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.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.