Gorbachev's Retreat: The Third World

By Melvin A. Goodman | Go to book overview

2
Decision Making Under Gorbachev

Since Gorbachev's rise to power in 1985 there has been fundamental change in key institutions, particularly the Politburo, Foreign Ministry, and the Central Committee's International Department. These institutions are now run by individuals who support the general secretary's "new political thinking," are more capable than their predecessors of making changes in policy, and who are improving analysis at all levels. The Politburo has been virtually disenfranchised as a central party apparatus and will have no major role in areas of national security.

Personnel changes reflected the demands of Gorbachev, Aleksandr Yakovlev, and Eduard Shevardnadze--the three key members of the leadership from 1985 to 1990--and involved the party and government in "democratizing" the foreign policy process. Gorbachev and Shevardnadze were critical of the exclusivity of decision making during the Brezhnev era and particularly the failure of the apparatus to warn about negative aspects of decisions. 1 The party's influence in the military has been seriously weakened.

Gorbachev apparently decided at the outset that, to alter Soviet policy, there would have to be changes in Soviet institutions at the highest levels. No institution has escaped scrutiny, beginning with the foreign ministry in the summer of 1985 (when Shevardnadze replaced Andrei Gromyko), the Central Committee's International Department in the winter of 1986 (when Anatoly Dobrynin replaced Boris Ponomarev), the defense ministry in the spring of 1987 (when Dmitry Yazov replaced Sergey Sokolov), and finally the KGB in 1988 (when Vladimir Kryuchkov replaced Viktor Chebrikov). In every case except the KGB, these moves were followed by purges of the top echelons,

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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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