chapter  Chapter 6
50 Pages

The Anatomy of the Soviet Empire: Vulnerabilities and Strengths

WithVernon V. Aspaturian

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization two track decision adopted in 1979 was designed first to deter further Soviet deployment of intermediate range missiles and indeed to persuade Moscow to dismantle them through negotiation. The Soviet empire, more so than its predecessor, the Tsarist empire, continues this pattern in its own idiosyncratic manner. In East Asia, Mongolia's relationship to the Soviet Union is similar to that of the Warsaw Pact states, whereas North Korea's relationship to the Soviet Union remains both ambivalent and ambiguous because of the Sino-Soviet conflict. The Soviet assumption appears to be, not entirely unfounded, that Third World countries whose internal political, economic and social values and norms most closely resemble their own, and are distant from those of capitalist countries, are more likely to remain tied to the Soviet Bloc. The voluntary character of the bond that unites various states and nations to Russia and the Soviet Union varies considerably.