The Third World is the only arena where the United States has actually engaged in military conflicts since 1945, and remains the most likely venue for future U.S.-Soviet confrontation. While future U.S.-Soviet interaction in the Third World will look similar to what has occurred in the past, with the Soviet Union and its allies seeking to change a status quo that is backed by the United States, this paper argues that the United States and the Soviet Union are in the process of reversing roles in the Third World in certain key respects, and that consequently superpower interactions there are likely to differ from those of the past. The chief issue for future U.S. policy in the Third World will be how best to deal with Soviet clients like Afghanistan, Angola, and Nicaragua, and how to manage challenges to the Soviet-supported status quo.
Fukuyama, Francis, U.S.-Soviet Interactions in the Third World. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 1985. https://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers-soviet/OPS004.html.
Fukuyama, Francis, U.S.-Soviet Interactions in the Third World, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, OPS-004, 1985. As of May 11, 2022: https://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers-soviet/OPS004.html