New Forest East


CND claims deconstructed

The Times  – 25 January 2008

How ironic – but how typical – of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to claim credit for the 1987 treaty on intermediate-range nuclear forces, which eliminated the Soviet SS-20s and the NATO cruise and Pershing 2 missiles simultaneously, on the multilateral basis known as the zero-zero option (letter, Jan 22).

This could never have come about if the CND had had its way and prevented cruise missiles from being deployed after the SS-20 deployments began in 1977. No Soviet leader – not even Mr Gorbachev – would have given up the SS-20s unilaterally.

CND constantly denounced the zero option proposal when originally and correctly proposed by President Reagan in late 1981; but its protests fizzled out a couple of years after cruise deployment went ahead in November 1983. The INF treaty was concluded long after the decline of the CND campaign – precisely because it and its sister-organisations in other NATO countries had failed. Yet, now it has the cheek to claim credit for the beneficial consequences of its own defeat.

Shadow Defence Minister
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA