Introduction On the Assessment of Foreign Policy
This book is an attem pt to assess the aims of and the u n d e r lying motives behind Soviet policy tow ards Southeast Asia since 1969. M oreover, i t seeks to iden tify regional reactions to Soviet policy in the context of enhanced g rea t power in te re s t in Southeast Asia since 1978. The book hopefully fills a void in th a t many excellent works produced by analysts of Soviet foreign policy cover the T hird World in general o r specific regions such as the subcontinent of India o r the Middle E ast. Southeast Asia, how ever, has a ttrac ted little attention from these analysts which is a consequence, in many re sp ec ts , of an u n derstand ing of the Soviet scale of p rio rities in relation to the T hird World. A nalysts of the in ternational relations of Southeast Asia have produced works which include the role of the Soviet Union in the regional balance of power as a factor in the responses of ASEAN and the United S ta tes. These works largely deal with the effects of Soviet policy upon the region and have avoided an examination of its aims and evolution which is not p roperly th e ir in ten tion . The p resen t work covers both areas of investigation examining not only the evolution of Soviet policy bu t regional reactions to what has been a consisten t Soviet aim to construct a basis for influence in the region.