Using a systematic comparative analysis of the Soviet press organs' attitudes toward a specific issue, liana Kass examines Soviet foreign policy formulation and the activities of policy-relevant groups in the stages preceding and following the formal adoption of decisions. Soviet involvement in the Middle East in the crucial period 1966–1973 is used as a case study; it was assumed that an issue with such wide political, economic, strategic, and ideological ramifications would involve a broad array of policy groups and thus serve to pinpoint their divergent attitudes. Kass focuses on four official groups close to the locus of Soviet decision making–the CPSU, the governmental bureaucracy, the military, and the trade union–and delineates and analyzes the attitudes of these groups toward the Soviet involvement in the Middle East. She explores the possibilities of opposition to the official policy line and illustrates the respective roles of each group in the decision-making process. This study provides evidence of the broadening basis of elite participation in the formulation of foreign policy and the gradual emergence of polycentricity in the Soviet political context. Having shown that the spectrum of opinion among Soviet decision makers is relatively diversified, Kass calls for a more discriminative, less restrictive approach to the study of Soviet policy.