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Policy Guru Discusses U.S. Aims Around the World

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2001 – The United States will reduce its nuclear weapons arsenal following the Nuclear Posture Review, Douglas Feith predicted during a Sept. 4 media roundtable discussion.

Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, also addressed U.S. policies toward Russia.

He said President Bush has indicated he wants further reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. "We have no interest in retaining nuclear weapons that we don't need," he said. Once the results of the Nuclear Posture Review are clear, the United States will "proceed to do this and we intend to do it quickly."

America will not make reductions contingent on arms control measures with Russia. "Once we've identified that a reduction is justified, we're not looking to tie up the reduction process in protracted negotiations," he said. "When we identify nuclear weapons that we don't need, we will eliminate them. And we hope that the Russians will take a similar attitude."

Feith also touched on U.S. relations with China and newspaper reports that the United States is considering withholding objections to China's nuclear modernization program in return for Chinese approval of the U.S. missile defense program. "That is not correct," he said. "There's nothing to it.

He said the United States continues to have concerns about the Chinese developments of their long-range and short- range nuclear capabilities. He said these actions are destabilizing in Asia.

The United States also has concerns about Chinese proliferation of ballistic missile technology. "The U.S. government over the weekend imposed sanctions on China for the provision of missile technology to Pakistan," Feith said.

On Russia, Feith said the United States is working to establish a new relationship. The United States wants to move away from the concept of mutually assured destruction to a more normal basis.

Feith said the United States would adhere to all treaty obligations. "We have said that we are going to move beyond the (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty, and if we do it, we will do it by giving the notice provided for in the terms of the treaty," he said. The United States must give six- months' notice before pulling out of the ABM Treaty.

"If we can achieve the kind of relationship with Russia that we aim to achieve, then there will be much greater international stability, much greater security that flows from a friendly relationship between the United States and Russia without reference to arms control treaties than there would be if the United States and Russia had a hostile relationship with arms control treaties," he said.

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