Disarmament Let's Make a Deal

Gorbachev seizes the initiative with an offer to remove missiles

Mikhail Gorbachev's message was stunningly simple. If Washington would remove all of its medium-range missiles from Europe, Moscow would do the same. Ronald Reagan's response was no less bald: he promised to "seize this new opportunity" by presenting his Administration's own plan for a missile-free Europe. With those two moves, arms-control negotiations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, which have been stalled since last October's superpower summit in Reykjavik, suddenly took off like a racing car at Le Mans. For the first time since the grimaces and recriminations of that meeting, the two leaders seemed prepared, indeed determined, to make...