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Why did the Soviet Union collapse in 1991? The collapse of the Soviet Union has widely been seen as the result of the arms race and Cold War, and the failure of the Soviet side to keep pace with new technology. This book argues that the disintegration was mainly a result of two interrelated factors: the rise of the Soviet national republics, and the manipulation of the new Russian presidency by Boris Yeltsin in what became a direct power struggle between Yeltsin and the Soviet leader, Gorbachev. Written in a clear and accessible manner, the book provides: an explanation of how the national question came to dominate Soviet politics by 1990-1 analysis of the economic crisis that occurred in the late 1980s a chapter devoted to the year 1991, from the referendum to reform the Soviet Union to the unforeseen dissolution of the country by December a discussion of the personalities of and political confrontation between the two key statesman: Gorbachev and Yeltsin Also containing a Chronology, Glossary and Who's Who of key figures, The Collapse of the Soviet Union is essential reading for students of twentieth century European history.
ÔIn recent years a great deal has been written about terrorism and how best to inhibit and undermine terroristÕs aspirations. Much of this literature tends to be one dimensional reflecting the experience of the author. Dr Ridley having had a long and diverse career in intelligence and in particular financial analysis has succeeded in going far beyond description of a series of war stories to providing not only a starting account of the range and character of modern terrorism, but also a knowledgeable analysis of the measures adopted around the world to combat the threat. Of critical importance, in the minds of many, has been the adoption of techniques in the main from the Òwar against drugsÓ facilitating the identification and disruption of finance. While emphasising the value of financial intelligence Dr Ridley, now as a scholar, dispassionately questions how successful this strategy has been and where it might take us. Such issues need to be aired and resolved if we are not to undermine the very values which we seek to protect.Õ Ð Barry Rider, University of Cambridge, UK ÔThis is hugely important and highly relevant contribution by a world expert, which adds to our knowledge of terrorist funding. It will make practitioners and academics alike, not to mention politicians who should be seeking their advice, stop and think.Õ Ð John Grieve, Portsmouth University, UK and former UK National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism ÔDr. Ridley has authored an excellent, analytical, comprehensive, and solutions-oriented book addressing the complexities of terror financing and the challenges in combating this menace. Dr. RidleyÕs unique insight, arising from substantial academic and professional experiences on combating terror financing, lends substantial credibility to the volume.Õ Ð Dean C. Alexander, Western Illinois University, US This authoritative book provides a holistic overview of terrorist groups and finances, including consideration of the necessity and differing financial needs of different groups. For over a decade international efforts by law enforcement, government and financial regulatory authorities have been deployed in combatting terrorist financing, in good faith and with dedication beyond reproach. This book surveys the methods of financing of numerous terrorist groups and organisations Ð including the Chinese and Asian dimension Ð and considers why ultimately international efforts to combat the financing of terror are failing. Nick Ridley expertly illustrates the scale of the problem by first outlining the strategies of anti terrorist financing, the pre and post 9/11 differences in scope and extent of terrorist attacks, the financial support and the national and international efforts to implement and carry out countermeasures. He then goes on to set out a detailed analysis of the apparent failure of such counter measures to date. Including operational case studies and details from the authors own experience, studies and access to law enforcement and private sector sources, this book will prove insightful for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying criminology, history and law disciplines. Those in the legal profession will also find plenty of useful information in this topical compendium.
In the 1980s, the first ballistic knives began to appear on the Western collectors market. Their sinister feature: the handle concealed a strong coil spring. After pressing a trigger, the blade was propelled over several meters and hit the target with great force. It was rumoured that these knives originated in the Soviet Union as a clandestine weapon used by the KGB or special units such as the Spetsnaz. Due to their dangerous nature, ballistic knives were banned in most countries by the end of the 1990s. Nevertheless, a German blade manufacturer began to improve the allegedly Russian design, as revealed by the prototypes shown in this book. But where did these mysterious weapons really originate? Who developed and produced them? Who used them and over what distances are they effective? Most importantly; how dangerous are ballistic knives? All these questions are investigated in this book and the main variants of ballistic knives are presented.
The inside story of the political collpase of the Soviet Union is far better understood than the course of economic and social disintegration. In order to capture the story, the editors compiled a list of questions which they addressed to former top Soviet officials and economic and other policy advisors (both Soviet and foreign) who were privy not only to data on the functioning of the Soviet economy but also to the internal policy debate during the 1980s. This volume assembles the Informants' analyses of key issues and the turning points, and weaves them into a compelling history of systemic collapse. Among the topics investigated are: economic policies in the 1980s; the standard of living: the reliability of Soviet statistics; Gosplan's projections for the economy to the year 2000; was the arms race starving the civilian economy? the role of ideology in supporting the functioning of an economic system; the party's participating in economic management; the influence of foreign advisors; the struggle over a transition program; the functioning and collapse of the supply system, the CMEA, and the foreign trade system.
Dean Acheson was one of the most influential Secretaries of State in U.S. history, presiding over American foreign policy during a pivotal era - the decade after World War II when the American Century slipped into high gear. During his vastly influential career, Acheson spearheaded the greatest foreign policy achievements in modern times, ranging from the Marshall Plan to the establishment of NATO. Now, in this monumental biography, Robert L. Beisner paints an indelible portrait of one of the key figures of the last half-century. In a book filled with insight based on research in government archives, memoirs, letters, and diaries, Beisner illuminates Acheson's policy-making, describing how he led the state department and managed his relationship with Truman, all to illuminate the vital policies he initiated in his years at State. The book examines Acheson's major triumphs, including the highly underrated achievement of converting West Germany and Japan from mortal enemiesto prized allies, and does not shy away from examining his missteps. But underlying all his actions, Beisner shows, was a tough-minded determination to outmatch the strength of the Soviet bloc - indeed, to defeat the Soviet Union at every turn. The emotional center of the book focuses on Acheson's friendship with Truman. No pair seemed so poorly matched - one, a bourbon-drinking mid-Westerner with a homespun disposition, the other, a mustachioed Connecticut dandy who preferred perfect martinis - yet no such team ever worked better together. Acheson's unstinting dedication to an often unpopular president was reciprocated with deep gratitude and loyalty. Together, they redrew the map of the post-war world. Over six foot tall, with steel blue, "merry, searching eyes" and a "wolfish" grin, Dean Acheson was an unforgettable character - intellectually brilliant, always debonair, and tough as tempered steel. This lustrous portrait of an immensely accomplished and colorful life is the epitome of the biographer's art.