Gorbachev's Retreat: The Third World

By Melvin A. Goodman | Go to book overview

sensitive to the international reaction to Moscow's hard-line domestic policies. Bessmertnykh is a veteran diplomat with a reputation as a reformer within the foreign ministry; upon confirmation, he immediately pledged to continue the "new thinking" of his predecessor. 1 He is probably Moscow's leading expert on the United States, and his appointment signals continued cooperation with the United States and West Europe on bilateral and Third World matters.

Gorbachev's retreat from the Third World and particularly from competition with the United States raises many questions for readers of this book. In demonstrating enormous interest in resolving regional disputes, what are the limits to Soviet reliance on the United Nations and the Security Council for conflict resolution? There appear to be domestic opponents of Gorbachev's retreat from Central Europe and the Sino-Soviet frontier, but is there evidence of opposition to the retreat from the Third World? Is Soviet-American cooperation in the Third World replacing arms control and disarmament as the centerpiece of detente in the 1990s? Is Gorbachev's retreat irreversible, and will the "civil crisis" in the USSR threaten the stability in Moscow's behavior in the International arena? Did the United States exaggerate Soviet influence and power in the Third World even before Gorbachev's strategic surrender? Finally, will Shevardnadze's dramatic resignation have any effect on Soviet policy in the Third World? I suggest answers to some, but not all, of these questions, and hope I have shed some new light in the field of Soviet foreign policy in doing so.

I have received assistance from many people in writing this book. My first thanks go to Dr. Robert Ferrell of Indiana University, who helped me to complete a dissertation twenty years ago and was still willing to encourage and guide this effort. Several other individuals deserve special thanks: Dr. Amin Banani of UCLA is responsible for my interest in Soviet studies; Dr. Alvin Rubinstein has patiently argued with many of the ideas in this book over the past ten years; Ms. Carolyn McGiffert Ekedahl was an informal adviser and perceptive observer along the way. Finally, and most importantly, I should especially like to thank my family -- Ann, Suzanne, and Michael -- for being supportive in every possible way.


NOTE
1.
David Remnick, The Washington Post, January 16, 1991, p. 16, "Envoy to U.S. Succeeds Shevardnadze." Bessmertnykh was approved by an overwhelming vote of 421 to 3, with ten abstentions; Victor Pugo, a former KGB official and a

-xi-

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Gorbachev's Retreat: The Third World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Note xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 8
  • 1 - Soviet Policy and the Third World 11
  • Notes 26
  • 2 - Decision Making Under Gorbachev 29
  • Notes 47
  • 3 - Afghanistan 51
  • Notes 69
  • 4: Limits to Power 73
  • 5 - The Regional Implications of Gorbachev's New Political Thinking"" 97
  • Notes 121
  • 6 - Soviet Power Projection and Crisis Management Under Gorbachev 125
  • Notes 141
  • 7 - Soviet Military and Economic Aid 145
  • Notes 164
  • 8 - Soviet Retreat in the 1990s 169
  • Notes 186
  • Bibliographic Essay 189
  • Index 195
  • About the Author 207
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