THE LAST ARMY: the Inevitable Evolution

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Under Hoover's terms, the ARA was to be a completely American-run relief program for the transport, storage, and delivery of relief supplies mainly food and seed grain to those in the famine region. After Soviet officials agreed, hundreds of American volunteers were dispatched to oversee the program. The ARA gradually earned the trust of the local Communist authorities and was given a virtually free hand to distribute thousands of tons of grain, as well as clothing and medical supplies.

This remarkable humanitarian effort was credited with saving many millions of lives. ARA aid continued into , by which time local farms were again producing and the famine's grip was broken. Hoover and his ARA were later honored by the Soviet government for the care and generosity that the United States had shown in this desperate crisis.

During the s and early s, tensions between the Soviet Union and the West eased somewhat, particularly in the area of economic cooperation. Following their consolidation of political power, the Bolsheviks faced the same economic challenge as had the government ministers of the tsarist regime: how to efficiently organize the vast natural and human resources of the Soviet Union.

The economic situation was made even more difficult by the immense social and economic dislocation caused by World War I, the revolutions of , and the Civil War of — As factories stood idle and famine raged in the countryside, Vladimir Lenin instituted the New Economic Policy NEP in to infuse energy and direction into the fledgling Communist- controlled economy. NEP retreated from Communist orthodoxy and opened up the Soviet monolith economically. Such endeavors facilitated commercial ties between the Soviet Union and the United States, establishing the basis for further cooperation, dialogue, and diplomatic relations between the two countries.

This era of cooperation was never solidly established, however, and it diminished as Joseph Stalin attempted to eradicate vestiges of capitalism and to make the Soviet Union economically self-sufficient. Lenin believed that a well-disciplined, hierarchically organized party was necessary to lead the working class in overthrowing capitalism in Russia and the world. In November , the Bolsheviks seized power in St. Petersburg then called Petrograd and shortly thereafter began using the term Communist to describe themselves. The next year, they created the Communist International Comintern to control the Communist movement throughout the world.

After the Comintern's dissolution in , the Soviet party's Central Committee continued to use Communist parties from other nations as instruments of Soviet foreign policy. Each national party was required to adhere to the Leninist principle of subordinating members and organizations unconditionally to the decisions of higher authorities. Strongly influenced by the success of the Bolshevik Revolution, American socialists and radicals met in Chicago in to organize an American Communist party.

But the Americans were so divided they created two parties instead. One group consisted primarily of relatively recent Russian and East European immigrants, who emphasized adherence to Marxist orthodoxy and proletarian revolution. The other group, dominated by native-born, somewhat more pragmatic American radicals, sought mass influence.

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Such conflicting goals combined with the discrepancy between Communist doctrine and American reality, kept the Communist movement in the United States a small sectarian movement. In the Comintern forced the two American parties, which consisted of about 12, members, to amalgamate and to follow the party line established in Moscow. Although membership in the American party rose to about 75, by , following the Great Depression, many members left the party after the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact of Others left in after Nikita Khrushchev exposed some of Stalin's crimes and Soviet forces invaded Hungary.

Only the hard-core members remained after such reversals of Soviet policy. The American party, a significant although never major political force in the United States, became further demoralized when Boris Yeltsin outlawed the Communist party in Russia in August and opened up the archives, revealing the continued financial as well as ideological dependency of the American Communists on the Soviet party up until its dissolution.

Despite deep-seated mistrust and hostility between the Soviet Union and the Western democracies, Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in June created an instant alliance between the Soviets and the two greatest powers in what the Soviet leaders had long called the "imperialist camp": Britain and the United States.

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Lend-Lease was the most visible sign of wartime cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union. Additional assistance came from U. Russian War Relief a private, nonprofit organization and the Red Cross.


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About seventy percent of the aid reached the Soviet Union via the Persian Gulf through Iran; the remainder went across the Pacific to Vladivostok and across the North Atlantic to Murmansk. Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union officially ended in September Nevertheless, the program did not prevent friction from developing between the Soviet Union and the other members of the anti-Hitler alliance.

As the war in the east turned in favor of the Soviet Union, and despite the successful Allied landings in Normandy in , the earlier friction intensified over irreconcilable differences about postwar aims within the anti-Axis coalition. Lend-Lease helped the Soviet Union push the Germans out of its territory and Eastern Europe, thus accelerating the end of the war.

Testimony of Wendell Wilkie. The guns of distant battles fell silent long ago, but unanswered questions concerning United States servicemen missing in action and unrepatriated prisoners of war continue to concern the nation. Recently, the missing and prisoners of war from the Vietnam War have been the focus of attention.

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To find out additional information about Americans liberated from German prison camps by the Red Army and then interned in Soviet camps, the U. Library of Congress officials, among others, have been authorized to research Russian archival materials on the subject in Moscow. Through such efforts and additional cooperation, the fate of those missing in the Cold War may become known as well. One of the Soviet pilots who downed the B reported that the aircraft was recovered from the sea, but the fate of the crew is unknown.

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The history of warfare cruelly suggests that some questions concerning the missing in action and prisoners of war will never be answered. Nevertheless, candor, goodwill, and a spirit of cooperation on all sides can minimize such questions. The opening of archives is a step forward in getting at the truth which can clear up the confusion and suspicion created in the past.


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  • Joseph Stalin right center, rear in white uniform listens in on the discussions at the Potsdam Conference in following the German surrender. The conference was to determine the four-power partition of Germany and the future of Eastern Europe. To Stalin's right is the Soviet foreign minister, Vyachevslav Molotov. The authors addressed this and your retorts don't convince me they were wrong. The fact is that both Russia and China are expanding their global influence and are doing so largely uncontested and mostly unopposed Russia just positioned bombers in Venezuela.

    If the US were to continue to permit these actions, through indifference or ignorance, it will be at a strategic disadvantage when the balloon goes up. The title of the piece is about future war, not conflict short of war. And specifically, what the US Army should prepare for. As I understand it, the thesis seems to be that A2AD capabilities and nuclear weapons will render armies useless. I don't agree. The authors make several distinct arguments and I respond to them individually like this:. I have already addressed this in the thread above but, briefly: Escalation is a always a risk to be avoided but it has been one since the Soviet Union became a nuclear power.

    Since then, NATO has deterred its opponents from using nuclear weapons by the threat of retaliation in kind.

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    Russian doctrine notwithstanding, there is no reason to believe that deterrence will not be effective in the future as well. This is simply untrue unless you accept the highly problematic assumption that Russia or China would actually use nuclear weapons to defend small gains, the loss of which would not be existential.

    If we assume as most people do that no antagonist would risk nuclear Armageddon for minor advantage, then reversing gains by counter-attack is logical. And an obvious task for classic manoeuvre forces. This argument seems weak to me inasmuch as a border works both ways. Yes Russia can project power over its borders in various kinetic and non-kinetic ways. So can NATO.


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    • So can we. Yes Russian can draw red lines and hide behind them. We can as well. The basic principle of deterrence relies on the perception in the other guys's mind that we are willing to use force in whatever circumstance we say we will. In the case of Russia its simple.