This paper is an expanded text of a keynote address presented at a conference on Changing Soviet-American Perceptions in the 1980s, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, September 23, 1988. The author reviews the background to current U.S.-Soviet relations, discusses how much has changed in that relationship, and considers how much and what must change in the future. The author suggests that the Soviet-American relationship will remain competitive for the foreseeable future, but it is unclear how intense the competition will be. He cautions that the United States should begin to consider what it wants from the Soviet Union, so that it will be prepared to seek mutual concessions in future dealings with the Soviet leadership.
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