Change in the USSR's policy on nuclear disarmament is driven by the Gorbachev leadership's determination to modernize the Soviet system. Gorbachev has guided the process, garnering the political support needed to transform the sources and exercise of Soviet power. Economic restructuring claims increasing industrial capacity and technological resources from the defense complex and requires growing Soviet involvement in the global economy. New thinking supplants Soviet reliance on military might with the building of economic strength through domestic reform and East-West cooperation. Stability takes precedence over military effectiveness when designing Soviet nuclear forces. More and more, weapons rivalry is replaced by joint efforts to reconfigure the nuclear balance, and superpower relations are characterized by constructive interaction in the political, economic, and social spheres. While recognizing the durability of transatlantic ties, the Soviet Union promotes the establishment of new European security arrangements that foster a gradual fusion of the two halves of the continent.
Disarmament advances Soviet participation in the international system by removing barriers to Soviet entry and overcoming resistance at home. It draws Western collaboration to restructure nuclear arsenals, ensuring that Soviet arms cuts are reciprocated and that rough parity is maintained. It provides an effective method of decreasing the defense burden while enhancing stabil