The Soviet Union in the Third World : Purpose in Search of Power.

by Fritz Walter Ermarth


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The Soviet ideological commitment to revolution in the Third World, inherited from Lenin, became an important part of Soviet foreign policy only after World War II, when the USSR became a world power. Khrushchev envisaged an "objectively inevitable" transition by postcolonial states toward socialism, i.e., Soviet-type societies, protected from imperialism by Soviet strategic deterrence and accelerated by Soviet military and economic aid. But Khrushchev's vision exceeded the USSR's power to fulfill it. Third World nationalists in power advanced their own visions of the future, often at odds with Soviet views. Western powers actively intervened in the Third World to protect their interests. Krushchev's successors have been less sanguine about transition in the Third World. They have concentrated on the areas they deem important, the Middle East and South Asia. Only the future will show whether they use their increased power with the restraint that weakness formerly imposed. 21 pp.

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