Challenge on the High Seas. The Soviet Union is about to build its third aircraft carrier. The move underscores the fact that the already immense, and still growing, Russian navy has outgrown the requirements of national defense and is now intended for future aggressive action. Analysts believe that the ultimate Soviet objective is to be able to cut the vital sea lanes upon which the Western world depends for its raw materials. Russia has no overseas territories or military bases which must be supplied by sea. Since it, does not depend on overseas imports, it has no need to fear a naval blockade. Furthermore, the Soviet Union is practically immune to invasion by sea because its seacoast is either too difficult to assault or too far away from any important military objective. Yet in spite of all this, the Soviet Union has more than 2,000 naval vessels - about four times that of the United States.
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