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Soviet Policy Toward the West : The Gorbachev Challenge

By Central Intelegence Agent

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Book Id: WPLBN0000704877
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 1.31 MB.
Reproduction Date: 2006

Title: Soviet Policy Toward the West : The Gorbachev Challenge  
Author: Central Intelegence Agent
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, CIA research reports, National security.
Collections: CIA Documents Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Central Intelegence Agent


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Agent, C. I. (n.d.). Soviet Policy Toward the West : The Gorbachev Challenge. Retrieved from

Excerpt: Key Judgments I Dramatic changes in approach to the West under Soviet leader Gorbachev are driven by economic and social decay at home, a widening technological gap with the West, and a growing realism about trends in the outside world. For the foreseeable future, the USSR will remain the West's principal adversary. But the process Gorbachev has set in motion is likely to change the nature of the Soviet challenge over the next five years or so: New Soviet policies will threaten the security consensus developed in the West to combat Soviet expansionism. The Soviets are likely to succeed to a degree in undercutting support abroad for defense programs and in reducing political barriers to Western participation in their economic development. At the same time new policies will make Moscow more flexible on regional issues and human rights and pave the way for a potentially significant reduction of the military threat. Alliance cohesion will decline faster in the Warsaw Pact than in NATO, giving the East Europeans much greater scope for change. +H+)- We believe Moscow wants to shift competition with the West to a largely political and economic plane. In order to prepare the ground for such a shift, Soviet leaders are making major policy changes and promoting a broad reassessment of the West. These new policies serve domestic as well as foreign policy needs: They aim to create an international environment more conducive to domestic reform and to undermine the rationale for high defense budgets and repressive political controls, They are seen as more effective than past policies in advancing Soviet foreign interests.*) There are limits on how far the new Soviet leadership wants to go in the direction of a less confrontationa1 East-West relationship: Vigorous efforts to protect and advance Soviet geopolitical interests and selective support for Communist regimes and revolutionary movements will continue. Moscow will continue to employ active measures and covert efforts to advance its objectives. Foreign intelligence activity is likely to increase.


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