Problems Facing Us Assistance for the Post-Soviet Republics

in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
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Abstract

Since 1989 American policy-makers have continually affirmed US support for the transition of the former Soviet republics from authoritarian, command economies to democratic, market economies. The United States will continue to aid the transition to protect its own political, economic and security interests. Professor Rex Wade's article offers reasonable advice for American officials faced with the difficult task of assisting this transition. Building upon his analysis, I shall elaborate on several of the most pressing problems facing American officials responsible for administering assistance programs. Three broad problems confront US policy-makers promoting markets and democratic political institutions in the former Soviet republics: 1) inadequate resources; 2) embattled foreign assistance institutions; and 3) the lack of international consensus about the goals and means for influencing the transition. Each of these issues has the potential to weaken American and international efforts to shape post-Communist society. In combination, they threaten the long-term foreign policy objectives of the United States.

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