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Predicting Soviet Military Intervention

Marita Kaw
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 33, No. 3 (Sep., 1989), pp. 402-429
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/174122
Page Count: 28
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Predicting Soviet Military Intervention
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Abstract

This article attempts to explain and predict Soviet intervention in conflicts abroad during 1950-1987. I constructed a geopolitics driven model of Soviet calculus for intervention to predict which of four levels of intervention will be undertaken: verbal/diplomatic or less, arms delivery, limited personnel, or large-scale personnel support. When tested on 403 diverse civil and interstate conflicts adapted from the Correlates of War and Conflict and Peace Data Bank projects, the model proved correct in 88% of the cases. Two other predictive rules -- the Modal and the Mirror Image alternatives -- were also tested and used as baselines for comparison. The results show Moscow rarely wields the sword except to rescue an embattled ally or a potential client. Although it intervened more frequently during the 1970s, an increase in the number of beleaguered clients seems to account for the trendline. The findings offer useful correctives to Cold War and Mirror Image theories.

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