Over thirty years ago, the “Nuclear Freeze” was launched across Europe and in the United States. Its leaders pushed for an end to the US nuclear modernization program of President Reagan, knowing full well that an already modernized Soviet nuclear weapons enterprise would markedly shift what Moscow called the correlation of forces distinctly in its favor. Despite millions of dollars funneled into the campaign by the Kremlin, Reagan and his allies, most notably Britain’s Prime Minister Thatcher and Germany’s Helmut Kohl stood firm. The allies deployed what were known as INF forces in Europe, including US Pershing and Ground Launched Cruise Missiles, in Britain, Germany, Italy and Holland, and faced down the Soviet deployment of nearly 2,000 such rockets in both Europe and Asia.
While deploying such missiles was a close call–in the US Congress nearly 80% of Democrats refused to support the procurement of the missiles to be deployed in Europe—Reagan pulled the rug out from under the freeze advocates by proposing a “Zero-Zero” option. The US President said the US would refrain from deploying such missiles if the Soviets withdrew and eliminated all their already deployed missiles and stopped any further build-up.