The United Nations Disarmament Committee has begun its 14th year of deliberations in Geneva - with prospects of success as bleak as those of the past thirteen. The representatives, of course, express the usual diplomatic optimism. At least the size of the committee is growing, with five new member nations joining the twenty-five other participants in the talks. Los Angeles Times correspondent Don Cook, however, notes a certain irony in the makeup of the new members: "The newcomers to disarmament are East Germany, whose military forces have shot more people on its borders than any other country in Europe: West Germany, which has the largest military expenditure of any nation in Europe outside the Soviet Union: Iran, which now is engaged in the biggest military buildup in the Middle East; Zaire, where a military regime runs the largest of the African states, and Peru, where another military regime recently crushed anti-government rioting."
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