WASHINGTON -- President Reagan is giving the go-ahead to a tough U.S. global military strategy against the Kremlin aimed at promoting internal Russian reforms and 'dissolution or at least shrinkage' of the Soviet empire, aides say.
The sweeping new policy, which Reagan approved last Monday, was outlined by national security affairs adviser William Clark Friday in a speech to strategic experts at Georgetown University.
Describing the Soviet Union's policies as 'inimical to our own' and warning against its military buildup, Clark said the U.S must be prepared 'within the framework of our constitutional processes, to commit U.S. forces to assist our allies.'
The disclosure of the tough policy came at a time when Reagan is seeking to open nuclear arms reduction negotiations with the Soviets. He also is preparing to attend a NATO summit meeting in Bonn next month where some of the allies are pushing for a renewal of East-West detente.
White House officials said the administration is developing diplomatic, political, economic and informational strategies to tie in with the military policy.
'It is our fondest hope that with an active yet prudent national security policy, we might one day convince the leadership of the Soviet Union to turn their attention inward, to seek the legitimacy that only comes from the consent of the governed, and thus to address the hopes and dreams of their own people,' Clark said.
A senior White House official, citing the goals, said:
'Our objective is to foster Soviet restraint and reform...to have a more affirmative, active security policy, and to undertake an active but extremely prudent campaign aimed at reform in the Soviet Union and dissolution or at least shrinkage of the Soviet empire.'
The official said that Reagan believes the '1980's represent the greatest challenge since World War II and believes that East-West relations will be fundamentally altered by the end of the decade.'
He said the foundation of American policy is 'peace through military strength'.
The official affirmed that Reagan's policy could be termed a 'full court press' against the Soviet Union.
The goal, he said, is to compel the Soviets to focus on 'butter, not guns' and to 'to get the Soviets to pay attention to their citizenry and not export terrorism around the world.'
Clark said nuclear deterrence will be the foundation of military strategy and the 'highest priority' will be accorded 'to survivable communications systems.'
He said Reagan decided Monday to go ahead and deploy the MX missiles, possibly putting the initial ones in existing Minuteman silos, and asked the Pentagon to recommend a survivable system by the end of the year.
The senior White House official confirmed reports that the president is leaning toward underground 'dense pack' MX deployment. Under this 'fratricide' concept, attacking warheads would destroy each other after the initial explosion.
'The MX Program is too important to allow the risk of technical environmental or arms control debates to delay the introduction of the missile into the force,' Clark said.
'Our interests are global,' he said, 'and they conflict with those of the Soviet Union, a state which pursues worldwide policies inimical to our own.'
Clark said the strategy is aimed at preserving freedom and democracy, providing for U.S. security, closer linkage with allies, promotion of a well-functioning economic system and maintenance of 'a strong, flexible, and responsive military.'
'We do not wish to go to war with the Soviet Union,' the senior official said, 'we wish for them to care for their own people and stop spending more on defense.'
He said that alliances were not a convenience 'but a necessity' and indispensible in global strategy.