Romania and the Warsaw Pact: the defense policy of a reluctant ally

by Alex Alexiev

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Examines Romanian deviation from accepted Warsaw Pact practices in the military-political realm. Romanian defense doctrine has undergone a metamorphosis from one based on collective defense of the Soviet Bloc to stressing national defense and the concept of people's war. While remaining a nominal member of the Warsaw Pact, Romania has refused to cooperate on most substantive military matters, abstaining from Warsaw Pact maneuvers and not allowing any Warsaw Pact troops on its territory. At the same time, Romania has established extensive military relations with non-Warsaw Pact and NATO countries. Romania has worked to build a domestic arms production capacity in collaboration with Western partners. The Romanian military deviation has discredited the image of Warsaw Pact as a cohesive and ideologically motivated military alliance and has set a dangerous precedent. The Romanian deviation has negatively affected Soviet maneuverability on the Pact's South-Eastern flank and may seriously compromise a Warsaw Pact effort in the future.

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