Soviet Views on Nuclear Deterrence

  • Robert Arnett


Soviet leaders have a dichotomous view of the concept of ‘nuclear deterrence’. They do not believe it provides a reliable basis for security of the Soviet homeland. At the same time, they have long accepted its reality. Soviet concerns about the inadequacy of nuclear deterrence are echoed in both their writings and their force deployments.


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  1. 8.
    As one Soviet noted in the key Party journal Kommunist, ‘for the time being the world indeed depends on nuclear deterrence, on the balance of terror. The threat of inevitable retribution makes a premeditated consciously started nuclear war not very probable’. Bovin, ‘New Thinking’. For further evidence, see Robert Arnett, ‘Soviet Attitudes Towards Nuclear War: Do They Really Think They Can Win?’ Journal of Strategic Studies, London, Frank Cass, September 1979, pp. 172–91.Google Scholar
  2. Mary FitzGerald, ‘The Soviet Leadership on Nuclear War’, Soviet Union/Union Soviétique, vol. 13, no. 3 (1986) 249–73.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Carl G. Jacobsen 1990

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  • Robert Arnett

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