Hon. William Proxmire, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security Economics, presided the hearing on the allocation of resources in the Soviet Union and China.
The first section of the hearing was devoted to the Soviet Union, because of the many changes and substantive developments in this region.
Since coming to power in March 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev had put forward the most ambitious program for economic, political, and social change since Nikita Khrushchev, often linking the URSS’s ability to mantain its status as a military “superpower” to the success of his efforts. This hearing provided an initial evaluation of Gorbachev’s program. It began by describing Gorbachev’s policies and assessing their impact on the economy’s performance in 1986. The witnesses, then, analyzed the future direction of his economic modernization program in light of the 1987 Plan and the demands for continued military force development. Finally, they evaluated the Soviet external relations, including the trade initiatives and the effect of changes in Soviet-China relations.
Senator Proxmire was joined by Douglas MacEachin, Director of Soviet Analysis for Central Intelligence Agency and Rear Admiral Robert Schmitt, Deputy Director of Defense Intelligence Agency.