Air University Review, May-June 1980

Ethnic Minorities in the Soviet Military

implications for the decades ahead

Lieutenant Colonel Dallace Meehan

WHAT one writer has described as a "time bomb of suppressed minorities"1 poses more than just a sociological problem for the Soviet Union. Of equal or perhaps greater importance is the impact these ethnic minorities are quite likely to have on the Soviet armed forces in decades ahead. Soviet demographic trends, specifically the disproportionately high growth rates among the Moslem peoples, suggest a plethora of potential problems to plague the Soviet military leadership in coming years.

It has been estimated, for example, that by the year 2000 more than a third of all Soviet recruits will come from Central Asia and Transcaucasia.2 This article discusses two of the more salient problems associated with these demographic trends. The first of these, ethnic strife between Russians and non-Russians, must be considered a potentially disruptive factor in the Soviet military, particularly in view of our own experiences with racial disturbance in the U.S. military. Another problem considered here, and one that perhaps does not as quickly suggest itself, is a matter of special importance to an increasingly modern and technologically sophisticated military force, the problem of language proficiency.

Demographic Trends

Current best estimates of U.S.S.R population range from 261.3 million by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) to 262 million by Soviet demographer Boris Urlanis.3 (Previous official postwar censuses were conducted in 1959 and 1970, and results of a third are expected in the near future.)

It is fashionable to refer to the Soviet Union as a cornucopia of ethnic diversity: more than a hundred different nationalities speaking some 150 separate languages and dialects. Yet numerous as these various groups are, the fact is that most of them are so small that they are of interest only to anthropologists, linguists, and social demographers. From a political-economic standpoint, ethnic groupings in the U.S.S.R can be classified as follows: (1) Slavs, which include the Great Russians, Ukrainians, and Byelorussians (White Russians); (2) Moslems, which include the peoples of the Central Asian republics (Kirgiz, Turkmenians, Uzbeks, Tadzhiks, Tatars, and Kazakhs) and Kazakhstan, nearly all of the Sunni Islamic faith and Turkic by racial and linguistic background; (3) Caucasians, which include Georgians and Armenians, somewhat close to the Moslems in culture and economy but separate by their Christian religion; (4) Jews; (5) Baltic nationalities (Latvians, Estonians, and Lithuanians); and (6) numerous West Europeans (mostly Germans and Poles) and East Asian 'groups.4

Moslem-oriented and largely non-Russian speaking Uzbeks, Tatars, Tadzhiks, Bashkirs, Turkmenians, and dozens of other Central Asian ethnic groups total about 50 million of the Soviet population.5 Furthermore, within the Slavic "majority" there are significant national differences in language, culture, and history even among Russians, Ukrainians, and Byelorussians, to say nothing of their differences from still other nationalities such as Armenians, Georgians, Moldavians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, and Jews. This article, however, focuses on the more readily apparent and potentially more serious problems associated with the vast linguistic and ethnic discontinuities between the Russians and the Central Asian peoples and, more specifically, how these differences will have an increasingly disruptive effect within the Soviet armed forces.

While current population figures illustrate the ethnic and linguistic diversities of the Soviet Union, it is the trend in demographic distribution that presents Soviet leaders and especially the military leadership with serious problems in the decades ahead. For despite the cultural diversity and the multinational character of the Soviet Union referred to already, the primacy of Russia and the Russians has been an unmistakable characteristic of the Soviet system. That primacy is now being seriously threatened.

In the face of myriad demands made by conditions in the Soviet Union (such as the shortage of apartment space and the growing need for both partners in a marriage to work), birthrates throughout European Russia have fallen sharply in recent years. The population of Russia is now static and is even projected to decline in the years ahead. The 1958-59 to 1974-75 gross reproduction rates in the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (R.S.F.S.R), the Ukraine, and Byelorussia, for example, dropped from about 1.25 (1 represents a static population) to an exceptionally low 0.98 in Russia, 1.0 in the Ukraine, and 1.08 in Byelorussia.6

Meanwhile birthrates in the Central Asian republics have soared to a current rate three times as high as the national average, largely as a result of different cultural values and aspirations, and, in part, paradoxically enough, because of Soviet-sponsored improvements in health and welfare. Moslem women, for example, tend to shun outside work, preferring instead the care of the home and rearing an average of six children per family.7 In 1974-75 gross reproduction rates in the four Central Asian republics of Turkmenia, Kirgizia, Tadzhikistan, and Uzbekistan ranged from 2.33 to 3.07.8 And even more important, because of differences in demographic changes among various age groups, the coming decades will see the Central Asians become the Soviet Union's largest incremental source of able-bodied manpower. This trend becomes especially significant in view of the fact that manpower problems are stiffening throughout the Soviet Union with serious shortages likely in both the civilian and military sectors. A. V. Bachurin, vice chairman of the State Planning Commission (GOSPLAN), pointed out that the annual increase in able-bodied cadres has fallen steadily from 2.8 million in 1976 to 2 million in 1979 and will decrease to 1.5 million in 1980.9 The bulk of these new manpower "cadres" will be made up of young Moslems with rudimentary education, lacking fluency in Russian, and requiring enormous assistance to acquire the technical skills necessary for both Soviet industry and a modern military. This situation was clearly recognized by party leader Leonid Brezhnev, who noted in his speech to the 25th party congress in 1976 that:

This emphasis on effectiveness--and one has to speak about it time and again--is the most important part of our whole economic strategy. In the 1980s, the fulfillment of this task becomes especially pressing. This is chiefly due to the aggravation of the problem of labor resources. We shall have to rely not on enlisting additional manpower but solely on increasing labor productivity.10

Projected population figures for the U.S.S.R indicate that an ever increasing share of future growth will occur in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and the Transcaucasian republics reaching more than seven times the R. S. F. S. R. rate in Kazakhstan and Transcaucasia by 1990 and a startling 142 and 147 times the Russian rate by 2000. (See table.) The trend is even more incredible with regard to the projected increases in the Central Asian republics. Projected rates of increase there will exceed those of the Russians by a factor of 13 in 1990 and an incredible 291 by the year 2000!11 While actual figures may vary from these projections, the overwhelming trend is not likely to and portends an ominous future for Soviet society.

Nor are these trends overlooked by Soviet officials who, short of resorting to Stalin-like tactics of forced relocation and mass extermination, appear powerless to stem them. Thus, one can witness hypocritical and confused policies designed on the one hand to encourage births among Russians while on the other to discourage them among non-Russians. In July 1974, for example, it was announced that women giving birth to ten or more children would be eligible for a "Glory of Motherhood" order and a Motherhood Medal. Low-income families also receive additional incentive in the form of a nominal subsidy of 12 rubles per child per month.12

Meanwhile, oblique racial slurs are cast with regard to large families in the Central Asian republics. Soviet demographer G. Litvinova stated this year that:

The state has an interest not only in the quantity of its citizens but also in their quality. It matters to the state what sort of population or what sort of man­power is increased--whether these people have a high or low degree of mobility or by virtue of a number of circumstances (including a tendency to have large families or a language barrier) are tied down to a specific region. The large family is becoming an outmoded demographic type, the support of which cannot be successful and can hardly be desirable.

She also proposed a demographic policy that would attempt to "stimulate birthrate where it is low and encourage its reduction where it is high."13 Clearly, the Soviet leadership rec­ognizes the problem inherent in demographic trends but appears perplexed and confused as to how best to deal with them.

Racial Tension
 in the Soviet Union

The heart of ethnic minority problems in the Soviet Union lies in the Central Asian republics, and while one can find numerous examples of racial tension elsewhere, indeed throughout the U.S.S.R, a brief discussion of the cultural, linguistic, and religious characteristics of the four largely Moslem republics is in order.

When Soviet power was established in Central Asia in the 1920s, one of the first tasks of the Bolsheviks was to set up central administrative control and eliminate any possibility of cohesion among the various peoples of the region. A plan was devised and adopted in 1924 to collect peoples of the same basic languages, and the four union republics of Kirgizia, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenia, and Uzbekistan were established. Native written languages were changed three times, from the traditional Arabic alphabet, to Latin script, and then to Cyrillic script with local special letters to accommodate spelling and pronunciation variations. Like the other 11 union republics, those of Central Asia theoretically have the power to adopt their own foreign policies, raise their own armies, and even secede from the Soviet federation. In practice, of course, these rights exist only on paper. All of the republics do, however, have their own unicameral legislatures and send delegates to the Supreme Soviet which meets annually in Moscow.14

Kirgizia, easternmost of the Central Asian republics, borders on Sinkiang, China. Its population of around three million consists mostly of Kirgiz, Moslems who speak a Turkish-based language. Tadzhikistan borders on Sinkiang and Afghanistan and has a population of about 3.5 million. Tadzhiks, who number around two million, are of both the Sunni and Ismaili Moslem sects and speak a Persian dialect Turkmenia, largest of the Central Asian republics, borders Afghanistan and Iran and has a population of about 2.5 million, more than 65 percent of whom are native Turkmenians, Moslems who speak a Turkish-based language. Uzbekistan lies to the north of the other Central Asian republics and is the most populous with some 13 million people; the majority are Uzbeks, who also speak a Turkish-based language and are predominantly of the Sunni Moslem sect.15

Attempts to "Russify" these and other ethnic minorities of Central Asia predate considerably the founding of the Soviet Union and indeed go back at least to the Middle Ages when a young Muscovite state tried to shake off the Tatar yoke brought on by the Golden Hordes of Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century. It was some three hundred years before Russian conquest of Moslem lands was completed, and for still another two centuries and more the Russians practiced a rigid policy aimed at the absorption of the Moslem community. Recognizing the futility of Russification, Catherine II stopped the policy of forced assimilation, and for almost a century afterward relations between Russians and Moslems were marked by tolerance, if not amity (a relationship strikingly similar to that which has existed for the past three or four decades). Catherine's liberalism ended around 1860, however, when a new period of intense pressure on Islam began under the influence of emerging Slavophile ideas of Russian Orthodoxy. Policies comparable to those during the Stalin era of the 1930s and '40s were adopted in a brutal attempt to assimilate the Moslems--and met with much the same result The peoples of Central Asia were forced into relocation, their languages were modified, and Russian administrative and economic controls were imposed. But ethnic and religious awareness was not erased. On the contrary, it was revived to new levels and forced Russification merely provoked a deeper and more abiding aversion to nearly all things Russian. On the eve of the Russian Revolution, then, a product of modern times was born among the peoples of Central Asia--nationalism.

Soviet policies of Russo-Moslem relations appear to continue in cyclic tradition; relative liberalism under Lenin, forced assimilation under Stalin, and finally a modern version of Catherine's policy of tolerance and recognition of fundamental ethnic, religious, and linguistic differences under the present Soviet leadership.

Contemporary Russo-Moslem relations, however, are further complicated by the disproportionate demographic trends referred to earlier. These changes will undoubtedly intensify racial tension as the Great Russians, well known for their chauvinistic tendencies,16 begin to see their primacy threatened.

That the Soviet leadership recognizes the danger of excessive "nationalism" among the various republics is made clear in frequent and numerous pronouncements by party officials. E. A. Shevardnadze, candidate member of the ruling Politburo, for example, had this to say at a party conference in 1979:

The works and actions of some comrades in the recent past have still displayed elements of national narrowmindedness and Chauvinist deviations . . . We must step up the struggle against harmful traditions and customs. . . These traditions frequently conceal a philistine, petit bourgeois mentality . . . and national narrowmindedness.17

It should be pointed out that in official Soviet jargon, "some comrades" refers to party members who have dared to deviate from the party line and are being well advised to mend their ways or suffer the consequences.

Ethnic conflict was the root cause of demonstrations that broke out in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in April 1978,18 and while such developments in the Soviet armed forces receive little publicity, there have been reports of racial problems between Russians and non-Russians in the Red Army. Some non-Russians have been calling for the creation of "national" urrits,19 a development the very thought of which must cause Kremlin leaders to cringe.

National consciousness among both Russians and non-Russians has also been stimulated by the border clashes between Soviet and Chinese forces. Military leaders are among the first to realize the implications of a potential invading Chinese force, which, if it manages to penetrate the first layer of Russian border defenses, will find not more Russians, but Uzbeks, Kazaks, Kirgiz, and other Asians whose allegiance to the Soviet Union is problematic at best. An increasingly popular taunt thrown by Central Asian ethnic minorities to their Russian administrative officials during procedural or ideological squabbles is: "Just wait till the Chinese get here, they'll show you what's what!"20 Furthermore, Peking can be expected to step up propaganda efforts to discredit Soviet racial policies and further foment unrest among minority groups, especially in those areas bordering on China.21

The traditional practice of giving recruits from the minorities of Central Asia demeaning assignments and unskilled jobs because of their low linguistic and technical proficiency will become increasingly more difficult as these troops continue to grow in numbers proportional to Russians. Resentment toward Asiatic minorities among Russian military members has already been noticed. Interviews with Russians have disclosed a prevalent attitude among them that Central Asians as a whole are "lazy, incapable, and with no desire to learn or do well."22 It is conceivable that this kind of attitude led Major General Vitaly Savin, commenting in Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) on the quality of Soviet draftees, to state that:

Some evaluations coming back to the military district committees and the organizations of DOSAAF (combined army-nary-air force youth auxiliary) are evoking concern. They demonstrate that in our work there are still shortcomings.23

Further evidence that the matter of national differences is indeed a concern in the Soviet armed forces can be inferred from an article by Major General N. Ivanov. In a typically Soviet style of self-contradiction, Ivanov explains: "The creation of a socially homogeneous society has nothing in common with unification of the way of life, that is to say with eliminating individual distinctions." He then exhorts members of the armed forces to fulfill their "sacred duty" to the defense of the Motherland "irrespective of their race and nationality, religious beliefs, settled way of life, (and) social and property status. "24 So much for social homogeneity!

In light of our own experiences with racial disturbances in the U.S. military services, we can agree with Helene Carrere d'Encausse, who, in her recent book L 'Empire éclaté, concludes that the conflict between European and Asiatic Russia will pose problems during the next two decades that will be "almost insoluble," generating explosions of popular discontent on a scale that has not been seen for many years. She also contends that the increasing proportion of non-Slavs, particularly Moslems, in the Soviet armed forces will breed bitter resentment against the exclusively Slav (predominantly Russian) command structure.25

Language Difficulties

Despite the dangers of racial strife discussed earlier, the Soviets are faced with more direct problems posed by the growing numbers of non-Russians in the armed forces-problems that we in the United States have for the most part been spared and, therefore, might tend to overlook. Because of a general lack of proficiency in the Russian language among Central Asian Moslems, the Soviet military will be faced with countless problems associated with poor linguistic communications. Not only does this bear on the efficiency of basic command language but also has important implications for printed training materials, technical orders, maintenance manuals, servicing procedures, and radio communications.

Attempts by Soviet leaders to spread the use of Russian have been an integral part of the "Russification" of the non-Russian republic from its outset. In a recent article L. Zabarskaya emphasized that:

. . . the Russian language plays a big part in the development of the multinational Soviet society. . . it is impossible to develop all spheres of science, culture, technology, to conduct correspondence and keep files in all the 130 languages functioning in the USSR. . . . As a language of communication between the nations and nationalities of the USSR Russian has played a big role in bringing them together.26

One need not look far, however, to find evidence that Soviet leaders have in fact failed in their attempts to bring the nations and nationalities together through the use of the Russian language. In his review of a book concerning the Russian language as a means of communication between nationalities, Professor Yu. Belchikov stated that some "58 million people are not fluent in Russian or know no Russian at all" and ". . . it is no secret that often secondary school graduates cannot speak or read Russian very well."27 In a report from an all-union scholarly conference, First Secretary of the Kirgizia Republic, T. U. Usubalivev, commented on the "poor command of Russian among many graduates of the secondary schools where instruction is in the Kirghiz language." The report concluded that serious improvements must be made in the professional training for teachers of Russian who will be working in national language schools. "It is common knowledge that a great many of the students who enroll in . . . teacher training institutes are seriously deficient in Russian."28 A continuation of the report from the conference revealed that "students intending to become Russian language teachers can't speak the language, never having had the opportunity to do so in all their 17 years."29

Some party officials within the Moslem republics, however, clearly resist imposition of the Russian language on their peoples. A leading editorial in an Uzbek newspaper served as a reminder that Lenin, though he recognized the facility of a common language, was careful not to insist on its forced usage.

V. I. Lenin wrote in 1914: ". . . and we stand of course for the opportunity to learn the great Russian language for every inhabitant of Russia. There is only one thing that we do not wish--the element of compulsion." Those who by virtue of their life and work require knowledge of the Russian language will learn it without the stick.30

But nowhere more than in the armed forces could language proficiency and communicative ability be more important, especially during a period of rapid technological development of sophisticated weapon systems. Soviet forces will be conscripting ever larger numbers of their recruits from the Moslem minorities just when there are fewer and fewer "nontechnical" positions to place them in and while the numbers of Russian conscripts will be steadily declining. Lieutenant General V. Skubilin, chief of aviation engineering service (air force maintenance), emphasized that "the times have set for aircraft specialists the task of mastering the pinnacles of scientific and technical thought." Obviously unhappy with the present state of technical training in Soviet air force maintenance units, he added:

. . . shortcomings which have been tolerated in certain subunits in the past should be eliminated. Poor preparation of supervisors and the students. . . have lowered the quality and effectiveness of technical training.31

And perhaps most revealing of General Skubilin's concern for the growing need for "quality" recruits to meet requirements of an increasingly technical and sophisticated air force was his conclusion.

In each year, we see an inevitable increase in the requirements of aviation specialists, the level of their professional skills, and consequently, of the quality and organization of technical training. A constant improvement in the technical caliber and skills of flight and technical engineering (maintenance) personnel is the most important condition for successful solution to the problems facing the units and subunits of the Air Force.32

The fact of the matter is that General Skubilin, like other Soviet military leaders, will have to rely more and more heavily on increasing numbers of Central Asians to meet those requirements. Furthermore, he can expect stiff competition for their recruitment from the civilian sector of the economy, which is itself suffering severely under the impact of a declining work force. Results of a survey conducted by Moscow's Central Statistical Board revealed that more than half (57 percent) of all families in the RS.F.S.R had only one child.33

THE United States has been referred to as the world's fourth or fifth (depending on the source consulted) largest Spanish-speaking nation. This does indeed have certain sociological implications. One must not overlook the fact, however, that the overwhelming majority of these Spanish-speaking minorities are immigrants or the sons and daughters of immigrants who live here largely by choice--for the opportunities, real or perceived, not available to them in their native lands. More than 90 percent of them are functionally literate in English and they tend to share one of the major religions of America.

The U.S.S.R, however, is the world's fifth most populous Moslem nation, and its Asian population is growing far more rapidly than the long dominant Slav, particularly Russian, population. By the end of this century, the Moslem population of the U.S.S.R is likely to exceed 100 million--and less than a third of them will speak Russian. Soviet Asians will soon become the single largest source of new manpower for both industry and the military. The Soviet leadership will face complex and difficult questions in the coming decades involving racial tensions, ethnic resentment, and all the ramifications of national identity, including religion, culture, and especially language. Many of these problems will remain partially ameliorated within civilian society because of geographical concentration within the national republics and a sense among the various Moslem peoples of "nationhood" in their native lands, if only as a part of a larger Soviet state.

It is in the military, however, that these conditions will prove even more disruptive and likely to reach explosive proportions in the decades ahead. Moslem recruits in ever increasing numbers will be forcibly cast into a Russian dominated system alien to their culture. An exclusively Slav and predominantly Russian command structure will serve as a constant reminder of the inferiority of the minority recruits. Linguistic barriers will not only fan the flames of racial resentment but will seriously undermine proficiency, procedures, and technical excellence, especially in highly technical areas such as electronics, radio-radar communications, aircraft and missile maintenance, and other high-skill specialty areas.

There is little that the present Soviet leadership can do to cope with these developments. Racial tension and the swelling tides of nationalism seem clearly on the way to becoming disruptive forces in both Soviet society and in the Soviet military.

Francis Schlosser observed recently that "at the current rate of development, the late 20th-century version of 'homo soveticus' will be steeped in Moslem civilization, and his white Russian skin will have turned yellow."34

Air Command and Staff College
Maxwell AFB, Alabama


1. E. L. Keenan, "Soviet Timebomb: A Majority of Suppressed Minorities," The New Republic, August 1976.

2. Murray Feshback and Stefan Rapawy, "Soviet Population and Manpower Trends and Policies," in Soviet Economy in a New Perspective (Papers submitted to the Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress, October 14, 1976), p. 148.

3. The Military Balance 1978-1979 (London: International Institute of Strategic Studies, 1978), p.8.

4. Richard Pipes, "The Nationality Problem," in Handbook of Major Soviet Nationalities, Kev Katz et a1., editors (New York: Free Press, 1975), pp. 1-7.

5. François Schlosser, "Dissidents of the 21st Century," Atlas World Press Review, February 1979, pp. 38-39.

6. Rakowska-Harmstone, Teresa, "Dialectics of Nationalism in the USSR," Problems of Communism, May-June 1974, pp. 1-22.

7. Kevin Klose, "Central Asia's Population Growing," Washington Post, January 2, 1979.

8. Rakowska-Harmstone, op. cit.

9. Kevin Klose, op. cit.

10. Pravda, November 28, 1978; reported in Soviet World Outlook, December 15, 1978, pp. 4-5. Emphasis added.

11. Feshback and Rapawy, p. 123.

12. Ibid., p.122.

13. Kevin Klose, op. cit.

14. Hugh Seton-Watson, The New Imperialism (Chester Springs, Pennsylvania: Dufour, 1961).

15. Katz et a1., Handbook, pp. 278-315.

16. Victor Lasky, The Ugly Russian (New York: Trident Press, 1965).

17. Zarya Vostoka (Tbilisi), January 16, 1979, pp. 2-3; in Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1 February 1979. Emphasis. added.

18. Washington Post, April 18, 1978.

19. S. Enders Wimbush, "Contemporary Russian Nationalist Responses to Non-Russians in the USSR," Rand Report P-5941, March 1978.

20. Igor Shafarerich, "Separation or Reconciliation? The Nationalities Question in the USSR," in Solzhenitsyn et a1., From under the Rubble (New York: Bantam Books, 1976), p. 87.

21. See, for example, "USSR's Problems with Minority Nationalities in 1978 Reported," excerpts from Peking's news service Xinhau, January 22, 1979; translation in Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 26 January 1979, pp. A-2, A-3.

22. John Lobinger, "Minority Nationalities in the Soviet Armed Forces," unpublished master's thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1973, pp. 109-10, 113.

23. "Quality of Draftees in Soviet Union Worries a General," New York Times, August 23, 1977, p. 11.

24. Major General N. Ivanov, "Socially Homogeneous Society," Soviet Military Review, October 1978, pp. 56-57; translation in Soviet Press: Selected Translations, No. 78-11, November 1978, pp. 337-40.

25. Robert Moss, "Moscow and the Moslem Revolt," Times (London), December 11, 1978, p. 4.

26. L. Zabarskaya, "The Whole World Studies Russian," Soviet Military Review, October 1978, pp. 54-55; translation in Soviet Press: Selected Translations, No. 78-11, November 1978, pp. 332-36.

27. Professor Yu. Belchikov, "Reliable Means of Communication for Peoples of the USSR," Kommunist, September 1978; in Current Digest of the Soviet Press (CDSP), January 10, 1978, pp. 18-19,.

28. V. Nesterenko and P. Sedov, "The Student, the Curriculum, Russian Language: 1. Where Is the Golden Mean?" Uchitelskaya Gazeta (Teacher’s Gazette), November 14, 1978, p. 2; in CDSP, December 27, 1978, p. 22.

29. Nesterenko and Sedov, ". . . 2. From Particular to General," Uchitelskaya Gazeta, November 16, 1978, p. 2; in CDSP, December 27, 1978, p. 22. Emphasis added.

30. Ozbekistan Madaniyati (Tashkent), April 15, 1969, p. 1; in Nationalism in USSR & Eastern Europe, George Simmonds, editor (Detroit: 1977), p. 312.

31. Lieutenant General V. Skubilin, "The Demand of the Times," Aviatsiya I Kosmonavtika, January 1974, pp. 4-5; in Joint Publication Research Service, Translations on USSR Military Affairs, 11 March 1974, pp. 1-7.

32. Ibid.

33. "How Labor Shortages Threaten the Soviet Economy," Times (London), November 14, 1978, p. 2.

34. François Schlosser, "Timebomb in Central Asia," Le Nouvel Observateur (Paris); translation in Atlas World Press Review, February 1979, p. 39.


Lieutenant Colonel Dallace L. Meehan (M.A., Naval Postgraduate School) is Chief, Regional Studies, Air Command and Staff College, Air University (ATC). He has served as commander of an airborne missile squadron and in Japan, South America, Vietnam, and Germany. He has published articles in the Military Review and the Review. Colonel Meehan is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College, Industrial College of Armed Forces, and Air War College.


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

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