Economic Warfare Between the Superpowers

  • John P. Farrell

Abstract

This chapter is a revision — with the benefit of hindsight — of a paper written in 1985, just as Gorbachev was taking office in the Soviet Union. It was presented to a joint symposium of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the International Economic Association [Wolfson and Farrell, 1987]. At that time, we argued that the course of economic warfare made it impossible for the Soviet Union to continue the arms race as it had without risking social collapse. Like most observers, we were surprised to see the changes in the Soviet Union instigated by Gorbachev “from above.” But we were not astonished to see the break occur.

In 1985 we feared that as it lost the economic war, the Soviet leadership might attempt some sort of desperate military move if pushed too far. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed in the USSR as perestroika moved away froiD the Marxian premises of the cold war. Agreeing with Margaret Thatcher’s prescient early reading of Gorbachev as someone “we could do business with,” Ronald Reagan reversed himself and sought accommodation.

Keywords

Income Expense Posit Glean Cuban 

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Copyright information

© Murray Wolfson 1992

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  • John P. Farrell

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