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Political Theory

Political Theory

University of Richmond

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Soviet National Security Decision Making, Kurt M. Campbell, Jeffrey W. Legro Jan 1990

Soviet National Security Decision Making, Kurt M. Campbell, Jeffrey W. Legro

Political Science Faculty Publications

Winston Churchill's characterization of the Soviet Union as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma may overstate Western understanding of the USSR's national security decision-making. The evidence in this domain is sparse, and what we do have is incomplete. Indeed, the Soviets have taken extraordinary steps to maintain the black box that shields how and why their decisions are made. With these caveats in mind, knowledge of Soviet decision-making can be summed up in a few general statements. First, the Soviet leadership is an integrated political-military body, where political authority is dominant, but where the professional ...