The Krasnoyarsk Affair
The transition from confrontation to cooperation in the Soviet-American relationship which occurred in the mid- and late-1980s was neither easy nor free of internal conflict. The difficulties encountered by the new Gorbachevian leadership in the USSR as it set about changing the direction of its foreign policy were not rooted solely in the "established stereotypes of thinking." Rather, they could be traced to a number of objective factors, such as the vast stocks of strategic arms amassed in the preceding years, the inertia inherited by the defense programs then under way, and the significant influence exercised by the representatives of the "old guard" Party and state structures in both the domestic and foreign policy activities of the state. Alongside these large-scale obstacles, there suddenly appeared a seemingly peripheral, nonfundamental issue: construction in the Soviet Union of "just another" early warning radar in the area of Krasnoyarsk. For various reasons, however, it was precisely this "innocuous" program that put the Soviet leadership's "new political thinking" to its mo st serious policy test.
That test can be traced back to the founding years of the Strategic Forces of the Soviet Union. No objective correlation of forces would have been possible if defenses were not considered in conjunction with offenses. Clearly, as the Soviet