Closing The Gap

Two offers dramatically boost chances for a U.S.-Soviet arms deal

The transatlantic telephone call came shortly after 9 a.m. last Tuesday, just as National Security Adviser Frank Carlucci was leaving Santa Barbara, Calif., to join Ronald Reagan for a trip to Los Angeles. The caller, Horst Teltschik, had news that would please the President. The West German National Security Adviser told Carlucci that Chancellor Helmut Kohl was about to announce plans to retire 72 aging Pershing IA missiles tipped with American nuclear warheads. At a stroke, one of the chief obstacles to a long-awaited Soviet-American agreement on intermediate-range nuclear forces seemed to dissolve, and a Washington summit between Reagan and Mikhail...