Russia's South Flank: Soviet Operations in Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan

Russia's South Flank: Soviet Operations in Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan

Russia's South Flank: Soviet Operations in Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan

Russia's South Flank: Soviet Operations in Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan

Excerpt

The work here presented to the reader is the result of study followed up by personal observation. We first assessed the Soviet threat to Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan on the basis of available historical material, and then undertook our journeys in an effort to get a clearer evaluation by on-the-spot observation. We have traveled to Iran and Turkey a number of times in recent years, and in 1960 we both visited Afghanistan.

We are concerned with the threat that is posed to these countries by the Russia created by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution of 1917. However, the attitude of the governments and peoples of Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan is still conditioned by the expansionist tendencies toward the Bosporus, the Persian Gulf, and India displayed earlier by Czarist Russia. This is why we found it necessary to include a short account of the events before the Russian Revolution.

We have directed our attention mainly to the threat that Communism poses to Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan. But, as the chapter on Afghanistan will show, we do not believe that the solution to the problems of developing countries lies in merely combating Communism.

We have documented references to historical events by naming our source material. We have also tried to provide source references for the observations we ourselves made and for statements made to us during our travels. But we have departed from this practice whenever our informants asked us not to name them and whenever we ourselves thought it undesirable to reveal their identity.

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