chapter  Chapter 9
15 Pages

The Future of Soviet Policy in the Third World

WithAlvin Z. Rubinstein

Moscow's forward policy in the Third World, signifying the shift from a continental-based strategy to a global strategy, took form in the mid-1950s under Khrushchev. Khrushchev's ventures in the Third World were an understandable defensive counter to the United States policy of containment. They also mirrored the man's optimism and ideological conviction of the inevitability of socialism as a socio-political system that would attract newly-independent countries in the era of decolonization and aversion to capitalism. The notion of strategic context is a key to understanding what Moscow regards as success. Inherent in the policies that impel Soviet leaders and that explain why they persist in believing the game is worth the candle is their quest for local and regional advantages that make the general environment more conducive to the advancement of Soviet aims. Gorbachev's approach is dominated by strategic-military considerations.