Soviet Policy Toward Western Europe

Objectives, Instruments, Results

by John Van Oudenaren

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This report analyzes the objectives, instruments, and achievements of Soviet policy toward Western Europe. It focuses on the mechanisms used by the Soviet Union to pursue its objectives in Europe, including diplomacy, military power, arms control, the West European Communist parties, ties with the non-Communist left, propaganda, and trade. The author concludes that the Soviet Union has achieved mixed results in its policy toward Western Europe. While it has succeeded in helping to consolidate postwar gains, Soviet policy has not yet made a dramatic breakthrough toward its stated objective of fostering a system of "collective security" in Europe. Nevertheless, there is little evidence to suggest that failure to achieve these maximal goals has led the Soviets to rethink their objectives or lower their expectations.

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