THE cataclysmic defeat of the Soviet-backed Arab coalition-primarily the United Arab Republic, Jordan and Syria-in the third Arab-Israeli war has highlighted the basic dilemmas that confront Soviet policy-makers in their unremitting efforts to win friends and enlist allies within the "Third World" of the underdeveloped nations. It has raised to the nth degree the question of Soviet goals and Soviet means. Behind Mr. Gromyko's quick political footwork, which has been designed to rescue Russia's Arab allies from the consequences of their rash challenge and at the same time to overcome the serious blow suffered by Soviet prestige, the Kremlin and its advisers are undoubtedly engaged in an "agonizing reappraisal" of aims, strategy and tactics. The outcome of that review will have momentous consequences for the Third World, for the Soviet role in world politics and for Western and particularly American policy.

One major dilemma has dogged Soviet political strategists ever since the founding of the régime fifty years ago. That is the question whether Soviet energies and resources should be devoted to promoting the establishment of communist and supposedly obedient régimes abroad-in other words, to the advancement of world revolution-or whether Soviet purposes can be served as well or better through backing nationalist, anti-imperialist but non- communist parties and governments. Historically speaking, Lenin chose as early as 1920 to embrace the nationalist horn of the dilemma. Against the urgings of M. N. Roy, a brilliant Indian Communist, Lenin, at the Second Congress of the Comintern, urged that the nascent communist parties and the Soviet Union should lend their support to "bourgeois nationalists," for example, to the Congress Party in India and the Kemalists in Turkey, in order to win allies for Russia and break the "imperialist encirclement" of the new Soviet state. They should do so, he said, even if it meant jettisoning communist parties and accepting the risk that the new nationalist régimes, once in the saddle, might turn anti-communist at home and anti-Soviet in their policies abroad. In the long view, Lenin argued, the forced retreat of "imperialism" under the blows of nationalism would hasten the eventual downfall of capitalism. In the meantime the weakening of the imperialists through the alliance between Soviet Russia and the nationalists would enhance Soviet security and Moscow's prestige.

A similar debate over this same dilemma has been waged intermittently within the Kremlin since 1952. Stalin's death in March 1953 led to sharp debates over the entire gamut of basic policies, both domestic and international. Even before Khrushchev had eliminated the "anti-Party group" of Molotov, Malenkov, Kaganovich and others in the leadership crisis of June 1956, he and his supporters had forced through a drastic reorientation of Soviet foreign policy. Over strong objections, Khrushchev pushed through the first of several reconciliations with Tito's dissident communist régime, completed the state treaty which relieved Austria of occupation by foreign troops and embarked on the first experiment in summitry at Geneva in 1955. In the same "new broom" approach, Khrushchev, with the now- forgotten Marshal Bulganin at his side, launched the first of his worldwide travels; his first visits were to India, Burma and Indonesia. As he flew from capital to capital, Khrushchev scattered lavish promises of economic, political and military assistance, and gathered the plaudits of millions of citizens of the Third World.

What have been the gains, apart from the applause, for the new Soviet policy? The first, the easiest, was to promote a new image of the Soviet Union as the friend of the recently or still-colonial nations, a newfound friend and Maecenas able and eager to help them achieve the full dignity of statehood and development. But, for the Kremlin, this was not enough. The new and favorable view of Russia, together with the prestige of its having become one of the two most powerful states in terms of industrial and military might, would, Khrushchev assumed, swiftly let loose a powerful wave of pro-Soviet and communist enthusiasm. Soon, so Khrushchev asserted, the Third World would form an unshakable alliance with the communist bloc. This, in turn, would isolate the "imperialist bloc" and deprive it of markets, investments and sources of cheap raw materials.

To facilitate this supposedly rapid evolution, the Kremlin also softened the rigidity of Stalinist doctrine. It now proclaimed that there could be many paths to communism. In some countries, it might even come to power through parliamentary elections and without a bloody civil war; in others, the traditional recipe of the armed conquest of power would still remain the correct strategy. In some countries, the communists would share power with other parties; elsewhere they would establish monolithic rule, dictatorship. The new flexibility of strategy was codified at the international conference of communist parties in 1957.


Nowhere, even in Cuba, did the political recipe work out as Moscow predicted. Numerous ambitious nationalist régimes eagerly accepted Soviet assistance, but they also sought aid from Western Europe and the United States and from international institutions. Many of them, because of national prestige considerations or out of rivalry with their neighbors, accepted large amounts of surplus Soviet military equipment. But they showed no eagerness to ally themselves with the Soviet Union. India was glad to have the help of Soviet credits and engineers in enlarging its steel production. Egypt embarked on the great and indispensable task of constructing the Aswan Dam complex. The National Liberation Front in Algeria received modest but useful stores of military supplies through Jugoslav channels. The gains for Soviet prestige were substantial but they were nowhere decisive. Clearly, the countries of the Third World were impressed but not bowled over by the new Soviet approach of largesse and wooing.

The one great success-the Castro revolution in Cuba-was a windfall, an exception to the communist formula of 1957, and at times an embarrassment. A community of interests was quickly found between Castro and Moscow. To Castro, "liberation" of Cuba meant throwing off the only outside domination that mattered, that of the United States. To achieve this, he believed he needed the backing of a powerful outside state, and only the Soviet Union could provide this countervailing weight. Once Castro had burnt his bridges behind him, and had rejected all possibilities of a compromise settlement with the United States, he had nowhere to turn except Moscow.

For the Kremlin, the Cuban revolution was at first a great ideological and emotional shot-in-the-arm. Here was a poor and weak Latin American country, which had been within the United States sphere of economic, political and strategic domination for sixty years. Now, suddenly, it had stood up to its powerful neighbor and had declared its allegiance to Marxist-Leninist ideology. Even if the long-established Communist Party in Cuba had been slow to shift its support from Batista to Castro, even if Moscow had known little about Castro and done less to promote his accession to power, this unexpected victory, which had been won in the backyard of the United States, seemed the harbinger of a large-scale, rapid and spontaneous movement of many underdeveloped nations into the fold of communism. The by- now somewhat stale predictions of the spread of communism suddenly gained a new savor among the faithful of many countries.

Out of the Cuban windfall Moscow's ideologues promptly elaborated a new concept: "national democracy." Henceforth national democracies, following Cuba's anti-imperialist and pro-Soviet example, would, they predicted, sprout in many parts of the globe. National democracy was defined as an intermediate stage in which an oppressed people has broken loose from "imperialist oppression" and has been taken under the wing of the communist bloc; domestically, however, it is engaged in carrying through "bourgeois" reforms and has not yet embarked on the "building of socialism." Stated in other terms, a national democracy is a state that has achieved the status of a junior associate of the Soviet bloc; only after it has entered the stage of "socialist construction" will it achieve full membership in the "commonwealth of socialist nations." Between 1960 and 1963, Soviet propaganda gave full play to the Cuban model and to national democracy. Despite this political effort, the new Soviet recipe proved to have little or no applicability.

Several factors combined to shorten the life span of the slogan of national democracy. For one thing, Castro rejected this junior status out of hand. He insisted, on the contrary, that he had always been a "Marxist" and that Cuba was already building socialism. In a rather ludicrous byplay, which lasted almost two years, Moscow kept on stressing that Cuba was still, and would continue for an undefined time, in the pre-socialist stage of national democracy. In this stage Moscow's commitments to the strategic support and economic reconstruction of Cuba were presumably less binding and less extensive. However, after the Bay of Pigs crisis of 1961 had made clear Washington's reluctance to apply direct military force to overthrow the Castro régime, Moscow finally gave in to Castro's claims and officially recognized Cuba's status as a country that was building socialism and had therefore advanced beyond the status of a national democracy.

During 1963 and 1964 the central emphasis in Soviet policy and propaganda shifted to a new slogan: "revolutionary democracy." This new title was now bestowed on radical but non-communist nationalist régimes. Unlike Castro, they laid no claim to building socialism in the Soviet sense of the term, and, as in Egypt and Algeria, they were often ruthless in suppressing local communist parties. On the other hand, their sharp rejection of "imperialism" and their suspicion of the West often led them to seek Soviet political support and to hew to the Soviet line in foreign policy.

The revolutionary democracy label was applied first to several one-party but non-communist régimes in Africa, primarily to Guinea, Ghana (under Kwame Nkrumah) and Mali. Later the same label was bestowed upon the United Arab Republic, Algeria and Congo (Brazzaville). Significantly, this token of approval was withdrawn from Algeria after the overthrow and disappearance of Ben Bella; as the Boumedienne régime has reverted more clearly to a pro-Soviet stance, it has again received the accolade.

What, in the Kremlin's eyes, is a revolutionary democracy? First, the term means that the régime in question is leading its country along the "non- capitalist path" of development, bringing more and more of the economy under state control, expelling many but not all Western business interests, building up the state sector within the economy, and thus creating a large new vested interest in a state-run and state-owned economy. Second, it means that the Soviet leaders are willing to place large bets, in the form of political backing, military supplies and economic development aid, on the ability of these countries to play a dominant role in their respective regions of the world. The Kremlin believes that their power and influence will be brought to bear in ways that will diminish Western and American freedom of action and that their aims will generally run parallel with Soviet interests.

In the third place, Soviet policy assumes that, in pursuing their own interests at home and abroad, the more radical régimes will gradually adopt a more and more "Marxist" content, even though they often begin by suppressing the local communist parties, with Moscow's tacit or open approval. This is not an easy gambit for Moscow to pursue. Moscow had to exert great pressure to persuade the communists in Egypt and Algeria to give up their separate existences and their claims to inherit power in their countries. But this was necessary in order for Moscow to solidify its political alliances with the ruling one-party systems in the United Arab Republic and Algeria.

This scuttling of communist parties was apparently not easy to explain in Moscow, and in May 1964, after embracing President Nasser repeatedly during his state visit to Cairo, Khrushchev took care to inform his Moscow audience that most of the communists had been released from Egyptian prisons. Nevertheless, by publicly repudiating the distinctive role of communist parties within countries that are ruled by friendly one-party régimes, the Kremlin could hope to make it easier for former communists and crypto-communists to enter the ruling parties and thus to expand the influence of communist ideas within the governing apparatus, especially in the fields of party education and public indoctrination.

Despite the absence of success stories, Moscow has continued to act on the assumption that the "subjective" obstacles to the spread of communism- nationalist values and reformist aims of the single-party régimes-will eventually be eroded by "objective" factors, such as their growing dependence on Soviet backing, the cutting back of competing Western influences, and the need to compensate for economic difficulties by applying ever-greater doses of state monopoly over economic, cultural, educational and other aspects of life. The Kremlin believes that in the long run the leaders of one-party anti-imperialist régimes will end up by "building socialism," whether that was their original intention or not. The logic of having committed their régimes to the "non-capitalist" path will, Moscow says, eventually lead them to the building of socialism along the general lines of the Soviet pattern.


The singleness of purpose with which the Kremlin formulates its policy toward the Third World has been questioned from within the Soviet Union and challenged from without by other communist régimes. The questioning and the challenges take many forms. The muted questionings from within relate more to methods and tactics than to ultimate goals. The challenges from without attack the basic assumptions of Soviet policy.

One type of questioning touches upon basic issues of the goal of economic development and the effectiveness of economic assistance, the same issues that perplex and confuse policy-makers in the West. Just what interests of the donor countries are served by large-scale transfers of equipment and advice to the developing countries? Can a few aid dollars, or aid rubles, per capita make all that difference? How much aid can the underdeveloped economies use rationally?

These questions, similar to those often asked in the West, are posed in cautious form in Soviet economic writings. Some Soviet analysts have urged that aid programs should give a higher priority to the raising of foodstuffs, so that the developing countries, with their almost completely agricultural economies, will at least be able to feed their own people without spending scarce foreign exchange to pay for imported food. Others have urged a careful study of the potential for import-replacing manufactures of simple types, primarily for consumption, rather than concentrating on large-scale prestige enterprises that may require large and continuing imports in order to operate even at a high cost. Some commentators have suggested that it is premature and unwise for underdeveloped countries to nationalize Western investments; if respected by the host government, these enterprises earn valuable foreign exchange and contribute in many ways to the training of skilled workers and technicians. Some commentators go so far as to imply that hasty nationalization may cut off a developing country from both private investment and public aid from the West. They go on to imply clearly that the Soviet Union is not in any position now to substitute its own aid for Western aid in more than a few countries.

A second field of query and doubt relates to the question of repayment of Soviet credits. Even with the low official interest rates and lenient terms for repayment, the time has come when the debtor countries are supposed to begin repayment of the Soviet credits, granted in substantial amounts since 1955. The dimensions of the problem naturally vary from debtor to debtor. In Moscow's relations with India, with its more sophisticated experience in managing the economy, the problem of gradual repayment in goods that will be useful to the Soviet economy can be coped with. In the case of the catastrophically mismanaged economy of Indonesia, however, prospects of any return are almost nil. It is also difficult to see how Egypt and Syria can make more than a partial repayment, and then only with many postponements, for the large credits they have received. Conversations with Soviet citizens suggest that many of them are aware of the substantial drain of real resources and resent the relatively poor prospects of the Soviet consumer's receiving tangible benefits in return.

To offset this widespread though politically ineffective dissatisfaction with the burden of foreign aid, the Soviet press has recently taken to stressing the concrete and direct returns that are to benefit the Soviet consumer. For example, in announcing plans for the Soviet building of a new jam factory in Guinea, the press has placed strong emphasis on the provision that 80 percent of the output will be delivered to the Soviet Union until such time as the Soviet credits have been repaid in full. This is clearly a much higher rate of return than a capitalist entrepreneur would expect to receive. The building of a pipeline from northern Afghanistan to new industrial centers in Soviet Central Asia is, the public was informed with care, to be compensated by large-scale deliveries of natural gas, in agreed proportions of the total extracted, until the Soviet contribution has been completely repaid.

A third and more sophisticated line of questioning concerns the strategy of Soviet development aid. It has, for example, been pointed out in the Soviet specialized press that Soviet aid to the public sector of India's steel industry results in the production and sale of steel at a subsidized price. However, most of the fabricating plants which benefit from both Indian and Soviet state subsidies on the steel they use are privately owned. Thus, Soviet contributions to India's economy, squeezed out of a still-modest Soviet standard of living, are indirectly promoting the expansion of the private sector of the Indian economy.

Arguing along a different line, some Soviet commentators have suggested that it is unwise for a developing country to nationalize foreign or local enterprises prematurely. If the local government is then unable to operate the nationalized firms efficiently, its hasty action may actually discredit the ideal of socialism by identifying inefficiency with public ownership and good management with private ownership. In any case, these economic realists point out, both the nationalizing of existing plants and the planning of new enterprises must be based upon careful preliminary studies of the availability of raw materials and markets, of the cost of production, of probable contributions to the country's foreign-exchange balance and of the requirements of sound and profitable management, rather than on a hasty or emotional decision to plunge down the road of nationalization regardless of the cost.

A fourth and even more indirect set of questions has to do with the problem of committing Soviet prestige to the support of individual leaders in developing countries. Much of this criticism and doubt can be sensed rather than pinpointed. The attentive Soviet citizen was well informed about the great attention lavished on Kwame Nkrumah during his heyday. He is equally well aware today, if only from frequent attacks on "imperialist conspiracies," of the fact of Nkrumah's downfall and exile. When the Soviet press denounces the "calumnies" of the post-Nkrumah government about Moscow's participation in subversive activities in Ghana, the thoughtful Soviet reader sometimes wonders if "some of our fellows" may have not been tarred a bit with this not-unfamiliar brush.

When Ben Bella was overthrown in Algeria and then disappeared without a trace from the public scene, Soviet citizens could not immediately forget how he had recently been fêted in Moscow, embraced, decorated with the highest Party medal and dubbed "comrade." Sukarno, too, towered high on the Soviet horizon, as a magnetic leader who fully understood the damnable vices of imperialism and the unlimited virtues of socialism. Even though Soviet propaganda can write off the collapse of the Communist Party of Indonesia as one more blot on the Chinese Communist scutcheon, this is small solace for the decimation of the Indonesian party, Sukarno's eclipse and the dropping down the drain of some $2 billion of Soviet economic and military assistance. Indeed, the more thoughtful Soviet reader may conclude that putting large political bets on this or that individual political leader in the Third World offers as many uncertainties to Soviet as it does to Western policy!

Finally, there is the muted questioning of whether and how all these Soviet efforts in the Third World add up to make a policy. In what respects has Soviet policy made significant gains? Or to what extent has it merely enlarged its commitments without enhancing its advantages? The early and optimistic Soviet expectation of rapidly spreading gains has come up against the problem of hopes that are deferred while commitments continue and mount. The political results of foreign aid have proven to be long-term and slow, complex and unpredictable. Yet the economic commitments have their own momentum, and the political and strategic commitments are laden with risks. The attempt to gain strategic advantage from the allegiance of Castro's Cuba led to the first nuclear confrontation in history, to a serious blow to Soviet prestige, and, in part, to the removal of Khrushchev. Instead of shattering the unity and stability of the Western hemisphere, Castro's régime is hard-pressed today, even with substantial and continuing aid from the Soviet Union and other communist countries, to meet the basic needs of its own people, and it will have to rely on large- scale Soviet and other subsidies for at least ten more years. In the meantime Soviet political strategy elsewhere in Latin America is complicated and embarrassed by Castro's insistence on playing a freewheeling role as the leader of revolutionary insurgency throughout the continent.

Soviet policy has resulted in a similar escalation of costs and risks in the Arab world. It is not clear whether the Soviet leaders encouraged the June 1967 showdown between Israel and its Arab neighbors, or whether they simply underwrote an independent decision by Nasser to whip a deep-set but latent conflict into a military confrontation. True, despite the Arab defeat, which was also a defeat for Soviet policy, the Kremlin has achieved its long-range goal of making itself the sole great-power patron of Arab nationalism (despite President Charles de Gaulle's attempt to play the role of brilliant second) and in forcing the United States, against its own intention and hope, into the position of the protector of Israel. The Soviet leaders may regard this gain as a sufficient long-range justification of their one-sided policy, which stands in sharp contrast to Kosygin's statesmanlike mediation of the Indian-Pakistani conflict only a few months before. Yet their actions in the Middle East have provided one more example of the dangers and costs that may beset a great power when it places its own prestige almost without reserve at the service of a weak and unstable ally.

If the Arab fiasco of June 1967 is, in Soviet eyes, the logical consequence of the Kremlin's strategy for the Middle East, then perhaps its policy- makers will decide, upon further reflection, that a long period of peace and internal growth will serve the long-range interests of the Arab peoples better than a new outburst of violence which, even if it brought success locally within the Middle East, would then lead very promptly to a new and even more dangerous confrontation between the superpowers.


The questioning, at home, of Soviet policies and performance in the Third World has been complicated by the emergence and spread of varied and dissident brands of communism, each with its own version of the "correct" policy which should be followed toward the developing countries. Of these brands, the simplest and most straightforward is Tito's. In his view, communism in a national form is bound, in the end, to triumph everywhere; that triumph can be encouraged by example and friendly aid, but cannot be imposed by any outside force. It has been natural for Tito to be lionized in the Third World, for he is the formidable personification of a régime that stood up to, and withstood successfully, two very powerful systems, Nazi and Stalinist. His example has shown that a strong régime in a weak country can accept extensive aid from "imperialism," in its reformed or repentant stage, without becoming subject to its dictates. Since Tito recommends communism, but does nothing to impose it on others, it has been easy for him to be a trusted friend to both Nehru and Nasser.

Yet, Tito's specific influence has declined over the past ten years. As the Soviet Union, with its tremendously greater economic resources and strategic power, has adopted a large part of the Jugoslav recipe for its dealings, in most respects, with the countries of the Third World, Tito's example and advice have become less important. There is something nostalgic and rather empty in his recent attempts to continue his meetings with Third World leaders, meetings at which no decisions are taken. Tito's growing tendency to come down more and more often on the side of Soviet policy is in part a reflection of his declining value both to the Kremlin and to leaders in the Third World. Having so often certified the generally honorable intentions of the Soviet leadership, Tito is no longer needed to facilitate the Kremlin's relations with the developing countries. Still, the Tito policy toward the Third World is distinct in some latent and essential respects from Soviet policy. And to that extent it remains a separate variable in the catalogue of communist policies.

The Tito policy of waiting for History to bring about communist revolution in each state is basically the line followed by communist parties in the West, and also by the Rumanian party. If the communist idea is sound-and of course they must believe that it is-then it will make its way in "Marx's good time." In the meantime it is more important to achieve acceptability and even popularity at home by insisting on the primacy of the "national" and gradual path to communism. To be consistent with this "popular-front" strategy, the Western communist parties must also deny the reality or the possibility of communism's being subject to any single directing center. To assert and believe in their own independent power of decision, they must claim the same independence for the emerging political forces in the Third World. Since many of the lines of propaganda influence run through London and Paris to the Third World, the influence of the communist parties in the West, even though it runs generally parallel to Moscow's, is not without some separate impact of its own in the developing countries.

In contrast to the gradualism and moderation of the "revisionists" and the waverings of the Soviet line between caution and sudden bursts of activist ambition, the Maoists in Peking and elsewhere regard the Third World as the main arena of their challenge to both imperialism and revisionism. As the confusions and uncertainties of the power struggle have multiplied within China, especially since mid-1966, the Maoist leaders have been calling ever more stridently for the immediate kindling of "wars of national liberation" in all parts of the world. By urging and demanding "continuous revolution" everywhere, they mark themselves off from the more cautious Soviet leadership, hemmed in as it is by the demands of its own people for peace abroad and greater plenty at home, and by the awesome consequences of any uncontrolled bipolar confrontation.

There is much that is put on for show in Peking's convulsive attacks on the Soviet leadership, as in the stylized posturing of Chinese opera. Mao (or those who use his name) does not expect to take over Soviet territory, nor does he expect that the Soviet people will heed his calls to overthrow their rulers. Communist China cannot expect to be a major nuclear power for a good many years. While the Maoists in Peking call for armed struggle within India, the supposedly pro-Chinese Communist Party has joined with moderates and rightists to form coalition governments in several Indian states.

Where the Chinese Communists are in deadly earnest is in their struggle to claim the future hegemony of violent revolution. The basic issue of the conflict between Moscow and Peking is over the future leadership of the social revolutions which, as they both read history, are bound to be the determining force in the last third of the twentieth century. Moscow claims this leadership by virtue of its growing economic and strategic strength. Making a virtue out of China's distinctive "road to communism," Peking demands that Moscow step aside and let the Maoists capture their hegemony over the revolutionary forces in all of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Both communist centers discount, prematurely and unwisely, the growing sense of national destiny in the developing countries of the Third World, as well as the great strength and political resources of Western Europe, Japan and North America.

The Soviet leaders are genuinely alarmed about potential Chinese Communist inroads among the peoples of Southeast Asia and East Africa. Perhaps they understand better than the West the explosive character of expectations that have been aroused by the emergence of many new nations from their colonial slumber and the relatively little progress that can be achieved by them in a decade or two. Disorder and chaos have their own attraction for the impatient and quickly disillusioned peoples in the Third World, and Bakunin's motto, "To destroy is to create," may be more attractive than Lenin's stern advice, "We must learn to work!"

The Castro recipe for violent revolution, for the creation of new "Sierra Maestras" throughout Latin America, was first launched as a variant of the Peking strategy. By now it has taken on an impetus of its own, as a challenge to both Peking and Moscow. Castro's stomach may belong to Moscow, but his political ambitions are his own. The meeting of the Castroite Organization of Latin American Solidarity, held at Havana in August 1967, showed once again that the great power which pays the piper is not necessarily able to call the tune. The clash between Moscow's preference for an orderly and gradualist path and Castro's call, like Danton's for "De l'audace, toujours de l'audace!" shows more and more signs of promoting internecine warfare between rival communist groups within Latin America as well as cutting across Moscow's efforts to make the Latin American communist parties respectable members of anti-United States popular-front coalitions, with some prospects of coming to power in the not-too-distant future. Truly the Soviet policy-makers who embarked in 1955 on the new activist policy toward the Third World could hardly have imagined that they were embarking on a journey into the maelstrom of nationalist-Titoist, Maoist and Castroite ambitions. Beside these crosscurrents of communist conflicts, Western policy must sometimes seem staid and comfortingly predictable.


As the Western industrial nations watch in fascination the gyrations of Soviet and other communist policies in the underdeveloped regions of the world, they seem too often inclined to revert to a spectator role and to forget that they and their power in the world are the ultimate target of communist hopes and actions, regardless of intra-communist conflicts over the best way to "do in" the "imperialists." Indeed, the advanced countries of Western Europe and North America, as well as Japan, show many signs of cutting back their efforts to aid the countries of the Third World in what is bound to be a long, tortuous and slow process of modernization. Perhaps they, too, like Khrushchev, have let themselves be disillusioned too quickly by the failure to achieve dramatic progress in the past decade.

The French Government, which has previously been a generous supporter of the ambitions of its former colonies, is slackening its support at an alarming pace. Belgium seems more and more inclined to write off its interests in the Congo, and Britain is cutting back its aid programs. Each year the U.S. Congress imposes ever more severe restraints on American contributions to aid. There is, unfortunately, no political pressure group that can speak for the hundreds of millions of people who have achieved nationhood and are now looking for ways to clothe that new dignity in genuine substance.

If the remaining decades of the twentieth century are destined to be those in which the new nations achieve a firm place in the pattern of world politics, the peoples of the West, with their great political, economic and cultural resources, cannot afford to stand aside and leave a free field to the clashing rivalries of the communist power centers. The uncertainties and confusions that beset the conflicting centers of communist policy should, on the contrary, encourage the efforts of the Western nations to exert their great forces of example and support in the Third World more intelligently and more effectively than in the first decade of sometimes wasteful and painful learning.

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