The Difficult Path to the START Treaty
During the START negotiations, the Soviet position underwent very substantial--and sometimes radical--changes. These changes in approach can be explained by a number of factors, but first among these is the fact that they took place as the result of a new, broader vision of arms control and disarmament problems on the part of the Soviet leadership. Such a dramatic revision of national policy could not pass through all the institutions of the decision-making mechanism smoothly. Rather, the changes produced serious controversies, intense concerns, and even direct and strong protests by some of the participants in this process. Nor did the process proceed without mistakes, errors, and disappointments, many of which were later mentioned in criticisms of Gorbachev, Shevardnadze, and other leaders of the former Soviet Union, both in general as well as specifically in the sphere of arms control agreements concluded with the United States. However, before that situation came about, much was to pass.
The change of the Soviet position on monitoring and inspection (kontrol') and verification issues became one of the most important conceptual shifts in the talks. It was in this sphere that some of the most serious breakthroughs were achieved on several fronts, including not only changes to the