USSR: The Immediate Post-Brezhnev Policy Agenda
JxaimMprepared by ih
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OlFice olAnalyto Questions and comment) may bee Chief
USSR: Tbe Immediate Posl-Breifenei Policy Agenda.'
statements ind anions by lhe new Sorbet retime indicates
effort to project orderliness in the successionusiness-
r) Kmimiirimage. Although Andropov's first speech after Brezhnev's death
last weekiscordant note, asserting thatmperialists will never meet our pleas foris eulogy al Ihe deceased leader's funeral onovember adopte;-more moderate lone, speafically reiterating the regime's in ten tion toelaxation of international tension. The need to fill vacancies in the Politburo and Secretariat can be expected to introduce contention among ambitious leaders seeking to improve their position in the present fluid political situation. Some may take opportunistic positions on various issues which tbey later will change; others may abandon positions they have long professed to support,moothly functioning Politburo is unlikely to be content simply lo conduct "Breihrtevism without Bie*Jincv."
The fint Item on the new leaders' agenda will be pulling together the policymaking team. Once this has been accomplished. Ibe new team will turn to some immediate economic issues. In the next few months, the leadership will be compelled lo grappleosl of complex domestic and foreign policy problems (hat accumulated as Brezhnev's ability io provide effective leadership slipped away
USSR: The Immediate Post-Breihrtev Policy Agenda,'
Imnwdiatc Talk: fudpr Together Ibe Policymaking Team
Key personnel decisions will be al ibe lop of Ihc Politburo agenda in the coming days. While the speed of Andropov's selection at party leader sugeests lhal ibe leadership is sufficiently uniled for Ihe present lo avoid political stalemate, an unusually large number of Important vacancies in hey inH. nations must be filled, and ibc process is likely to generate political tension and conflict. These positions will be filled by members of lhe current lop leadership, creatineimportant vacanciesIn their wake. Theeffect of these changes will provide an early measure of Andropov's ability lo consolidate hisin Ihe leadership.
To Judge from his initial fast start. Andropov is almost certainly attempting to move promptly toeadership collective lhat is responsive to his political and policy aims. Unlike the transition period following Khrushchev's ouster,roup ofambitious and in their politicalhad to divide up Ihc spoils. Androgen would appear to face liltlc strong competition from any political rivals among his colleagues. His apparent case in elbowing aside his rival. Cherncnko. suggests ibat the latter -as not abletrong pemer baseofCbcrncnko's wiJiti-.eness to sound different Ihemes at thc outset suggests that underlying differences on substantive matters persist and lhat he probably has some support. PartyKirilenko'* reported removal eliminates another major political rival, and none of lhe youngerof the leadership who might aspirebe top parly post (such asty leaders Shelter-bilskiy. Griihm,or Romanov)appear to beosiiion toerious challenge lo Andropov ai present. Two of the most influential figures remaining in the Politburo. Defense Minister Ustinov andMinister Cromyko, reportedly havc close ttci toumber of reports had indicated lhal he had iheir support, and be is likely lo see ibai (heir influence is protected in the new leadership lineup.
Andropov'i meeling wilh Vice President Both onovember indicates thai he ii already movingstablish himself as lhe dominant regime spokesman in foreign geescy. Thison of hat politiesi strength also raises ibc potsie-'iiy of bit liking over Brcihncv's job as pro "lent '
It stillrobable, bweai, thai or her leadenhesitate ie confer both-tnndropov frean iheouiseiail ore -oak deny alasressedpost SreaJutcv hrlJ cash- for the lati frvc years One of Ihc remaining acme* Politburo members cloundropov may be named lo thc toil Gromyko. for instance, would appear toroag candidate in view of his lengthy riper knee tn foreign affairs and hit Iks to Andropov. '
The leadership also will beamber of other key posts. Hestiffin* the parly Secretariat appears to 1st ibc most urgent lask Androgen's elevation and Kirilcnko's potilical demiseptically hat been removed from Ihc Politburo and Secretarial) -ill leave two import tarsea lot secretary for ideology andokcntly had played since rejoining the Secretariat ia May. and Klnkoko's position at armor secretin for heavy indtsttry la addition. Pany Gvirol Ceasunirtee Chairman ArvafI) lb* all miof ihehai been il reccssdy aad. acoard-ing to an unconfirmed nt nor. diedoatovesnber. Although the importance of hn cooimiiioc has waned in recent years, itsmaintenance of diicipline in partyImpartial,ounec leader might be abk lo maketruficnnt power
Several candidates have been lagged for advs nccm< ni:
Party Secretary Dcdgikh has been filling in for Kirilenko since his illness ihii summer, and his promotion to Poliibuio candidate in May appeared to be in anticipation of hit eventual assumption of Kinlenko's responsibilities
Ukrainian pany loii St- t laid lo be eta* to Aaalropov and to hav* naponed aaaaaaani-
of ihe new KGB chief, againit tome oppmi-
lion from Rrcxhncvprotrge. Cbatnenko. I
g all Ihete peniiioM ai (he cealcr. no"-ill be created in lower ranking pott* ihai win hartc UarTcd by younger kaden who arc ao* memben of Ihe ruling (lite, for (be firat lime in manyubt initial renovation of lhce under way. crating ibe onportuaily for Andropov and hrt atiotiarei to tnape lac neitof Soviei leaden.'
With tcoaemwc probacrnt pratingryhe new regime may opl to act sooner father lhan literitabirth clearly lhc direction of boih itt domecic and foreign economic poboea The rnoriingi of lhc Supreme Sovtei. now tel to openovembc. and tbe US- USSR Trade and Economic CoaaCal ono-ember. pro*>d< ihe oft-xi unity for thc leader thtp to enunciate any policy rnodlfrcaiiont
Tbe main muei requiringk-adenbipare ihe lUU ofthear Planil-IM and thc Mate of Halt- Weal economic ttoni. Became the poor performance of Ibc-hat put the gaili of Ihc five-year plan out of the new Icaderfbir could laiface major rrvUiocnIhe urgetl foemaimag three yean of the alaa Such revinoni, if Ihey occur, could indicate whether and to what degree Androrov hat already contoudat-ed hu poution a*t whether Moscow lutowat to allrr iu rrtouree allocation policy between gum and butter. Thii Utier intir hai become irtirating'y conientiout over ihe Ian year or to. with eleaneait of ih* militaryfor an even greater ihare of the rcaoorce paa.
There it ample precedentew Soviet leader lo iupport eoniumer-oriented policial during ihe initial align of hn regime.he opfxieinir publicly in dcmomtraie irriout luppori for ihe con-lumcf. perhapt b> incrtauag rearwrcei ovnnUtird lo Routing am* tiepptng up meat produciionajor initiative in ihii direction would be ID Iucreate foreign purchaiei of meal aad grain above Ih* rather lowof recent rnonlht
M.iieo" muit alio decide whether io lei thela US-Soviet ccoaonot relatioas tha Iin recent year* continue or lo ngnal aapanne etaer lies with ihe United States. Aof US fainove to renew iheot her five yean coulda tigaaf. If ibcmakea
it could uae thc platform provided by the meeting! of ihe US-USSH Trade and Economic
Over the longer- term, ihe new Soviet leadership muii tackle the ihuc* of rcaouret allocailon andof tbe economy. Specifically. Aradropov mullhether toconiiaue Breihaevi agncatltaaralhich have consumed to much of Somi invctimentheiher (he country can. and ihould, ttcp up lhc pace of anvenmctn la ilie tailhalf ofot. per hap* at the caprnte of tom* llowdown ic defente *pcnding. ledwhether the lyitcm can or ihould taitilule any managerial re-fornu. Before Ihea* dceitioni earn be made,oaienw will have to be reached on how beat to
reaia* CCOBOmiC growth in the Soviet UaWOaL Sean*
argue thai Ibe road tohrough the uacen-livei lhat more con turner goodi and lervieea provide. Othrn mainuin that more investment In heavy indut-Iraca it the proper route Audroce-'i ilotcilhc kadenhioeen lo ihoa* who adaotair tha latter court*
Thc Andropov Politburo alto will be forced toa growing temc of malaise aa Sonet tccactyof popularin
the quality of life, continuing rcttnctanni on freedom of ctprcuion and belief, and ruing naiaonil conic ioui-aeu among toaae of tbe moreajor ethnicproblem* of varying tccmy fordtihip. Ditconlcm over lhc quality of Scwiet liftilignailon in produciion of coniumct poodtrepreacntt the moat itrvncdiaic and importani challenge bceaute it atnkei al the heart of plant lor improving Ihe economy through increaiedy. Although pail regimetoe* at nuitivrrain indicate lhat Soviet leaden are aware of such problem, their pobeiet have at yet been inadequateolve Ihem
In lb* area of fiwnun ccoaomk rctaliom (heleaderscom* to grips nib Ibc ouctiton of how deperdeai ihey want to oc On Wetlnii joodk. partKO-lirty dim product! and IcChaotOgy Tha itsac It tied
ckecly to ihtit dnmeslic inuotmciO poln for eiiir.
pie. continued potchatci of Wmcin farm products on ihc teak of rcoeni years might factliuic tome cutback In inretimenl resouroes eomrnitied lo agnculiurr. Unkit Ihc Weal becomes moreto Incrcaic in levcb of tending, however, lhc USSK will have lo find new wayt lo generate foreign eichange. for ettmple. allowing direct Western pantcapatioa in. orj aciag of. resource devekeanent protectt migbi become aa ellraetiv* means of developing aew hard Corrracy eageri markets. rarticularfy tiaec inchwould alto ease Ihe strain on dnmctlK investment.
The new Soviei leaders arcliuatiaa in which iclaiiont with Ihe United Stain areow ebb and policy toward Europe and China hat been the focus of incrraiing attention. In Europe. INF is Ihe urgent una* With US miasik deployntenit tchedakd to begin nen year aad the West German cketuwn approaching, ihc Scn-icts are hkdy toevkw of theu INF llrllcgy aad assessing Ihe relative emphasis to be placed on ihreati and concession! in ihcew momht
Relation! with China will altoriority concern of Ihr new kadmhip inew monlhi in hn finalrerhnev publicly ernrdiasiaed Ihe potential for gam ia improimg Sino-Soviet lies Tbe aew leaders will with lo continue Breahneu't tanphatn aad signalown commitment to mauttaimag dulogac with the Chineie. They couldactical gestureoken military withdrawal from the Wider prior to comrnenc*meni of ihe second round of Site Soviet lalks early In the new year,ny case, an mue lhat brooki no delay Is how far lo go in meeting the Chineseigniflcant improver inn in icUt-OnS
A moot ntuei related lo bilateral US Soviei lies, imminent US aanounccmenli on ih*mode for (hen likely io require iheSoviet leadert loublic resenasc. They probably will respond with the hardline rhetoric chared ensue of Breihnev'i final months. They realm, hoaever. that
Ihc (muni of Ihit announcement It unrrlaletUo Bieihnc*'t death and will not toe llS attempt toean. >
The Soviet leaders may bop* thai ibe release of Solidarity leader Walesa la Poland. Andrceov'i rcccx>-iron of Vice President Bush, and perhaps other get lores ia the near future, will tti ibe sceneossible relaialioa of US saactiont The Soviets will be imcresicd ia tccaag whether tbc US response walla.re lo begin improviag bilaieral reUlrcm At thc tame Itnae, they arc likely le be wary of reacting too eagerly loS one ksteaction appear todcmoruirtie their lutccrnibiliiy to Western economic leverage. I
The new leadership will alto took upon their relations with Eat tern Europeigh-priority concern. The Polish regimc'i ability lo stifle Ihe demonstrations and strikes scheduled forovember almotl certainly hat convinced Ihe Soviet* lhat Ihenv. in Poland Siill. ihe USSR's cutback* in oil deliveries io several of lis East European tllent nates and the pertinence of Fat! European economic difficullic* assure continuing pioblemt for lhc Sovietiegion which Ihey regard at crucially important In theirealing of the Wiiu. Pact't Poliiicatommuter icntatively tebedukd for Detember. mayd by Ike Sovkit lo atcure Iheir allies thai their concern* -ill be addressed
Thc aew Soviet leaders win want to teassarc their allies aad duui in ihc Third World of ecaiinaing support. The Sonets pecbeblrUtile chaacc for near-lern improvement of iheir position ia the Middle East la Asia, relations with Vietnam and India will remain Ihc ehkf Sovicin Africa. Ihc Soviets will reaffirm tupnori foe tlhlopta. Angola, and'. iMoicow'i alliance wiih Havana will, of course, remain ihe ceilerp.ee* of Soviet polities In Latin America