Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Robert E. Barbour
Q: Yes, that was a major one, and you were dealing with that, weren't you?
BARBOUR: Yes, I remember it.
Q: Can you explain what the so-called neutron, the whole issue because I think it's very important.
BARBOUR: Well, of course, I do not recall the technical aspects. It was designed to be effective against armor, as I recall, by the penetrating power of these lethal neutrons. It was a new type of weapon whose explosive powers were dispersed in killing power, rather than destructive power. Right or wrong, the administration decided that we would pursue that new weapon because of its vast military potential. So it made a great, great effort to do so with the NATO.
Q: Did you get involved with all of this?
BARBOUR: Not directly because it was done mostly in NATO. Of course anything we did in a bilateral area, yes, with my countries I was involved in. We were unrelenting and unyielding in our pursuit of it, and, of course, at the same time the Russians, for exactly the same reasons, were putting out their best efforts to defeat it, demonstrations and everything they controlled in western Europe was out in the streets, or in the newspaper columns, developing all of the thousand of arguments why it was not a good thing to do. And you remember one of them was, it saves buildings but kills people.
Q: Yes, its a capitalistic weapon.
Q: I might point out to put it in perspective. This weapon was particularly designed against large tank forces, armor, and the Soviet Union had a tremendous preponderance of armor. So from our point of view this made a hell of a lot of sense. I mean, if you're going to kill people, it's better to go after them rather than just trying to make rubble.