The author, a specialist on Soviet foreign policy and on communist coups, pours cold water on the idea (apparently held by important officials in the U.N. and the State Department) that Moscow will pull out of Afghanistan in exchange for some kind of neutralization formula. Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan would involve a loss in Soviet prestige, might lead to trouble in Soviet Central Asia, and would sacrifice strategic advantages gained from moving closer to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. Despite vague promises to withdraw, the Soviets "give every indication that they plan to stay a long time." The author concludes by decrying the American public's lack of interest in the Afghan liberation struggle and by calling for a stronger U.S. position in the Gulf.
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