Negotiation By the Numbers

In deciding who is ahead, it depends on what you count

If George Shultz and Andrei Gromyko can get past the initial hurdle in Geneva --agreeing about what their long-term talks should cover--one thing is certain: they will find themselves enmeshed in a nuclear numbers game of mind- numbing complexity.

The questions involved make college calculus look simple. If the U.S. has 550 of one type of missile that carries three warheads of 335 kilotons each, and the Soviet Union has 308 of another type that carries ten warheads of two megatons each, which side is better off? It all depends on what you count: warheads, missiles and bombers, explosive power, accuracy...

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