DIPLOMACY: Reading the Geneva Barometer

As the U.S. and the Soviets warily size up each other's weaponry, the overriding question of whether those arms will ever be the tools of Armageddon depends, of course, on how the two superpowers get along. Increasingly, the SALT negotiations have taken on a meaning beyond their direct purpose of curtailing a nuclear weapons race. They have become the most telling barometer of the future of U.S.-Soviet relations.

A new round in those 7½ years of talks opened with preliminary discussions in Geneva last week. The outcome, once Secretary of State Cyrus...

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