Courtesy Reuters

In the presidential campaign of 1980, Ronald Reagan helped make SALT a four-letter word, all but unmentionable in polite but hard-headed company. Such was his distaste for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks that had been under way for more than a decade. Yet during his Administration, the quest for an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union on the size and composition of their intercontinental nuclear arsenals has continued under the new acronym of START, for Strategic Arms Reduction Talks.

As Mr. Reagan nears the end of his presidency, an important part of his legacy is a work-in-progress: a

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