chapter  4
War, Weapons, and Soviet Foreign Policy
WithRobert Legvold
Pages 36

This chapter explains why the Soviets think about and prepare for war the way they do, why in times of peace they use force as they do, and why they seek what they do from arms control. It examines two main sources—the external and internal settings of policy—but as filtered by the perceptions of people who make or influence decisions. In theory, a way to change the Soviet image of war is through arms control. Arms control, in theory, also bears on a second crucial consideration—the likelihood of war. During the period of detente in the early 1970s, American approaches to arms control did encourage Soviet observers to worry less about the likelihood of war. Defending national liberation revolutions was put forward as one of the peacetime missions of the Soviets' blue-water navy by its architect, Admiral Gorshkov, in a celebrated series of articles on seapower published in 1972.