The United States has a significant edge over the Soviet Union in a "wide variety" of military indicators, according to a study released yesterday by an anti-nuclear group that includes several prominent Harvard professors.
The study, by the Council for a Livable World, concentrates on nuclear weapons and claims the United States has more warheads than the Soviets, a better submarine strike force and an important lead in various types of weapons technology and delivery system.
In an interview, George B. Kistiskowsky, Lawrence professor of Chemistry Emeritus and chairman of the group, said the U.S. government has consistently tried to scare the American public since the end of World War II by exaggerating Soviet military capabilities.
President Reagan is continuing that trend by not presenting a "true picture of the U.S.-Soviet balance," Kistiskowsky said.
Last month, Reagan declared that the Soviet Union has "a definite margin of superiority" over the United States in nuclear weapons and rejected a proposal for an immediate freeze on the U.S. and Soviet arsenals.
The council supports the freeze proposal, Kistiskowsky said, adding, "it's a good first step that would relax tension between the superpowers."
Kistiskowsky, one of the scientists in charge of the Manhatten project that built the first nuclear bomb during the 1940's, said Regan's plan to build 17,000 more warheads in the next four years is "ludicrous and crazy"
"Already both sides have far more in the way of nuclear warheads than they need to destroy the other," said Kistiakowsky, adding. "As out study shows, the United States has a tactical superiority right now. Why build more?"
The study used both the Pentagon and "more objective" sources, including the London International Institute for Strategic Studies and an organization based in Stockholm, Kistiakowsky said.
A State Department official who declined to be identified said yesterday he had not yet seen the report.P>The official added that "obviously there has been much debate on this issue, but the President has made it clear we have catching up to do in some areas.
The Council for a Livable World, in addition to issuing reports on nuclear weapons capabilities, also raises money for anti-nuclear politicians and organizes seminar across the country, Kistiakowsky said.
"We focus on helping to elect the right people to the Senate, and by that I mean those for nuclear arms control," he said.
The council, created 22 years ago to promote nuclear disarmament, has several other Harvard faculty members on its board of directors.
Among them are Roger Fisher, Williston Professor of Law, John Kenneth Galbrush, Warburg Professor of Economics Emeritus, and Nobel Laureate Edward M. Purcell, Gade University Professor Emeritus