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The USSR's present high profile in the region is seen as the culmination of largely ad hoc initiatives and responses undertaken by Soviet leaders over the past two decades in a highly fluid policy environment. Although the overwhelming thrust of Soviet policy has been toward greater regional involvement, the USSR's local objectives as well as the strategies, tactics, and ideological dicta employed for achieving them have undergone frequent revision. In the future, it is likely to require a major setback to the Soviet position either in the Middle East directly or in the Communist world to secure diminution of Soviet involvement. Increases in involvement--and along with it, the degree of control exercised over clients--in response to demands by clients or Moscow's perception of opportunities to pursue its objectives are likely to depend on Washington's response to the development of the Arab-Israel conflict. The future seems to promise only greater involvement with only limited control, given the negative feedback of exercising greater control over clients. 128 pp.

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