Jonathan Steele, Soviet Power: The Kremlin’s Foreign Policy — Brezhnev to Andropov (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983).
This is the sixth book on international events from one of Britain’s most senior and experienced journalists. His previous works on the USSR and Eastern Europe have shown him to be a sensitive and sympathetic observer of the Soviet scene. Steele starts from the premise that an emphasis on the USSR’s military capabilities alone is likely to produce an over-estimation of Moscow’s ability to intervene or expand its influence abroad. Steele’s aim is to examine the totality of Soviet military preparations, policy statements and political actions to produce a more complete and reliable calculus of Soviet power today.
This report summarizes impressions of Soviet foreign policy gained during a study visit to the USSR in July 1982. During this visit, under the auspices of the Oriental Institute of the Academy of Sciences, I was able to meet a wide range of experts working in the institute, as well as journalists and foreign policy analysts attached to other publications and institutes.
The latter half of the 1970s witnessed a sustained and geographically diverse series of social upheavals in the Third World which, taken together, constituted a lessening of Western control in the developing areas. In Africa, the Ethiopian revolution of 1974 was followed by a series of changes in the remaining embattled colonies attendant upon the revolution in Portugal: in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau (1975) and, as a consequence of the independence of Mozambique, in Zimbabwe (1980). The Southwest Asian region was transformed by the revolutions in Afghanistan (1978) and Iran (1979). In Central America there was a triumphant revolution in Nicaragua (1979), and continuing unrest in El Salvador and Guatemala.