Few regions of the world are as politically turbulent as the Middle East, and nowhere is the potential for superpower conflict greater. How does the Soviet Union view the Middle east conflict? Can the USSR play a constructive role in the peace process? In this volume, first published in 1990, these questions and others central to an understanding of Soviet strategy in the region are addressed. Previous analysts of Soviet-Middle Eastern relations have tended to emphasize either the cooperative or the competitive aspects of Soviet behaviour. Breslauer instead offers the multidimensional concept of ‘collaborative competition’ to describe the mixed motives, ambivalence, and sometimes conflicting perspectives that have informed Soviet strategy in the region. In such an unstable environment. this strategy of collaborative competition has in turn encouraged ‘approach-avoidance’ behaviour; for example, while the Soviets may seek to moderate their radical allies, they remain fearful that these allies, once moderated, might defect to US patronage. Under Gorbachev, the Kremlin continues to pursue this same strategy but with increased attention to improving collaboration, redefining the nature of the competition, and easing the approach-avoidance dilemma. Breslauer argues that these changes could lead to more flexible Soviet behaviour in the region. This volume combines new, in-depth research on Soviet policy with new interpretations, including insights drawn from relevant theories of international relations.
Part 1. Interpreting Soviet Strategy 1. On Collaborative Competition George W. Breslauer 2. Soviet Policy in the Middle East, 1967-72: Unalterable Antagonism or Collaborative Competition? George W. Breslauer 3. The Soviet Union and the Palestinian Issue Galia Golan 4. Soviet Behaviour toward the Lebanon War, 1982-84 Dennis B. Ross 5. The Soviet Union and the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-88 James Clay Moltz and Dennis B. Ross 6. Gorbachev’s Middle East Strategy Galia Golan Part 2. The Sources of Soviet Strategy: Consensus and Conflict 7. Militants, Moderates and Centrists: Soviet Perspectives on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1971-87 George W. Breslauer 8. The Soviet View of the US-Israeli Partnership Yaacov Ro’I Part 3. Prospects for Superpower Cooperation 9. Perspectives on Superpower Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution in the Arab-Israeli Conflict Benjamin Miller 10. Learning, Politics and Interaction: Implications for Superpower Conflict Mitigation and Crisis Prevention George W. Breslauer. Afterword, Fall 1988-Spring 1989 George W. Breslauer