The presence of a Soviet fleet in the Mediterranean attracted a great deal of publicity during the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, but it had not come into being overnight; its creation was part of an overall policy aimed at strengthening the capability of the Soviet Union for military action in various parts of the world. An appraisal of the role of the Mediterranean fleet should therefore start with a review, however brief, of the general development of Soviet military doctrine and policy over the last decade.