[WORD ILLEGIBLE] improvement of relations [WORD ILLEGIBLE] recapitulates precisely the [Word ILLEGIBLE] ution of the Carter administration in dealing with Moscow, as in many other matters. Carter started off as though it were a whole new ball game.
He has now reverted to the old ball game, and in the process achieved some distinct success. But he is not receiving the credit he deserves because the gains fall visibly short of what was promised at the outset.
The progress achieved by the administration in dealing with Russia comes into two main areas. First, and most important, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko have opened the way to a SALT II treaty replacing the SALT I treaty, which expired on Oct. 3. Technical negotiations to tie loose ends are expected to go on for another two to three months. But by the end of the year, the new treaty should be ready. The expectation is that Party Secretary Leonid Brezhnev will visit President Carter for a summit meeting and a singing in either December or January.
Second, Vance and Gromyko struck a compromise in the Mideast. The United States backed away from some of its support for Isreal, and Russia from some of its support for the Palestine Lineration Organization. The upshot was the joint declaration calling for an early resumption of the Geneva peace talks.
But those developments are getting more boos than cheers. And the reason does not lies in the irony of fate or even the hostility of the Isreali lobby to concessions made to the Arabs. The basic trouble is the transition from the promise of the new game to the realities of the old game.
The new game promised by Carter (and especially his national secutiry adviser, Zbigniew Brezezinski) featured a tough stance toward the Soviet Union. The administration laid great stress on human rights, and in several actions the President appeared to be singling out for special condemnation the denials of these rights in Russia.
The President also indicated that he expected to challenge the Soviet Union in areas of the Third World where it had previously enjoyed favor. Among other places, he cited Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Mideast.
With respects to arms control, the Carter administration, while seeking an accord, emphasized that it expected to do far better than Henry Kissinger had done in his negotiations for Presidents Nixon and Ford. Specifically, in proposals made to Moscow last March, the administration called for far deeper cuts in the level of armaments and much stronger barriers to the development of new weapons.
By the time President Carter spoke to the U.N. General Assembly last week, every single feature of the new game had been put aside. The President did not mention human rights once, and the basic tones of his address, with its stress on highly technical stuff such as Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation sounded almost antihuman.
As to competition in the Third World, the President did not mention Asia, where Moscow, because of Peking, is on the defensive. References to the Indian Ocean avoided Russia's weakening position in India and Somalia. And, of course, the joint statement on the Mideast put the damper on competition with Russia in that area.
The arms-control agreement turns out to be almost an exact copy of the second round negotiations, SALT II, initiated by President Ford and Kissinger at the Vladivostok summit of 1975. The total number of launching platforms on both sides is only slightly down from the Vladivostok number of 2,400. The total number of weapons with multiple warheads (or MIRVs) remains the same at 1.320. There are no significant constraints on development of new weapons.
For my own part, I welcome strongly the improvement of relations with Russia. I also welcome the abandonment of the "new game," which always seemed phony to me, and the return to the "old game." But it is easy to see why people who believed in the "new game" now felt they've been had. It is not hard to understand why the arms-control agreement, which I consider a triumph ensuring still further talks, looks to many as just another bad deal.
So if the Carter administration wants approval for its foreign policy, it will have to start matching its rhetoric with the realities. It will have to introduce its philosopher, Zbigniew Brezezinski, to the man who is more and more emerging as the President's chief foreign policy adviser, Cyrus Vance.