A study commission of the Council of Foreign Relations, citadel of the foreign policy establishment, yesterday called for stronger U.S. efforts to counter the Soviet Union in almost every sphere.
The overall assessments and many specific recommendations of the report, signed by commission Chairman Henry A. Grunwald, editor-in-chief of Time Inc., and 13 commission members, were strikingly similar to those espoused by the Reagan administration.
Wintson Lord, president of the CFR, said the study group had been selected to represent "a spectrum of center right to center left" in views about U.S. foreign policy, and that it began its work last summer, before the election of President Reagan.
A small commission was named to study U.S.-Soviet relations in an effort to build a consensus and because the CFR is prohibited by its by-laws from taking policy positions, Lord said.
Two members declined to sign the final report. They are former U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.)
The basic premise of the report is that "the United States faces a dangerously strengthened Soviet Union -- at least in military terms." In the commission's view, this provides the Russians with "important political leverage" and "threatens to erase the West's critical margins of security."
The commission recommended global U.S. efforts to counter the Soviet Union "because Soviet capabilities and ambitions now are global." Among the recommended efforts:
Increased military spending, to at least 6 percent of U.S. gross national product. The Reagan military budget for fiscal years 1981 ands 1982 calls for spending of a little more than that figure.
Improvements in the rapid deployment force, a new long range strategic bomber to replace the B52 and "a cost-effective and quickly installable" answer to the vulnerability of U.S. land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. the vulnerability of U.S. land-based intercontinental ballistic
Continued pursuit of arms control negotiations with the Soviets as "a component of, not an alternative to, defense policy." It was "wrong" to make arms control "the centerpiece of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union" in the recent past, said the commission, which also accepted linkage between arms control negotiations and "day-to-day relations" with the U.S.S.R.
A "nuanced and flexible" U.S. response to challenges in the Third World, "the single most likely source of confrontation" between the super-powers. In the "delicate military balance" of the 1980s, "the United States must care about the growth of Soviet in any quarter of the globe," the report said.
A U.S. policy of being "ready and able" to use military force in unstable and threatened regions. The Persian Gulf, said the commission, "must have the highest priority among U.S. reginal security concerns." There the group called for the United States to impede "either the emergence of a dominant regional power or the control of any major local power by a Soviet-client regime."
In order to "raise the costs of Soviet intervention," U.S. provison of military aid to the Afghan resistance. "By this action we will also be signaling our willingness to aid resistance in similar cases elsewhere," the commission said.