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Title:Images as Defense Policy Determinants in the Soviet-American Military Relationship Since 1945
Author(s):Petersen, Phillip A.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, International Law and Relations
Abstract:The objective of this study is to explain the impact of Soviet and American images of the strategic environment on defense policy and its formulation. This objective is accomplished by comparing the structure of Soviet and American military thought in the context of their respective strategic cultures. While ethnocentrism is reflected in both systems, its impact is different in the two strategic cultures. The intellectual construct created by Soviet military thought is substantially determined by the dialectical framework of the ideological struggle constituting the operationalization of the Soviet assumption of systemic conflict. This results in a zero-sum view of Soviet-American relations, and focuses Soviet military thought on new requirements for military science. On the other hand, because American defense policy is less ideologically focused, American military thought becomes largely a policy debate over how to "contain" the Soviet Union and "deter" its use of military power. Therefore, Soviet military thought has more of an operational focus and American military thought more of a political strategy focus. Soviet and American military thought, for this reason, interact with each other's military policy at different levels. This has led to an evolution of Soviet perceptions of military sufficiency that provides additional operational flexibility while American perceptions of Soviet military power mostly generated additional policy disputes.
Issue Date:1985
Description:410 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521858
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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