Nuclear weapons have obviously been a cornerstone of security policy in the postwar age, providing the West with a credible deterrent in the face of Warsaw Pact conventional superiority in numerous areas and granting legitimacy to Soviet claims of superpower status. This chapter identifies some of the key elements of Soviet security policy, including the role of nuclear weapons. It discusses differences in Soviet views of the overall political architecture of the European security system between the pre- and post-November 1989 worlds. One of the greatest effects of Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to reform the Soviet Union has been the resulting revolution in Eastern Europe, which in turn has fundamentally altered Soviet-East European relations and East-West relations. In contrast to the Western media, until the advent of glasnost’, the range and scope of debate evident in the official Soviet press was markedly constrained and narrow.