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U.S. & Soviet Agriculture: The Shifting Balance of Power

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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Analyses of the U.S.-Soviet balance of power usually focus on relative military strength—the number of tanks, planes, nuclear warheads, and other items in the so-called strategic balance. But many other factors determine a country's overall power and influence. Among the most basic is a country's capacity to feed its people. By this measure the Soviet Union appears to be in deep trouble.

This year the USSR will try to import 46 million tons of grain, more than any country in history (source, here and elsewhere: U.S. Department of Agriculture). Nearly a fourth of all Soviet grain for feeding both people and livestock will come from the North American breadbasket, most of it from the United States.

Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1982

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