The Diffusion of Military Power Within a Decentralised International System: Limits of Soviet Power

  • Edward A. Kolodziej


A splintered and fragmented world society,1 including divisions within the communist camp, and the progressive diffusion of power throughout the international system limit the expansion of Soviet influence in the developing world. Specifically, the globalisation of the nation-state system with the end of colonialism and the collapse of the Eurocentric system and the spread of military capabilities, most notably to developing states, constrain Soviet aims and aspirations. These limitations are reinforced by others: the countervailing nuclear and conventional capabilities as well as the material and techno-scien-tific resources of the United States; the formidable military capacity and economic vitality of its West European allies and Japan; and the brittle strength of the economic and technological development of the Soviet Union and its bloc partners in Europe and elsewhere to sustain a strategy of global expansion. As the next chapter suggests and as succeeding chapters detail, Soviet ideology and expectations of increasing influence in the developing world have been forced to adjust, however slowly or reluctantly, to these parameters of power.


Middle East Military Force Military Expenditure World Society Military Power 
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© Edward A. Kolodziej and Roger E. Kanet 1889

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  • Edward A. Kolodziej

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