cover image: Interview with Richard Pipes, 1986


Interview with Richard Pipes, 1986


Richard Pipes was a history professor at Harvard University who took part in the 1976 Team B study of the Soviet military threat and later served as Director of East European and Soviet Affairs on the National Security Council staff from 1981-1982. In this second interview, he discusses Soviet thinking on military and strategic matters. He believes Moscow chooses its objectives around the world carefully because of its limited resources, then presses as far as it can until it meets resistance. The Soviets’ strategic buildup of the 1970s, in his view, was a drive for superiority not just parity, and their interest in any arms control arrangement is purely tactical, designed to hinder U.S. weapons programs and freeze their own superiority. From this he offers thoughts about what it all means for the United States and how Washington should formulate strategy accordingly. Third World issues are also discussed. His opinion on Afghanistan is that the Kremlin views it as a stepping stone to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Concluding, he notes that the 1970s were a dangerous time, but not so much because of what the Soviets did as because of American demoralization and its effects on U.S. policy.
horn of africa communism detente nuclear weapons soviet union civil defense nuclear arms control strategic arms limitation talks ii carter, jimmy 1924 brzezinski, zbigniew 1928 united states. president (1977-1981 : carter). presidential directive 59 warnke, paul c. 1920-2001 committee on the present danger (u.s.) vance, cyrus r. (cyrus roberts) 1917-2002 soviet union. treaties, etc. united states, 1972 may 26 (abm), 1972 may 26 (abm) united states. congress nitze, paul h bush, george 1924 sakharov, andrei 1921-1989 ss-18 missile


Pipes, Richard

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Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States Ethiopia Afghanistan Angola Mozambique China South Africa
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