Port Vists and the 'Internationalist Mission' of the Soviet Navy,
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ARLINGTON VA
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It is generally agreed that the Soviet navy is no longer exclusively a warfighting force. It has evolved into an important instrument of state policy in peacetime, and perhaps wartime as well. Overseas naval presence has traditionally been thought of as a measure of great power status. The Soviets began the practice of naval diplomacy in 1953. In that year, they began to make regular goodwill naval port visits outside the communist world. But until 1967 the effort was quite limited. It consisted almost exclusively of a dozen or so visits to a handful of Western European nations. The Soviet Navys peacetime political mission is believed to have been significantly enlarged in the mid 1960s. In terms of actual behavior, it can clearly be traced from mid-1967. During the period immediately after the June War, the Soviets undertook prolonged port visits to Alexandria to deter additional Israeli air strikes on Egypt. Since then the Soviet navy has with increasing frequency been dispatched in time of crisis in the third world.
- Government and Political Science