Nowhere are the dilemmas of Soviet Third World policy more vividly illustrated than in the Middle East. Indeed, the Middle East encapsulates the entire Soviet experience in the Third World, provides a template for the Soviet view of the issues at stake there, and constitutes the most meaningful test case for any Soviet reevaluation of established behavior in international affairs, that is, for new political thinking itself. The baseline for any such test, of course, is the Soviet record in the area before 1985.