'A fly in outer space': Soviet ballistic missile defence during the Khrushchev period

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Abstract

Although the Soviet missile defence effort was begun to protect the USSR from attack by nuclear missiles, Khrushchev was quick to see its political value, and used the prospect of an anti‐ballistic missile system to emphasize Soviet technological superiority. Within the Soviet armed forces there was widespread consensus about the importance of ABM's damage‐limiting role. The debates about strategy for future war in Soviet military publications demonstrate that support in the armed forces for an ABM capability transcended service loyalties and remained remarkably strong even after 1962, when technical problems and an effort to improve relations with the US following the Cuban Missile Crisis meant that the missile defence project no longer enjoyed the public backing of senior Party and military figures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-59
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Strategic Studies
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 1998

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