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Charts the ups and downs of Soviet-US relations in the run-up to the Reykjavik summit (including the Daniloff affair), the arms control proposals discussed there, and the political fall-out. SDI is seen as central to President Reagan's policy, contrary to the views of his officials. The events of the latter half of 1986 prove that the strategic relationship between the superpowers is a tenuous one, but that it is not founded on the classic principles of international relations because of the nuclear question. Common security must be the target for the future. Sets out the limits for US-Soviet relationship -- limits to how good, and how bad, it can be.
Gorbachev is presenting a new picture of his country to both his own people and the West, and has "abandoned the rhetorical style on which he himself and all his countrymen were reared". But his prospects for re-vitalizing the Soviet economy are poor. American policy-makers and public alike remain trapped by a Cold War image of the USSR.
Reviews the status of Soviet Jews under present Soviet policy. The USA should link the emigration of Soviet Jews to the reduction of US-Soviet trade barriers.
Examines the relationship between the African National Congress (ANC) and the Communist Party of South Africa, and considers the extent of Soviet influence over the liberation movement. Argues that the ANC is not dominated by Communists, but that "non-Communist African leaders work with Communists for their common end of opposing white domination". Sees dangers for US foreign policy in looking at the South African problem through ideological blinkers
The growing economic disputes between the USA and Japan could develop into a serious political conflict. The 'Japan problem' is rooted in two fictions (1) that the Japanese state has central organs of government which bear ultimate responsibility for economic and political decision-making, whereas the Japanese system is a collection of different hierarchies without a centre (2) that Japan has a free-market capitalist economy, whereas it is actually a 'capitalist development state', characterized by a partnership between central bureaucrats and entrepreneurs. Fixed trade commitments could be part of the solution.
Describes the course of events leading up to and following the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Existing nuclear safeguards should be strengthened and international inspection increased.
US policy towards Libya has confused the aim of stopping Libyan-inspired terrorism with that of overthrowing Gaddafi, and is based on a false picture of the domestic situation in Libya. Describes the economic status of Libya and its political organization. The regime should be left to its own 'self-destruction'.
The USA appears to be indifferent to the Gulf war, despite the implications of an Iranian victory. Arab leaders are concerned about the apparent 'tilt' in US policy away from Iraq, and are confused by McFarlane's dealings with the Khomeini regime. A more definite US policy is needed.
Uses the example of Nicaragua to argue for selective containment of Soviet expansion and influence under the 'Reagan doctrine'. The Contras should be supported.