chapter  Chapter 1
20 Pages

The Evolution of Soviet Policy Toward the Third World

WithRoger E. Kanet

This chapter examines the crucial role that Soviet policy toward the Third World played in Soviet efforts to influence the development of the international system in competition with the United States. Soviet policy in the developing world in the years since the Second World War can be divided into at least three sub-periods, based on the Soviet capabilities and behavior. Almost immediately after the end of World War II, the Soviet Union and the United States found themselves in a struggle for influence that focused initially on Europe. Another important aspect of the expansion of the Soviet Union as a global power in the post-1970 period has been the continuing commitment of the Soviet leadership to the extension of the Soviet role in world affairs. The expansion of the range of Moscow's worldwide activities benefited from events in the Third World over which the Soviets themselves exercised only minimal influence.