The Cold War on the Ground, 1945–1981

  • Mark O’Neill


Athe twenty-first century begins, yet another Russian politician stakes his political future on the success of the nation’s armed forces in a struggle against a non-Russian foe. As it searches to define its new role nationally and internationally, the Russian military faces an expanding NATO and a resumption of the war in Chechnya with a nearly non-existent budget and greatly reduced force levels. Once the most feared and respected Cold War military machine, the Russian Army today is hard-pressed to reclaim a small fragment of its former empire. It also faces the prospect of watching impotently as NATO follows the 1997 absorption of the Soviet Union’s former cordon sanitaire in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic with the inclusion of the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The status of the Soviet Army during the Cold War, particularly in East-Central Europe, as a pillar of the USSR’s political regime, economic system, and foreign policy is difficult to perceive in today’s walking shadow.


Foreign Policy Military Spending General Staff Soviet Economy Military Elite 
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Sources and Recommended Readings

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Copyright information

© Robin Higham and Frederick W. Kagan 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark O’Neill

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