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Then the PM messed up and begged the Politburo for intervention, which took three months to decide.

While I think this is technically speaking correct, I would point out the long-standing Russian ambition to obtain reliable access to blue-water ports. In this case in the Indian Ocean. India was neutral-in-Soviet-favour during much of the Cold War, while revolutionary Iran was anti-US (or the US was anti-revolutionary Iran, take your pick) and therefore by the binary logic of the Cold War more or less pro-Soviet

If that is actually the case and has merit, then I cannot think of an act of aggression since Peter the Great.

Finland 1940/41. Baltics 1940. Arguably Hungary 1956. I don't remember off the top of my head who started the Crimean War, but IIRC Russia didn't come out of that looking particularly saintly.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 02:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, forgot the actual point in the geostrategic analysis in the first paragraph: With Iran and India neutral-in-Soviet-favour and Afghanistan in their possession or at least firmly in their sphere of influence, the USSR would have effectively boxed in Pakistan, which has a blue-water port in the Indian Ocean.

The overall picture would not be dissimilar to the encirclement of China by US client states (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan) during the Cold War, except that Pakistan would be in a much less favourable position than China on account of not being a great power in their own right.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 02:42:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Double oops. Forgot Poland 1939 on my list of Soviet aggressions.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 02:43:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poland 1939, various Caucasus and Central Asian takeovers in the wake of the Revolution and Civil War, take over of Poland in the eighteenth century, various wars against the Turks, suppression of various uprisings by colonial peoples...
by MarekNYC on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 02:45:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And their role in the first world war wasn't exactly something to look up to either, was it?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 02:50:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I turned my attentions to literature in grad school.

Russian and Eastern European Studies was my undergrad degree but that was a looong time ago (although exciting in the mid-90s).  So I am racking my brian for facts and beating my forehead with the palm of my hand knowing that I remember something but that it is on the tip of my tongue.

goes for your posts below, too

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 02:50:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Winter war?  Of course!  The Finns here have every right to berate me for that one.

Sorry guys, brain fart

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 03:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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