DISARMAMENT: Who's on First?

The cold war's issues fit together like a child's toy nest of boxes. Berlin, at the center, sits inside the larger German question, which sits inside the European security question, which sits inside the container that might enfold them all—disarmament. For the last month U.S., British and Soviet officials have been struggling with the biggest container of all at the Geneva conference on suspending nuclear tests.

Early last week U.S. newspapers blossomed with cheery stories that the Soviet Union had suddenly capitulated on the big point the U.S. and Britain had been demanding from the outset, had agreed that any...

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