The Future of the Soviet Union: What is the Western Interest
RAND/UCLA CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF SOVIET INTERNATIONAL BEHAVIOR SANTA MONICA CA
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Uncertainty about the shape and character of the post-Cold War international system is dominated above all by uncertainty about the shape and character of its most unstable major component. Uncertainty about the Soviet Union has to do with the most basic questions bearing on the future of any state its political structure, economic system, territorial configuration and ethno-national composition. Rarely if ever in history have all of these fundamental questions been at issue simultaneously in any single state, certainly not in the absence of defeat in a major war. The range of possible outcomes of the Soviet crisis covers a large space. Radically different outcomes, none more commandingly plausible than others, could have vastly different consequences for the West. Highly schematic and simplistic visions of alternative Soviet futures have already become part of the Western conventional wisdom, and they are shaping emerging Western preferences and policies.
- Government and Political Science