Until recently, U.S. policymakers assumed that the Soviet Union would enter the twenty-first century as a unified country. However, this scenario now appears unlikely, given the rising national self-consciousness and self-assertiveness of the Soviet republics, as well as the disintegration of the governmental infrastructure throughout the Soviet Union. The author examines some of the adverse outcomes that might occur--and the steps that the United States might take to reduce the likelihood of these outcomes--as the formerly captive states strive for their independence. The most significant threats to U.S. interests would include nuclear proliferation, Russian fascism, Islamic fundamentalism, and/or Balkanization.
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