[FPSPACE] Soviet Military Power (was: NOTSNIK)
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 31 22:46:55 EDT 2005
An addendum to my earlier post:
I pulled my copies of Soviet Military Power off the shelf and looked.
First Edition was September 1981
Second was March 1983
Third was April 1984
Fourth was April 1985
Fifth was March 1986
The 1989 and 1990 editions were published in September.
The 1986 edition features some very nice artist impressions of Soviet "Hen House" ABM radars. It also features the famous illustration of the Buran space shuttle on its launch pad. This was some lousy artwork and many of the artist illustrations in this publication were rather cartoonish.
It is interesting to look at the dates.
The first edition was actually published in the waning days of the Carter administration. In fact, I think that it was the Reagan White House that actually turned this into a much bigger, glossier production. They also printed a lot more of them.
Another thing that you might notice from the dates is what time of the year they were published. September is pretty much near the end of the congressional budgeting cycle. Congress is _supposed_ to have a budget approved by October 1. But the cycle really starts in spring. So by putting out SMP in March 1983, this was really the opening salvo in the military budget fight. This was the Pentagon's way of saying "See? The Soviets have all these strategic weapons and space shuttles and things like that. So you need to give us more money."
Cold War ends and what happens? SMP gets published at the end of the budget rather than the beginning.
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