Alliance A Decision Not To Decide

NATO gropes for answers to Gorbachev's arms initiatives

Soviet tanks were on the move in Eastern Europe last week -- and on the minds of the Western defense ministers who were in Brussels to discuss NATO's next dilemma: whether and when to modernize the alliance's remaining nuclear weapons. Some of the armored divisions rumbling through East Germany and Hungary were heading for assembly stations in preparation to go home, making good on Mikhail Gorbachev's promise last December to remove 50,000 troops, 5,000 tanks and other conventional arms from Eastern Europe.

The unilateral withdrawal is just the sort of act that prompts critics to accuse NATO of being too sluggish...

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