Ronald Reagan's intelligence briefing this coming week on the Iran-Iraq conflict marks the other side of the no man's land he straddles in making campaign statements on foreign policy.
Reagan policy has been to refuse such briefings.
On one hand, he needs reliable, inside information to make sound statements on critical issues -- especially in the face of Cater criticism that he speaks out irresponsibly and from a dearth of facts.
But conversely, Reagan feels Carter could "mousetrap" him by giving him classified briefings, and thereby silencing him, on key subjects.
Reagan in this case decided to accept a briefing on the border war so he won't "inadvertantly say anything harmful." The briefing could also negate criticism from the Carter campaign that Reagan carelessness on foreign issues could precipitate disaster.