Bigger and Getting Better

The Pentagon takes stock of the Soviet military machine

The timing was a publisher's dream. Just a day after the U.S. Navy went up against Soviet SA-5 missiles in the Gulf of Sidra, the Pentagon issued the 1986 edition of its annual review, Soviet Military Power. So when Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger held a press conference to publicize the Pentagon's latest assessment of Kremlin armed might, he had a full and attentive audience. But after being peppered with questions about the missile exchange off Libya, the Secretary asked plaintively, "I thought maybe I would like to talk about my book now. Would that be all right?"

The splashy, well-illustrated 156-page...

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