Cover image for Soviet military doctrine : continuity, formulation, and dissemination
Title:
Soviet military doctrine : continuity, formulation, and dissemination
Author:
Scott, Harriet Fast.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder : Westview Press, 1988.
Physical Description:
xii, 315 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780813306568

9780813306711
Format :
Book

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UA770 .S355 1988 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Reviews 2

Choice Review

The Scotts, well-established experts on Soviet military affairs, unveil another in a series of painstakingly researched and documented studies of Soviet military topics, relying on original Soviet sources. This volume gives non-Russian speakers access to original writing on strategy, tactics, and doctrine in the nuclear age. Western specialists will not all agree that lines of inference hold up to the rigorous demands of Soviet studies methods. For example, it is unclear that a study of military doctrine and strategy provides accurate predictions of future behavior, since doctrine may serve a multitude of overlapping purposes and may run well behind the events to which it eventually refers. Michael MccGwire's Military Objectives in Soviet Foreign Policy (1987) might be read in conjunction with this volume for a contrasting interpretation. The Scotts' comments on dialectical reasoning are very clear and their thumbnail-sketch comments on the significance of the Party Congresses and the role of the Defense Council are consequential. The authors make their assumptions explicit, and this delineation of initial presumptions represents a contribution to a literature in which the role of assumptions is pivotal. If some of the chiaroscuro effect is obtained by comparing Soviet military writers with Western civilian ones, so be it; it is still a magnum opus. The appendixes alone are worth the price of the book for any college or university library. T. C. Smith Mankato State University


Choice Review

The Scotts, well-established experts on Soviet military affairs, unveil another in a series of painstakingly researched and documented studies of Soviet military topics, relying on original Soviet sources. This volume gives non-Russian speakers access to original writing on strategy, tactics, and doctrine in the nuclear age. Western specialists will not all agree that lines of inference hold up to the rigorous demands of Soviet studies methods. For example, it is unclear that a study of military doctrine and strategy provides accurate predictions of future behavior, since doctrine may serve a multitude of overlapping purposes and may run well behind the events to which it eventually refers. Michael MccGwire's Military Objectives in Soviet Foreign Policy (1987) might be read in conjunction with this volume for a contrasting interpretation. The Scotts' comments on dialectical reasoning are very clear and their thumbnail-sketch comments on the significance of the Party Congresses and the role of the Defense Council are consequential. The authors make their assumptions explicit, and this delineation of initial presumptions represents a contribution to a literature in which the role of assumptions is pivotal. If some of the chiaroscuro effect is obtained by comparing Soviet military writers with Western civilian ones, so be it; it is still a magnum opus. The appendixes alone are worth the price of the book for any college or university library. T. C. Smith Mankato State University