MANAGING MOSCOW: Guns or Goods? by Harry Rositzke


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A 25-year CIA stint as a Soviet operations specialist might give Rositzke's otherwise conventional thoughts about US-Soviet relations some stature, but not much. His wordy, repetitive argument is that the Soviets do not pose a significant military threat to us; therefore, we should abandon our excessively militaristic approach to Soviet containment. Our spasms of anticommunist hysteria, including the current one, have no basis in political reality, says Rositzke; and they often mirror Moscow's view of the US as a ubiquitous aggressor and threat to Soviet stability. (Writing before Andropov's death, Rositzke praises the former KGB chief for a uniquely realistic view, within the Kremlin, of the US.) The real challenge is economic and political, and centers on the Third World; and there we have squandered the advantages of our superior economic know-how in pursuing failed policies of military support, Getting the upper hand by taking the lead in attacking hunger sounds good, but Rositzke displays no grasp of either developmental economics--he links the Shah's collapse to US military aid, not US-aided crash-economic modernization--or the politics of foreign aid, where a preference for military spending prevails. Evidence of a salutary shift in attitude--but otherwise watered-down George Kennan (The Nuclear Delusion, 1982).

Pub Date: April 16th, 1984
Publisher: Morrow