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The World

September 15, 1987

Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's reform plans may result in economic disruption, producing shortages and hardships that could threaten his rule, the CIA told Congress. Agency experts, in declassified testimony issued by the congressional Joint Economic Committee, painted a picture of Gorbachev as a shrewd political operator who has consolidated his power faster than any of his recent predecessors. But the CIA said that as a result of moves toward a more decentralized, market-based economy, the Soviet Union is likely to experience a period of stagnation that could reduce growth rates.

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