A chapter for a forthcoming book on Soviet foreign policy (Kurt London, editor), this paper describes the USSR's emergence as a global power, the buildup of its strategic and general purpose forces, and some alternative future possibilities. Detente rather than confrontation may reflect the fact that past Soviet pressure often prompted the West to close ranks. Despite SALT agreements, a gulf remains between the U.S. concept of "mutual assured destruction" and Soviet dedication to a strategic philosophy which emphasizes war-fighting and survival, and continues to reject the "balance of terror." Emerging as a major naval power, the Soviets optimized their capabilities by a combination of surface, subsurface, and air-launched missiles and have gained U.S. assent to their numerical superiority in missiles. Military aid programs opened formerly closed doors to Soviet influence and provided valuable overseas experience for Soviet military and administrative personnel. A dynamic and markedly self-righteous energy continues to animate the Soviet world outlook and behavior. 38 pp. Ref.