Soviet Naval Interaction with the United States and Its Influence on Soviet Naval Development

by Thomas W. Wolfe

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This paper draws from a larger, continuing study on the role of the interaction phenomenon in the area of strategy, foreign policy, and military posture. Soviet naval development is examined in the context of three distinct periods. (1) 1945 to mid-1950 saw a gradual jelling of Soviet-American rivalry into the mutual animosity of the Cold War, with America having a temporary nuclear monopoly. (2) 1950 to 1962 became an era marked by critical transition to intense bipolar competition and the formation of opposing military alliances in Europe. (3) 1962 to 1972 — from the Cuban confrontation to the signing of the SALT I accords, which formally validated the Soviet Union's attainment of strategic "equality" with the United States — marked a new phase in which the two superpowers' rivalry was being conditioned by a more complex pattern of world politics than had prevailed earlier.

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