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The Collapse of the Soviet Military
     

The Collapse of the Soviet Military

by William E. Odom
 

ISBN-10: 0300082711

ISBN-13: 9780300082715

Pub. Date: 03/28/2000

Publisher: Yale University Press


One of the great surprises in modern military history is the collapse of the Soviet Armed Forces in 1991—along with the party-state with which it was inextricably intertwined. In this important book, a distinguished United States Army officer and scholar traces the rise and fall of the Soviet military, arguing that it had a far greater impact on Soviet

Overview


One of the great surprises in modern military history is the collapse of the Soviet Armed Forces in 1991—along with the party-state with which it was inextricably intertwined. In this important book, a distinguished United States Army officer and scholar traces the rise and fall of the Soviet military, arguing that it had a far greater impact on Soviet politics and economic development than was perceived in the West.

General William E. Odom asserts that Gorbachev saw that dramatically shrinking the military and the military-industrial sector of the economy was essential for fully implementing perestroika and that his efforts to do this led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Odom enhances his account with interviews with key actors in the Soviet Union before, during, and after the collapse. He describes the condition of the Soviet military during the mid-1980s and explains how it became what it was—its organizational structures, manpower policies, and military-industrial arrangements. He then moves to the dramatic events that led to its destruction, taking us to the most secret circles of Soviet policy making, as well as describing the public debates, factional struggles in the new parliament, and street combat as army units tried to repress the political forces unleashed by glasnost. Odom shows that just as the military was the ultimate source of stability for the multinational Soviet state, the communist ideology justified the military’s priority claim on the economy. When Gorbachev tried to shift resources from the military to the civilian sector to overcome economic stagnation, he had to revise the official ideology in order to justify removing the military from its central place. Paralyzed by corruption, mistrust, and public disillusionment, the military was unable and unwilling to intervene against either Gorbachev’s perestroika or Yeltsin’s dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300082715
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsvi
Acknowledgmentsvii
Introductionix
List of Abbreviationsxii
1The Soviet Philosophy of War1
2Party, State, and Military Structure16
3How the Military Was Manned38
4The Permanent War Economy49
5Military Strategy65
6Deciding to Change Course88
7Defensive Doctrine and Arms Reductions118
8Glasnost and the Public Debate147
9Legislating Military Reform173
10The Intractable Party-Military Connection203
11The Intractable Military-Industrial Sector223
12The Army and Maintaining Domestic Order244
13From Force Reductions to Disintegration272
14The August Crisis305
15Illusions of Another Chance347
16The Illusion of the CIS Armed Forces375
Conclusion388
Chronology405
Biographical Reference413
Notes421
Bibliography479
Index499

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