Shulman, Marshall D.
October 1973
Foreign Affairs;Oct73, Vol. 52 Issue 1, p35
This article explores issues concerning U.S.-Soviet Union relations in 1973. Despite the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, however, the strategic-military competition is not yet stabilized, for both countries continue to raise the quantitative or qualitative levels of their nuclear arsenals. In the present fluid environment, the two great powers are engaged in the competitive politics of maneuver for relative political influence in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The coöperative side of the economic relationship is reflected in the massive Soviet effort to expand its imports of grain, technology and consumer goods, and to develop Western markets for Soviet goods to pay for these imports in the future. Although Soviet policy is characterized by increasing pragmatism, the Soviet leadership insists upon the continuation and the intensification of the ideological struggle, at home and abroad, against an enemy identified as American imperialism. The return of Japan and Western Europe as significant factors in world politics and the emergence of China from her diplomatic isolation have transformed the play of international politics. Against this background, it is clear that the Soviet-American relationship is less the dominant axis of international politics than heretofore, and, further, that the major transforming forces of the world are less subject to the control of the two superpowers than each had taken for granted in an earlier period. The condition of the Soviet economy is clearly the primary determinant of present Soviet foreign policy.


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