Soviet Union Trotting Out a New Roadshow

Despite some sleight of hand, the act is a familiar one

Presiding over the Communist Party congress last week, Mikhail Gorbachev reassured his comrades that he could improve the performance of the Soviet system without altering its basic tenets. Same ends, more efficient means. That seems to be the guiding principle of what will become known as the Gorbachev era. In Kremlin foreign policy, there has already been a noticeable change, not so much in goals and substance as in method and style. Deft and often deceptive flexibility rather than rigid continuity is now the order of the day.

No longer is the Soviet approach to the outside world epitomized by Andrei...

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