In an atmosphere of urgency, the Council of Foreign Ministers (the Big Three) and the twelve-nation North Atlantic Treaty Council met last week in Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria. The ministers were in essential agreement before they met and they were in essential agreement when the sessions ended. But in the course of their discussions the urgency fizzled out. What might have been a landmark in the West's progress toward self-defense degenerated into a frustrating argument about details and timing.

Two Courses. The initial sense of urgency rose out of the realization that at any time the Communists might attack Western Europe, as...

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