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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Title:
Letter from Joshua Lederberg to William Perry pdf (53,513 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Joshua Lederberg to William Perry
Description:
Item is handwritten. Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (53,513 Bytes)
Date:
1983-01-03 (January 3, 1983)
Creator:
Lederberg, Joshua
Recipient:
Perry, William
Rights:
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Relation:
Lederberg Grouping: SAM Science and Man Series
Box Number: 109
Folder Number: 32
Unique Identifier:
BBGFQN
Accession Number:
100
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Writings
SubSeries: Science and Man
Folder: S220: "Current Issues in Strategic Arms Control" (25 October 1970)
Transcript:
Bill Perry
[stamped, JAN 3 1983]
Thank you for calling. Next year, with luck!
Some marginal notes on your presentation to the Columbia Seminar are enclosed.
All best wishes,
Joshua.
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
[stamped, JAN 3 1983]
P.S.
I guess my own views have not changed very much since 1970 -- not necessarily to their credit.
My Hobbesian view of North-South relations wavers sometimes, but is reinforced by eruptions like the Falklands.
Perhaps it was already too late in 1970 to rely on missile test ban. numerical limits are no less obsolete
What I would stress even more strongly now is that deterrence rests upon mutually perceived resolve, for which capability is a necessary but insufficient condition.
From this perspective our impulse to arm beyond "sufficient" deterrence is mostly for our own benefit: to try to bolster our resolve that we would retaliate, even if to do so would still aggravate our own injury (in order to be sure the other side felt pain too.)
[END PAGE TWO]
[BEGIN PAGE THREE]
But beyond a few score serviceable warheads cum C3I, there is only a feeble connection between the stockpile and our policy.
The miscalculations that we both fear (vide Korea, Falklands) are more likely to be about intentions, of course gravely exacerbated by technical glitches.
Hardly enough attention is given to the study and management of perceptions: we might not like the answers (and NATO even worse). But it surely does not help for the Secretary of Defense to advertise our nuclear inferiority, or indeed for any of us to give the Russians the message that we couldn't clobber them with any leg of the triad Of course the first need is to be confident, ourselves, that we could.
Josh.
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2006-12-08
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