New Approaches to Disarmament

March 15, 1961

Report Outline
Kennedy Administration and Arms Control
1960: Year of Stalemate on Disarmament
New Lines of Attack on Arms Problem

Kennedy Administration and Arms Control

Resumption of Negotiations in New Atmosphere

Fresh Hope for agreement on a nuclear testing ban is evident as the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union prepare to resume at Geneva, March 21, the negotiations that were recessed last Dec. 5 to await the change of administrations at Washington. The United States will be represented at the three-power talks by a new team of negotiators, headed by Arthur H. Dean. President Kennedy said on Jan. 30 that this country would “resume negotiations prepared to reach a final agreement” provided the Soviet Union was willing to accept “an effective and enforceable treaty.” The administration considers the coming test ban negotiations of primary importance—as providing an indication of whether it will be possible to reach agreement with the Russians on actual disarmament and as a first step in that direction.

Release of the RB-47 fliers immediately after President Kennedy took office, and mention in cordial messages from Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev of “disarmament …with strict international control,” have suggested a readiness on the part of the U.S.S.R. for serious negotiations on arms control and related matters. Americans who attended the Sixth International Conference of Scientists in Moscow last December, including two Kennedy advisers, noted a greater willingness than in the past to discuss arms inspection and control problems.

It was reported, March 13, that the two Kennedy advisers—Jerome B. Wiesner and Walt W. Rostow, then private citizens but now occupants of White House posts. —while in Moscow informed Kremlin officials that voluntary Soviet release of the fliers was essential as a first step to improve U.S.-U.S.S.R. relations. White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, commenting the same day on this New York Herald Tribune dispatch, said it was his understanding that all two dozen members of the American scientific group joined in indicating to the Russians that release of the fliers would be “a healthy first step.” In any case, Soviet authorities apparently were in a mood to accept the counsel of American scientists as to how the way might be prepared for resumption under the Kennedy administration of arms control negotiations.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Arms Control and Disarmament
Feb. 14, 2020  The New Arms Race
Dec. 13, 2013  Chemical and Biological Weapons
Mar. 2010  Dangerous War Debris
Oct. 02, 2009  Nuclear Disarmament Updated
Jan. 27, 1995  Non-Proliferation Treaty at 25
Dec. 24, 1987  Defending Europe
Feb. 22, 1985  Arms Control Negotiations
Jun. 08, 1979  Strategic Arms Debate
Apr. 09, 1969  Prospects for Arms Control
Mar. 15, 1961  New Approaches to Disarmament
Feb. 25, 1960  Struggle for Disarmament
Nov. 07, 1958  Arms Control: 1958
Jun. 11, 1957  Inspection for Disarmament
Jul. 11, 1955  Controlled Disarmament
Oct. 09, 1933  The Disarmament Conference, 1933
Jan. 05, 1932  World Disarmament Conference of 1932
Apr. 08, 1929  Efforts Toward Disarmament
Mar. 13, 1928  The League of Nations and Disarmament
Feb. 22, 1927  The United States and Disarmament
Arms Control and Disarmament
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union
U.S. at War: Cold War