Leery of the Soviets

The job: chief of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, one of the most sensitive and intellectually demanding in the Administration. The man chosen to fill it: Kenneth Adelman, for the past 17 months a relatively obscure deputy to U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. The reaction to the appointment: utter surprise. Says an Administration official: "It's mind-boggling."

A pipe-smoking man with a passion for Shakespeare, Adelman is a relatively pragmatic Republican who shares President Reagan's abiding mistrust of the Soviet Union. Adelman is convinced, says a former associate, that the U.S. "must negotiate from...

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