This book constitutes an attempt to examine the evolution, nature, and ultimate demise of what can be called the "Soviet/Communist control system" in Eastern Europe. More specifically, attention is directed to the maze of socialization and coercive mechanisms utilized by the Soviet Union and the former ruling regimes in the region to enhance the political/military reliability of the East European armed forces, and to explain the manner in which these pervasive controls came undone in the wake of the tumultuous events of 1989 and 1990.
In doing the research for this study I benefited considerably from the support of the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security ( ACDIS) at the University of Illinois (Urbana), as well as from the Faculty Grant Program at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Useful advice in the early stages of the project came from Professors Claudio Cioffi-Revilla of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Edward Kolodziej at the University of Illinois, and at later stages from my editor, Mildred Vasan of Greenwood Press. I would particularly like to express my gratitude to Professor Roger Kanet, Vice Chancellor for International Programs at the University of Illinois, for stimulating my initial interest in Soviet-East European politics and for consistently valuable comments from the very beginning of the project. It is difficult to imagine a more generous and committed mentor. Needless to say, any errors contained in the study in no way reflect upon their assistance and are therefore solely attributable to the author.