The Role of Soviet Military and Economic Aid in the Third World Under Gorbachev
The growth of Soviet military power has enabled the development of a more assertive foreign policy. This chapter traces the patterns of Soviet military and economic assistance to the Third World. It assesses Soviet successes and failures in its attempt to build a network of clients and an infrastructure of naval and naval air facilities. The chapter examines the constraints under which the Soviets are able to use these instrumentalities of policy. Third World vulnerability opened the way to Soviet arms sales in the 1950s, particularly in the Middle East, and currently the largest recipients of Soviet military hardware are such states as Cuba, Syria, and Vietnam, which must cope with the military potential of a more powerful regional neighbor and want to pursue an activist regional foreign policy. The military and economic assistance proffered by the Soviet Union has enabled Moscow to acquire basing facilities in areas of strategic interest.