EAST-WEST: The Third Summit: A Time of Testing

In Moscow the bands were once again rehearsing that old standby, The Star-Spangled Banner, and those familiar little red-white-and-blue flags were once again being pulled out for street decorations. Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger were on their way for this week's meeting with Soviet Party Chief Leonid Brezhnev—the third summit in as many years. Yet the concept of détente has lost some of its earlier magic. Both sides will have to work hard to show that it is not only alive but thriving in 1974.

Like any good host, Brezhnev has exuded good spirits about the visit and politely deferred...