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December 16, 2016
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December 10, 2004
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September 13, 1979
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Approved For Release 2005/01/12 : CIA-RDP88-01315R000400350087-8 ARTICLE ApPE THE WASHINGTON POST i_:?. t S Oki PACES 13 September 1979 : Lon Is Opposing SALT Pact, Chin"- 6, "'bad Faith' By Robert G. Kaiser Washington Post Staff writes .. .. Sen. Russell B. Long (.D-La.), pne-, of the most influential members of the Senate, announced yesterday that-.. he would vote against the SALT:,I]o pact, declaring that it cannot be veri fied and that Soviet combat troops in. Cuba demonstrated Soviet bad faith--.. Though Long had spoken critically- of SALT II in the past, the Carter ad-, ministration had hoped for his vote,. and most of its optimistic projections for Senate approval of the arms treaty assumed Long's eventual sup- port. Without Long, administration off! cials acknowledged last night, the. task of finding 67 senators to support SALT will be vastly more difficult. Long is presumed to carry substan- tial influence with a key bloc of , mod crate southern Democrats who remain one administration official said last night. This source said it, was especial- ly significant that Long would exploit the flap over troops in Cuba to an- nounce opposition to SALT II. Long revealed his decision in an In- terview with columnist Carl Rowan on WDVM-TV in Washington. "If I had any doubts about it [SALT II], and I didn't have much," Long told Rowan, "my doubts were removed by the last indication down there in Cuba that the Russians are not keep- ing their faith on the agreement they Long said that at the, end of the Cuban missile crisis ' In 1962, the So- viets agreed to remove their missiles from Cuba and not to station. offen- sive weapons there in the future. "I don't think the agreement contem- plated that they were going to have [combat] troops In Cuba," Long said. The Louisiana Democrat, who is chairman of the Finance Committee, also criticized the treaty. "I think we could get a better agreement," he, said. "And it appears to me this agreement is not going to prevent an arms race. It's simply going to be part of an arms race." "I don't believe the thing is verifi- able.",, hearing yesterday. The administration now considers Stone a likely "no" vote. Both Long and Stone voted for the Panama Canal treaties last year and both are running for reelection in 1980. Administration ' lobbyists reckon that without those two, they must get the votes of Lawtan Chiles (D-Fla.), plus both Alabama senators (Howell Hef- flin and Donald Stewart, both Demo- crats), Nunn and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.), and Robert Morgan (D-N.C.). Chiles and Morgan may be inclined to back the..treaty, and the others remain undecided and skeptical. Virtually all the swing senators have continued to say they are formally undecided on the treaty. undecided on SALT. The fact that Long cited -the pres- ence of Soviet combat troops in Cuba as a reason for his decision on SALT'was particularly painful for the Carter- ad- ministration, which is both divided-'and dispirited by the flap set off byre- cent intelligence findings that a com- bat-capable Soviet brigade is in Cuba. Until this was revealed late last month, White House strategists thought their campaign for SALT.` II was going well. They felt that politi. cal momentum was building behind the treaty, and that moderate figures like Russell Long were likely to :come down in favor of it. "If there is one guy who can :put his finger up in the wind and--say. how it's blowing, Russell Long is him,Y' Long's decision to oppose SALT means, as one administration official put it last night, that "we [the admin-_ istration] can't. afford to lose too many more Democrats," and have any hope of winning the necessary two-. thirds Senate approval for the treaty. White House hopes for moderate southern suport for the treaty now- must ride on Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), who has been pressing the Carter j administration to increase defense spending significantly if it wants his vote for the, arms pact. Nunn is one of a group of senators meeting early this morning with Pres ident Carter. to urge him to spend: more for defense....Thus far, Nunn hasr; expressed dissatisfaction with the ad- ministration's plans for an expanded defense budget . Another southerner, Richard Stone. (D-Fla.), harshly criticized SALT II in a Foreign Relations Committee Approved For Release 2005/01/12: CIA-RDP88-01315R000400350087-8