World: Life in the Soviet Army

A standing army is an army divorced from the people.

THAT statement by Lenin referred to the czarist forces of Nicholas II. The Soviet army of today is still isolated, though not much more so than armies of other major powers. Perhaps the greatest difference is that it enjoys far higher prestige and power within its country than its Western counterparts do in theirs. Though bureaucracy and inertia beset much of Soviet society, the highly trained military is less inefficient than many other sectors of Soviet life.

By law, every able-bodied Soviet youth becomes eligible for military duty at 18, and can be...

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