Fears that Soviet nuclear missile developments may upset the nuclear arms balance were expressed by United States Defence Secretary James Schlesinger at a Washington news conference yesterday (Friday August 17).
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"If they marry the technologies that they are now acquiring to the "throw-weight" that they possess under the interim -- and let me underscore that -- interim agreement that they would be in some... that they could develop a clear preponderance of coun???erferce capabilities and develop as distinguished from the United States. We do not want to allow such an imbalance in terms of strategic forces to develop, and therefore the purpose of the SALT Two negotiations will be to maintain a balance and to preclude the marrying of these new technologies to the distinct Soviet numerical advantages."
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Background: Fears that Soviet nuclear missile developments may upset the nuclear arms balance were expressed by United States Defence Secretary James Schlesinger at a Washington news conference yesterday (Friday August 17). He claimed that the Soviet Union has successfully tested multiple-warhead missiles -- capable of simultaneously striking several individual targets.
In the past, the United States has believed that its own lead in sophisticated weaponry has counter-balanced the greater explosive power -- "threw-weight" -- of the Soviet nuclear arsenal.
This balance formed the basis for the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). But Mr. Schlesinger warned that if the Americans are overtaken by Soviet technology the basis for the agreement will have to be re-examined -- while prospects for a second round of SALT talks have deteriorated sadly: