The Soviet Union's Asian Collective Security Proposal: A Club in Search of Members.

by Arnold L. Horelick


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A review of Soviet diplomatic maneuvers since June 1969 when General Secretary Brezhnev tersely proposed creating a system of collective security in Asia. Most observers speculated that the Soviets were seeking to organize an anti-China united front; others suggested that they were preparing to move into the vacuum created by the retraction of Western power from Southeast Asia. At first the Soviet purpose seemed clearly to elicit reactions from potential members of the "system." Grounds for optimism were few. But following his diplomatic successes in the Indo-Pakistan War, Brezhnev revived the proposal, this time elaborating lowest common denominator principles for membership. India and the small states of Southeast Asia have been special targets of Soviet blandishments, with little success. Thus far only Outer Mongolia and Iran have officially endorsed the Soviet proposal. China's violent opposition has caused both North Korea and North Vietnam to remain aloof and is regarded by the USSR as the major obstacle. 21 pp.

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