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Posted: 4/18/2002 6:10:16 PM EDT
Was George Kennen correct in that the Soviet system has to feed off the economies of other countries in order to survive? This is the reason the containment Policy was put into place. If not allowed to constantly expand and drain new countries of their recourses the soviets would then have to feed on themselves and thereby collapse like a house of cards. Is this what actually happened to the Soviet Union, or was it something else? What does CCCP (I think those are the letters) stand for?
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 3:08:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2002 3:09:44 PM EDT by Atencio]
It sounds like something he would have said but dont know for sure CCCP=Soyuz Sovietski Socialistichyeski Respuablik Dont have Russian type characters so cant write how it would really look like. Kind of looks like COl03 COBetcknx Counaunctnyecknx Pecnbi6nnk In English - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 5:27:23 PM EDT
Thanks Atenico. For some reason I thought CCCP was an abbreviation for English words, like USSR.
Link Posted: 4/20/2002 2:58:46 PM EDT
So does America, we take the natural resources of other countries, like petrol, and turn them into cheap plastic and sell it back for a nice profit.
Link Posted: 4/20/2002 6:02:10 PM EDT
Was George Kennen correct in that the Soviet system has to feed off the economies of other countries in order to survive
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Parasitism is a symptom of all statist nations. The only way that I know of the USSR showed that tendency was through the stealing of technology from the west in order to provide the basis for their own Space Shuttle, Aircraft, etc. They conquered militarily through insurgency in the Middle East and southeast Asia. So from that point of view the Soviets really exhibited parasitism. If a nation has an economy then that economy , by the very definition, is reguired to produce wealth, this can never be acheived (not real wealth anyways and not for long) with artificial means. In other words things must be produced and sold and technological advancement is a must for the economy is to continue. So yes George Kennen is correct at least by definition and the argument is a valid one.
This is the reason the containment Policy was put into place
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The containment policy was put into place because , IMHO, the communists were just to large to fight, 100,000,000 people is a strong adversary. There is another set of rules that exist that show when to fight and when to stall,etc. Normally found in SUNG TSU, "The Art of War". It still exists even when by all definition it is morally right to destroy a foe, sometimes you cannot, at least not simply because it would be right to do so.
Is this what actually happened to the Soviet Union, or was it something else
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That is just one aspect of what happened to the USSR. Its people could not own property, they could not produce wealth therefore the insintive to create for anyone outside oneself is totally gone.
Link Posted: 4/23/2002 3:48:31 PM EDT
One thing the Soviets had plenty of was natural resources. They lacked the technology to exploit this advantage and needed Western high tech which they would routinely steal, or if they couldn't they would obtain it from USSR friendly countries like France. In the late 80s they became strapped for cash and Regan put the clamps on high tech bleeding from the West, an well as manipulating the price of oil(We convinced the Saudis to increase output, lowering world prices, further putting the Soviets in the poor house since much of their income came from oil exports) This with the continuing need to spend to keep up with US military spending finally did them in. In politics this is known as playing hardball.
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 3:59:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/26/2002 4:03:33 PM EDT by DonS]
The Soviet Union failed because of centralized control of the economy. Basically, government set pricing eliminated the feedback loop that free market pricing provides. The Soviet system could not solve the problem of economic calculation. It is interesting to note that under the Czars, Russia was the breadbasket of Europe. The Soviet Union, by contrast, relied upon American grown grain purchased with money on loan from American taxpayers. We fed the Soviets, on our dime. This contradicts the "containment policy" theories advanced in previous posts. IMO, the containment policy was political, and was not intended to strangle the Soviets economically.
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 4:02:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SS109: So does America, we take the natural resources of other countries, like petrol, and turn them into cheap plastic and sell it back for a nice profit.
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We buy natural resources from other countries, make these resources into useful things, and then (sometimes) sell these useful things to others.
Link Posted: 4/27/2002 7:05:56 PM EDT
Don, I'm not sure exactly what policies you are referring to, but it is absolute fact that a large portion of what CIA Director Bill Casey did was to make deals with other countries with the cruel, deliberate, calculated, no BS goal of eliminating the Soviet Union. Sure the Soviet system sucked and could have never lasted but don't for a second think the U.S. was standing by just watching what was going on. The U.S. was pushing them over the cliff.
Link Posted: 4/29/2002 3:02:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KurtVF: Don, I'm not sure exactly what policies you are referring to,
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Are you referring to my mention of the grain we "sold" the Soviets?
but it is absolute fact that a large portion of what CIA Director Bill Casey did was to make deals with other countries with the cruel, deliberate, calculated, no BS goal of eliminating the Soviet Union. Sure the Soviet system sucked and could have never lasted but don't for a second think the U.S. was standing by just watching what was going on. The U.S. was pushing them over the cliff.
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I have trouble imagining that the CIA had the international clout to convince countries not to trade with the SU. In any case, I'm not convinced that such policies make good economic sense. My understanding of containment as a policy is that it was the political policy of not letting communism expand to more countries. As opposed to rolling back communism, or letting it grow.
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 5:49:00 PM EDT
It wasn't about the U.S. economy, grain sales or any of that minor stuff. The goal of the Regan administration was to end the Soviet Union, to wipe it out, to place it on "The ash heap of history". Detante was somthing practiced by lesser presidents such as Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Go to your search engine and type in "Bill Casey Cold War" and you will find numerous sites where this stuff is discussed.
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 6:36:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KurtVF: It wasn't about the U.S. economy, grain sales or any of that minor stuff. The goal of the Regan administration was to end the Soviet Union, to wipe it out, to place it on "The ash heap of history". ...
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I don't consider the grain sales to be minor stuff . . . we provided significant aid to their system by providing grain. I have a high opinion of Reagan, however, the fundamental reason for the collapse of the SU was their faulty system. I don't doubt that Reagan made it happen sooner rather than later, by placing extreme pressure on them via an enhanced arms and technology race. I'm skeptical that the CIA played any primary role. Also, I was not specifically thinking about the US economy. Rather, various countries around the world are going to do what they think is best for them (and their economy). They will deal with whatever nation it is in their best interest to deal with. Of course, the SU wasn't the best trading partner . . .
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 3:15:29 PM EDT
Don, you are tough to convince. Check out the various historical accounts of Casey's tactics and what he did during the time period in question then get back to me. I realize that grain might not really be "minor" but when placed in context with manipulating the world price of oil, gold, supporting rebels in Afganastan, Solidarity, etc., as well as clamping down on the high tech that was bleeding from the West it, it loses its significance.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 9:59:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KurtVF: Don, you are tough to convince. Check out the various historical accounts of Casey's tactics and what he did during the time period in question then get back to me. . . .
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I'll try to look into it (with a 2 year old in the house, another child on the way, and my current job search my time is limited). Frankly, with the (former) SU's natural resources, I find it difficult to believe that it could be hurt by embargoes of oil, gold, etc. Generally, embargoes cut both ways (which is why we really don't need to fear an Arab oil embargo), and convincing a producing nation to stop trading with a good customer is very difficult. No doubt the Soviet failure in Afganistan hurt them in a moral sense, but no more than our failure in Vietnam hurt us.
Link Posted: 5/5/2002 3:08:29 PM EDT
It wasn't really embargos. Casey was an officer for the SAS in WW2. His specialty was analyizing the enemy's weakness and exploiting them. This is EXACTLY what he did with the Soviets. He had plenty of contacts within the international buisness community and used the knowledge gained from them along with back door deals to manipulate world markets. There was really no embargos except clamping down on the bleeding of high tech from the West. Certainly the Soviets have a great amount of resources but could not extract them efficiently to compete in the world market without high tech from the West. He didn't really convince countries to stop trading with Soviets but he bought and/or "traded" favors such as intelligence with the Saudi's and South Africans to influence the price of things like gold and oil. Yes the Soviet union has much of both but if all of a sudden the Saudis drop the price of oil and the S. Africans drop the price of gold the USSR loses billions. (Yes, it happened and is documented) The Soviets tried but couldn't build a natural gas pipline through Siberia and lost billions. The US denied them the technology and even let them steal false technical documents that screwed them up even more. It's a cruel world but don't think for a second that we wern't playing dirty, sneaky tricks on them throughout the Regan/Casey years.
Link Posted: 5/5/2002 3:25:34 PM EDT
OOPS! I meant to say OSS, not SAS. The OSS was the predicessor to the CIA and helped to defeat the nazis.
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