Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction Talks

MBFR Talks tried to tackle “the data problem” where Western estimates show that instead of the agreed upon parity between NATO countries and Warsaw Pact countries, Warsaw Pact countries had a margin of superiority of about 20% regarding troops stationed in Europe.

The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) · 19 Apr 1984

In the Vienna Conference, the NATO countries proposed to “narrow the counting to ground combat forces and their support units” instead of counting the service support forces which are more numerous in the Warsaw Pact countries.

Chemical Weapons

If there is no agreement to limit or eliminate chemical weapons, the U.S. may introduce production of binary weapons, according to TV Eye.

Discussion of Chemical Weapons is sure to be a topic at the Conference for Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, Switzerland.

155mm binary XM687

A 1980 New York Times front page editorial by Malcom W. Browne claims that such chemical warfare is needed to counter Soviet chemical weapon usage in Afghanistan.

What Comes after Andropov?

Last night, CBS discussed the death of Comrade Yuri Andropov and what this means for Eastern Europe, The Middle East, Central America, and Asia.

With only two years in office, Andropov had formerly been Chairman of the Committee for State Security (KGB). Since his acension to General Secretary, Andropov’s government had been challenged by domestic issues such as the economy and corruption (such as dealing with the vestiges of the “Cotton Scandal” in Uzbekistan).

His management of the issues was quite different than that of his predecessor, Leonid Brezhnev, even though he had been a member of Brezhnev’s advising troika, alongside Andrei Gromyko and Dmitry Ustinov.

The expectation is that 72-year-old Konstantin Chernenko will be the choice of the politburo to become the next General Secretary of the Communist Party and de facto leader of the USSR.

Ivan & Anya, Jim & Sally

Just suppose with me for a moment that an Ivan and an Anya could find themselves, say, in a waiting room, or sharing a shelter from the rain or a storm with a Jim and Sally, and that there was no language barrier to keep them from getting acquainted. Would they then deliberate the differences between their respective governments? Or would they find themselves comparing notes about their children and what each other did for a living? . . . They might even have decided that they were all going to get together for dinner some evening soon. Above all, they would have proven that people don’t make wars.

Ronald Reagan