Gorbachev and the Soviet military
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This paper was written as a chapter in the book Gorbachev and the Soviet Future (L. Lerner and D. Treadgold, eds.). It considers whether changes that Mikhail Gorbachev has introduced within the Soviet Union signal the decline of the Soviet military's role as an institution within the country's political power structure. The author discusses three points: the growth of Soviet defense expenditures, the dynamics of personnel changes, and changes in the military's political status. He concludes that the changes Gorbachev has introduced have not reduced the importance of the military, but have increased it. The role the military plays in society has changed, however, because the role of the Communist Party and the KGB in military affairs has increased. The Soviet military is, and will remain, one of the most important and indispensable components of Soviet society.
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