• James Sherr
Part of the RUSI Defence Studies Series book series (RUSIDS)


It has been said that the civilised mind is a museum of contradictory truths. This adage stands as both a comfort and a warning to those who would assess the Soviet challenge. At the very least, the terrain to be negotiated is full of unfamiliar truths, not readily perceived with a Westerner’s sextant and compass. In Europe and North America, three paradigms about Soviet conduct have contended for influence, summed up respectively by the words ‘insecure’, ‘imperial’ and ‘revolutionary’; each frequently, if not always happily, associated with a ‘defensive’, ‘pragmatic’ and ‘expansionist’ reading of Soviet policy. These paradigms are at best like primary colours: only when combined do they enable one to see properly.


Foreign Policy Soviet Economy Soviet Society Continue Challenge Soviet Policy 
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© Royal United Services Institute 1991

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  • James Sherr

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