FROM KABUL TO MANAGUA: Superpower Politics in the Bush-Gorbachev Era by Fred Halliday

FROM KABUL TO MANAGUA: Superpower Politics in the Bush-Gorbachev Era

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The altering dimensions of the Cold War get a sensible workover from Halliday (International Affairs/London School of Economics). Halliday is particularly concerned with the Third World aspects of the Cold War, and argues that while in many respects the world has become multipolar, its fate is still, by and large, a matter for bipolar negotiations between the US and the USSR. The author suggests caution in assuming that capitalist-socialist rivalry is ending, to be replaced by a new era of reconciliation and compromise. For example, he finds cause for pessimism in the West's continued supplying of Afghan rebels even after the Soviet Union's unilateral decision to withdraw its forces. Halliday also finds that some apparently ""enlightened"" views actually work against liberal principles--the mutual agreements of nonintervention in Third World affairs, for instance, which, though liberal in origins, actually encourage indigenous repression, with dictators unafraid of Western or Soviet reprisals. Economic interdependence is also no panacea, the author states, for strategic interests will often triumph over economic benefits. Halliday concludes that Third World problems will go unabated despite US/USSR rivalry. Diplomatic accord results, he believes, ""not from an end to Soviet-US rivalry, but rather from a shift in the balance of strength between the two sides, and from the need by the USSR to make concessions in the Third World in order to concentrate its efforts on revitalization at home."" An insightful survey, highly analytic in scope.

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1989
Publisher: Pantheon