Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reagan and nuclear weapons reduction

I believe I mentioned, in discussing the trip I and most of the rest of the Register's editorial board took to the Hoover Institution at Stanford in December to interview Thomas Sowell about his new book, "Intellectuals and Society," that we spent some time with Hoover senior fellow Martin Anderson, who was Reagan's chief domestic policy adviser during most of his first term. Martin and his wife Anneliese have just put together a book called "Reagan's Secret War," assembled from newly declassified minutes of the National Security Council and other documents. The thesis, which they document with cvonsiderable detail, is that one of Reagan's goals throughout his presidency (besides policies designed to weaken --or expose the weakness of -- the Soviet Union), was to take concrete steps toward banning all nuclear weapons from government possession.

I read the book and was mostly convinced. Of course Reagan didn't accomplish that goal, but he did sign START-I, under which both the US and the USSR seriously reduced their nuclear stockpiles. Here's the review I did for the Register's Sunday Commentary section today. And there's little question who was in charge of policy during the Reagan administration.


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