United States Secretary of State William Rogers told the Senate Foreign Affairs committee yesterday (Friday) that a unilateral reduction of forces in Europe by the U.
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CU Secretary of State Rogers speaking. (SOUND)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 2: STATE ROGER: "Soviet Communist chief Brezhnev today called for international negotiations which would discuss the reduction of forces in Central Europe. Now its obvious that if we do it unilaterally we can kiss that initiative goodbye. We've been attempting for a long time to see if we could embark on negotiations with the Soviet Union so that we could have reciprocal reductions of forces. In the last two NATO meetings this has been the policy that all 15 nations have agreed upon. In the last meeting of the Warsaw Pact the Russians indicated that they might be willing to engage in such negotiations. Now if we do it unilaterally, Brezhnev doesn't have any point at all, why bother, why bother to have negotiations if we're going to do it anyway. He's not going to reduce his forces, he's not even going to discuss it if we're going to destroy the effectiveness of NATO. Now the actual practice of the Soviet Union has been attempting for many years to undercut NATO to weaken it. In fact the whole effort they've made in European security conferences is designed to that end and I think it would be a major disaster for this country to fail to support NATO."
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Background: United States Secretary of State William Rogers told the Senate Foreign Affairs committee yesterday (Friday) that a unilateral reduction of forces in Europe by the U.S.A. would have an adverse effect. For the Soviet Communist Party chief, Leonid Brezhnev, had warmed in the last few days to the idea of discussion of a reciprocal reduction. In the USA reduced her forces unilaterally, he said, the Soviet Union would have no incentive to continue the negotiations.
Mr. Rogers was commenting on last week's proposal by Democrat Senator Mike Mansfield to halve American troop strength in Europe.