Contributor(s)RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
KeywordsGovernment and Political Science
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AbstractIf one were to survey the full range of Soviet clients in the Third World in the mid-1980s and contrast them with those of a generation earlier, say in the mid-1960s, perhaps the single most salient difference that emerges is the proliferation of regimes claiming Marxism-Leninism as their governing ideology. In the earlier period there were only three: North Vietnam, North Korea, and Cuba. Moscow's other major Third World clients at that time were a heterogeneous collection of left-leaning states like Egypt under Nasser, Syria, India, Indonesia, Mali, Ghana, and the like. Each one professed a vaguely socialist ideology tailored to the country's specific national and cultural traditions, maintained an equally vague non-aligned and anti-imperialist foreign policy, and disavowed any adherence to orthodox Marxist-Leninist principles. Twenty years later, by contrast, the three Communist regimes had not only survived (and in case of Vietnam substantially expanded), but were joined by at least six others: Afghanistan, the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY), Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Nicaragua. In this report we analyze the similarities of the six new Marxist-Leninist regimes more closely in terms of four categories--internal structure, foreign policy, military policy, and internal opposition, and conclude with some observations about their place in the Third World more broadly.