Carter Cans B-1 Bomber, Will Keep Cruise Missile
Honoring his pre-election promise, President Carter yesterday suspended all plans for deploying the B-1 bomber, but said he intends to continue research and testing.
Carter called the decision one of the most difficult he has made during his term.
The president also announced that the U.S. will continue to work on the cruise missile, a new low-flying missile system.
Although Carter had called the B-1 "wasteful of taxpayers' dollars" during the primary campaigns, the president did not release a final decision on the controversial weapons system until this morning.
He did not mention the number of research and development bombers to be purchased over the next two years at his news conference yesterday.
Carter stressed his continued support of the "triad" defense system. The president said he believes the current fleet ofB-52's is capable of providing the air-attack portion of America's nuclear strike force for at least the next decade.
Donald Carlisle, associate professor of Political Science at the Summer School, said yesterday that while he is not familiar with the specifics of the B-1, he believes it represents a tentative step toward arms reduction. Carlisle also said the decision might change in reaction to Soviet actions concerning the arms race.
Roger Fisher, professor of Law, said yesterday he is pleased with the decision, and added that Carter realizes there is a "greater chance of security fo the United States through arms restraint than there is through increased arms production."
Fisher this year taught a course at the College called "Coping with International Conflict."
Congressional supporters of the B-1 say the presidential decision could cost the nation over 60,000 jobs, mostly on the West Coast.