Arms Control: Maneuvering Around Square One

The only arms-control progress was a desire to look ahead

A legitimate, perhaps indispensable part of diplomacy is symbolism. Whenever statesmen get together, it serves to remind the world, and the principals themselves, that for all the complexities of arms control and other matters of discussion, much still depends on individuals. It is not just systems that clash or coexist, but human beings.

What was most significant about the imagery in Geneva last week was not that two men were meeting at the summit--that is, at the peak of personal and national power--but that they were, for nearly five hours, meeting off to one side alone. Their apparent personal rapport, or...

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