Adapting to uncertainty: Soviet military strategy after the great patriotic war

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Soviet adaptation to the unexpected technology and policy conditions of Cold War occurred gradually. This chapter considerstwo aspects of Soviet adaptation in military strategy and in related policy analysis between 1945 and 1989. First, the role of nuclear escalation in relation to the anticipation of surprise attack and the avoidance of inadvertent war; and second, the Soviet assessment of the significance of the defensive and its relationship to new technologies and concepts about conventional deterrence. The problem of military stability has always been two-sided: The prevention of accidental/inadvertent war was as important as is the deterrence of deliberate aggression. Soviet theatre and strategic nuclear forces would assume the roles of counterdeterrents to North Atlantic Treaty Organization theatre and strategic nuclear deterrents, opening the highway for a conventional test of strength. Sovietpolitical and military leaders were able to adapt military theory and doctrine to the realities of Cold War bipolarity and the nuclear revolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMysteries of the Cold War
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780429832802
ISBN (Print)9781138325920
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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