Alien Wars: The Soviet Union's Aggression Against the World, 1919 to 1989

Oleg Sarin, Author, Lev Dvoretsky, With, O. L. Sarin, Author Presidio Press $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89141-421-6
The recent spate of exposes by military and intelligence officers from the former Soviet Union has generated a certain skepticism regarding their motivation and quality. Sarin, a former editor of the Soviet armed forces daily Red Star, and Dvoretsky, a military journalist and historian, rise above the genre authors in this survey of the U.S.S.R.'s military adventurism. Stalin in particular, they show, pursued the goal of world revolution--in Spain and Finland, in Eastern Europe and Korea. After his death, the policy of ""neoglobalism"" continued. Sarin and Dvoretsky chronicle the significant direct role of U.S.S.R. technicians in Vietnam, the stationing of missile units and ground forces in Cuba and an involvement in Africa so extensive and complex that, on one occasion, Soviet advisers found themselves on both sides of a war between Ethiopia and Somalia. The authors' major contribution is their archivally based demonstration that Soviet policies were primarily motivated by Marxist-Leninist ideology rather than by geopolitical concerns. Read in company with R.C. Roach's pathbreaking Stalin's Drive to the West, 1938-1945, this book leaves no doubt of the U.S.S.R.'s ultimate goal. Sarin and Dvoretsky, however, tend to overstate the actual levels of Soviet commitment to expansionist campaigns. On the whole, Stalin and his successors played for only minor human and material stakes, preferring to let proxies bear the brunt of the risks and losses. This caution stands in sharp contrast to U.S. policies in, for example, Korea and Vietnam--and may help explain why, in its final crisis, the U.S.S.R. stood alone. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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