How Should America Respond to Gorbachev's Challenge? A Task Force on Soviet New Thinking

How Should America Respond to Gorbachev's Challenge? A Task Force on Soviet New Thinking

How Should America Respond to Gorbachev's Challenge? A Task Force on Soviet New Thinking

How Should America Respond to Gorbachev's Challenge? A Task Force on Soviet New Thinking

Excerpt

The changes that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has recently launched in both domestic and foreign policy have captured world attention. On a range of key issues--from domestic economic reform to nuclear arms control to emigration-- Gorbachev's leadership has revised long-standing Soviet positions and in the process challenged the United States and its allies to reexamine many of the assumptions behind their own policies toward the Soviet Union.

The following report on Soviet policies under Gorbachev and their impact on Western interests and responses represents the first concerted effort in the United States to analyze and evaluate the significance of Gorbachev's domestic and foreign policies and their implications for East-West relations. More specifically, the report proposes a series of policy recommendations and goals which respond to the new opportunities presented by the changes in the Soviet Union.

The report appears at a critical juncture in U.S.-Soviet relations, as the two superpowers are about to convene a summit and sign a treaty eliminating intermediate-range nuclear missiles. This event provides an appropriate occasion to examine the broader spectrum of U.S.-Soviet and East-West relations, and the next steps the two sides could take to enhance international stability and put their relations on a stable footing over the long term. The broad scope of the report responds to the need to address all of the sources of instability in the East-West relationship-- military, political economic, ideological--in order to construct a sounder long-term foundation for peace.

The bipartisan character of the report underlines the strong consensus reached on the need to reexamine America's Soviet policy and engage the Soviet leadership in a process aimed at a long-term and stable relaxation of tensions. We feel that the report is a noteworthy contribution to the debate now emerging in the United States over the future direction of U.S.-Soviet and . . .

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