SOVIET STRATEGY IN EUROPE by Richard--Ed. Pipes

SOVIET STRATEGY IN EUROPE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Seven essays on Soviet aims and capabilities vis-à-vis Western Europe and the West as a whole, with an overview by Harvard expert Pipes. Michel Tatu describes the enhanced sophistication and self-confidence of the Soviet army; Lothar Ruel reviews various non-Communist political elements in Western Europe who have sought expanded peaceful relations with the USSR and discusses the potential effect on Atlanticism; Christopher Cviic argues that the Soviets don't really need Eastern Europe as a buffer, since ""the West's posture vis-à-vis the Soviet Union since 1945 has been consistently defensive,"" but instead use the region to expand their influence. Evaluations of the Warsaw Pact nations' qualitative and quantitative superiority in conventional arms are offered by Thomas W. Wolfe and John Erickson. The articles on economic relations, drawing on 1973 data, perhaps underestimate the potential benefits of pan-European ties but provide scant basis for Pipes' warning against Western ""dependency"" on the East. Pipes' general theme is that advocates of dÉtente underestimate the illiberality, sneakiness, and expansionism of the USSR. His exposition relies on darkly toned tautologies (it is in the Soviet interest to get concessions) and frightened warnings against ""conciliation""; yet the remainder of the book contains some valuable material.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1976
Publisher: Crane, Russak