Armed Forces and Political Power in Eastern Europe: The Soviet/Communist Control System

By Bradley R. Gitz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
The Development of the WTO and the
Soviet/Communist Control System

INTRODUCTION

This chapter provides a general overview of the evolution of the Soviet-East European military relationship in the postwar era. Because the role of East European forces within Soviet military planning changed considerably with fluctuations in Soviet doctrine and foreign policy, the control mechanisms used by Moscow and the ruling regimes to bolster NSWP reliability also underwent an often subtle process of evolution. As such, particular emphasis will be placed upon the relationship of the NSWP military establishments with the principal systemic actors guiding their development--the East European Communist parties, the Soviet Union, and the WTO organizational apparatus. Although the East European regimes tended to view control over their armed forces as an important symbol of national sovereignty, the USSR was historically confronted with the difficult task of upgrading the military effectiveness of those forces without granting concessions to East European independence which would have reduced the Kremlin's level of influence in the region. 1 As the following analysis should make clear, the USSR increasingly came to view the WTO as a device for reconciling these somewhat contradictory objectives.

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