Bundy, McGeorge
December 1978
Foreign Affairs;1978 Special Issue, Vol. 57 Issue 3
The article focuses on hopes and reality in the U.S. regarding arms control in the year 1978. As 1978 ended, the United States and the Soviet Union were still short of a final agreement on their new strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT II). When final progress was delayed by distinctly minor Soviet objections in December, one had to believe that the Russians were showing the U.S. and themselves that their cooperation could not be taken for granted. President Jimmy Carter never wavered in his conviction that the achievement of a good agreement was an objective of top priority. The emerging agreement will be a disappointment to many who have hoped for more. If the president's administration is not itself in this group, it is mainly because it has had to learn by hard experience that it is one thing to believe in deep cuts and quite another to get the Soviet Union to agree to them on terms all Americans will like. The same confrontation between high hopes and hard reality that marked the course of SALT II in the president's administration was visible in other fields of arms control. The most important was the effort to reinforce constraints against nuclear proliferation.


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