Collapse of the Soviet Military by Gen. William E. Odom

By Gen. William E. Odom

During this booklet, a exceptional usa military officer and pupil strains the increase and fall of the Soviet army, arguing that it had a miles larger influence on Soviet politics and fiscal improvement than was once perceived within the West. Drawing on interviews with key actors within the Soviet Union sooner than, in the course of, and after its cave in in 1991, normal William E. Odom tells a riveting and critical tale.

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33 The ethnic composition of the officer corps was predominantly Slavic. Central Asian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Moldavian officers were rare. Armenian, Tatar, and Baltic officers were found in noticeable numbers, but Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians, in that order, made up the overwhelming majority. 34 A potential therefore remained for the fragmentation of the military enlisted ranks along ethnic lines; yet the leadership seems to have remained oblivious to this danger until 198889, when it became undeniably manifest.

Military service for the revolution, therefore, would involve most of the population in order to assure the victory of the working class. European Social Democrats emphasized this point in the program of the Second International, insisting that a ''workers' militia" would be its army and that after the revolution, "barracks-type" armies, characteristic of the capitalist epoch, would be abolished. Separated from society, such armies could be indoctrinated to repress the exploited classes. A workers' militia would be synonymous with the working class and therefore unable to repress itself.

The Defense Industries Department dealt < previous page page_21 next page > < previous page page_22 next page > Page 22 primarily with the VPK, approving its top personnel appointments. The International Department handled foreign policy, relations with foreign communist parties, and some aspect of intelligence work. Finally, the Main Political Administration, holding the status of a department, headed a vast structure of ''political organs" throughout all military, MVD, and KGB organizations. 12 These secretariat departments traditionally served as a kind of "general staff" for the party leader and his fellow secretaries.

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