The world is a safer place these days, as the U. S. and the Soviet Union compete to reduce their supplies of doomsday machines. But fear not, weapons buffs. Military innovation proceeds apace, as does military jargon, that curious language that awards snuggly names to terrifying devices (remember the Peacekeeper missile?).

A recent U. S. entrant in the continuing weapons sweepstakes is the antiradiation missile decoy, a high-tech innovation created to counter the bad guys' high-tech innovation. Antiradiation missiles, or ARMs, are designed to seek out mobile radar bases and blast them into the great munitions factory in the sky. ARM decoys, says the Air Force, protect radar bases by electronically "confusing incoming missiles" and inducing them to land on empty ground. And what do you call the area where the missiles explode harmlessly? The Air Force, anyway, calls it "the ARM pit."

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