Naval War College Review


Colin S. Gray


It is reasonable to assume that Mikhail Gorbachev neither wishes, nor would be permitted, to dismantle the Soviet empire or to reduce radically the "immoderate greatness" of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union functioning in, or in fact as, a one-party state. For reasons very deeply rooted in geography and history-reasons that are worthy of being called cultural rather than matters of policy-the Great Russian Empire that is the U.S.S.R. is a thinly camouflaged war machine more than it is an entity having a war machine. Four assumptions about Soviet-American relations provide the political framework for this discussion of strategy.