Soviet Union One joke going around among Democrats on Capitol Hill is that the Reagan administration has accomplished only two things in its policy towards the soviet Union: (1) keeping Russian Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin from using the private entrance to the State Department: (2) keeping Soviet analyst and propagandist Georgi Arbatov from appearing on American television. This reflects the impression that the administration seems to have had trouble thinking through where it wants to go with the US-Russian relationship, beyond countering the Soviet military buildup. Middle East
In its handling of the sale of radar planes to Saudi Arabia, the Reagan administration may end up in the unenviable position of offending both the Saudis and the Israelis. But the administration seems to be learning some lessons when it comes to Middle East complexities. Secretary Haig now stresses that the US is fully aware of such complexities and the need for continuing with the Egyptian-Israeli peace process. The administration also seems to be achieving its aim of securing access to military base facilities in Egypt. Latin America
In Latin American the Reagan administration has placed less stress than the Carter team did on human rights and more on developing friendships with traditional allies, regardless of their domestic policies. The administration already is encountering great, and unexpected, resistance to its proposals for El Salvador military aid. Worth watching is Cuba. Officials say the administration is still actively exploring "options" for putting pressure on Cuba to withdraw troops from Angola and stop supporting insurgencies in Central America. Africa
The Reagan administration has focused so far on the problems of South Africa and Namibia, or Southwest Africa. The administration has been trying to find a new approach to the Namibia question which would guarantee a place for South Africa there. But the administration has not gone as far in "tilting" toward South Africa as many expected it would.