A Letter From The Publisher: Nov. 9, 1981

Washington reporters thrive on the kind of high political drama that is the stuff of this week's cover story on President Reagan's Frank Merriwell rescue of his plan to sell AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia. As members of TIME'S Washington bureau discovered, the political arithmetic becomes vexingly complex when so much is at stake. Every day trade-offs are offered, bargains are made, alliances break up and form again. As the momentum shifts back and forth, counting noses becomes more and more difficult. For White House Correspondent Laurence Barrett, who tracked the tactics of...

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