Nation: Secretary Laird: on the Other Side of the Table

THE tenth U.S. Secretary of Defense, Melvin Laird, seemed to have unpopular lines to speak onstage all week. Returning from a four-day trip to Viet Nam, he rendered the disappointing (if far from final) verdict that no reduction in the number of U.S. troops there seems foreseeable now. Testifying before two Senate committees, he vigorously defended the Administration's proposed anti-ballistic missile system, which has widespread opposition, by reporting that the Soviet Union has made considerable advances in offensive weaponry. Then he disclosed that the new defense budget could be cut by no more...

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