A new book by six Harvard specialists on nuclear weapons policy supports a partial nuclear freeze, backs deployment of new NATO missiles in Europe and opposes the B-1 bomber, but reaches no conclusions on the proposed construction of the MX missile.
The study, "Living with Nuclear Weapons," will be released simultaneously in hardcover by Harvard University Press and in paperback by Bantam Books on June 1. Its publication culminates a year-long project that began last June when President Bok announced in his commencement address that the University should help to educate the public by providing an objective report on nuclear issues.
In the book's foreword, however, Bok writes. "The final product is not what I had envisaged at the outset. At an early stage, the authors concluded that they could not retrain entirely from expressing their own opinions without making it too bland and undiscriminating."
"We told Bok that you can't leave the reader dangling on the issues," Stanley Hoffmann, Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France, one of the five professors who accepted Bok's invitation to form a "Harvard Nuclear Study Group" and write the book, said this week. "You have to make some suggestions for policy," he added, noting that Bok supported the group's decision.
Nevertheless, the book presents "a balanced range of opinions," said Scott D. Sagan, a Ph.D. candidate in the Government Department who directed a four-member research staff and prepared drafts based on the professors outlines.
Despite their wide range of political views, the authors agreed on their basic conclusion--that nuclear deterrence can maintain peace, if it is linked to arms control negotiations and "detente without illusions" between superpowers.
"We had overall agreement on the central thrust, but there were sharp disagreements over the MX and deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe," said co-author Samuel P. Huntington, Dillon Professor of International Affairs.
The study group cites practical difficulties facing both the nuclear freeze proposal and President Reagan's START negotiations. But the authors do suggest that "serious efforts to achieve various partial freezes may offer a route to less dangerous future."
On two controversial issues concerning nuclear weapons in Europe, the scholars come down on Reagan's side. They favor placing Pershing II missiles in Western Europe to maintain credibility for America's commitment to its NATO allies. And they say they are "not yet persuaded" by proponents of a "no first use" policy for NATO's nuclear forces.
They call the B-1 bomber, which Reagan has placed at the top of his defense budget request list, "an unnecessary expenditure," arguing that existing B-52 planes can be updated to meet U.S. defense needs.
The scholars make no recommendations on Reagan's plan to build the MX missile, but they conclude that whatever the final decision on the MX, the U.S. should maintain a land-based missile force, even if its is "theoretically vulnerable" to Soviet attack.
On other issues, the study group favors development of both air and sea-launched cruise missiles, but opposes developing anti-ballistic weapons that might violate the 1972 $ALT I treaty.
members of the study group noted that their final draft includes changes suggested by scholars they added to review the draft manuscripts in January. But the authors declined to comment on specific changes and suggestions.