Soviet Interests in SALT: Political, Economic, Bureaucratic and Strategic Contributions and Impediments to Arms Control.

by Thomas W. Wolfe


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Soviet participation in SALT will be affected by both international and domestic factors. The whole pattern of international politics is changing from bipolar confrontation to multipolar alignments. Moreover, Soviet foreign and military policy is tending toward globalism, and the Soviet state is now exhibiting a great power dynamism--an energy and enthusiasm for playing the role of a great power in world affairs. Although economic pressures have helped to bring the Soviet Union to SALT talks, economic considerations have not been the prime determinant of Soviet strategic policy in the past, nor are they likely to be in the future. Soviet strategic policies are also influenced by several institutional and bureaucratic interest groups, including the foreign affairs intelligentsia, the scientific intelligentsia, the military, and the "military-industrial" complex. Soviet leaders will have to choose the strategic posture that will most effectively support their political and economic objectives: parity or superiority. 41 pp. Ref.

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