The Use of Force in Soviet Policy and the West,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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It is by now widely believed that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Carter administrations reaction to it mark a new watershed in the relationship between the two superpowers and augur a period of tensions and hostility, if not the beginning of a new Cold War. The main reason for this reassessment is the belief that the Soviet action represents a qualitatively new stage in Soviet policy -- one characterized by the unrestrained use of military power for the achievement of political objectives. Perhaps nothing is more characteristic of this attitude than the Presidents own statement that the Soviet intervention represents a radical departure from previous Kremlin policy, which has caused a dramatic reversal of his views of Soviet policy and ultimate objectives. In fact, the Soviet Assault on Afghanistan, though particularly brutal, is neither unprecedented, nor is it particularly surprising, and Washingtons present attitudes reveal a fundamental misperception of Soviet international behavior in general, and the role of military power in Moscows foreign policy in particular.
- Sociology and Law