Conservative opponents of the impending strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT) charged yesterday it would "lock the United States into strategic inferiority" and would be "a symbol of phased surrender."
These and other charges were presented in a written report by the American Security Council's "Coalition for Peace Through Strength" and in speeches by several former high-ranking military officers and officials at a luncheon for the Washington press.
The organization charged, in analyses and figures contrary to those of the Carter administration, that the Soviet Union possesses enormous numercial advantages over the United States in strategic offensive and defensive weapons. The group recommended that the United States "regain overall military/technological superiority" over the Soviet Union rather than agree to an arms limitation treaty.
Retired admiral Thomas Moorer, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, charged that SALT in the present context is "heavily detrimental to the security and welfare" of the United States. He depicted President Carter as "a kind, good man who sincerely wants peace" but suggested that Carter does not understand the world "the way it is." Moorer decried the "tremendous buildup of the world-wide perception of Soviet superiority" over the United States and said this will cause adverse political, military and economic effects.
Another former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired general Lyman L. Lemnitzer, maintained that NATO allies are "deeply concerned" about the terms of the nearly completed SALT treaty, including the failure to include Soviet intermediate range SS20 missiles or the Backfire bomer as strategic systems.
Former secretary of the Navy William Middendorf charged that SALT II, like the SALT I treaty of the Nixon administration in which he served, would create a dangerous "national euphoria."
The organization's report cited by speakers and distributed at the luncheon at the Army-Navy Club, charged that the Soviet Union has a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in "strategic offensive weapons" and a 47-to-1 advantage in "strategic defensive weapons."
The report's backup data include Soviet medium range bombers of three kinds, SS20 mobile intermediate range missiles and short-range submarine-launched cruise missiles as "strategic offensvie weapons." Administration officials said they do not consider these to be strategic weapons.
With these categories removed, the Soviet Union is slightly ahead in numbers of current strategic missiles and bombers, about 2,500 to 2,000. However, the officials said the United States is ahead by about 2 to 1 in the number of nuclear warheads and nuclear bombs carried by these weapons systems.
The report's 47-to-1 Soviet advantage in "strategic defensive weapons" was compiled by lumping a Soviet 2,600-to-209 lead in fighter interceptors with 12,000 Soviet surface-to-air antiaircraft missiles and 64 antimissile missiles compared to zero in the United States.
Carter administration officials disputed the use of the term "strategic" to describe these weapons. They said surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles were phased out of the continental United States some time ago, and that the United States decided long ago not to build antimissile weapons of the Soviet type, which they said are comparable to the proposed Nike Zeus of the late 1950s.
The report maintained that the Soviets have a 6-to-1 advantage in total "throwweight" or payload of their strategic missiles. Administration officals said the official figure is about 2-to-1, but they questioned its significance in view of the 2-to-1 U.S. advantage in total strategic nuclear warheads.