World: THE MILITARY & SCIENTIFIC RISKS

In assuring the nation that the test ban agreement preserved U.S. security, President Kennedy opened an inevitable debate over the military risks involved in the treaty. The pros and cons of the argument:

Cheating. Any agreement with the Soviets assumes inherent risks. Moscow could secretly prepare a massive series of atmospheric tests while the U.S. is lulled into the illusion of security (which is just about what happened when the Kremlin broke a three-year moratorium on testing in September 1961). With or without formally disavowing the treaty under some pretext, the Russians could then touch off a series of explosions that might...

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