Facing both ways, an analysis of Soviet and Russian foreign policy toward the United States, 1985-1997
For decades, the field of international relations has been occupied with, among other things, the political dynamic between the superpowers. During the Cold War, the understanding of international conflict centered around relations between Washington and Moscow. Both have been the most significant variables in the determination of crisis or stability in the international system and both have been included in efforts to intervene in conflicts of lower intensity throughout the world. The post-Cold War era, though still in its infancy, has been characterized by both continuity and change. While the nuclear threat has been virtually eliminated, the foreign affairs of both Russia and the United States continue to remain of the utmost importance. Russia is re-building itself from the wreckage of the Soviet Union and in time, hopes to be the dynamic international player it once was. For the time being, it still remains in possession of the ability to affect the new found stability of the post-Cold War world. For this reason, it is important to understand the eve ts surrounding the fall of the Soviet Union and the reconstruction taking place in Moscow as its leaders attempt to rebuild a world power. It is through such a study that continuities between the old and the new systems present themselves. It is with an understanding of and respect for these continuities that the West must forge its new relationship with Russia.