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February 29, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-02-29

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Page 4

Wednesday, February 29, 1984

The Michigan Daily


& .

Securing peace through negotiation

Peter Wallensteen is a visiting
professor from Uppsala University
; in Sweden who is currently teaching
in the University's political science
department. He is also a con-
tributing editor of a leading
European peace research journal
and a consultant to the United
Nations on the impact of military
research and development on the
arms race. Wallensteen spoke with
Daily Opinion Page editor Jackie
Young about peace research, the
European peace movement,
Lebanon, military research, and
U.S.-Soviet relations.

Daily: What is peace research and
how can it be useful in steering coun-
tries away from armed confrontation
and the use of nuclear weapons?
Wallensteen: Peace could most
easily be defined as the absence of war,
which means that research would go in-
to questions about the origins of war,
alternatives to war, ways of settling
disputes, ways of disarmament-these
are four basic fields. Research is
carried out with customary methods,
but by concentrating on the peace issue
you achieve a focus for research and
can develop a milieu working on the
various aspects of the problem. The
knowledge gained could have an impact
in itself. Also, by explaining to studen-
ts, by participating in public debates,
by influencing decision makers, and by
participating in independent or inter-
national reports and commissions,
peace research can have an impact.
One hope is that the decision-makers
will understand that the number of
alternative courses are greater, and
that much can be done in order to avoid
conflicts from becoming armed in the,
first place.
Daily: Why have negotiations bet-
ween the U.S. and the Soviet Union to
limit nuclear arms failed over the past
years? Were both parties very serious

about accomplishing what they set out
to do or was it just a move to appease
the public and media?
Wallensteen: I don't think there have
been any real serious negotiations.
There would be little problem finding
technical solutions to the differences in
the way weapon systems are built up.
It would technically be possible to work
out a system of verification if both par-
ties really wanted to reach an
agreement. But I doubt that they really
want that. If you take the Soviet Union
and the European situation, for instan-
ce, the Soviets really wanted to have
their SS20s in place just like the United
States really wanted to put their
missiles in Western Europe. So there
was no real interest in concluding any
agreements. This means the
negotiations were there more to show
that negotiations cannot succeed and
that one has to continue with an armed
Daily: Is there anything the American
public can do to force policy-makers to
get back to the bargaining table?
Wallensteen: Yes. Being an open
society, all the American political
leaders will think about the votes, and if
there is a strong opinion in the direction
of real negotiation then the government
will have to consider that. In the Soviet
Union there is corresponding pressure
but more from the welfare perspective.
The people don't want to put as much
money into weapons as they do right
now. There is pressure to have a
civilian development with a better food
supply, better schools, better medical
facilities, and so on. In the Soviet Union
everybody knows that the arms build-
up really hurts civilian development.
So I think there are internal pressures
on both sides, but they are just not
strong enough.
Daily: What brought us to this period
in time which political observers refer
to as Cold War II. Why have Ronald
Reagan's strategies of resorting to for-
ce before diplomacy been so appealing
to the public?
Wallensteen: I think there was a lot
of frustration in the U.S. by the end of
the 1970s. There was frustration over
Iran and the hostages, and over the
Soviets in Afghanistan. All this lead to
the idea that if the United States -
became stronger and could project an
image of being more tough, these things
wouldn't happen. So the public went for
a candidate that would lend respect to

but at the same time they tend to be
favorable to NATO and they don't
necessarily advocate that Western
Europe should leave NATO. So it's a
discussion whether you should confront
the Soviet Union, or if you should try to
talk with the Soviet Union. But at the
same time what you see happening is
that peace movements are developing
also in the society within the Eastern
bloc, so the Soviet Union is not
necessarily escaping the blame. You
find it in East Germany, you find it in
Hungary, and you can say that the
solidarity movement in Poland was
part of the European movement to
become more independent from the big
superpowers. The net result of what
goes on in Western Europe is probably
European reduced reliance on the
United States, a bit more of indepen-
dence at least in some areas,
cooperation in others. But I don't think
anyone in Europe sees the United
States as a greater threat than the
Soviet Union.
Daily: Do you think the Progressive
Student Network activists who have
tried to halt military research on cam-
pus by blockading professor's labs are
making effective moves to show
distaste for the arms race?
Wallensteen: Research really does
have a very important role to play in,
respect to furthering the arms race.
It's very important ethically and
morally that researchers are aware of
this and that they ask themselves these
ethical questions. It is not only the
students that raise these questions,-it is
also many researchers themselves. 'I
think that is very important.
Daily: If several of the major
universities in America were to ban
military research on campus do you
think that would have a significant ef-
fect on U.S. policy?
Wallensteen: That would be a good
political statement, yes. I suspect the
research would take place in some
other laboratory. But I think it is
perhaps good if some major institutions
would make clear that they are in-
volved in the humanistic and civilian
enterprize of developing research for
bettering humankind as a whole.
Daily: What is your opinion of the
'peacekeeping" troops which Reagan
had stationed in Lebanon?
Wallensteen: I think you have to get
at the roots of the problem and that is
what the United States is not doing. The

basic problem is Israel and the
Palestinians. All the problems which
have come to take place in Lebanon are
a result of the fact that the Palestinians
had nowhere else to go. This upset the
delicate balance between the various
groups in Lebanon. Probably, you can-
not solve the Lebanese question without
also solving the Israeli-Palestinian.
question. Once you have that in place,
then you can begin work on the other
questions. Actually, I think President
Reagan proposed a very good plan back
in September 1982. I am surprised that
it has not been pursued. This plan
argued for negotiations, recognition oi4
Palestinian rights, and negotiations in-
volving Palestinians, as well as Jor-
danians and Israelis. I can't see that
the Israelis or Syrians would pull out of
Lebanon because that is all part of the
Arab-Israeli conflict. It was probably
not a very wise thing to put the U.S.
Marines in there. But if the United
States kept them there as peacekeeping
forces they would have been more
neutral-giving the U.S. more chance
to work things out diplomatically. Now
they have become identified with the
Lebanese government which, afterall,
is a minority government and basing it-
self on a -constitutional agreement-
which is not really representative of the
population distribution of the country.
The U.S. has become identified with a
political faction and if you are a
peacekeeper that is not what you are
supposed to do. Deploying American troops
in the area is like inviting
them to become targets for other groups.
It's much more fascinating to attack
a big power and it could also be a way to
get more support from other big
powers. This is why the peacekeeping
philosophy ever since 1945 has been that
you should not have big powers in-
volved as peacekeepers, but rather try
and select smaller and more or less
neutral countries which do not have
particular vested interests. The fact
that Reagan did eventually decide to
redeploy the troops is probably due to
the American public's opposition to the
Marine presence. It suggests the public
can make an impact on foreign policy.

Daily Ph~oto by DOUG McMAHON
Peter Wallensteen, a visiting professor from Sweden, preaches the politics
of peace.

the United States in military terms.
The end result of this is probably that
the Soviet Union feels more threatened
and is now building up its own military
strength. Probably it has also created
more fear of the United States in the
world than respect. America has
found a number of friends being much
more unwilling to side with her. The
invasion of Grenada was not supported
by the British, and in the El Salvador
conflict many Europeans have a very
different perspective on how to deal
with this kind of situation. China has
'become somewhat more reluctant to
deal with the United States because the
United States is so strongly supporting
Taiwan. The 'het effect of y this
frustration felt in 1980, and the build-up
which has followed, is that foreign
governments are somewhat more
reluctant to turn to the United States.

Maybe a change in policy now would
perhaps regain some of this lost con-
Daily: Is the U.S. in grave danger of
losing its friends in Western Europe
because of the deployment of U.S.
missiles there?
Wallensteen: I think the Europeans
see the Soviet Union as a major threat
but they don't agree with the American
idea of how to respond to this threat.
They are more into making economic
deals with the Soviet Union and so in
that way tie the Soviet Union to a more
conciliatory policy by making the
Soviet Union more dependent on the
West. They want to eliminate the
human suffering between the two Ger-
manys. With a tough policy you don't
get that. If you look at the peace
movements, they are very hostile to the
cruise missiles and Pershing II missiles

Dialogue is an occasional feature
of the Opinion Page.

. .. .. .. .. .



Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV--No. 117

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M 48109

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.ishe CG WT


Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Soft on Solomon






THE UNIVERSITY regents sat on
their tails for a long time trying to
decide whether or not to take a stand
on the controversial Solomon Amen-
dment, a law linking federal financial
aid to Selective Service registration.
And now that they have finally made a
statement of opposition, it is so
watered down that it's practically
It seemed that the Feb. 17 regents
meeting, like past meetings on the
topic, was plagued by a lack of clarity.
The regents were in the dark about the
deadline for signing court briefs to
join the University of Minnesota in
challenging the law. They were not
sure of the actual content of
the Minnesota briefs because
they only had rough drafts. They
were not certain they could include
their own limited position against the
law with the Minnesota brief.
The regents ended up eventually en-
dorsing a feeble paragraph saying the
law imposes a "significant ad-
ministrative burden" on the Univer-
sity and inappropriately forces the in-
stitution to be an "enforcer of federal
criminal law." While these arguments
have merit, the University would have
actually addressed the main concerns

more appropriately by making a
stronger statement against the law.
The reason for signing court briefs
should be to influence the Supreme
Court's upcoming decision on whether
or not the law is constitutional. The
regents' lengthy discussions on the
issue, and several key administrators'
distaste for the law, indicated hope
that they would be inclined to make a
more substantial stand against the
Regent Sarah Power (D-Ann Arbor)
expressed her disapproval with the
way the whole issue was handled by
abstaining on the vote. "The whole
thing was not characteristic of the way
(the regents) act. I was very
dissatisfied with the lack of com-
munication on the matter. I was left in
a confused posture," Power said.
Power said she wanted the University
to have the option to do more, such as
join the Minnesota brief which includes
opposition to the law because it
discriminates on the basis of sex and
financial status, among other
Power was right. The regents should
have opted for the more substantial
voice of opposition.







Contest not frivolous


To the Daily:
After reading February 8th's
Opinion Page, I have serious con-
cerns about the editorial staff's
apparent obliviousness to the
magnitude and scope of issues of
sexism. In printing Effman's
column "Look alike contest is
just frivolous fun," the Daily is
effectively endorsing frivolous
argumentation. Effman doesn't
ven hnther to eniin how he

if the protesters had been taking
a stand against "beauty." It is
astounding that a member of the
Daily's staff could have such a
limited and specious awareness
of women's issues. It seems in-
credibly obvious that the protest
was against the overevaluation of
beauty to the exclusion of all

other attributes a woman might
Everything Effman said in his
column about the image of the
late actress Marilyn Monroe con-
cerned her physical appearance.
This blatantly sexist perspective
on women as beauty objects un-
dermines the optimistic attitude

taken toward awareness of
sexism in the editorial concer-
ning the contest, "Laughing at
Marilyn." Perhaps we have
come a long way . . . but ob-
viously not long enough, as that
day's Opinion Page unfortunately
shows. -Rebecca Pringle Smith
by Berke Breathed


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