The allegedly mutually reinforcing phenomena of Soviet support for radical elements in the region and radicals’ support for Soviet presence, were translated into four perceived potential threats to American interests and friendly regimes: a direct Soviet invasion; a Soviet invasion “by proxy;” a direct or “proxy” Soviet contribution to internal instability; and interference with freedom of navigation. While the Carter administration had only begun to clarify a strategic doctrine for the Middle East after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, upon assuming office the Reagan administration brought with it a firm belief that Southwest Asia constituted a front line in US-Soviet global competition. Regional actors, concerned about radicalization and Soviet policies, were thus to be impressed with the need to cooperate with the US in pursuit of assumed common interests in spite of continued rivalries among them over “lesser” issues of regional concern.