Secretary of State George P. Shultz, in a long statement personally cleared by President Reagan, yesterday outlined a U.S. policy of global opposition to the Soviet Union and offered no prospect of an early summit meeting or arms control agreement to improve the superpowers' relationship.
While saying the United States does not accept endless confrontation with the Soviet Union as inevitable, Shultz condemned Soviet policy and action in strong terms and outlined an ambitious U.S. strategy of forcing Moscow to change its ways through application of increased western military, political and economic power.
The doctrine of global opposition to the Soviet Union, as Shultz outlined it, is intended to replace the early U.S. postwar policy of containment, which he said has been outdated by Soviet global reach, and the 1970s search for detente, which he described as a failure at producing Soviet restraint.
"Our policy, unlike some versions of detente, assumes that the Soviet Union is more likely to be deterred by our actions that make clear the risks their aggression entails than by a delicate web of interdependence," Shultz said.
"Our policy is not based on trust, or on a Soviet change of heart.
"It is based on the expectation that, faced with the demonstration of the West's renewed determination to strengthen its defenses, enhance its political and economic cohesion and oppose adventurism, the Soviet Union will see restraint as its most attractive, or only, option," Shultz declared.
The 35-page statement, which took him 48 minutes to read to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was the most extensive, authoritative account of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union since a long statement by Shultz's predecessor, Alexander M. Haig Jr., in August, 1981.
Although Haig's demeanor was electric and some of his language was hard-hitting, his policy statement was in several respects more flexible and less confrontational toward the Soviets than that of the less colorful Shultz. Haig's summary of U.S. strategy was that, while creating barriers to Soviet aggression, the administration was also "creating incentives for Soviet restraint" through political, military and economic agreements.
State Department officials said Shultz's statement closely followed the guidelines of National Security Decision Directive 75, a secret National Security Council policy paper approved by Reagan late last year after several months of governmental study.
Reagan reportedly studied the Shultz policy statement last weekend at Camp David and made several changes, whose contents are unknown and which the secretary incorporated in his text.
Despite fervent pleas by Committee Chairman Charles H. Percy (R-Ill.) that it is "dangerous" not to have a meeting of Reagan and Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov to defuse the confrontation of the nuclear superpowers, Shultz gave no indication that such a session is in prospect.
Reagan is ready to meet Andropov only if "there is a high probability of some significant outcome . . . substantive in nature," Shultz said. It would do more harm than good, in the president's view, to raise expectations without justification, Shultz added.
Percy pressed ahead, saying "I don't think we have the time" to wait for a substantive U.S.-Soviet achievement before a summit. At another point, he expressed pessimism that a strategic arms reduction agreement, which might be known as START I, will be achieved, and said a summit conversation at the end of next year would be "too late in my judgment."
Shultz countered that "it isn't advisable to go rushing in with your top negotiator until an agenda is structured which is going to advance our objectives properly. We need to be able to see our objectives being advanced in a reasonably concrete way in order to make it desirable for the president to engage."
Regarding arms control efforts with the Soviets, Shultz said in his prepared statement that "we should not anticipate early agreement in any of these negotiations."
Under questioning by Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.), Shultz suggested that being hard to get is part of U.S. negotiating strategy. "We have to be very careful that we don't somehow get ourselves in the position of feeling that it's very important to get an arms control agreement."
Speaking as a veteran negotiator in the labor-management field, Shultz said, "The minute you see the other guy really wants an agreement, you got him. You can drive and drive and drive."
At another point, he said, "If we are not able to make an arms control agreement, well, that's the way the chips fall."
Asked by Sen. Paul E. Tsongas (D-Mass.) whether Reagan is not concerned that he may become the only chief executive in recent years not to have either a summit meeting or an arms control pact with Moscow, Shultz replied: "So be it."
Apparently reflecting an internal administration debate, Shultz came close to charging the Soviets with violating the unratified SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty, which both sides say they are observing. But he did not spell out such a charge.
Shultz dealt with this by criticizing "Moscow's continuing practice of stretching a series of treaties and agreements to the brink of violation and beyond." He listed human rights, the so-called "yellow rain" of deadly chemicals and biological warfare as areas of "Soviet infractions" and added that the United States is "becoming increasingly concerned" about SALT compliance.
About the only ray of optimism for the superpowers' relationship was his disclosure, under questioning, that the Soviets have made known their willingness to discuss upgrading the Washington-Moscow "hot line" teleprinter link and a plan for emergency consultations in case of nuclear weapons threats by terrorist groups.
These were two of four proposals put to the Soviets about two months ago on the initiative of Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger and made public at the Pentagon.
Shultz said that the Soviets "didn't see any good purpose" in discussing the other two proposals, for military-to-military communications and upgraded communications between the two foreign ministries and their embassies in each other's capital.
"The changes in Soviet behavior have been for the worse" in the past decade, Shultz said in his prepared testimony, basing this assessment on four developments.
These were "the continuing Soviet quest for military superiority even in the face of mounting economic difficulties"; "unconstructive Soviet involvement, direct and indirect, in unstable areas of the third world"; "the unrelenting effort to impose an alien Soviet 'model' on nominally independent Soviet clients and allies," and the alleged stretching or violation of treaties.
The U.S. responses, he declared, include "steps to restore the military balance," resistance to "encroachments on our vital interests and those of our allies and friends," unspecified "support" for "those who have a positive alternative to the Soviet model" and denying Moscow any opportunity "to distort or misconstrue our own intentions."
In a passage reminiscent of reports that the administration, as part of NSDD 75, had decided to try changing Soviet internal policy, Shultz said: "We take it as part of our obligation to peace to encourage the gradual evolution of the Soviet system toward a more pluralistic political and economic system." He was not asked to amplify on this.
In describing the U.S.-Soviet agenda for negotiation and dialogue, the first item on Shultz's list was "improvements in Soviet performance on human rights."
This was a shift from the emphasis of Haig, who declared in his U.S.-Soviet policy speech 22 months ago that because the two nations possess the greatest physical power in the nuclear age, "Our unreconciled differences on human rights must therefore not be permitted to bring a global catastrophe."
Shultz said the agenda for U.S.-Soviet discussions also includes arms control agreements, management of regional conflicts and improvement of bilateral relations.