Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

July 26, 1982

To the Congress of the United States:

I am pleased to transmit to you the 1981 Annual Report of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. I believe that this report, the first submitted by my Administration and the 21st submitted since the creation of the Agency, marks a real coming of age and maturity in our approach to arms control and disarmament.

In 1981, we began the first in a series of negotiations with the Soviet Union to reduce the threat of nuclear war. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) talks, begun by Ambassador Paul H. Nitze's team in November, are a model for future negotiations with the Soviet Union.

It is our intention to deal with the most potentially destructive and politically destabilizing weapons first. In the INF talks, begun in Geneva, we are seeking to have the Soviet Union dismantle its intermediate-range nuclear weapons in exchange for our pledge not to deploy Pershing II and cruise missiles as requested by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in December 1979.

Subsequently, in the period to be included in next year's annual report, we have undertaken major new initiatives in the Strategic Arms Reductions Talks (START), and in seeking reductions in conventional arsenals in the negotiations on Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR). These and other important arms control initiatives of my Administration are reviewed in my address of June 17, 1982, to the United Nations' Special Session on Disarmament, provided for your further information in an annex to the attached annual report.

Rather than seeking upper limits in arms control treaties, we seek to bring about real arms control through negotiated reductions. We are dedicated to reducing the threat of nuclear war by gradually reducing nuclear arsenals so that only those weapons which can reasonably guarantee mutual deterrence remain.

I am firmly convinced that the road we are following is both rational and realistic. We have analyzed the Soviet approach to military strategy and the threat posed by Soviet forces. We have concluded that arms control must play a vital role in the conduct of our foreign policy and as a complement to our policy of deterrence.

We are committed to deterrence. We shall stand by our Allies and friends, and we shall consult with them regularly as we go about the business of reestablishing our conventional and nuclear deterrent forces. Deterrence has worked in Europe for more than 35 years.

As you read through this 1981 Annual Report, I hope you will find, as I did, that the measured and considered approach to arms control, made possible by an exhaustive review and analysis, has, for the first time, resulted in a well considered program to reverse the trends of the past and bring about lasting peace.

We intend to pursue arms control and disarmament through agreements that are understandable, verifiable, and equitable. I am certain that I shall be able to call your attention to similar progress in future annual reports.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

July 26, 1982.

Note: The report is entitled ``ACDA 1981 Annual Report.''