In This Review

The New Military in Russia: Ten Myths That Shape the Image
The New Military in Russia: Ten Myths That Shape the Image
By Richard F. Staar
Naval Institute Press, 1996, 248 pp

A dense book packed with footnotes and tables, in which the author takes a dark view of the Russian military's present and future. Despite its claims to the contrary, the military engages in politics, resists reform, seeks to preserve the military- industrial complex, flouts arms control treaties, and generally poses a considerable threat to the future of Russian democracy and the tranquillity of Russia's neighbors. Staar's credentials, including diplomatic service and a doctorate in political science, are considerable, and he has amassed a great deal of interesting Russian-language material to support his contentions. One wonders, however, whether the decay of the Russian army, the turmoil of the Russian economy, and the gradual liberalization of Russia's political culture might not ameliorate the dark trends the author sees, and one wishes there were more argument and less mere fact-assembling here. Still, a disturbing book worth a look.