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Long after cold war, artists' paintings of Soviet weapons remain

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Back when superpower summits were the most important dates on a president’s calendar and arms control was debated as fiercely as health-care reform is today, one of the US military’s best cold-war weapons might have been painting.

That’s right – brushes, palettes, easels, the whole Picasso thing. But the artists in question weren’t producing “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” They were depicting missiles.

From 1981 to 1991, the Pentagon published a glossy booklet titled “Soviet Military Power.” This yearly assessment of the USSR’s might had its critics, who thought it exaggerated the size of Kremlin arsenals and the effectiveness of Soviet forces.

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