A Farewell to Arms? Gorbachev's disarming proposal

Gorbachev's disarming proposal combines bold visions and potential pitfalls

Soviet diplomats frequently call at the State Department. Particularly since the Geneva summit, there has been a great deal of mid-level diplomacy. So there was no reason to expect anything out of the ordinary when Oleg Sokolov, the Soviet chargé d'affaires in Washington, arrived early last Wednesday morning to see Secretary of State George Shultz. But when Sokolov handed him a lengthy letter from Mikhail Gorbachev to Ronald Reagan, Shultz became the first man in official Washington to be startled by a sweeping and unexpected new arms-control proposal. It was studded with ambiguities and potentially risky approaches, but it also set...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!