Breslauer.1994 - lit) I . How: Do You Sell a Concessionary....

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Unformatted text preview: lit) I . How: Do You Sell a Concessionary. Foreign Policy? ' : -' George W Breslauerl ' . e . The articles in this issue of POSLSO‘Dltl Affairs by Hannes Adomeit and Neil MacFarlane, and the comments by Alexander Dallin and Robert Legvold, raise fascinating questions about the intellectual and political - ---.requisite's of a'pastsmperiat"foreignpotiry- Ado'meit'sseminal' research- addresses the ways in which Gorbachev's thinking developed specifically about the German problem; it also alerts us to several institutional factors that helped him control the decisionmaking process in 1969‘ Dallin emphasizes Gorbachev's .broader-commitment-to non‘intervention that, he argues, predetermined his acquiescence in the final collapse of Soviet domination of East Europe. MacFarlane contrasts Gorbachev‘s "liberal internationalism" with Yel‘tsin's eventual turn, in 1993—94, to an allegedly more realistic "state centrism” that insists upon the defense of "Russian national interests” in whatever cooperative processes develop between East and West. The greater realism, according to MacFarlane, is both intellectual and political: not only do states need to define their naticmal interests; leaders also need to legitimize their policies as likely to advance the "national interest." Yel'tsin has done this by building a very broad centrist coalition on behalf of statevcentrism. Legvold agrees that such concepts accurately describe the turn taken by Russian foreign policy since _ late 1992, but disagrees sharply with MacFarlane’s evaluation of such a policy as intellectually and politically more realistic than the idealistic, if not utopian, policies of Gorbachev. I would like to enter this debate by focusing principally on the political challenge of legitimizing foreign policy in a collapsing great power. How did Gorbachev "sell" to politically powerful audiences within the establish- ._ment a foreign policy that was extraordinarily concessionary toward the _ West? What vulnerabilities ensued that made it increasingly difficult to _ keep selling such a policy? What does this suggest about the limits of the politically possible as Yel’tsin forges a foreign policy for Russia? My conclusion is that Gorbachev’s "new thinking” constituted a brilliant . defense of his policies but that a backlash was eventually predictable. What we witnessed in 1993-94 was the consequence of that backlash. What we ' ’Pmltlwt' Ind Chit. Department of Political Science, University of Calilornia at Berkeley. 277’ .f’osf-Snvlrt Affairs, 1994, to. 3. pp. arr—290. Copyright 0 1994 by V. H. Winston 8: Son, Inc. All rights reserved wk: 275 GEORGE W BRESLAUER are witnessing in late summer 1994 is a correction that seeks to temper the backlash and sell a "state—centric” foreign policy that is more cooperative than it appeared to be earlier in 1994. GORBACHEV'S NEW THINKING Among the innovations for which Mikhail Gorbachev will be remem» bered were the momentous changes he introduced into Soviet foreign policy. The contents of, and rationale for, those changes have been summaw rized at length by many observers (Blacker, 1993; Dallin, 1988,- Kuballcova and Cruickshank, 1989; Light, 1988; Lynch, 1989), and deeper analyses have been, undertaken of the institutional and attitudinal sources of specific changes (Mendelson, 1993; Checkel, 1993; Bresiauer, 1991). The policies were highly controversial, entailing unilateral,-often unrecipro— cated, concessions to the West on the primary issues of contention between the US and the USSR. in retrospect, it is breathtaking to review \- the scape of the changes Gorbachev introduced into Soviet foreign policy in the short period, 1987wi990 (Haslam, 1989; Clemens, i990,- Breslauer, 1991; Legvold, 1991,- Golan, 1992; Blacker, 1993). in those four years, he dropped almost all previous Soviet negotiating positions with respect to arms control (strategic—nuclear; intermediate-nuclear; chemical and con» ventional), regional conflicts in the Third World, Afghanistan, human rights, international organizations and Eastern Europe. The extent of the concessions far exceeded what any Western observer—or, for that matter, Gorbachev himself—assumed to be possible for a Soviet leader to give away. Hence, their controversiality is a given. How, despite this, Gorbachev managed to sustain so concessionary a policy is the more intriguing and mysterious question to address. While i will not pretend to have definitive answers, i will offer an interpretation that proceeds in part deductively from my conceptions of the nature of Soviet elite politics2 and in part from an analysis of Gorbachev's behavior. How Did He Get Away With Iii: Contending Explanations Clearly, such extraordinary client's 're'q'usit"eiiraaidiaaty explanations;- H Let me begin by surveying a number ofexplanations that i would immedi— ately dismiss as simple»minded. First, we can disregard'the notion that the Soviet leadership, whether defined narrowly (the Politburo) or broadly (the Central Committee andior Congress of Peeple‘s Deputies), was overwhelmingly in favor of responding to Western pressures by cutting losses and abandoning hard—won positions. Not only does this defy creduiity on the face of it, but it defies the evidence of dissent from Gorbachev’s policies within the higher reaches of the party, military, police, military—industrial, journalistic and other hierarchies. "The framework l employ has been elaborated in Breslauer (£982) and. more recently with application to foreign affairs, in Breslauer (1991i. HOW DO YOU SELL A CONCESSIDNARY FOREIGN POLICY? 279 Second, we can reject the notion that Gorbachev was so powerful as simply to dictate these changes without fear of defiance. Put differently, we can reiect the notion that, whatever the private feelings of members of the Politburo and Central Committee, fear of political retaliation and norms of political deference prevented the expression of dissent or the organization of opposition. To be sure, Gorbachev was more than just a broker among interests; his power as General Secretary was real. But it was not absolute. He still had to supplement raw power with both material payoffs and normative persuasion in order to get his way. - Third, we can dismiss the explanation that Soviet leaders simply had no choice but to respond as they did, given their desperate straits at home and abroad, and given the US determination and ability to stay its course under Ronald Reagan. This is not only belied by the controversiality of Gor~ bachev’s policies .withintheCentral Committee. it isalso discredited by - our asking a counterefactual. Had Andropov or Chernenko (or both) lived several years longer, would such a concessionary foreign policy have been adopted? Unlikely.“ Moscow had‘a variety of options in the mid- and late 19809: confrontation at“ the wear 'i’ntensified--recompe-t-itiorii""‘select'ive' . retrenchment and cutting of losses; temporizingiwatch and wait,- or less concessionary olive branches. That Gorbachev chose and pushed the path he did was neither a consensual product of "objective necessity" nor a___ _ objec— tive necessity." The process of choice and implementatiorrwas 'mo're' 4' dictatorial imposition of one man’s intellectual conclusions about ' political than that. Closer inspection of the sequencing of Corbachev's policies allows us to build a more complex explanation for his ability to sell a concessionary Foreign policy. The first thing to notice is that Gorbachev had been in power for about two years before the radical foreign policies started to appear. indeed, during 1985—86, Soviet policy toward Third World con— flicts, and in Afghanistan, was rsralriiary. Likewise, Soviet policy on arms control {nuclear and Conventional) continued 'Andropov's strategy of insisting upon a balanced compromise between the US and Soviet negow tiating positions. There was, during these years, no reversal of the rate of growth of the Soviet defense budget. And in Eastern Europe, Gorbachev . .made no: effort..-.to..-.indnce:- or .-.fo.r.ce .a -..lib.eralization;sof regime—society ' - relations. ' - There were, to be sure, signs that Gorbachev was preparing the ground for foreign policy reevaluations. A review of the Afghan commitment was Clearly under way (indeed, it had been initiated under Andropov), signaled and legitimized by Gorbachev's characterization of the war as "a bleeding wound" inhis speech to the 2?th Party Congress (Pravda, February 26, 1986). Other rhetorical indications of behind»the»scenes policy reviews were Gorbachev’s inclusion in selected speeches of the terms "new think— ing for the nuclear age” and the need for East-West conflict—resolution based on a “balance of interests.” These changes in rhetoric, along with others introduced during 1985~86, at minimum delegitimized the pre» vious ways of doing things, and implied that prior Soviet positions had been insufficiently flexible. \1 ~83,» -& "7230 ' csoaoswssssmura Then too, personnel changes were consist reevaluation, Andrey Gromyko's replacement as Foreign Minister by Eduard Shevardnadze was clearly a sign that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would undergo a widespread purge. The transfer of Anatoliy Dobrynin from his position as Soviet ambassador to Washington to head of the international Department of the Central Committee signaled an intention to make that organization less single—minded about its commit— -ment to the “anti—imperialist struggle” and more sensitive to the higher priority of rapprochement with the imperialists. ent with foreign policy But based on their? indiesisrt,aisnsait would. have..b-Eeil-difficult‘to : ass-furege'e‘thé’sédpe‘Of' the "changes that were to come. To be sure, they suggested a reduction in militancy sis-ri—vis the West. But this would hardly have been inconsistent with past Soviet adjustments to accumulating bottlenecks. Throughout Soviet history, "breathing spells" had been called .- for when the regimefeltoverextended abroad or distracted by problems at home. Throughout the post~8ta|in era, moreover, Soviet leaders had searched for ways to combine East-West collaboration to manage the nuclear relationship with "antidmperialist struggle" to advance the cause of socialism on a global scale. And in all previous periods of political succession, the General Secretary had sought to build a political machine by placing his clients or allies in key positions within the top—IeVel bureaucracy and using them to purge targeted institutions. ' in short, the combination of hardline policies, rhetorical innovations and personnel changes credibly suggested during 1985—86 that Gorbachev might well be searching for a new variation on an 'old theme: collaborative competition from a position of strength, or what others have called 5 "expansion and coexistence" (Ulam, 1974), “detente and conflict" (Simes, J 19W), and -"offcnsive detente" (Snyder, 1989), with a current, tactical emphasis en reducing overextension and __d_iminishing Western belligerence. ' ' ' - ' ' ' Those Western obsei‘vers who looked below the surface of elite politics, studying the evolving perspectives of Gorbachev's actual and wouldwbe advisers, had a sense, even before Gorbachev came to power, that some« thing more momentous was in the making (Hough, 1986; Malcolm, 1984; Valkenien 1983). As far as 1 know, nobody predicted in 1986 that Corn bachev would be willing and able to go as far as he eventually did. But the search for clues of deeper reevaluation was fruitful, for it uncovered a dimension of reality that was crucial to understanding how Gorbachev would make the shift later on. What it uncovered was a deep-seated and widespread loss of optimism about the potentialities of the Soviet system, both at home and abroad, along with a deep-seated and widespread ins; of self-confident: about the ability of the .elite to continue to justify its right to rule. it was this condition—both cognitive and emotional—that Cor» bachev was able to play upOn in selling the more radical policies of 1987~1990. new no you SELL A CQNCESSIGNARY rossrcn rotich 251 Old and New Thinking About lnternatib‘tial Relations This is the context within which Gorbachev’s "new political thinking’f_ was elaborated in published articles by journalists, academics, advisers, and members of the leadership. lndeed, this is the context within which Gorbachev us . e “new thinking” as iustification for a concessionary foreign policy. g-The new thinking amounted to a new theory of interna— tional relatio Me closer to liberal internationalism than to either power politics, isolationism or proletarianinternationalisrn.Ihepremises . - ' or the theory allowed 'odrhathév'to argue that his policies were not a sell— out but a salvation, that they amounted to concessions to rcalily, not concessions to the imperialists prr st. Given thecognitive and emotional condition of the elite, Gorbachev’s audiences were predisposed to enter— . tain theseexplanations-as, at least, plausible; The plausibility of his claims, '3 then, allowed Gorbachev to seize the initiative from rivals who argued that he was selling out the ideological heritage of the regime. . O The power of the new thinking asjustification can best be apprccaated by comparing it to the "old thinking." Bear in mind that the Brezhnevlte theory of international relations had been deployed to iustafy a non- concessionary foreign policy, one that sought to collaborate and compete simultaneously, and to do each from a position of relative strength vu—d-prs the imperialists. This was the meaning of the idea that "peaceful coexns- tence” was a form of class struggle. The collaborative urge under Brezhnev had been genuine, but it was not intended or allowed to supplant or compromise the commitment of the Soviet leadership to the anti» imperialist struggle." What Gorbachev sought to justify was a policy that decisively subordinated—even abandoned—the anti-imperialist struggle to the higher imperatives of great power collaboration. ' ' ‘ I Let us recall the basic tenets of the "old thinking" that justified combin— ing inter—bloc competition with collaborative management of thenuclear relationship. However much Soviet official doctrine had evolved since-the death of Stalin, it was still based on a two-camps (or two—blocsl'image of the international system, in which an ongoing struggle between Imperial- ist and anti—imperialist forces was shaping the future of International relations and was fosteringw-at some indeterminate point in thefuture— the “final crisis of capitalism." Clasa interests, though set Within. the existing state system, were still the driving force of international politics. Peaceful coexistence was a neceSSary concession to the realities‘ofthe nuclear age, but it sought to create a safe umbrellabnder which the competitive struggle could proceed, rather than to sacrifice class struggle to the urge for collaboration. Peaceful coexistence, then, was meant to make the world safe for the spread of socialist values. I - _ Allof which was consistent with the two primary normative commih ments that had been embedded in the Leninist~5talinist heritage-since Brest~Litovsk. The Bolshevik party had a historical responSIbihty but}: tr; maintain the power of the CPSU and to assist the eventual WE‘th 0d socialism over imperialism. in practice these desiderata often can Icte 001 232 GEORGE W. BRESLADER with each other. In the nuclear age, they led to a constant wariness of the escalatory potential inherent in competitive or confrontational initiatives. But, with t e possible excaption of Khrushchev in 1963-64, they never led to an abandonment of one or the other normative commitment. The commitment to anti-imperialist struggle was sustained, despite periodic setbacks and sobering experiences, by philosophical assumptions built into the ideological heritage. A Marxist—Leninist treated conflict and change as the normal conditions of International politics, indeed of history and matter more generally. Hence, setbacks and struggles were to be expected. But discouragement was prevented by the assumption that time is on the side of socialism, and that eventual victory is assured. This did not have to be demonstrated empirically. indeed, the philosophy of knowledge upon whichthe ideologywas based presumed. that, inanygiven era, only . the process of struggle itself would reveal the scope of attainable gains. This'reinforced the commitment to struggle, just as belief in the inev~ itability of eventual victory served to maintain morale. Once that belief was irretrievably lost, moralewor the stomach for sustained anti-imperi- alist struggle in the face of rising costs—plummeted as well. Gorbachev‘s new thinking was crafted in this context of lost belief and damaged self—confidence. lt substituted for the old precepts a very differ— ent perspective on international politics. In place of two-camp struggle based on class interests, Gorbachev touted the "interdependence" of the world cummunity and the transcendent threats to "all—human interests" posed by nuclear competition, the militarization of international relations, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Third World poverty and environmental hazards. Peaceful caexistence, his spokespersons averred, must no longer be viewed as a form of-class struggle. Rather, it is an end in itself, essential to averting threats to the survival of humankind inherent in unrestrained competition. It was therefore imperative that the great powers, and especially the superpowers, put an end to their military competition and collaborate on the resolution of transnational problems. The new thinking was especially critical of the use of military force as a means of dealing with threats to states. Since violence contains the greatest escalatory potential in interstate relations, and since global inter- dependence ensures that violent disruptions may reverberate throughout the international order, demilitarization of relations among states was a priority. From this it followed that great power relatibns could not be built upon mutual intimidation; rather, the goal was "mutual security," in which neither side attempted to base its own security on the other side's insecurity. An important, tactical component of the new thinking was the entreaty to “deny the imperialists their. 'enemy image.“ On this score, the new thinking proclaimed that a prerequisite for building a collaborative rela- tionship was helping to transform the politics of foreign policy decision- making in the West. it the hardliners remained ascendant in Western capitals, Soviet olive branches would not be reciprocated, and the prospect of great power collaboration would not be reaiized. Accordingly, Moscow’s 11» HOW DO YOU SELL A CONCESSIONARY FOREIGN POLICY? 7 283 historical responsibility was to make offers the West could not refuse in order to delegitimize the hardliners’ claim that the communist enemy could not be trusted. Thus, Soviet policies would assist the transformation of both public and elite opinion in Western countries, helping thereby to create the political basis‘ for the kind of sustained collaboration required to defuse threats to civilization. SELLING SALVATION OR SELLING OUT? In what ways could these doctrinal substitutions justify a concessionary foreign policy? How could they gain credibiiity among audiences beset by - self-doubt concerningtheir staying power at home and abroad? Perhaps most striking about the content and tone of the new thinking was its resonance with certain features of the Marxist-Leninist ideological heritage, which allowed romantic Leninists to relate to it. even if they were ambivalent about its content. Thus, as Kubalkova and Cruickshank (1989) have nicely demonstrated, the new thinking, like the Leninist heritage in Sov' ' ' 4 hi hl moralistic, missonary an as -n teous in presentin ' ' - " 5W p‘rFsente t eimageo a radiant future, ro ere bya prog - t- SSR which possessed special insight into historical necessity, and which was mobilizing global social forces to discredit militarist "old thinkers" in all countries. In this respect, the new thinking appealed as well to "Soviet patriots," who were primarily interested in Western acceptance of the USSR as a co—equal great power, and who were being promised a future in which their country would play a leading role in the promised transforma— tion of international relations. This perspective also fed nicely into traditional Soviet optimism, as well as Leninist ontol . If presented the newly defined radiant future as a pofenEl-That’fiiyent within the current international system, but a potential that can be realized through conscious action and determined consciousness-raising. in this respect, global interdependence was both a latent condition and a policy goal. At the same time, it presented that interdependence as an autonomously gr0wing trend within international relations, one that could be resisted only at growing cost and with potentially catastrophic consequences. All of which echoed precisely a key ontological premise of Marxism—Leninism: the inevitability of the desir- able, if only the conscious elites struggle to realize the potential latent within the current order. . Of course, the new thinking appealed as well to those whose highest yearning was for peace and harmony in world affairs, regardless of the cost to established Soviet positions, to nationalist pride, or to Leninist values of anti-imperialist struggle. Such audiences surely existed at both the mass and the elite levels within the USSR, though it is impossible to know exact proportions. These were both the people who had long since 184 - GEORGE W IRESLAUER HCW DO YOU Still. A CDNCESSIONARY FOREIGN POLICY? 285 shared such an orientation and the recent converts who had been scared 7 Another strength of the new thinking as an aft of salesmanship was that out of their wits by Reaganism and Star Wars. elements of it had already been legitimized in Soviet politics in earlier The idea of "robbing the imperialists of their enemy Image" was also an decades. The dangers of nuclear war, and the implicit “all-human" stake in ingenious update of a traditional Soviet pertgmctive on East-West competi- avoiding it, had been central to innovations that Khrushchev had intro- tion. Leninist and Stalinist foreign policy ha alwayslooked to influence or duced in the 19509 and 19605, and that had survived his overthrow more or ally with potentially progressive forces in Western societies against impe- rialist elites within those countries. After Stalin, this tendency continued, but was supplemented by a more differentiated image of Western elites, which led Khrushchev and Brezhnev at times to urge policies that would help the "rnoderates”or"bourgeois realists” in their policy struggles with the "madmen"(Zimmerman, 1965; Griffiths, 1972; Griffiths, 1934). Thus, Corbachev's strategy of helping to raise the consciousness of global masses about the need for transnational cooperation, and his strategy of undercutting the credibility of hardliners in policymaking circles, reso— nated with important tactical components of the Leninist heritage. in a practical sense, Gorbachev‘s depreciation of the utility, and his less intact. Likewise, notions of global interdependence had become more salient in official Soviet rhetoric both under Khrushchev and even before him, as these notions had typically been emphasized, albeit tactically, during traditional Soviet "breathing spells" in foreign policy. To be sure, Gorbachev was now elaborating these concepts to an unprecedented extent, and was drawing conclusions for Soviet global power that by far exceeded the conclusions of his predecessors. Yegor Ligachev, for example, was quite correct in 1988 to complain that the regime’s Leninist identity was threatened by the recent substitution of "all-human interests"er class interests as the top priority of Soviet foreign policy (Pravda, August 6, . , . 2 . B i l b cause the conce is w re familiar on s, and magnification of the dangers, of the military instrument in global affairs 1955 P l ut prec se y e p e e . . . . . . . . because they could be used to justify either a breathing spell or a more Prowl“! a ’l’mf'cahon "or undercuufng lb? Pounce] wlflght °‘.P‘."?"“f“' fundamental reevaluation, they afforded Gorbachev the tactical advantage constituencies in contemporary Soviet politics. And his redefinition of ' man the fence-sitters and ambivalents in the .._. security as having to be "mutual" challenged the unilateralism and self- or postponmg awareness a 8 Vi. f'l" fhath ado'. sufficiency inherent in Soviet military doctrine. Surely, elite audiences C€£fizicxgmnigfi 3:139“? [$3.321an chan;:i:ml:§ in the who lacked self-confidence about their abilit to continue in the old wa , . . . i . ‘ . who were intimidated by the prospect of ahother arms race, and‘ Whit process 0‘: lufllfylflghfi‘orbam?s givesvaiys’ Thgret‘fereglsoéaflfal realized that the arms buildup of the 1960s and 19705 had not, after all, maneure'fiygrhxi; in Bsetgfiizlfgi7 iflefiigigtgreb Snag: I: shifted the correlation of forces to the advantage dof socialism were “amp e' _'" . h H d h. d P .d 't R' " t . susceptible to an alternative way of thinking about global politics. Cor- made lhe final concessfnsd '1." a Ewe!) Lm an d 315] a; Sagagogjlgn bachcv's redefinition could provide solace to these audiences, even as it the lb": Treaty. rhftert esigning, or ac ev an _ evar na zes h up, a cred the unreconstmcted militarism beaming, and raised their arms straight up in a Victory geststrebler CB: fin a lesser degree, but still substantially, this redefinition also had a bums N'wf' Emma?" 3' “Wklfiirg? i?;:a2h::e:‘:ns;§: 25‘; resonance in the Leninist heritage, for the “correlation of forces" doctrine every "egomuw Po,” '0" "Po" I" e . ov a . . 8 had in a tradition that never measafedwpowef in Purejy military 1979. But this was Victory according to a different set of criteria. Nioscow . . ' . termsgln contrast to some balance-of»pOWer notions in Western realist had made 233‘“ “y‘all” "effluelmt 'ff‘ife‘hcfilf:"t‘:vt::dtj;"ifs: thoug t. the Leninist correlation of forces insisted that the sources of the “fill?” 0f 5m 3” _a"' 9" amp ’9 r e on d d h. d P power are multi-dimensional. Gorbachev was, then, plausibly emphasiz- - “98°l'alm" and mualfoml'o'l'flgrbachev a": Sham]: '31 "e " mm: ing some of those other dimensions, including moral authority. Then too, “13* one “0"” d°lbusme§5hw£ I$Earb?", elite“ l "M eiggzjgul ed the correlation of forces doctrine was always explicitly dynamic, rather than induced '0 d0 bI-ISIHESS W" l em- 9 "155' 95 W0" “0 P “Y static, in its thrust. As Seweryn Bialer (1930, p. 246) has noted, it focused - alletam I I u _ . _. . fl f h ‘ on the correlation of trends. As such, audiences who had a sense of This was an entirely differ?” 5" °f_ success '"d‘cam" l 0’3 foreboding about the future could receive reassurance from the new traditionally employed by SOVEEl DEBOHBIOTS- Title ‘03:] 3‘; "arms the thinking. Its renewed emphasis on other dimensions of power, and on goal had until then been the issue. AsIGorbac ev Se chine hlhf' Lil"??- conscious struggle to realize the potential latent within the international though. the cost was to be downplayed: If "F" Ignarfinrl 0T3” l|5_ Ulftfl system, could shift the correlation of trends back to the advantage of the in MOSCOW would: “01 ifHOW It l0 '39 “"de '8'?” d- F e 85’.“ ‘3 heéve'i'“3 ' Soviet Union in world affairs—or at least could stop the anti-Soviet tide. Reagan. 0f 'I‘Oblllng him 0f l“?! emit“? Image: a" .0 E“ "‘8 l he detail" The outcome might not be socialist revolutions and victories for the anti- - ment of Pershing and cruise misalles on land in urope, a en imperialist struggle, both‘of which Gorbachev essentially wrote off, but it accomplished. _ I _ h ' h would be a new era of Soviet co-leadership in world affairs, which would This conception of reciprocity, and of equivalence of exc ange in t e help to avert catastrophes facing the global village. ... East-West relationship, was qmte new to Sovuet bargaining behavmr. lt *7 - 14 286 I - ' - ccosocwancsrwea could only have been sold in terms that played to the elite’s loss of self— confidence. At the theoretical level, the new thinking did just that, making a virtue of proclaimed necessity. But even below the level of theory, at the very practical level of everyday political rhetoric, Gorbachev played to the loss of self~confidence with the much-«applied proclamation, "there is no alternative.“ ' ' ' ' ' ' " ' Consider the implications'of this claim. in effect, it argues that the / appropriate success'indicator for judging Soviet negotiating-behavior is not conformance of the deal to some preconceived notion of equal sacrifice by each superpower. "There is no alternative” is an implicitly dynamic concept, one that invites the audience to consider the consequences of intransigence and of the failure to reach agreement. it stands in contrast to the static conceptions Of quantitative parity and equivalent exchange that marked US-Soviet..-negotiations throughout the 19709. Gorbachev. was telling his audiences that hanging tough would allows-reality to emerge that would be still more disagreeable than the reality he proposed to negotiate with “the US. in the INF negotiations, for example, the E; impliCation was that the deployment of Pershing and cruise missiles in 33 Europe, faced by a large and growing Soviet arsenal of 55*205, and by I other countermeasures against'the US deployments (and then by US reactions to thosa countermeasures), would be more disagreeable than intrusively-verified elimination 'ofall these missiles by both sides, In this vein, one can imagine Politburo discussions in which Gorbachev countered the defiant negotiating proposals of militant colleagues with__th_e chal- lenge: "nu, ipotom. this?" (“ye-s, and 'what Mani"). ' " When we consider tactical advantages, no catalogue would be complete without mention of the very term "new thinking." The connotations of the phrase squared with a climate of opinion that was eager to "get the country moving again” after the geriatric leadership’s debacles of the early 1980s. But the term also facilitated seizure of the political initiative, and the disabling of one‘s opponents, by its progressive and optimistic connotaw lions. Doubters were waved off as "old thinkers." Who would want to beso dubbed? Nor was this foreign to the Leninist heritage. The ploy brings to mind Lenin's seizure of the political initiative in 1903, labeling his own - faction-the "Bolshev-ik-s-‘i-{the- majority)an‘d'his-‘antagonists -the';’-'_-l\__/len_-- sheviks"(the minority). ‘ None of which is to argue. that clever argumentation was sufficient to sell a concessionary foreign policy. Surely both the message and the messenger had an impact. Gorbachev built up his power base before beginning the foreign policy revolution. Moreover, his strong personality, capacity for debate in small groups, and magnificent sense of polititial timing and surprise reinforced the image projected by his power, thereby givinghis audiences a motivation to follow him (or, at least, not to defy him). At that point, the content, tone and form of the new thinking became an important reinforcement of both'p'ower and personality, help~ ing him to build his authority as a foreign policy decisionmaker, even as he was giving away the store, .- . . .- - . HOWDO YOU SELL A CONCESSIONARY FOREIGN POLICY? 287 ' - VULNERABELITIES OF THE NEW THINKING ' Gorbachev’s strategy, as we know, ultimately failed him, both at home and abroad, as his country disintegrated, communism collapsed through~ out Eastern EurOpe, and his efforts to forge a socialist democracy of some sort ended in fiasco. But even before these eventualities, one could discern vulnerabilities within the new thinking that would make it susceptible to ' counterattack, and that indeed led to the resignation of Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze in December 1990. One such vulnerability was intrinsic to the tension in Marxist—Leninist ontology between the potential and the actual. Just as Lenin's successors had constantly to squirm to demonstrate that the twentieth century was indeed the era of the final crisis of capitalism, so Gorbachev had to worry -.about-evidence that might. undermine. his claim that, through .political . efforts, the potential for an anthmilitarist, liberal~internationalist world order, in which the USSR would be a co—leading force, was being realized. in Gorbachev’s specific case, he had to worry about demon st rating that his concessionary behavior was in fact helping to transform the adversary and to actualize the potential for a new world order inherent in the "fact" of global interdependence. (This imperative, l talse it, was in part responsible for'l'iis triumphant posturing at the December 1987 summit in Wash- ington.) Thus, the credibility of Gorbachev’s authoritynbuilding strategy in the'foreign policy realm was hostage to the behavior ofthe United States, and to events (in, say, Afghanistan or Europe) that were largely beyond his control. " " ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Unfortunately for Gorbachev, he was not able to demonstrate much more actualization of potential than the willingness of Ronald Reagan and George Bush to sign deals that involved Soviet acceptance of maximal US terms. Nor was Gorbachev able to claim that his liberal internationalism was reciprocated by the United States. The US invasion of Panama in 1989, and the Persian Gulf confrontation'(1980) and 'war (1981), while not threatening to Soviet national security, provided fuel for the arguments of those who claimed that US politics were not changing at all, that realpolirit remained the driving perspective behind US foreign policy, that military force remained the primary instrumen ta‘lit-y-of U5'foreign'policy,fand.that .- 5‘. the US goal was a unipolar 'world, not an East—West collective security system. Little wonder that Gorbachev tried to mediate the US feud with Iraq's Saddam Hussein, and that the Seviet leader skipped town (Moscow) when the US told him to mind his own business and launched the ground offensive against lraq (Pravda, February 25, 1991, p. 1 and March 1, 1991, .14.). - - - -- - -- pPA further vulnerability of the new thinking was exposed after commus nism collapsed in Eastern Europe and, especially, in East Germany. In this arena, the issue of "national security" was faced squarely. Gorbachev’s eagerness to claim that traditional definitions of national security had become obsolete was here put to its most severe test._.l’a_n_ama and lzaq were damaging to the credibility of claims about the broader international is; :longer-cast in the ideal ass, . .' guroaoswascsmna order. The collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the reunification of Germany within NATO, demands from Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia that Soviet troops depart-their country Forces in Europe {CFE} treaty in which the West secured asymmetrical deep cuts in Soviet armed ferces, Western rhetoric about "victory" in the Cold War: all these events, which cascaded in less than a year between late '1989 and late1990, bulstered the credibility of those who would claim not only that the internationalorder had not essentially changed for the better, but also that trends in that Order posed a direct threat to Soviet national security-and, indeesto the survivalof. the USSR-ass state. Not ' '~s'urprisingly,”wtieh Shevardnadze resigned in December 1990, he com~ plained specifically about those who were accusing him of a sellout in the Persian Gulf and Eastern Europe (lzvcstiya, December 20, 1990). Thus, even-beforeithe collapse of the USSR, both nationalists and advocatesof' rcnlpslitilr had defected from the dominant foreign policy coalition or become more vocal in expressing their ambivalence. Their 'pressures'o'n' Gorbachev must surely have affected the political calcula- tions he made in 1991, though the ultimate collapse of the USSR Was a product of internal factors. ' 'rrrrsws DILEMMAS As MacFarlane notes, the Yel'tsin administration continued Gorbachev’s concessions for a full year following the collapse of the USSR. What is noteworthy, however, is that the justification for such a policy was no istic terms of the “new thinking,” a doctrine that simply disappeared from leadership discourse (even as the virtues of a “unipolar world” were being extolled in Washington, DC). Rather, con— cessions were justified solely in terms of the reality of Russian weakness and the objective necessity to appease Western capitals that held the purge strings for subsidizing Russian economic recovery and the political lever— age to determine "whether Russia would be integrated into .Western civilization. Nor were the context and audiences the same as Gorbachev had faced- lri:"independent Russia," issues of Russian identity would underpin the search foraf’national interest” for the Russian Federation; and that search would . take. place - in a context of disorientation and humiliation engendered by the collapse of the Soviet empire. All of which was reinforced by the further development of a public politics that encouraged the mobilization of popular sentiments behind one or the other definition of national identity and interest. Under all these circum— stances, a "pragmatic" justification for cantinued concessionary behavior was surely a stopgap, to be-superceded sooner‘or later by a strategy that anticipated or coopted a moralistic or identity—driven backlash. This is the tide against which Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev was swimming (Koayrev, 1994); The sudden emphasis by Moscow on a special status within the “Partnership for Peace," for deference to Moscow's association with Serbian interests'in the Yugoslav civil war and for [-2 23-13;; £3335. ‘15. ~ mmwvmomwmwvmwkwm~VV,WW.M-MS ; __ . ..,v...~..m~c...._s..i...,_.m.¢~W _ k .. HOW DO YOU SELL A CONCfiEEtONARY FOREIGN POLXCY? 239 exclusive Russian rights within the US was especially shocking to West- ern governments in light of its contrast with what came before. But it was also clearly a product of pressure from forces occupying a very broad range of the political spectrum, from Vladimir Lukin to Vladimir Zhirmovskiy. In light of this breadth, it is unwise to treat the backlash as simply a product of "irrational" forces, or to assume that greater political skill y Yel’tsin or Kozyrev could have headed it off. . The real test of the mix of East~West cooperation and Russian self— assertion in Moscow's foreign policy may stand before us, assumingof - course that domestic turmoil does not brin‘g'a'n' imperialistgiwernment to power. As Adomeit (1994) notes, very recent developments suggest that a correction may be setting in, as the costs of self—assertion become increasingly apparent to Moscmv’s current policymakersmand as these , leaders pause to calculate the costs moresoberly. in summer 1994, Russia did, after all, join the Partnership for Peace on terms once rejected as unacceptable. They also reached agreement at the (3-7 summit of July 1994 in Naples on Russian association with the European Union. Similarly, Moscow's patience with the Bosnian Serbs. seems tohave run thin, resulting in statements that Russia may prove willing to countenance military action by NATO against the Serbs in Bosnia. .thl’lln the CIS. Moscow may be reconsidering the economic costs "of‘reintegration of "Slavic lands” in light of the burden of the monetary union Will! Belarus. Yel’tsin has also indicated a determination to withdraw all Russian troops from the Baltic states on schedule. As if to preview the mentality driving this correction, the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy (Sport pa Vnrshuyey i Obsronnoy Poliiilcc), which produced the document of May 1994 that MacFarlane aptly uses to demonstrate the emphasm on Russm 5 national interests, also emphasized in that statement the current, primary need to avoid creating a "hostile" international environment in response to Russian "xenophobia" (Nyezsvisimaya gazrts, May 27, 1994', p . 4—5l. That document can be read as a warning against going too farm t e definltion and defense of Russia's national interests. All of which was consistent 'as well with the surprising commitment of the government of Prime Minis- ter Chernom rdin to continuance of an economic reform based on strict monetary sta ilization Folicies, clear signs of an unwrllmgness to pay the ' ollin back re orm. ‘ ' prgztojllthis llas been a correction, not a repudiation of statewcentrism in favor of liberal internationalism. Legvold may be right that Russiag foreign policymakers are confused or overwhelmed by events at home an abroad and would do better to "cooperate more constructive y. Butha correction may be the best we can hope for, givenilll the magnittiide of t e task of synthesizing intellectually a state—centric and a liberaI inte'ana; tionalist perspective; (2) the practical contradictions in the rEeal wor o pursuing both strategies simultaneously; (3) the political tur u enfie sur; rounding the current Russian government; (ID-the difficulty anywherelof selling a self-denying policy on purely pragmatic grounds; and (Sift e se — serving positions of most Western governments on the Issues 0 con en— tion between East and West. n... t: .3 __ Lynch, Align, Garbarfirp' _ lntrraational Outlook: intrllrrtual origins and Political Consrqurncrs. 29o _ '_ . 'oronor'wnnrsrwzk I REFERENCES Adomeit, Harmer. personal communication, August 15, 1994. Blaler, Seweryn, Stalin's Successors: hairrslxip, Stability. and Change in the Soviet Union. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1960. ' Blacker, Colt i1, Hostagr to Rrwlulion: Garbarhtv and Swtrt Strurity Pblicy, 1985—1991 . New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1993. Breslauer, George W. Khrushrluv and Brezhnro as hath-rs: Building Authority in Scotti Palifirs. London: Allen and Unwin, 1982. -- - - Breslauer, George W, SovirtSIrattgy in Africa. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley-Stanford Program in Soviet Studies, UC Berkeley, 1991. . , - - Checkel, left, "Ideas. Institutions, and the GorbachevForclgn Policy Revolution," Worltl Puliu'cs. 45, 2:371-«30t1, January 1993. - . Clemens, Walter (2., _lr., Can Russia Changrt: "Dir USSR Confronts .Glolval Interdependmrr. ‘-Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1990. I I Dallln, Alexander, “Gorbachév's Foreign Policy and the ’New Political Thinking' in the Soviet Union,"ln Peter luviler and Hirosht Kimura, eds., Garbaclsw's erorms: 11.5. and tapamsr Assrssmmts. New York: Aldine De Cruyter, 1988. Golan, Calla, Mosrow and the Middle East: New Thinking on Rrgr'onal Conflict. London: Royal institute at International Affairs, 1992. ' Griffiths, Franklyn, Images, Politics, and Lmrning in Soviet Behavior Toward tlzr Unitrd Statrs. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Columbia University. 1972. Griffiths, Franklyn, "The Sources of American Conduct: Soviet Perspectives and their Policy Implications," lntrrnational Stratify. 9, 1:3v50, Fall 1964. Haslam, Ionathan, The Soviet Union and the Politics of Nuclear Wrapons in Europe. WM, 1987.- Ttir Probtrm of the 55-29. London: Macmillan, 19fi9. . - Hough, Jerry F... Th: Struggle for the Third Mrld: Swirl Drlmtrs and Amrriran Options. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution. 1956. Kozyrmt Andrei, “The Lagging Partnership," Fortr‘gn Affairs, 7.3, 3:59—71, Mayllune 1994. ' Kubalkova. V. and AA. Crulcltslnnk, Thinking Nrw About Swirl ‘Nrw Thinking.‘ Berkeleyr CA: institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley. 1989. ' ' . Legvold, Robert, "Soviet Learning in the 19805," in George W. Brealauer and Philip Tetlock, eds" Learning in US and Santa Foreign Polity. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1991. ' Light, Margot, The Soviet Thwry of international Relations, New York: St. Martin's, 1988. " BéuldetJCO: Wé'swiéw Pr'éa'si, 1939. - - - - -- - Malcolm, Neil, Strait-t Pvlitiral Scirntr'sts and American Politirt. London, Macmillan, 1984. Mendelson, Sarah 13., "internal Battles and External Wars: Politics, Learning, and the Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan," Wirld Politics, 45, 3:327—360, April 1993. Simes, Dimitri K.,"Detmt: and Conflirt: Soviet Foreign Policy. 1972—1977. Beverly Hill-3, CA: Sage Publications, 199"}. ' - I ' Snyder, lack, “International Leverage on soviet Domestic Change.“ Vibrld Halitits. XL“. 1:1-30, October 1959. ' ' ' Ulam, Atlam, Expansion and Coexistrnrr: Soviet Forrign Policy. 1917-73. Second edition. New York: Pracger, 1974. -. ; - Valkenler, Elizabeth, Th: Squirt Union and flu Third Vibrla‘: An Ersnomtr Bind. New Yurk: Praeger, 1983. Zimmerman, William, Sam'rt Prrsprrtivrs on .lntrrnational Rtlalions, 1956—1957, l’rincaton, N]: PrincetOn University Press, 1969. it“? forthcoming in Optober, 1994: “Intelligence Fiasco or Reasoned Accounting? The Debate on CIA Estimates of Soviet GNP” ' - mAbraham Becker ' ' ' 'I ' " "Citizen Activism in the Russian Tranoition" . . ——Donna Bahry and Lucan Way "Privatization in Russia’s Regions”- ' wDarrell L. Slider ' ...
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