Northern Exposure

Soviet commandos were killing citizens in the Baltic republics last January, in part because the old military thinking and the groups whose interests are served by it are alive and well in Gorbachev's newly packaged Soviet state.

Issue: Spring 1991

Soviet commandos were killing citizens in the Baltic republics last January, in part because the old military thinking and the groups whose interests are served by it are alive and well in Gorbachev's newly packaged Soviet state.  The Soviet military has always been hypersensitive about its vulnerability on the northern flank.  Recent radical changes in the European security structure play to such fear and heighten anxiety about the Baltic states' demands for independence, as well as about the implications of those demands for the military's future.  If we wish to understand what is happening now on the borders of the Soviet Union, and where it might eventually lead (or be led), we have to answer an unwelcome question: If the Cold War is over, why do we still feel a chill wind?

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