President Reagan's plan to deploy 572 intermediate range missiles...

WASHINGTON -- President Reagan's plan to deploy 572 intermediate range missiles in Western Europe should be delayed a year to allow serious disarrmament negotiations with the Soviets on both intermediate and strategic missiles, the Center for Defensee Informatiion said Tuesday.

'Once the Pershing II and Cruise missiles are deployed into Great Britain and West Germany this December, arms control in Europe will become all but impossible,' the liberal-oriented Center, which is highly critical of Reagan's defense policies, said in a report.


Pershing II is a two-stage, mobile ballistic missile with a range of about 1,130 miles at supersonic speeds. It carries a 10 kiloton to 20 kiloton nuclear warhead.

The ground-launched cruise missile is a pilotless, subsonic weapon with a range of 1,500 miles and a variable nuclear payload ranging from 15 kilotons to 50 kilotons.

After the planned initial deployments in Britain and West Germany, other cruise missiles will be based in Italy, Belgium and Holland.

The Center for Defense Information, headed by retired Rear Adm. Gene La Rocque, said deployment of both missiles should be delayed while negotiations with the Soviets on both intermediate and strategic range missiles are combined with the hopes of progress.


'Time is running out for the United States, the Soviet Union and their allies in Europe,' the Center report said.

The Reagan administration has maintained the Pershing II and cruise missiles were designed to counter 360 Soviet SS-20 missiles, two-thirds of which are within range of Western Europe.

The Center rationalized the SS-20s as 'a logical step' in replacing older SS-4 and SS-5 Soviet missiles and that the military balance with Western Europe was not changed.

'Neither the Pershing II nor the cruise missiles are essential to the defense of West Germany or other European NATO countries,' the report said. 'Their introduction is purely political and unneeded militarily.'

The report said if the American missiles are deployed 'the Soviets will inevitably increase their capability to employ nuclear weapons in Europe. The likelihood of a drastic Soviet response to the new U.S. missiles is accentuated by the provocative nature of these weapons.'

'Naturally, the Soviets are very concerned and will respond with their own weapons.'

The Center claimed there is 'growing recognition that the United States may have made a mistake in how it has pursued the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Force) issue and that NATO has placed itself in a damned-if-we-do, damned-if-we-don't situation.'


The report criticized American proposals at the INF and strategic arms limitation talks as 'narrowly in the short-term interests of the United States and clearly unacceptable to the Soviet Union.'

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