DIPLOMACY: The Quiet Buildup to SALT II

A week ago, the sad ending of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance's mission to Moscow seemed to herald a critical break in Soviet-American relations—an end to SALT, perhaps, if not an end to detente. The Soviets had rebuffed as unacceptable new strategic arms proposals offered by the Carter Administration. In addition, there was a continuing volley of and-American rhetoric in the Soviet press and the angry diatribe by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko (TIME, April 11).

By last week there was growing evidence that all the early alarms had been much too...

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