Perestroika And Soviet National Security; Deterrence And The Revolution In Soviet Military Doctrine

In This Review

Perestroika And Soviet National Security

By Michael MccGwire
Brookings, 1991
510 pp. $39.95

Deterrence And The Revolution In Soviet Military Doctrine

By Raymond L. Garthoff
Brookings, 1990
210 pp. $29.95

Two deans of Soviet studies probe the Gorbachev revolution. Garthoff draws on a newly available Soviet military journal to elucidate the Soviet emphasis on war-prevention-in contrast to the more technical American emphasis on deterrence-and also to document Moscow's more recent acceptance that security must be mutual. MccGwire's magisterial study reaches back to 1945 but focuses on the 1980s. By then the open-ended burden of assuring that the Soviet Union would not "lose" a world war was becoming crippling. The turning point came in 1986 when Gorbachev accepted that democratization was essential to reform. More controversial, MccGwire argues that Reagan's anti-Soviet toughness, far from causing the Soviet revolution, may have slowed it.

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