A discussion of the development and use of the Soviet political-military policy toward Western Europe in the postwar period under Stalin and in the Khrushchev era. Although Stalin's efforts to exploit divergencies within the West and reduce the Soviet Union's nuclear disadvantage only served to consolidate the NATO alliance, his foreign policy can be regarded in retrospect as a calculated risk of short-term losses in order to gain time in which to arouse dissension within the West while overcoming Soviet military and industrial deficiencies. Technological progress in Khrushchev's regime made the Soviet Union a superpower capable of competing with the United States, but in foreign policy the premier was unable to break the stalemate inherited from Stalin, given the new stability of Western Europe and the determined U.S. commitment to NATO. Khrushchev successively tested subtle diplomatic tactics, bold crisis maneuvers, and finally detente, but the result was a continuing standoff with the West, based on the tacit understanding that it was infeasible for one to achieve major political gains at the expense of the other. This study will be completed by a forthcoming analysis of the first four years of the Brezhnev-Kosygin regime. Ref. 483 pp.