The United States post-war foreign policy towards the East has been dominated by a strategic-military orientation. This Perspective will examine East-West relations from a new perspective, one in which an improved climate of economic relations, based upon mutually beneficial trade and investment contacts between the United States and the major communist nations, provides a complement for diplomatic efforts to reduce global military tensions. The threshold analytical premise of this study is that United States foreign policy must be addressed as a comprehensive whole, and that foreign economic, human rights, political and geostrategic policies are not only interdependent, but indivisible. Decisions about United States foreign economic policy therefore must of necessity flow from an initial assessment of the geopolitical milieu in which strategic issues arise. A gradual shift from a strategic-military orientation to a strategic-economic orientation in United States foreign policy may now be possible because of contemporary changes in the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China (China). These two communist nations will provide the principal case studies for analysis herein of recent reforms in communist countries and their implications for East-West relations.