President Reagan plans to nominate Maj. Gen. William F. Burns, a senior State Department official, to replace outgoing Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) Director Kenneth L. Adelman, U.S. officials said yesterday.
The selection of Burns, a military official who strongly supports arms control, ends a dispute between hard-liners and those with more moderate views within the administration over who would chart arms negotiating policy at ACDA for the remainder of Reagan's term.
Burns, 55, has been the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for politico-military affairs since last December, with responsibility for various foreign policy issues.
He previously served under Reagan as a representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the negotiations in Geneva on eliminating intermediate-range nuclear forces in Europe. The INF Treaty was signed here last week by Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
A director of political and economic studies at the Army War College from 1972 to 1976, Burns commanded a brigade with both nuclear and conventionally armed missiles and artillery in West Germany from 1976 to 1978.
He later served as the head of an Army task force on modernization of the Lance nuclear-tipped missile, a short-range weapon that was not included in the INF Treaty.
Adelman, who was considered a hard-liner on arms control, said earlier this year that he would leave government after the INF Treaty was signed. His staff held a farewell party for him on Friday.
Administration conservatives at one point pushed Edward Rowny, another former representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the arms negotiations, as Adelman's replacement. More moderate officials lobbied for senior State Department arms control adviser Paul H. Nitze.
Burns, who will face confirmation hearings in the Senate, is expected to steer a middle course between these competing sides in the administration, the officials said.