Afghanistan: New Offer, Old Refusal

New Offer, Old Refusal

When is an arms cutoff not an arms cutoff? That was the riddle confronting Washington last week as it pondered what could be the final obstacle in talks on a Soviet pullout from Afghanistan. The trouble stems from a U.S. demand that Moscow end all military aid to the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul once Washington stops sending weapons to the mujahedin. Moscow refused to go along, and Washington offered a compromise: the U.S. will allow the Soviets to keep supplying Kabul if Moscow allows Washington to continue arming the rebels.

Soviet Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gennadi Gerasimov called the novel approach "unacceptable,"...

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