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The Soviet Union's Foreign Policy Environment to the Year 2000.

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Final rept. 13 Jan-23 Feb 87,

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The advent of the Gorbachev era invites comparision with the Khrushchev era years ago. Both leaders were confronted by major domestic and foreign policy problems, dilemmas, and choices. The similarities are striking the struggle for power at a time mounting economic and political dilemmas the quest for rationalization of Soviet-East European economic relationships, subject to Moscows continued control the need to improve relations with the United States the readiness to pursue Soviet objectives in the Third World irrespective of their adverse consequences for Soviet-American relations. The differences are significant and intensify Gorbachevs problem Gorbachevs USSR is far stronger than Khrushchevs and is a credible nuclear power Gorbachev has many more options in the Third World the Far East is a major foreign policy issue and U.S. influence in the international system is less in the 1980s than it was in the 1950s. The thrust of this analysis is toward essential continuity in the decade or so ahead. The Kremlin is confronted with growing domestic problems, but in foreign policy the following aims seem likely preservation of the imperial system in Eastern Europe improved relations with the United States, including arms control agreements if possible normalization of ties with China and Japan and competitive rivalry with the United States in the Third World.

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  • Government and Political Science

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