The Search for Stability

Soviet tanks gather near Checkpoint Charlie where they engage in a tense face-off with U.S. tanks positioned on the western side, October 27, 1961.

THESE lines are being written while the Foreign Ministers' Conference is still in progress. But even though its precise outcome cannot be foretold, the general nature of the diplomacy of the next few months is apparent. The West has presented a "package" proposal linking German unification to European security. This link has been rejected. The Soviet Union has insisted that German reunification should be left to the two German states and that the conference should concentrate on the issues which the Soviet leaders have defined as "soluble." It is clear, then, that the Western powers are to be tested in their negotiation skill, their creativity and, most important, their convictions. Their response will influence importantly, perhaps crucially, the future of freedom in our time.

It is hoped that the Western performance in the months ahead will be more self-assured than that in the period just past. In an alliance, disagreements

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