American Notes: Fighting Last Year's Virus

With appropriate flourishes in Washington, Moscow and London, the final legalisms of ratification were completed last week for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ninety-nine nations have approved or formally ratified the pact. Such states as Nepal, Upper Volta and Laos have agreed with the U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union not to develop nuclear weapons if they do not now have any, or if they do, not to help nuclear have-nots become haves.

The treaty was five years in the making. Today it is something of a letdown. Few question the desirability of a...

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