapping of some 2,000 Soviet SS20 warheads.

This was based on the so-called "zero option" offer made by President Reagan in 1981 – an offer derided by CND and other unilateralists at the time and accepted by the Russians only after it was clear that domestic protests against NATO's missile deployments had failed in their objectives. Indeed, the INF deal was struck some four years after the large demonstrations at Greenham Common had fizzled out.

Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
Cadnam, Hampshire