Comments delivered at a Workshop on the External Environment and Political Change in the Soviet Union, sponsored by the Research Institute on International Change, Columbia University. The author argues for distinguishing more clearly in our relations with the USSR between the imperative and the optional, categories whose indiscriminate lumping together confounds discourse on detente. The imperatives of human physical survival require that we engage the USSR as best we can in joint efforts to regulate our core military relationship. Beyond that area there is a broad range of relations with the Soviet Union that we can properly elect to cultivate or not, depending on how they impinge on interests and values, political and moral, that we may not share with the USSR, including our own national and humanitarian interests in promoting change in the Soviet domestic order. 7 pp.
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