Within the next two decades, the less-developed countries of the world will exercise more independence and self-determination as the traditional mechanisms of superpower influence erode. The major powers — Japan, Western Europe, the Soviet Union and the United States — will be reacting to greater participation by Third World nations in the geopolitical arena, especially in the area of advanced weapons capability. The resulting environment is likely to be unstable because of the dispersion of power among countries of the Third World and their inclination to use it to advance national and regional interests.
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