Speech Andropov 1983 en.pdf
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Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security (PHP)
Records of the Political Consultative Committee, 1955-1991
Edited by Douglas Selvage
This new round of the arms race imposed by the USA has major, qualitative differences.
Whereas before, the Americans, in speaking about their nuclear weapons, preferred to
emphasize that they were above all else a means of “intimidation” and “deterrence,” now,
as they create advanced missile systems, they do not hide the fact that they are actually
intended for future wars. Hence, the doctrines of “rational” and “limited” nuclear war;
hence, the assertions about the possibility of surviving and winning a protracted nuclear
It is difficult to distinguish between what constitutes blackmail and what constitutes a
genuine readiness to take the fatal step. In any case, we cannot and shall not permit the
USA to have military superiority. The balance will not be upset. However, one must take
into account that the escalation of the arms race can make the military-political situation
unstable and uncertain. It will be difficult or perhaps utterly impossible to monitor some
of the newly-developed weapons by national means.
Overall, it is no exaggeration to say that we are facing one of imperialism’s most massive
attempts to apply the brakes to social change in the world and to stop socialism’s advance
or even to push it back in some areas.
One should naturally treat with all seriousness the current change in U.S. policy. But one
should see that they are far from being entirely successful. The weaknesses and the
miscalculations in their policies are manifesting themselves ever more clearly. Having
planned to frighten us, the politicians in Washington have also sowed fear in their own
country and among their own allies and have irritated them. Fears are growing in the
West that the people in power in the United States are capable of provoking a nuclear
Is it not indicative that, independent of the World Peace Council, a mass antinuclear
movement has arisen and is gaining strength in Western Europe and the USA itself? This
is already creating something of a political climate. The idea of freezing nuclear arsenals
enjoys broad support in the Democratic Party in the USA. Members of the Labour Party
in England are speaking out for nuclear disarmament. This is far from trivial.
Of course, the NATO countries have been following the lead of the United States and –
some to a greater, some to a lesser extent – have been playing along with the attacks on
our policy. The European allies, Canada, and it may even be said of Japan, are far from
completely sharing the American orientation toward harsh confrontation with the socialist
commonwealth. Arguments and clashes regarding various questions – not only
economic, but also political--are not subsiding within the Western camp. Reagan’s
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Funding for the translation and annotation of this document was provided by the United States National Endowment
for the Humanities (NEH) through Collaborative Research Grant Project RZ-50701-07,
“The Cold War and Human Security: Translations for the Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact,”
Douglas Selvage, Principal Investigator.