Wild Card on the Table

Star Wars complicates prospects for an arms-control agreement

In the complex and contentious world of arms control, the question of the hour, and of some years to come, is about Star Wars. What does Ronald Reagan's ambitious plan for space-based antimissile defenses mean for the future of the arms race and attempts to regulate it?

That question was very much on Andrei Gromyko's mind in Geneva last week. George Shultz, who prides himself on being a straight talker, was in the awkward position of having to hedge and dodge. A Soviet official said after the meeting, "Whenever our side tried to learn about the specifics of the American space-arms...

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