Foreign News: Fat Man's Challenge

For weeks Western governments had known that the Russians were going to do it. Nikita Khrushchev had said as much to Harold Stassen, amidst the drinks and din of the party at Claridge's. But when the announcement came last week that the Soviet Union would reduce its armed forces by 1,200,000 men by May 1957, the response of the West was confused, contradictory and uncertain.

The British estimated that the action would reduce the Russians' total uniformed manpower by as much as one-third. The Russians themselves said it meant the disbandment of 63 divisions and brigades, including some 30,000 men stationed in...

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