BONN, FEB. 16 -- When Chancellor Helmut Kohl arrives in Washington on Wednesday for talks with President Reagan, he will carry with him proposals for quick progress on disarmament that have put West Germany at odds with other leading members of the western alliance.
But Bonn's stance on security issues does not mean that West Germany is loosening its bonds to the rest of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, according to analysts including senior West German and U.S. officials.
While enthusiastic about opportunities in East-West relations with Mikhail Gorbachev in power in the Kremlin, Kohl's center-right government is carefully balancing its detente-oriented policies with efforts to reach out to France and otherwise to strengthen Western European unity.
In addition, these analysts say, the government is convinced that the early conclusion of arms control pacts on strategic nuclear weapons and chemical weapons would bolster NATO's security in the wake of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
Finally, Kohl wants to keep up the momentum for disarmament to prevent a reemergence of West Germany's once-powerful peace movement.
The movement, deprived of its principal issue by the INF pact, is languishing. But the government is extremely cautious about taking any steps that might send hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets as in the early 1980s.
In three days of talks in Washington, Kohl plans to press for the Reagan administration to conclude at least one arms control treaty in addition to the INF pact before its term expires, West German officials said.
"The main danger would be that the whole process would stagnate for various reasons," a senior Kohl adviser said. "If nothing has happened by the autumn, then we will have to wait for the next administration and lose a year."
Bonn is worried that the Reagan administration or Congress will demand such strong verification measures as part of a proposed strategic nuclear arms treaty that it will be impossible to reach agreement with the Soviets in Geneva, he said. Bonn also is concerned that Democratic senators may seek to link approval of the treaty to reductions in conventional forces.
The proposed strategic arms treaty, or START, calls for 50 percent cuts in U.S. and Soviet arsenals of long-range missiles. The INF pact provides for dismantling all ground-based, intermediate-range missiles -- those with ranges of between 300 and 3,500 miles.
West Germany is also "a little bit unhappy" with what it sees as a "much tougher" U.S. position today, compared to six months ago, in multilateral negotiations in Geneva aimed at banning chemical weapons, the Bonn official said.
The United States recently has emphasized the difficulties of verifying a ban on chemical weapons, and prospects for an agreement this year have faded.
Finally, Kohl is expected to press Bonn's position in favor of the earliest possible negotiations on reducing if not eliminating battlefield-range nuclear weapons -- those with ranges of less than 300 miles. This issue is at the center of one of the most serious disputes within NATO in the wake of the signing of the INF pact.
Despite heavy pressure from the rest of the alliance, Kohl repeatedly has declined to pledge publicly that West Germany will go through with a five-year-old NATO plan to modernize such weapons.
He has done so for two reasons: his desire not to hand an issue to the peace movement and the left-of-center political opposition; and West Germany's longstanding worries that such short-range weapons would be used almost exclusively in Germany, which could be the principal battleground in a European war.
The issue has attracted considerable attention because the West German position has been advocated most forcefully by prominent conservatives, who in the past were generally the most outspoken advocates of deployment or modernization of nuclear weapons. Chief among these has been Alfred Dregger, the hawkish leader of Kohl's parliamentary group.
Nevertheless, Bonn's growing skepticism over the value of battlefield arms is not viewed here as a fundamental shift away from the NATO consensus on the need for a European-based nuclear deterrent. Dregger, like Kohl, has strongly opposed Soviet calls for eliminating such battlefield arms altogether.
As a result, the focus of the dispute is over the degree of NATO's reliance on battlefield weapons, with West Germany favoring relatively greater dependence on air-based and sea-based intermediate-range arms.
A solution to the dispute is likely to be postponed until the next U.S. administration takes office, West German and U.S. officials said.
Senior Bonn officials expressed confidence that the government ultimately could get public support for modernizing battlefield nuclear arms if the policy is adopted as part of an overall NATO strategy to guarantee deterrence in a post-INF world.
Despite such sanguine comments, West Germany's hesitation on the modernization question and the clear enthusiasm of West German voters for disarmament have raised doubts elsewhere in NATO about Bonn's future reliability as a security partner.
Kohl's Christian Democrats have supported disarmament partly in response to consistent electoral gains by their detente-oriented junior coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party.
Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher of the Free Democrats has played a leading role in pushing for disarmament and for better relations with the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries.