This report examines key recent developments and trends in Western Europe, with an emphasis on the past two years, as a backdrop to an analysis of present and prospective Soviet relations with the West. It identifies five possible Soviet policy options toward Western Europe in the near and the medium term: (1) continuation of the kind of wedge-driving policy it used during much of 1983; (2) a differentiated policy of better relations with the United States, and cool relations with Western Europe; (3) a policy of defiance toward the West; (4) pursuit of a broad-based neo-detente relationship with both Western Europe and the United States; and (5) a purposefully confrontational policy toward the West. The author suggests that three considerations will be central to the Soviet Union in determining which policy it pursues: (1) the possibility of gaining new concessions from the United States through the continued pursuit of its present policy course; (2) the degree of continued Atlantic Alliance unity over defense and arms control policies; and (3) the electoral prospects of anti-nuclear opposition parties in Western Europe in the late 1980s. In any case, the Soviet Union will not abandon its fundamental objectives in Europe.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
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.