From an address by Lawrence S. Eagleburger, undersecretary of state for political affairs, before the World Jewish Congress:
The lesson that only Western resolve brings Eastern reasonableness is nowhere more valid than in arms control negotiations. Before NATO decided in 1979 to respond to the alarming growth in the Soviet nuclear threat to our European alies, the Soviets swore that such a decision would end all hope for a negotiated solution. Their purpose was to derail the decision so that they would have no need to negotiate. Within months of NATO's decision to deploy, the Soviets were at the negotiating table. Now Moscow insists that if NATO goes through with its decision to modernize its intermediate-range nuclear forces, the negotiations will end and the Soviet nuclear threat will be increased.
What is at stake here goes far beyond the details of the INF (intermediate-range nuclear forces) imbalance. If NATO, as a result of Soviet political pressure, were to abandon a program essential to the security of Europe, it would be the beginning of the end of an effective Western alliance. If the Soviets learn that we and our allies lack the will to carry out difficult decisions commonly arrived at, then we can look forward to even more aggressive behavior each time we seek to respond to Soviet provocations.
I am convinced that negotiations will not end when our deployments begin. Indeed, while we will spare no effort to get an equitable agreement before we deploy, it may be that the Soviets will not negotiate in good faith until we prove that we will carry out our decision.