Soviet doctrine justifying military intervention from 1945 to 1989
This thesis is about the Soviet doctrine used to justify or threaten military intervention since 1945. This interventionist doctrine achieved greater currency in 1968 in the form of the "Brezhnev Doctrine". This doctrine, generally associated with the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, stipulated that Moscow reserved the right to intervene militarily or otherwise if developments in any given socialist country inflicted damage on socialism within that country or the basic interests of other socialist states. The ideological justification for the Soviet invasion was assumed by many observers to have been a quickly engineered reaction to the crisis, rather than a long-standing doctrine. This thesis suggests, however, that the "Brezhnev Doctrine" was not an original formula, but a newer version of a previous doctrine. The thesis traces the origins of the "Brezhnev Doctrine". It examines four crises in Soviet-East European relations for evidence of the doctrine. The thesis looks at how the effectiveness of the doctrine as a tool of Soviet foreign policy began to decline in the mid-1970s. While the doctrine appeared to be extended to the Third World - Afghanistan 1979 - and was "self-administered" by an East European country - Poland 1981 - it proved far less successful than in the past in suppressing opposition. Finally, the thesis examines the demise of the doctrine under Mikhail Gorbachev. The conclusions drawn by this thesis are: that the Soviet interventionist doctrine was not a new phenomenon; that it contained political, ideological, and military components; and, that it served a number of functions within the socialist community.