Mikhail Gorbachev's "new thinking": implications for western security
Knotts, Kenneth L.
Garrett, Stephen A.
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This thesis examines some of the most important policies encompassed within Mikhail Gorbachev's "new thinking." The author explores the economic incentives and shifting Soviet view of international relations which led Gorbachev to introduce his groundbreaking reforms. Primary emphasis is given to an in-depth analysis of the "defensive doctrine" and how the issues surrounding that doctrine will impact upon the future U.S.-Soviet security relationship. Special topics include: increasing evidence of changes under way in the structure of Soviet forces stationed in Eastern Europe; possible future Soviet force deployments inside the USSR, including the construction of "fortified regions," and the evolving U.S.-Soviet relationship in the most important theater of relations between the two countries—Europe. It is the author's contention that the central driving force behind all of Gorbachev's reforms was, and remains, a resuscitation of the Soviet economy. The author concludes that ultimate Soviet objectives under "new thinking" will remain uncertain, and that the only prudent U.S. policy is to bargain in a vigorous but businesslike manner with Gorbachev to further reduce the Soviet threat, while retaining defenses sufficient to react to possible future Kremlin backtracking.
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