The Presidency: The Inscrutable Adversary

The debate in the White House always seems to come around to the same question: Can the Soviets' belligerence be explained by the fact that they feel threatened by the U.S.? Sometimes President Reagan just sits and absorbs the negative litany from diplomats and travelers who still maintain thin strands of unofficial contacts. Sometimes he shows mild irritation and gives his head a shake of disbelief while answering his own question: "I keep reading that the Soviets think we are threatening their security." Reagan has rejected that notion, and so has his Secretary of State, George Shultz.

The effort to figure...

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