Gorbachev's Retreat: The Third World

By Melvin A. Goodman | Go to book overview

4
Limits to Power

Gorbachev's inheritance in the Third World included successes in Cuba, Syria, and Vietnam, as well as setbacks in Egypt, Guinea, Somalia, and the Sudan. More importantly, the new Soviet leadership faced problems that promised to become more intractable. Inability to train and discipline the Afghan army and Soviet-Afghan inability to limit the insurgency were reasons for troop withdrawal in 1989. Operational planning had not helped Arab client regimes against the Israelis, nor had it led to sustained success for Ethiopian forces against the Eritreans. The counterinsurgencies in Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and Vietnam had created economic problems beyond Soviet capability to repair.

The Soviets had even less success translating military presence in Third World states into political and diplomatic influence. Huge amounts of military assistance to Arab clients had not led to a Soviet role in Arab-Israeli negotiations since 1973. Nor had they led to Soviet inclusion in talks in southern Africa dealing with Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe until recent ceasefire negotiations for Angola.

The Soviets have acknowledged that Soviet-style orthodox formulas for the Third World had declined in appeal. Party officials and academicians have recorded that completion of the "first stage" of the national liberation movement (a military struggle for national freedom) had been completed and that the "second stage" (economic advancement and independence) offers fewer opportunities to aid national liberation struggles and increased demands for economic assistance. Deterioration of East-West relations from 1975 to 1985 meant that increasing requests for economic aid were competing for

-73-

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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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