Soviet Military Interventions Since 1945
Alex Schmid's survey of Soviet postwar military interventions, supplemented with case studies by Ellen Berends, fills a void in providing data to the current discussion on Soviet expansionism. Defining military intervention in a broader sense than "regular troops engaged in combat abroad," Schmid chronicles the various forms Soviet interventions assumed in three different contexts: intrabloc interventions - against client states of the Soviet Union; interbloc interventions - against core Western nations; and extrabloc interventions - in the Third World.The alleged and real role of client states is analyzed critically and juxtaposed with examples of joint Western interventions. The ten case studies include not only such well-known examples as Afghanistan (1979-), Czechoslovakia (1968), Hungary (1956), and East Germany (1953), but also deal with the incorporation of the Baltic states (1944-), the Greek civil war (1944-), the Iranian crisis (1945-46), the Austrian occupation (1945-55), the Korean War (1950-53), and the Sino-Soviet border dispute (1960s).From the analysis of Soviet foreign military policies a picture emerges that emphasizes the role of pull factors that transform military assistance into military intervention. By drawing attention to the successes as well as the numerous failures of Soviet military adventures in the Third World, this timely study is likely to give both the believers in a Soviet "grand design for world domination" and those who see the Soviet Union as an essentially conservative power an opportunity to reconsider their respective positions. Drawing from a wide range of literature on Soviet military activity, this is the most concise study presently available. In a concluding chapter, "The Future of Soviet Military Interventions," Schmid draws attention to the likelihood of continued Soviet interventions.