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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare by Other Means

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Warfare by Other Means Economics, demographics, cultural, technological, and other factors that have affected the course of history.

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  #1  
Old 06 Aug 15, 14:15
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Gorbachev Interview: US Military Insurmountable Osbstacle to Nuke-free World

From Der Spiegel: Mchail Gorbachev: US Military an Insurmountable Obstacle to a Nuclear-free World

http://www.spiegel.de/international/...a-1046900.html

excerpt

s and his fear that an atomic weapon will some day be used.

SPIEGEL: Mikhail Sergeyevich, during your inaugural speech as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, you warned of nuclear war and called for the "complete destruction of nuclear weapons and a permanent ban on them." Did you mean that seriously?


Gorbachev: The discussion about disarmament had already been going on for too long -- far too long. I wanted to finally see words followed by action because the arms race was not only continuing, it was growing ever more dangerous in terms of the number of weapons and their destructive capacity. There were tens of thousands of nuclear warheads on different delivery systems like aircraft, missiles and submarines. SPIEGEL: Did you feel the Soviet Union was under threat during the 1980s by the nuclear weapons of NATO member states?
Gorbachev: The situation was that nuclear missiles were being stationed closer and closer to our adversary's borders. They were getting increasingly precise and they were also being aimed at decision-making centers. There were very concrete plans for the use of these weapons. Nuclear war had become conceivable. And even a technical error could have caused it to happen. At the same time, disarmament talks were not getting anywhere. In Geneva, diplomats pored over mountains of paper, drank wine, and even harder stuff, by the liter. And it was all for nothing.
SPIEGEL: At a meeting of the Warsaw Pact nations in 1986, you declared that the military doctrine of the Soviet Union was no longer to plan for the coming war, but rather to seek to prevent military confrontation with the West. What was the reason behind the shift in strategy?
Gorbachev: It was clear to me that relations with America and the West would be a lasting dead end without atomic disarmament, with mutual distrust and growing hostility. That is why nuclear disarmament was the highest priority for Soviet foreign policy.

---------------------------------------------------------------

excerpt

SPIEGEL: Are you disappointed in the Americans?
Gorbachev: So many decades pass, but unfortunately some things do not change. Already back in the 1950s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated the problem by its name. The power of the military-industrial complex continued to be enormous under Reagan and his successor George Bush. Former US Secretary of State George Shultz told me a few years ago that only a conservative president like Reagan could have been in a position to get the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty through the Senate. Let's not forget that the the "Zero Option" that Reagan himself proposed (eds. note: the proposal to remove all Soviet and American intermediate-range nuclear missles from Europe) had many opponents in the West. They considered it to be a propaganda stunt and they wanted to thwart Reagan's policies. After the Reykjavik summit in 1986 (eds. note: the subject of the summit between Reagan and Gorbachev was nuclear disarmament), Margaret Thatcher declared: We won't be able to handle a second Reykjavik.
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  #2  
Old 06 Aug 15, 15:20
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Gorbachev had more immediate threats than "during the 1980's by the nuclear weapons of NATO member states":

First, the arms race overstrained the Soviet Union had more than a third of all the country's resources committed to military expenditures;
Second, economic stagnation from an increasingly exposed economy's extremely low level of efficiency;
Third, bureaucratic ossification of society;
Fourth, the challenge from nationalism on the unitary nature of the Union;
Fifth, monopoly of a single political power;
Sixth, the system which ruled in the name of the collective and society had deprived the citizen of important rights and liberties;
Seventh, the senseless adventure in Afghanistan.

from Dmitri Volkogonov's "Autopsy For An Empire: The Seven Leaders who Built the Soviet Regime"
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Old 07 Aug 15, 06:17
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Interesting (and worrying), how almost all of these threats are paralleled in today's US / western countries.
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Old 07 Aug 15, 10:56
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Quote:
First, the arms race overstrained the Soviet Union had more than a third of all the country's resources committed to military expenditures;
False. The GDP committed to military was around 8,8%.

Quote:
Second, economic stagnation from an increasingly exposed economy's extremely low level of efficiency;
Also partially false. The problem was not with economy but with associated bureacracy.


Quote:
Fourth, the challenge from nationalism on the unitary nature of the Union;
Appeared only thanks to Gorbachev.


Quote:
Fifth, monopoly of a single political power;
Sixth, the system which ruled in the name of the collective and society had deprived the citizen of important rights and liberties;
Cannot be considered as problems.

Quote:
Seventh, the senseless adventure in Afghanistan.
Maintain a pro-Soviet regime had all sense. Problems were with execution.
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Old 07 Aug 15, 17:14
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Well, from my perspective, it's Colonel General Dmitri Volkogonov, who rose to be head of the Army's Main Administration Directorate and Director of the Institute of Military History as well as a personal adviser to Yeltsin during the period quoted previously versus Emtos from Belgium.
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Old 07 Aug 15, 19:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
Well, from my perspective, it's Colonel General Dmitri Volkogonov, who rose to be head of the Army's Main Administration Directorate and Director of the Institute of Military History as well as a personal adviser to Yeltsin during the period quoted previously versus Emtos from Belgium.
Quote:
Еще в 1989 году в книге Триумф и трагедия. И. В. Сталин. Политический портрет Дмитрий Волкогонов писал о Ленине: Гений этого человека был велик, Подлинный социализм, каким его видел Ленин, это когда в центре внимания человек. Ленинская концепция социализма это демократия, гуманизм, человек, социальная справедливость. Однако уже в 1992 году Д. А. Волкогонов трактует Ленина как малопривлекательную личность и примитивного философа.
Someone who made a 180 turn regarding the personnality of Lenin in just 3 years...

I even don't speak about his service as a personal advisor to Yeltsin.
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Old 07 Aug 15, 20:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
Someone who made a 180 turn regarding the personnality of Lenin in just 3 years...

I even don't speak about his service as a personal advisor to Yeltsin.
So, he revises his position on Lenin's personality after research in the archives. You probably cannot speak to his service to Yeltsin, nor produce documentation on the service.

He still has more first-hand experience and closer to the events than a student in healthcare sciences. I'm not wanting to make this personal, but when I look at the bona fides for a critical judgment on differing opinions--Volkogonov's researched and experienced opinion carries more weight than your background.
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Old 08 Aug 15, 04:47
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Seems to me if old Gorby had wanted to have a nuclear free world all he would have had to do was get rid of his weapons to demonstrate how to start it.
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Old 08 Aug 15, 08:56
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reykjav%C3%ADk_Summit
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Old 08 Aug 15, 18:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
So, he revises his position on Lenin's personality after research in the archives. You probably cannot speak to his service to Yeltsin, nor produce documentation on the service.

He still has more first-hand experience and closer to the events than a student in healthcare sciences. I'm not wanting to make this personal, but when I look at the bona fides for a critical judgment on differing opinions--Volkogonov's researched and experienced opinion carries more weight than your background.
He didn't changed his position on Lenin because of some archive searches. He changed it because it suited his agenda. It's called political prostitution. Someone who gave the oath to serve the Soviet motherland until last and them supported the dissolution of USSR, cannot be seen a trustworthy source. The simple fact that he was in good terms with Yeltsin give a clear indication that there is big changes for him to be a . But since you didn't lived in ex-USSR during those times I understand that you can have difficulties with this.


Quote:
Seems to me if old Gorby had wanted to have a nuclear free world all he would have had to do was get rid of his weapons to demonstrate how to start it.
To get immediately nuked ? Even Gorby wasn't that stupid.
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Old 08 Aug 15, 18:41
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To get immediately nuked ? Even Gorby wasn't that stupid.
If the U.S. had ever intended to nuke the Soviet Union we would have done it in the four years before they got their first A-Bomb.
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Old 08 Aug 15, 18:46
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If the U.S. had ever intended to nuke the Soviet Union we would have done it in the four years before they got their first A-Bomb.
There were limitations which didn't existed in 80's.
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Old 08 Aug 15, 19:44
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Ever hear of the AGM-69? We could've nuked them with near impunity.

Then again they could've fielded their fobs and done the same.

Thank God reason won that issue...
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Old 08 Aug 15, 19:56
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Ever hear of the AGM-69? We could've nuked them with near impunity.

Then again they could've fielded their fobs and done the same.

Thank God reason won that issue...
There wasn't AGM-69 until 70's. When it arrived USSR had already enough of nukes to launch a counter-attack.

It would be interesting to know what would be the cost of a full-scale nuclear conflict. I used to read a hypothesis that it would be less harmful for Russia than the fall of USSR. Would be a good exercice to calculate the implication WWIII.
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Old 09 Aug 15, 00:48
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Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
There wasn't AGM-69 until 70's. When it arrived USSR had already enough of nukes to launch a counter-attack.

It would be interesting to know what would be the cost of a full-scale nuclear conflict. I used to read a hypothesis that it would be less harmful for Russia than the fall of USSR. Would be a good exercice to calculate the implication WWIII.

Whoever came up with that hypotheses was a moron. A full scale nuclear war would have left the USSR dead. No cities very little uncontaminated country side. Even the forest wold have been targeted. Trust me the fall of the Soviet Union was mild compared to a full scale war.
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