Third World Security in the Post-Cold War Era

Third World Security in the Post-Cold War Era

Third World Security in the Post-Cold War Era

Third World Security in the Post-Cold War Era

Excerpt

The stunning developments of 1989 and 1990 in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union turned the world upside down and marked the end of the Cold War. Among the many challenges confronting policymakers in the post‐ Cold War era, none looms larger in uncertainty than the security landscape in the so-called Third World.

As the 1990s unfold, it is unclear exactly what type of impact the changing context of US-Soviet relations will have on the prospects for peace and prosperity in the developing world. On the one hand, impressive progress toward resolving such long-standing conflicts as those in Afghanistan, Central America, Namibia, Angola, Cambodia, and between Iran and Iraq has become possible as a result of improved relations between the superpowers. The kinds of struggles in the Third World that fueled Soviet-US rivalry in the 1970s and 1980s are unlikely to be repeated during the next decade. On the other hand, 1990 witnessed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the US response there, Washington's intervention in Panama, and continued violence and seemingly intractable struggles in every region of the world.

The World Peace Foundation and the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, Brown University, commissioned the chapters in this book with the goal of assessing the effects of the dawning of the post-Cold War era on the security of states in the Third World. At the most general level, the authors are endeavoring to determine whether the growing cooperation of the past three to four years between the United States and the Soviet Union can be continued and possibly channeled through a strengthened United Nations. More specifically, a number of questions are addressed: Will the changing global environment lead to greater cooperation and coordination in the Third World, or instead to a new round of conflict? How will changes in the central strategic balance affect the superpowers' military policies on the periphery? What is the most ambitious yet feasible role for international organizations like the United Nations in the maintenance of peace and security there? Should developing nations welcome the convergence of US and Soviet interests, or fear it?

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