THE MYTH OF SOVIET MILITARY SUPREMACY by Tom Gervasi

THE MYTH OF SOVIET MILITARY SUPREMACY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An impassioned examination of the Administration's misrepresentation of Soviet power and its consequences. Gervasi, director of the Center for Military Research and Analysis, argues that the US holds an advantage over the Soviet Union in strategic power, that both NATO and the Warsaw Pact have sufficient strength to defend their territories effectively, and that Western military equipment is superior to that of the East, overshadowing occasional numerical disadvantages. Citing example after example, Gervasi argues that the Reagan Administration has chosen a cynical path of misstating these facts, which, among other things, has skewered the federal budget and actually increased the risk of war. Two of these distortions: despite President Reagan's depiction of invincibility, the Star Wars program would be useless against cruise missiles, missiles fired in subatmospheric arcs, bombers carrying nuclear warheads, or nuclear weapons brought to the target and assembled there. Also, when comparing nuclear stockpiles, the Reagan Administration has repeatedly omitted warheads carried in American B-52 bombers from the calculations, with glib assertions that the equipment is ""outdated""; yet by the 1990's, over $10 billion will have been spent on improving the bombers. Gervasi cites numerous instances where, he says, the press and critics have been cowed by an aggressive administration; how basic facts--such as the historic role of the US as the initiator of each new round of escalation in the arms race--are turned on their head; how, he claims, the US bargains over nuclear matters in bad faith; and how the military portion of the federal budget has risen to 57 percent (counting military pensions and interest on military-induced debt). This is a fiercely argued, chilling indictment, documented in high detail. Were Gervasi to have his way, this book would inspire a rational, factual debate on arms policy.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1986
Publisher: Harper & Row