Crunching Gorbachev's Numbers

His plans for reducing Soviet forces will still leave NATO at a disadvantage

"This can be the most significant thing that's happened to Western security in NATO history," declared retired General Andrew Goodpaster, a former supreme commander of NATO. Echoed David Abshire, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Alliance: "It's a bold, masterful move, among the most consequential in NATO's 40-year history." As NATO's foreign ministers convened in Brussels, the Secretary-General of the West's 16-nation military pact was far more subdued but still upbeat. "It's an encouraging development which we welcome," said West Germany's Manfred Worner.

The praise was directed at Mikhail Gorbachev's promise to reduce, by 1991, Soviet troops and conventional armaments along...

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