Soviet Central Decisionmaking and Economic Growth

A Summing Up

by Abraham S. Becker

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This report summarizes important characteristics of Soviet economic decisionmaking, examines Soviet prospects for economic growth under Gorbachev, and draws some policy implications for the United States. The author suggests that military development pressure is the most reliable U.S. bargaining tool, but cautions that its validity depends on continuation of Soviet economic stringencies and a Soviet belief that the U.S. threat can be rendered manageable. Therefore, U.S. military pressure should be balanced by a readiness to define conditions of strategic parity and to reach workable agreements translating such criteria into reality.

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