A Mix of Hope and Hokum

Gorbachev's arms-control plan could yield fruit, but beware the fine print

For months the U.S. and the Soviet Union had been posturing about arms control in high-visibility pronouncements to journalists and government leaders and in various public forums. There was talk just about everywhere, it seemed, except at the bargaining table in Geneva. At times the propagandizing appeared to be aimed less at reducing the arsenals of nuclear weapons than at jockeying for public support.

Last week, however, the battleground finally shifted. Victor Karpov, the chief Soviet arms negotiator, sat down at the banquet-size table in the Botanic Building, the drab headquarters of the U.S. arms-control delegation across from Geneva's tidy botanical...

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