Foreign Policy: Better Lines of Communication

Through all the thaws and chills of Soviet-American relations, one channel has remained open for 21years: the Moscow-Washington hotline. This week, after nearly a year of sporadic negotiating, the two countries are expected to sign a pact to modernize the outmoded equipment. Most recently upgraded in 1976, the teleprinters are able to send material at the sluggish rate of 66 words-a- minute. The new system will permit almost instant transmission of texts, maps and photos. While hardly a diplomatic break through, the accord represents the only substantively new superpower agreement since Reagan took office;...

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