Middle East Welcoming Back the Bear

Exploiting U.S. woes, Soviet diplomacy is again on the march

It used to be said in the Middle East, "When you want to make war, go to the Soviets. When you want to make peace, go to the U.S." Today, however, like so many other things in the region, that old saying is being turned on its head. From North Africa to the Persian Gulf, Soviet diplomacy, reflecting the more sophisticated policies of Mikhail Gorbachev, is back in business.

In a period when U.S. foreign policy has been damaged by failures in Lebanon and disclosures about secret arms sales to Iran, the Soviets have adopted flexible and imaginative new strategies, and...

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