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MEMORANDUM 
RM 4085-PR 

APRIL HUJ4 



/I n Lof nj<t> 


SOVIET STRATEGY AT THE CROSSROADS 

Thomas W. Wolfe 


This research is sponsored by the l nited States Air Four under Project RAND — 
contract No. AF 19(638) -700 monitored by the Directorate of Development Planning, 
Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development. Hq LSAF. Views or conclusions 
contained in this Memorandum should not be interpreted as representing the official 
opinion or policy of the I 'nited States Air Force. 

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PREFACE 

This Memorandum is the latest in a continuing series of studies on 
Soviet military doctrine undertaken by RAND for the United States Air 
Force. 

In the spring of 1963, RAND issued a translated and annotated text 
of '•he Soviet hook Voennaia Strategiia ( Military Strategy ), under the 
title Soviet Military Strategy (R-416-PR). The first Russian edition, 
’>ritten by a collective" of authors under the editorship of Marshal 
Sokolovskii, had appeared in the fall of 1962. It was the most compre¬ 
hensive Soviet treatment of strategy since 1926. In an 'Analytical 
Introduction," the RAND translation assessed the significance of the 
Sokolovskii volume. 

In October 1963, the Military Publishing House of the Soviet 
Ministry of Defense brought out a revised edition of Voennaia Strategiia 
Four months later RAND distributed Leon Goure's Notes on the Second 
Edition of Marshal V. D. Sokolovskii's "Military Strategy" (RM-3972-PR). 
The Goure study made a preliminary appraisal of the second edition on 
the basis of selected textual comparisons between it and the original 
work. The present study goes further. It examines the major factors 
underlying current trends in Soviet strategy, and it surveys and evalu¬ 
ates recent Soviet military thought using a wide range of published 
Soviet materials, Including of course both the first and second editions 
of the Sokolovskii book. 




SUMMARY 

In the period since the Cuban crisis of October 1962, the Soviet 
political and military leadership has found itself at a crossroads of 
decision on many issues of strategy and military policy. The present 
study provides an analysis of Soviet thinking and debate on these 
issues, against the background of various problems arising out of the 
new technological and political environment of the modern world. 

A central problem relates to the allocation of resources. The 
need for greater Investment to sustain a high rate of industrial 
growth and to shore up a faltering agricultural sector, a rising 
level of consumer expectations, growing labor requirements in the 
face of s manpower pinch, the costs of keeping up the space race -- 
these are some of the competing demands upon the Soviet economy 
which evidently have made it more difficult than usual during the 
past year or two for the Soviet leaders to decide what share of their 
resources should be devoted to military purposes. The Soviet leader¬ 
ship has asserted that remedial economic measures must not Impair 
Soviet defenses. To a considerable extent, economic difficulties 
may lie at the bottom of Soviet efforts to promote an atmosphere of 
detente in East*4Test relations. 

Another fundamental problem, growing out of the military- 
technological revolution of swdcrn tlsms, centers upon Soviet aware¬ 
ness of the destructiveness of nuclear war. A nuclear environment 
not only has made war look extremely dangerous, it also h=.j helped 
to undermine traditional Marx 1st-Leninist doctrine on the link between 
war and politics, and has given rise to disturbing questions on the 



-vi - 


political utility of the use of military power, or the threat of its 
use, in the nuclear-missile age. 

The continuing Sino-Soviet rift represents another problem of 
great magnitude. Its ramifications are widespread. Besides feeding 
the centrifugal forces at work within the communist camp and sharpening 
the competition between Moscow and Peking for the allegiance of "nationa. 
liberation movements," the conflict may have called into question some 
of the basic strategic assumptions upon which Soviet plawing has been 
based. Together with a stirring toward greater autonomy ament.' the 
East European countries, the growing estrangement between Moscow and 
Peking has obliged the Soviet leadership to give more attention to 
internal military relations within the communist camp. 

At the saam time, almost two years after the abortive deployment 
of Soviet missiles to Cuba, the developawnt of a military posture 
suitable to Soviet needs la the power contest with the United States 
apparently presents troublesome and unresolved problems. Both the 
Internal military debate within the Soviet Union and the external 
strategic dialogue with the United States bear witness to the fact 
that there are still differing schools of thought in the Soviet Union 
on many matters that have been under discussion for some time. 

Tha military pollc debate that has been taking place in the 
Soviet Union during the past few years has furnished a good deal of 
insight into the kinds of military policy problems that preoccupy 
the Soviet leadership. It can be said, too, that there is now 
somewhat more latitude than forsmrly for the expression of divergent 
views. The asount of latltuda fluctuates, and there is still s 


fairly elaborate ritual for conveying high-level criticism by 
indirection in order to preserve the myth of communist solidarity. 
Nevertheless the conditions of Soviet discourse today do allow more 
room for public airing of differences than formerly. 

As for the military debate itself, the mainstream has been fairly 
well-defined since the late fifties, when the consolidation of 
Khrushchev's political primacy coincided with the prospect that the 
Soviet Union might soon count on having advanced weapons in some 
numbers. From that time, the debate has centered essentially on the 
efforts of the political leadership, including particularly Khrushchev 
himself, to reorient Soviet military doctrine and forces in a direction 
considered more suitable for the needs of the nuclear-missile age. 

These efforts have met with varying degrees of resistance from soma 
quarters of the military, perhaps with tacit backing among elements 
of the party-state bureaucracy whose Interests were engaged in one 
way or another. 

It would oversimplify the picture, however, to regard this as 
merely an institutionalized contest of views between political and 
military leadership groups. The debate probably hes been shaped as 
much by the nature of the Issues as by purely institutional 
differences. In fact, there has been a continuous tributary stream 
of discussion within tha military itsalf, with "modernist" and 
"traditionalist" outlooks at each and of the spectrum and a body of 
"centrist" opinion in the middle. 



-viil- 


The modernises have ren^sd more or less to sympathize with 
the kinds of views advanced by Khrushchev, and to argue for a more 
radical adaptation of modern technology to military affairs. They 
have suggested that this approach might permit reducing the size of 
the armed forces -- that quality, so to speak, would replace quantity 
The traditionalists, on the other hand, while recognizing the impact 
of technology on military affairs, have nonetheless tended to argue 
against discarding tried and tested concepts merely for the sake of 
adopting something new. 

Unresolved Issues in the Soviet military policy Include the 
following: 

o The size of the armed forces that should be maintained in 
peacetime, and the prospects for mobilization of additional forces in 
wartime under nuclear conditions. Khrushchev's proposal in December 
1963 for further troop reduction, perhaps to complete his earlier 
1960 troop-cut program which was suspended in 1961, met with notable 
lack of enthusiasm among high-ranking Soviet officers. In fact. 
Marshal Chuikov, commander of the Soviet ground forces, spearheaded 
a rather thinly disguised lobby against the proposal. In December 
1963 he pointed out that the Western powers had recognized the 
pernicious effects of "one-sided" military theories and were building 
up their ground forces along wltb their strategic nuclear power. 

While It would appear that the lobby against the troop cut has lost 
its case, Khrushchev also seems to have yielded some ground by giving 
public assurance that the reduction would be "reasonable 



o The kind of war -- short or protracted — for which Soviet 
forces should be prepared. This issue involves two divergent view* 
points. One view, usually identified with the modernist school of 
thought, places major stress on the decisive character of the initial 
period of a rue]ear war and on the need to prepare the Soviet armed 
forces and economy for bringing the war to a conclusion "in the 
shortest possible time, with minimum losses." The second view pays 
more heed to the possibility of a protracted w& and the consequent 
need to make strenuous preparations economical! , militarily, and 
psychologically for such a war, 

o Tha question whether limited wars can be fought without 
danger of escalation into general nuclear war. Contradictions still 
exist between Soviet avowals of support for "national liberation" 
wars and the Soviet doctrinal position that small wars pose a great 
danger of escalation if the nuclear powers become Involved. Some 
signs of a shift in the Soviet view on the eacaletion potential of 
local wars have been evident, particularly in the strategic discourse 
with the United States. 

o The respective weights of strategic nuclear operations and 
corabined~arms theater operations in any future general war involving 
a powerful overseas adversary like the United States. Although the 
primacy of the strategic missile forces has now become an established 
tenet of Soviet military doctrine, considerable debate continues over 
the ways in which theater campaigns on the Eurasian continent should 
be related in scope, character, end timing to global strategic 
operations. Such issues as tha size of the armed forces and the 
duration of a war also are interwoven with this question. 



-X- 


o The prospects of survival under conditions of surprise 
nuclear attack. This issue has many ramifications, including ulti¬ 
mately the question whether a nuclear war can be won — or lost --■ in 
any meaningful sense. In the immediate context of the military debate, 
one school of thought holds that seizure of the strategic initiative 
by enemy at the outset of a nuclear war could bring irreparable 
losses and defeat. This view has led to great stress on high combat 
readiness of forces-in-being and also to veiled advocacy of a pre¬ 
emptive strategy, which tends to conflict with the political-propagand 
position that the Soviet Union would not strike the first blow. 

Another school of military thought concedes the importance of moving 
swiftly to tha strategic offensive in the initial period of a war, 
but argues that there is a high likelihood that the war'would stretch 
out after the initial nuclear exchanges. Some adherents of this view 
advocate preparation for a protracted war in which, it is argued, the 
superior political-morale qualities of the Soviet side, plus its 
residual economic and military capacities, would operate to ensure 
victory. 

o The question whether the criteria for developing the Soviet 
armed forces should strass mainly their deterrent and intlmldatIona 1 
functions, or their actual war performance value. A substantial 
group in the military apparently feels that Khrushchev's strategic 
ideas would leave the Soviet Union in an unsatisfactory position 
if deterrence should fall. Views on this issue probably reflect 
differing estimates of the likelihood of war. Although both 
political and military spokesmen customarily join in tendentious 


charges that the West is preparing for a "preventive” war against the 
Soviet Union, Khrushchev's private view for the past few years appears 
to have accorded rather low probability to the danger of a deliberate 
Western attack on the Soviet Union under conditions short of extreme 
provocation. 

o The question of finding a military atrategy for victory in 
a possible future wir against the United Stataa. Soviet military 
thinkers appear to ba increasingly avare of the Inadequacies of 
traditional doctrine and forces for war agalcat a formidable overseas 
opponent like the United States. However, there continues to be a 
good deal of uncertainty aa to whether one could count on paralysing 
the U.S.. will to reslat by quick nuclear blows against the U.S. 
homeland or whether it would be necessary to defeat the U.S. armed 
forces in detail and occupy the United States to achieve victory. 

This uncertainty ia compounded by the question whether nuclear war 
can any longer be regarded as a rational instrument of policy. In 
general, Soviet military theorists and ideologists continue publicly 
to spurn the concept of "no victor" in modern w. , but real doubt 
appears to be at work in the minds of many Soviet leaders whether in 
fact anything that could meaningfully be called victory could be sal' 
vaged after the damage the Soviet Union would suffer in a nuclear war. 

In addition to sue unresolved issues in the immediate area of 
military policy and str. tegy, there also has been continuing evidence 
of * certain amount of underlying strain in Soviet politlcal-tuilitarv 
relations. Symptomatic of this strain is the renewed emphasis placed 
since the fall of 1962 on the principle of political supremacy in 


-xii- 

military affairs. Various problems, some of long standing, are 
involved. One of these concerns the proper role of the military in 
the formulation of defense policy and strategy. The pcrty-oriented 
view tends to hold that the military leadership should confine its 
attention to the professional aspects of preparing the Soviet armed 
forces for thoir assigned talks. Among the military, on the other 
hand, there is a tendency to feel that the complex nature of modern 
warfare means the military profession should have greater weight 
in preparing the country as a whole for a possible war. This view impi;e 
a claim for more influence in the shaping of basic national policy. 

While the internal military debate indicates rhat doc.rii.e is 
still in flux on many points, it is important to bear in mind that a 
consensus on basic matters still bind* the various elements of the Soviet 
leadership together and that the areas of agreement on purpose and 
policy are doubtless broader than the areas of contention. On a 
number of military questions, a large measure of agreement is apparent 
in Soviet thinking over the last couple of years. This is the case, 
for example, with regard to: the primacy of strategic nuclear weapons 
in modern warfare; the critical importance of the initial period of 
a war; the need for maintenance of a high state of combat readiness; 
adoption of * target philosophy emphasizing destruction of both 
military and civilian targets; rejection of ths concepts of targeting 
restraint and controlled response; and recognition o f the economic 
difficulty of maintaining latgo standing forces in peacetime. 

On still other matters, a new degree of emphasis is to be found 
in recent Soviet military discussion. To mention a few examples: 


“Xlli- 

more attention to limited war; increased confidence in the ability 
of early warning to reduce the chances of successful surprise attack; 
greater stress on the hardening and mobility of strategic weapons and 
on the contribution sui measures make to the credibility of the 
Soviet deterrent posture; upgrading of the strategic lole of missile- 
launching submarines; some downgrading of long-range bomber prospects 
for the future but an upgrading of the bomber's role against targets 
at sea; more emphasis on antisubmarine operations and amphibious 
landing capabilities; and further stress on the importance of 
developing both antimissile and antisate 1 lite defenses. 

The views of Soviet political and military leaders on problems 
of war and strategy are also of great interest in the contexc of 
the external strategic dialogue with the West, principally the United 
States. As a form of communication between adversaries, much of the 
strategic dialogue has been and probably will continue to be con¬ 
cerned with advancement of the policy interests uf the two great 
nuclear powers in a more or less narrow sense, with each side using 
public declarations to enhance its deterrent posture, to obtain 
political advantage from its military power ox prevent the other 
from doing so, and to impress the authority oi its position on allies 
and onlookers. 

At the samo time, however, both sides :end perceptibly, though 
in varying degrees, to look upon more precise strategic communication 
as a means to clarify the complexities and mitigate the dangers of 
their stratetic relationship in the nuclear-missile age. 



■ -xiv- 

In the past jtar or »o, the Soviet side he* made aeverel 
interesting contributions to the discussion of strategy, both 
internal and external. One of thes<* was a revised and expanded 
edition of the Sokolovskii volume, Military Strategy, published in 
the fall of 1963, a scant fifteen mo^thn after the widelypublicized 
first edition. Another was a direct Soviet riposte in Red Star to 
U.S. commentaryon the first Sokolovskii edition. In these and 
certain other expressions of strategic thinking by Soviet military 
and political figures there has been a tendency to refine the 
arguments, partly in order to counter or modify Western interpretation* 
of Soviet military posture and policy. Some Soviet writings have 
contained "corrective amssages" on such questions as escalation of 
local conflicts, Soviet second-strike capability, pre-enption, 
military political relations, and so on. 

The Soviet leadership's recent difficulties have left their 
Imprint on strategic discourse with the Vest, w i-.h reflects an 
evident Soviet awareness of the need to adjust Soviet policy to changes 
In the character of the strategic environment. 

There has been an insistent effort to enhance the credibility 
of the Soviet strategic deterrent in Western e} s. This theme, 
argued with greater technical sophistication t.Mn previously, has 
been coupled with an attempt to disabuse the United States of any Idea 
that It can count on a successful first strike or draw political 
advantage from Its strategic position via-J-vis the Soviet Union. 
Increasing ssphaeia has been placed on the strategic missile forces 
as the main element of Soviet military power end e major tool of Soviet 



foreign policy. While eaierting the qualitative superiority of 
Soviet missiles, and alluding to the Soviet Union as the sole 
possessor of weapons of "50-100 megatons and more," the Soviet 
spokesmen have continued to avoid numerical comparison of their long- 
range missile forces with those of the United States. 

Another feature of Soviet discourse on warfare at the strategic 
level has been a consistent rejection of the idea of controlled 
use of strategic weapons and damage-limiting restraints in the event 
a major war should occur. Since Secretary McNamara's Ann Arbor 
speech of June 1962, in which he outlined a strategic philosophy 
stressing that military targets rather than cities and population 
should be the object of attack in case of nuclear war, Soviet 
commentators have devoted saich criticism to what they call a U.S. 
attempt to popularise a "countarforce" or "city-sparing" strategy. 

At the seam time, there have been some signs of Soviet sensitivity 
to implications that the Soviet strategic concept is rigid and less 
humane than the position of Western advocates of damage-limiting 
measures. 

In contrast with the rigid Soviet image of war at the strategic 
level, there has been a new tendency to redefine the Soviet position 
on the link between small wars and global war. For some years this 
position was marked by a rather high degree of doctrinal rigidity, 
exemplified by stress on the great danger of escalation. Today, 
however, there are some efforts, particularly in military madia, to 
make the point that Soviet doctrine does not preach the "inevitable" 
escalation of limited wars into general war. While not necessarily 




-xvi- 


indicating that the Soviet Union has suddenly developed a fresh 
interest in waging local wars, the new trend of argument suggests 
that the Soviets are at least seeking to soften the old line on 
escalation. One reason might be to countei Chinese criticism of 
Soviet failure to give vigorous support to "national liberation" 
struggles. Another reason might be to correct any impression that 
the West enjoys greater freedom to act in local conflicts because 
Soviet doctrine Indicates a hypersensitive concern over escalation. 

The apparent desire in some Soviet quarters to convey an image 
of greater flexibility in the hsndllng of potential local conflicts 
has tended to stop short of Central Europe, where the possibility 
of keeping a local war within limited bounds is scorned by Soviet 
opinion. However, there has been some suggestion in Soviet discourse 
that, in case of certain third-power conflicts involving possibly 
West Germany end Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union might try to avoid 
expending the conflict by withholding attacks against the United 
States in return for U.S. abstention. This suggestion seems to 
relate to a general Soviet concern to reassure the United States 
against a Soviet first strike under borderline conditions in which 
the question of pra-euptlon might arise. 

At the same time, however, thu Soviet position on pre-auction 
remains somewhat ambiguous. There is still a veiled hint in the 
statements of many Soviet leaders, perhaps intended to reinforce the 
Soviet deterrent image, that under some circumstances the Soviet 
Union may entertain what would be in feet, if not in name, a pre¬ 
emptive strategy. Thus, for example, one finds Marshal Malinovskii 
and others still assarting that the Soviet armed forces must be 


-xvii- . 

prepared for the high-priority task of "breaking up the enemy's 
aggressive plans by dealing him in good time a crushing blow." 

Much of the East-Vest strategic discussion to date has centered 
on the question whether the balance of military power in the world 
favors one side or the other. The predominant note in Soviet 
discourse has consistently been the need for military superiority 
over the West. However, there are some obvious liabilities in 
professing a policy of achieving and maintaining military superiority, 
for if the Soviet military posture is made to look excessively formidable 
the result may well be simply to spur the West to greater efforts, and 
to leava the Soviet Union relatively no better off in the military 
sphere, and perhaps a good deal vors* off economically. For a 
country whose resources already seem strained by the high coat of 
arms competition, this is a serious consideration. Soviet cultivation 
of a detente atmosphere indicates recognition of the problem, for if 
alms in part at slowing down the competition for military pra-eminence. 
Furthermore, in a tactical sense, untimely emphasis on military 
superiority could jeopardise other immediate goals that detente seems 
meant to serve. 

Some tentative signs of wavering on Che wisdom of proclaiming 
a policy of milltaxy superiority have appeared in recent Soviet 
discourse, but whether this connotes merely a temporary softening of 
the superiority doctrine or a deeper reassessment of its pros and cons 
remains to be seen. Certainly the Soviet leadership faces one of 
its more vexing problems in deciding whether to strive for strategic 
superiority over the West or to settle for a second-best position. 



-xviii- 

Hot only is the Soviet Union at * relative disadvantage in the 
resources available for the task of achieving significant superiority, 
but as experience shows it has managed to live for a considerable 
period in a position of strategic inferiority to its major adversary 
without being subjected to the "imperialist attack" so often 
predicted. 


CONTENTS 


I. NUCLEAR-AGE IMPACT ON SOVIET MILITARY POLICY.. I 

II. THE INTERNAL SOVIET MILITARY DEBATE... 12 

Main Lines of the Debate.. 17 

III. THE SOVIET VOICE IN THE EAST-WEST STRATEGIC DIALOGUE.... 26 

Reflection of Internal Issues in the Strategic Dialogue 34 
"Messages” to the West in Soviet Strategic Discourse. 41 

IV. GENERAL THRUST OF THE NEW SOKOLOVSKII VOLUME..... 45 

V. THE CREDIBILITY OF THE S0V2.I DETERRENT POSTURE.... 52 

General Warnings to the West... 55 

Tendency to Refine the Soviet Argument............... 60 

The Question of Pre-emption................. 64 

Some Reasons for the Present Soviet Concern.......... 69 

VI. THE QUESTION OF WAR AS AN INSTRUMENT OF POLICY......._ 71 

Internal Soviet Dialogue Over Lenin's Dictum......... 73 

Implications of the Dialo t .e on War and Policy....... 79 

VII. THE DOCTRINE OF MILITARY SUPERIORITY...... 83 

Commitment to a Policy of Military Superiority. 84 

Relative Importance of Quantitative and Qualitative 

Superiority.......... 88 

Superiority — Accomplished Fact or Policy Goal?. 92 

Liabilities of a Doctrine of Military Superiority.... 96 


VIII. SIGNS OF STRESS IN POLITICAL-MILITARY RELATIONS......... loo 

Reaffirmation of Political Pr'macy in Military Affairs 101 
Military Professionalism Versus Political Indoc¬ 
trination — Old Issue With New Currency........... 110 

The Question of Military Influence on Policy. 114 

"Rear-Guard Action" in Defense of Military Influence. 120 

IX. NATURE AND LIKELIHOOD OF A FUTURE WAR..... 128 

Soviet Image of a Future World War.... 130 

The Soviet Position on the Likelihood of War......... 137 

X. LIMITED WAR....... 141 

Signs of a Doctrinal Shift on Limited War and 

Escalation................... 143 

Support of National-Liberation Wars... 150 

The Question of Third-Power Conflicts and Escalation. 155 

XI. THE SHORT-VERSUS-LONG WAR ISSUE.... 159 

Trends in Debate on the Duratlon-of-War Theme... 160 

The Corollary Issue of Viability Under Nuclear War 
Conditions......... 167 



























-XX- 


XII. DEBATE OVER THE SIZE OF THE ARMED FORCES. 172 

Trends In the Argument for ’’Multi-Million Men” 

Armed Forces. 174 

Recognition of the Economic Problem of Lerge Forces. 181 
Mllltery Reectlon to December 1963 Troop-Cut 

Reduction. 185 

XIII. THE PRIMACY OT STRATEGIC FORCES AWD OPERATIONS. 192 

The Doctrlnel Shift to Strategic Primacy. 193 

Views on the Character of Strategic Operations. 200 

Attitude Toward Strategic Targeting Restraints. 206 

Psycho-Political Exploitation of the Strategic 

Missile Forces. 209 

XIV. EVOLVDIG ROLES OF THE TRADITIONAL FORCES. 213 

Ground Forces. 213 

Air Forces. 220 

Naval Fo ces...... 227 

XV. STRATEGIC DEFENSE OF THE SOVIET UNION. 236 

Views on Antimissile Defense Prospects. 237 

The Offense-Versus-Defense Question. 243 

Civil Defense..... 247 

XVI. MILITARY USES OF SPACE. 253 

Soviet Charges of U.9. Military Exploitation of 

Space. 254 

Trends In Soviet Thinking on the Military 

Significance of Space. 261 

XVII. COALITION ASPECTS CF SOVIET STRATEGY. 267 

Development of Warsaw Pact Co-operation. 267 

Slno-Sovlet Military Relations....... 276 

XVIII. THE UNFINISHED SEARCH FOR A VAR-WINNING STRATEGY. 289 

Continued Debate on Choice of Strategy. 291 

Awareness of Shorteoartngs In Strategic Doctrine.293 

XIX. SOVIET MILITARY STRATEGY AND DISARMAMENT. 296 

Ties Between Mllltery Strategy and Disarmament 

Policy. 297 

Soviet Military Attitudes Toward Disarmament. 307 

XX. IMAGE GF THE ADVERSARY. 315 

Soviet View of Strengths and Weaknesses of Western 

Military Posture.... 316 

Criticism of U.S. Counterforce Strategy. 323 

Future Prospects for the Strategic Dialogue.333 


EPILOGUE: 


SOVIET STRATEGY AT THE CROSSROADS. 


336 




































1 


I, NUCLEAR-ACE IMFACT ON SOVIET MILITARY POLICY 

Few people anywhere remain unaware today that the scientific- 
technological revolution of modern times has had an enormous impact 
on social and political institutions, and has helped to stimulate 
great ferment and change in the world. Military affairs and the 
relationship of military power to politics have felt the impact of 
the scientific revolution in a particularly immediate sense. This 
is no less true in the Soviet case than in our own. To understand 
the debate over military policy and strategy that has unfolded in 
the Soviet Union over the past decade, as well as the strategic 
dialogue with the West, it may be useful first to view the situation 
of the Soviet leadership in the lignt of several considerations 
arising out of the new technological and political environment of 
the modern world. 

The first of these considerations is the So\ et appreciation of 
the destructiveness of a nuclear war and the desire of the Soviet 
leadership to reduce the risk that such a war might occur and place 
in jeopardy the achievements of more than four and a half decades of 
socialist construction. This appreciation has served to undermine 
some of the fundamental aspects of pre-nuclear age Communist doctrine, 
especially on the link between war and revolution. It was Lenin's 
view that war had what might be described as a legitimate socio¬ 
political function of enhancing the conditions for end triggering 
off socialist revolutions. While pre-nuclear age Communist doctrine 
did not include the notion o£ violence for its o«n sake, nor -- 
except for brief Intervals -- did it strees the spread of revolution 


by virtue of red bayonets, it did certainly, in the Marxist idiom, 

regard war as "the midwife of revolution." The experience of two 

world wars seemed to confirm this notion, for it was after each of 

these wars that communism enjoyed its greatest success and expansion 
1 

in the world. 

Today, a nuclear environment not only has made a world war look 

extremely dangerous, it also has tended to put a brake on many forms 

of revolutionary activity, for even small conflicts might escalate 

into large nuclear wars and jeopardize the Soviet system itself. 

This situation clearly has had a striking impact on Soviet doctrine 

and policy. It accounts in large measure for Khrushchev's revision 

of the dogma of inevitable war and his vigorous advocacy of the 

strategy of peaceful coexistence as the safest and most reliable 

fora of class struggle in the international arena. One may recall 

the sentiment expressed in the CPSU's riposte to the Chinese Communis 

in its open letter of July 1*., 1963, in which the statement was made: 

The atomic bomb dues not adhere to the class 
principle: It destroys everybody within range 
of its devastating forced 


IComnunist doctrine has continued to recognize the historical 
dependence of communism on war, even though the Soviet "revisionist" 
view holds that revolution is no longer "obligatorily linked with var 
An authoritative doctrinal manual, published in 1959 but still cited 
as valid scripture in the Soviet Union, says for example: "Up to now 
historical development adds up to the fact that revolutionary over¬ 
threw of capitalism has been linked each time with world wars. Both 
the first and second world wars served as powerful accelerators of 
revolutionary explosions. Osnovyi Marksizroa-Ltninizma (Foundations 
of Manciaa-Lenlnlam), Moscow State Publishing House for Political 
Literature, Moscow, 1959, p. 519. 

^ Pravda . July 14, 1963. 





3- 


In terms of communist doctrine, this is a truly corrosive statement, 
for once ic is admitted that there are powerful phenomena which do 
not obey the laws of Marxism-Leninism, the door is open to increasing 
doubt about the validity of other features of the creed. This seems 
to be sensed by the Chinese Communists in their defense of ideological 
orthodoxy against what they regard as Soviet revisionism. The nuclear 
age revolution in weaponry thus lies close to the heart of the dis¬ 
pute between Moscow and Peking over the choice of maan6 toward 
attainment of communist objectives in the world. While the Soviet 
leadership still clings upon occasion to the doctrinaire assertion 
that if a nuclear war should break out between the West and the 
Communist camp, it would end with victory for the latter, this 
assertion is advanced with growing lack of conviction. Khrushchev's 
own appraisal of the difficulty of erecting a Communist order on the 
radioactive rubble of a war which he has said might cost from 700 to 
800 million casualties,^ <eems to reflect a more canaid Soviet view 
of the outcome of a genetal nuclear war than the doctrinaire formula 
of inevitable communist ictory. 

A second general consideration bearing upon the basic policy 
decisions which confront the Soviet leaders in the area of war and 
peace is the uncertainty they may feel as to the outcome of an un¬ 
limited arms competition with the United States. An important facet 
of this question is whether the intensified buildup of military 
forces In an arms race against an opponent with superior resources 


* Ibid .. January 17, 1963. 





-4- 

would bring added or diminishing returns so far as Soviet security 
is concerned. Past experience, such as that relating to the closure 
by the United States of the so-called missile gap, rfould seem to 
suggest that from the Soviet viewpoint, challenging the United States 
to a numbers race in modern weapons might have the effect of leaving 
the Soviet Union relatively wo «e off than before the challenge was 
made. There are signs, to be discussed in detail later, the'- tha 
Soviet leadership appreciates and is taught in this particui r 
dilemma. 

A third and closely related consideration is the question of 
economic pressure and constraints upon Soviet decisions in the field 
of military policy and strategy. The Soviet political leaders seem 
well aware of the rising coats and rapid turnover rates of modern 
weapons systems, piled atop the fixed costs of a large conventional 
military establishment, at a time when they face major problems of 
resource allocation to meet a rising level of consumer expectation 
and to fulfill very substantial investment requirements for a 
faltering agricultural sector. 1- Further, there are increased 
demands on Soviet resources to meet the economic growth goals set 
by current plans and Implicit in the Party Program. These demands 
come at a time whan, according to informed Western estimates of 


"cheaicalisation" decisions taken by the December 1963 
plenum of the Central Committee indicated, for example, that a 
seven-year investment of 42 billion rubles in the chemicsl industry 
was necessary to increase production of fertiliser and other 
chemical products. See Khrushchev's December 9 Report at the CPSU 
Central Committee Plenum, Pravda. December 10, 1963. 



Soviet economic performance, the Soviet rate of economic growth has 
slowed down considerably.^ There is also a manpower pinch, coupled 
with expanding lob. r force requirements, not to mention the resource 
cl.urns of sp^ce programs. All of these competing pressures upon 
oviet resources undoubtedly pose for the Soviet leaders difficult 
problems ot choice between defense needs and other requirements, even 
though they have in the past managed to strike a workable, if not 
necesr.tri ly nappy balance between meeting military and nonmilitary 
requirements when the Soviet economy was smaller than it is today. 

Fach of t ,e broad considerations sketched above tends to raise 
many questions concerning the policies ar.d programs applying to the 
..'pyiet armed forces, particularly as regards the matter of devoting 


*See analysis by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, reported 
in The New York Times , January 8, 1964, and report released by 
Senator Paul M. Douglas, Annual Economic Indicators for the USSR . 
Materials Prepared for the Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the 
United States, February 1964. These studies indicate that the Soviet 
rate of economic growth declined from an annual rate of 6 to 10 per 
cent in the lar*- decade to less than 2.5 per cent in 1962-1963. The 
Douglas report suggests (pp. 93, 98) that the long-term Soviet growth 
rate foi 19bU-1970 may average out at around 4.5 to 5% if temporary 
difficulties, particularly in agriculture, are irened out, It appears 
that Soviet sensitivity over the growth-rate issue has prompted a 
major battle of statistics with U.S. experts. In January, V. N. 
Starovskii, head of the Soviet central statistical administration, 
derided the accuracy of the CIA analysis, but at the same time 
concedes that the growth rate (as calculated in Soviet terms, using 
the concept 4 >f "gross social product 1 ) was down from 6 per cent in 
1962 to 5 per cent in 1963. Isvestiia. January 15, 1964. Omission 
of certain income statistics in the annual Soviet economic report 
published in Pravda , January 24, 1964, seemed to lend credence to 
Western analyses of a growth-rate slowdown. See Theodore Shabad, The 
New York Times . January 26, 1964.. Khrushchev entered the statistical 
argument in a major speech published ir. Pravda . February 15, 1964, and 
in Pravda , March 14, 1964, Starovskii again attacked the CIA and 
Douglas reports. Starovskii gave hitherto unpublished figures for 
gross Industrial production, but rather significantly did not furnish 
figures be ring directly on the over-all growth ra h e argument. For 
other comment, see: The New York Times . January 9, 1964, March 15 and 
22, 1964; The Christian Science Monitor . January 13, 1964. 


- 6 - 

further large resources to their development. However, before the 
Soviet leadership can satisfy itself as to the wisdom and feasibility 
of embarking on radical changes in the policies which have hitherto 
governed the development of the Soviet armed forces, there is a 
second class of general considerations also to be taken seriously 
into account. 

First among these perhaps, as the Soviet leadership seems 
abundantly aware, is the fact that the power position and political 
standing of the Soviet Union in the world today rest to a large 
extent on Soviet military strength and the technology associated 
with it. Indeed, one might say that the Soviet Union's status as 
a "super-power" was not confirmed in the world's eyes until the 
Soviet Union became a full-fledged member of the "nuclear club." 
Modern arms, in short, have given the present Soviet leadership a 
capability for influencing events on a global scale which no previous 
generation of Soviet leaders enjoyed. 

Along with the heady sense of internet lonel power which the 
Soviet leadership derives from its armed forces goes e strong 
conviction that these forces ere an indispensable safeguard of 
Soviet security against the hostile designs of tbs capitalist world. 
Further, Soviet military power also has s major role to play In 
support of Soviet political strategy generally. In Soviet eyes, 
military power backs up Soviet political strategy, both by dis¬ 
couraging Western Initiatives In troublsd areas and by discouraging 
dangerous Western responses to Soviet moves. The heart of the 
coexistence policy itself, as the Soviet leaders have been arguing 


in their polemics with the Chinese, is the proposition that Soviet 
nuclear-missile power deters the "imperid lists" and keeps them from 
launching a war against the Communist camp, a danger which the 
Soviet leaders profess to believe is inherent in the situation 
as long as imperialism exists. 

Apart from their relationship with the West, the Soviet leaders 
are not likely to lose sight of the fact that their position within 
tne Communist bloc also is intimately affected by their military 
posture. Uncertainty as to the eventual course of Sino-Soviet 
relations and intra-bloc unity could make this factor loom even 
more important for Che future. Should an open split in the bloc 
occur, for example, Soviet military power of a significant order 
might be needed not only as a check upon Chinese pretentions; it 
might also prove Indispensable for keeping Moscow's own satellites 
in line within a restive and fragmented Communist camp. Moreover, 
quite distinct from what might be called this intra-bloc policing 
function of Soviet military power, the Soviet Union has taken on 
the self-appointed role of providing the "nuclear shield" for the 
communist states within its orbit, which also places requirements 
on Soviet resources above and beyond the needs of its own defense. 

In the latter connection, the Soviet relationship with China 
involves special problems, related to the possibility of indspsndsnt 
Chinese acquisition of nuclear capabilities. Ths larger degree of 
policy freedom-of-action which Chinese nuclear capabilities of even 
a limited order would give the Peking leadership must be a cause of 
some concern to the Soviet leaders. This is particularly true insofar 


-8 


as Chinese actions might lead to a dangerous confrontation with the 
United States and call directly into question Soviet treaty and 
tacit obligations to come to the aid of a fellow Communist country 
in distress. The Soviet leaders for some time past have been trying 
to prepare a position under which they would not be obliged to back 
up China if the latter pursued parochial interests not coinciding 
with those of the Soviet bloc as a whole. Nevertheless, the stubborn 
problem of what to do if a crisis should develop is still one with 
which the Soviet leadership must contend. 

Even with regard to the dangers of nuclear war, the Soviet 
leaders find themselves in a somewhat ambivalent position. On the 
one hand, they understand that if a nuclear war should occur, it 
could put them out of business altogether. Th.r furnishes a strong 
incentive to seek solutions of the Soviet security problem through 
avenues other than buildup of the Soviet armed forces, such as arms 
control and disarmament. On the other hand, the Soviet leaders 
obviously recognize that the world's fear of nuclear catastrophe 
provides a potent emotion issue around which the "peace struggle" 
and other forms of political warfare can be mobilised. Given the 
nature of their political alms, there is thus a built-in temptation 
for the Soviet leaders to capitalize on tha threat of nuclear 
disaster. This means among other things that they have a large 
political stake in keeping Che disarmament pot boiling without 
actually seeking to consumeata genuine disarmament arrangements as a 
serious alternative to the possession of impressive military power. 
The Soviet leadership appears to be quite aware that, while the 



- 9 - 

prospects of using war as a deliberate instrument of policy have 
gone down in the nuclear age, the potential political returns from 
exploiting the possession of modern military power have gone up. 

In a sense, the Soviet leaders seem to have grasped what may oe the 
salient strategic truth of our times -- namely, that men's minds 
are by far the most profitable and perhaps the only suitable target 
system for the new weapons of the nuclear age. 

At the same time, this consideration, too, is tempered oy the 

practical lessons of experience. At the most optimistic level of 

Soviet calculation, it may have seemed only a few years back that 

the combination of Soviet missile and space technology plus 

"Bolshevik iron will" offered a good prospect of facing down the 

imperialists over a scries of crisis situations, which would in turn 

hasten the decline and fall of Western power and influence in the 
1 

world. However, things turned out otherwise. Spurred by the 
Sputnik challenge and revived threats against Berlin in the late 
fifties, the Western powers not only shook off the suggestion that 
the balance of strategic power had turned Irrevocably against them 
and that therefore they might just as well give in gracefully; 
they responded, rather, with actions which had the effect of 
dissolving the nyth of the missile gap and strengthened the material 
and political bases for Western resistance in the areas of contest 
around the world. Cuba capped the process in the fall of 1962, when 

^See Philip E. Mosely, The Kremlin and World Politics . Random 
House, Inc., New York, 1960, pp. 545, 551-557. 



the tool of missile diplomacy plus "Bolshevik iron will" came 
a,art in Soviet hands and left them with no reasonable alternative 
but to back off and salvage what they could of an unhappy situation. 
Looking back upon their experience, the Soviet leaders may well 
be faced with the question whether the declining worth of a missile 
blackmail diplomacy justifies further great effort and investment to 
restore its plausibility. 

These, then, are some of the broad considerations that underlie 
the decisions facing the Soviet leadership with regard to their .ar- •' 
forces and the role which military power can be expected to play in 
the conduct of Soviet policy generally. Changing concepts and 
practical necessities over the past decade have influenced the 
policies governing the development of the Soviet armed forces, and 
these influences -- often pulling in diverse directions, are still 
at work. The leaders of the Soviet Union are pursuing a variety ot 
domestic and foreign policy goals, and these often come into conflict 
with military policy considerations as well as with each other. 

The immediate problems of Soviet defense policy arise in 
several identifiable areas and undoubtedly are perceived differently 
at various levels of the Soviet bureaucracy. A first source of 
difficulty stems from the nature of modern war itself, and as 
indicated above, involves fundamental questions as co whether war 
or the threat of war can any longer be regarded as a rational 
instrument of policy. A second source of difficulty lies in the 
area jf allocation of resources to the military establishment In 
the face of urgent competing claims upon the economy from other 




- 11 - 


sectors of Soviet society. A third set of problems arises in the 
overlapping zone where military strategy and political purpose meet, 
and involves such questions as how best to maintain the credibility 
of Soviet deterrence, how to reconcile the difference between actual 
military posture and the foreign policy utilities claimed for it, 
and what to do about any gaps that exist between Soviet military 
capabilities and those of potential enemies. A fourth source of 
difficulties lies in the organization and training of the Soviet 
armed forces themselves, and reflects all the practical problems 
that are generated when policy must be meshed with service roles 
and responsibilities. And finally, cutting across each of these 
areas, is the question of dealing and communicating with the 
adversary, a process in which the strategic dialogue with the West 
plays its part. 

Few of the problems in these several categories are unique to 
the Soviet Union. At the same time, they are not necessarily per¬ 
ceived and dealt with along the same lines as generically similar 
problems with which Western policy-makers and strategists must cope. 
In this book we shall be concerned with Soviet thinking in all of 
the areas mentioned above. And as we shall see later in examining 
the substance of Soviet strategic thinking and debate, the Soviet 
leaders seem to stand at a crossroads of decision on many issues of 
military policy and strategy, which is perhaps the natural state 
of those who guide the destinies of great powers in the nuclear- 
missile age. 



- 12 - 


II. the internal soviet military debate 

Th» structure and what might be called the grout'd rul^s of th® 
Soviet military debate deserve some comment. First, there l.; the 
question whether a genuine policy debate, in the customary sense 
of the term, has been going on in the Soviet Union at all. Open 
discussion of strategic problems and military doctrine certainly has 
taken place more or less continuously in the decade since Stalin's 
death, reflecting a process of adjustment in Soviet thinking to the 
revolution in military affairs brought about first by nuclear weapons 
and Jet aircraft, and then by ballistic missiles and space technology. 
Policy discussion of such matters undoubtedly has gone on in private 
as well. But does such internal discourse and communication, whether 
public or private, necessarily constitute a debate? 

Much of it doubtless is merely the product of normal processes 
of professional military inquiry, policy formulation, and indoctrination 
of appropriate audiences, with no particular polemical significance. 

In fact, the areas of consensus in Soviet military discourse are a 
good deal broader than the areas in which disagreement can be dis¬ 
cerned. At the same time, however, it seems quite clear that 
.'oviet discourse has spilled over onto controversial terrain, often 
with Important practical implications for defense policy and strategy. 

In this sense, it can properly be said that a genuine debate in¬ 
volving divergent views on military Issues has been taking place, 
interwoven with foreign policy and Internal political-economic 
considerations. The essential point, over which confusion sometimes 
arises, is that the airing of divergent opinions in the Soviet Union 



-13- 


of Che past few years does not necessarily imply, as it once did, 
that those who iose the argument must also lose their positions of 
authority. Policy differences, in short, are not inextricably bound 
up with a power struggle. There is now somewhat more latitude urn 
formerly for both public and private expression of differences of 
view, not only on military questions, but also on economic, literary, 
and even some political matters. The amount of latitude fluctuates, 
ind there is still a fairly elaborate ritual for conveying criticism 
by indirection so that the myth of ConmuniaC solidarity may be 
preserved, but nevertheless the conditions of Soviet discourse today 
do allow more room for Che airing of differences than before. 

A distinction exists between officially-encouraged expression 
of variant viewpoints, such as one occasionally finds, for example, 
in Soviet military Journals, and what might be called the unsolicited 
interplay of competing views, special pleading and bureaucratic axe¬ 
grinding that finds its way into Soviet print from time to time. In 
both cases, it can be assumed that the discussants recognise limits 
beyond which it is not expedient to press differences with the 
accepted policy line of the moment. Nevertheless, the attentive 
outside observer is the beneficiary in any event, and from the 
partial evidence available is left to make what ha can of the 
problems and Issues which preoccupy the Soviet discussants. This 
brings up the question of "listening in" on Soviet Internal dis¬ 
cussion, and whether or not this is a reliable avenue to insight on 
Soviet military thinking. 

It would seem to be one of the characteristics of a totalitarian 
system or Indeed of any modern government that it does need to 



-14- 


foster communication with and among Its elites and other internal 
audiences on all sorts of matters, and that the most expeditious 
way to do so Is not necessarily through restricted private channels. 
In the Soviet system much more undoubtedly goes on beneath the sur¬ 
face through private and confidential communications than in a 
democratic society. Even so, a gre-.t deal of communication is 
necessarily carried on publicly. When Khrushchev, for example, 
delivers a long speech criticizing Soviet agricultural, industrial 
management, literature, or defense industry, as he has done public!;, 
on various occasions, he faces the problem of outsiders listening 
in and obtaining incights that they would not get if uil this were 
done in closed sessions. Indeed, Xhrushcnev has recognized this 
problem explicitly, as when he spoke to a construction workers’ 
conference in Moscow In April 1963: 

After today's conference, my speech will be 
published. There la a great deal of criticism 
In It. Our enemies will again howl: l.-tok, 
there la a crisis in the Soviet Union. There 
Is this and that in the Soviet Union. We should 
not be afraid of this, comrades. If we start to 
hide our shortcomings, we will impede the creation 
of conditions for swiftly eliminating them.l 

It Is not to be supposed, of course, that the exigencies of 
Internal cowunlcatlon and argument in the Soviet Union are likely 
to bring about uncontrolled revelation of whet la customarily regardeo 
as "classified" military Information. However, even with regard to 
the klnda of mllltaT .7 Information that should be kept out of public 
discussion, there has bean soma change In the Sc let Union. For 

* Pravda. April 26, 1963. 


15- 


exanpla, a pamphlet by Marshal Malinovskii, published in late 1962, 
contained tha following comment pertinent to a change in the ground 
rules for discuseio.. of military matters: "We nowadays sat forth the 
basic theses of Soviet military doctrine openly -- both in its 
political and in its technical aspects -- not hiding such details ae 
even in the recent pest were considered great state secrets."* 

Such comparatively greater openness in Soviet discourse does 
not mean, to be sure, that Soviet military writings can now be 
regarded me e mirror of "objectivity," divorced from the propaganda 
functions that even professionel military expression is intended to 
serve in tha Soviet l^ion. As made clear by the authors of the 
Sokolovskii work, Military Strategy . which was recently republished 
in a revised edition and to which we shall give detailed attention 
later, Soviet military writers are explicitly aware that their job 
le not to take an "objective" end "neutral" attitude toward their 
material: 

Soviet military thaory...raflects the laws of war 
as an armed struggle in the name of the most pro¬ 
gressive social claas -- the proletariat. Consequently, 
in this work the study of various aspects of war could 
not be In the nature of an objective investigation. 

Although war, as a two-aided process of struggle, has 
a number of objective feeturee, the authors, as 
representatives of ths Soviet Armed Forces naturally 
could not consider these feeturee from the position 
of an outside obeevver, but always started with 
MarxJst-Lenlnlet concepts of the eesentiel nature 
of war in the modern epoch, its causes, end how 
It starts. 


Starsha1 R.Is. Mallnovskli, Bdltal'no Storat Ha Strarhe Mira 
(Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace), Voenizdat Mlnlsteratve 
Oborony SSSR, Moscow, 1967, p. 23. 



-16- 


According to Marxist-Leninist dialectic*, objective 
evaluation of the various phenomena of social develop¬ 
ment means that the investigator cannot be neutral, 
but is always the representative and proponent of 
the ideology of his class.* 

Obviously, military literature thus produced within the frame¬ 
work of Marxist-Leninist ideology will be colored throughout by a 
"propaganda" interpretation that distorts reality as seen through non 
Marxist ey*.s. This kind of propaganda distortion, however, does not 
make Soviet work any less valid as an expression of what Soviet 
writers believe to be relevant to their subject, nor does it run 
counter to the purposes of internal indoctrination and instruction 
which Soviet military writing also is meant to serve. Similarly, 
a consciousness of their obligation as proponents of Marxist-Leninist 
ideology does not mean that Soviet discussants are never drawn into 
debate oyer the merits of one alternative policy or proposition 
against another. Apart from serving a legitimate need for internal 
conammicatlon, Soviet military dlacourae does have another function, 
to be sure -- that of communicating with and influencing external 
targat audiences In one way or another. This latter aspect of Soviet 
discourse will be taken up separately when we come to the question 
of the external strategic dialogue with the United States. For the 
aemsnt, however, the Internal Soviet debate over military questions 
merits soma further comment. 


^(arshal V. D. Sokolovskii, at si .. Soviet Military Strategy , 
with Analytical Introduction and Annotations by H. S. Dlnarstain, 

I Goure'and T. W. Wolfe of The RAND Corporation, Prentice-Hall, 
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1962, p. 513. 


-17- 


Main Lines of the Debate 

Tha character and history of the Soviet military debate from 
the time of Stalin's death up to the publication of the Sokolovskii 
work on military strategy in the late summer of 1962 have been 
treated elsewhere at some gth by the present author and others,* 
and only its main lines n.'id be recalled here in order to set the 
background for discussion of current issues in subsequent chapters 
of this book. The mainstream of the military debate has been fairly 
well-defined since the late fifties, when the consolidation of 
Khrushchev's political primacy coincided with the prospect that the 
Soviet Ifuion raijht soon count on having advanced weapons in some 
numbers. From this point, the debate has centered essentially on 
efforts of the political leadership, with Khrushchev hlmaelf deeply 
involved personally, to reorient Soviet military doctrine and forces 
in a direction considered more suitable for the needs of the nuclear- 
missile age. There efforts have mat with varying dagreaa of 
resistance and dlaaent from soma quarters of the military, perhaps 
with tacit backing among other < laments of the party-state bureau¬ 
cracy whose lnteiests were engaged in one way or another. It would 
oversimplify the picture, however, to describe this as merely a 


*See U.S. Editors' Analytical Introduction to Soviet Military 
Strategy, pp. 12-41. For other extensive analyaaa of the post-Stalin 
military debate, aee: Herbert S. Dinerstein, War and tha Soviet Union. 
revised edition, Frederick A. Praegar, Inc., Haw York, 1962; Raymond L. 
Garthoff, Soviet Strategy in tha Huclear ill , revised edition, Frederick 
A. Praeger, Inc., New York, 1962; J. M. Mackintosh, Strategy and 
Tactics of Soviet foreign Policy . The MacMillan Company, London, 

1962, especially pp. 88-105. 


-18- 

contest of views between political and military leadership groups, 
for the debate probably has been dominated more by the nature of the 
issues than by purely institutional differences between the political 
and military leaderships. 

In fact, there has been a continuous tributary stream c. debate 
within the military Itself, with "modernist" and "traditionalist" 
outlooks at each end of the spectrum and a body of "centrist" opinion 
in the middle. The modernists have tended to be more or less in 
sympathy with the kinds of views advanced by Khrushchev, arguing for 
more radical adaptation of the fruits of modern technology to military 
affairs, and suggesting that this approach might lighten the strain 
on resources -- that quality, so to speak, could replace quentity. 

The traditionalists, on th > other hand, while recognising the 
Impact of technology on military affairs, have nonetheless tended 
to argue against discarding tried and tested concepts merely for the 
sake of adopting soma thing new. 

Khrushchev's own strategic ideas were most fully and forcefully 
laid out in a January 1960 presentation to the Supreme Soviet. This 
speech, which appeared to represent Khrushchev's definitive assess¬ 
ment of requirements in the nuclear-misslie age for Soviet defense 
policy and structure, is one of the major landmarks in the debate. 

In it, he described the changes wrought by modern weapons in the 
character of a future war and noted the probable decisiveness of the 


^Report by H. S. Khrushchev to a Session of the Supreme Soviet 
of the USSR, Pravda . January 15, 1960, 


-19- 


initial phase, implying that such a war would be of short duration. 

He stressed that nuclear weapons and missiles were the main element 
in modern war and said that many types of traditional armed forces 
were rapidly becoming obsolete. He advanced the view that a large 
country like the Soviet Union, even though it might be struck first 
by nuclear weapons, would always be able to survive and retaliate. 
Expressing confidence that the imperialist camp was deterred by Soviet 
military might, he held that the Soviet Union was therefore in a good 
position so far as its military posture was concerned. Finally, he 
capped this presentation of his basic strategic notions with the 
announcement that the Soviet armed forces would be cut roughly one- 
thlrd, from around 3.6 million to 2.4 million men, and went on to 
say that this reduction meant no loss of combat capability, since 
the firepower provided by new weaponry would make up for the manpower 
cut. 

Khrushchev's January 1960 policy position and the programs through 
which it was to be implemented did not remain intact for long. By the 
suamwr of 1961, the troop reduction program hao been halted. The 
confident assaassMnt chat Sc-'iet defenses were in good shape seemed 
to be implicitly contradicted by other measures -- an Increase of 
one-third in the Soviet military budget and the resumption of nuclear 
testing, including weapons of super-megaton yield. A new formulation 
of military doctrine, differing in some notable respec.s from Khrushchev's 
January 1960 views, was advanced at the 22nd Party Congress in October 
1961 by Marshal Mallnovskll, followed in 1962 by the comprehensive 
Sokolovskii vork on military strategy which reflected Malinnvekii's 
position on certain touchstone issues more closely than Khrushchev's. 



- 20 - 

And in the realm of practical moves on the international strategic 
scene, a Soviet step of unprecedented character was taken in the fall 
of 1962 with the deployment of missiles to Cuba. 

The factors which brought about these various modifications in 
the Khrushchev January 1S60 prospectus for Soviet military policy 
and posture are not fully known, though some of them can be identified 
Soon after the January 1960 policy was enunciated, a reluctance toward 
accepting it in toto became apparent in the Soviet military press, 
not in che form of open opposition, bit often through statements 
stressing matters which Khrushchev had either glossed over or 
omitted altogether. Concurrently, signs appeared in the Soviet presr 
that many officers being returned to civilian life were encountering 
difficulties of adjustment, which raised questions about the effect 
of the troop reduction program on military morale. External events 
also h*d their Impact on the situation. In May 1960 the U-2 episode 
posed the possibility that Soviet bilitary security may have been 
compromised by loss of secrecy. It also left the International 
situation more tense after the breakdown of the Paris Summit meeting. 
In 1961 a new Asm rlean administration took office and responded to 
the threats that had been raised against Berlin by increasing U.S. 
defense appropriations, strengthening conventional forces, and 
improving the posture of U.S, strategic forces. In the fall of the 
same year, the United States begs , to express new confidence in the 
margin of Western strategic superiority, on the basis of improved 
intelligence. A year later, the Soviet attempt to redress the 
strategic Imbalance came to naught in Cuba, and in the aftermath of 



- 21 - 


the Cuban missile crisis the Soviet leadership was faced with a 

painful reappraisal of its worldwide position. 

While Khrushchev's policies thus escaped neither a certain 

amount of internal criticism nor the challenge of events, the 

striking thing about his role in the military debate is the constancy 

1 

with which he seems to have stuck to his basic strategic ideas. 

His views, both publicly and privately expressed, have tended to run 
along much the same lines as those in his January 1960 presentation. 
Moreover, as we shall see later, these views again took on renewed 
currency in the ongoing military debate in 1963 and 196-+. 

The role in the military debate of Marshal Malinovskii, the 
Soviet Defense Minister, is of particular interest. Like other high 
command appointees, Malinovskii is benolden to Khrushchev for his 
job and is further constrained by party discipline and presumably 
by his own prudence not to be so bold in opposition as was, for 
example, his predecessor, Marshal Zhukov. In a sense, Marshal 
Malinovskii has seemed to search for a mediating role in the military 
debate, seeking to reconcile the general thrust of Khrushchev's views 
with the reservations probably felt by a substantial body of 


*An assessment of Khrushchev's emergence as a military authority, 
written in 1960, offered an observation which may have aptly fore¬ 
seen the role he has since played in the military debate. It said: 
"One of Khrushchev's major achievements in the military spnere, in 
fact, may prove to be that of wrenching a traditionally conservative 
Soviet military bureaucracy out of its accustomed groove and 
forcing it to reorganize in line with the technological facts of 
life." Khrushchev's Strategy and Its Meaning for America . A Study 
for the use of the Connlttee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 
U.S. Government Printing Office, Waohington, 1960, p. 12. 



-22 


conservative opinion within the military. The result has been that 
Mslinovskil's public pronouncements have U tied to reflect what 
might be called the centrist position in the military debate, al¬ 
though he baa also displayed fluctuations which might reflect pressure 
from either side or perhaps merely the pull of his own convictions. 

Malinovskil*s military repoit to the 22nd Congress of the CPSU 
in October 1961 is another of th« major landmarks in the military 
debate.I’ Tils presentation of a "new Soviet military doctrine" 
reflected many of the points Khrushchev had made in his January 1960 
speech concerning the changed character of the war, the primacy of 
strategic missile forces, and so on, but it also included some notable 
amendments. Most significantly, Malinovskil reaffirmed the traditions 
forces, stressing -- in rather conspicuous contrast to omission of 
this point by Khrushchev •- that mess, multi-million man armies 
would be required for victory In any future war. While Malinovskil 
himself curiously avoided taking a specific position on the issue 
of a short versus protracted war, the thrust of his argument on the 
continued need for large armies Implied that the Soviet Union must 
prepare Itself for a long war as well as a short, decisive one. This 
view had quite different implications for Soviet sdlltary pc : lcy 
than Khrushchev's notion of a war that would run a very brlrf course 
after the Initial nuclear exchanges. On the whole, while Malinovskil 
shared Khrushchev's emphasis on a military posture that would deter 
the West, he also reflected a concern evidently felt by the Soviet 
military that the kind of peacetime forces envlsagsd by Khrushchev 

^Speech by Marshal k. Ia. Malinovskil to the 22nd Congress of the 
CPSU, Pravda. October 25, 1961. 


23- 


raight prove Inadequate for fighting a war successfully if deterrence 
should break down. 

The much-discussed Sokolovskii work on military strategy which 
appeared a little less chan a year after Malinovskli's Party Congress 
report can be regarded as another important landmark in the military 
debate. This jointly-authored work, while not an "official" treatise 
was the most ambitious treatment of doctrine and strategy attempted 
in the Soviet Union in many years. It could hardly avoid becoming 
a forum in which both divergencies and areas of agreement in Soviet 
military thinking were brought Into view. On the whole, the work 
appears to have been an effort to strike a kind of balance in the 
debate, using the formulations advanced by Marshal Mslinovskil in 
October 1961 as "middle ground" between competing viewpoints. 

However, this compromise effort clearly failed to end the debate. 

Some of the issues on which ambivalent and sometimes contradictory 
positions vere taken in the first edition of the Sokolovskii work 
were, briefly; 

1. The sice of the armed forces. Does modern 
technology and its affects on the nature of any 
future war reduce the need for massive swltl- 
mlllion man armed forces? Is Soviet security 
jeopardized by attempts -- like those sponsored 
by Khrushchev in January 1960 — to cut down on 
military manpower levels by substituting missiles 
and nuclear firepower? When competing claims on 
Soviet resources are great, should today's priority 
lnvestiMnt go into technology for its potential 
payoff in the future, or into maintenance of very 
large armsd forces for present security? 

2. The nature of the initial period of a war. How 
"decisive" is this phase of a war likely to be under 
conditions of nuclear-missile warfare? What impli¬ 
cations should be drawn and what practical steps 
taken with regard to force posture, readiness and 
pre-emptive capability? 




- 24 - 


3. The length of the ver. Will a future war be 
abort and decisive as a result of nuclear-missile 
attacks in the initial period, or will it be pro¬ 
tracted vith major campaigns in widespread theaters 
of war? Must one expect that only combat ready 
forces-in-being at the outset of the war will be 
able to contribute to the outcome, or can one count 
on extensive economic and military mobilization in 
the course of a nuclear war? If forces-in-being 
are the critical factor under modern conditions, 
can the econoay support adequate forces on a 
constant, peacetime basis? 

4. The best military strategy for dealing with the 
United States. What kind of military posture will 
provide the most convincing deterrent against the 
United States? In the event of war, what strategy 
holds the most promise for victory against a 
formidable overseas power like the United States? 

Can one count on paralyzing the U.S. will to resist 
by quick nuclear blows against the U.S. homeland, 

or will it be necessary to defeat the U.S. armed 
forces in detail and occupy the United States to 
achieve victory? 

5. The escalation of small wars. What is the 
likelihood that such wars will occur and that they 
can be kept limited, or is it "Inevitable" that any 
limltad war into which the nuclear powers are drawn 
will rapidly expand into global, nuclear war? 

6. The proper role of the military in the formulation 
of defense policy and strategy. Should the military 
confine Its attention strictly to the narrow pro¬ 
fessional aspects of preparing the Soviet armed forces 
for their assigned tasks, or does the complex nature 

of modern warfare naan that the military should have 
greater weight in preparing the country as a whole 
for a possible war, with consequently more Influence 
upon the shaping of basic national policy? 

Subsequent critical discussion of the Sokolovskii work in the 
Soviet Union indicated that it had not only stepped on political 
toes, but that neither modernist nor traditionalist schools of 
thought were altogether happy with the compromise formulations 
advanced by the work on various questions at issue. 4s will become 
apparent later whan wa taka up • velopmsnts in Soviet military 


LA i 





-25- 


thii.king since publication of the first Sokolovskii edition, 
including the revised edition of this work which was brought out 
in the fa 11 of 1963, many of these issues in the internal Soviet 
military debate still remain unresolved. 





III. THE SOVILT VOICE IM THE EAST-WEST STRATEGIC DIALOGUE 

The views of Soviet political and military leaders on problems 

of war and strategy are of great interest not only in the context of 

internal Soviet discussion and debate over military Issuer, but also 

in the context of the external strategic dialogue with the West, 

principally with the United States. Widespread appreciation of the 

fact that the modern world probably cannot, as President Kennedy put 

it in one of his last public remarks, "survive, in the form in which 

1 

we know it, a nuclear war," accounts in part for the growing 
significance of the strategic dialogue between the United States and 
the Soviet Union. This is especially true Insofar as the dialogue 
represents a means by which the two great nuclear powers may seek 
to clarify the complexities and mitigate the dangers of their 
strategic relationship in the nuclear-missile age. 

By and large, the strategic dialogue to date has not been 
especially Impressive in terms of balanced and mutually instructive 
discourse between the two sides. They are, after all, in an adversary 
relationship which Involves basic differences of purpose and policy. 

A broad conceptual gulf lies between them. They are not likely to 
find It easy to explore the interacting problems and ambiguities of 

^Seldom has the great predicament of the modern world been 
sunned up s»rc oiaply than in theac words of the lata President 
Kennedy: "The family of man can survive differences of race and 
religion...it can accept differences in Ideology, politics, economics. 
But it cannot survive, in the form in which we know it, a nuclear war." 
Sea: "Our Obligation to the Family of Man," Remarks by President 
Kennedy, The Department of State Bulletin. November 23, 1963. 


-27- 

their respective strategic positions in any dispassionate and non- 
polemical fashion. Indeed, as a form of communication between 
adversaries, much of the strategic dialogue has been and wi.i 
probably continue to be concerned with advancement of the policy 
interests of the two great nuclear powers in a more or less narrow 
sense, with each side using the dialogue to enhance its deterrent 
posture, to obtain political advantage iron its military power or 
to prevent the other from doing so, to impress the authority of 
its position upon allies and onlookers, and so on. In particular, 
the dialogue up to now has tended to center on the question whether 
the strategic power balance in the world favors the Soviet or the 
Western aide.* So long as the world*s everyday judgment concerning 
the balance of military power continues to be a weighty factor in 
International politics, one can that much of the dialogue will 

turn, as before, on this question. 

However, there is st the same time a perceptible tendency today 
for each side, in varying degree, to look upon the strategic dialogue 
as a means to promots bsttsr, or st least, more precise communications 
with respect to military policy, strategy and the corollary problems 
that arise out of their strategic perception of each other. This in 


*For s discussion of the U.S.-Soviet strategic dialogue of the 
past few years, see U.S. Editors' Analytical Introduction to Soviet 
Military Strate gy, pp. 24-27. This discussion points out that in mld- 
1962 the Soviet Union was having soms difficulty holding up its side 
of the strategic dialogue with the United Spates, and that generally 
accepted assertions of Western strategic superiority at that time had 
probably generated pressure on the Soviet leadership to repair the 
Soviet image in the world power balance. T retrospect this factor 
may have had something to do with the Soviet effort to oeploy missiles 
to Cubs. 



28 - 

itself may be a small start toward a more fruitful and intelligent 
strategic diaemirse between East and West, with the discussants 
talking past each other less and to each other more. 

In these circumstances, it 1c understandable that any new 
expressions of strategic thinking from the Soviet side should tend to 
be scrutinized In the West with great interest for whatever contribution 
they may make to the developing dialogue. Over the past year or so there 
have been occasional statements by prominent Soviet political and 
military leaders, as well as books and articles by lesser figures, 
which qualify as significant contributions to the strategic dialogue — 
if not for che unassailability of the arguments they present, then at 
least because they seen to have been intended to convey particular 
messages of one kind or another to target audiences abroad in addition 
to whatever internal communication function they may have been meant 
to serve. One of the more notable of these contributions is the 
revised and somewhat expanded second edition of the work Militar - 
Stratetv. written by a collective team of Soviet railitvy experts 
headed by Marshal V. D. Sokolovskii. 1 


^r sha 1 V, D. Soko lova ki i, ft al ., Vo ennaia S tr ace gl ia (Military 
Strategy), second edition, Voenizdat Ministerstva Oburony SSsR, Moscow, 
1963. Hereafter cited by Russian title to distinguish it from earlier 
or partial version* in English. A full English translation of the 
second! edition does not yet exist, although a line-by-line comparison 
of changes is available under the title Military Strategy ( A Comparison 
of the 19o2 and 1963 Editions) . Joint Publications Research Service, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, I>. C., 14 December 1963. 



-29- 

The first edition of this work, which was published in the Soviet 
Union in the late summer of 19t>2, was, as mentioned earlier, an 
important document in the Soviet internal military debate. Described 
by the Soviets as the first comprehensive work on military strategy 
to appear in the Soviet Union since 1926, the book also aroused a 
great deal of interest abroad, so much so, indeed, that it was 
shortly thereafter brought out in English translation by two 
different American publishers, not to mention versions in other 
languages. Whether its Soviet sponsors a^tic oated the extent of 
attention the Sokolovskii work was to r*:c. •«. it. . u e West is problem¬ 

atical, but at any rate the effect was t-.-'f.e ' ice V’dience abroad 
was introduced for the first time to a fuli-lrngth sp uimenof 
contemporary Soviet writing cn military doctrine an*: strategy — a 
subject hitherto known to the Western worl i Migely through the 
interpretive medium of a relatively small group of professional 
students of Soviet military affairs. 

The n«w edition, in the same format and by the same team of 

1 

collective authors as its predecessor, did not come as a complete 
surprise to Interested observers, even though the interval between 
editions -- fifteen months -- was unusually short for such a work. 

In the spring of 1963 a Soviet listing of forthcoming publications 
carried a brief notice that a revised version of the Sokolovskii 
book could be expected in the fall of the year. This announcement 


^One of the original contributors. Major General N. P. Tsygichko, 
subsequently died and is listed posthumously in the new volume. 



-30* 


appeared at a time when the original volume waa meeting with mixed 
critical comment in the Soviet Union,* heightening the impression 
held abroad that while the book gave evidence of a broad consensus 
on many matters of military policy and strategy, it also reflected 
divergent Soviet views on various unresolved issues. Whether plans 
for early republication of the Sokolovskii work were prompted by 
editorial necessity relating to developments of the intervening 
period, or simply by the need for larger distribution (the first 
edition of 20,000 c< ’as was quickly exhausted, while the new 
edition Is double this number), was not at all clear. In any event, 
however, tha nav version was awaited with more than routine interest 
as e possible barooater of important changes in Soviet thinking and 
emphasis on a broad range of military policy issues. 

As if to give tha new Sokolovskii volume a vigorous sand-off, 
and auggaating Soviet awareness of the book's potential as a 
vahicle of axternal ar well as internal communication on strategic 
problems of the nuclear age, the Soviets themselves focused fresh 
attention on it through a prominently-headlined article in the 
nawanaper ted Star on 2 November 1963, coincident with appearance of 
tha work in Moscow bookstores. This article, signed by four members 


*Thrae substantial Soviet coBaentariaa on tha book, critical 
of it in soma respects, appeared in early 1963. They were in: 
Voennyi Veatalk (Military Herald), No. 1, January 1963? Morakoi 
Sbornlk (Naval Collection), January 1963; Voenno-Istorlchaakll 
Zhurnal (Military-Historical Journal), No. 5, May 1963. 





of Che Sokolovskii team,* was In the form of a riposte to the inter¬ 
pretive introductions which had accompanied the two U.S. translations 

2 

of the original Sokolovskii work. The main burden of complaint was 

that American commentators, "directed from « single center in the 

USA," had systematically distorted the "peace-loving policy of the 
3 

Soviet Union." This riposte to the U.S. editors of the Sokolovskii 
work, despite its generally peevish tone, contained a number of sub¬ 
stantive observations which made it a noteworthy document itself 
in the strategic discourse between the United States and the Soviet 
Union. As we shall point out more fully later, this article, like a 
number of other recent expressions of Soviet strategic thinking, gave 
evidence of Soviet sensitivity to Western interpretations of Soviet 
military policy and posture, and contained "corrective messages" on 
such questions as escalation of local conflicts, Soviet second-strike 
capability, and pre-emption. 


^The four Soviet authors were Major "Generals: I. Zav'lalov, 

V. Kolechltskll, M. Cherednlchenko and Colonel V. Larionov. Their 
article was entitled, "Against Slanders and Falsifications: Concerning 
the U.S, Editions of the Book Military Strategy ," Bed Star. November 2, 
1963, p. 5. 

2one of these was Soviet Military Strategy , to which reference 
has already been made. The other was Military Strategy: Soviet 
Doctrine and Concepts. Frederick A, Praeger, New York, 1963, with an 
Introduction by Raymond L, Garthoff, 

^Most of the Red Star criticism was directed in detail at the 
Introduction to the Prentice-Hell edition, to which the present writer 
was e contributor. It is worth noting that despite their critical 
attack upon American interpretations of the Sokolovskii work, the 
Soviet authors nevertheless found occasion to describe the Prentlce- 
Hall-RAND Introduction in particular as being more "restrained in 
tone," more "objective” and "professional" in its comments, and more 
"scientific-like" in its analysis, than earlier "sensational and 
openly slanderous" press commentaries. 


32 


Another example of the kind of direct discourse with Western 

military analyst 6 which has tended to bring the Soviet side of the 

strategic dialogue into sharper focus is afforded by an article by 

L. Glagolev and V. Larionov published in the November 1963 issue of 

Internetional Affairs .* The authorship of this article represented 

a rather interesting combination. Glagolev is a Soviet specialist 

on International relations and disarmament affairu who has been 

active in promoting the informal discussion of disarmament questions 

2 

with various American scientists and government officials. Colonel 
Larionov, a Soviet military expert and a prolific writer on strategic 
affairs, Including the subject of military uses of space, is one of 
the authors of the Sokolovskii work. The collaboration of these two 
men marked a departure ftora customary Soviet practice, suggesting 
that the particular competence of a military specialist like Larionov 
was deemed desirable to reinforce the policy arguments of the Inter ¬ 
national Affairs article. This supposition was borne out by the 


*L. Glagolev and V. Larionov, "Soviet Defence Might and Peaceful 
Coexistence," International Affair* . No. 11, November 1963, pp, 27-33. 
International Affairs , a monthly political journal circulated both 
within the Soviet Union and abroad, appears in Russian as Mezhdunarodnaia 
Zhlxn . References hereafter to the Glegoiev-LarIonov article are to 
the English lenguage version. 

^Glagolev's title is Director of the Scientific Group for Dis¬ 
armament of the Institute of World Economics and International 
Relations, a body which functions under the auspices of the USSR 
Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Ha has visited the United States and 
has on occasion been able to express his views on the study of 
disarmament in the American press. See, for example, "A Communication 
to the Editor of the Washington Post," The Wa s hington Post, November 27, 
1962. 


33- 


contents of the article itself. Besides reacting to the alleged 
inference abroad that there are "contradictions between the Soviet 
policy of peaceful coexistence and the propositions of Soviet military 
strategy,"* the article also contained a rather detailed elaboration 
of military factors designed to demonstrate the credibility of the 
Soviet retaliatory posture. The latter exposition, which we shall 
take up in detail presently, introduced into the strategic dialogue 
a somewhat more informed style of argument than usually has been 
encountered in Soviet writing. 

Not the least interesting example of this new genre in Soviet 

strategic discourse was an article which appeared in the March 1963 

issue of the World Marxist Review , under the signature of "General 

2 

A. Nevsky, Military Commentator." This article was a trail-blazer 
of sorts, laying out many of the arguments on limited war, counter¬ 
force strategy and other matters which were subsequently to be found 
in the revised Sokolovskii edition and the Glagolev-Larionov piece. 
Indeed, the close correspondence of content and style suggested that 
"A. Nevsky" -- by curious coincidence the name of a traditional 
Russian military hero — may have been a nom de plume for one or 
more of the writers who had a hand in the Sokolovskii work. This 
impression was strengthened by at least two other circumstances: 
no Soviet general by the name of Nevsky could be found in any 

* International Affairs. November 1963, p. 27. 

2 

General A. Nevsky, "Modern Armaments and Problems of Strategy," 
World Marxist Review : Problems of Peace and Socialism . Vol. 6, 

No. 3, March 1963, pp. 30-35. 




-34- 


liscings of Soviet periodical literature and the list of contributors 
to the March 1963 Issue of World Marxist Review identified all 
contributors with the conspicuous exception of General Nevsky. 
Furthermore, it is the custom for flesh-and-blood Soviet general 
officers to be identified when signing articles by their full title 
of rank, such as Major-General of Aviation, Colonel-General of 
Artillery, etc. There does not happen to be a Soviet rank of Just 
plain "General." Whatever the identity of the nebulous General 
Nevsky may be, however, the point remains that his article helped 
to introduce the more informed style of argument that has been 
noticeable from the Soviet side of the strategic dialogue. 

Reflection of Internal Issues in the Strategic Dialogue 

Woven through the strategic dialogue with the West have been 
some of the issues under internal debate in the Soviet Union, 
especially those growing out of the critical >• ’ationship between 
economics and defense. A case in point has been the central question 
whether to Increase the Soviet military budget and to adopt a 
correspondingly tough declaratory policy that might provoke more 
vigorous Western defense efforts, or to take a path toward detente, 
using among other things the tactics of "negotiation by example" 
to bring a downturn in the level of military preparations. Through¬ 
out the period of Interna? Soviet reappraisal to determine what 
should be done to retrieve the Soviet strategic position after the 
reversal in Cuba, thsre was obviously considerable pressure for an 
increaee in +.he military budget. An early sign of such pressure 
appeared in *. pamphlet by Marshal Mallnovskll In November 1962, in 


which one of the lessons drawn from the Cuban experience was that 
"...real reasons exist that force the government and the Communist 
Party to strengthen the Soviet armed forces."*' Khrushchev himself 
gave recognition to this pressure when, in a major speech on 
February 27, 1963, he made the painful admission that satisfaction 
cf consumer needs would again have to be postponed so that the 

"enormous resources" required to keep Soviet military capacity from 

o 

falling behind that of the West might be made available. Shortly 
thereafter, the creation of a new Supreme Economic Council was 
announced, with D. F. Ustinov, a defense production expert, at its 
head. This move suggested that a decision may have been made, or 
was pending, to Increase allocations for military purposes. No hint 
was forthcoming, however, as to how any Increased defense expenditure 
might be apportioned within the military establishment. Should it 
go to satisfy the prevailing military argument for continued support 
of large, combined-arms theater forces, or to strengthen the strategic 
missile forces by which Khrushchev himself seemed to set greater 
store? The possibility that, of the two, the strategic forces right 
receive the greater attention was suggested by the elevation at about 
this time of Marshal Birluzov, a Khrushchev supporter and commander 
of the strategic missile forces, to the position of Chief of the 
General Staff. 

^Malinovskli, Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace, p. 15. 

Z pravda. February 28, 1963. 

3 Pravda . March 14, 1963. 


-36 


At this point In the spring of 1963, however, the internal 

policy debate evidently took a new turn which was to culminate 

before long in a Soviet decision to seek at least a limited detente 

with the United Statea. In a long speech on April 24, 1963, Khrushchev 

shifted his sights to the need for priority or economic development 

and for more efficient use of available resources by defense Industry, 

while at the same time indicating that the Soviet armed forces were 

now already "equipped with the most advanced weapons for repulsing 

aggressive forces."^ - This statement and his remarks in early June 

to Harold Wilson, the British Labor Party leader, that the Soviet 

Union had ceased production of strategic bombers and surface war- 
2 

ships, suggested that Khrushchev was again prepared to take the line 
that Soviet defenses were in good enough shape not to require a 
large increase in military expenditures. Also, Khrushchev's 
January 1960 views that firepower rather than massive manpower 
should govern the scale and composition of Soviet military forces 
now began to come back into vogue in some Soviet publications, with 
the attendant implication that this was a "hold the line" warning 
on defense spending. These signs of an impending shift toward a 
policy of detente were soon overshadowed by developments leading to 
signing of the test ban treaty In August 1963, and the UN resolution 
banning nuclear weapons In space in October, by which time, despite 


1 Pravda, April 26, 1963. 

^ The New York Times . June 11, 1963., 


Sue Colonels C. Baranov and E. Nikitin, "CPSU Leadership -- The 
Fundamental Basis of Soviet Military Development." Kommunist 

SaoaszhffiBSLSil, No. 0, April 1963, p. 22. For TTaUv discussion 
ot these developments see Chapter Twelve. 


37- 


such aberrant notes as the Berlin autobahn incidents, an atmosphere 
of detente was unmistakably established. 

The ostensible outcome of the military budget issue became 
known ^n December 1963, whan Khrushchev's remarks at the Central 
Committee plenum on "chemicalization" of Soviet induot.y and the 
publication of the new Soviet budget immediately thereafter dis¬ 
closed that the Soviet Union intended to reduce its military budget 
for 1964 by 600 million rubles, or about four per cent.* This 
action was immediately reflected in the strategic dialogue with the 
West, as various Soviet spokesmen including Khrushchev himself, 

pointed to the budget reduction as a token of Soviet good intentions 

2 

and an example which the United States should emulate. Khrushchev's 
introduction of the military budget cut into the strategic dialogue 
appeared to be a case of making a virtue of necessity. As in his 
earlier military policy speech of January I960, where he combined an 
announcement of Soviet troop reduction with disarmament proposals 
aimed at the then forthcoming 10-Nation Disarmament Conference in 
Geneva, Khrushchev appeared to be seeking political mileage and 
negotiating leverage from military policy moves that he was bent 
on carrying through for other reasons anyway. 

li zvestila. December 15, 1963; Pravda . December 16, 1963. 

^Soviet statements applauding their own unilateral good 
example ignored the fact that the Soviet budget reduction announce¬ 
ment trailed by a few days the initiative announced by the new 
Johnson administration in the United States tc close a number of 
military installations and to lower the U.S. military budget. 



In this connection, It Is rather revealing that no echo was 
heard from the Soviet side of the dialogue when, In early January 
1964, the United States announced its intention of cutting back 
production of nuclear materials and Invited the Soviet Union to 
consider doing likewise.^ Soviet silence on this move in the pro¬ 
cess of "negotiation by example" may, of course, ultimately be 
o 

broken.~ However, the Soviet attitude on nuclear production cutback 
is likely to be strongly influenced by their relative nuclear position. 
If Soviet leaders find that a production cutback does not happen to 
be compatible with their assessment of their military requirements, 
they may remain quite unenthuslastic about taking up the U.S. 
challenge on this matter. 

Differences of view between the Soviet political and military 
leaders on the definition of military requirements in such cases 
are patently a potential source of discordancy so far as the Soviet 
voice in the strategic dialogue Is concerned. It is interesting, 
for example, that while Soviet military leaders iu general gave public 
approval of the Soviet military budget reduction announced in 
December 1963, no military leader came forward immediately in the 
Soviet press with specific comment on Khrushchev's remark in his 
December 13 plenum speech that the Soviet government was coai»i<i*-. ^ng 
"...the possibility of some further reduction in the numerical 



2 In this connection, little interest wes subsequently shown by 
Soviet negotiators at the Geneve 17-Nation Disarmament Conference in 
the subject of cut-off of nuclear suiterlaIs production. See Washington 
Post . February 7, 1964; The Hew York Times . Kerch 3, 1964. 




-39 


strength of our armed forces. "V In fact, the most conspicuous 

military utterance in the wake of Khrushchev's statement carried the 

unmistakable inference that it was unwise for the Soviet Union to 

contemplate further reduction of its ground forces at a time when 

the West was building up its own ground strength. This article 

was by Marshal Chuikov, comnander of the Soviet ground forces, whose 

temptation to respond to the NATO buildup of ground forces with 

2 

some special pleading of his own was probably great. We shall return 
to Chuikov*s views later in connection with internal controversy 
over what the size of the Soviet armed forces should be. 

Soviet reaction to the program of conventional force buildup 
urged on NATO by the United States has tended to vary in a way 
which suggests some entanglement of internal policy conflict with 
the strategic dialogue. Marshal Chuikov's evident worry about the 
changing relationship of Western and Soviet ground forces strength, 
shared occasionally by other military spokesmen who have asserted 
that the West la building up massive ground forces along with its 
nuclear forces, typifies one kind of response. Another has been 


l lzvc-itila. December 15, 1963. The single exception among 
prominent military men was Marshal A. I. Yeremenko, who alluded 
without comment to "the forthcoming cut in the Soviet armed forces" 
in an article in Moscow News . This is an English-language publication 
distributed abroad rather than to domestic Soviet audiences. See 
Marshal Andrei Yeremenko, "War Must Be Wiped Out," Moscow News. 

No. 2, January 11, 1964. 

2Marshal Chuikov, "Modern Ground Forces," Izvestlia, 

December 22, 1963. See Chapter Twelve for further discussion of 
the troop reduction issue. 

’See Marshal Pavel Rotmietrov, "The Causes of Modern War aud 
their Peculiarities," Kommuniat Vooruzhennykh Sil (Communist of the 
Armed Fore ss) , Ho. 2, January 1963, p. 31; also Soviet Military 
Strategy, p. 410; Voennala Strategi ia. 2nd ed., p. 383. 


-40- 

the standard political propaganda line that Che NATO buildup 
demonstrates the aggressive aims of the Western bloc, particularly 
the Bonn "revanchists."* At: the same time, however, a tendency to 
accept some increase in NATO's ground forces as a fact-of-life and 
to try to turn it to Soviet political account rather than to 
challenge it head-on also has been discernible, especially since 
the onset of Khrushchev's detente overtures. 

Khrushchev himself, for example, has taken note of Western 

conventional strength increases in Europe, but has suggested that if 

these forces are as strong as American spokesmen say, then there is 

no reason why the West should hesitate to enter into arms reduction 
2 

agreements. There also has been play upon the NATO buildup in 
still another vein in some Soviet commentary dealing with the question 
of U.S. policy for employment of nuclear weapons in the event of a 
Soviet attack on Europe which could not be contained by conventional 
means. Thus, the Glagolev-Larionov article in the November 1963 iss 
of International Affairs stated that the question of a U.S. nuclear 
initiative was Justified by some people in the United States as a 
response to "the possibility of an attack by conventional Soviet 
forces on Western Europe, which allegedly does net have enough con* 
ventIona1 forces to defend itself." The article then went on to 

^See Colonel E. Fedulaev, "The Misslie-Nuclear Arms Race in the 
NATO Countries -- A Threat to Peace," Rommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . 

No. 17, August 1963, pp. 84-85. 

2 

See Khrushchev's Concluding Speech to the Central Committee 
Plenum, Pravda. December 15, 1963. 




-41 


assert that this argument "does not hold any water," since Western 
forces today are deployed in greater strength than formerly in 
Europe. This statement would seem to constitute an interesting 
admission that the Western buildup of conventional strength in 
Europe represents a factor making for greater stability of the 
military situation in that area. Although the article did not offer 
such an interpretation, the general effect of this treatment of the 
NATO situation was to play down factors which might add fuel to 
internal Soviet arguments for further strengthening of the Soviet 
ground forces. 

"Me ssages" to the West in Soviet Strategic Discourse 

The foregoing examples of ways in which internal issues have 
tended to become interwoven with the strategic dialogue may suggest 
the difficulty of Interpreting the "messages" which Soviet strategic 
discourse may be intended to convey to the West. That is to say, 
the Soviet voice in the dialogue may sometimes speak in contradictory 
ways, not necessarily consistent with what may appear to be the main 
line of Soviet policy at a given moment. On the whole, however, 
there does tend to emerge from Soviet discourse a fairly well- 
orchestrated pattern of strategic policy points addressed to target 
audiences abroad. Some of these points are variations on familiar 
themes; others appear to reflect new considerations. At the time 
of writing, the general pattern of the dialogue seems to a large 
extent to be related to the critical and trying period through which 
the Soviet leaders have passed during the last year and a half. 

1 International Affairs . November 1963, p. 30. 




-42- 

Durlng this period, difficulties plaguing Soviet agriculture and 
the economy sharpened the problem of resource allocation, making it 
harder to deal with the competing claims of military and economic 
requirements. Within the Communist bloc, the dispute with China 
grew increasingly bitter, calling into question Soviet leadership of 
the world Communist movement, while at the same time the European 
satellites displayed an urge for a greater measure of autonomy. 

And, above all, in the area of their politico-strategic relation¬ 
ship with the United States and the West, the Soviet leaders during 
this period faced some soul-searching crises of decision, the most 
dramatic of which was the Cuban missile showdown. These develop¬ 
ments clearly left their imprint on the strategic dialogue with the 
West, the main lines of which have come to reflect an evident Soviet 
awareness of the nee* 1 to adjust Soviet policy to the changing 
character of the strategic environment. Some of the main features 
of recent Soviet discourse which are of particular Interest In the 
context of the strategic dialogue, and to which we shall give further 
attention in ensuing chapters of this book, can be summed up as 
fellows; 

First, there is an insistent effort to enhance the credibility 
of the Soviet strategic deterrent in Western eyes. This theme, 
argued with greater technical sophistication than previously, is 
coupled with an attempt to disabuse the United States of any idea 
that it can count on a successful first-strike or iraw political 
advantage from its strategic position vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. 

In a sense, this double-barrelled "message" seems to be the military 



- 43 - 

policy concomitant to the political policy of detente, warning 
the West in effect not to try to stretch the limits of de'tente fn 
its advantage. 

Second, there is a general effort on the Soviet part, not always 
precisely spelled out, to propagate the idea of mutual nuclear 
deterrence at the strategic level and to give an Impression of 
doctrinal rigidity at this level by rejecting such concepts as 
controlled strategic warfare. This trend in Soviet discourse may 
relate to a sense of growing doubt among the Soviet leadership as 
to whether missile blackmail diplomacy, which once looked highly 
promising, can in fact be used successfully to force withdrawal 
of the West from its stubbornly-held political and strategic 
positions around the world. 

Third, and in notable contrast with the tendency to rigidify 
the Soviet doctrinal stance at the strategic level, there appears 
to be a tentative endeavor to project a less rigidly doctrinaire 
image than formerly with regard to the escalation potential of local 
conflicts. This suggests that the Soviets may wish to see the 
"escalation threshhold" raised, perhaps in order to provide greater 
flexibility for local use of military power below the nuclear level 
and to disarm Chinese criticisms of Soviet failure to give vigorous 
support to "national-liberation" struggles. Rather curiously, while 
this trend would seem to run in the direction of opening greater 
freedom of action for Soviet political strategy in the under¬ 
developed world, more Interest in softening the customary doctrinal 
line on "inevitability" of escalation seems to have come from Soviet 
military than from political spokesmen. 






Fourth, and related to the apparent desire In some Soviet 
quarters to communicate an Image of greater flexibility for support 
of local conflicts, there is a new suggestion in Soviet discourse 
that in the case of certain third power conflicts, such as possible 
local hostilities involving West Germany and Eastern Europe, the 
Soviet Union might try to avoid expanding the conflict by withholdln 
attacks against the United States in return for U.S. abstention. 

This suggestion seems to relate to a general Soviet concern to re¬ 
assure the United States against a Soviet firs t a stiri unde r borde. 
line conditions in which the question of pre-emption might arise. * 
the same time, the Soviet position on this point remains somewhat 
ambivalent. There is still the veiled hint in other Soviet 
strategic discourse, perhaps intended to reinforce the Soviet 
deterrent image, that under some circumstances the Soviet Union mav 
entertain what would be in fact, if not in name, a pre-emptive 
strategy. 

Finally, on the question of military superiority, the Soviet 
vclce in the strategic dialogue seems to reflect uncertainty whether 
the Soviet Union'a best interest lies in asserting superiority over 
the W at the risk of stimulating greater Western exertions and 
prematurely jeopardizing the atmosphere of detente, or in settling 
for a second-best position. Soviet policy on this question is 
complicated by many factors. For example, not only is the Soviet 
Union at a relative disadvantage in resources, but as experience 
shows, it has managed to live for a considerable period in a 
position of strategic inferiority to its major adversary without 
beinp subjected to the "imperialist attack" so often predicted. 



-45- 

IV. GENERAL THRUST OF THE NEW SOKOLOVSKII VOLUME 

The revised Soviet edition of the Sokolovskii work, Military Strategy. 
offers an unusual opportunity to compare both changes and continuities in 
Soviet thinking on a wide range of strategic and military-political issues 
during the eventful period between the two edition;. For this reason it 
would appear useful, before taking up in detai' tb various questions with 
which the Soviet strategic thinking and policy see most concerned today, 
to comment briefly on the general thrust of the new Sokolovskii volume. 

One of the first things to be said about the revise.. 1963 volume is 

that it did not register any radical changes in Soviet military doctrine 

or strategic concepts since the original volume appeared fifteen months 

■ 1 

earlier in the late summer of 1962. While textual alterations were fairly 
numerous and the original version was expanded by approximately 50 pages, 
many of the revisions bore on questions of a political character and seemed 
designed more to bring the book into harmony with shifts in the Soviet 
foreign policy line than to advance any major new formulations on military 
questions as such. However, even though breaking no radical new conceptual 
ground, the revised volume nevertheless respresented the most substantial 
single addition to Soviet military literature since its predecessor, and 
as such has contributed further understanding and insight into the process 
of Soviet adaptation to the strategic environment of the nuclear-misslie 
age. 

l For a detailed comparison of the two Sokolovskii editions, see Leon 
Goure' N otes on the Second Edition of Marshal V. D. Sokolovskii's "Military 
Strategy", The RAND Corporation, RM-3972-PR, February 1964. 




With regard to the Soviet military policy debate, the revised 
Sokolovskii edition gave evidence that « number of issues remain unresolved 
and that doctrine is still in flux on various questions. Some of the 
matters still at issue or ambiguously treated were: the duration of a 
future war; the size of the armed forces; the likelihood of war out¬ 
break in the sixties; the feasibility of wartime mobilization under 
nuclear conditions; the role of pre-emption in modern war; the danger ot 
escalation of local conflicts; the prospects for effective active 
defense against nuclear attack; the military uses of space; and above s, 
the question of finding a strategy for victory in a possible future nuclea. 
war when the feasibility of war itself ac an instrument or policy is 
increasingly in doubt. 

On a number of other military questions, a large measure of consensus 
was to be found relatively unchanged between the first and second edition* 
Included In this category were such matters as: the primacy of strategic 
nuclear weapons in modern warfare; a target philosophy which emphasizes 
destruction of both military and urban-industrial targets and rejects the 
concept of strategic targeting restraint; recognition of the economic 
difficulty of maintaining large enough standing forces in peacetime; 
emphasis on the need for qualitative and quantitative superiority; a 
theater warfare doctrine calling for extensive nuclear strikes with 
follow-up and occupation by ground forces; and an image of the West as 
a militarily formidable opponent, still held in check mainly by fear of th* 
consequences of Soviet retaliation. 

Besides these two categories of questions on which views remain 
either at issue or In substantial agreement, there was a third category 



of military questions upon which a new degree of emphasis was placed in 
the revised edition of the Sokolovskii work. Among such matters were: 
more attention to limited wir; an increased confidence in the ability of 
early-warning at d other measures to reduce the chances of successful 
surprise attack; greater stress on the hardening and mobility of strategic 
weapons; an upgrading of the strategic role of missile-launching sub¬ 
marines; more emphasis on antisubmarine operation.? and amphibious landing 
capabilities; some downgrading of heavy bomber prospects for the future 
but an upgrading of the bomber's role against targets at sea; and linking 
of the importance of developing both antimissile and antisatellite 
defenses. 

Another interesting new feature of the revised Sokolovskii volume 
was an analysis of U.S. "counterforce" or "city-sparing" strategy, with 
arguments against its feasibility, exemplifying Soviet resistance to what 
authors described as "some sort of suggestion to the Soviet Union on 
'rules' for the conduct of nuclear war."*" The new volume did not lend 
itself specifically to the revival of Khrushchev's I960 notions on the 
substitution of missile firepower for manpower, but it did reflect the 
increasing emphasis placed by Khrjshchev and the modernist school on the 
strategic missile forces as the main element of Soviet military power. 

Throughout the revised >okolovskii volume, as in most expositions 
of Soviet strategic thought, there was marked ambivalence concerning the 
military path to victory in modern war, especially against a powerful 
overseas opponent. In the new volume, as in its predecessor, the concept 
of winning through the shock effect of strategic nuclear attack alternated 

Voennaia Str a tegila. 2nd ed.. p. 85. 



-4b" 


with the traditional concept that victory can only be secured by combined 
arms operations to seize and occupy the enemy's homeland. A variant line 
of thought in Soviet military taeory of the past year, which placed 
emphasis on the possibility of Soviet victory in a protracted war through 
superior political-morale qualities am economic orgautzation, found a 
slight reflection in the revised Sokolovskii work, but was not taken up 
as a major new theme. 

In a political sense, the revised Sokolovskii volume bore the imprtn: 
of trends both on the internal Soviet scene and in area of foreign 
policy. In the former connection, the new volume supplemented other 
evidence of unresolved tensions in political-military relations in the 
Soviet Union. A strong tendency to reaffirm the primacy ^f the political 
leadership in military affairs, which appeared in Soviet military writing 
subsequent to publication of the first Sokolovskii edition, was discernible 
In the new edition. This appeared to be part of a general Internal 
reaction to efforts of the military to claim a larger share of Influence 
on national security policy. 

The signing of the test-ban treaty was acknowledged in the new 
volume as an Important step in reducing International tension, but the 
new ‘'spirit of Moscow" by nr means pervaded the whole of the work. Indeed, 
commenting on the teat-ban treaty, tnc authors cautioned against "relying 
on the 'goodwill' oc the imperialists," rather than on "the might cf the 
socialist camp," to prevent a new var.* 

A certain amount of minor political face-lifting was evident in the 
new text, such as the omission of the two uncorapliaentary references to 

^ Voennaia Strategl ia, 2nd ed., p. 8. 



-49- 


the Yugoslavs,* reflecting an improvement over the past months in ^oviet- 

Yugoslav relations. With regard to China, the new volume, like the old, 

maintained a discreet silence on the Sino-Soviet quarrel, referring 

only once by indirection to the Chinese. This reference occurred in a 

statement on the struggle "against revisionism," to which "...and dogmatism' 

2 

was added in the new text. The dogmatists, in the current Soviet 

lexicon, are of course the Chinese. This treatment of the Chinese issue 

stands in contrast to other Soviet writing on military affairs, which 

often echoes the polemical line against Peking with pointed attacks on 

3 

Chinese misrepresentation cf Soviet defense policy and strategy. The 

reason for neutralizing the Sokolovskii volume on the question of China 
4 

is not clear. Possibly the authors anticipated some improvement in 
Sino-Soviet relations, and did not want to burden their work with 
invidious references on this delicste issue. 


* Ibid ., pp. 218, 221. For the original references to Yugoslavia, 
see Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 273, 276. 

^ Voennaia Strateglia . 2nd ed., p, 437. 

■*For an example of this, see the Glagolev-Larionov article in 
International Affairs . November 1963, pp. 27, 39, 20. 32, 33. See also: 

Red Star editorial, September 24, 1963; Colonel P, Trifoner.kov, "The 
Mr^t Pressing Problem of the Present Day and the Ad enturism of the 
Chinese Dogmatists," Kommunigt Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 21, November 1963, 
pp. 23-29; D. Melnikov, N. Talenskii, A. Yarmonskii, "Th<* Main 
Problems of the 20th Century," International Affairs . No. 9. September 
1963, pp. 10-17. 

4 

The new edition carried neutrality on the question of China to 
the point of excising an earlier reference that was wholly incontroversial. 
i* concerned the contributions made to military theory some 2,000 years 
ago by such Chinese thinkers as Confucius, Sun Tsu and Su Tsu. See 
S oviet Military Strategy , p. 86, for the. passage in question. 


-50- 

Like the first Sokolovskii edition, the revised work was doubtless 

Intended to help nee* a felt need within the Soviet Union for up-to-date 

internal communication and Instruction in the field of military doctrine 

and strategy. In this connection, the numerous reviews of the first 

Sokolovskii volume in Soviet mil tary periodicals gave evidence that the 

book was considered professionally significant within the Soviet Union. 

So, too, did the preface to the second edition where the authors noted 

that th*.ir book was discussed at "the Academy of the General Staf", at 

military-scientific societies of the Main Staff of the Ground Forces, at 

the M. V. Frunze Central House ot the Soviet Army and in a number of 

1 

other institutions." The book al?o was apparently discussed widely in 

Soviet military units in the field, as indicated by comment in a Soviet 

2 

military journal in October 1963. 

At the same time, the revised volume clearly was meant to ha -e a 
calculated Impact on external audiences as well. As regards the 
internal and external communication functions of the respective editions, 
one gets the impression that the second edition was prepared with a 
somewhat more deliberate e/e upon audiences outside the Soviet Union that 

3 

its predecessor. This was perhaps to be expected, in light of the 
attention given the first volume in the While the new work, like 

Its predecessor, cannot be regarded as an 'official" Soviet policy 

fyoennala Strategics . 2nd ed., p. 4. 

2 

Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 20, October 1963, p. 94. 

3 

For a discussion of the Internal and external communication 
functions of the original Sokolovskii volume and their relative 
weight in the book, see the report of a symposium on Soviet strategy, 
published under the title Soviet Nuclear Strategy; A Critical 
Appraisal , by the Center for Strategic Studies, Georgetown University, 
Washington, D. C., November 1963, especially pages 2-7. 







document, it nevertheless serve* ss a medium through which various 
strategic policy "messages" have obviously been directed at target 
audiences abroad. In the preceding chapter, the general pattern of 
such messages to be found in the new Sokolovskij work and other Soviet 
utterances was summed up in brief. It is now time to turn to a more 
detailed examination of Soviet discourse bearing upon internal Soviet 
debate over military issues and the external strategic dialogue with the 
United States. 





-52“ 


V. THE CREDIBILITY OF THE SOVIET DETERRENT POSTURE 

Among the more notable trends in Soviet strategic discourse 
today is an insistent effort to get across the point that Soviet 
military strength and readiness to employ it in the event of 
aggressive Western moves against the Soviet bloc should be taken 
seriously in the West. While this is by no means a new Soviet theme, 
it has become more pronounced since the fall of 1962. Its further 
novelty lies in the present tendency to argue with somewhat greater 
technical sophistication than previously that the Soviet Union is 
in a militarily sound position to retaliate against a nuclear attacn. 
By way of background against which to judge this current effort to 
reinforce the credibility of the Soviet deterrent posture, it may be 
useful to review briefly certain past developments. 

In the eyes of the Soviet leadership, one of the prime values 
of Soviet military power has long lain in its presumed deterrent 
effect upon the capitalist countries. To appreciate the weight of 
this factor in Soviet thinking, it is necessary to recall that until 
quite recently the Soviet leaders took it for granted that sooner or 
later the capitalist states, seeking to preserve their system against 
the march of "history," would mate war upon the Soviet Union. 
Accordingly, from the earliest days of the Soviet regime it became 
a constant aim of Soviet policy to postpone what was expected to be 
the inevitable military collision of the capitalist and Communist 
systems, until the Soviet Union could make itself stronger than 
any forces that might be arrayed against it. Temporary partnership 


-53- 

in arms with some capitalist states in World War II did not alter 
this long-term policy.. 

From the Soviet viewpoint, the reluctance of the United States to 
exploit its nuclear monopoly after the last war was to be explained 
less in terms of American benevolence and good intentions than as 
the result of restraint imposed by Soviet military power. In the 
first postx^ar years, the burden of restraining the United States frcm 
exploiting its nuclear predominance fell mainly on the large theater 
ground forces with which the Soviet Union, in a sense, was able to 
hold Western Europe "hostage” and thus indirectly to deter the United 
States. The durability of this particular restraint, however, was 
not at all certain in the new age of military power ushered in by 
nuclear technology. A major endeavor of Soviet policy in the first 
postwar decade, therefore, was to ensure that the United States would 
not retain a nuclear monopoly for long and to provide the Soviet armed 
forces with at least nominal nuclear capabilities to strengthen their 
deterrent value. After the Soviet Union began to acquire modern 
weapons and delivery means, the prune deterrent role shifted 
gradually but not wholly to Soviet strategic forces whose "reach," 
as Marshal Biriuzov put it recently,* - had come to extend beyond 
Europe to the United States itself. The Soviet theater forces 
continued to provide an element of indirect deterrence end the PVO, 
or air defense system, became a complementary partner with the 
strategic forces as a direct deterrent to nuclear attack from the West 


Marshal Biriuzov, "Politics and Nuclear Weapons," Izvestiia . 
December 11, 1963. 


-54 


For the Soviet leadership, the maintenance of a military posture 
that would keep deterrence credible presented many problems. Some 
of these were of a technical and operational character, relating to 
the development of the necessary Soviet forces. In this connection, 
the size and posture o£ 0.S. military forces -- which did not remain 
static, particularly after the impact of the Korean War on American 
defense policy — constituted an important variable which the Soviet 
Union was obliged to taka into account in the buildup of its own 
forces. Other problems grew out of the shifting criteria for 
deterrence itself, and the closely-linked demands of the political 
strategy which Soviet military power was expected to support. The 
Soviet military posture which evolved during the latter fifties arid 
early sixties, for example, was doubtless more than adequate to deter 
an outright attack on tha Soviet Union, short of extreme provocation, 
but Its deterrent value was still uncertain in situations where the 
vital Interest of the West was at stake — a possibility which the 
Cuban crisis would seem to have brought horns vividly to the Soviet 
leadership. With regard to the needs of Soviet political strategy, 
Soviet military power of this period was perhaps sufficient in the 
Soviet view to inhibit dangerous Western Initiatives and to bring 
tha United States to reconcile Itself to Soviet gains already made. 
But was it also adequate to support an assertive forward policy 
that would force the West Into retreat on major outstanding political 
lssuasf Bore the Soviet leaders, with such obdurate reminders as 
Berlin before their eyes, might have been led to reflect that a 
military posture suitable as a deterrent to attack lends itself 


55- 


somewhat less well to an aggressive political strategy. Furthermore, 
there was the problem that would arise if deterrence should break 
down; Military forces that looked ample for deterrence were not 
necessarily strong enough to win a war if it should come to that. 

And on this question there was every likelihood, judging from the 
history of the military debate in the Soviet Union, that the Soviet 
political and military leaders di:s not see eye to eye. 

Thus, as developments of the late fifties and early sixties 
appeared to demonstrate, both the deterrent value and the political 
worth of the military posture achieved by the Soviet Union left some¬ 
thing to be desired. More than that, .ha balance of military forces, 
as generally accepted by the world at large, was such in the early 
sixties that the Soviet leaders themselves were evidently constrained 
to exercise caution upon the international acene and to adopt a leas 
assertive policy in general, along lines which cams to ba described 
as seeking a detente. It la against this background that naw 
amphaais is baing placed today on warnings to the West calculated 
to buttress the Soviet deterrent posture. 

General Warnings to the West 

Soviet military strength, Marshal Malinovskli said in the summer 
of 1962, ought to "instill doubts sbout the outcome of a war planned 
by the aggressor, to frustrate hie criminal designs in embryo, and 
if war becomes e reality, to defeat the aggressor decisively."* 

^Marshal R.la. Malinovskli, "Thu CPSU Program and Questions of 
Strengthening the Armed Forces of the USSR," Kommunlat. No. 7, 
my 1962, p. 15. 




56 


Such warning statements have, of course, long been stock-in-trade 
among Soviet spokesmen, but there is today a somewhat f ater tendency 
to spell out the message. An illustration of this is provided by the 
new Sokolovskii edition, which makes explicit the point merely im¬ 
plied in the first edition namely, that the book's comprehensive 
discussion of war and strategy is looked upon as a warning to the 
West, intended to discourage any thoughts of an outright attack on 
t' % Soviet bloc or attempts to gain political advantage at Soviet 
expense. 

In a special preface to the second edition -- after noting that 

the first edition of their work had caused "repercussions" in the 

West — the Sokolovskii authors accused the "political and military 

ideologists of imperialism" of wanting to see the Soviet Union 

"defenseless before the threat of attack in order to pursue their 

aggressive policy and dictate their will" to others. Asserting 

that the Communist countries, for their part, "do not intend to 

attack anybody," the authors stated that these countries nevertheless 

"will not leave the enemy with any illusions that they are unprepared 
1 

to rebuff him." The authors next quoted from a pamphlet by Marshal 

Malinovskii to the effect that in Soviet eyes the best means of 

defense is not an attack, but rather "a warning to the enemy about 

our strength and readiness to destroy him at the first attempt to 

2 

carry out an act of aggression." 

l- Voennala Strategiia . 2nd edition, p. 3. 

2 Voennaia Strategiia. 2nd ed., p. 4. The pamphlet by Marshal 
Malinovskii referred to here was Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the 
Peace, p. 25. 



Then they said: 

That is why, rather than hiding our views on the 
nature and means of waging a future war, we have 
revealed them in the book, Military Strategy . 

The general im'ge of Soviet military power projected in the 

strategic dialogue with the West today is built largely around claims 

advanced for the striwing power and readiness of the strategic missile 

forces. A large Soviet literature, dating back to Khrushchev 1 s 

claims in tie late fifties that the Soviet Union had "organized the 

series production of intercontinental ballistic missiles" and that 

it possessed "the means to deliver a crushing blow to the aggressor 

at any point on the globe,"* has grown up around the theme of Soviet 

missile power as the mainstay of deterrence. While most of this 

literature has avoided specific assertions of Soviet numerical 

superiority in missiles, it has dwelt heavily on the qualitative 

edge allegedly enjoyed by the Soviet Union by virtue of greater war- 

head weight, global range, and so on. After Soviet testing of very 

large yield nuclear weapons in late 1960, the widely-advertised 

destructive attributes of weapons in the 50- and 100-megaton class 

3 

became a new element of the Soviet deterrent image, with frequent 
pointed reminders from Soviet spokesmen that the West possessed 


* Travda. February 6, 1959. 

2 

See, for example: Marshal Moskalenko in Red Star, September 13, 1961; 
Marshal Mallnovskll In Koamunlst , Ho. 7, May 1962, p. 14; Marshal Krylov in 
Izvestlla. November 17, 1963, and Colonel General Tolubko in Red Star. 

November 19, 1963; Colonel I. Mnreev, "The Indestructible Shield of the 

Socialist Countries," Kommunlat Vcoruzhennvkh Si' . No. 3, February 1964, 
p. 11; Marshal N. I. Krylov, "Always on the Alert," Izvestiia. February 23, 1964 
3 

It has now become the customary Soviet formula to claim possession of 
weapons of "50-100 megatons and more." See Marshal S. Biriuzov, "New Stage 
In the Development of the Armed Forces and Tasks of Indoctrinating and 
Training Troops," Kommunlat Vooruzhennvkh Sil. No. 4, February 1964, p. 20. 


no weapons of this kind. 1 Upon occasion, hints that the Soviet 

Union might have up its sleeve "even more formidable" weapons were 

dropped into the dialogue, as when Khrushchev in 1960 spoke of a 

2 

"fantastic weapon" under design by Soviet scientists, or when 
Malinovskii in 1963 mentioned the possibility of a "fundamentally new 
weapon.""* 

In the fall f 1963, the Soviet literature dealing w*th the 
strategic missile forces was swelled by a new round of attention to 
these forces in the Soviet general and military press. A spate of 
articles, mostly in a popular vein, appeared at this time in 
connection with the military parade in Red Square cn November 7th 
and the observance of Artillery Day in the latter part of the month. 
These articles were notable on several counts. First, they bore 
down hard on the theme that thanks to Soviet possession of modern 
weapons, as "the military parade on Red Square has visually con- 
firmed," the Soviet Union now possessed a retaliatory capability 
which had helped to "solve the country's security problem."^ 

1 See, for example, Khrushchev's Speech to World Peace Congress, 
Pravda. July 11, 1962. Marshal Krylov, Izvestiia. February 23, 1964. 

^ Pravda . January 15, 1960. 

^Marshal R. Ia. Malinovskii, "The Revolution in Military Affairs 
and the Tasks of the Military Press," Koamunist Vooruzhennykh Sil. 

No. 21, November 1963, p. 8. 

^ Pravda . November 8, 1963. See also Izvestiia . November 8, 

1963; Red Star . November 6, 1963; P ravda. November 19, 1963. 

^Marshal N. Krylov, "Strategic Missiles," Izvestiia, November 17, 

1963. 



Second, in at ie?st one instance, a high-ranking officer, the deputy 

conmander of the strategic missile forces, rsacted to Western 

analyses of relative Soviet inferiority in the size of strategic 

delivery forces with an apparently sweeping claim that the Soviet 

Union would respond to an attack of any size with "a still greater 

1 

number of missiles." Third, some of the articles dwelt on the 

capabilities of the strategic missile forces and the exceptional 

qualities of ^oviet missile personnel in a way which may have been 

meant to pave the way psychologically for further reductions in the 

more traditional branches of the Soviet armed rorces, a move which 

Khrushchev subsequently Indicated he had in mind at the close of 

the Central Committee's Plenum session in December 1963. And 

finally, the point was stressed that Soviet nuclear weapons and 

missiles not only provid d a "reliable shield" of Soviet sec — 

but that in the event of Western aggression, "our hands will not 

2 

falter in using them." Subsequently, when it came time to observe 
the 46th anniversary of » ie Soviet armed forces on February 23, 1964, 
the central theme in the press again was that the "rocket-nuclear 
might of the USSR" deterred the imperialists and provided an 
"indestructible shield" for the socialist camp." 3 


Colonel-General V. F. Tolubko, "The Main Rocket Strength of the 
Country," Red Star . November 19, 1963. See further discussion in 
Chapter Seven. 

2 

Vershinin, "The General Line of Soviet Foreign Policy," 
Kbmmunist Vooruzhennykh Sil. No. 19, October 1963, p. 16, 

3 

Picture story on strategic missiles, "Ushering in the 46th 
Anniversary of the Soviet Army and Navy," Red Star . February 21, 

1964; Marshal Krylov, Izvestiia . February 23, 1964; Colonel Mareev, 
Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 3, February 1964, pp. 12-14. 




Tendency to Refine the Soviet Argument 


Despite the volume of boviet discourse designed to emphasise 

the '.evict Union’s retaliatory might, it has not been distinguished 

on the whole for what might be called its persuarive quality, .'.s .1 

rule, the Soviet case has rested on broad assertions that tend to 

gloss over many of the problems involved In assuring a successful 

retaliatory strike. For example, as some of the remarkably candid 

disclosures of the state of Soviet defenses by U.S. secretary of 

Defense richert McNamara have indicated, the Soviet Union apparently 

began only quite recently to adopt such measures as hardening of its 

1 

strategic missile forces, without which the chances of their survival 
to deliver a retaliatory blow would seem quite dim, unless of course, 
the Soviet Union intended to use them for a first-strike. Soviet dis¬ 
course generally has been along such broad gauge line- as to brush 
over the significance of military-technical considerations of this sort 
Huv.’ever, there now seems to be growing Soviet recognition that refine¬ 
ment of the Soviet line of argument is needed if the Soviet Union is 
to propagate a convincing doctrine of certain retaliation to a 
strategic attack. It is not altogether clear whether this reflects 
residual concern over the x.redibility of the Soviet deterrent posture 
after the Cuban confrontation or whether it conveys a new sense of 
Soviet confidence growing out of remedial defense measures that may 
have been In progress since that time. At any rate, a new note of more 
objectively-argued analysis has begun to enter Soviet discourse. 

*Hearings on Military Posture, U.S. Congress 88:1, House Committee 
on Armed Services, January 30, 1963, p. 308; Bulletin of the Atomic 
Scientists . April 1963, p. 38. 


-61- 

A typlcfi example of this can be found in the Glagolev-Larionov 

article in the November 1963 issue of Tnternutional Affai rs, to which 

reference was made earlier. This article advanced a more precise 

argument than usual in seeking to establish that the Soviet Union ie 

militarily in a sound position to carry out a second-strike retaliatory 

policy. While the assertions it contained concerning the Soviet posture 

were not necessarily to be taken without some reservation, the article 

at least addressed the second-strike problem more explicitly than had 

1 

hitherto been customary in Soviet literature. It is therefore worth 
looking at ;he points on which the Glagolev-Larionov argument rested. 

The argument was prefaced by the assertion that "foreign 
military analysts" are "talking through their hats" when they con¬ 
tend that "...Soviet nuclear rccket weapons are highly vulnerable 

2 

and are designed for a first and not a counterstrike." Although 
couched in a way to dismiss the aptnesc of Western analysis of the 
Soviet military posture, this remark nevertheless suggests an 
awareness that actual military dispositions and arrangements some¬ 
times speak louder than words In the strategic dialogue, and that 
it is therefore Important to consider the interpretations that may 
be placed upon them. The authors then went on to make their first 
point that Soviet measures to disperse, harden, conceal and otherwise 

*The previously-mentioned Nevsky article contained some of the 
same points, but they were more fully elaborated by Larionov and 
Glagolev. See World Marxist Review . March 1963, pp. 33-34. 

^ international Affairs . November 1963, p. 32. It may be noted 
in pees’.ng, that the text of "he Russian-language version of the 
journal did not use the expression "talking through their hats." 

Rather, ft said more prosaically that Western views were "ground¬ 
less." 


reduce the vulnerability of their strategic forces mean that an 

enemy cannot hope to knock out all these forces simultaneously: 

It is obvious that even in the most favorable 
conditions, an aggressor would be unable to 
destroy all the counterstrike means with his 
first salvo, for these means -- rockets, 
bombers, submarines, etc. -- are dispersed. 

A considerable part of them is constantly on 
the move. Another, even greater part, such 
as bombers on airfields, are in a state of 
almost instant readiness to take off. It is 
physically impossible not only to knock out all 
the counterstrike means simultaneously, but even 
to pinpoint their location as the first salvo 
missiles reach their targets.*• 

Apart from inferring in the above passage that camouflage and 
mobility would complicate the problem of target location, the 
Glagolev-Larionov article did not specifically spell out the targetlocat 
problem as one of the factors that would bear significantly on the 
success of an attack. By contrast, in a new discussion of U.S. 
counterforce strategy in the second edition of the Sokolovskii 
book, as will be noted in more detail later, the target location 
question received great emphasis. The Sokolovskii volume's negative 
assessment of the prospects for a U.S. counterforce strategy, 
incidentally, served to flesh out the obverse aide of the argument 
-,hac the Soviet Union now possesses a secure second-strike capability. 
The next major point of the Glagelev-Larionov argument in Inter ¬ 
national Affairs rested on the claim that modern warning techniques 
make it possible for the defender to avoid being taken by tactical 
surprise. Besides including a rather novel claim for very early 
Soviet detection of missile launchings, and implying that Soviet 


l lbid . 


-63- 


strategic missiles have arr extremely rapid reaction time, 1 the 
Clagolev-Larionov article here reflected a trend, also observable 
in the new Sokolovskii edition, to re-evaluate somewhat the factor 
of surprise. It stated: 

The element of surprise, rather important in past 
wars, now has a different character. Even such 
weapons as instant-action rockets, launched at 
any time of day or night and in any weather, can 
be detected in the first section of their flight 
path by ever vigilant radars and other instruments. 

In this age of radioelectronics and targeted ready- 
to-fire rockets, a counterstrike will follow the 
first strike in a matter of minutes. 

The above paragraph concluded with a passage on the defender's 
ability to get off his missiles before the attacker's weapons 
arrive, suggesting a notion very close to pre-emption, which we 
shall take up presently. The argument then moved to the contention 
that an attacker would be limited to a small first strike if he 
wished to achieve even a relative degree of surprise. Presumably 
U.S, bomber forces would not be regarded as a factor in an initial 
attack, on the grounds that their use would sacrifice the advantage 
of surprise. 


*A similar assertion that Soviet strategic missiles have a very 
short reaction time was made in November 1963 by Marshal N. Krylov, 
commander of the strategic missile forces, who said that among the 
"fine technical properties" of Soviet missiles was the fact that 
"it takes just a few minutes to prepare them for action," Itvestlla. 
November 17, 1963. See also: ibid . February 23, 1964, 

^ International Affairs , November 1963, p. 32. 


-64- 


If the attacker is to achieve a measure of even 
relative surprise -- an advantage of a few minutes -- 
he would have to use in his very first salvo a small 
but most efficient part of his means of attack. Thus, 
existing bombers, whose speed is only a fraction of 
that of rockets, would hardly produce any element of 
surprise, in the modern sense. On the other hand, after 
the aggressor's strike the attacked could discount the 
element of surprise and would use all his counter- 
strike means set in motion before the first explosions 
on his territory or remaining intact after the start 
of the enemy's nuclear bombardment.1 

Stating finally that Soviet forces are maintained in a state of 

heightened readiness to deliver "an instant counters low, which would 

be equivalent in power to thousands of millions of tons of TNT," 

the Glagolev-Larionov article then drew the conclusion that: 

...an aggressor cannot now derive any economic or 
political advantages from nuclear war, for it merely 
puts the seal on his own destruction. . .the basic 
change in the r, orld balance of forces and the new 
properties of the weapons at the disposal of the 
Soviet Union are a powerful deterrent to the un¬ 
leashing of another war byjthe most aggressive _ 
circles of imperialism. ^Italics in the original^/ 


The Question of Pre-emption 

As in the case examined above, it has been customary in both 
public and private Soviet discourse to picture the Soviet strategic 
forces as a second-strike retaliatory instrument. First-strike use 
of these forces has not been publicized; indeed, Soviet contemplation 
of a first-strike has been assiduously disavowed. With regard to a 


1 Ibid . 

2 Ibid .. p. 33. 







65 


third possible use -- for what is described in technical parlance 
as a pre-emptive or forestalling attack* -- the Soviet position has 
been characterized, perhaps purposely, by a great deal of ambiguity. 

Pre-emption as a possible Soviet strategy remains a pertinent 
question, for at least two sets of reasons. In a military sense, 
Soviet calculation of the consequences of a nuclear attack, if war 
should come about, cannot help but raise the issue that pre-emption 
might be necessary in order to try to keep the Soviet losses within 
survival limits. There are practical consequences of a very large 
order between a policy of attempting a pre-emptive strike — which 
would be intended to break up or blunt an enemy attack that was about 
to be launched — and a policy of a purely retaliatory strike which 
would be mounted only after having absorbed the unimpeded weight of 
the enemy's initial blow. 

In another sense, the deterrent and political values of Soviet 
forces are to some degree affected by whether or not they are assumed 
to have a pre-emptive role. If the Soviet Union chcoses to pursue 
a forward political policy, for instance, and manages to make con¬ 
vincing its intentio’ and ability to pre-empt, it may stand a better 
chance of forcing retreat upon the United States instead of the 


It may be useful to clarify what is meant by "pre-emptive" as 
distinct from "first-strike" forces. The essential distinction is 
that a first-strike force wo Id be sufficiently powerful to permit 
a deliberate, pre-meditate^ attack on the enemy, with reasonable 
expectation of not being seriously damaged in return, whereas a 
pre-emptive force, as customarily defined, would not be capable 
of assuring such an outcome, but rather would be employed to blunt 
and disrupt an attack about to be launched by the enemy. A first- 
strike force -- if properly alerted -- might be employed in a pre¬ 
emptive role, but not vice-versa, so long as a rational basis of 
decision governed. 


- 66 - 


Soviet side in some future crisis. Thus, while the possibility of 
Soviet pre-emptive action in the ]962 Cuban crisis failed to pass 
the credibility test, the Soviet leaders might come to feel in 
retrospect that if they had succeeded in deploying a missile force 
in Cuba and had thereby improved their pre-emptive capability, 
there would have been more chance of an ineffective American response 
not only in Cuba but perhaps in Berlin and elsewhere.* 

However, at the same time that a pre-emptive policy might 
convey a politically useful warning to the West and help to reinforce 
the Soviet deterrent image, it also creates difficulties. Besides 
the military demands which must be met in order to attain a capabili. 
for pre-emption, such as high readiness, quick reaction, unequivocal 
warning and so on, there is also the danger that a manifest pre¬ 
emptive stance might in some situations prompt the other side to 
make pre-emptive preparations on its own account, with consequent 
high risk of touching off an unintended nuclear exchange. More¬ 
over, a declaratory pre-emptive policy also has undesirable political 
overtones with respect to the image of the Soviet Union as the 
champion of peaceful coexistence and a country which would never 
initiate war under any provocation short of an actual attack. 

For all these reasons, pro and con, the Soviet attitude on 
pre-emption has been and remains ambiguous. Soviet rhetoric 
customarily claims the practical results to be expected from 


*For a fuller exploration of this question, see Arnold Horelick, 
The Cuban Missile Crisis; An Analysis of Soviet Calculations and 
Behavior. The RAND Corporation, RM-3779-PR, September 1963. 




a pre-emptive strike against an adversary caught in the act of 
preparing to attack, while it disclaims at the same time that the 
Soviet Union would ever contemplate any course but a retaliatory 
strike. Uncertainty as to where the Soviets really stand on this 
question is the result, which may be precisely the impression they 
wish to create. This was brought out graphically in the comments on 
the question of a pre-emptive strike by four of the Sokolovskii 
authors in their Red Star article of November 2, 1963, responding to 
Western commentary on the first Sokolovskii edition. 

Adverting to remarks made by Marshal Malinovskii at the 22nd 
Congress of the CPSU in October 1961, the Soviet authors denied that 
Malinovskii was thinking in terms of a pre-emptive strike when he 
spoke of "the readiness of the Soviet Armed Forces to break up a 
surprise attack by the imperialists." Without specifying precisely 
what Marshal Malinovskii may have had in mind, or what their own 
rendering of his remarks in their book was meant to convey, the 
Soviet authors declared that "the very idea of such a blow is 
totally rejected by the peace-loving policy of the Soviet state." 
They also bridled at the suggestion that relative strategic weakness 
might account for Soviet resort to ambiguous warnings of pre-emption 
as a device to enhance the Soviet deterrent posture.* - 

While the four Sokolovskii authors plainly went to some pains 
in their Red Star article to disclaim that statement* of Soviet 
readiness to frustrate and break up an enemy attack are meant to 


^ Red Star . November 2, 1963. 




- 68 - 


imply pre-emption, it is interesting that the second edition of the 

Sokolovskii book still adheres to a formula no less ambiguous than 

the first. The pertinent passage in the new edition, essentially 

unchanged from the previous text, reads as follows: 

Since modern weapons permit exceptionally important 
strategic results to be achieved in the briefest 
time, the initial period of the war will be of 
decisive significance for the outcome of the entire 
war . Hence, the main task is to work out methods 
for reliably repelling a surprise nuclear attack , 
as well as methods of breaking up the opponent's 
aggressive plans b^ dealing him in good time a 
crushing blow.l /_Italics in the original^/ 

Variations on the theme of Soviet "readiness to break up the 

enemy's attack and his criminal designs" continue to appear regulai 

in Soviet discourse, without ever specifying just what conditions 
2 

are envisaged. Perhaps the closest that Soviet writers have come 

recently to suggesting that the Soviet Union entertains a strategy 

approximating that of pre-emption, in fact if not in name, was in 

a previously mentioned passage in the Glagolev-Larionov article 

in International Affairs . The passage in question, appearing in a 

context where the Soviet Union was the defensive side, stated: 

The first rockets and bombers of the side on the 
defensive would take off even before the aggressor's 
first rockets, to say nothing of his bombers, reached 
their targets .3/Italics in the original^/ 


^ Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 260. For the earlier version, 
see Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 313-314. 

2 

_ ' Colonel-General N. Lomov, "Basic Tenets of Soviet Military Doctr 

The Revolution in Military Affairs, Its Significance and Consequences,' 
M il- S tar , January 10, 1964. See also Marshal R. Ia. Malinovskii, 
Kommunist Vooruzhennvkh Sil. Ho. 21, November 1963, p. 9; Colonel V. 
Konoplev, "On Scientific Foresight in Military Affairs," ibid .. No. 24 
December 1963, p. 31; Colonel I. Mareev, "The Indestructible Shield o: 
the Socialist Countries," ibid., No. 3, February 1964, p. 15. 

^ International Affairs . November 1963, p. 32. 


69 


If this description is to be taken at face value, a very fine line 
indeed exists between the Soviet conception of a pre-emptive and a 
retaliatory strike. At the very least, the passage seems mtjr.u to 
convey the notion that Soviet response to warning of a strategic 
attack would be instant and automatic, without waiting for incontro¬ 
vertible evidence that an attack had actually been launched at 
Soviet targets. The impression of a "hair-trigger" Soviet posture 
has been heightened, whether by design or otherwise, by recurrent 
statements that the importance of surprise in modern war means that 

Soviet forces must "skillfully apply surprise" a nd must seek "to 

2 

take the enemy unawares." 

Some Reasons for the Present Soviet Concern 

Several reasons nay account for the efforts described above 
to enhance the credibility of the Soviet deterrent posture. The 
Soviet leaders may have some doubts about the actual state of their 
military posture, growing perhaps out of the Cuban experience. Such 
doubts could be compounded by frequent Western expressions of 
confidence in the margin of Western strategic superiority, pre¬ 
sumably resting in part o.t Western intelligence assessments, which 
in turn imply some diminution of the secrecy barrier behind which 
Soviet military preparations customarily have been carried out. The 
Soviet leaders also may still retain an ingrained suspicion of 

^Colons 1-General N. A. Lomov, Sovetskaia Voennaia Poktrina 
(Soviet Military Doctrine), All-Union Society for the Dissemination 
of Political and Scientific Knowledge, Moscow, May 1963, p. 28. 

2 

Colonel Konoplev, Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sll , No. 24, 

December 1963, p. 30; Colonel V. Clazov, "Some Features of Conducting 
Military Operations in Nuclear War," Ibid ., No. 3, February 1964, p. 43 




70- 


Uestern intent ion*, despite the fact that the West shoved no inclination t< 
nake vac upon the Soviet Union even when it enjoyed a nuclear monopoly. 

There is presumably an element of reassurance to the homefront in¬ 
volved in frequent assertion of the impregnability of Soviet defenses. 
Similarly, this may serve to reassure satellite regimes that the danger of 
rollback and threats to their rule from the West no longer need be feared. 
Paradoxically, however, the more the satellite regimes feel they are out 
of danger on this score, the more they may be inclined to pull away from 
the Soviet Union* s protective wing and to seek wider intercourse with thr 
West. 

With regard to the morale and profession esprit of the Soviet militat. 
establishment Itself, repeated emphasli. on the Importance of Soviet milif. 
power to deter war and guarantee the peace may serve a useful psychological 
function Stress on the role of deterrence can be seen as a device, so tc 
speak, for encouraging Soviet soldiery to stick to their knitting in an 
age when many of the traditional contributions of the military profession 
are being called into question and the political utility of war is 
increasingly in doubt. 

A residual hope of cashing in on the once optimistically-held 
belief that a formidable Soviet strategic posture could force the West lnt 
political retreat may be another factor in chc minds of the Soviet leaders 
as they sesk to project an lmsgs of unassailable Sovist military power. 

At the least, they appear to fael that a formidable military stance is a 
necessary backstop for the kinds of political and ideological struggle 
called for by the policy of peaceful coexistence, /.id finally, a renewed 
emphasis on Sovist military strength and rsadiness may be rsgarded by the 
Soviet leaders as a prudent concomitant of the detents ovctrturer they have 
been obliged by circumstances of the sixties to put forward to the West. 


. -71- 

VI. THE QUESTION CF WAR AS AN INSTRUMENT CF POLICY 

The view is f equently heard in the world today that the 
scientific-technological revolution of modern times has brought to 
an end a long period of human history, that, in the words of an 
American scientist, it "has made wars irrational and deprived 
diplomacy of its most important tool — plausible wat threats."* 

Whether the Soviet leadership has come gradually around to such a 
view -- whether it has come to feel that Soviet policy must not only 
avoid the danger of a major military conflict with the West but 
eschew also threats of Soviet military action — this is a question 
upon which the final returns are not yet in. However, it seems 
clear up to this point that Soviet political and military thought 
have not escaped the profoundly unsettling implications of the idea 
that it may prove impossible to win a nuclear war in any meaningful 
sense. 

Beginning with Malenkov's short-lived thesis in 1954 that a 
nuclear vac could result in the "mutual destruction" of capitalist 
and communist society, the Soviet leadership has lived with an 
unresolved doctrinal crisis over the question of war as an instru¬ 
ment of policy. One symptom of this crisis was the revision by 
Khrushchev in 1956 of the long-held Communist dogma on tha inevitability 
of an eventual showdown war between the capitalist and communist 


^Eugene Rabinowitch, "Scientific Revolution: The End of 
History," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientis ts. November 1963, p. 9. 

2 Por e discussion of Malenkov's thesis and his recantation a 
short time later, see Dinerstein, War and the Soviet Union , pp. 71-77. 


- 72 - 


systems.* Another symptom has been *he gradual erosion of the 
noLion of communist victory in any new world war, although this 
dogma dies hard and has yet by no means disappeared from Soviet 
thinking. It seems to find the most currency among Soviet ideologists 
and military people, although as pointed out in the first chapter 
of this book, increasing doubt as to its validity has evidently 
seeped into the consciousness of the top leadtrship and helped to 
alter their perspectives on fundamental problems of war and peace. 

A third symptom of doctrinal crisis ewer the question of war as an 
instrument of policy has been tba raising of this issue in the many- 
sided quarrel between Moscow and Peking. 

It is understandable, in terms of the Sino-Soviet polemics, 
that a certain amount of distortion has rept into each disputant's 
allegations concerning the other's view of the relationship between 
war and politics. The Soviet side has tended to assert more 
categorically than the fects may warrant that China is for war and 
the Soviet Union for peace. It has accused the Chinese of risking 
a nuclear holocaust by dogmatic interpretation of Lenin's views 
on war as an instrument of policy. The Chinese, on the other hand, 
have accused the Soviets of forgetting Lenin's teaching that war 
is a continuation of politics. They have somewhat overdone the 
charge that the Soviet Union has permitted itself to be awed into 
"capitulationism" toward the West through fear of nuclear war, and 
that it has failad to exploit its military power in a political 
sense te advance the interests of the communist camp as a whole. 


Wushcfciv's speech to 20th Psrfy Congress, P ray da , February 15, 
It56. See also, Currant St)Vlet Policies II: The D ocument ary Recor d 
O th e 20th Party Congress and Its Aftermat h, Up Cruliow, ed., 
Frederick A. Frdeger, Wttf Work, 1P§6 ? p» 37, 



-73- 


The chances are, polemics aside, that neither party to the dispute 
is any more eager than the other to invite a nuclear war, but 
rather that they differ essentially in their estimates of how far 
it is safe to go in exerting pressure upon the West without 
'serious risk of precipitating war. 

Internal Soviet Dialogue Over Lenin’s Dictum 

The interesting point with regard to the Soviet side of the 
argument over war as an instrument of policy is that in the post- 
Cuba period of sharpened polemics with the Chinese, this issue has 
also come to the surface as a matter of internal discussion and debate 
among political and military circles in the Soviet Union itself. 

The fact that the lines in this internal dialogue seem to be 
roughly drawn between Soviet political and military spokesmen adds 
to its interest. Khrushchev himself, with occasional remarks on the 
implausibility of erecting Comenmlsvi on the radioactive rubble of 
a nuclear war, 1 has set the tone for statements from the political 
side which have brought into Question Lenin's dictum -- adapted from 
Clausewltz -- that war is a continuation of politics by violent 
means. Others have made repudiation o£ Lenin's ideas more specific, 
a£ for example, the political commentator, Boris Dimltriev, who has 

2 

changed the formula to: "War can be a continuation only of folly." 


ISee^ for example, Khrushchev's Speech on the International 
Situation, Pravda , December 13, 1962. 

^Boria Dimltriev, "Brass Hats, Peking and Clausewit.-i, Izvestiia, 
September 24, 1963. 




- 74 - 


Oa the other hand, military writers with few exceptions have 

persistently defended the doctrinal validity of Lenin's formulation, 

continuing to assert in the face of political apostasy on this point 

that war must be regarded as the continuation of politics and the 

instrument of policy. The new edition of the Sokolovskii work, for 

example, reaffirmed that: 

It is well known that the essential nature of war 
as a continuation of politics does not change with 
changing technology and armament.1 

The Sokolovskii authors, in fact, went beyond their original 

\\ 

treatment of this question by introducing elsewhere a new quotation 
from Lenin that has the effect of emphasizing the role that military 

operations play in changing the political landscape, 

o 

For a correct understanding of the nature of war 
as the continuation of politics by violent means 
with the aid of military operations, the following 
thesis from Lenin is of great importance: "War is 
the continuation by violent means of the policy 
pursued by the ruling classes of the warring powers 
long before the war. Peace is the continuation of 
that saaw policy, A with registration of those changes 
of relationship between thejsntagonists brought about 
by military operations.2 /Italics in the originally 

Mot all Soviet military writers have ranged themselves in 
defense of Lenin's formulation. One conspicuous exception is 
retired Major General Nikolai Talenskli, a prominent military theorls 
who has written widely on the character of nuclear warfare and its 
Implications for international politics, and who also has been a 


^ Voennala Strategiia. 2nd ed., p. 25; Soviet Military Strategy. 
p. 99. “ ~ 


2 Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 216. 



75- 


regular participant in the informal H Pugwash" meeting* of scientists 

on disarmament questions. Talenskii, whose published views have 

tended to parallel those of Khrushchev rather closely,* broached the 

notion as early as 1960 and again in 1962 that "the time has passed" 

2 

when war can any longer be regarded as an instrument of policy. 

Even Talenskii, however, seems not to have made his mind up fully on 

this question. On the one hand, he has expressed a quite negative 

view, in contrast to that of various Soviet ideologists and many 

military writers, toward the prospects of recuperation and mobilisation 

after a country has been subjected to nuclear attack, which seems to 

place him with those who feel that there is little likelihood of 

any one emerging the winner in a nuclear war. On the other hand, 

he has also identified himself with views that the Communist system 

could expect to do better in a nuclear war than the other side. Ha 

has said, for example, that: 

In the final analysis, however, the outcome of a 
nuclear war...would depend on such decisive factors 
as the superiority of the social and economic system, 
the political soundness of the state, the morale and 
political understanding of the masses, their organi¬ 
zation and unity, the prestiga of the national leader¬ 
ship. 3 

In these respects, according to Talenskii, the Soviet system 
is superior to the capitalist system "beyond any doubt," and hence 


*See discussion of Talenskii*s sympathy with Khrushchev's out¬ 
look in U.S. Editors' Analytical Introduction, Soviet Military 
Strategy , p. 22. 

^H. Talenskii, "The 'Absolute Weapon* and the Problem of 
Security," International Affairs. Ho. 4, April 1962, p. 24. 

3 Ibid ., p. 26. 



-76- 


a third world war would spell the doom of the latter. Which of the 
two Talenskii viewpoints reflects his own convictions, and which 
comes closer to the real outlook of the Soviet leadership elite in 
general, remains unclear. 

Some Soviet military writers have sought a formula that would 
reconcile the continuing validity of Leninist doctrine on war as an 
instrument of policy with the apparently contradictory proposition 
that nuclear war represents an impractical path toward the attain¬ 
ment of political goals. Thus, one writer whose stature as a 
military theorist has been on the rise in the past few years, Colone 
P. Trifonenkov, strongly defended the validity of the Leninist 
doctrinal position, stating that "the thesis on war as a continue tie 
of politics can never be called into question by any Marxist-Lenlnle 
At the same time, Trifonenkov worked hia way out of a logical imps t. 
by observing in effect that the validity of this thesis need not be 
tested, since greet nuclear losaes have made world war "unrealistic" 
and the strength of the Soviet camp makes the prevention of war 
possible.^ 

A somewhat similar view was voiced in December 1963 by Marshal 
Sergei Blrluaov, Chief of the Soviet General Staff, whose entry into 
the discussion of war as an instrument of policy suggested that this 
issue had become more than a matter of doctrinal hairsplitting at 


lColonel P. Trifonenkov, '*War and Politics," Rad Star. October 
1963. It is worth noting that in this article Trifonenkov was 
defending the thesis on war as a continuation of politics against 
Chinese charges that the Soviets had abandoned it. 


2 Xbid. 


-77- 


the purely theoretical level. Marshal Biriuzov cautioned that the 
Leninist definition should not be "interpreted dogmatically, with¬ 
out due consideration for the worldwide historical changes that 
have taken place in the world." This reminder that he was not 
taking the side of the Chinese "dogmatists" was followed later by 
Biriuzov's reaffirmation that even nuclear war remains an instrument 
of policy. Using essentially the Trifonenkov formula that the 
Leninist dictum is valid but that "aggressive circles" ought not to 
be rash enough to make it operative, he said: 

Nuclear war, like any war, is also an instrument 
of policy, but of a rash, senseless policy, 
because its utterly devastating character cannot 
guarantee to aggressive circles the achievement 
of their reactionary goals. Mankind faces a 
dilemma: either avoid a new world war or to find 
itself in a position whose consequences are 
difficult to foresee in full. 

Elsewhere in his excursus on war and politics, Biriuzov made 
the observation that "the nuclear form of the continuation of 
politics" would be enormously destructive. This seemed to imply 
that in Biriuzov's view there might still be room for nonnuclear 
forms of warfare suitable for carrying out the Leninist thesis, but 
this point was not developed. The main emphasis of Biriuzov's 
article was on the necessity of preventing a war from breaking out, 
toward which end he placed himself on the record by concluding that: 
"The more powerful our armed forces are and the better they are 
equipped, the more reliable they will be as guarantors of lasting 
world peace." 


l lzveatila . December 11, 1963. 



-78- 


The continuing ferment in Soviet thinking on the relationship of 
war to politics was underscored in ear ly 3 . iti4 by a tortuous theoretical 
article on this subject by two in .litary writers, Major-General N. 

Sushko and Major T. Kondratkov. This article, too, represented a 
rather painful attest to have it both ways, asserting on the one 
hand that "the Marxist-Leninist thesis on war as a continuation of 
politics by violent mans retains Its validity with regard to thermo¬ 
nuclear war," while conceding at the same time that "thermonuclear war 
cannot serve as an instrument of policy."* The latter admission was 
accentuated by the statement in another passage that modern weapons 
"have made war an exceptionally dangerous and risky tool of politics " 
Two features of this article were of particular interest. One 
was a heated attack on "the fabrications of bourgeois theorists" to 

the effect that nuclear weapons "had 'deprived* war of its political 
3 

meaning," and "had made 'obsolete' the thesis of wa». as a continuation 
4 

of politics." Under the guise of such criticism, the article charged, 
"a rabid attack was being conducted against Marxist-Leninist teaching 
on war." In the context of the Internal Soviet debate, one might 
suppose that these remarks were aimed more at Soviet critics of the 
Leninist dictum on war and politics than at "bourgeois theorists." 

*"Var and Politics in the 'Nuclear Age'," K oia m u alst Vooruzhennykh 
Sll. No. 2, January 1964, p. 21. 

2 Ibid., p. 20. 

3 Ibld.. p. 14. 

4 Ibid., p. 16. 


79- 


Thls supposition is strengthened by the fact that Sushko »nd 

Kondretkov also charged "bourgeois theorists" with the somewhat 

contradictory offense o? "propagandizing the inevitability and 

1 

'acceptability' of rocket-nuclear war." It hardly wakes for 

consistency to argue that bourgeois thinking regards nuclear war 

as politically "obsolete" and at the same time as "acceptable." 

The second point of special interest in the Sushko-Kondratkov 

article was the position it took with regard to "national-liberation 

wars." In addition to restating the customary Soviet position that 

such wars are "Just" and "permissible," the article also stressed 

their "inevitability" and went on to say that in the case of these 

wars "it is fully understood that the question of rocket-nuclear 

2 

weapons being used will not arise." Here the Soviet authors seemed 
to be associating themselves with a trend toward placing greater 
emphasis on the prospect of waging small wars without danger of 
nuclear escalation -- a subject we shall take up more fully in a 
subsequent chapter on limited war. 

Implications of ttw Dialogue on War and Policy 

To some extent, the surface contradiction between Soviet 
political and military utterances on the question of war as an 
Instrument of policy may arise from differences of institutional out¬ 
look. The political spokesmen, with an eye for fresh ammunition in 
the polemics with Peking, have wished to stress the irrationality of 
war in contrast to the virtues of peaceful coexistence, and in the 
process have dealt in a somewhat cavalier way with Lenin's dictum. 

The military, on the other hand, charged by the profession with 

1 Ibld . 

2 Ibid ., p. 23. 



- 80 - 


thinking about how to wage wars successfully If they should occur, 
have tended to assume that some useful purpose nay be served by 
their efforts to wage and win any future war. In rallying to the 
defense of Lenin's dictum, they have seemed to sense that the 
doctrinal rationale for their profession and its contribution to 
the nation's life may be in question.* A surrogate rationale is at 
hand, of course, and the Soviet military have grasped it. As 
Marshal Biriuzov's typical statement, mentioned above, suggests -- 
if the military man's raison d'etre can no longer be found in 
waging and winning wars, it can rest on the function of preventing 
them. 

However, this explanation alone does not exhaust all the 
implications of the internal Soviet dialogue over Lenin's pre¬ 
scription on war and politics. Practical questions which go to 
the heart of the problem of Soviet security appear to lie below 
the surface of the dialogue. At bottom, the Issue hinges not only 
on the question whether war has lost Its meaning as an instrument of 


An Interesting symptom of this concern was an article by 
Marshal Krylov in June 1963, prepared at the request of Red Star's 
editors to set st rest doubts about the present-day role of the 
military profession. Krylov castigated "those sometimes encountered 
among us who assume the pose of 'bold free-thinkers'" and talk 
about the "decline" of the military. Krylov argued that "the 
military profession is not a thing of the past" and that: "Pacifism 
Is a bourgeois Ideology alien to us. We must be uncompromising 
toward it, toward the sllghest appearance of it in our remarks." 
Marshal N. I. Krylov, "An Honorable Profession, Needed by the 
Nation," Red Star . June 9, 1963. 


- 81 - 


policy. It hinges also on what the limits of military power in the 
nuclear age are understood to be. And it also Involves the question 
whether the Soviet Union can continue to live, as it has for some 
time past, in a position of strategic inferiority to its major 
adversary. 

If on the one hand there is still in the Soviet view a prospect 
that war can be won — or lost — in a meaningful sense, then it 
might be worth the effort to strive for a war-winning strategy and 
for superior forces commensurate to this task. Undesirable as a 
nuclear war might be, there would still be a sense in which "nuclear 
war does pay." But if on the other hand there should no longer be 
anything to choose between victor and vanquished in a nuclear war, 
then the course to take might look quite different. So far as 
Soviet military policy is concerned, a second-best solution might 
be readily rationalised as the best solution. That is to say, the 
Soviet leadership might settle indefinitely for a strategy of 
deterrence and Soviet strategic forces at a level sufficient to 
maintain credibility but still clearly inferior to those of the 
adversary. 

The problem does not end hare. Apert from deterrence of nuclear 
war, there is the problem of defining the useful limits of military 
power in a nuclear world. In a sense, the Soviet leadership seems to 
have been probing for soma tlma to find out what these limits are, 
feeling its way from one potential crisis situation to another. Can 
the use of military power, or the threat of its use, enable one side 
to alter the political situation to its advantage, or is the feasible 
limit merely to prevent the othet side from attempting to do so? And 



- 82 - 


if it appears that power relationships are to become increasingly 

frozen on the strategic level, what are the prospects that military 

power at other levels of conflict may help to restore some fluidity 

in the political situation? And ultimately, if the situation proves 

to be one in which the limits of military power require a kind of 

1 

formal acceptance of the permanence of "peaceful coexistence," how 
is communism to replace capitalism in such a world? 

These are the kinds of problems that seem to underlie the 
doctrinal crisis over the question of war as an instrument of poli-'' 1 
It is probably safe to say that neither the Soviet political nor 
military ieaders have yet made up their minds on how to deal with 
these questions, if indeed they have posed the issues in this way at 
all. However, in one form or another life itself, as Khrushchev 
sometimes puts it, is likely to place these matters on the agenda. 
When this happens, Soviet policy can be expected to pass through a 
crisis of uncertainty and turmoil. To some extent, if we have read 
the signs correctly, some such process may already have begun, 
cloaked — and understandably so — by renewed emphasis on both the 
credibility of tha Soviet deterrent posture and on the doctrine of 
Soviet military superiority. The latter is the next question to 
which we shell turn. 


*The notion that "peaceful coexistence" implies a permanent stat 
of affairs is vigorously denied in Soviet interpretations of this 
concept. For example, two Soviet writers affirmed recently that the 
policy of peaceful coexistence "...does not at all signify the 
'preservation 1 ofjthe bourgeois order; it does not recognize the 
immovability of /this order/ which bourgeois ideologists unsuccessful 
seek to establish." Sushko and Kondratkov, Koramunist Vooruzhennykh 
Sil. Xo. 2, February 1964, p, 22. 


- 83 - 


VII. THE DOCTRINE OF MILITARY SUPERIORITY 

No Issue relating to Soviet military-economic policy seems more 
subject to misconstruction than the Soviet position on the question 
of military superiority. If the Soviet position ia marked by a 
certain inconsistency, this is partly because of discrepancies between 
assertion and the manifest facts of international life, and partly 
perhaps because of uncertainty in the minds of the Soviet leaders 
themselves as to what stand should be taken on this question. Before 
going into Soviet views on military superiority in more detail, it 
may be useful to indicate the principal features of the present Soviet 
position. 

There is, first, a rather long-standing public commitment to a 
doctrine calling for military superiority over the West. Soviet 
militery literature has clearly favored such a doctrine, and 
political spokesmen often have expressed the seam view. However, 
there hes been a tendency for military leaders to dwell on the theme 
somewhat more emphatically, perhaps as a symptom of concern that 
militery needs may not be given sufficient attention. During most 
of 1963, when internal defense-economic competition for resources 
wee apparently intense, there was, for example, e notable increase 
in Soviet propaganda on the military superiority theme, emanating 
for the most pert frou military spokesmen. On the other hand, toward 
the end of the year, after a "detente budget" had been settled on, 
several prominent military leaders joined in approval of this move, 
and there was at least, a temporary softaning jff the customary 
attitude on military superiority. 




-84- 


Most Soviet discussion of military superiority has, tended to 
leave an ambiguous impression as tc whether quantitative or qualita¬ 
tive superiority is considered the mors; important and the more 
feasible. This issue, which bears overtones of the traditionalist- 
modernist delate, often is straddled by advocating both quantitative 
and qualitative superiority, although a present trend toward emphasis 
upon the latter is discernible. Another respect in which Soviet dis¬ 
cussion of military superiority frequently reveals inconsistency 
concerns the question whether superiority is to be understood as an 
objective already achieved, or merely a policy goal that lies ahead. 

A certain amount of ambiguity on the question of military 
superiority also carries over into the East-West strategic dialogue, 
much of which has been devoted to establishing the claims of each 
side that the military power balance leans in its own favor. The 
Soviet voice in the dialogue occasionally wavers between assertions 
on the one hand that Soviet superiority is ircontestable, and 
suggestions on the other hand that a state of re.lv ive. parity • ts 
between the United States and the Soviet Union. 

Commitment to a Policy of Military Superiority 

With regard to the desirability and necessity of achieving 
military superiority over the West, the Soviet commitment, if one 
were to judge solely by the volume of utterance on the subject, is 
strong and unshakeabl*. This commitment probably rests. In general, 
upon an underlying -*rsumption, as old as the Soviet regime itself, 
that the Soviet U , 1 surpass its leading capitalist rivals in 
the military, economic ar»d political elements of power if it is to 



-85- 


nudge history in the direction of a Communist future. In a more 

immediate sense, Khrushchev himself more than once has made plain that 

the present policy of peaceful coexistence rests in essence on the 

premise that the Soviet bloc countries,, as he puts it, ’'have a rapidly 

growing economy and surpass the imperialist camp in armaments and 
1 

armed forces." The Soviet Union, of course, remains the hard cor* 
of bloc military strength in the Soviet conception, and upon it falls 
the main burden of attaining superiority over the West. It is worth 
noting, however, that in the last two or ‘rbrs-. years there has been 
an obvious shift of emphasis in Soviet dl. xrse i. ward stress upon 

the joint strength of the "socialist comujiweni<■&.’' ( 'druxhestvo), 

t 

particularly in terms of the Warsaw Pact countries. 

The commitment of the Soviet military to the <:• tn.tr i.ne of military 
superiority is a matter of long-standing, h cent major Soviet 
work, for example, in a discussion dealing with the development of 
Soviet military theory in the twenties and thirties, pointed out that 
Soviet policy of that period was directed toward "...the strengthening 
of the country's economic potential by every possible means, so as to 
guarantee the uninterrupted supply of the Armed Forces with all types 

of arms and equipment for attainment of quantitative and qualitative 

3 

military superiority over the probable enemy." In terms of the recent 

I pravda . February 28, 1963. 

2 

See discussion of this trend in Chapter Seventeen. 

^Marshal P, A. Rotmistrov, ed., Istorii Voennogo Iskuastyo (A 
History of Military Art), Volume I, Voenirdat Ministerstva Oborony 
SSSR, Moscow, 1963, p. 484. See also Raymond L, Garthoff, Soviet 
Military Doctrine. The Free Press, Glencoe, Illinois, 1953, p. 126, 



86 


past, military emphasis on the superiority theme picked up steam 

in the fall of 1962, probably as a kind of reflex reaction to 

events in the Caribbean, 1 and grew in volume in the spring and summer 

of 1963. A typical military expression at this time of Soviet 

commitsmnt to a policy of military superiority was the following 

statement by Marshal Andrei Grechko, Soviet First Deputy Minister of 

Defense and Commander of the Warsaw Pact forces: 

The Communist Party and the Soviet government base 
their military policy on the fact that as long as 
disarmament has not been Implemented, the armed 
forces of the socialist commonwealth must always 
be superior to those of the imperialists.^ 

This statement was shortly followed by a leading editorial in 

Red Star on the eighth anniversary of the Warsaw Pact, stressing the 

same point.^ The Grechko policy declaration continued to receive 

attention into the fall of 1963, being repeated again in almost 

Identical form in a September Red Star article dealing with the 

4 

Marxist-Leninist position on war and peace. It is interesting that 
while the 7962-1963 military emphasis on Soviet commitment to military 
superiority was running high, Khrushchev gave rather restrained 
expression to his views on the subject. For example, in a December 


* Red Star . October 5, 25, Hovesfcer 17, 1963. See also: Malinovskit 
Vigilantly Sfad Guard Over the Peace, p. 23; Mallnovskll, "45 Tears 
on Guard of the Socialist Fatherland," Rad Star. February 23, 1963. 

^Marshal A. Grech>o, "The Ration's Exploit," Icvestlia. May 9, 

1963. > 

^"The True Guardian of the Peoples' Security," Rad Star. 

May 14, 1963. 

^Colonel I. Sldel'nlkov and Colonel V. Smitrenko, "The 
Present Epoch and the Defense of the Achievements of Socialism," 

Red Star. September 19, 1963. 


87- 


1962 speech defending his conduct of the Cuban crisis, he twice 
referred to the fact that the Soviet Union had "r sufficient 
quantity" of intercontinental missiles to repel aggression, rather 
than boasting of Soviet superiority.* 

It is worth noting that Khrushchev and military lenders have 
been out of phase with each other before, so to speak, on the 
military superiority question. For example, in January 1960 and 
again at the 22nd Party Congress in October 1961, Khrushchev emphasized 
Soviet military superiority, evidently to reinforce his position that 
Soviet defenses were in good shape. By contrast, Marshal Malinovskii's 
report at the Party Congress failed to advance specific claims of 
Soviet military preponderance over, or even equality with, the 
United States. 2 To the extent that the military superiority issue 
serves as a touchstone of differing military and political views 
on the state of Soviet military preparedness, it is possible that 
Malinovakll in the fall of 1961 may have been conveying a subtle 
reminder to the Soviet political leadership that the Soviet armed 
forces were not adequately prepared for a military showdown over 
Berlin, toward which Soviet policy at that time may have seemed to 
be veering. 

In 1963, military stress on a superiority doctrine began to 
show signs of wavering only after the December budget announcement 
was made and Marshal Grechko came forward with a new and somewhat 
significantly altered statement, to which we shall come in a moment. 

^Khrushchev* s speech at December 12th session of USSR Supreme 
Soviet, Pravda, December 13, 1962. 

2 See Pravda. January 15, 1960; October 25, 1961. 



88 


Meanwhile, the nev Sokolovskii volume which reached the public in 

November 1963 reflected a commitment to the doctrin/s of military 

superiority no less insistent than that which the first edition 

had displayed almost a year-and-a-half earlier.* Wot only were key 

passages on this theme retained, such as the statement that "the 

Min thing is to Mintain constant superiority over the enemy in 

the basic branches of the araed forces, weapons and ways of waging 
2 

war," but *ou» additional points were made in the same vein. For 
example, in discussing the factors upon which the s oviet expectation 
of victory in a future war would rest, the authors added a new para¬ 
graph, stating that: 

One of the basic probleas is to encure qualitative 
and quantitative superiority in the military- 
technlcal sphere over the probable aggressor. 

This demands a suitable military-economic base 
and the broadest application of scientific- 
technical resources to solution of the problem. 

Relative Importance of Quantitative and Qualitative Superiority 

Vhlle the revised Sokolovskii volume placed great emphasis on 
quantitative and qualitative superiority in some passages, it also 
reMlned somewhat ambiguous elsewhere as to their relative importance. 
As a Mtter of fact, there were several indications in the revised 
voIusm that the qualitative route to superiority might enjoy a slight 
edge In the authors' current thinking. Thus, a statement was retained 

Vor coMent on the treatment of the military superiority theme 
in the first edition, see U.S. Editors' Analytical Introduction, 

Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 67-69. 

2 Voehhaia Strategila . 2nd ed«, p. 314. See also, pp. 297, 303. 
Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 349* 335* 340. 

' Voennala Strata alia. 2nd ed., p. 258. 


=89s 

that: "...at the present time, in seining superiority in nuclear 

weapons, their quality and the technique for their employment are 

1 

•ore important than their nuabarOn the other hand, another 

statement conveying opposite emphasis on the numerical side of the 

picture was omitted in the revised volume. The discarded passage 

was one which stressed "the need for a large number of nuclear 

weapons to attain decisive results in destroying the enemy's 
2 

economy." 

The quantitative-versus-qualitative superiority issue lies in 

a troubled area. It seems to be symptomatic of an underlying problem 

concerning the best use of available resources that has lain at the 

2 

root of the debate between modernists and traditionalists. The 
former have leaned toward the idea that large investment of resources 
and scientific effort in research and development today offers the 
prospect of a significant "qualitative" payoff in the future, thus 
helping to compensate for the margin of U.S. economic superiority. 

The traditionalists, by contrast, have shown a preference for main¬ 
taining large forces-in-being, implying a priority claim on presently 
available resources for this purpose. The idea that qualitative 
advance is an important element of superiority is, of course, common 
to both modernist and traditionalist schools, but the latter have 
tended to take the view that qualitative innovations must be trans¬ 
lated into quantity of weapons available on a ma^s scale in the hands 

* Ibid .. p. 297. Soviet Military Strategy , p. 335. 

^ Soviet Military Strategy , p. 409. 

See U.S. Editors' Analytical Introduction, Soviet Military 
Strategy , p. 23. 



-90- 


of troops b«forc becoming a significant factor, 1 Tha sharpening 

of tha resource allocation problem within the Soviet Union in the 

past year or two seemingly has worked against the traditionalist 

position, however, and strengthened the argument that Soviet efforts 

to solve the superiority problem should lie along the qualitative 

route, that is, by more intensive R&D efforts now which would permit 

deferment of difficult procurement decisions until later — a course 

with undoubted appeal to a hard-pressed political leadership. It 

is also a course which provides a rationale for softening any military 

misgivings, for it can be argued that translation of qualitative 

advances into quantitative dimensions will come later, when the 

2 

Soviet economic base is in better shape. 

A tendency to shift the emphasis in Soviet discourse from 
numbers to quality of weapons became particularly evident in the 
pamphlet by Marshal Mallnovskil which appearin the tall of 1962 
shortly after the Cuban crisis. Variations on the theme of Soviet 
military superiority were prominent in this pamphlet, and they 


This point was underscored in a series of articles in January 
1964 by Colonsl’Cenmral H. A. Lomov, who is not himself an exponent 
of tha pure traditionalist view, but seems to stand somewhere in 
between. See "New Weapons and the Nature of War: The Revolution in 
Military Affairs, Its Significance and Consequences," Red Sta r. 
January 7, 1964. The second article of tha Lomov series, which waj 
largely a condensation of his mid-1963 brochure on military doctrine, 
appeared in the January 10, 1964 issue of Red Star . 

2 In this connection, Marshal Grechko's article in December 1963 
voicing support of the December plenum line on heavy investment in 
the chemical industry concluded with an exhortation to "military- 
scientific cadres" which seemed to rest on such a rationale. He said 
that workers in "science and technology, basing their efforts on the 
latest achievements of our economy, must continue with still greater 
perseverance to work out military-technical problems -- problems of 
further perfecting the combat capability and organization of the 
armed forces." Red Star . December 22, 1963. 


-91- 


tended to focus on qualitative rather than quantitative superiority, 

as in the following passage: 

Our country has improved military equipment at its 
disposal fully satisfying the requirements of defense 
under modern conditions. In the competition for quality 
of armament forced upon us by aggressive circles, we 
are not only not inferior to those who threaten us 
with war, but, in many respects, superior to them.l 

Soviet determination not to fall behind in an arms-deveropraent 

race was also stressed by Malinovskii. After asserting that the 

"development by our scientists of superpowerful thermonuclear bombs 

and also global rockets" was an index of Soviet superiority over 

probable enemies, Malinovskii went on: 

l*et them know we do not intend to rest on our 
laurels. This common vice of all victorious 
armies is alien to us. We do not intend to fall 
behind in development, and we do not intend to 
be inferior in any way to our probable enemies. 2 

As indicated in our earlier discussion of the Soviet deterrent 
image, the implication conveyed by current Soviet discourse is that 
very large yield weapons in the 50- and 100-megaton categories, which 
fall under the rubric of "qualitative 1 ' superiority in the Soviet lexicon, 
would make op for any disparity in numbers. Even so, some Soviet 
spokesmen do not hesitate upon occasion to make rather sweeping 
claims of numerical superiority. Malinovskii himself, writing in 
early 1963, responded to an earlier statement by the U.S. Secretary 

of Defense with the assertion that the Soviet Union would answer 

3 

"McNamara's 344 missiles with several times more." Some months later. 


^-Malinovskii, Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace . p. 23. 
2 Ibid. 

2 Red Star . February 23, 1963. 



- 92 - 


Colone 1-General V. F. Tclubko, Deputy Commander of the Soviet 
strategic missile forces, reiterated Malinovskii's warning^. stating 
that: 

...to the number of missiles with which vs are 
threatened we will respond with a simultaneous 
salvo of a still greater number of missiles of 
such power that they will raze all industrial 
and administrative targets and political centers 
of the United States, and will completely destroy 
the countries on whose territories American 
military bases are situated.^- 

In both cases, the Soviet claims were not confined to ICBMS, but 
apparently took into account the substantial numbers of medium-range 
Soviet missiles which would be aimed at countries less distant from 
the Soviet Union than the United States. It also is worth noting tha* 
even in General Tolubko’s assertion of "a still greater number of missilt 
he claimed only a capability to deal with urban-industrial type targets, 
leaving the inference that the Soviet Union is not in a position to 
carry out corresponding attacks against a large list of military or 
"counterforce" targets as well. 

// 

Superiority -- Accomplished Fact or Policy Goal ? 

The Soviet position on military superiority, as previously mentioned 
is marked by a certain amount of wavering between claims that such superi 
over the West is en accomplished fact and statements which imply that 
superiority is a Soviet desideratum by no means yet assured. A notable 


^ Ibld ., November 19, 1963. See further discussion of missile 
numbers in Chapter Thirteen. 

2 

General Tolubko’s superior, Marshal N. I. Krylov, commander of 
the Soviet strategic missile forces, took .? somewhat different line 
in early 1964 in reference to American statements on the U.S. numerical 
lead in missiles. Rather than asserting that the USSR could respond 
with greater numbers, Krylov said: "If the United States has such 

quantitites of missiles, one can draw the legitimate conclusion that U.S. 
strategy is not based on national defense, but pursues aggressive ends," 
Izvestiia . February 23, 1964. 



-93- 


example of Soviet wavering on this question was provided several years 
ago by an interview with Marshal Malinovskii in Pravda on January 24, 

1962, The interview dealt explicitly with the balance of military 
strength, but nevertheless managed to leave an impression of considerable 
ambiguity. Malinovskii first cited as "more or less correct" an earlier 
statement at Vienna in 1961 by President Kennedy to the effect that U.S, 
and Soviet military strength are equal. Malinovskii said that it "was 
high time" for American military leaders to draw the appropriate con¬ 
clusions from this admission. He next said that in his own opinion as 
Soviet Defense Minister the socialist camp was stronger than the United 
States and its NATO allies; however, "in order to avoid stirring up a war 
psychosis," he would be willing to call both sides equal. Finally, before 
the interview was over, Malinovskii changed his assessment once mere and 
asserted that the Soviet side was militarily superior. Khrushchev, upon 
occasion, also has wavered back and forth in similar fashion between 
claiming Soviet superiority and insisting that the United States has 

acknowledged Soviet strategic power to be equal to its own.* 

More recent Soviet discourse has continued to interpose flat 

claims that "the Soviet Union has military superiority and won't 
2 

relinquish it" with statements on the need to strengthen the Soviet 
armed forces and other comments that suggest far less assurance about 
the margin of Soviet advantage. In the revised Sokolovskii volume 

*A recent example of this was Khrushchev's statement at the conclusion 
of the February 1964 Central Committee plenum session on agriculture, when 
he first said that "...the socialist countries have now created armed forces 
equal to the forces of the capitalist world, as leaders of the imperialist 
powers have admitted," and then went on to say: "We believe our armed 
forces are the more powerful." Pravda . February 15, 1964, See also: 

Pravda . August 8, October 18, 1961; July 11, 1962; January 17, 1963. 

^Commentary on the November 7th Parade by A. Leont'ev, Moscow 

domestic radio, November 12, 1963. See also Red Star, August 30, 1963; 
February 18, 1964. 



-H- 

for example, the contention was repeated that " ,..we consider our 
superiority in nuclear weapons over the Western bloc to be indis¬ 
putable,"^ - and the new claim was added that: 

The Soviet Union has achieved superiority ovdr the 
probable enemy in the decisive means of warfare — 
in missiles and in the yield of nuclear warheads.^ 

On the other hand, however, the new volume, like the old, 

continued to dwell on the point that ^oviet policy of strengthening 

"the world socialist system" must include "an unremitting increase 

3 

in Soviet military power and that of the entire socialist camp." 

The new volume also contained an amplified description of Western 
military power in terms which seemed calculated to serve as a 
rationale for strengthening the Soviet military posture. In addition 
to this image of a formidable opponent, upon which further comment 
will be made later, the revised Sokolovskii volume retained the 
greater part of an earlier discussion suggesting that a state of 


^ Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 239. Soviet Military Strategy , 
p. 297. 

^ Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 317. See also second article 
in series by Colonel-General N. A. Lomov in Red Star, January 10, 

1964, which asserted that the Soviet Union has managed "to atts ' i 

superiority over the potential enemy in the decisive means 1 

fare; rocket-nuclear weapons and, above all, strategic nuclear means." 

^ Voertnaia Strategii a. 2nd ed., p. 230, Soviet Military Strategy , 
p, 285. In this connection it is noteworthy that after the December 
1963 announcement of a military budget reduction and heavy investment 
in the chemical industry, the military piess was anxious to make the 
point that Soviet defenses still needed to be perfected. Thus, an 
editorial in Red Stsr , December 18, 1963, stated: "In his fina* 
address at the plenum, Nikita Khrushchev declared that the planned 
program for development of the chemical industry will bo carried out 
without detriment to national defense...we are forced tj perfect our 
defenses and take measures to ensure the safety of our friends and 
allies 


-95- 


relative strategic parity exists between the United States and the 
Soviet Union. 

This discussion of the strategic balance in both of the 
Sokolovskii editions stood in rather interesting contrast to customary 
Soviet claims of outright superiority. While the context of the 
discussion was such that the assessment offered was attributed to 
"American strategists," the ioplic.ation^eemed to be thac the Soviet 
authors were not in disagreement. The main argument was that American 
strategists, recognizing the existence of a "balance" in strategic 
weaDons and "Soviet superiority in conventional armed forces," had 
come to the conclusion that "mutual deterrence" now operated on both 
sides. 

Rather curiously, this argument was somewhat emasculated in the 

revised text by omission of a passage which referred to the prospect 

of "complete mutual annihilation" in a nuclear war and which stated 

further that "...the greater the stockpiling of weapons of mass 

destruction, the greater becomes the conviction that it is impossible 

to use them. Thus, the growth of nuclear-missile power is inversely 

proportional to the possibility of its use." The effect of this 

o-aission was to suggest that large stockpiles of weapons on each side 

do not necessarily foster stability. The original argument was carried 

by retaining a less categorical passage which read as follows: 

A "nuclear stalemate" to use tbs Western expression, 
had arisen; on the one hand a tremendous increase 
in the number of missiles and nuclear weapon,, and on 
the other hand, the incredible danger of their use. 

Under these conditions, according to the evaluation 
of American and NATO political and military circles, 
both sides had attained the position of so-called 
"mutual deterrence1 

fyoennaia Strategic a , 2nd ed., •>. 80. In Soviet Military S'rategy , 
the discussion in question oc urs on pp. 156-157. 



-96- 


One is left uncertain by this statement, as perhaps its authors 
intended, whether "mutual deterrence" is accepted in Soviet military 
thinking as a durable concept or regarded merely as a passing 
phenomenon,* On the whole, the treatment of the question of military 
superiority in the Sokolovskii work, a3 in Soviet military literature 
generally, conveys the impression that Soviet military theorists, at 
least, are not yet prepared to write off the prospect of altering the 
military balance in their favor, and thus by implication — upsetting 
the state of mutual deterrence. 

Liabilities of a Doctrine of Military Super iority 

While Soviet military thought is evidently agreed on the desirability 
of attaining across-the-board superiority over the United States, it 
would seem that the Sov. t leadership as a whole remains in doubt both 
a .s to how this might be accomplished and whether the potential results 
would justify the effort involved. Thete are some obvious liabilitiei 
in professing a policy of military superiority, for if the Soviet military 
posture Is made to look excessively formidable, the result may well be 
•imply to spur the Wes; to greater efforts, leaving the Soviet Union 
relatively no better off in a military sense and perhaps a good deal 
wor*vj r ff economically. Tor a country whose resources already seem 
strained by the high cost of arras competition, this is a serious 
consideration. Indeed, /'oviet cultivation of a detente atmosphere 
indicates recognition of this problem, for it is aimed, among other 

*The stability of "mutual deterrence" has frequently been questioned 
in Soviet literature on disarmament. See, for example, A. Zorin, ed., 
Borba Sovetskogo Soluzt z& Razoruzhenie 1946 -I960 gody (The Soviet Union* . 
Struggle for Disarmament 1946-1960), Izdatelstvo Institute Mezhdunarodnyi-h 
Otnoshenil, Moscow, 1961, pp. 83-85; D. V. Bogdanov, Iadernoe Razoruzheni 
(Nuclear Disarmament), Izdatelstvo Instituta Mezhdunarodnykh Otnoshenil, 
Moscow, 1961, p. 75. 



97 


things, at slowing down such competition, Furthermore, in a tactical 

sense, undue and untimely emphasis on the military superiority theme 

could jeopardize other immediate goals whi'h detente seems meant to 

serve, such as wheat purchases abroad. Western technical and credit 

support for the chemical expansion program, and so on. 

Some tentative signs of wavering on the wisdom of proclaiming a 

policy of military superiority appeared in Soviet discourse toward 

the end of 1963. One of these indications, to which we referred 

earlier, was an article in December 1963 by the same Marshal Grechko 

who had spoken categorically six months before for a policy of military 

superiority, in this article, in which he voiced approval of 

Khrushchev's Beceiaber plenum line, Grechko took note of Western 

military preparations, singling out remarks by U.S. Secretary of Defense 

Robert McNamara at the NATO Council meeting in December on "the number 

of American long-range missiles and the number of bombers on air 
1 

alert." Western preparations, Grechko said, were meant "to attain 

military superiority over the Soviet Union." However, rather than 

responding in the vain of his earlier position that the Soviet Union 

Intends to maintain forces superior to those of the West, Grechko adopted 

a notably restrained tone. The Soviet Union, he said, "lias sufficient 

means to restrain any aggressor, no matter what kind of nuclear power 

he may possess." Further, said Grechko, the Soviet Union is not "in 

the least interested in an armaments race," but merely intends to 

2 

maintain its defense "at the level necessary to insure peace." 

^Marshal Andrei Grechko, "Leninist Cause," Red Star. December 22, 

1963. 

2 Ibid. 



98- 


Whether this note of restraint connoted merely a temporary 

softening of the Soviet line on military superiority or a deeper 

process of reassessment of its pros and cons is still to be seen. 

Several articles in professional military journals in late 1963 and 

early 1964, however, seemed to indicate that the doctrine of military 

superiority has by no means been shelved. In one of these articles 

it was observed that Stalin was guilty of formulating an "objective 

law” that the aggressor would always be better prepared than the 

defender. If the Soviet Union were to acknowledge such a law today, 

it was argued, perhaps for the ears of Stalin’s successor, then the 

Soviet armed forces would not be in a. position to defeat an aggressoi . 

This curious reminder of one c. Stalin's alleged errors was followed 

by pointed reference to a statement by Malinovskii that if the arms 

race is not terminated, Soviet "superiority will be still further 
1 

Increased." 

In another article it was stressed that preservation of peace 

today was due to "superiority in the military field over the 

imperialist camp," and that it was the economic and scientific-technic t 

task of the Soviet government to ensure the "maintenance and further 

increase of military superiority of the Soviet Union over the 
2 

imperialist camp." An especially forceful statement was made by 
Marshal Biriuzov, chief of the general staff, who said: "The 
maintenance of our superiority over probable enemies in l <e field of 

^Colonel V. Konoplev, "On Scientific Foresight in Military 
Affairs," Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 24, December 1963, p. 33. 

2 

Colonel I. Mareev, "The Indestructible Shield of the Socialist 
Countries," Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil. No. 3, February 196^', pp. 14-1 


-99- 


new weapons and military technology is one of the most important 

tasks in development of the armed forces at the present time."^ 

In the same article, Biriuzov noted that the key to victory in 

modern war would go to the one who "not only masters the new 

2 

weapons, but who takes the lead in producing missiles," which would 
seem to be an indirect challenge to those members of the Soviet 
hierarchy who may wish to rest their case on "sufficient" rather 
than superior numbers of missiles. 

Whatever direction the superiority argument may take in the 
future, however, it would appear likely that the question of how 
military superiority of a significant order is to be achieved 
against a strong and powerful opponent like the United States — 
given its relative advantage in resources and a disinclination to 
rest on its laurels -- remains for Soviet policy-makers a vexing 
and unresolved problem. 

^Marshal Biriuzov, Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 4, 

February 1964, p. 19. 

2 Ibid .. p. 18. 



100 - 


VIII. SIGNS OP STRESS IK POLITICAL-MILITARY RF.IATIONS 


Politica"-military relations in the Soviet Union have been 
character lied by a number of built-in tensions and controversies 
since the beginning of the Soviet regime. Basically, these tensions 
have grown out of the process by which the Party has sought to 
integrate the armed forces into the totalitarian structure of the 
state and to prevent them from developing a separate identity of their 
own. The fact that the military establishment possesses a potential 
power of coercion far beyond that of any other element of the Soviet 
bureaucracy naturally has sharpened the concern of the Party to keep 
it an acquiescent instrument of political authority. 

The Soviet military command, on the other hand, while not dis¬ 
posed to challenge the basic policy-making powers of the Party, has 
tended to seek a greater measure of autonomy in matters within its 
professional competence and to look upon excessive Party-political 
Intrusion into military affairs as a threat to military effectiveness. 
In a sense, therefore, the history of Soviet political-military 
relations can be described as the search for a formula to reconcile 
political control^with professional military efficiency, played out 

's' 

against the background issue of what the proper extent of military 
influence should be upon the formulation of Soviet policy and 
strategy.* 


*The literature on the history of Soviet political-military 
relations is too extensive to cite at length here, but the following 
are worth particular mention: D. Fedotoff-White, The Growth of the 
Red Army , Princeton University Press, 1944, pp. 76-100, 384-407; Merle 
Fainsod, How Russia Is Ruled . Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 

Mass., 1954, pp. 411-418, 500; John Erickson, The Soviet High Command . 

St. Martin's Press, London, 1962, pp. 113-178, 187-191, passim ; Paper 

by Louis Nemzer, "The Officer Cores as a Political Interest Group," read 
at the 39th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, 
New York, September 4, 1963, pp. 1-38; Raymond L. Garthoff, Soviet 
Strategy in the Nuclear Age . Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1958, pp. 18- 


- 101 - 


Developments of the past year or so, especially since the Cuban 
crisis of October 1962, have furnished revealing testimony to the 
continuing vitality of many of the old proolems of political-military 
relations, as well as suggesting the emergence of new difficulties 
arising out of the politics and technology of the nuclear-missile 
age. While it is important to bear in mind that an essential 
consensus still binds the various elements of the Soviet leadership 
together, the present signs of stress in Soviet political-military 
relations are not without interest as evidence that no stable 
solution has yet been worked out in this area of Soviet bureaucratic 
life. 

Reaffirmation of Political Primacy in Military Affairs 

One of the symptoms of underlying tension in the area of Soviet 
political-military relations in the last year-and-a-haIf has been the 
conspicuous reassertion of political primacy in military affairs. 
While the need to re-emphasize this time-honored assumption of Soviet 
political life may spring from deeper sources of ferment in Soviet 
society, the manifest questions involved here have centered mainly 
on the relative weight of the military and political leadership in 
the development of military doctrine and strategy, and on the 
tendency of some elements of the military elite to overemphasize 
military professionalism at the expense of ideological values. 

A noticeable trend toward reassertion of political primacy 
became evident in the fall of 1962 on the heels of the Cuban missile 


crisis, at a time when critical second thoughts about the handling 




- 102 - 


of the crisis presumably were circulating among the Soviet hierarchy. 1 

Among the first signs of a new campaign to reassert political primacy 

in unmistakable term3 was an article in early November by Marshal 

Chuikov, Commander of the Soviet ground forces. The Chuikov article, 

which took the form of an interview in Red Star , repeatedly stressed 

the dominant role of the Party in military affairs and used the 

rather transparent device of citing a hitherto unpublished exchange 

of messages between Stalin and Lenin in 1920 to refute the notion 

that "our diplomacy sometimes very effectively spoils the results 

2 

achieved by our military victoriesChuikov criticized unnamed 
fellow officers for failing to "maintain proper attitudes and 
opinions," and seemed to be reminding the military leadership that it 
would be unwise to question decisions of the political leadership, 
which is in a better position to see the larger policy picture. The 
delivery of this "message" by a high-ranking military leader avoided 
the embarrassment of any open confrontation between the Party and 
the professional military. Indeed, one of the interesting features 


^or a detailed discussion of signs of post-Cuban dissatisfaction 
with Khrushchev’s handling of the crisis, see Roman Kolkowicz, Conflict 
in Soviet Party-Military Relations: 1962-1963 . The RAND Corporation, 
RM-3760-PR, August 1963, pp. 16-35, 

2 

Marshal V. I. Chuikov, "The Basic Fundamentals of Military 
Development," Red Star . November 17, 1962. 

One should be careful in discussions of this sort not to regard 
"Party" and the "professional military" as two altogether discrete 
and antipodal groups in more or less constant opposition to each other. 
Without exception, all responsible military figures in the high command 
of the Soviet armed forces are also Party members, subject to Party 
discipline, and so on. At the same time, there are institutionalized 
interests on both sides which may, in fact, collide, and which find 
expression in various forms of bureaucratic in-fighting. It is in 
this contained area of conflict, so to speak, that tensions in 
political-military relations arise. 



-103- 


of the Soviet campaign to reassert political primacy In military 

affaira and to atreaa the importance of Marxist-Leninist attitudea 

among military peraonnel has been the fact that top-ranking military 

leaders have for the moat pars taken on the taak of aetting their own 

colleagues straight. Thus, while impetus for the campaign taay have come 

from political authorities, there la also a poaalbility that the military 

leadership may have embarked to soma extent upon a process of self- 

catharsis in order to ward off stronger measures of the sort that 

Khrushchev felt obliged to administer in the Zhukov case in 1957. 

Another important military leader to lend his prestige to the 

Party primacy campaign was Marshal Mallnovskii, the Soviet Minister 

of Defense. A pamphlet over Mallnovskii's name, as mentioned 

1 

earlier, was sent to the press in late November 1962. One of the 

conspicuous features of this document was its assertion of the 

complete dominance of the Party generally and of Nikita Khrushchev 

personally in military affairs and in the formulation of military 

doctrine. Stressing explicitly that "military doctrine is developed 

and determined by the political leadership of the state," the 

pamphlet emphasised Khrushchev's personal role in this process. 

It stated that his January 1960 speech represented "the first 

developed exposition" of modern Soviet military doctrine "from both 

2 

a political and a technical standpoint." This tribute was the more 

^Marshal R. Ia. Mallnovskii, Bdltel'no Stovat Na Strarhe Mira 
(Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace), Voenlzdat Ministerstva 
Oborony SSSR, Moscow, 1962. 

2 Ibid ., pp. 22-23. This ascription of credit to Khrushchev was 
in marked contrast to the approach taken in the first edition of the 
Sokolovskii work, Voennala Strateglla (Military Strategy), whose 
authors tended to give the military an expanded share of credit for 
developing the new Soviet military doctrine and by implication staked 
out a claim for greater military Influence on state policy. See 
Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 33ff. 



-104- 


conspicuous because no specific mention was made of MaHnovskli' s 
own major formulation of the new military doctrine at the 22nd Party 
Congress In October 1961. While Malinovskii may have written the 
November pamphlet on his own Initiative to deflect Party criticism 
of the military, the character of the document suggests that more 
than one author may have been involved. It is not implausible, for 
instance, that the Party and Khrushchev may have had in hand a 
pamphlet in search of an author, and that their choice fell upon 
Malinovskii.* 

The trend toward stressing political pre-eminence in the 

military field gathered momentum in 1963. In February, General of 

the Army A. A. Epishev, chief of the Main Political Administration 

of the Ministry of Defense and presumably the Party's principal 

2 

voice in the armed forces, published an article which emphasized 
the leadership of the Party in developing military doctrine and 
policy and strengthening the Soviet military posture. Several 


^In this connection, Khrushchev has admitted a precedent by 
mentioning in a conversation with former Vice President Richard M. 
Nixon that he himself had really written a widely-publicized article 
on Soviet military policy which had been attributed to Air Marshal 
Vershinin in Pravda . September 8, 1957. See article by Earl Mazo 
on the Nixon trip to the Soviet Union in 1959, New York Herald 
Tribune , September 14, 1960, p. 8. 

%e Main Political Administration headed by Epishev has been 
traditionally an extension of the Party Central Committee's pro¬ 
fessional staff within the armed forces. A statement on this point 
in Konmunlst Vooruthennvkh Sil , No. 6, March 1963, p. 8, went as 
follows: "Party work in the armed forces is under the leadership of 
the Central Committee CPSU, through the Main Political Administration., 
which operates within the rights of a section of the Central Committee 
CPSU." Before donning a uniform to take up his present post, Epishev 
had been ambassador to Yugoslavia, Earlier in his career, he had been 
an important secret police official in the MSB. 

3 A. A. Epishev, "The Growing Role of the CPSU in the Leadership 
of the Armed Forces, Voprosy Istorli KPS5 (Problems of the History 
of the CPSU), No. 2, February 1963, pp. 3ff. 



-105- 


Soviet reviews of the Sokolovskii book on military strategy in early 

1963 sounded a similar reaffirmation of Party supremacy. In contrast 

with earlier reviews of the book, which had not dwelt on the subject, 

one of the 1963 reviews criticised the work for its failure to 

follow Lenin's injunction to "subordinate the military point of view 

to the political," and it charged that the book had broadened the 

scope of military doctrine and strategy at the "expense of politics," 

1 

whether the authors "meant it or not." Another review suggested 

that the Sokolovskii authors had overstated the military leadership 'o 

role in the determination of strategy. It said the book tended to 

overlook Frunze's words that "strategy is not the prerogative solely 

of the military command." The review also noted that it should be 

borne in mind that the government leadership "determines the final 

and interim goals of warfare...and the means of attaining them," 

while the job of the military command "comes down mainly to carrying 

2 

out concrete operations to attain these goals." 

Just as these reviews took the Sokolovskii book to task for 
staking out too large a claim for military prerogatives in the area 
of strategy, so in other Soviet military writing in 1963 the Issue 
of Party supremacy arose frequently around the question of where 
competence lay for the formulation of military doctrine. There was 
little doubt that the new guidelines on this question had been laid 

Colonels V. Zemskov and A. Xaklmovskii, "Military Strategy," 
Voennyi Veatnik . No. 1, January 1963, p, 124, 

^A. Golubev, "Some Problems of Military History in the Book 
'Military Strategy'," Voenno-Istoricheskii Zhurnal . No. 5, May 
1963, p. 90. 



106 


ou':. While an undercurrent of resistance persisted, many Military 

writers found It expedient to fall In line with the new trend. Thus, 

a conference on Soviet military doctrine which was held in Moscow in 

May 1963 (but not reported until October) 1 came up with the uncontested 

finding, among other matters, that: "Military doctrine Is developed 

2 

and determined by the political leadership of the state." The same 

point was underscored even more explicitly in May 1963 in a brochure, 

Soviet Military Doctrine , by Colonel-General N. A. Lomov, published 

approximately a year after an earlier article by the same author had 

appeared in a Soviet military journal. In the earlier article, Lomov 

advanced a claim for significant military influence on policy 

formulation in the following words: 

The formation of our military world-view has taken 
place In a creative atmosphere...and is the result 
of the common efforts of military theorists and 
practical military people. Thanks to this, we nave 
developed a body of unified, thei retical views, on 
the basis of which has been carried out a broad 
state program to prepare the country and the 
armed forces for the defense of the Fatherland. 

This passage was conspicuously missing in the Lomov brochure 
on the same subject published a year later. A new formula now 
appeared: 


^Reported in an article by Colonel L. Belousov, "Conference 
on Soviet Military Doctrine," Voenno-Istoricheskli Znurnal. No. 10, 
October 1963, pp. 121-126. 

2 Ibld .. p. 122. 

3 

Colonel-General N. Lomov, "On Soviet Military Doctrine," 
Koraraunlst Voorushennvkh Sll , No. 10, May 1962, p. 12. 





-107- 


...the foundation* of military doctrine are 
determined by the country 1 * political leader¬ 
ship, for it alone has the competence and the 
jurisdiction to solve the problems of developing 
the armed forces.., * 

The journal Communist of the Armed Forces , which is the organ of 
the Main Political Administration of the Ministry of Defense, was 
especially diligent in reminding its audience that the Party is both 
the creator and the leader of the armed forces. A particularly 
notable exposition along this line was an article by Colonels S. 
Baranov and E. Nikitin in April 1963, which underscored the point, 
quoted from Lenin, that: 

The policy of the military establishment, like that 
of all other establishments and institutions, is 
conducted on the exact basis of general directives 
issued by the Party Central Committee, and under 

its control.2 

In the fall of 1963, the political-military issue took on new 
interest when Soviet commentary began to display marked sensitivity 
to foreign interpretations of the original Sokolovskii edition as 
a document reflecting a conflict of views and interests between the 
Soviet political and military leadership. The Clagolev-Larionov 
article in the November issue of International Affairs noted, for 
example, that Western writers had sought to use the Sokolovskii work 
as evidence of "glaring" contradictions between Soviet foreign policy 


Colonel-General N. A. Lomov, Sovetskaia Voennaia Doktrina 
(Soviet Military Doctrine), All-Union Society for the Dissemination 
of Political and Scientific Knowledge, Moscow, May 1963, p, 5. 

^Colonele S. Baranov and E. Nikitin, "CPSU Leadership -- The 
Fundamental Basis of Soviet Military Development,” Kommunist 
Vooruzhennykh Sil , No. 8, April 1963, p. 17. 



108 


and military thinking.* Four of the Sokolovskii author* themselves, 

in the highly unusual Red Star article dealing with foreign commentary 

on their book, conceded that the work had been a forum for 

"theoretical discussion" of varying viewpoints, but vehemently 

denied that this betokened any conflict of views over military 

doctrine, strategy or defense appropriations. Controversy over 

such matters is rife within imperialist countries, they charged, but 

not in the Soviet Union, where: 

All these questions are decided by the Central 
Committee of the CPSU and the Soviet government 
on a scientific basis...with full support from 
the people, the army and the navy. 2 

Concurrent with this riposte in Red Star to foreign commentary 
on the first Sokolovskii edition, the second revised edition of this 
work appeared in Moscow bookstores, a scant fifteen months after its 
predecessor. While many of the changes in the revised edition bore 
on questions discussed elsewhere in this book, it is not unreasonable 
to assume that editorial necessity related to tne political-military 
issue may have had something to do with republication of this 
substantial work at such an early date. Interestingly enough, 
however, although some effort obviously was made to bring the book 
into line with the prevailing trend on Party primacy, the Sokolovskii 
authors gave ground rather grudgingly. Most of the changes they 
introduced in this area were relatively minor. For example, in one 
place the authors dropped a sentence which Western commentators had 
speculated might be aimed indirectly at Khrushchev, in light of his 

* International Affairs . No. 11, November 1963, p. 27. 

2 

Red Star , November 2, 1963. 



-109- 


frequant personal sallies into the enunciation of new military 

doctrine. The sentence read: 

Military doctrine is not thought out or compiled 
by a single person or group of persons.! 

In its place, the authors substituted the currently favored formula: 

The basic positions of military doctrine are 
determined by the political leadership of the 
state.2 

At another place, where the discussion concerned the relationships 

of strategic considerations to policy, the first edition, after 

citing Engels to the effect-that policy must not violate the laws 

of military strategy in wartime, went on to say: 

In wartime, therefore, strategic considerations 
often determine policy.3 

The new edition addressed itself to the same question by first 

inserting the caveat that Engels did not intend to emphasise "the 

independence of strategy from politics." It then substituted a 

new sentence, stating: 

In wartime, strategic considerations yften 
reflect and in turn influence policy 

Here the Sokolovskii authors appeared to be making some con¬ 
cession to criticism that they had failed to "subordinate the 
military point of view to the political." However, they stopped 
short of a full amendment of their original text, by retaining in 
the new edition a sentence stating unequivocally: 


^• Soviet Military Strategy , p. 130. 
^ Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 54. 
^ Soviet Military Strategy , p. 104. 
^ Voennala Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 30. 



110 - 


Cases even arise when the military factor not 
only predominates, but even acquiree decisive 
significance.* 

Military Professionalism Versus Political Indoctrination — Old 
Issue With New Currency 

The Party traditionally has held the view that the armed forces 

should be not only an institution to provide an effective military 

2 

capability, but also a k: school for coonunism." A good deal of 
friction in political-military relations has been generated by 
failure to reconcile fully these two objectives. One o£ the 
transgressions laid at Marshal Zhukov's door was that he had "under¬ 
estimated" and tried to "liquidate" the Indoctrinational and other 
activities of political workers in the armed forces."* Concurrently 
with revival of the Party supremacy campaign, this issue also took 
on new currency. Various Soviet media found it expedient to cite 
the unhappy fate of Zhukov, recalling that he had "followed a line 
of Ignoring and doing away with Party-government leadership and 
control of the avamd forces," 4 «nd had sought "to tear the army 
away from the Party and the people."^ 

As if to steer clear of his predecessor's mistakes, Marshal 
Mallnovskil, at a military conference in Moscow in October 1963, 
sounded a warning to military cadres to avoid thinking too exclusively 


1 Ibid. 

^See N. M. Kiriaev, "The 22nd Congress of the CPSU on Strengthen! 
of the Armed Forces and Defense Capability of the Soviet Union," 
Voprosy Istorii KPSS . No. 1, January 1962, p, 74. 

•* Pravd a. November 3, 1957; Red Star . November 5, 1957. 

4 

Moscow broadcast to North America, November 10, 1963. 

5Baranov and Nikitin, op. cit .. p. 19. 


- 111 - 


in professional military terms and "to develop their skill in 

1 

analysing phenomena and facts from a Marxisfc-Leninist position." 

His admonition came in the wake of a running dialogue during the 

previous year in which one side argued essentially against spending 

too much time on propaganda and political orientation activities in 

the armed forces when the Increasing complexity of tue new military 

2 

technology demanded more time for intensive training, while the 

other side bore down on the tendency of high-ranking officers to give 

superficial attention to ideological and Party matters, and thus to 

3 

fie t a poor example. The Party's concern to channel this dialogue in 
the right direction was made evident by a flurry of meetings in late 
1962 and early 1963, designed to look into the state of ideological 
health among the officer corps and to devise ways to improve the work 
of political organs within the military establishment. At one of 
these meetings, Epishev, the Party watchdog in the Ministry of 
Defense, urged political organs to "inquire deeply into the activities 


Report of All-Arny Conference of Ideological Workers, Red 
Star , November 1, 1963, Articles in a similar vein turned up around 
this time in Kbmnmnist Voorushennvkh Sil . See, for example, Colonel A. 
Tuvlev, "Requirements of the 22nd Party Congress and the Program of 
the CPSU with Regard co Military Cadres," No. 15, August 1963, 
pp. 14-45; Editorial "To Strengthen Military Cadres Ideologically," 

No. 19, October 1963, p. 6, 

2 

General I. Pliev, "The New Technology and Problems of 
Strengthening Discipline," Koranunist Voorushennykh Sil . No. 19, 

October 1962, pp. 21-28. 

3 

See Red Star . November 18, December 8, 1962, February 20, 1963; 
Major-General D. Rashetov, "The Highest Level of Marxist-Leninist 
Training of Officers," Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 20, October 
*" r * r >. 21-23. 



- 112 - 


of generals, admirals and officers and to evaluate their pro¬ 
fessional and political-morale qualities on the basis of their 
activities."^ - 

This warning apparently was not fully effective, for complaints 
from some high-ranking military figures about excessive political 
interference in military affairs and in the private lives of officers 
continued to find their way into print. For example, Colonel-General 
Tolubko, deputy commander of the strategic missile forces, took 
occasion in January 1963 to criticize political organs for "burdenin', 
officers" with political requirements which interfered with their 

military duties, and there was other military back-talk in the same 

2 

vein. Malinovskii's urging some months later in October 1963 that 
military professionalism should not be overdone at the expense of 
political indoctrination thus merely underlined an old and apparently 
unresolved dilemma. Further testimony to failure to find a happy 
balance between the requirements of military-technical training and 
those of political indoctrination was furnished by another lengthy 
excursus on the subject by Marshal Malinovskii in R ed Star in March 
1964. In this article, which capped a series in Red Star on the 
need for "unity of theory and practice," Malinovskii took both 
military professionals and political workers to task for not working 

*A. A. Epishev, "Raising Combat Readiness of Troops -- The Main 
Task of Party Work," Red Star . December 1, 1962. 

2 

Colonel-General V. Tolubko, "Know Strategic Weapons Perfectly," 
Red Star . January 8, 1963. See also, Red Star . March 20, 29, 1963. 


-in¬ 


to get her cloeely enough. The commanders and professional staff 

officers should seek more help from Party workers in detecting 

shortcomings in training and indoctrination, Malinovskii said, 

while the political workers on their part should acquire a better 

knowledge of modern military affairs and technology if they are to 

make a useful contribution to preparing the armed forces for the tasks 

l 

of modern warfare. 

A new facet of the old conflict between military professionalism 

and Party work in the armed forces deserves note. It relates to the 

rise of a new generatlom of "military specialists" associated with 

advanced technology in the missile forces and other branches of the 

2 „ 

Soviet military establishment. Evidently, an unusual amount of 
tension has arisen between these officers, who urge release from 
political activities to devote more time to their complex military 
tasks, and the Party apparatus in the armed forces. This is 


Marshal R. Ia. Malinovskii, "Ideological and Organizational 
Activity of Military Cadres," Red Star . March 3, 1964. For article 
which launched the Red Star series see: Colonel-General A. Get man, 
"Unity of Word and Deed: How to Achieve It," Red Star. October 10, 

1963. Concurrent articles in the periodical military press dealing 
with the same question included: General of the Army M. Kazakov, 

"The Command Preparation of Officers - A Daily Consideration," 
Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 23, December 1963, pp. 20-23; 

Captain 1st Rank V. Stukalov, "Arm Political Workers with Deep 
Military-Technical Knowledge," ibid .. pp. 24-29. Other evidence that 
Malinovskii's counsel was still going unheeded in some quarters 

was provided by exhortations in early 1964 to improve Party 
indoctrination activities and to make better use of the military 
press for this purpose. Colonel I. Korotkov, "What the Military 
Reader is Waiting For," Red Star . January 23, 1964. 

2 

"The "military specialists," comprised of officers with 
engineering and technical backgrounds, are especially numerous in 
the missile forces. Marshal Krylov, commander of the strategic 
missile forces, put the proportion of such specialists among officers 
of his command at "more than 707." in early 1964. Red Star . January 11, 

1964. 



suggested by Che feet that Party workers' complaints have tended 
Co single out the "military technologists/' along with sosm "staff 
officers/' as the asIn source of "obstructionist' and resistance to 
Party activities In the allltary forces.* 

The Question of Military Influence on Policy 

The obverse side of the political priaacy issue is the question 
of vhat Che proper Halts of military influence should be In the 
area of strategy and national security policy. Notwithstanding the 
co-operative role which the Soviet allltary hierarchy has found It 
expedient to assume In the ParCy supremacy campaign. It also is 
evident that an effort has been quietly under way at the sane time 
to resist the narrowing of the allltary*s sphere of Influence. 

Before turning to some examples of this effort of the military 
professionals to hold their ground. It may be useful to distinguish 
somewhat more precisely the areas in which military Influence on 
Soviet policy comes Into play, at least potentially. One may 
distinguish three such areas. The first Is the level of party-state 
policy formulation. The second Is the level of military-technical 
considerations relating to the development and management of the 
military establishment itself. A third area in which the Influence 
of the military Is of actual or potential moment Is that of Internal 
Soviet politics. 

*See Colonel D. Levchenko, "The Commander arid the New 
Technology," Red Star . November 10, I960; Pliev, op. cl t.. p. 26. 



115 


With respect to the Party-State policy level, the d irect formal 
Influence of the military traditionally haa been minimal, even or 
questions affecting the country's defense arrangements. Thera has 
been little disposition in the past on the part of the Soviet 
military -- either as Individuals or as an institution — to challenge 
the dominant role of the political 1< idershlp in this area. Neither 
the case of Tukhachevskii in the thirties nor that of Zhukov in the 
fifties seems to constitute a genuine exception to this rule. In the 
Soviet scheme of things, such basic policy questions as the share of 
national resources to be devoted to the armed forces and the uses to 
which military power Is to be put have been determined by the 
political leadership, and the role of the military at this level has 
been to furnish professional advice and to assist in the process of 
integrating military doctrine and strategy with state policy -- rather 
than to participate in the policy-making function Itself. Whatever 
the indirect influence of the military may have been from tln»e to 
time, tne absence of military figures at the summit of the Soviet 
policy-making structure -- except for Zhukov's short-llv^d tenure 
on the Party Presidium -- attests to the formal primacy of the 
political leadership at this level. 

At the level of milltary-technlcal policy concern, in the 
planning and direction of military activities within the armed 
forces themselves, the military professlonals have tendnd over the 
years to enjoy considerable autonomy. Over most of the past decade, 
for example, the Minister of Defense hss been s bona fide soldier, 
and at virtually all echelons the Ministry of Defense is stsffed by 






professional military man rather than civilian authorities. This is 
not to flay, of course, that 1* this professional realm the military 
leadership has ruled supreme^ Hot only have the missions of the 
armed forces end the general policies for their development been 
laid down by the political leadership, but a pervasive machinery of 
political and sacrat police controls has operated within the armed 
forces themselves. At the same time, as we have already noted, the 
attempt to maintain close political 'ontr.ol within the armed forces 
without impairing their professional effectiveness is a long-standing 
problem to which an ultimate solution apparently har tot yet been 
found. 

In tha third area, that of internal Soviet politics, the Soviet 
military leadership has tended -- almost in spite of itself -- to 
become a potential political forca of some consequence in the post- 
Stalin period. In a sense, disunity and maneuvering for posicion 
among the political leaders after Stalin's death drew the military 
into the political arena as a kind of "balancer.” Both at the time 
of Berta's arrest in 1953 and in Khrushchev's victory over the "anti- 
Party group" in mid-1957, the military apparently was wooed to 
support one internal political faction against another, and its 
intervention proved important. Zhukov's downfall, which would 


Conquest, Power and Policy in the USSR . MacMillan and 
Company, Ltd., London, 1962, pp. 330ff, and Myron Rush, The -Use o f 
Khrushche v. Public Affairs Press, Washington, D.C., 1958, pp. 80-81. 



-117- 


seem to have been at least partly related to Khrushchev's concern 
over his potential political intervention on someone else's side in 
the future, brought a decline in the political influence of the 
military. However, the pattern of military involvement in political 
&f. r irs has been established. Should Khrushchev's leadership be 
seriously challenged by other political leaders, or in the event of 
a succession crisis after his departure from the scene, it seems 
likely that the support of the military would again be courted by 
one faction or another. This very potential for Influence upon 
internal Soviet politics might;, in turn, tend to Increase the authority 
of the military voice in matters involving state policy and fundamental 
strategic issues. 

To return to these questions in a more immediate context, what 
seems to have been happening in the Soviet case can best be described 

i 

as an effort by the Soviet military to ex-end its influence in a gray 
area lying between the military-technical level and the Party-State 
level of policy concern. This has not been a frontal challenge to 
political primacy, but a process of indirect encroachment. The 
principal avenues of military encroachment upon terrain traditionally 
reserved to the political leadership have been twofold. 

The first of these, so far as the visible evidence enables one 
to judge, has been a military bid for greater influence in the 
formulation of military doctrine and strategy, both of which impinge 
upon the area of state policy to a greater or lesser extent, depending 
on how they are defined. According to the presently prevailing 
Soviet definition, military doctrine is the more fundamental conception, 




118 


representing "the officially accepted expressions of state vlevs... 
on questions of war and the country's defense," whereas the content 
of sillltary strategy Is In a sense provisional until approved by the 
political leadership** - 

Generally speaking, the broae&? the accepted scope of military 
doctrine and strategy, and the greater the acknowledged share of the 
military in their formulation, the more room there is for the military 
leadership to exert influence on policy -- whether to better advance 
the national interest as the military may perceive it, or to serve 
more paroehial military interests in the day-to-day interplay of 
Soviet bureaucratic life. This helps to explain why the Party 
supremacy lssua has tandad to cantar so frequently on the question 
of "jurisdiction" over military doctrine and strategy. Unless the 
Party haa sensed an implicit challenge from this direction, it is 
difficult to account far the eoncartad effort to reestablish a point 
that has generally been taken for granted anyway — namely, that 
primacy In the formulation of military doctrine end strategy belongs 
to the political leadership. 

The second avenue of indirect military oncroachaent upon the 

/' 

traditional prerogatives of the political leadership has been through 
a mors or less subtle assertion that tha miJ f.ttry-technological 
revolution of the nuclear age has put a higher premium then ever 


H’oenno-Iatoricheskli Zhurnel. Mo. 10, October 1963, pp. 121-123; 
Lomov article in Red Star. January 10, 1964 and same author's Soviet 
Military Doctrine , pp. 5, 18; Voenneia Strataglia. 2nd ed., p t 54. 



-m- 


before upon professional military expertise and thus enhanced the 
contribution that the professional officer corps is fitted to make to 
the complex and many-sided task of assuring the country's defense. 
Essentially, this is another aspect of the old question of military 
professionalism, in modern dress, as it were. This second line of 
military argument has been somewhat diluted by the modernist- 
traditionalist debate within the Soviet military establishment it¬ 
self, which has tended to place the advocates of modernism in 
the position of looking toward Khrushchev and the Party to take 
the initiative in the combatting military conservatism and outworn 
concepts still dear, evidently, to a substantial number of military 
leaders. Another factor which has tended to smudge the line of 
argument based on the special qualities of the military leadership, 
as a whole, has been the emergence of the so-called "Stalingrad 
group" of military leaders whose careers have been closely linked 
with Khrushchev's, and who occupy many of the top positions in the 
military hierarchy, at the expense of officers whose earlier service 
did not bring them into close contact with Khrushchev. By and large, 
Khrushchev has rewarded the Stalingrad group well, but in return has 
expected their co-operation in supporting policies, which may have 
been more or less unpalatable to large sectors of military opinion.* 
Nevertheless, despite the cross-currents of internal military factions 
and debate, there has been a perceptible tendency for the military 
to seek leverage upon policy by advancing the notion that the 

*Among prominent members of the Stalin group are Marshals 
Malinovskii, Chuikov, Biriuzov, Krylov, Yeremenko atvd Grechko. For 
a detailed discussion of the Stalingrad group, see Kolkowicz, op. cit .. 
pp. 37-45. 



120 


professional military allta serves unique functions which the 
political leadership itself cannot discharge. 

" ftear-Cuard Action* 11 in Defense of Military Influence 

In the period of reassertlon of political primacy in military 
affairs siaca the latter part of 1962, the Soviet military professionals 
appear to have conducted a number of rear-guard actions, as it were, 
in order to keep alive the question of what the proper limits of 
military influence should be in the area of defense policy. On the 
issue of military doctrine and strategy, as the previous discussion 
has Indicated, the military case suffered a perceptible setback. 

Even so, while giving way on some points, ground was held on others. 

An interesting example of this was provided by the revised Sokolovskii 
edition. 

In the preface to the revised edition, the authors bowed 
to criticism that they had failed to accord enough weight to the 
role of the political leadership in the formulation of strategy. 

They did so by the interesting device of saying that some Soviet 
critics had found fault with them for defining strategy on a class- 
oriented basis "in contradiction with its objective character as a 
science." This, they said, was on "objectivist position" with which 
they could not agree, for the "dependence of strategy on politics" 
and its "party character' were incontrovertible. After thus 
clearing themselves of any leaning toward a nonpolitical or purely 


fyoennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 4. 


-121 


professional view of strategy, however, the authors went on to 

indicate that they were not prepared to ’’exclude" from the scope of 

military strategy the "study of problems of leadership in preparing 

the country for wcr," as other critics had suggested. This suggestion, 

they said, was founded on the notion that military strategy "should 

deal with questions of leadership concerning the armed forces alone,” 

while preparation of the country itself in a military respect was 

"a political matter." The authors then asked: 

Is it possible to separate so mechanically the 
two interrelated aspects of the indivisible 
process of leadership?^ 

Answering this question in the negative, they pointed out that 

the defense capability of the country was inextricably bound up with 

the combat readiness of the armed forces themselves, and therefore: 

...in addition to questions of leadership of the 
armed forces, the task of Soviet military strategy 
must also include study of the problems of leader¬ 
ship involved in preparing the country itself to 
repulse aggression.^ 

Thus, as concerns the claim of the Soviet military for a larger 
share of Influence upon policies governing the country's defense 
preparations, the Sokolovskii authors in this passage appeared to ba 
taking back with one hand what they had conceded with the other. As 
previously noted, they also did much the same thing with regard to 
the relationship of political and strategic considerations in wartime. 


^■Ibid., p. 5. 
2 Ibid, 



122 


having softened their original position somewhat while at the same 
time reminding the political leadership that in wartime cases arise 
"when the military factor not only predominates, but even acquires 
decisive significance."^ 

Attempts to shore up the military side of the polit -sal-military 

balance by empha * - on the unique contributions of the professional 

officer corps have found expression in Soviet discourse periodically 

* 

even during the campaign to reassert Party tupremacy. A typical 
example of this was furnished in the brochure Soviet Military 
Doctrine by Colonel-General Lomov, published in mid-1963. Discussing 
the command cadres of the armed forces -- and noting in the process 
that almost 90 per cent of the officer corps consists of Party and 
Komsomol members, which in itself was a way of Inferring that the 
political health of Soviet officers need not be questioned — Lomov 
streseed that the regular officer corps has a special role to play 
in the era of a revolution in military technology. "Preparation of 
the officer corps has an especially Important significance," he 
wrote: 

O- 

...for they are the backbone of the armed forces, 
the creator and the bearer of the military art 
and the teacher of the soldiers in the ranks.2 


1 Ibld .. p. 30. 


^Lomov, Soviet Military Doctrine , p. 19. 


-123 


Lomov then went on to emphasize the high level of technical 

competence required of the officer corps in a modern military 

establishment. 1 These passages, which did not incidentally appear 

in Lomov's earlier May 1962 article on military doctrine, came close 

to being a reminder that the professional officer corps serves a 

function for which the Party by itself is no substitute. Much the 

same point was made again by Lomov in a January 1964 series of 

articles in Red Star , where he also introduced the theme that even 

the best technology is not good enough in war without well-trained 

companders and troops to employ it. This theme, developed concurrently 

2 

in other s oviet military writing, has overtones broader than the 

issue of Soviet military-political rei-cions alone, for it has been 

introduced into the Sino-Soviet polemics by the Chinese, who for 

reasons of their own have charged Khrushchev with "nuclear fetishisn/' 

3 

and one-sided emphasis on technology over man. In Ned S£gr, Lomov 
said: 


^Ibid ., p, 20. See also: Col. V. Konoplev, Kommunist Vcoruzhennylch 
Sil . No. 24, December 1963, p. 34. 

2 

See Colonels V. Sinyak and V. Vare, "Role of Man and Technology 
in the Command and Control of Troops," Koamunlat Vooruzhennykh Sil . 

No. 18, September 1963, p. 50. 

Chinese criticism of Khrushchev's military theories was most 
pungently expressed in one of the series of Joint Peoples' Daily - 
Red Flag articles on Sino-Soviet relations which appeared November 18, 
1963. While Chinese stress on the Importance of "man over technology" 
was undoubtedly related to their own lack of an advanced military 
technology, including nuclear weapons, there vas also a likelihood 
that their charges against Khrushchev were calculated to exacerbate 
political-military relations within the Soviet Union, for the Chinese 
were undoubtedly aware of some Soviet military reluctance to go along 
fully with Khrushchev's ideas. See further discussion of this question 
in Chapter Seventeen. 



124 - 


Qualitative changes in military personnel, changas 
In the "human materials," as Engels would say, 
particularly in the command cadres of the So' let 
armed forces, are a oust important feature o£ 
the revolution in military affairs. Msrxlsm- 
Lenlnlsm teaches that man la the main factor in 
war, since warfare is waged by people mastering 
weapons. The equipping of modern armed forces 
with the most modern weapons and equipment has 
even further enhanced the Importance of man and 
the role of his many-sided qualities in attaining 
victory over the enemy. 1 

The revised edition of the Sokolovskii work also contributed its 
bit to sustain an image of the Soviet military elite as an asset which 
no amount of harping on Party supremacy in military affairs should be 
allowed to obscure. It carried over virtually intact from the first 
edition a lengthy exposition on the role and qualities of the top 
Soviet professional military leadership. This included a passage 
making the point that history affords no examples of an army "led by 

inexperienced military leaders successfully waging war against an army 

2 

led by an experienced military leader." 

Another set of arguments from history which seem to have had at 
leaat an oblique bearing on the political-military relations issua 
was Introduced into Soviet discourse in late January and early 
February 1963, around the tlam of the anniversary of the Battle of 
Stalingrad (now Volgograd). Several articles by prominent military 
men recalled the victory of Soviet arms in this key battle of World 
War II, but assigned responsibility for planning and organising the 


* Red Star . January 10, 1964. 


2 Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed,, p. 477. Soviet Military Strategy , 
p. 496. 



victory In a way which suggested that historical credit was being 

used to argue the relative weight of military-political influence %n 

a more current context. One group, including Marshals Yeremenko, 

Chuikov and Biriuzov, paid tribute mainly to local Party and military 

2 

c ithorltiea at Stalingrad. This meant giving a large share of credit 

to Khrushchev, who was the political commissar of the Stalingrad 

Military Council at the time. The second group, which included 

Marshals Voronov, Rotmlstrov and Malinovskll, singled out professional 

officers of the Stavka , or military high command in Moscow as the main 

3 

architects of the Stalingrad plan for victory. Malinovskll's Pravda 

article of February 2 was perhaps the boldest is taking a line which 
emphasized the professional military over the political leadership 
ingredient, for he revived the name of Marshal Zhukov, along with 
Marshals VasllevskJLl ind Voronov, as the Stavka representatives who 
played key roles in conceiving and planning the Stalingrad operation. 

Why Mallnovokii chose on this occasion to slight Khrushchev's 
Stalingrad role and to make favorable public reference to Zhukov, 
whose name had become synonymous with professional military flouting 
of Party supremacy, remains one of the minor mysteries of Internal 


'For an Illuminating discussion of the way Soviet historiography 
on World War 'I has served as an Instrument for arguing the relative 
•/eight of military-political roles, see: Matthew P. Gallagher, The 
Soviet History o f World War II . Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1963, 

•■specially pp. 169-17!). 

hhuviL, January 27, 30, 1963; Kornsorao 1 skala Pravda . February 2, 

1 V 6 3 . 

' ■led Star . January 16, 1963; Pravda . January 31, February 2, 
Tzvestiia . February 1, 1963. 


1963 



126 - 


Soviet politic*. It should b« motsd, however, that Mellaevskll'a 
position with respect to ths subtle sad touchy problems of political- 
military relations has never been altogether clear and consistent. 

In a figurative sense at least, ha has seemed to suffer a split 
personality, being at once the titular guardian of military Interests 
within the Soviet bureaucracy and the chief executor of Khrushchev's 
policies within the armed forces. While himself a member of the 
"Stalingrad group," he has not always identified himself with it as 
a claimant of Khrushchev's favor, as in the case of the 1963 annlverear 
article. His gruff presence at Khrushchev's elbow during the abortive 
1960 Summit meeting in Paris was widely noted, but whathar he wield**, 
real influence there or was merely brought along as a bemedalled 
symbol of Soviet military might has never become clear. Further, 
though Malinovskii often has spoken out against military conservatism, 
outmoded thinking and ideological backsliding among Soviet military 
people, yet at times he has seeiucd to defend essentially conservative 
positions and his views on the qualities of Soviet military leaders 
have served as a rallying point for those emphasizing the uniaue 
professional contributions of the military. 

An example of the latter occurred in a review in December 1963 
of a two-volume work. A History of Military Art , edited by Marshal 
Rotmlstrov. The reviewer, Major-General E. Boltin, drew on a state¬ 
ment by Malinovskii to illustrate his main point -- namely, that the 
Rotmlstrov book, which stressed the value of applying the lessons 
of the past to today's military problems, was a worthy testimonial 
to the creative qualities of Soviet military leaders. Referring to 



Malinovskii'* description of military ert the application of 

■ilitary science and theory in actual warfare, the reviewer then 

quoted Mallnovakll to the effect that: 

The creative Bind of military leaders and comanders 
and the initiative of military personnel exerts 
tremendous influence on the practical application 
of military-theoretical knowledge. This is not a 
mere craftsman's trade -- it is an art.* 

While it would seem unwarranted to suppose that the conflicting 
views and interests of military and political leaders in the Soviet 
Union are anywhere near the point of getting out of hand, the 
evidence generally available does seem to support the proposition 
that no stable solution to the problem of Soviet political-military 
relations has yet ,been worked out. The old issue of balancing 
military professionalism and efficiency against political inter¬ 
ference remain? a/lve. New problems have arisen, as the military- 
technological revolution of the nuclear age has tended to put a 
higher premium on professional military competence and thus to 
Increase the potential weight of the military leadership vis-a-vis 
the politicel elite. At the same time, judging from the trends 
examined here, it would also seem true that the Soviet military 
as an elite group Is still far from being In a position to exercise 
dominating influence on Soviet policy-making as a whole. 


1963. 


*Major-General E. Boltin, 'Art Triumphs," Irvestiia . December 26, 



-12S» 


O LAJ SSM m 

TfeiS architect* of Soviet strategic policy faca a taak which la 
not fundamentally unlike that aat before th« leadership of any great 
power lw the world today, first, they muat decide what aort of 
strategic posture within the country's weans will best prevent the 
occurrence of a .uclear war and support the country's political 
strategy ge-ara*ly. Second, they must consid*r how the country would 
conduct a war if one should occur, and what forces and measures would 
be required for this purpost. 

In their cam way, in order to orient them»«lves end provide e 

theoretical foundation for the Multiplicity of practical decisions 

Involved, the Soviet* have tandad to placa much enphasla on develop* 

went of e unified body of doctrine on the problems of war and atratagy. 

Aa indicated In the previous chapter, the formulation of Soviet 

military doctrine has certain important Implications for political- 

military relations within the Soviet Union. But quite apart from 

this, it also has In Soviet ayee an inherent value of Its own "of 

l 

greet scientific and cognitive significance." This doctrine 
involves the blending together of Marxist-Lsninist theory, political 
policy, military-technical factors and other considerations. While 
one may properly question whether e happy blend of these ingredients 
is ever actually achieved, or whether the resultant doctrine will 
necessarily govern Soviet decision-making to a significant degree 


tyoenno-lstoricheskii Zhurual, No. 10, October 1963, p. 121. 




-129- 


vhen pragmatic factors happen to bear heavily on the situation, 

nevertheless, a doctrinal underpinning appears to be important to 

the evolution of Soviet strategic policy. 

Among doctrinal questions of cardinal importance in the Soviet 

view is that of making a correct theoretical analysis of the nature 

of a future war. As Marshal Malinovskii once put it: 

Soviet military doctrine based on the policy of our 
party and resting its leading recommendations on the 
conclusions of military science -- helps us to penetrate 
deeply into the nature of nuclear war and its initial 
period, helps us to determine the most suitable inodes 
of operation in it, and points out the path for 
development and preparation of our armed forces.* 

Only from the starting point of such doctrinal analysis, in 

the Soviet beli 2 f can proper policies be developed to prepare the 

armed forces and the country for the possible eventuality of war, 

Soviet military strategy today, as Indicated by the two Sokolovskii 

editions and other Soviet literature on the subject, "assumes tne 

theoretical possibility" of three types of wars — general world 

2 

war, imperialist wars, and national-liberation wars. The main 


^Speech by Marshal R. Ia. Malinovskii to the All Army Conference 
on Ideological Questions, Red Star . October 25, 1962. For an elaborate 
argument or the importance of correct scientific prediction of the 
nature of a future war in order "to quickly defeat the enemy with 
minimum losses" and to "avoid mistakes" which could lead to 
"irreparable consequences," see Colonel V. Konoplev, "On Scientific 
Foresight in Military Affairs," Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No, 24, 
December 1963, pp. 28-29. See also: Editorial, "Everything Pro¬ 
gressive and New in Military Preparation," ibid ,, No. 2, January 1963, 
pp. 3-4. 

^Vo ennaia Strategi ia. znd. ed., p. 228; Soviet Military Strategy, 
pp. 282-283, In the Soviet usage, both "imperialist war" and "national 
liberation wax" are customarily in the small war category, the difference 
being mainly one of political definition, that is, an imperialist war is 
an "unjust" war waged by an imperialist power against a colonial country, 
and a "natiornl liberation war" is a "just" war waged the other way 
around. Current Soviet doctrine admits the slight possibility of wars 

between "imperialist" powers, but it seems to provide no room for wars 
between "non-imperialist" countries. See also: Khrushchev's speech on 
81 Party Moscow Conference, delivered January 6, 1961; Pravda , January 25, 
1961; Lomov, Soviet Military Doctrine , p. 21, 



- 130 - 


focus of attention in Soviet military literature and general discourse 
on the question of war continues to be on the first category, world 
v.ir, although there are currently some interesting shifts of emphasis 
concerning the latter two categories of wars which will be taken up 
presently when we discuss the question of limited war. 

With regard to the nature of a future world war, which in the 
Soviet view would see the "imperialist and socialist camps" pitted 
against each other, there is a large area of agreement among Soviet 
military theorists. At the same time there also are some significant 
differences of view which appear to remain unresolved. These pertain 
In part to the nature of a possible future world war, particularly 
to the question whether it would be short or protracted, but on the 
whole they center more on the methods and requirements for conducting 
a general war, and upon the differing criteria for peacetime deterrent 
forces and those needed to fight a war. Differing Soviet views on 
these questions will be examined in subsequent chapters. 

Soviet It,tape of a Future World War 

Among the basic features of a future general war upon which a 
large measure of consensus is to be found in Soviet military 
literature are that it would be global and nuclear in character; 
that missiles would be the main means of nuclear delivery; that it 
would be a war of coalitions, with a group of socialist states 
ranged together on one side for the first time in history; and 
that it would be fought for unlimited ends, namely, the existence 
of one system or the other. The possibility that some rioncommunist 
countries might come over to the Soviet Bloc side in the course 



- 131 - 


of the war aleo la recognised.^ Another agreed faafcura of a future 
world war la that It would ba highly daatructive, with auclaar 
attacks balng carried out not only against military targets, but 
against industrial, population, and communication centers as wall. 

The idea of adopting aaasures to limit the destructiveness of a 
nuclear war if oaa should occur has no public backing among Soviet 
military theorists or political spokesman, and current Soviet doctrine 
remains Inhospitable to such concepts as controlled response and 
restrained nuclear targeting. In addition to these aspects of a 
future war, Soviet thinking is agreed upon the special importance of 
Its initial period, which in the general Soviet view may have a 

2 

decisive influence on both the course and the outcome of the war. 

Detailed scenarios of the possible ways in which a future world 
war might run its course are singularly lacking in Soviet military 
literature, despite the large amount of attention given to the 
subject in general and the special importance attached to "thorough 
scientific analysis" of the nature of war. In part, this may be 
due to the many unpredictable factors that would effect Soviet 


I Vocnnala Strateglia , 2nd ed., p. 233; Soviet Military Strategy. 
p. 237. 

^For treatment by representative Soviet sources of the various 
general features of a future world war mentioned here, see: Soviet 
Military Strategy, pp. 298-315; Voennala Strateniia . 2nd ed., pp. 241- 
261; Lomov article in Red Star, January 7, 1964; Marshal P. Rotmistrov, 
"Causes of Modern Wars and their Characteristics," Kommuniat Vooruzhennykh 
Sil , No. 2, January 1963, pp. 29-32; Colonel-General S. Shtemenko, 
"Scientific-Technical Progress and Its Influence on the Development 
of Military Affairs," Konanunist Vooruzhennykh Sil. No. 3, February 
1963, pp. 26 - 2 °. Konoplev, ibid., No. 24, December 1963, pp. 28-34; 
Colonel P. Detavianko, "Soma Featuraa of the Contemporary Revolutions 
in Military Affairs," ibid .. No. 1, January 1964, pp. 17-25; Maj. Gan. N. 

N. Sushko and Major T. Kondratkov, "War and Folitica in the Nuclear Age," 
ibid ., No. 2, January 1964, pp. 15-23. 



- 132 - 


strategy for a general war, as well as reluctance to get Into 

details bordering upon Soviet war plans. However, from the open 

literature available, one might reconstruct the typical Soviet image 

of a future world war along the following lines. 

With regard to the circumstances of war outbreak, the favored 

Soviet view remains that a future war would start with a surprise 

nuclear attack upon the Soviet Union, probably during a period of 

crisis. Escalation from a local war is another possibility in the 

1 

Soviet view, as is war by miscalculation or accident. Soviet 

literature is quite hazy on the expected train of developments at the 

Immediate outset of a war, although it recognizes that quite different 

implications might arise in the case of war outbreak via a surprise 

attack as distinct from escalation of a local conflict into general 
2 

war. The questions of warping and pre-emption also serve to cloud 
the picture at this point. 

On the matter of warning, divided Soviet views are apparent. 
During the latter fifties, the prevailing view was that since war 
should be likely to come after a period of crisis, the Soviet Union 
should receive sufficient strategic warning to make preparations 
to deal with an attack. In the last few years the validity of this 


*The possibility of accidental war was given somewhat more 
emphasis in the revised Sokolovskii volume than in the first edition. 
A new description in the second edition of various technical and 
command failures which might touch off a war included an allegation 
that the Commander of SAC, General Thomas Power, without Presidential 
authority, had ordered his bombers to take off against the Soviet 
Union in November 1961 on the strength of false radar signals. 
Voennala Strategiia. 2nd ed., p. 36'+. 

2 Ibid .. p. 378. 


- 133 - 


assumption has bean questioned, and there is at least one school 

of thought that an aggressor might try to mount an attack from the 

blue with no advance period of crisis, which -- given the constant 

high state of readiness of strategic delivery forces — might mean 

war outbreak without signs of mobilization and other traditional 
1 

preparations. On the other hand, there is apparently a growing 

belief among some Soviet circles that modern warning methods, plus 

other factors which were discussed in Chapter Five, have reduced 

Western confidence in the feasibility of a successful surprise attack, 

2 

and hence lowered the prospect of war outbreak in this fashion. 

As for pre-emption, the ambiguity oi the Soviet position on this 
question also has been discussed earlier. In view of Soviet state¬ 
ments on the serious consequences of a nuclear first-strike, which 
some Soviet authorities have said could place their country "in an 


*See Colonel S. Lipitskii, "Activity of an Aggressor in the Period 
When War Threatens," Voenno-Istoricheskii Zhurnal , No. 8, August 1963, 
pp. 11-24. In this discussion, after giving pros and cons of the case 
for a surprise attack without advance crisis or warning indicators, 
Lipitskii concluded that one could not be sure of warning, and hence 
the Soviet untied forces must be in the highest state of readiness for 
action "not in days or werks, but in minutes or seconds." He also 
commented on the need to move warheads to missile sites and air bases 
in time of crisis, which would suggest a "normal" state of Soviet 
readiness somewhat less than that needed to respond in "minutes or 
seconds 

^The Sokolovskii authors are among those who have tended to tone 
down their view of Western readiness to launch an attack without warning. 
In this regard, the second edition of their book omitted a passage in 
the first edition which had said that, owing to the wide deployment 
and high combat readiness of their forces, the "imperialists" today 
were in a much better position to deal a surprise blow against the 
So\ let Union than Hitler had been. See Soviet Military Strategy , 
p. 397. 



-134- 


exceptionally difficult position" and even "lead to defeat,"^" one ia 

perhaps warranted in supposing that the Soviet scenario for the lnitia 

period of a future world war would include an attempt to pre-empt 

and blunt any initial nuclear attack that the other side might seek 

to launch. This was certainly the implication given by the arguments 

of one Soviet military writer in 1963 against the notion of adopting 

a strategically defensive posture in the initial period of a modern 

war, which he said, "means to doom oneself beforehand to irreparable 

2 

losses and defeat." 

Whatever the outbreak circumstances might prove to be, however, 

in the Soviet image of a future war there would be an initial nuclear 

exchange by both sides "not only in the first days, but even in the 

3 

first minutes of the war." Most of the strategic forces-in-being 

4 

are expected to be consumed in the initial phase of the war, which 
would bring heavy mutual destruction but which probably would not - 
at least in the most frequently professed Soviet view -- end the 


^Marshal Rotmistrov, in Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 2. 
January 1963, p. 30. See also: Malinovskii's speech to XXII nd Congr 
of CPSU, October 21, 1961, Pravda . October 25, 1961, Soviet Military 
Strategy , p. 308; Voennala Strategila . 2nd ed., p, 253. 

^Major D. Kabakov, "The Theoretical and Methodological Basis of 
Soviet Military Science," Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 10, May 1 

p. 11. See alao Konoplev, ibid . . No. 24, December 1963, p. 28. 

■^Khrushchev speech to the USSR Supreme Soviet, January 14, ‘96u 
Pravda . January 15, I960. See also Lomov article in Red Star . 
January 7, 1964. Derevianko, Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 1, 
January 1964, p. 20. 

^ Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil , No. 3, February 1963, p. 27. 



135 


fighting capacity of tha Major contestants thaa and thara. While 
tha Soviat concapt of tha decislva charactar of tha initial pariod 
adalta tha poaalbllity that tha war might coaaa to a sudden aad 
abrupt close, tha gonaral tandancy la to badge at this point and 
assume that tha war would now nova into a aecond phase. Tha majority 
of Soviet military writers suggest that the initial round of atrategic 
attacks would be followed by theater campaigns In Europe and else¬ 
where on land, sea and air. These would be fought with both nuclear 
and conventional weapons, and would vary in Intensity from bitterly 
contested battles involving strong combined armed forces to mop up 
operations.* The rapid occupation of Europe and its isolation from 
U.S. support by Soviet operations against sea and air lines of 
communication between America and Europe are envisaged in Soviet 

literature as among the major strategic tasks to be accomplished in 
2 

these campaigns. The participation of the Warsaw Pact countries 

3 

in the European campaigns is foreseen in Soviet writing, but nothing 
similar is mentioned with respect to Sino-Soviet collaboration in 
the Far Eastern theaters of any future global war. 

At this point, having pictured a two-phase war consisting of 
initial strategic strikes followed by widespread theater campaigns, 


^ Soviet Military Strategy. pp. 302, 305-306; Major-General V. 
Rexnichenko and Colonel A. Sidorenko, "Contemporary Tactics," Red 
Star . February 12, 1964. 

2 Sovlet Military Strategy, pp.,348, 404, 410-414; Voennaia 
Strategiia . 2nd ed., pp. 382-390, 41/. 

^ Soviet Military Strategy, pp. 109, 495; KomMunist Vooruxhenny kh 
Sil . No. 10, Mey 1963, pp. 71-73. Red Star . May 9, 1962. See Chapter 
Seventeen, 



- 136 - 


the Soviet literature of general war becomes quite vague as to the 
character of any further military operations or how the war itself 
might be terminated. For those countries in the enemy camp within 
the reach of Soviet theater forces, the expectation is that rccupatiot 
of their territory and probably the overthrow of their governments 
with the help of internal "peace forces" would bring a political 
settlement of the war favorable to the Soviet Union.* The United 
States, however, would pose a different problem. Soviet literature 
is silent on the strategic course to be pursued against the America- 
continent in this phase of the war. Unless the U.S. will to continue 
the war had been broken, the Soviet Union would now be confronted 
with a long-drawn-out war of uncertain outcome. It might, if Sovet 
capabilities permitted, attempt to mount a military assault against 
the United States, although Soviet military theorists on the whole 
do not appear to be very optimistic that the residual capabilities 
left over after a period of nuclear warfare would permit such an 
undertaking. Or, the Soviet Union might expect to do no more in 
this phase of the war than to discourage any American attempt to 
assemble forces for a counteroffensive against Soviet-held areas. 

The only Soviet clues as to what might be expected from here on are 
the suggestions by some Soviet writers that in a "class war" of 
rival systems for organizing society, they would expect their system 
to prove the more durable in a badly disrupted world, bringing 




- 137 - 


about an aventual margin of Communist superiority before which the 
opposition would ultimately decide to give in.* 

The Soviet Position on the Likelihood of War 

From the utterances of Soviet political and military leaders on 
the likelihood of war, it is difficult to judge what the real rock- 
bottom Soviet estimate of this danger actually is. In a sense, 
charges that the West is preparing for a "preventive'* war and a 
surprise attack on the Soviet bloc have been a constant prop of Soviet 
foreign and domestic policy for so long that, even though they may 
wax and wane with the immediate exigencies of the situation, they 
have ceased to throw much light on what the Soviet leadership 
considers the prospect of a major East-West military collision to 
be, 

The danger-of-war issue, moreover, has certain controversial 
implications in Soviet internal politics. The more real the danger 
can be painted, the stronger is the ease of those who feel it necessary 
to put more resource* into the defense establishment — a point on 
which, a* we have previously indicated, Khrushchev and the military 
have not always seen eye-to-eye. The issue also is enmeshed in a 
very complicated way in the dispute between Moscow and the Chinese 
Communists. The Soviet tactical position in the dispute calls for 
both minimizing and accentuating the danger-of-war issue, depending 
on the context in which it is argued. On the one hand, the Soviet 
leaders need to play down the danger when deferding themselves 


*See discussion of this question in Chapter Eleven. 




- 138 - 


against Chinese charges that they are neglecting the defense of the 
communist carap against predatory imperialist designs. On the other 
hand, the Soviet side is obliged to raise the specter of war and its 
destructive consequences when arguing that adventurous Chinese 
policies could provoke a capitalist attack. 

In current Soviet discourse, an ambiguous position on the 
likelihood of war continues to be evident. The general Soviet line, 
consonant vith efforts to cultivate an atmosphere of detente in East- 
West relations, is that the danger of war has abated somewhat, thank' 
largely to respect in the "imperialist camp" for Soviet military 
might. While there has thus been some tendency to tone down earlier 
stress on the growing danger of war,* the issue still comes up with 
the persistency of a well-learned reflex, particularly in military 
writing. The revised edition of the Sokolovskii book illustrates both 
tendencies. Preparing their new edition at a time when general Sovi» 
policy was being shaped toward a limited detente with the West, the 
Sokolovskii authors seem to have searched for a slightly moderated 
formula on the likelihood of war in the current period. Thus, a 
statement which previously read that "at the present time (in the 

sixties) the danger of a world war breaking out has becoire particularl; 

2 

real," was altered in the revised text to read "...more real than 
earlier."'* 

*There had been a perceptible increase of Soviet propaganda on 
the growing danger of war, dating from the time he new Party Program 
was promulgated in the summer of 1961 and contini ing down to the 
emergence of the detente spirit in 1963. See Soviet Military Strategy 
pp. 42, 286, 312, 

^ Soviet Military Strategy , p. 286. 

^ Vocnnaia Strategiia, 2nd ed., p. 232. 



- 139 - 


At the sans time, the new Sokolovskii edition was still permeated 

by standard references to the danger of Western attack on the Soviet 

Union, "despite the proving influence of factors ensuring the 

preservation of peace.In this connection, the revised volume 

included a new reference to President Kennedy's statement in an 

interview in early 1962 that under certain conditions the United 

2 

States might initiate the use of nuclear weapons. This, said the 

Sokolovskii authors, provided: 

...a direct indication that the United States is 
preparing for the surprise use of nuclear weapons 
in unlimited fashion against the socialist countries.^ 

Like the Sokolovskii authors, most military writers have tended 
to give the benefit of cue doubt to the assumption that the danger 

4 

of war is ever-present, whereas the political leadership has seemed 
less constrained to do so. Although the "official" view of the 
Soviet political leaders on the danger of Western attack and the 
likelihood of war have been by no means temperate and relaxed, their 
impromptu remarks sometimes have implied a lower measure of concern, 
as when Khrushchev suggested in the spring of 1962 that threats of 
war from both sides had the effect of cancelling each other out and 
stabilizing things, which, as he put it, "...is why we consider the 

1 Ibld ., p. 230. 

^See Stewart Alsop, "Kennedy's Grand Strategy," The Saturday 
E vening Post , March 31, 1962, pp, 11, 13. 

• ^Ibid .. p. 351. See also Internati o nal Affairs . November 1963, 
p. 30. 

/+ See, for example, Lomov, Soviet Military Doctrine , p. 29; 
Malinovskil, Vigilantly Stand Guard Oyer the Peace , pp. 13-14. 



-140- 


situation to be good." 1 It can be argued. In fact, that if the 
Soviet political leadership has consistently entertained a really 
high expectation of war, it probably would have sanctioned 
considerably larger Military budgets and programs in the past few 
years than appears to have been the case.2 


Remarks by Khrushchev in Karitsa, Bulgaria, on May 15, 1S62, 
broadcast on that date by the Sofia domestic radio, but not circulated 
in the Soviet Union. See U.S. Editor's Analytical Introduction, 

Soviet Military Strategy, p. 43. 

2 

From the time of the Soviet Union's emergence as a nuclear 
power, Khrushchev has shown an increasing tendency to emphasize the 
growing deterrent effect of Soviet military power, and to de-emphas-'ze 
the likelihood of a premeditated Western attack against the Soviet 
Union. This suggests that in Khrushchev's private view, decisions 
leading to war have remained largely in Soviet hands, apart from the 
danger of war arising through irrational or accidental causes. See 
A. L. Horelick, "Deterrence" and Surprise Attack on Soviet Strateg ic 
Thought . The RAND Corporation, RM-2618, July 1960. For earlier 
expressions of confidence by Khrushchev that Soviet arms gave 
assurance against s premeditated attack on the Soviet Union see: 
Pravda. October 15, 1958; January 28, June 1, July 30, 1959; 

January 15, 1960. 



141- 


X. LIMITED WAR 

The relatively meager treatment customarily given in Soviet 
military literature to tVi question of conducting limited wars has 
been in marked contrast *\o the attention bestowed on general nuclear 
war. In one sense, the t-laboration of a voluminous doctrine on the 
nature and conduct of general war probably reflects the contingency 
which gives the Soviets the greatest concern. In another sense, the 
S'viet doctrinal image o.' such a war — emphasizing its violent, 
global character and rejecting any notion of limitation on its scope 
and destructiveness once it has begun — doubtless serves a 
deterrent function in the strategic dialogue by suggesting an un¬ 
qualified and automatic Soviet nuclear response in any warfare at 
the strategic level between the nuclear powers. Similarly, on the 
question of the link between small wars and global war the Soviet 
position also has been marked by a rather high degree of doctrinal 
rigidity, exemplified by the mf^h-repeated escalation formula to the 
effect that any armed conflict will: 

...develop, inevitably, into 1 general war if the 
nuclear powers are drawn into it.^ 

This attitude toward the escalation potential of local wars 
seemingly has represented both a genuine Soviet concern about the 
risk of escalation into a major war involving the Soviet Union, and 
a Soviet political stratagem designed to discourage the use of 
Western military power in areas where "national liberation" movements 
have threatened countries allied with the West. A considerable 


^See Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 44, 299. 



-142- 


body of Soviet literature, dealing not with Soviet views on how to 
conduct limited wars, but rather deprecating the possibility of 
localizing war under modern conditions, has accumulated in the pas’ 
decade or so.^ 

Today, however, there are some signs that the Soviet doctrina! 
position with respect to local and limited wars may be undergoing 
change. There is still a good deal of ambiguity and inconsistency 
in the Soviet treatment of the subject, and no unified doctrine o 
limited war applying to Soviet forces has by any means yet emerged 
in the open literature. However, more attention is being given 
the possibility of local wars, and there seems to be some effort t 
find a more flexible formula on the question cf escalation in area 
of local conflict. These tendencies are somewhat more evident in 
military media than in the pronouncements of political spokesmen, 
who have upon occasion continued to stress the escalation danger, 
in Khrushchev's January 1964 New Year's message to heads of state. 


*Both Bulganin and Khrushchev were early exponents of the vie 
that limited wars would prove impossible in the nuclear era. See 
Bulganin's letter to President Eisenhower on December 11, 1957 in 
Pravda, December 12, 1957; Khrushchev's letter to the British Lab 
Party in October 1957 in The New York Times . October 16, 1957 and 
his article "Toward New Victories of the World Communist Movement. 
Kommunlst. No, 1, January 1961, p. 18. Among military writers, 
Major General N. Talenskii was an early and consistent advocate of 
the view that limited war in the nuclear age was a "utopian idea." 
See his articles in Mezhdunarodnaia Zhizn (International Affairs), 
No. 10, October I960, p. 36, and No. 4, April 1962, p. 23, For a 
review of other Soviet literature on the subject, see Soviet 
Military Strategy , pp. 289-293. 

Pravda, January 4, 1964. 



- 143 - 


Sinna of a Doctrinal Shift oa Limited War and Escalation 

One should preface this discussion of recent signs of change in 

the Soviet doctrinal position on limited war by making clear that 

Soviet writing still gives predominant emphasis to the danger that 

small wars may expand into general war. The revised Sokolovskii 

edition is a case in point. Although it gave increased recognition 

to the possibility of local wars, it also furnished few grounds for 

suggesting that small wars might be kept limited. Thus, for example, 

an expanded section of the book dealing with Western theories of 

limited war was devoted largely to rebuttal of points on which 

Western limited war doctrine allegedly rests. In this section, 

which Incidentally, followed closely the treatment of this subject 

by General A. Nevsky in the previously-mentioned World Marxist Review 
1 

article , the Sokolovskii authors argued that U.S. political and 

strategic objectives in small wars were not limited, despite claims 

of their modest character; that the setting of geographic limits on local 

wars is "complicated" by the Western alliance ystem; that a distinction 

between tactical and strategic targets is not feasible; and that if 

nuclear weapons are employed, their use can not be limited to tactical 

2 

weapons or according to yield. The Sokolovskii authors also linked 
Western theories of limited war with the U.S. strategy of "flexible 
response" as an "adventurous" attempt of American theorists to find 

O 

a safe way "to wage war on other people's territory." 

I World Marxist Revie w, Vol. 6, No. 3, March 1963, pp. 34-35. 
^ Voennaia Strategii a. 2nd ed., pp. 94-95. 

3 ibid ., p. 96. See also p. 61, where a new statement asserts that 
U.S. limited war theories are an attempt to convince the American 
people that "war is not so terrible" and that even wars involving 
nuclear weapons can be "normalized." 



144- 


The general thrust of this new sec' Ion was to assert that "the 

concept of limited war contains many contradictions," and that the 

danger of escalation to general nuclear war remains very high, 

particularly in the event of employment of tactical nuclear weapons, 

which would involve "unpredictable polit* al, military and psycho- 

1 

logical consequences." Previous references to the danger of 
escalation were retained in the re ised volume also, including a 
statement that "an aggressive local war against one of the non¬ 
socialist countries that affects the basic interests of the socially 

states" is among the cases that "will obviously lead to a new world 

.,2 

war. 

By contrast with this recurrent stress on the prospects of 
escalation, however, the new Sokolovskii volume also contained some 
discussion of local or limited wars in terras suggesting a Soviet 
interest both in military preparations for conducting such wars and 
in raising the doctrinal threshold at which local conflicts might be 
expected to escalate to general nuclear war. The first point, on 
the need to prepare the Soviet Bloc armed forces for local wars also 
had been made in the original Sokolovskii volume. It was carried 


*Ibid., pp. 94-95. 

2 Tbid., p. 232; Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 286-287. 

3jt should be pointed ou^ that occasional statements in Soviet 
military literature on the need for attention to the problems of 
local war antedated the first Sokolovskii edition of 1962. Se-’, 

for example, Marksizm-Leninism o voine i armli (Marxism-Leninism 
on War and the Army), Voenizdat Ministerstva Oborony SSSR, Moscow, 
1956, p. 145; Colonel I. S. Baz', "Soviet Military Science on the 
Character of Contemporary War," Voennyi Vestnik , No. 6, 1958, p. 24; 
Colonel 3. Kozlov, "The Creative Character of Soviet Military Selene 
Konmunist Vooruzhennykh Sil , No. 11, June 1961, p. 55. 


-145 


over to the new edition in two virtually unchanged passages, one of 
which is given below: 

While preparing for a decisive struggle with the 
aggressor in a world war, the armed forces of the 
socialist countries must also be ready for small- 
scale local varieties of war which the imperialists 
might initiate. The experience of such wars, which 
have broken out repeatedly in the postwar period, 
is that they are waged with different instruments 
and by other methods than world wars. Soviet 
military strategy therefore must study the methods 
of waging such wars, too, in order to prevent their 
expansion into a world war and in order to achieve 
a rapid victory over the enemy. *■ 

An even more specific statement on the need for the Soviet 
armed forces to be prepared to fight a conventional-type war of 
local character, while keeping nuclear weapons ready for instant 
use in case the enemy should employ them, occurred in an article 
in a Soviet military journal in May 1963, in the interval between 
the two Sokolovskii volumes. The author of this article, Major D. 
Kazakov, after speaking of the likelihood that the ’imperialists” 
would launch any future war with a surprise nuclear attack, then 
turned to the possibility that the Soviet Union might be confronted 
first with a local war. Here he said: 


Voennaia Strategi ia. 2nd ed., p. 234. See also p. 319. 

Soviet Military Strategy , p. 288. See also p. 356. Other Soviet 
military discussion in the period between the two Sokolovskii 
editions also adverted in the same fashion to the need for Soviet 
military doctrine and strategy to concern itself with local v;ar. 

An example was the raising of this question at the conference on 
military doctrine in Moscow in May 1963, where it was noted that 
"the possibility of waging local and limited wars is not to be 
rejected.” See Voenno-Istoricheskii Zhurnal , No. 10, October 1963, 
p. 123 . 



- 146 - 


One ought not to lose sight of che fact that 
the imperialists, fearing an inevitable retaliatory 
rocket-nuclear blow, might laur .h againat ue one 
form or another of war without employing nuclear 
weapons. From this comes the practical conclusion — 
our armed forces must be prepared to deal an 
appropriate rebuff also with conventional means, 
while keeping rocket-nuclear weapons in the highest 
state of readiness.- 

This statement suggested at. escalation threshold at a fairly 

high level, at least up to th->- point when nuclear weapons might be 

introduced. Likewise, a new passage in the revised Sokolovskii 

volume also appeared to place the escalation threshold for at least 

some local war situations at a somewhat higher level in Soviet thinki 

than before. It went beyend anything in the previous volume to sugge 

the possibility of limited war being fought on a rather large scale 

under theater conditions. The new passage, inserted in the midst 

of a discussion of strategic operations in a world war, gave a 

description of local war in the following terms: 

In a local war events would develop differently. 

First of all, in such a war military operations 
will be conducted In land theaters and also in 
naval theaters. Operations will be directed 
against military forces, although one cannot 
exclude attempts to hit targets in rear areas 
with the help of aviation. Offensive and defensive 
actions in land theaters will be carried out by 
ground and air forces. Military operations wil’ 
be characterized by maneuver and by greater mobility 
than in the last war, because ground and air forces 
have undergone fundamental changes in comparison 
with the last war.2 


^ Kommunist Vooruzhennvkh Sil . No. 10, May 1963, pp. 11-12. 
2 Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 374. 


-147- 


This description presumably envisaged a local war fought with 

conventional forces. The possibility of tactical nuclear weapons 

being used by both sides in such a local war was recognized in a 

subsequent passage, stating: 

In the course of a local war, it may happen that 
the belligerents will employ tactical nuclear 
weapons, without resorting to strategic nuclear 
weapons. ^ 

The introduction of nuclear weapons, however, apparently marked 
the limit at which the Sokolovskii authors were prepared to set the 
escalation threshold. At this point, they reverted to the standard 
argument that use of nuclear weapons in any form would mean escalation 
to world war: 


However, the war would hardly be waged very long with 
use of tactical nuclear weapons only. Once matters 
reach the point where nuclear weapons are used, then 
the belligerents will be forced to launch all of their 
nuclear power. Local war will be transformed into a 
global nuclear war.^ 

On the question of tactical nuclear employment, a slight lapse 
from this standard escalation argument has been discernible upon 
occasion in other Soviet commentary over the past year or so. For 
example, the Lomov brochure on Soviet Military Doctrine in mid-1963 
included an almost casual reference to the possibility that nuclear 
weapons might be employed in local war, without adding the usual 


Wd., PP« 374-375. 
2 Ibid. 



-148 


caveat that this would mean escalation to general war.^ In an 

article in Che English-language newspaper Moscow News in early 1963, 

Marshal Rotmistrov spoke categorically of the readiness of the Soviet 

armed forces to conduct conventional or nuclear operations at any 

level of conflict in local as well as general war, which seemed to 

2 

indicate a possible new direction in Soviet thinking. Another sign 

of Soviet interest in the employment of tactical nuclear weapons, 

though not confined to the context of local war, was an article in 

November 1963 by a Soviet general commenting on the desirability of 

3 

small-caliber nuclear weapons for battlefield use. 

Such straws in the wind certainly do not add up to evidence 
that a basic shift has occurred in the Soviet attitude on local v. - 
use of tactical nuclear weapons. The prevalent tendency is still 
to single out the use of tactical nuclear weapons in local war as 
the point at which escalation is likely to occur, as for example, 
the flat statement by Marshal Malinovskii in November 1962 that: 

"No matter where a 'tactical' atomic weapon might be used agaii.st 
us, it would trigger a crushing counterblow.”^ At the same time, 

*Lomov, Soviet Military Doctrine , p. 15. 

^ Moscow News . May 11, 1963. 

•^Major General I. Anureev, "Physics and New Weapons," Red Star . 
November 21, 1963. General Anureev stated further in this article 
that the Soviet Union "disposes at the moment of a great assortment 
of nuclear weapons beginning with low yield warheads and ending 
with bombs of more than 50 megatons, 

4 

Malinovskii, Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace , p, 39. 



-?.4s- 


other factors may be at work which could bring a gradual change in 
the Soviet view. The possibility that Soviet supplies of nuclear 
material for tactical weapons may be more ample in the future than 
hitherto, and a Soviet conviction that mutual deterrence had become 
more stable at the strategic level, are two such factors which might 
alter the customary Soviet view on the feasibility of tactical nuclear 
use at the local war level. 

Perhaps the most interesting evidence of an effort to redefine 
the customary Soviet doctrinal position on limited war and escalation 
is to be found in the Red Star article of November 2, 1963, by four 
of the Sokolovskii authors. In this article, the Soviet authors 
went to rather unusual lengths to make the point that Soviet doctrine 
does not preach the "inevitable - ' escalation of limited wars into 
general war. Taking issue with the U.S, editors of their book, the 
Sokolovskii authors said they had merely warned that local wars 
"can grow into a world war." They cited some 70 limited conflicts 
since World War II as proof that escalation was not inevitable, and 
charged that the U.S. editors had deliberately ignored an important 
proviso in their book linking escalation with the participation of 
the nuclear powers in local conflicts. 

In point of fact, this charge amounted to setting up a straw 

man, for the U.S, editors in question had quoted in full from the 

pertinent passage in the Sokolovskii volume, which stated: 

One must emphasize that the present international 
system and the present state of military technology 
will cause any armed conflict to develop, inevitably, 
into a general war if the nuclear powers are drawn 
into lt.l 

^Tnis passage appears on p. 299 of Soviet Military Strategy . 

The U.S. editors' quotation and comment is on p. 44. 



150 


The Sokolovskii authors then resorted in their Red Star article 
to the curious step of misquoting themselves in order to reinforce 
the point they were interested in making. In citing the above passage 
from their book, they quietly omitted the key word "inevitably."* 

This particular omission, along with general denial of the inevitabllit; 
of escalation of local wars, represented a notable shift in the usual 
Soviet argument. While not necessarily indicating that the Soviet 
Union has suddenly developed a fresh interest in waging local wars, 
the new trend of argument suggests that the Soviets are at least 
seeking to soften somewhat the old line on inevitability of 
escalation, perhaps in order to reduce their vulnerability to Chinese 
charges that this line immobilizes support of national liberation 
movements and to extricate themselves from a situation which might 
lead the West to feel that it has greater freedom to act in local 
situations because of a hypersensitive Soviet display of concern 
over escalation. 

Support of National-Liberation Wars 

The Soviet doctrinal position on limited wars hau long been 
con*>llcated by the political necessity to demonstrate that the Soviet 
Union is a strong supporter of so-called national-liberation wars. 

While arguing on the one hand that local wars involve the danger of 
escalation and should therefore be avoided, Soviet policy-makers 


^Incidentally, the word "inevitably" remains iri the same passage 
In the second Sokolovskii edition. See Voenaala Strategile. 2nd ed., 
p. 242. 





- 151 - 


ftom Khrushchev on down have at the same time pledged Soviet support 

of "national-liberation struggles,"^ Since the latter may appear 

indistinguishable in many respects from local wars, this a bivalent 

2 

formula has given rise to considerable doctrinal confusion, and has 
placed the Soviet Union in the rather awkward position of having made 
a pledge whose logical outcome -- by its own definition — could 
be the expansion of a local conflict inuo global nuclear war. 

As a practical matter, the Soviet Union has sought to resolve 
this seeming paradox by making a careful distinction between inter¬ 
governmental wars (which by Khrushchev's definition are "local" 

3 

wars ) and national-liberation wars, or what might be called wars 
by proxy. The former, involving possible formal confrontation 
between U.S. and Soviet forces were dangerous and should be avoided 
if possible, while the latter might be pursued with less risk by 

lending moral support and other forms of aid to guerrilla and proxy 
forces. In the light of events, it would seem that this formula 


^See N. S. Khrushchev, "For New Victories of the World Communist 
Movement," Komreunlst . No. 1, January 1961, p. 20. 

^Slgns of doctrinal difficulty in discriminating between local 
and national-liberation wars on a proper Marxist-Leninist basis 
appeared in General Lomov'a mid-1963 brochure on Soviet military 
doctrine. He wrote on this point: "...local wars must not be 
evaluated on the basis that they can be waged within local territorial 
limits. If one takes this position, then one must also place in chis 
category wars of national-liberation and civil wars -- that is, just 
wars which also are waged within territorial limits. The only correct 
criterion for defining the character of wars is their socio-political 
content," Soviet Military Doctrin e, p, 21. 

■^As Khrushchev put It in 1961, natio? ^1-liberation wars "must 
not be identified with wars between states, with local ,,ars," 
Kommunist . No. 1, January 1961, p, 20. 



152 


may have fallen somewhat short of Scvxet expectations, and that 
competition with the Chinese for influence over national-liberation 
movements may be forcing the 'Soviet Union to reappraise its position 
and to seek ways of rendering more effective support to national- 
liberation wars.* 

A suggestion that the issue here may involve the question of 
how much and what kinds of armed support the Soviet Union is prepares! 
to furnish can be found in the noticeably defensive tone taken in, 
Soviet statements on the subject. Khrushchev's comments to a group 
of editors from Ghana, Algeria, and Burma in Moscow on the day when 
Chou En-lai began his visit to Algiers in December 1963 is a case 
in point. In the course of defending the Soviet record against 
standing Chinese charges of timid and ineffective support of the 
national-liberation movement in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, 
Khrushchev on this occasion asserted specifically for the fl.isi time 

that the Soviet Union had "dispatched large quantities of weapo-t 

2 - V- ' 

to the Algerian patriots free of charge." Numerous statements 
defending both the pact Soviet record of aid and - .trading firm 
Soviet support in the future to the national-liberation mover^nts 
were frequently voiced by other Soviet sources, particularly in 


^Another factor which spay be involved in the greater attention 
being given to national-liberation wars was suggested by the Sushko- 
Kondratkov article in February 1964 on the question of war as an 
instrument of politics. As noted previously in Chapter Six. this 
article took the position that national-liberation wars were "not only 
permissible, but ine’’ (table," and it ignored the danger of escalation 
by asserting that <Hs* question of using nuclear weapons would not 
arise in such wars ‘his may suggest a Soviet military interest ui 
giving more act •‘•.a u-^kfng to national-liberation wars in order to offs* 
the tendency to S : r?sr "3 a i wars in the nuclear age as too dangerous 
to serve political pi*puces. See Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil, No. 2, 
January 1964, p. 23. 

^ Pravda . December 22, 1963, 



jBgBBa ^aSa3^ss5^^ai^^ - 


-153“ 

the military press, during the latter part of 1963 and early 
1964* 1 

It is worthy of note, however, that up to early 1964 at least, 

Soviet commentary has remained deliberately vague on the central 

point whether the kind of material support the Soviet Union is 

prepared to render may include the use of Soviet forces in military 

situations growing out of the national-liberation struggle. The 

revised Sokolovskii edition, for example, gave slightly strengthened 

Soviet assurance of support to national-. ..rat,> movements and was 

a bit more specific as to the nature o) sic* sup rt. Whereas the 

1962 edition had said only that the Soviets .consider it their 

duty to support the sacred struggle of oppressed nations and their 

2 

just wars of liberation," the revised version specified that: 

...the Soviet Union fulfills its d«.fcy consistently 
and steadfastly, helping nations in their struggle 
against imperialism not only ideologically and 
politically, but also in a material sense.3 


*See, for example, D. Vol'skii and V. Kudriavtsev, "Practical 
Reality and the Fantasies of the Splitters," Red Star. October 10, 
1963; Editorials in Red Star, October 22, 1963 and December 18, 

24, 1963; Pravda, January 19, 1964. "Marksizm-Lenini** - the 
Basis for 'the Unity of the Communist Movement,'" Kommunist , No. 15, 
October 1963, p. 17, in which Soviet "armed support of the national- 
liberation struggle in Indonesia, Yemen and Iraq was mentioned. 

^ Soviet Military Strategy , p. 283. 

•^ Voennaia Strategiia, 2nd ed., p. 229. 



-154- 


W'hile seeming to go slightly further here than the previous version 
with regard to support of national-liberation struggles, the new 
Sokolovskii edition still failed to define the kind of material 
support envisaged, and specifically, whether this might include the 
use. of Soviet armed forces. 

Other Soviet spokesmen have remained equally reticent on this 
point. For example, in December 1963 Marshal Biriuzov, Chief of the 
General Staff, noted that "the Soviet people are not. against any wa-’ 
and that "they know how to fight" if necessary in a just war. How¬ 
ever, while placing rational-liberation wars in the category of 

"just wars," Marshal Biriuzov carefully avoided a specific pledge 

1 

of military support to national-liberation wars. Another matter 
germane to Soviet thinking on local war problems, which Soviet source^ 
have sedulously avoided bringing into open discussion, concerns the 
various questions arising from the presence of Soviet military 
personnel in such places as Cuba, Indonesia, and some parts of the 
Middle East. Although ostensibly present to instruct and assist 
host country forces in connection with Soviet military aid programs, 
Soviet military personnel have been In a position where they could 
veil become Involved in local military action. Any development of 
Soviet doctrine and policy covering these situations presumab 1 y is 
somewhat too delicate for diacusaion in an open forum. 


^ Izvestlia . December il, 1963, 



155- 


The Question of Third-Power Conflict* and Escalation 

The apparent Soviet desire to convey an image of greater 

flexibility for support of local conflicts has tended to stop short 

of applying this suggestion to the situation in Central Europe. Here 

the Soviet attitude for many years consistently has been, as a 

Soviet radio commentator put it in 1957, that little wars would 

be impossible to contain "in the center of Europe, along the 

frontiers between the NATO powers and the members of the Warsaw 
1 

Pact." Again in 1964 in his Hew Year's message to heads of state, 

Khrushchev voiced a similar notion that a local war "in such a region 

as Europe" would' pose great danger of expansion into global nuclear 
2 

war. 

However, while Soviet spokesman still decry the possibility of 
keeping a local war limited in the heart of Europe, some thought 
apparently is now being given to the possibility of Isolating certain 
third-power conflicts so as to dampen the chances of escalation to 
the level of a U.S.-USSR strategic nuclear exchange. Evidence of 
a somewhat tentative character pointing in this direction was 
Introduced into the stiateglc dialogue by the Sokolovskii authors 
in their Red Star article of November 2, 1963. Comenting on a 
statement by the U.S. editors of their book to the effect that Soviet 
doctrine seems to imply a first strike against the United States in 
the event of Western action against another member of the Soviet 

^Colonel M. Vaslllev's Commentary, Moscow broadcast to Germany, 
December 6, 1957; Red Star . December 17, 1957. 

2 

Pravda, January 4, 1964. 




- 134 - 


Bloc, the Sokolovskii authors denied that this was a valid Inter¬ 
pretation o>l the Soviet position.* 

In their book, the Soviet authors said, they were dealing 
simply with the case of "an attack by imperialist forces" on a 
socialist country, and "the United States was not mentioned." Only 
if the United States were "to carry out such an attack itself" — 
they noted pointedly — would the Soviet Union be impelled to deliver 
a retaliatory blow, "in whi:h case the United States would have been 

n 

the aggressor 


*The statement in question by the U.S. editors occurred in a 
discussion ( Soviet Military Strategy , p. 43) of Soviet views on 
how a war might start. The statement said that these viev/s 
included: "...escalation from local war, ’accidental' outbreak, and 
retaliation by the Soviet Union for an attack on another Bloc member. 
The latter would imply a Soviet first strike against the United Stati 
but despite the crucial implications of this question for Soviet 
strategy, it receives no explicit attention in the work." Th( 

Soviet position on numerous occasions has been that an "attack on 
any of the socialist countries will be viewed as an attack on the 
USSR," Red Star . November 18, I960, December 26, 1962. What 
Soviet response actually would be to such an attack remains, of 
course, a major unanswered question. However, in the case of Berlin 
and more specifically the case of Cuba, Khrushchev has threatened 
on f various occasions that if military force were used by the United 
States, the Soviet Union would be prepared to respond with "all means 
at its disposal," which seems to imply a willingness to be the first 
to resort to strategic nuclear attacks. See Soviet-Cuban Communique', 
Izveatlia , January 24, 1964. See also: Pravda. September 11, 1962; 
February 23, May 24, 1963; January 18, 1964; CPSU open letter of 
July 14, 1963, Pravda , July 14, 1963. It should be noted, at 

the same time, that while Khrushchev has threatened that "an 
invasion of Cuba would confront mankind with destructive rocket- 
thermonuclear war" and has strongly implied that Soviet strategic 
missiles would be launched against the United States in retaliation 
for such an invasion, he has carefully steered clear of an explicit 
statement that the Soviet Union would strike tie first missile blow. 


^• Rdd Star . November 2, 1963 



157 - 


The circumlocution displayed here suggests more than a semantic 
sidestep to dodge the implication that there are circumstances under 
which the Soviet Union might strike first. Rather, the Soviet 
authors seemed to be trying to convey the thought that there are 
some situations, as in Central Europe, where the Soviet Union is 
anxious to dampen the possibilities of automatic escalation by 
distinguishing between the United States and third powers in the 
event of local conflict. Soviet thinking as to the locale of such 
a conflict is suggested by Khrushchev's recent references to the 
high escalation potential of a local clash between countries in the 
heart of Europe,* and b> statements elsewhere that West Germany 

2 

might start a local war against East Germany on its cwn initiative. 

If the Sokolovskii authors are to be understood as thinking 
of possible hostilities involving West Germany and Eastern Europe, 
their intent may have been to suggest that in such a case the Soviet 
Union would try to avoid expanding the conflict by withholding any 
strategic attack against the United States in return for U.S. 
abstention. Besides offering the United States reassurance against 
a Soviet first strike under borderline conditions in which the 
question of pre-emption might arise, a Soviet approach along these 


* Pravda . January 4, 1964. 

2 

Voennaia Strateglla, 2nd ed., p. 362; A. Prokhorov, "The 
Possibility of Preventing and the Danger of Unleashing Wars," 
Red Star , December 26, 1962, 



i5a- 


lines would presumably be meant to convey the political "message" 
that the United States should not let Itself be drawn along by West 
Germany should the latter attempt to pursue an adventurous policy 
of its own. Whether in fact these purposes can be associated with 
the commentary by the Sokolovskii authors is, of course, a question 
which perforce remains uncertain. 



-159- 


XI. THE SHORT-VERSUS-LONG WAR ISSUE 


In the context of internal military discussion and debate in 
the Soviet Union, certain questions have tended over the course of 
time to become "touchstone” issues charged with somewhat broader 
policy implications than their intrinsic nature might suggest. The 
short-versus-long war issue is one of these. Positions taken one 
way or die other on this issue often have tended to signify either a 
certain amount of sympathy with or quiet resistance to Khrushchev's 
general military policy approach. The issue also has sometimes 
served as a kind of short-hand description of a more ramified fabric 
of differences between modernist and traditionalist schools of mili¬ 
tary thought. And in a further sense, the short-versus-long war 
issue probably has touched upon a still deeper stratum of considera¬ 
tions involving such fundamental matters as the prospect for survival 
and viability of Soviet society under the conditions of nuclear 
warfare. 

As indicated in Chapter Two, the military debate of the early 
sixties left the short war-long wp** issue, along with such closely 
rexated questions as the decisiveness of the initial period and the 
size of the armed forces, in an essentially unresolved state. In 
Soviet military discussion over the past year or so, this has 
continued to be trie case. 

Two differing lines of thought on the short-versus-long war 
issue have been evident. Both begin from the proposition, now 
thoroughly embedded in Soviet doctrine on general war, that the 
initial period of a future war will have decisive influence on its 



course and outcome. However, the two lines of thought diverge here 
over the still ambiguous question whether the Lnitial period will be 
"decisive" enough to bring the war to a quick and conclusive termina¬ 
tion. The first view places major stress on the decisive character 
of the initial period and the need to prepare the Soviet armed force 
and economy for bringing war to a conclusion "in the shortest possib; 
time, with minimum losses." The second pays more heed to the possC 
bility of a protracted war, with Consequent need to make strenuous 
preparation economically, militarily and psychologically for such : 
war. 

Trends in Debate on the Duration-of-War Theme 

It would be difficult and perhaps misleading to try to draw fro 
recent Soviet discourse a strong trend running in favor of one or tr.. J 
other of the above-mentioned viewpoints. Generally speaking -- to 
the extent that these viewpoints can be identified with pro or con 
attitudes toward Khrushchev's military policy approach, with its 
emphasis on a defense posture oriented more toward deterrence or a 
short, decisive war than to preparation for a protracted war — one 
might say that the Kh'tushchevian view seems to have gained ground 
slightly at the expense of the long-war, big-army thesis favored by 
many military conservatives. 

Early in 1963, after a period of relative silence on the questic 
Khrushchev himself strongly reaffirmed his conviction that a new war 
would be likely to end quickly after an initial nuclear exchange, in 

^ Voennaia Strateg i. ia , 2nd ed., p. 261. Soviet Military Strategy 
p. 314. Konoplev, Koramunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . Ho. 24. 1963. p. 28. 




-161 


fact, "on the very first day." 1 This not# was tak#n up by a number 
of military writers and commentators. An article in a Soviet mili¬ 
tary journal in April 1963, to which earlier reference has been made, 
spoke of the readiness of the Soviet armed forces to deal "a lightning 
blow in order to topple and destroy the enemy on the very first day 

n 

of the war."* The following month an article in the same journal, 
giving added momentum to the public reiteration of Khrushchev's January 
1960 strategic ideas, emphasized the radical changes in military 
affairs that were tending to make strategic nuclear attacks more 
significant than ground offensives in long-drawn-out wars of the 
past.** Later in the year, similar themes, emphasizing that the 
Soviet armed forces were capable of "routing the enemy on the very 
first day of the war," ran through some of the Soviet commentary on 
the anniversary parade in Red Square on November 7th.^ 

Meanwhile, the published views of several prominent military 
leaders revealed some shift toward Khrushchev's line of argument. 

Those of Marshal Malinovskii were of particular interest for their 
gradual evolution in this direction. In October 1961, Malinovskii 
had avoided the duration-of-war issue in his Party Congress report, 
although as we pointed out earlier, the thrust of his remarks 
suggested a hedge on the possibility of protracted war. in his 
November 1962 pamphlet, Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace , 

*~ Pravda , February 28, i963. 

^Article by Colonels Baronov and Nikitin, Konmunist Vooruzhennykh 
Sil , No. 8, April 1963, p. 22. 

■^Kazakov, Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil , No. 10, May 1963, pp. 

10 - 12 . 

^Leont'ev commentary on Moscow radio, November 12, 1963. 



- 162 - 


Malinovskii stressed the prospect of "decisive military results" in 
the initial period of a war, stating: "Mo one can now deny the possi¬ 
bility that a war may quickly run its course."* While the pamphlet 
noted that Soviet doctrine takes into account the possibility of a 
protracted war, this doctrinal point received only brief mention, 
without elaboration.^ A year later, in an interview with a group of 
editors of Soviet military newspapers and Journals, .Mallnovsjv.il did 
not offer the customary hedge on the possibility of protracted war 
at all. Rather, he emphasized the radical effect which modern weapoi 
night have on the duration of a war, stating: 

Mew means of warfare are radically changing 
the character of modern war... .Vr. .y little 
time may be required with moderv :pons to 
accomplish the basic missions or tne war, 
perhaps hours or even minuter. All of this 
has a definite impact on the operations of 
all branches of the armed forces.3 

Another military leader who also advanced the view that nuclear 
weapons are likely to shorten significantly the length of a future 
war was Colonel-General S. Shtemenko, chief-of-staff of the Soviet 
ground forces. His views were of more than casual interest in light 
of hit role in the ground forces, an establishment tending to lean 
toward the conservative, long-war view. In a major article in early 
1963, Shtemenko wrote that "with such large stockpiles of clear 
weapons and diversified swans of delivery, the duration of a war ma. 


1 

Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace , p. 26. See also 
Malinovskii 1 c emphasis on the dacisive results of the initial period 
in Red Star , October 25, 1962. 

^ Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace , p. 26, 

3 ” 

"The Revolution in Military Affairs and the Tsaks of the 
Military Press," Konaaunist Vooruzhennykh Sil , No. 21. November 1963, 


- 163 - 


b« substantially ahortar.ad." 1 At the same tima, while restating the 
validity of Soviet combined arms doctrine, he gave no attention in 
this lengthy article to the prospect of protracted war. 

The long war view, however, was not without its advocates, 
although a «t of them argued their case in terms of the need for mass 
armies rather than on specific grounds of protracted war. One of 
the more prominent exponent* of the long-war viewpoint w-s Marshal 
Pavel Rotmistrov, the tank expert, who took a sober view of the 
heavy losses which widespread enemy nuclear attacks could be expected 
to inflict on the Soviet Union and its armed forces, and who argued 
from this that: 

Soviet soldiers therefore must be prepared 
for a quite lengthy and bitter war. They 
must be ready for massive heroism and any 
sacrifices in the name of victory over the 
enemy ,2 

Another more extensive and theoretically elaborate argument on 
the side of the protracted war thesis was made in two books published 
in the Soviet Union following the first Sokolovskii edition. One of 
these, which appeared in late 1962, was a book by Colonel P. I. 
Trifonenkov, whom ws have previously mentioned. His work wes entitled 
On the Fundamental Laws of the Course and Outcome of Modern War . The 
other was a symposium volume, the latest in a series published 
intermittently in the Soviet Union under the title, Marx.'sm-Leninism 
on War and the Army , by a group of twelve military writers. Both books 

^■"Scientific-Technical Progress and Its Influence on the 
Development of Military Affairs," Konauniat Voorushennykh Sil , No. 3, 
February 1963, p. 27. 

2 "The Causes of Modern Wars and Their Characteristics," Kuiranunist 
Vooruzhennykh Sil , No. 2, January 1963, pp. 29-30. 




-164- 


followed in general the main propositions on Soviet doctrine and 
strategy to be found in other current Soviet military literature, 
including recognition of the decisive influence of the initial period 
of a war. However, they departed from the customary tentative epproat 
on the matter of duration of a war, assuming a high likelihood that 
war would stretch out after the initial nuclear exchanges, and 
arguing for a strategy of protracted war in which the economic 
superiority off the West could be canceled out because of the West's 
more vulnerable industry and population. Thereafter, it was argued 
further, the superior politicai-morale qualities of the Soviet sia 
plus its residual economic and military capacities, would operate 
to insure victory. 

Between the two more or less well-defined poles of thought on 

the short-versus-long war issue, meanwhile, there also has been a 

body of expression reflecting other viewpoints in varying degree. 

The new edition of the Sokolovskii volume fell intc this category, 

much as did its predecessor. While the predominant view in the secon< 

edition continued to be that "missiles and nuclear weapons make it 

possible to achieve the purposes of war with.tr relatively short 
7 

periods of time," ' slightly more emphasis than before was given to 


^Colonel ?. I . Trlfonenkov, O b Oenovnikh Zakorvakh Khola i Izkhoda 
Sovremaendi Voiny . Voenizdafc Ministerstva Oborony SSSR, Moscow, 1962, 
especially pp. 48, 53-54; Colonel G. A. Fedorov, Major General N. I. 
Suahko, et al .. Marksizm-Leninizm o Voine i Armii , Voenizdat Minister 
Oborony SSSR, Moscow, 1963, especially pp. 187£f. An editorial 
preface to the Trifonenkov book pointed out, incidents .iy, that some 
of the author's propositions were of a "polemical nature" and not 
necessary agreed to by the reviewing authorities. It was not indi¬ 
cated whether this applied to the propositions on protracted war, 
however. 

^Voennaia Strategiia, 2nd ed. f p. 260. Soviet Military Strategy 
p. 314. 



-165- 


th« possibility of a protracted war. Thug, a brief statement in 

the first edition that "it ia necaaaary to make serioua preparations 

for a protracted war," was expanded to read: 

However, war may drag out, which will demand 
a prolonged maximum effort from the army and 
the people. Therefore we must be ready for a 
protracted war, and prepare our human and 
national resources for this contingency.*- 

Tha revised Sokolovskii work showed some signs of being influenced 

by the views on protracted war in the Trifonenkov book and Marxism - 

Leninism on War and the Arm y. While the Sokolovskii authors did not 

go nearly so far in the direction of arguing the protracted war case 

as these books, they did dwell somewhat more on the political-morale 

factor and gave a bit more weight to the possibility of a prolonged 

war than in their original volume. 

Among other military theorists whose views on the duration-of- 

war issue were of some interest was Colonel-General Lomov. His 

assessment over a period of a year-and-a-half shifted first in one 

direction and then another, typifying the ambivalence on this issue 

so often encountered in Soviet doctrinal appreciations. Lomov's 

mid-1963 brochure on Soviet military doctrine, for example, gave 

somewhat less weight to the possibility of protracted war than his 

article on the same subject a year earlier, which had dwelt at length 

on the importance of preparing the country's economic base for a 

prolonged war by providing for large-scale wartime expansion of 
o 

industry. in mid-1963, by contrast, Lomov stated: 


Voennaia Sf rategita, 2nd ed., p, 261. One of the more extended 
criticisms of the first Sokolovskii edition by A. Golubev had found fault 
with it for neglecting the possibility that a future war could be, in 
Frunze’s words, "protracted war" involving A strategy of attrition," 
Voenno-Istoricheskil Zhurnal . No. 5, May 1963, p. 9. 

2 

Komraunlst Vooruzhennykn Si l. No. 10, May 1962, p. 15. 




166 - 


On this question, current Soviet military doctrine 
is guided by the proposition that war objectives 
can be attained in a short period of time, since 
powerful surprise blows with rocket-nuclear weapons 
and effective exploitation of the results by the 
armed forces can quickly decide the major strategic 
tasks of the war. 

Lomov went on to say in mid-1963 that the prospect of a short 
war was based on "current realities" — first, on the growing 
advantage of the socialist camp with respect to the "correlation c' 
forces in the world arena," and second, on the superiority of the 
Soviet Union over "its probable enemy x the military-technical 
provision of nuclear weapons to the armed forces." A third factor- 
adduced by Lomov was that the worldwide peace movement, together 
with modern weapons capabilities, would make it possible to 
"significantly shorten the duration of a war and to speed up the 
conclusion of peace." Only after this marshalling of reasons favo- 
tha llkallhood of a short war did Lomov add a single sentence to tl 
affect that: 

...it cannot be excludad that under certain conditions 
a war might take on a protracted character, which 
will demand of the country and the armed forces a 
prolonged, maximum effort. 2 

By early 1964, however, Lomov had again shifted ground. In h' 

January Rad Star series on military doctrine he returned to the 

3 

Importance of preparing the economy for a prolonged ar, a point 
stressed in 1962 hut dropped in 1963. While touching base on the 


^ Soviet Military Doctrine , p. 25. 
2 Ibid .. p. 26. 

%ed Star . January 10, 1964. 



167 - 


ohort’-war prospect by citing Kalinovakll on this score, Lomov also 
gave added emphasis in his Red Star series to the possibility of a 
long war. Instead of saying that the possibility "is not excluded," 
he now declared: 

...it is absolutely clear that, depending on the 
conditions under which the war begins...warfare 
will not be confined to nuclear strikes. It could 
become protracted and demand of the country and the 
armed forces a prolonged, maximum effort.* 

What may have prompted Lomov to swing back in the protracted 
war direction is not clear nor is it necessarily of any consequence, 
except to suggest that while Khrushchev's short-war view may have 
gained headway among the Soviet military, it had not apparently won 
over at least some military opinion, which continued to favor a 
more conservative position. Lomov's change of heart on the duration- 
of-war issue apparently was related also to the fact that his January 
Red Star series as a whole seemed to be meant to offer support for 
a quiet military lobbying effort against Khrushchev's December 1963 
forecast of impending manpower cuts in the So-viet armed forces. This 
is a subject to be taken up in the next chapter. 

The Corollary Issue of Viability Under Nuclear War Conditions 

A corollary aspect of the short-versus-long war issue in Soviet 
military literature has been for some time a running discussion as 
to whether the country can count only on forces-in-being and 
resources mobilized and stockpiled in advance of a war, or whether 
it will still be possible under nuclear conditions to generate 
significant additional strength in trained military manpower and 

1 R ed Star . January 7, 1964. 




mv production during tha course of the war. Ridden below the 
surface of this debate, but saldoa given explicit attention except 
In occasional formulary utterances by political and military leadei 
on the general destructiveness of nuc arfare, is the larger 

question of the prospect for survival -j viable Soviet society 1 
the event of nuclear war. As ve have suggested elsewhere in this 
book, real doubt is at vork in the minds of many Soviet leaders, a 
has found its way into both their public and private dlsoourse. 
whether any meaningful outcome might be salvaged after the damage 
the Soviet Union would suffer in a nuclear war. nevertheless, In 
the Soviet case as in others, this nagging quastion has baan set 
ona side, so to speak, while professional preoccupation with the 
problems of managing a war If it should occur, continues. 

The several strands of profassional military discussion rtl* 
to force mobilisation and industrial buildup after the start of a 
nuclaar war ware laid out to vlav in the first Sokolovskii edit lor 
and furthar illuminated in the second edition. With regard to 
mobilisation of the armed forces, the Sokolovskii authors in both 
editions took the position that psacetima forces-in-being will be 
Inadequate to attain tha goals of the war. This position, to whi< 
Soviet military opinion has coma somewhat reluctantly, as will be 
discussed In tha next chapter, is based on the proposition that 1 
is beyond the economic capability of the Soviet Union or eny othe 
country to maintain sufficiently large forces in peacetime to mee 
wartime needs.* The logical way out of this impasse is to assume 

lSee discussion of this question in U.S. Editors’ Analytical 
Introduction, Soviet Military Strategy , pp, 36-38. 



-H9- 


that the necessary force buildup would be carried out after the 

start of the war In accordance with mobilization plans,^ Here, 

however, Soviet military theory runs into two obstacles. 

One of these is the view that the length of the war and its 

outcome may be settled "by the effectiveness of the efforts made at 

2 

its very beginning," rather than b}r the old method, as Mulinovskii 

once put it, of "stepping up one's efforts gradually.,.in the course 

3 

of a prolonged war." This means that forces-in-being are the 

critical factor, and if they are to be limited by peacetime economic 

constraints, the prognosis in case of war may look very poor. The 

second obstacle is Soviet recognition of the great difficulty and 

uncertainty of mobilizing and deploying additional forces under 

4 

nuclear conditions. In general, however, Soviet military theorists 
have not drawn the pessimistic conclusion that wartime mobilization 
efforts are likely to prove futile, as Khrushchev’s occasional remarks 
suggest that he may have done,^ Rather, military writers have 
continued to concern themselves with such matters as methods of 
mobilization,^ and have seemed to draw some comfort from the 
prospect that the opposition would face problems similar to their 


*Such an assumption is of course made in Soviet military theory. 

See Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 433-439; Voennaia Strategila . 

2nd ed,, pp, 291, 410-417. 

2 Voennala Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 500. 

^ Red Star . October 25, 1962. 

^ Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 338, 437-438; Voennaia Strategiia. 
2nd ed., pp. 300, 412, 

5see Khrushchev's letter to President Kennedy, Izvestiia , 

February 24, 1962. 

®In the second Sokolovskii edition, discussion of this subject 
furnished a new differentiation between peacetime recruitment for 
"regular formations," which "are recruited on a extraterritorial basis," 
and mobilization under nuclear war conditions in which "a system of 
territorial buildup of troops during mobilization is considered the 
most acceptable Voennaia Strategiia. 2nd ed., p. 412. 



170 


own. In this connection, both Sokolovskii editions contained a 
passage which stated: 

Under conditions where missiles and nuclear weapons 
are used, both belligerents will be subjected to 
attacks in the very first hours of the war, and 
iv can be assumed that both will find themselves 
in approximately the same circumstances as regards 
to techniques of carrying out mobilization and ^ 

moving troops to the theater of military operations. 

On the question of industrial viability after the Initial bltr. 
of a nuclear war, Soviet militaiy theorists likewise have tended t 
express a less somber view than may be found in some political 
utterance. This is particularly true in the case of military sp. 
men identified with the traditionalist viewpoint, or even the cent 
position, for their general conception of a world war that wouil 
develop into widespread theater campaigns by mass armies after thf 
initial nuclear strikes is partly contingent upon continuing war¬ 
time production. The modernist school, on the other hand, may 

e 

have come to its conception of a quite different kind of war, mos: 
likely short but brutal, partly out of the conviction that th«' 
issue would be settled by the means in hand at the outset. 

All schools of Soviet military thought, however, have found 
themselves in agreement on the importance of peacetime preparatior 
of the economy end armed forces so as to be ready at the outset of 
a war to apply "the full might of the state, stockpiled before the 


^ Soviet Military Strategy , p. 439; Voennaia Strategiia , 2nd 
p. 417. This passage concluded with the suggestion that the side 
which first exploited nuclear attacks by penetrating the other's 
territory could win a major advantage, particularly in the Europea 
Theater. 




i 


171 


war," to the attainment of victory.* The principal new trend in 

recant doctrinal discussion has been to expand earlier arguments 

that the significance of economic potential has been enhanced 

under nuclear war conditions, not only for a long war, but even in 

a short war. The revised Sokolovskii edition offered a formula 

which sums up the general view as follows: 

There is no doubt that economic preparation of the 
country in advance of a future war has now taken 
en exceptionally great importance. At the same 
time, even during the course of the war, even a 
short war, the role of the ecenomy will not only 
remain but will increase. 2 


^ Voennaia Strategila . 2nd ed,, p. 21. See also Lomov in Red 
Star , January 10, 1944. 

Voennaia Strap*glia , 2nd ed,, p. 276. See also Lomov in Red 
Star , January 10, 1964. 


\ 



- 172 - 


XII. DEBATE OVER THE SIZE Of THE AMD FOiC ES 

Th« question of tha sis* of the Soviet armed forces ha* been at 
the center of the debate over military policy In the Soviet Union 
since Khrushchev in the late fifties began preaching to the more 
conservative-minded elements of the Soviet military elite that 
modern technology should make It possible to pare down an over¬ 
sized traditional military establishment and free some resources 
for other urgent needs without endangering Soviet security. On 
this touchstone issue, as on the question of a short versus a pro¬ 
tracted war, somewhat more is involved than first meets the eye. 

Both the economics and the politics of Soviet defense have been so 
intimately interwoven with this question that it can scarcely be 
regarded as a mere technical problem of determining what the 
appropriate size and composition of the armed forces should be to 
meet Soviet military requirements. Controversy over the problem of 
resource allocation asamg the Soviet leadership, for example, 
probably has bubbled up more often around the issue of the size of 
the armed forces than around any other issue in the military policy 
debate. 

/> 

In the idiom of internal Soviet debate, the claims of '.he 
military establishment for its share of national resources often 
have been put forward not only in terms of the general need to keep 
the armed forces strong or to ensure their superiority over the 
enemy, but also in terms of attitudes taken on certain doctrinal 
questions. One of these is the question whether "mass, multi¬ 
million man" armies will be needed any longer in the nuclear age, 



- 173 - 


Co which is closely related the question whether victory esn be 

\\ 

attained only through "combined-arms" operation*. The question of 

l! 

short-versus-long war, which we have just discussed, is another. In 
a sense, the internal debate on these issues has served as a 
substitute for more blatant, but politically unsettling, arguments 
bearing on the allocation of resources among various claimants. 

Generally speaking, the claims of the military for a larger cut 
of the resources cake have taken the form of advocacy of the "multi- 
million man" and "combir«d-arma" doctrines. However, the military 
has not presented a wholly united front here vis-a-vis the political 
leadership. In the modernist-traditionalist dialogue over doctrine, 
strategy and force structure, the modernist outlook often has leaned 
toward Khrushchev 1 s position, with its emphasis on missile forces 
over very large theater ground forces. The modernists, therefore, 
have shown less concern over measures affecting the size of the 
armed forces than the traditionalists, who are more or less closely 
identified vlth the Interests of the theater ground forces, and 
whose ox stands to be gored more painfully vhen troop reductions are 
made than in the case of the less "manpower intensive" strategic 
missile and air defense forces, submarine forces, and so on. Indeed, 
the "multi-million man" doctrine has tended to become the particular 
cachet of the traditionalist position in the internal dialogue. At 
the same time, hewever, the modernists -- whose needs may be smaller 
in manpower terms but not necessarily so in other forms of resources 
have had a common interest with the traditionalists in sustaining a 
high priority for the overall military claim on national resources; 



-174 


hance, they too have boon willing to ion extent to see the mil iter 

: • \ 

etia pressed under tha doctrinal rubric of "multi-million ■an" fore* 
and "coablnad-arme" operation*. Further, while both modernist and 
traditionalist representative* have lent lip service to Soviet prof: 
ef troop reductions as a ploy in the Bast-Vest disarmament dialogue: 
neither has seemsd to do so with an excess of enthusiasm. 

Trends la the Argument for "Multi-Million Man" Armed Forces 

After Khrushchev's January 1960 program for a reduction of the 

Soviet armed forces from an announced figure of 3.6 million to 2.A 

million men was suspended and the Soviet military budget was incre*.. 

by 500 million rubles under the pressure of events in tho summer of 
1 

1961, Khrushchev noted on several occasions that these measurer we 

2 

"temporary" and "in the nature of a reply" to various U.S. moves. 
The implication was that Khrushchev might return to his previous 
program should an easing of International tensions be achieved. P* 
the end of 1963, a state of limited detente between the United Stat 
and the Soviet Union had progressed to the point where Khrushchev 
again announc ed a military budget cut of ebout the same amount as 
tha 1961 lncraasa, and indicated that manpower reductions might soor 
be returned.^ In tha interval between these developments, there waf 

*Sea previous discussion of these developments in Chapter II. 

2 See Khrushchev's speoch to graduates of Soviet military 
academies on July 8, 1961, and his television address of August 7, 
1961. Pravda. July 9, 1961; Irvsstlla. August 9, 1961. 

^ Isvestlia . December 15, 1963; Pravda . December 16, 1963. 


175 


a quiat but insistent lobbying effort by sow influential elements 

of the Soviet allitary -- whose case received a temporary boost of 

sorts from the Cuoan events of 1962 — to demonstrate the need for 

the Soviet Union to "strengthen its aneed forces" and to "maintain 
1 

massive armies.” Although this effort fell short of carrying the 
day against Khrushchev’s policy and its supporters, there were signs 
in early 1964 that at least certain elements of the Soviet military 
had not given up trying. Some features of the running argument on 
massive armies down to the time of Khrushchev's December 1963 hint 
of impending troop reductions ere reviewed below. 

The first Sokolovskii volume in late summer 1962 tended to come 
down on both aides of the multi-million man doctrinal argument, 
although on balance, judging from traditionalist criticism of it 
for having neglected the role of ground forces in particular, it 
probably gave no great comfort to exponents of the large army case." 
In the military press, the massive-army formula continued to receive 

3 

favored treatment in the fall of 1962 and early 1963, though the top 
man in military hierarchy, Marshal Msllnovskil, was notably not 
among lte ardent advocates. In fact, in his widely circulated 


^■Major General V. Kruchinln, "Why Massive Armies?" Red Star . 

January 11, 1963. 
o 

See Review by General of the Army P. Kurochkin, Red Star . 
September 22, 1962. See also Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 34-39, 
523-529. 

%ollowing General Kruchinln'a January 11th Red Star kickoff 
article, in response to a "readsr's query,” a series of these articles 
appeared soon after stressing the vital role of ground forces and 
"muKi-million man” armies in a future war. See Red Star . January 14, 
February 12, 14, 1963. See also Colonel M. Skirdo, "The Role of the 
Popular Masses and the Individual in Contemporary War," Komcmnist 
Vooruzhennykh Sll. No. 5, March 1963, p. 10. 


176 


pamphlet of November 1962, ha tingled out for Mention the "special 
care shown by the Presidium of the Central Committee for the missile 
forces, the air force* and the submarine fleet" In a way which 
seemed to Indicate a shift in priority from forces involved in 
traditional land warfare to those with newer tasks.^* Later, on 
Armed Forces Day in February 1963, Mallnovski;’ noted that the else of 
the ground forces had been "considerably reduced" from past levels, 

2 

but that their capabilities had been increased by modern equipment. 

The most prominent spokesman for the mass-army view at this time 
proved to be Marshal Rotmistrov — a one-time "progressive" in 
military affairs who had gradually become a strong voice for what 
might be called the "enlightened conservative" outlook in the 
military debate. 3 In an article in January 1963 notable among other 
things for its defense of the military role in formulation of 
military doctrine, Rotmistrov stressed the need to prepare for a 
long war as well as a short one, and he also called attention to 
the fact that modern war, despite its nuclear character, can not 
be "depicted as a 'pushbutton war' which can be waged without 
massive armies." Further, Rotmistrov argued, even the bourgeois 
powers "in practice ard following the course of creating multi- 

4 

million man armies." The latter point, which has tended to become 

^ Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace , p. 43. 

2 Red Star , February 23, 1963. 

■^See U.S. Editors' Analytical Introduction, Soviet Military 
Strategy , footnote on p, 13. 

^Rotmistrov article in Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil , No. 2, 
January 1963, pp. 29, 30-31. 





- 177 - 


on. of th. mate argument, of the ae.s-.nv lobby. »a. taken up by ..other 
writer in an article signed to the press on March 21, 1963. The author. 
Colonel N. Azotsev asserted that Lenin’s views on the Soviet need for « 
regular standing array "as long as the imperialists maintain powerful 
regular armies" were still valid "under contemporary conditions" — thus 
pressing Lenin's authority into the service of the mass-army advocates. 1 

In February 1963 a curious sign appeared that the macsive-army lobby 
had gained an unlikely recruit in the person of General Epishev, Chief of 
the Main Political Administration of the Ministry of Defense and presumably 
Khrushchev's choice as the Party's principal spokesman within the armed 
forces. An article by Epishev, which we have mentioned earlier, was published 
in a Party journal at this time. While in it Epishev indeed stressed the 
leadership of the Party in military affairs, he took a position on the 
of the armed forces which was at odds with that espoused by Khrushchev and 
generally favored by the modernist school. He wrote that the "views of 
some theoreticians about the need to stop developing mass armies, and 
instead to replace manpower by technology,^fcave proved unfounded," and 
that in fact, "the role of mass armies hau grown with the increased importance 


Colonel Azotsev, "Leninist Principles of the Construction of the 
Soviet Armed Forces," Konsaunlst Vooruzhennvkh Sll . No. 7, April 1963, p. 14. 
It Is worth noting that the appeal to Lenin's views of a regular standing 
army has been paralleled in Soviet military writing by frequent reference 
to the soundness of decisions taken by the 8th Party Congress in 1919, which 
authorized establishment of regular armed forces in preference to a 
territorial-militia system. The old issue was given new currency by 
Khrushchev's statement on January 14, 1960 that consideration was being 
given to the establishment of a territorial militia system in place of 
some regular armed forces. By adverting to the 8th Congress decisions, 
military writers seem to-be challenging Khrushchev's idea of reviving the 
territorial militia conception, which may strike the military as being 
archaic in a highly technical era. For a discussion of this question and 
its relationship to the present Party Program, see Nikolai Calay. "Soviet 
Armed Forces and the Programme,' in Leonard Schapiro. ed., The USSR and 
the Futur e. Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1963, pp. 222-231. 




178 


of technology In modern war."* This view by a top Party spokesman vaa 

alaoet limedlately contradicted by Khrushchev himself In a major apaech 

2 

In Moscow on February 27, In which, as Indicated earlier, he strongly 

reaffirmed his short-war thesis -- which had been the basis of his 

previous assertions that a future war would be decisively settled "before 

3 

vast armies can be mobilised and thrown Into battle." One can only 
speculate that at this time an Internal leadership crisis over defense 
policy was being thrashed out, with the issue still in the balance, and 
that Khrushchev was under Party as well as military pressure tu commit 
himself to larger military allocations. Indeed, the over-all tenor of 
his speech indicated that he had moved In this direction. In which case 
his emphasis on short war could have been meant to serve notice that If 
more rubles were to be spent, they should go Into the newer arms like 
the missile forces rather than the traditional theater ground forces/’ 

In the spring and summer of 1963, as the detente phase of the 

general Soviet policy line developed and Khrushchev seemed to be 
making progress In shifting Investment priorities toward economic 
development end a new assault on the agricultural problem,^ the 
military debate on the mass-army lsaut began to reflect a parallel 
turn in this direction. Two articles several weeks apart In Communist 
of the Armed Forces were particularly notable, as mentioned earlier, 
for their conspicuous revival of Khrushchev's January 1960 formula 

^ Voprosv Istor11 KPSS . No. 2, February 1963, p. 10. 

2 Pravda, February 28, 1963. 

-^Letter to President Kennedy, Iavastlla . February 24, 1962. See also 
similar views by Khrushchev reported by W. E. Knox, "Close-Up of Khrushchev 
During a Crisis," The New York Times Magazine . November 18, 1962, p. 129. 

^See previous discussion of the Soviet military budget debate at 
this juncture in Chapter Three. 

■*See discussion in Chapter Three. 



-179- 


that nuclear firepower count* more in determining the strength of 

the armed force* than numbers of troop*. The author of the second 

article, Major D. Kazakov, credited a qualitative "leap" In weapons, 

theory and practice with having strengthened Soviet military 

capabilities and changed past methods of waging war. He said: 

Beyond doubt, the basic methods of waging war 
today are not offensives by ground forces, as 
In the past, but the delivery of massed, rocket- 
nuclear strikes.* 

The Kazakov article then pursued its point further with the 
following statements, citing Khrushchev’s 1960 doctrinal thesis in 
the process: 

Soviet military science, supported by the 
dialectic law of the transformation of quantitative 
changes into qualitative, is now resolving In a new 
way many problems concerned with development of the 
army. 'In our times,' emphasised N. S. Khrushchev, 

1 rhe country's defense capability is determined not 
by now many soldiers we have under arms or by how 
many people we have In soldiers' greatcoats. 

Leaving aside general political and economic factors..., 
the defense capability of a country is determined by 
the firepower and delivery capabilities available to 
it.' 2 /Italics and elision in original text^7 

This revival of the earlier Khrushchevlan line on the doctrinal 
Issue of massive armies, with its practical implications for the 
Soviet defense budget, was of particular Interest viewed against 
the background of a conference on Soviet military doctrine held in 
Moscow in May 1963. The proceedings of this conference, as previously 
mentioned, were not reported until October, which itself suggests 
that there may have been controversial issues Involved. The 


i Rommunlst Voorurhennykh Sll . No. 10, May 1963, p. 10. 
2 Ibid. 



- 180 - 


conference discussed many questions, Including the primacy of 
strategic operations In a future war, the critical nature of the 
initial period, the continuing importance of theater operations, the 
relationship between offense and defense, che possibility of local 
war, and a range of other matters.^ Curiously, however, the 
conference proceedings as reported did not mention the Issue of 
massive armies at all, nor the closely-related question of short- 
versus-long war. Omission of any reference to such touchstone 
issues would suggest that they may have been considered politically 
too controversial to include In the published proceedings. 

In the fall of 1963, the revised Sokolovskii edition -» that 
useful barometer of snifts In Soviet thinking and shadings of position 
on disputed Issues -- reflected, rather Interestingly, a slight new 
bias in the mass-army direction. Since the book was typeset on 
April 18, 1963 and sent to printing on August 30, 1963, there may 
not have been time to respond to the mounting emphasis on Khrushchev's 
formula, or perhaps the Sokolovskii authors themselves remained of 
divided views on the,mass-array Issue. In any event, the new 
volume remained ambivalent on the subject. On the one hand, it 
argued as before that even In the nuclear age, mass, multi-million 
man armies w. be needed. Indeed, the argument was embellished 
somewhat. At one place, for example, where both editions repudiated 
the "notorious" theory of the possibility of waging modern war with 
small but technically well-equipped forces, the original volume 
merely stated: 


Wocnnc -Istorlchcskll Zhurnal . No. 10, October 1963, pp. i21ff. 



-181 - 


Th« advocates of such armies fall to consider that 
the new equipment, far from reducing the requirements 
°f the armed forces for personnel, Increases them. 

For this reason, assslve armies of millions of men 
will be needed to wage a future var.^ 

The revised edition repeated in essentially the same words the 

first sentence of this argument, but then uent on to flesh out the 

argument in greater detail: 

The ueed for massive armies derives . *ora the fact 
that enormous simultaneous losses f m nuclear 
strikes require significant reserve: to replenish 
the troops and restore their combat • apablllty,. 

Moreover, the enlarged territorial scope of the war 
and the creation through nuclear strikes if vast 
cones of destruction and radioactive contamination 
require a large number of troops for guarding and 
defending state borders, rear objectives and 
cossnunications, and for eliminating the after¬ 
effects of the nuclear strikes. Hence, there cannot 
be any doubt that future war will involve massive 
armed forces of millions of men. 

On the other hand, along with these and other arguments for 
large forces scattered throughout the book, the revised Sokolovskii 
volume also reflected some views which cut the other way. In parti¬ 
cular, the new volume gave added recognition to the economic problems 
Involved In the maintenance of large forces. 


Recognition of the Economic Problem of Large Forces 

The Soviet military, as lndlcsted In the preceding chapter, have 
come gradually to accept the view that economic constraints limit 
the size and character of the forces that the Soviet Union, or, for 
that matter, any country, can expect to maintain on a permanent 


^ Soviet Mi liter*; Strategy , p. 338. 

2 

Voennala Strateglla , 2nd ed., p. 300. 




- 182 - 


pucetlaa basis. This view still rubs st sons sensitive points. It 

grates, for example, against the doctrine of military superiority. 

How can a significant order of superiority in forces-in-being — 

recognized as an Increasingly critical factor in the nuclear age — 

be attained against the West, particularly when the relative economic 

foundations are somewhat disparate to begin with? The trauma suffered 

as a result of the Nazi Invasion In the last war also has left its 

effects. Soviet military men remember uneasily the poor state of 

Soviet readiness that helped pile one disaster upon another early In 

the w^r, and they do not want this co be repeated In the Initial 

period of any future war, with probable fetal effects. It Is 

significant perhaps that in the fall of 1961, when there evidently was 

some concern about where the Berlin criala might be leading, a rash 

of articles by Soviet military leaders recalled how the country was 

taken by surprise in 1941 and vowed that it would not happer again. 1 

It Is Interesting also that the hlatorlcal treatment of the early 

part of World War IT In a recent major six-volume series has dealt 

explicitly and candidly with the Inadequate readiness of the Soviet 

2 

military posture. The blame for thla Is conveniently laid at 
Stalin's door, but the moral seema to be that any political leader 
bent on disregarding sound military advice might fall into the 
sa me airor. _ 

*See Marshal R. It. Maiinovskli, "The Defense of the Socialist 
Fatherland Is Our Sacred Duty," Pravda . September 14, 1961; Marshal S. 
Blriuzov, Sovetskala Rosalia , October 3, 1961; Marshal A. A. Grechko, 
"The Patriotic and International Duty of the USSR Armed Forces," 

Pe d Star , October 6, 1961, 

^P. N. Pospelov, et al., Istorila-Vellkoi Otechestvennoi Volny 
Sovetskogo Soiusa , 1941-1945, Voenlzdat, Moscow, 1960-1963, 6 volumes 
(one not yet published). See especially Vol. I, pp. 414-475. 



- 183 - 


Thesa are but some of the factor* in the "gestalt" of the Soviet 
military man that help explain why the idea of large standing forces 
ready for war has a tenacious grip on him. Large forces and combat 
readiness ar*, cf course, by no means synonymous in a technical sense, 
but in an emotional sense they have tended to merge in the thinking of 
many Soviet military men. How nearly the actual state of Soviet defenses 
today may taeet the military leadership’s idea of what is needed, is 
difficult to say. But certainly the idea of cutting back forces, even 
iorce. which may be demonstrably superfluous to the needs of the times, has 
met with a considerable amount of instinctive resistance. It undoubtedly 
has been one of the major policy and psychological problems of Khrushchev' a 
administration of Soviet affairs to change the traditional conceptions of 
the Soviet military ao as to gain acceptance of a military posture which 
gives primacy to strategic delivery and air defense forces, while calling ' 
for reduction of large standing ground forcaa in the name of economy. 1 

Th* state of Soviet military thinking on the economic Implicatior* 
of large forces as reflected in the new Sokolovskii edition and other 
Soviet literature shove both a willingness to accept the notion of 
constraints, which can be regarded as a step in the right direction lti 
terms of Khrushchev's policy necessities, and at the same time reveals 
a tendency to suggest that tl sre may be ways out of the economic dilemma 
that ought not to be forgott* i. Thus, in Chapter Seven of the new volume, 
it was reiterated that however advisable it might be to have peacetime 


One of the contentions of the "modernist" school which has tended 
to support Khrushchev's approach is that the Central Consnlttee's "wise 
decisions" with respect to technical development and force structure have 
enabled the Soviet Union not only "to surpass the imperialistp" in the 
most modern weapons and techniques, but "at the same time have resulted 
in reducing state expenditures on obsolete military objects and types of 
arms which have no future " Konoplev, Kora-nun 1st Vooruzhennykh Sll . 
tu>. 2d, December 1963, p. 33. 



forces sufficient to fulfill .11 ths task, “of the initl.l period of a 
war without additional mobilfxAtion," this is not within the economic 
capability of "even the strongest sente.*' 1 

At the same time, there w/*a an Increased tendency in the revised 

volume to stress that a country with a plarmed economy and a highly 

disciplined social system like the Soviet Union can make better use of 

available resources and distribute them more wisely between the “at-wa 

2 

forces and the economy" than can capitalist countries. This line of 
argument might be interpreted as a subtle reminder from the military to 
the political side ot the house that despite the Western margin of economic 
strength, the Soviet leadership need not feel compelled back away fro- 
an arms competition with the West. While this line, of diccusaion was 
related to peacetime preparations, it was paralleled, as noted earlier" 
by a suggestion similar to that of the Trifonenkov book that in ar. 
extended war the superior economic organization and politicsl-n»raie 
features of the Soviet system might prove decisive over a less durable 
capitalist system.'* 

Along with recognition of the economic load of Soviet defense 
programs, military writing has tended to reflect growing sensitivity 
to the need for justifying large military expenditures. The revised 
Sokoiovikii work, for example, noted that military requirements tiad 
made it "necessary to divert significant economic resources and large 


Voennaia S;rateglia , 2nd ed., p. 410. See also pp. 2‘Jl, 3ob. 

2 

' Vt-ennaia Strategilo , 2nd ed,. p. 287. 

3 

S 'me Soviet military theorists not identified with che protracted 
war thesis also have argued that one should not judge the enemy's strength 
only a- it exists before a war starts, but also from the. viewpoint ! 
''future changes in the balance of forces and capabilities brought .uc-ut 
by combat operations." See Konophv, Krimmunist Vooruzhennykh M i. 

No. 24, December 1963, p. 33. 



-185- 


0U« of money" from other purpos«». Even so, they argued, Soviet 
ailltary expenditures are less than those of the United States. 

Besides citing Western military spending to Justify large Soviet 
investments in defense, the Sokolovskii authors also associated 
themselves with the argument that maintenance by the "Imperialist" 
states of "multi-million man cadre armies" requires that the Soviet 
union and other socialist countries maintain strong forces, "part of 
which must be kept in a constant state of combat readiness." How¬ 
ever, as in other public Soviet discourse, they avoided specificity 
as to how large the Soviet standing forces should be, noting raetely 

that they "will not be sufficient to conduct war" and will have to 

2 

be built up "in accordance with planned mobilisation." 

Even while recognising economic limits on the size of peacetime 
forces-in-belng, the Sokolovskii authors, like a good many of their 
military colleagues, have continued to labor the polnc that war 
Itself would require a great expansion of the Soviet armed forces. 

This position, needless to say, was somewhat out of key with the 
revival of Khrushchev's January 1960 theme that & new war fought 
with missiles and nuclear weapons would end q^i»kly, obviating the 
need for massive armies. 

Military React ion to December 1963 Troop-Cut Surest.Io n 

It Is not surprising, against the background of the considereiions 
discussed abo/e, that misgivings among scfae elements of the Soviet 
ailltary became apparent following Khrushchev's announcement in 

l jnbid., p. 275. 

2 Ibid., p. 291. 



-186- 


Decaaber 1963 that tha Sovl«t Union vu considering "...the possibility 
of some further reduction in the numerical strength of our armed 

forces." The announcement, coupled with s move to reduce the 

2 

military budget slightly for 1964, Indicated that Khrushchev'* 
policy linn was for the tisr being on the ascendancy, but signs were 
not long in coming that an anti-ti «.v=p -cut lobby was gathering Itself 
for an effort to bring about reconsideration of the force-reduction 
proposal. 

Military reaction to the proposal took several forms. Top 

military leaders studiously avoided direct mention of the troop-cut 

3 

proposal at all in the Soviet press, although several of them had 
opportunity to do so in public statements, touching on the companion 
budget-reduction measure.^ The military press Itself, in Its initial 
adltorlal comment expressing approval of the budget measure. 


* Irvestila . December 15, 1963. Khrushchev's proposal was 
repeated in much the same language In his interview with UPI corre¬ 
spondent Henry Shapiro, Bad Star. December 31, 1363. 

2 Pravda. December 16, 1963. The announced reduction was from 
13.9 billion rubles In 7963 to 13.3 billion for 1964, or about 
5X. The actual inpact of tho announced reduction on Soviet defense 
programs la difficult to dotorcilna, since Internal shifts in the 
budget nay have had a compensating affect, such as an increase for 
scientific research In about the seam amount as the defense cut. 

In any event. It teens unlikely that the new budget could have 
brought satisfaction to advocates of any lsrgr expansion of the 
Soviet defense effort. 

^As pointed out in Chapter Three, Marshal Yeremenko was the 
exception, being the only ranking military ts?u to mention the troop- 
cut proposal in more than a month after Khrushchev's statement. 
Yeremenko's mention of "the forthcoming cut in the Soviet armed 
forces," which offered neither approval or disapproval, was made 
in the English-language newspaper, Moscow Mews . No. 2, January 11, 
1964. 

4 

For example. Marshal Grechko in Red Star . December 22, 1963; 
Marshal Cbuikov In Izvestlia . December 22, 1963; Marshal Biriuzov 
In Red Star . January 9, 1964. 



-187- 


waa silent on the troop-cut proposal, 1 and only mentioned it for the 

first time, noncommittally, on December 25. 2 By contrast, the non- 

asllitary press several times alluded approvingly to the troop-cut 

3 

proposal in the first days after its announcement. 

The most significant sign of distress from the military aide 
of the house came in a major article on December 22 by Marshal 
Chuikov, commander of the Soviet ground forces, whose professional 
domain was the most likely target of any move to reduce the number 
of men under arms. In this article, entitled "Modern Ground Forces," 
Chuikov expressed no direct disapproval of Khrushchev's proposal. 
Indeed, he did not mention it at all. However, the article Itself 
was an unmistakable piece of special pleading. The first half 
expanded on the by now favorite theme of the mass-army advocates — 
that the Western countries, while "preparing for a nuclear war, not 

only are not liquidating ground forces, but on the contrary, are 

4 

steadily developing them." Chuikov elaborated on his point that 
the Western countries "are constantly improving their ground forces 
to accord with modern demands" by citing not only technical improve¬ 
ments but numbers — 5 million men In the NATO armies, of which 3.2 
million are ground forces; 1.2 million man in the ground forces of 
the United States alone. And these forces, he said, emphasizing a 
eantrai point In his argument, are now "In peacetime," concentrated 

^ Rad Star . December 21, 1963. 

2 Ibid .. December 25, 1963. 

^ Izvestlla . December 15, 31, 1963; Pravda, December 15, 18, 31, 
1963; January 8, 1964. 

^ Izvestlla . December 22, 1963. 



188 - 


"in the decisive area of Europe." Further, in Mr the 11 log his 
evidence of current Western solicitude for ground forces, Chulkov 
pointed out chat certain "one-sided" foreign theories which once 
had "a harmful effect on the development of ar«d forces" apparently 
have now been abandoned by Western military leaders thsMelves, who 
"realise that In a future war, thsy will not be able to gat along 
without mss armies." 

The second half of Chulkov*s article dealt with the status of 

Soviet theater and ground forces. Hsre he described their technical 

proficiency and fine qualities — as if to warn the West not to let 

his prior encomium go to its head -- but he gave no figures on 

Soviet mmarleal strength. The Min emphasis here was on the 

continued validity of Soviet combined-arms doctrine, and the 

Indispensable role of ground forces In a future war. While offering 

a one-sentence obeisance to the idee that "a decisive part *n achieving 

the Min alM of a war will be played by the strategic missile forces," 

* 

he capped his thesis by declaring: 

Therefore, In modern conditions, the ground forces 
continue to be not only a Mndatory but also a 
highly Important Integral part of the armed forces. 

Other military coesasntary by lesser figures followed the lead 
laid down by Chulkov, pointing to Western endorseMnt of the concept 
of mass armies and actual large-scale Western Mnauvers with 
"million-strong armies" 1 to support the implicit arguMOt of the 

*MaJor V. Kotlov, 'The Soldier and the Nuclear Bomb," Rad_Star , 
December 28, 1963; Colonel B. Aleksandrov, "On Land, on Sea and 
in the Air," Rad Star. December 29, 1963. 



189 


anti-troop cut lobby that trends in the West counseled against 

tampering with the Soviet ground forces. In early 1964, General 

Lomov's Red Star series on Soviet military doctrine furnished 

additional doctrinal support for the lobbying effort by stating, 

among other things, that despite the nuclear-age revolution in 

military affairs, victory against a strong adversary still "requires 

1 

the efforts of a multi-million man nuclear army." However, as the 
spring of 1964 approached, there were signs that this campaign of 
special pleading had failed to stay Khrushchev's proposal for a 
reduction in the size of the s oviet armed forces. At the same time, 
it appeared that the campaign may have scored at least a few points 
by making it necessary for Khrushchev tc allay military concern 
that economic development priorities might adversely affect the Soviet 
defense posture. 

This became evident from Khrushchev's remarks on defense 

problems in a major speech at the close of the Central Committee 

plenum session on agriculture in mid-February. Here Khrushchev 

repeated that the Soviet Union "is embarking upon certain reductions 

in military expenditures and in the numerical strength of the armed 

forces." Significantly, however, he then added: 

But we realize that economizing in this respect must 
be reasonable. In present conditions when the 
imperialist countries have created powerful armed 
forces and equipped them with nuclear weapons, it 
is impossible to reduce the size of appropriations for 
armaments and the army to a degree that would all.** the 
imperialists to surpass us in armed strength and thus 
impose their will and policy on us.2 

* Red Star . January 10, 1964, 

2 

Khrushchev speech at the CPSU Central Committee Plenum, 

February 14, 1964. Pravda. February IS, 1964. 



wo 



■r°$ 


This reassurance that defense requirements were not to be 

slighted was reinforced by a statement reminiscent of Khrushchev's 

comment a year earlier that satisfaction of consumer demands would 

have to be postponed in favor of defense needs.* Referring to 

criticism from unnamed quarters that "too little" was bein done 

about the housing ; "'jrae, Khrushchev said: "If we accepted an 

unreasonable reduction of military expenditures, if we started to 

build more housing and forgot about defense, we would be like blind 

2 

men who cannot assess the real situation correctly." In light of 
these words, there was a palpably hollow ring to Khrushchev's denial 
in the same speech that the Soviet Union was being "forced to reduce 
armaments and armed forces because of difficulties in economic 
development." 

How much ground Khrushchev might actually yield on the troop- 

reduction issue was left unclear by this speech. That some concession 

■ay have been made to military opinion was suggested by increasing 

public references by military spokesmen, beginning around mid- 

February, to both the reduction in military expenditure and in troop 

strength. These references were accompanied by the admonition that 

foreign foes should not "nourish any hopes" that weakening of the 

Soviet armed forces or economic difficulties were implied by the 

3 

budget and troop reduction measures. 

* Pravda . February 28, 1963. 

^ Ibld .. February 15 . 1964. 

3 *~ 

See Sushko and Kbndratkov, Komrunist Voorurhennvkh Sil . No. 2, 
January 1964, p. 23; Army General Pavel Kurochkin, "War Must Be 
Outlawed," Moscow News. February 22, 1964. 


191 


To the outside observer of this ongoing phase of the Soviet 
military policy debate, one factor was conspicuous by its absence 
from the Soviet discussion. The case of Soviet mass-army advocates 
was hinged on a concern over ground force trends in the West, but 
nowhere was there a public hint that Soviet military leaders may 
also have had their mind's eye on developments to the East. It 
does not strain credibility, however, to suppose that another 
element of concern may have been the potential threat of China. The 
old Soviet military problem of being prepared for trouble at both 
ends of the vast Soviet land may well have fed the forebodings of 
many Soviet military men as they contemplated the prospect of their 
forces being reduced. 


Perhaps the neat striking change la the Soviet alllta outlook 
over the past decade-and-a-half has heea a gradual but basic shift 
froa almost exclusive preoccupation vith coatiaeatal lead warfare 
to a new eaphasis oa the probleas of global strategic war. Ia 
essence, this tread has paralleled a growiag appreciation of the 
enoraous iwpact of strategic nuclear weapons upon the outcoae of 
war. It also has reflected a growing differentiation in Soviet 
thinking between two quite different ailltary probleas — that of 
conducting a continental war, especially ia the Kuropeau theater, 
and that of dealing with an adversary whose strength and influence 
extend to far coraers of the world and whose aaln bastion of 
ailltary power lies beyond the confines of Europe. 

The latter probice has saved gradually toward the center of 
Soviet attention, although it has by no asans displaced the Importance 
in Soviet eyes of ths European theater problea and aeons unlikely to 
'do so in the foreseeable future. As indicated by the dijcusslon In 
ths preceding chapter, the heritage of a continental ailltary 
tradition still runs strongly through Soviet strategic thinking. 

The aaount of eaphasis given today to the strategic elsslie forces 
and to the Influence of strategic operations generally upon war 
outcoae has not asant a corresponding decline in the role of 
theater forces and operations. These are still viewed as significant 
and essential within the framework of general war, and a large 
share of Soviet defense resources and planning continues to be 
devoted to the theater warfare problem. 


193- 


It has net been easy to adjust Soviet military thinking and 
practice so as to find a happy medium in dealing with the respective 
problems of theater warfare and global, strategic war. Much of the 
tension evident between professional Soviet military opinion and 
that of Khrushchev since he took up the reins of Soviet power and 
policy in the latter fifties has stemmed from this process of 
adjustment. 1. And, as will be brought out in this chapter and a 
subsequent one dealing with Soviet views on the military path to 
victory, there still seems to be a military debate under way on the 
relative weight to be given these two basic problems in Soviet 
strategy. 

The Doctrinl Shift to Strategic Primacy 

From a doctrinal standpoint, there is no longer any question 

about the primacy accorded nuclear weapons and strategic missiles 

in Soviet thinking, by traditionalist as well as modernl t schools 

of thought. The shift in this direction did not take place 

dramatically at any single point along the route which Soviet 

strategic thinking has traveled in the past eight or ten years. 

Already in the mid-fifties doctrinal ferment over the significance 

of nuclear weapons had begun to find expression in the Soviet 
2 

Union. However, it was still cast then mainly in terms of how to 
harness these destructive new weapons to familiar Soviet concepts. 

*See Khrushchev's Strategy and Its Meaning for America , pp. 

10 - 12 . 

^See DInerstein, War and the Soviet Union , pp. 180-212; 
Carthoff, Sovlat Stratetv in the Hue leer Age . pp. 61-81. 


-194 


Nuclear weapons were regarded most often as supplementary to the 
operations of the traditional forces, whose primacy was not questioned. 
The idea that nuclear weapons might prove strategically decisive was 
left half-born at best, since it seemed to violate the stern injunction 
in traditional Soviet doctrine against "one-weapon” theories. 

Some flavor of the shift in outlook may be gained by comparing 
a few typical expressions of the mid-fifties with representative 
statements today. In 1954, Marshal K. Moskalenko, then a general, 
wrote that "Soviet military science decisively rejects any arbitrary 
fabrications...that one could, as it were, achieve victory by 
employment of one or another new weapon. There are no such weapons 
which possess exceptional and all-powerful qualities."* The same 
year Major General B. Olisov said: "Strategic atomic bombs, which 
are a source of great danger to cities and civilian populations, 

have little effect on the battl a fleld. Strategic bombing will not 

2 

decide the outcome of war, but the soldiers on the battlefield." 

A year later, Major General G. T'okrovskii, a prominent military 

expert and at the time one of the leading Soviet authorities in the 

field of advanced military technology wrote: 

Atonic and thermonuclear weapons at their 
present Ftage of development only supplement the 
firepower of the old forms of armament. Artillery, 
small arms, tanks, aviation and other armaments 
were and remain the basic firepower of the army.3 

I jted Star . September 25, 1954. 

^ Ibid ., August 3, 1954. 

^Major General G. Pokrovskii, "Weapons in a Modern Army," in 
Marksizm-Lenlnlzm o Voina 1 Armti # Voenno Izdatelstvo, Minlsterstva 
Cborony l\ f t-*G3CwW• 1555» P• 168• 


195 


By contrast, Major General Ionov's January 1964 Red Star series 

on Soviet military doctrine, which reprerented a rather middla-of- 

the-road presentation in terms of modernist“traditionalist petitions 

stated unequivocally that "the most important tenet of Soviet 

military doctrine is the recognition of rocket-nuclear weapons, and 

above all strategic missiles and nuclear weapons, as the decisive 

means of repelling imperialist aggression and completely crushing 

the enemy."* On an earlier occasion in i'^63, Lomov had underscored 

the importance attached in his thinking Co nuclear weapons and 

missiles by saying that "one can scarcely imagine ct the present time 

anything which could take the piece of these weapons." He werf, on 

to say that under today's conditions, a country cannot expect to make 

up for nuclear deficiency with other forces, as in the past one 

might "compensate for inferiority in one type of force with stre^eth 
2 

in another type." A colleagu , one Major-General P. E. Varethnikov, 
orojected Lomov's appreciatioi of nuclear weapons into the future, 
stating at a military doctri. conference in May 1963 that "the 

3 

possibilities of further improvement of nuclear weapons are limitless." 

Another representative statement in 1963 from a soviet naval 
officer, one Captain Y, V. Kolesnikov, illustrated explicitly how 
far Soviet doctrine hed moved from the conceptions of 1955. "Soviet 

* Red Star . January 10, 1964. 

2 

Lomov, Soviet Military Doctrine , p. 24. 

•^’Report of a Conferen:c on Military Doctrine," Vocnno - 
Istoricheskil Zhurnal. No. 10, October 1963, p. 125. 


196 


aliitary doctrine," he said, "mist look upon missiles and nuclear 
weapons as the principal naans of victory over the eneny." Further, 
to nake the point clear: 

We eaphesize that these are the principal means, 
oet r reserve, nor a supplement, nor t means of 
explottine success achieved through employment of 
conventional weapons. On the contrary, the latter 
have become the secondary, supplementary and some¬ 
times reserve means. 

Even such currently staunch champlone of the traditional mass - 
army and combined-a as doctrine as Marshals Chuikov and Rotmlstrov 
have associ.t,ed themselves without apparent reservation with tha 
view that nuclear weapons have a dacislve role in modern war and 
that strategic missiles constitute the main striking force of the 
Soviet Union. The latter, for example, said in 1963: "Of course, 
we do not deny, but on the contrary, e^>haaisa the decisive role 
of nuclear weapons...the strategic missile forces have become the 

main branch of our armed forces. At the earns time, we do not be- 

* 

little the role and significance of other types of forces."* This 
statement, giving first place in the cun to the strategic missile 
forces without consigning other forces to the shadow, probably 
reflects the present doctrinal understanding shared by most Soviet 
military leaders. 


^Captain First Rank Y, V. Kolesnikov, "Some Categories of Navel 
Tactics," Morskoi Sbornik . No. 11, November 1961/, p. 19. 

^ Kommunist Vooruzhennvkh Sll . No. 2, January 1963, p. 31, 

^Exponents of the modernist view are likely to put the emphasis 
somewhat differently. For example, Major Kazakov, one of the writers 
who took part in the revival of Khrushchev's strategic views in mid- 
1963, noted in his May 1963 article that "the combined efforts of all 
troops" would help gain victory. However, he then added: "But 
Marxism-Leninism teaches that in this combined effort one must select 
the main, decisive element. That element at present is nuclear 
weapons and missiles, the missile forces." Komawmigt Vooruzhennvkh Sll. 

No. 10, May 1963, p. 12. For similar stress on strategic missile operations 
as tha "main link!’ sae Konoplav, ibid. . No. 24, Dacaabar 1963, p. 31. 



-197- 


If one were eo seek the principal factor on vb'ch this 
doctrinal ehift has hinged, it was probably the Soviet Union's 
acquisition of advanced weapons and delivery means in sufficient 
numbers to make the question of a doctrine and strategies for their 
employment something more than an academic matter. In the Soviet 
case, this occurred in the latter fifties, coincident with Khrushchev's 
assumption of political power. Prior to this, when the Soviet nuclear 
stockpile was still very limited, the main focus of doctrinal 
discussion was, understandably, on how tc adapt the new means of 
warfare to traditional Soviet concepts. Afterwards, particularly 
with the advent of Intercontinental ballistic missiles, the problem 
became one of radical revision of Soviet doctrine, along with 
reorganization and re-equipment of the armed forces themselves. It 
vaa Khrushchev's ?ot, therefore, to preside politically over the 
Soviet Union at the time its military establishment faced new and 
difficult problems in digesting the weapon* 1 revolution of the 
nuclear-missile age.* 


5 0ne should not leave the impression, as some of the discussion 
here and elsewhere in this book may tend to do, that Khrushchev 
alone was the source of innovation and reform in Soviet military 
affairs. Certalily, the technical basis for the changes he has 
fostered was laid down by decisions taken still in Stalin's time 
to embark on rasearch and development programs in nuclear energy, 
jet aircraft, missiles and other fields. In a sense, this was the 
military parallel tu ;he process by which many of the political 
antecedents of Khrushchev's policy carried over from changes 
already at work in Stalin's day. For a perceptive discussion of 
this subject, see Marshall D. Shulmen, Stalin's Foreign Policy 
Reappraised . Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1963, 
•specially pp. 104-138, 255-271. 


198 


There are numerous indications, many of which already have been 

discussed in this book, that Khrushchev's ideas and policies met 

resistance along the way from various elements of the military 

bureaucracy. The Soviet decision to carry on with a major program 

in the field of ballistic missiles around which Soviet doctrine and 

forces have since been reoriented, apparently was one of the issues 

on which Khrushchev encountered opposition. An Interesting note of 

testimony on this point was furnished by Fidel Castro, in a rambling 

television interview in Havana on June 5, 1963, after returning from 

his first trip to the Soviet Union. In a portion of his remarks 

lauding Khrushchev, among other things, foi "understanding the need 

for the Soviet forces to have the maximum fighting preparation in 

ordar to face the possibility of war," Castro said: 

He must keep in mind one thing: The fact that the 
Soviet government, the Soviet leadership and Comrade 
Khrushchev have shewn great interest -- I had a 
special opportunity to see it in my talks with the 
Soviet officers on strategic matters -- in the 
decision to build missiles. This was a decision in 
which Khrushchev contributed with his leadership. 

He defended this policy consistently, that is, the 
development of missiles -- a weapon that has made 
it possible for the USSR to face, from a military 
point of view, the danger of Imperialist aggression. 1 

Against whom Khrushchev found it necessary to defend his missile 
policy was not made clear by Castro, but other evidence suggests 
that, critics were, and perhaps still are, to be found among military 
men. For example, one of the articles reasserting Khrushchev's 
strategic line in May 1963 went out of its way to note that "in 
determining the role of rocket-nuclear weapons various opinions 

^Havana Domestic Radio and Television Networks, June S, 1963. 






199 


were advanced," and chat while some comrades "overvalued" such weapons, 

others "insisted" that they would only serve "for supporting troop 

operations." With the latter, Kazakov said, "it is Impossible to agree."* 

2 

The revised Sokolovskii edition also took note, as had the first, that 

some Soviet ailitary people continued to place too much weight on the 

experience of the past war and to apply it mechanically to modern 

conditions. The expansion of this point in the revised edition would 

suggest that while doctrinal obeisance was being paid to the primacy 

of strategic weapons, resistance to the new line of strategic thinking 

was still in evidence in some quarters. The expanded passage stated: 

The error in such a point of view is that it 
depreciates the role of strategic missiles and 
nuclear weapons and underestimates their enormous 
combat potentialities. This results in an orientation 
toward the ground forces and toward traditional ways 
of waging war. But the imperialists do not intend 
to wage war against the socialist countries with 
ground forces. Basically they place their stakes 
on strategic nuclear weapons.' 

That Soviet strategy also has come to place its stakes 
increasingly on strategic nuclear weapons is underlined by the 
amount of attention given in current military literature to strategic 
operations, as well as to the evolving autonomy of such operations, 
apart from traditional battlefield operations in theater campaigns. 


^ Kommunist Vooruzhennvkh Sil . No. 10, May 1963, p. 12. An account 
by Colonel I. Mareev in the same journal in early 1964 spoke with unusual 
frankness of the "bold and revolutionary" character of the Central 
Committee's decision to undertake the missile program, and of the great 
diversion of resources and skilled personnel that this involved, as 
well as the "many complex theoretical and technical problems" en~ 
countered. This discussion mentioned no open opposition to the program, 
but the recital of obstacles suggests that it did not enjoy smooth 
sailing. See ibid .. No. 3, February 1963, pp. 10*11. 

2 

Soviet Military Strategy, p. 401. 

3 

Voennaia Strateg.ia . 2nd ed., p. 368. 






200 



I** 

, * 






Viwi on the Character of Strata ale Operations 

The r«vla«d Sokolovskii volume furnished a number of interesting 

additions to this subject, although in general its discussion of 

strategic operations followed the pattern of the first edition. 

On the question of the extent to which strategic operations alone 

nay have decisive results in war, the Sokolovskii authors strengthened 

soae of the propositions in their first edition. One of these had 

said that aodarn strategic weapons "make it possible to achieve 

decisive results in winning victory in war sostetlmes without resort 

to tactical and field forces and their weapons.' 1 * In the new edition, 

the authors said further that: 

...strategy, which in the past attained Its ends 
through tactics and the operational art, now has 
the capability to achieve its goals by its own 
autonomous mans — Independent of the outcom 
of battles and operations in other spheres of 
coobat.2 

In an expanded discussion of strategic operations elsewhere in 
the revised volum, the interesting point was made that it will be 
nr-cessary in « nuclear war to co-ordinate the operation of all 
branches of the armed forces "according to a single plan and under 
a single strategic command." 3 This suggests a rather large measure 


^Soviet Military Strategy, p. 94. It should be borne in mind 
that the first Sokolovskii edition took an ambivalent stance on 
this question, elsewhere adhering to the doctrine that victory can be 
secured only through combined-arras operations. The second edition 
wee similarly ambivalent. These matters are taken up more fully 
in Chapter XVII. 

^ Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 21. 

3 Ibld .. p. 377. The same point has come up in Soviet discussion 
elsewhere, particularly on command and control problems arising in 
modern war. Colonel-General Shtemenko, for example, wrote in 
February 1963 that despite the great importance of strategic missiles, 
one would need the combined action of all arms "under a single central 
plan and leadership to win the war." Whether this is an argument to 
counter a trend in Soviet planning toward greater autonomy of the 
strategic forces le not clear. Koamunlat Vooruzhennvkh Sil . No. 3, 
February 1963, p. 28, 



201 


of reliance on a fixed fora of strategic operations, and might 

Indicate that alternative plans and options have not been devised 

for a variety of circumstances that might arise. However, this 

impression is somewhat at variance with another passage in the same 

discussion, which stressed at some length the many-sided character 

of a future war and the need to adapt strategic operational planning 

to a variety of possible developments: 

Her is always a quite complex and many-sided 
phenomenon, which will be even more true of a 
future nuclear war. In working out the forms and 
methods of conducting a future war one must take 
Into account a number of questions: how will the 
war be initiated; what will be its character; who 
is the main enemy; will nuclear weapons be used at 
the very outset or only in the course of the war; 
what kind of nuclear weapons — s: rategic or only 
tactical, and where; in what region or theater 
will the main events develop, etc.? By taking these 
factors into account it is possible to solve concretely 
the question of the forms and methods of waging a war. 

One form of strategic operations may take place in a 
global nuclear war resulting from an enemy surprise 
attack; a different form of operations may develop 
in a global nuc .ear war arising as a result of 
escalation from • local war, while a completely 
different form or operations will take place in a 
local war.*- 


Strategic operations, the authors predicted further, "will 

unfold on a widespread geographic scale, embracing simultaneously 

all the continents and seas, while at the same time they will be 

2 

short-lived, running their course rapidly.” However, Injecting a 
note of caution here that contrasted with more sanguine expectations 
expressed elsewhere in the book, the authors then added that the 

outcome of such operations "...is difficult at the present time even 

3 

to imagine." 


1 Ibid.. P. 378 
* Ibld . 

3Ibid. 




202 


Like other recent Soviet military writing, the new Sokolovskii 
work gave no indication that any revision of Soviet targeting doctrine 
for the strategic forces may be under contemplation. This doctrine 
has been consistent over the last few years in calling for nuclear 
strikes against both ailltary and nonmilitary targets deep in the 
anaay*s territory, in order “to deprive him simultaneously of the 
military, political, and economic capacity to wage war."* While 
aimultaneltv of attack upon both military and nonmilitary target 
systems has been emphasized in virtuallyall Soviet military and 
political discussion of the subject., an order of priority of sorts 
does seem to emerge in the professional literature. The usual order, 
found in both Sokolovskii volumes, is to eaphasize that the nuclear 
delivery means of the eosay, “the basis of his military power," 
constitute the priority target system. Next come other major 
military forces, the economic base, command and control system, and 

“other important strategic targets" that support the enemy's 

2 

capacity to make war. Within the category of nuclear delivery means, 

strategic forces generally are earmarked as the priority targets, 

3 

on the grounds that they represent the greatest threat. Both 

editions eaphaslsed this point, as stated below: 

i decisive weapon in modern warfare is the strategic 
nuclear weapon. The long-range delivery vehicle for 
this weapon is located far from the front lines or 
the borders, at a grant distance from the theaters 
of military operations. Unless these weapons are 


* Voennela Strateglla . 2nd ed., p. 250; Red Star . November 19, 1963; 
January 10, 1964, Konaunist Vooruzhennykh Sll . No. 2, January 1964, p. 21 

^ Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 298, 400, 408-410; Vocnnaia 
Strateglla . 2nd ed., pp. 241, 366, pp. 380-382. 

^Marshal Blrlutov, K oam un ist Vooruzhennykh Sll, No. 4, February 
1964, p. 19. 



•203 


destroyed or neutralized, it is Impossible to 
protect the country's vital centers from destruction, 
snd one cannot count on successfully achieving the 
elm of the war even If the /enemy/ troop formations 
deployed In the military theaters are destroyed.* 

Among the significant implications of this targeting doctrine 
is that it calls for counterforee capabilities of a very substantial 
order, well beyond what would be Involved for a "minimum deterrent" 
threat mainly against cities. The doctrine thus seems strangely out 
of key with the current Soviet tendency described elsewhere in this 
book to deprecate the feasibility of a U.S. counterforce strategy, 
and to argue that such a strategy would require a surprise first-strike 
in order to have any chances of success. One may suspect that a 
major source of Soviet policy concern and controversy is the question 
whether Soviet resources can provide the forces required to support 
such a targeting doctrine. 2 In this connection, a small but 
significant change appeared in the revised Sokolovskii edition in 
a discussion of the question whether the main strategic effort 
would be directed simultaneously against military and nonmilitary 
targets. The answer in both editions was yes, but in explaining 
why, the second edition added two words (italicized for identification 


in the quotation below) which did not appear in the original text: 

There is a real possibility for us of achieving 
these aims simultaneously with the use of the 
military instruments at hand,3 

^ Soviet Military Strategy , rp, 399-400; Voennaia Strategli a. 

2nd ed., p. 366. 

^Historically speaking, a doctrine which regards the enemy's armed 
forces as the main object of destruction in war has long continuity 
in Soviet military thought. In a sense, therefore, extension of the 
doctrine to strategic counterforce operations made possible by modern 
weapons Involves no basic conceptual wrench. * 

3 ygennaia Strateglia. 2nd ed., p. 250; Soviet Military Strategy. 
p. 305. 


204 


This insertion of N for us" any have reflected soon feeling by 

the Sokolovskii authors that Soviet forces had increased in strength 

sufficiently in the 1962*63 period betveen their editions to warrant 

aaklng the "possibility" of which they spcke aore emphatic. What 

actual changes in the strength of Soviet strategic forces aey have 

occurred, is, of course, a aatter of conjecture. Ko subject Is aore 

religiously shunned in Soviet discourse than actual figures on 

Soviet aisslle strength. General stateaents abound that "the Soviet 

Union has strategic alssiles in such quantity and of such quality 

that it can simultaneously destroy the required number of the 

1 

aggressor's targets," but these are hardly a suitable basis of 
judgment as to whether Soviet aisslle strength is at all adequate to 
support the kind of targeting doctrine in question. 

While the habit of being close-mouthed about Soviet aisslle 
strength probably contributes, in Soviet eyes, to their "secrecy 
stockpile" and is thus regarded ss s military asset, Soviet spokesmen 


* Voennala Strateglla. 2nd ed., p. 241. Soviet Military Strategy , 
p. 298. See also ibid ., footnote 26, p. 24, which discusses an 
ambiguous reference on January 19, 1963 by Khrushchev to the figure 
of "80 to 120" long-range alssiles as the possible size of the Soviet 
ICBM force. Perhaps the only other actual figures mentioned by a 
Soviet leader in connection with Soviet missile forces were those 
cited by Marshal Malinovskli in October 1961, when he said that "at 
the present time the missile forces Include about 1800 excellent 
lailltarx./ units." This figure, unrelated to numbers or types of 
missiles, was relative meaningless. Pravda. October 25, 1961. 

2 ——— 

A rather rare statement claiming sufficient Soviet nuclear 
weapons to "turn to ashes the aggressor's bases, launching sites and 
military centers" was made by a Soviet general in early 1964, without 
mention of attack against civilian targets. This apparent "counter- 
force" targeting statement, in a publication meant for circulation 
outside the Soviet Union, nay have reflected sensitvity to charges 
that the USSR has adopted a "city-killing” strategy, see Army 
General Pavel Kurochkin, "War Must Be Outlawed," Moscow Mews . 

February 22, 1964, p. 3. 



-205 


also are notably sensitive to the implication that this may imply an 

inferior strategic posture. One example of this was a parenthetical 

statement inserted in a February 1963 article by a Soviet Air Fore* 

general, who said: "Recently bourgeois propaganda has begun to talk 

more intensive gibberish about the 'military weakness' of the Soviet 

Union, alleging, if you please, that it has missile forces without 

strategic missiles and nuclear warheads for them."* A year later, 

in an interview in Izvestiia . the Conmander of the strategic missile 

forces. Marshal N. I. Krylov, displayed unusual anxiety to get 

across the point that the Soviet Union is numerically strong in 

missiles, without, however, divulging actual figures. After asserting 

that Soviet missiles were qualitatively superior in all respects to 

American missiles, Krylov addressed himself to the quantitative 

question in the following words: 

...it should be added that our forces have SUCH A 
QUANTITY of nuclear warheads and SUCH A QUANTITY 
of missiles as to permit us, if the imperialists 
start a war, to destroy any aggressor, wherever 
he may be located, including an aggressor who 
has nuclear neapons at his disposal , 2 /Capitals 
in original./ 

This resort to capital letters illustrates the handicap under 
which Soviet marshals labor in not being free to disclose even 
approximate numbers of Soviet missiles when trying to hold up their 
end of the strategic dialogue. In Krylov's interview, incidentally, 
he spoke only of Soviet ability to destroy dtlss, ignoring entirely 
the question of military targets. 

^Lieutenant-General N. Sbytov, "The Revolution in Military 
Affairs and Its Results," Red Star . February 15, 1963, 

2 lavestill. February 23, 1964, 


- 206 - 


Attltuda Toward Strategic Targeting Restraints 

Another feature of surrent Soviet dlacusslon bearing on strategic 
targeting has Seen a consistently negative attitude toward such 
concepts as the controlled use of strategic weapons and damage- 
llmltlng restraints in the event a major war should occur. As this 
writer has observed on a previous occasion, several factors may 
underlie the lack of Soviet Interest in such concepts, which have 
been widely discussed in the West.^ One reason appears to be the 
doctrinaire assumption that the political aims of the belligerents 
in any general -»ar would be unlimited, and that neither side could 
be expected, as Khrushchev has put it, "to concede defeat before 

2 

resorting to the use of all weapons, even the most devastating ones." 
Another and perhaps more compelling reason may relate to Soviet 
reticence about actual figures on Soviet missile strength. For if 
the Soviet Union knows Itself to be in an Inferior strategic posture, 

It may wish to enhance tha deterrent value of its strategic forces 
bp professing no interest In ground rules for restrained targeting. 

Throughout Soviet discourse there Is insistence that only measures 
to avert war, rather than to limit its destructiveness, are a 
' permissible subject of discussion. This, of course, Ignores the 
question of trying to place limits ot tl ie’el oi ! violence in case 
a war unwanted by elthar aids should begin through accident or mis¬ 
calculation. American statements on the subject of restraints in 
strategic warfare have been vlgorouly scored as an at tempt to Invent 

*See U.S. Editors' Analytical I*- roductlon, Soviet Military 
Strategy , pp. 59-60. 

2 Pravda. March 8 , 1961. For similar statements sea also: Pravda. 
November 29, 1957; January 15, 1960; July 11, 1962. 



207 


"rules for waging a nuclear war" in a way chat would preserve the 
capitalise ayataa.^ Sc/let disapproval of controlled strategic war 
concepts also has been linked to criticism of U.S. counterforce 
or "city-sparins" strategy, a subject we shell take up Id a 
subsequent chapter. 

At the same time, however, there have been son* signs of 
Soviet sensitivity to Vestern suggestions that damage-limiting 
concepts are a fit subject of discussion. The Glagolev-Larionov 
article of November 1963, to which we have previously alluded, dis¬ 
played a notably defensive attitude on this question in taking note 
of Western content that, as the Soviet authors put it, "the Soviet 

strategic concept la rigid and does not set any limits on the use 

2 

of nuclear weapons In the event of war." The article then want on 
to argue that the s oviet refusal to entertain agreements which would 
have the effect of "legaliting" nuclear war Is actually more 
"humanitarian" than the position of Western advocates of damage- 
Uniting concepts. Other Soviet coaanatary also has suggested that 
at least a propaganda liability Is sensed ia the Soviet position 
that no distinction la to be made between nllltery end nonmilitary 
targets. On various occasions Scviet writers have risen to protest, 
as did one Colonel Morosov In criticism of a eoluaai by Joseph Alsop, 

^Marshal V. D. Sokolovskii, "A Suicidal Strategy," Red Star . 
July 19, 1962; General A, Nevsky, World Marxist Review. 

March 1963, p. 33; Voetmale Stratealla . 2nd ed., p. 85; Moscow 
Radio commentary or "Military Objectives," July 13, 1962. 

2 

International Affairs. November 1963, p. 31. 




200 


that Am r lean Military doctrloa la not '■on huaana "than Soviet 
doctrine, aiaply becauaa of ita "stras*. on the destruction of Military 
objectives only." 1 

On the related question of adopting safeguards of various kinds 
to reduce the possibility of accidental initiation of nuclear war, 
the Soviet Union has tended to treat the issue polemically without 
«uch evidence, with perhaps the conspicuous exception of the 1963 
"hot line" agreement, of a serious effort to advance mutual under¬ 
standing in this area. Certainly, Soviet professional military 
literature has reflected no serious discussion of problem and 
techniques of nuclear safeguards. Again, however, there is som 
sign that the wide advertising of Amrlean measures in contrast with 
Soviet silence on this subject has touched a sensitive spot. For 
example, a somewhat defensive note on this question crept into an 
otherwise boastful article by Colonel-General Tolubko, deputy 
commander of the Soviet missile forces, in November 1963. Following 
a recitation of the readiness of his rocket troops to fulfill their 
duty, Tolubko took note of "press accounts of 'precautionary measures 
adopted by the USA against accidental outbreak of nuclear war.'" 

Such measures might be necessary for the Americans, he said, who have 
real reason to fear that "a mad man" among them mighr start a war. 

But as for the Soviet Union, according to Tolubko, "there ia no need 

to think about such problems," because "Soviet racketeers have 

2 

strong nerves...and a deep sansa of rasponsibility." 

^Colonel V. Morozov, "Joseph Alsop's 'Boiled Dog'," Red Star . 

March 21, 1963. 

2 Red, s tar, November 19, 1963, A quite contradictory statement on this 
point appeared in a subsequent Red gfar article which cited the comments of 
the commander of a Soviet miBiilfl unit ‘to the effect that there "were some 
men among his subotdl.cutes who had wiik hfrves. Expressing a false sense of 
fe. r, they requested transfers,,," Lieutenant-Colonel A, Sglbnev and Major 
A. Sniehalir., 'Missile Prose," ih*d .. January 8, 1964. 


-209- 


Pavcho-Polit leal Exploitation of the Strategic Missile Forces 

In a purely military sense, much of current Soviet professional 
discussion of the strategic missile forces, as in the successive 
Sokolovskii volumes, can be regarded as a stage in the process, under 
way for the past few yeart of adapting Soviet military doctrine and 
strategy to the potentialities of missiles and nuclear weapons. 

This process also has involved restructuring the Soviet military 
establishment to accommodate the new strategic missile forces, 
creation of which was first confirmed by Marshal Malinovskii in 1961.* 
The professional Soviet discussion of ways and means to employ the 
strategic missile forces if war should come can be considered -- 
within the limits of such open publications as the Sokolovskii 
volumes -* as a useful contnoution to understanding of Soviet 
strategic thinking and policy. 

However, there is another aspect of Soviet discourse on the 
strategic missile forces that should be differentiated from that 
noted above. This is what might h' called the process of employing 
these forces against men's minds, ither than against physical target 
systems. This process, too, is part of the strategic dialogue; it 
represents the political and psychological exploitation of the 
Soviet missile forces, as distinct from their contemplated use in 
any actual war that might occur. This political exoioitation of 
Soviet missile potentialities began as early as the late fifties, 

*In his report at the 22nd Party Congress. Pravda . Octooer 25, 
1961., Khrushchev first suggested that separate missile forces had been 
established in his January 1960 Supreme Soviet speech, but Ma > Inovskii's 
announcement made it explicit. The literal rendering of the Soviet 
term for the strategic missile forces is "Rocket Troops of Strategic 
Designation." 







210 


when Khrushchev, on the strength of the first Soviet ICBM tests and 

sputnik launchings in 1957, set out to persuade the world that the 

Strategic balance of power had shifted suddenly to the Soviet side. 1 

Today, the strategic missile forces bear a special cachet in 

Soviet discourse. They frequently are described, for example, as 

2 

a force "from which no aggressor is safe," or as "the mighty 

3 

shield standing in the way of the imperialist aggressors." The 

"special care" which the Presidium of the Central Committee and 

Khrushchev personally have shewn toward development of the missile 

4 

forces often is mentioned. As discussed earl r in Chapter Five, 
the acclaim bestowed upon these forces has played its part in the 
East-West strategic dialogue as a device to enhance the credibility 
of the Soviet deterrent posture. Besides being pictured as the 
guarantor of Soviet security, Soviet missile forces also a^.* credited 
with being a major tool of Soviet foreign policy. Thus, for example, 
an article in November 1963 ascribed a string of diplomatic victories 
to Soviet missile forces, observing that the Soviet Union had "...useo 
its nuclear rocket might to shield Socielist Cuba, to avert aggression 
agslnst the Chinese People's Republic, and safeguard the independence 
end freedom of Egypt, Syria and Iraq." 5 


^See Arnold L. Borelick and Myron Rush, The Political Use of Soviet 
Strategic Power. The RAND Corporation, RM-2831-PR, January 1962. 

2 

Blrlusov, Isvestila . November 8, 1963; Red Sta r. February 21, 1964. 

^ Rad Star . November 19, 1963; Voennve Znaniia . No. 1, January 1963, p. 
Col. 1. Mareev, "The Indestructible Shield of the Socialist Countries," 
Komaunist Voorurhennvkh Sll . No. 3, February 1964, pp. 9-16. 

^Hallnovskii, Vigilantly Stand Guard Over the Peace , p. 43. S ovetsk!i 
Patriot . November 18, 1962; November 17, 1963; Red Star . February 23, 196.' 
Marshal S. Blrlusov, "New Sta^e In the Development of the Armed Forces and 3 
of Training and Indoctrinating Troops," Kommunlst Voorushennvkh SA . No. 4, 
February 1964, p. 19. 

^Intsrnatlonal Affairs. November 1963, p. 29. 


Perhaps the case of Cuba has illustrated most vividly the 

special burden borne by Soviet missiles in the conduct of Soviet 

foreign policy. Although Khrushchev learned a lesson in the limits 

of missile diplomacy in the Cuban episode of 1962, -ie. has since 

then fallen back again on the missile theme to lend authority to 

Soviet promises of protection to the Castro regime. His remarks 

diring Castro's second visit to the Soviet Union in January 1964 were 

characteristically missile-oriented, as when he said: 

...there were people who began to criticize us 
for placing the missiles and then taking them away. 

It is true we did emplace them and removed them. 

But we received the promise that there would be no 
invasion of Cuba. And we told the enemies of Cuba 
that if they butted in, our missiles would not 
necessarily have to be in Cuba. Our missiles will 
reach you at the farthest corner of the world from 
Soviet territory.* 

One of the articles which appeared in the Soviet press in the 
fall of 1963, at a time when the strategic missile forces were the 
object of an unusual amount of public attention, deserves particular 
note for its contribution to the new mystique which the Soviet Union 
seems to oe creating around the strategic missile troops. The 
article dealt with a day in the life of an unidentified Soviet 
strategic missile unit, describin' the technical competence, 
readiness for combat and devotion to duty of the unit's personnel. 

In this account, there was an extraordinary passage that seemed co 
be aimed at giving a special identity to Soviet rocket personnel. 
Remarking first that "a strategic rocketeer” outwardly may not be 
distinguishable from an officer in any other branch of the Soviet 


^Speech in leilnla on January 7, 1964. Pravda. January 18, 1964 


-212 


arasd forces, the author then said: "But if you knew that hart 
before you stands a lieutenant or a colonel if the strategic 
rockets — tbsn, word of honor, you would doff your cap in his 
presence!"^ 


1 Lt. Col. A. Salbnev, "Attention: Strategic Rocketeers — 
An Account of Life In One of the Units of the docket Forces," Red 
Star. Voveaber 6, 1963. 



213 


XIV. EVOLVIHG ROLES OF THE TRADITIONAL FORCES 

Although the increasing emphasis placed upon the strategic 
missile forces stands out as the most conspicuous trend in current 
Soviet military literature, this does not mean, of course, that 
other branches of the Soviet armed forces have been correspondingly 
neglected in Soviet thinking. In fact, the impact of the new 
missile forces upon Soviet doctrine and strategy probably has 
stimulated efforts to redefine and re-evaluate the roles which other 
elements of the armed forces may play. In this chapter, we shall 
touch upon some of the principal trends in recent Soviet discussion 
with regard to the evolving roles of the traditional ground, air 
and naval forces. 

Cround Forces 

Traditionally, the Soviet ground forces have been expected to 
carry the main brunt of theater warfare operations, and for a 
considerable time after World War II, as noted earlier, they 
represented the principal element of Soviet deterrence by virtue of 
their ability to hold Europe "hostage.” Technological developments in 
the nuclear-missile age have had a strong impact on doctrine for 
these forces, whose evolving role is clearly undergoing change. 

Soviet MRBM-XRBM units, for example, which are part of the strategic 
missile forces, apparently have taken over much of the "hostage” 
role vis-a-vis Europe. Within the ground forces themselves, the 
need to mount a dual capability for both nuclear and conventional 
warfare has further stimulated structural change and helped to keep 




214 


doctrine In flux. Moreover, as Indicated la Chapter Twelve, the 
question of the alee of the Soviet military eat. /lishaent has partic¬ 
ularly affected the ground forces. WhMe it la clear that the 
■ajorlty of Soviet ground force leaders continue to support the 
concept that Soviet security la Indissolubly linked with the 
maintenance of arsslve armies. It la notable that arguments In the 
open professional literature for lar^s forces do not spell out the 
relative slice eavlsaged for combat elements, as distinct from troops 
required for such functions as Interior security, logistic support 
and civil defense. One therefore has little basis to judge whether 
Soviet ground force leaders are disturbed by the present balance of 
combat forces, or by what they would regard as deficiencies in 
supporting units and large requirements for trained manpower to 
restore order and carry out rehabilitation tasks in the rear during 
a nuclear war. 

The central point stressed in Soviet military discourse today concerning 
the ground forces, as in Marshal Chulkov's December 1963 exhortation 
on their importance, is that they still play an indispensable role 
"in achieving the final goals of the war." 1 Despite this concession 

to the idea that the initial operations of a war would be dominated 

2 

by the strategic offensive sad dsfenslve forces, however, a wldt 

* Isvestlla . December 22, 1963; Voannala Strateella . 2nd ed. p. 246. 

^is dominance was sxpressed in Lomov's doctrinal exposition of 
January 1964 in the following words: "In the initial period the 
operations of the strategic missile forces and the PVO (antiair defense) 
will be of particularly great significance, since basically it will be 
precisely these forces which, having bean the first to join combat, 
will solve the main tasks," tad Star . January 10, 1964. 


215 


range of operations is envisaged for the ground forces in ail phases 

of a war. A picture of the theater ground operations expected to 

develop at the outset of a general war can be found In the following 

passages from the revised Sokolovskii edition. 

In the theater of ground operations, offensive 
operations will develop along fronts, in the 
course of which strategic tasks will be 
accomplished. This will be a theater offensive 
following nuclear strikes by strategic means, 
which will play the decisive role in defeat of 
the enemy. *■ 

Following the retaliatory nuclear strikes, airborne 
landings may be launched in great depth and -- 
depending on the radiological conditions — the 
ground force formations which are still intact 
will initiate a rapid advance with the support 
of the air force, in order to complete the 
destruction of the surviving armed forces of 
the enemy.^ 

It is noteworthy that these passages and a similar one elsewhere 
in the second Sokolovskii edition suggested that the ground operations 
probably would not begin simultaneously with the Initial nuclear 
strikes, but that there might be an interval, with the first follow¬ 
up action in depth by airborne troops. Host Soviet military literature 
has conveyed the impression that ground operations would be timed to 
begin simultaneously with the initial strategic strikes. 

The Increased Importance of tank forces and airborne troops in 
a future war is repeatedly stressed by top Soviet military leaders 
and military writers. 4 The second Sokolovskii edition, interestingly 


Ivo ennaia Strateglia . 2nd ed., p. 372. 

2 Ibid ., p. 374. 

3 Ibid.. p. 377. 

4 Chuikov, Izvestila . December 22, .1963; Rotmistrov, Kommunist 
Vooruzhennykh Sil, No. 2, January 1963, p. 31; Soviet Military 
Strategy , pp. 342, 344; Melinovskll, Red Star. February 23, 1963; 
Lomov, Red Star . January 10, 1964. 



•nought placed even sore emphasis then the firet on the role of 
Airborne operation*, noting that "air landing as veil as paratroop 
operations have taken on a nev significance." 1 Among the purposes 
of airborne operations, according to the Sokolovskii authors, will 
be seizure of enemy nuclear weapons, airfields and naval bases. A 
suggestion that technical improvements In Soviet airborne capabilities 
wmy account in part for increased Soviet Interest in airborne operation* 
was conveyed by a Red Star article in January 1963, in which the author 

pointed out that the airborne forces now have heavier weapons and 

3 

equipment, deliverable by airdrop. 

The acquisition of nuclear weapons by the ground forces has been 
one of the major factors affecting their development over the past 
few years. Soviet military literature makes clear that nuclear 
weapons and tactical missiles now constitute the "ma J n firepower" 

4 

of the ground forces. However, a certain amount of doctrinal and 
perhaps organizational uncertainty, tinged with possible rivalry 
between strategic and tactical missile elements, appears to have 
arisen around the question of nuclear weapons in the ground forces. 
Signs of this emerge from the shifting evaluation placed upon 

* Voennala Strateella . 2nd ed. . p. 307. 

2 Ibid . 

^Lieutenant-General V. Margelov, "The Precepts of a Paratrooper," 
Red Star . January 31, 1963. 

^ Soviet Military Strete». p. 341; Voennala Strateaiia. 2nd ed., 
p. 246;Sbytov. Red Star. February 15, 1963;Mallnovskii. Red Star. 
February 23, 1963. 


-217 


tactical alsslle units vlthln the g ound forces.^ Marshal S. 

Varentsov, who was In charge of tactical missile units before his 

fall from grace because of his connection with the Penitovskii espionage case. 

wrote an article on tactical missile doctrine in late 1962 in which 

he laid greet stress on the superior value of tactical missiles over 

2 

tactical aviation and artillery in theater operations. This 
assessment seemed to be generally (though not exclusively) shared 
in other military writing, including the first edition of the 
Sokolovskil book. However, two interesting modifications bearing 
on this question appeared in the revised edition. One of these 
changes consisted of dropping a previous statement that the 
tactical missile troops: 

...will to a considerable degree replace artillery 
and aviation in bombarding the front; for some 
purposes they will completely replace artillery 
and aviation.^ 

The other change occurred in a passage stating that the tactical 
missile troops "...will be the main means used to clear the way for 
tank and motorised troopsThe revised statement dropped the 
words "main means" and said instead that the miss 11s units of the 
ground forces will: 


*In Soviet usage, "strategic missiles" include missiles of inter¬ 
continental (ICBM), intermediate (IRBM), and medium range (MRBM). 

These are under the control of the strategic missile forces, directly 
subordinated to the Soviet High Command. Other missiles of lesser 
range designated as "operational-tactical missiles" in Soviet usage 
are to be found in the armament of the ground, air and naval forces. 

As used above, "tactical missiles" refers to the Soviet category of 
"operational-tactical missiles." See explanation in Soviet Military 
Strategy, pp. 51, 521. 

^Marshal S. Varentsov, "Rockets -- Formidable Weapon of the 
Ground Forces," Isvest ila, December 2, 1962. 

^ Soviet Military Strategy , p. 341. Voennala Strateaila. 2nd ed., 
p. 3G4. 

* Soviet Military Strategy, p. 341. 



218 


...help clear the way...by destroying any important 
eneay targets and troop formations chat may survive 
strikes by tha strategic alsslle forces...* 

The effect of these changes was to suggest that some re- 

evaluation of the role of tactical missile units within the ground 

forces eafcy have taken place in the past year or so. resulting in a 

downgrading of tbeir contribution to battlefield operations. The 

expressed expectation that strategic missile forces will play a 

greater role in "clearing die way" for ground force theater 

operations contributed further to this impression. However, other 

Soviet military writing yields the impression that the use of 

tactical nuclear weapons in battlefield operations is still very 

much an open question. As indicated in the discussion of limited 

war in Chapter Ten, increased interest in the value of small weapons 

for tactical purposes has been displayed by some Soviet military 

men. Colonel-General Shtemenko, for example, in assessing 

significant weapons' developments in February 1963, took note of 

Western development of "smell and very-small yield nucleer weapons," 

2 

although he waa noncommittal as to Soviet activity in this area. 

A Red Star article by Major-General Anureev in November 1963 also 

placed rather unaccustomed enphaels on tha value of small weapons, 
stating: 

mSii, . .. mi ■— —■ 

Waesatia Strataalia. 2nd ad., p. 304. 



219 


The necessity for such veepons is dictated by the 
clrcuastances themselves. It is difficult to 
use large yield nuclear warheads on the battle* 
field...without risking the destruction of one's 
own forces. 1 

The question of maintaining dual capabilities *• both nuclear 
end conventional -- in the Soviet ground forces is undoubtedly, as 
in other countries with a nuclear potential, one of the most complex 
and troublesome problems with which Soviet- military planners have had 
to contend. It is rather surprising, therefore, that very littl. 
professional discussion of the technical and operational problems 
arising out of this matter has appeared in Soviet military literature. 
The standard treatment of this question goes little beyond statements 
that the Soviet ground forces must be prepared to use both nuclear 
and conventional weapons, and that improvement of conventional 
weapons will continue along with development of new types of 
weapons.* 

The underlying doctrinal assumption in Soviet writing :oday is 
tnat in any general war the use of conventional arms will take place 
within the framework of operations dominated by nuclear weapons. 

Some statement*, however, suggest the Independent employment of 
conventional forces under a variety of conditions. In this connection, 
both editions of the Sokolovskii work, for example, stated that 
conventional weapons "wtl*. be extenalvely employed in local end 
world wars, either independently or in conjunction with new types 


^ed Star . November 21, 1963. 

^See Voenno-Ietorlcheskli Zhurnal. No. 10, October 1963, p. 123; 
Koronunlst Vooruahetmvkh Sj l. No.’ 10, May 1963, po. 11-12; Voennala 
S_trat exits. 2nd ad., p. 234, 319; Soviet Military Strategy, pp. 288, 
338, 356. 



■223 


of Mfipoai." 1 Vfblle no doctrine for dealing with a purely conventional 
war on a large ecale is currently extact in the open Soviet literature, 
there have been, as noted earlier, some recent signs of an awakened 
Interest in the question of local wars which eight involve conventloeel 
operations on a fairly extensive scale. 2 


Air Forces 

Aa in the case of the Soviet ground forces, technological change 
and othar factors have had a strong lapse, on traditional roles and 
doctrine for the eir forces. Less we11-entrenched in the Soviet 
scheae of things than the ground forces establishment (the Soviet 
air forces were elevated to the same level as the ground and naval 
forces as one of the th v e basic branches of the armed forces only after 
the last var^), the air forces have had perhaps an even more 
difficult time in holding their own against the competition of 
missile technology than the ground forces. A sense of this situation 
was convoyed by the first Sokolovskii edition. In a passage stating 


that: 

* 

Today, the air forces are in a special situation. 

In recent years, there hes been keen competi-ftn 
between hosiers, missiles end sir defense vtp ^ns. 

In this compstition, air dafense weapons huv~ 
gained the advantage ever botrber aircraft... 
consequently, long-range bombers are rapidly 
yielding first pises to lntsrcontinental bombers 
and lntsmsdiats range ballistic missiles.4 

l Sovlet Military Strategy, p* 338; Vosnnai a Stratealia. 2nd ed .. 
p. 299. See also Rotmlstrov, Moscow Haws . May 11, 1963. 

^See Chapter Ten. 

^See Robert A. Kilnu -, A History of Soviet Air Power. Frederick 
A. Praager, Mew York, 19*1, p. 225. 

4 8wtat Military SL arcs*, ?• 3*«. 



The impression given by the first Sokolovskii edition that 
many decisions affecting the future development of the air forces 
probably were pending or under debate has not been altered by the 
second edition or other Soviet writing in the interim. The area 
of principal flux in Soviet air power doctrine seems to concern the 
role of the long-range bomber, although a zone of contention over the 
relative weight of tactical missiles and tactical aviation in the 
conduct of theater operations also is evident. 

The case of the long-range bomber, which gave the Soviet Union 

its first intercontinental delivery capabilif;- bn Tore the advent of 

the ballistic missile, is affected not only b ompet. ion from other 

weapons systems, but also by the introduction ,'f 'Isarmament 

proposals relating to strategic delivery means. These r.i iged from 

a U.S. suggestion to "freeze" the present level cf ell -/pes of 

strategic delivery vehicles to a Soviet propose t > scrap existing 

inventories of all bonders. 1 Khrushchev, moreover, has again 

announced that the Soviet Union has ceased production of strategic 

2 

bombers, along with surface warships, which no doubt limits the 

^In his message of January 21, 1964 to the Geneva disarmament 
conference, Preeident Johnson urged that the United States and the 
Soviet Union agree to explore a verified freeze of the number and 
characteristics cf strategic nuclear offensive and defensive 
vehicles, Th e Hew York Times . January 22, 1964. The Soviet Union 
countered this by proposing the destruction of all bomber aircraft 
without waiting for an agreement on general and complete dis*tmoment. 
The rtew York Times . January 29, 1964. 

* Thc Haw York Times. June 11, 190. 


222 


latitude for expressing professional Military views on the bonbar 
question. 

To judge from the revised Sokolovskii edition and other pro¬ 
fessional writing, there has been a further trend toward downgrading 
the worth of strategic bombers in the past year or so, offset to some 
extent by continued recognition that air-to-surface missiles have 
given the bomber a further lease on life.* 1 For example, the 
revised Sokolovskii edition, like the first, stated that strategic 

missions deep within enemy territory can be better performed by 

2 

ballistic missiles than bombers. Both volumes also noted that 

the use of air-to-surface missiles can prolong the combat potential 

of strategic bombers. However, in the second edition, after 

observing that air-to-surface missiles can "considerably increase 

the capabilities of long-range bombers” by enabling them to strike 

"enemy targets, without penetrating his alr-dafensa cone," the 

Sokolovskii authors than want on to say: 

But even in this case, strategic bomber aviation 
cannot ragaln its lost significance. Its speed 
le too low coopered to ballistic missiles. 6 


*Lt. General N. Sbytov, "The Revolution in Military Affairs and 
It* Rest its," Rad Star . February 15, 1963; Mnlinovskii, Red Star . 
February 23, 1963. 

2 Voennaia Stratexlla . 2nd ed., p. 310; Soviet Military Strategy , 
p. 346. 

^ Voennala Strstealla . 2nd ed., p. 312; Soviet Military Strategy , 
p. 246. 

4 

Voennala Strateglia, 2nd ed., p. 311. In the second edition, 
examples were given of'air-to-aurface missiles of "400-600 kilometer 
range and greater" in the Soviet case, compared with Hound Dog and 
Blue Street missiles of "800 and 600-1000 kilometers," respectively, 
in the Western case. 




223 


Other signs of backing away slightly Irons their aid-1962 
appreciation of the 1 ong-renga bomber role also were evident in 
the 1963 Sokolovskii edition. Thus, in e passage dealing with 
boaber penetration of enemy airspace, greater stress was put on 
the difficulty of concealing boaber flights "from modern means of 
detection.Elsewhere, in a discussion of future aircraft develop¬ 
ment possibilities, including aircraft not requiring improved 
airfields, the second edition omitted reference to a statement 
that development trends promised to increase significantly the 

capabilities of aircraft operating "in the deep rear" of enemy 
2 

territory: -- an omission suggesting somewhat less optimism about 
future prospects for improving the capabilities of aircraft with 
deep penetration roles, such as those in the long-range bomber 
category. 

On the other hand, in discussing strategic operations in a 
general time-frame without specific reference to future trends, 
the new Sokolovskii volume, like the first, was somewhat more 
generous to the strategic bomber. In both cases, a standing role 
was ascribed to long-range aviation, together with the strategic 
missile forces, as the main instrumentality for carrying out 
strategic attacks. 3 Moreover, the new volume gave greeter emphasis 

l lbid .. p. 310. It may be recalled from the discussion in 
Chapter Five that modern detection capabilities have been emphasised 
by the Soviets as one of the factors reducing the prospect of a 
successful U.S. first strike against the Soviet Union, as in the 
Glegolev-Lsrionov article in International Affairs . 

2 Ibid .. p. 312; Soviet Military Strategy, p. 347. 

•* Vocnnala Streteslle. 2nd ed., pp. 375, 381, 382. Soviet 
Military Strategy , pp. 406, 408, 410. 


•224 


than before to the role of long-range bombers for "Independent 
strikes against enemy targets, especially on the seas and oceans." 1 
This emphasis cou 1 reflect the Increased activity In the past year 

of Soviet long-range aircraft, which were publicly reported on 

2 

several occasions to be shadewing U.S. carrier forces at sea. The 
new volume also added long range aviation to an enumeration of Soviet 
forces that would play an important role In disrupting enemy maritime 
communications.^ 

The ambiguity thus attending the treatment of long-range bombers 

In the respective Sokolovskii editions has been evident In ether 

* 

Soviet military commentary, particularly as regards evaluation of 
bombers equipped as air-to-surface missile carriers. Opinion on 
this subject has not bean divided along branch-of-service lines. 4 
Various high-ranking non-air force officers, among them Marshal 
Malinovskil, have endorsed the ASM-equipped bomber in emphatic terms. 
Mallnovskll, fer example, said in February 1963: 


i yoennala Strate alia. 2nd ad., p. 312. 

^See Washington Post . March 17, 19 and New York Times. June 5, 

1963. 

S yoeimaia Stratealia. 2nd ed., p. 400. 

^Service -oriented viewpoints certainly exist in the Soviet Union 
and are undoubtedly a factor in the internal military policy debate. 

It is difficult, however, to find a close correspondence between any 
particular service viewpoint and the modernist-traditionalist schools 
of thought, except perhaps that the traditionalist outlook may be more 
widely found in the ground forces merely on strength of numbers. In 
the air force case, the bent of many officers may be naturally in the 
modernist direction, but their Interests often lie closer to those of 
the traditionalists. For example, the missile forces, which have 
become the darling of the Party and where the modernist view flourishes, 
are essentially competitors for favor and resources against lorg-range 
aviation advocates within the air forces. At the s<ime time, 

tactical aviation elements in the air forces find their natural allies 
in the shaping of doctrine and channeling of resources among the staunch 
traditionalists who want to preserve large combined-arms theater forces. 



•225 


Important changes have taken place in recent 
years in the air forces...the bomber has been 
replaced by missile-carrying aircraft which 
are capable of carrying out — with great 
accuracy -- long-range, nuclear strikes against 
Che enemy, without entering the zone where they 
are vulnerable to his air defenses.1 

Other officers, however, have seemed to slight the missile- 

carrying bomber when discussing air force capabilities. A 

conspicuous example of this turned up in Major-General Lomov's 

January 1964 doctrine reries in Red Star . He enumerated several 

fields of improvement in Soviet aviation which had occurred 

"simultaneously with the growth of the air forces as a branch of 

the armed forces," but made no mention at all of missile-carrying 

2 

aircraft except in connection with naval aviation. The warmest 
proponents of the ASM-equipped bomber have been found, as might 
be expected, among air force officers and aircraft designers. One 
of the latter, the world-famous aircraft designer Andrei Tupolev, 
advanced a public argument in 1962 that missfle-carrying bombers 
har 1 some "very Important advantages" over the ballistic missiles, 
but there has since been no evidence that this view has gained 

3 

wide acceptance in Soviet military opinion. 

If the long-range bomber has received somewhat diluted support, 
other elements of the air forces have fared somewhat better in 
recent Soviet discussion. Tactical or frontal ( front ovaia) aviation, 

* Red Star . February 23, 1963. 

j 

Red Star . January 10, 1964. 

3 A. Tupolev, "The Missile-Aircraft Carrier," Avlatsiia i 
Itozmonavtika (Aviation and Cosmonautica) , No. 6, June 1962, p. u. 




- 226 - 


vhlch Cradletonally has bean tha central element of Soviet air forces, 

haa lost ioim t of lta functions to tactical missiles, but, as 

Indicated earlier, there are signs of a revived Interest in the 

contributions of this arm, particularly against mobile targets in 

theater warfare. Col. Gen. Shteoenko, chief-of-staff of the ground 

forces, spoke up as a strong champion of tactical aviation In 

February 1963, noting that there Is '^no substitute" for It, "especially 

when Independent searching out of targets is required."* The 

revised Sokolovskii edition also stressed the continuing importance 

of tactical bombers and fighter bombers for use egainst mobile 

targets, and suggested that technological improvement of aircraft 

for battlefield use could be expected: 

...there are many specific tasks, such as destruction 
of mobile targets, which can be more effectively 
carrlod out by bonfeers or fighter-bombers than 
missiles. The future improvement of aircraft-missile 
technology may significantly Increase the operational 
effectiveness of the bonfcer air force or the battle¬ 
field. 2 

In addition to long-range strategic and tactical support roles, 
other missions of the air forces also have been under reassessment. 

The present trend la to foresee an Important role for fighter aircraft 
"In the next years" in the air defense system, and a need for 
improved fighter performance, including endurance. The Importance 
of aerial reconnaissance has been upgraded, now being described as 


^ Komnunlst Voorushennvkh Sil . No. 3, February 1963, p. 24. 

^ Voennaia Stratevtia . 2nd ed., p. 311. This revived emphasis 
on tactical aircraft for battlefield support is of particular interest 
in connection with the possible downgrading of tactical missile 
contributions me. tioned earlier. 

3 Ibid ., pp. • "19, 311. 



one of the "more important missions of aviation." 1 2 In this connection, 
the revised Sokolovskii volume placed added weight on the need for 
aerial reconnaissance, both to aid the missile forces and to locate 
submarine bases and submarine positions at sea. Air force 
contributions to airborne operations, logistic support and communications 

also are described as of growing importance in Soviet military discourse 

J 3 
today. 


Ma val Fci<gs 

The great change in the strategic landscape brought about by 
World War II, which left the Soviet Union and its continental 
satellites facing a global coalition of maritime powers, resulted in 
a new Soviet emphasis on the importance of naval forces. The Soviet 
navy had played no major role in the world's oceans in World War II, 
haying been used mainly for. support of the seaward flankr of the 
Soviet ground forces and Tor defense of Soviet coastal areas. While 
the'ie tasks remain among the missions of the naval forces, they have 
been overshadowed by new roles — Co interdict American support 
of Europe in case of war, to combat U.S. carrier and submarine 
forces, and lately, since acquisition of missile-launching submarines, 
to share to come extent in Che strategic offensive effort. 

For a time early in the post-war period, it appeared that the 
Soviet Union might attempt to create a surface challenge to Western 
sea power. However, a large program of surface naval constr., "ion 


1 Ibid. 

2 

Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd cd., p. 399. 

^Ibid., p. 312. See also: Marshal K. A. Vershinin, "The Might 
of theAir Force Is Growing," Red S tar, February 1, 1964; Margelov, 
Red Star , January 31, 1963; Malinovs'kii, Red Star . Febria ry 23, 1963. 




vu cut back** and after Khrushchev consolidated his power, he 

publicly announced the obsolescence of surface warships, s view he 

2 

reiterated as recently as June 1963. The main Soviet emphasis 
went Into building a large jubmsrlne fleet, and although no carrier 
program was ever Initiated, a substantial land-based air arm 
consisting mainly of Jet bombers and reconnaissance aircraft has 
beea provided tor naval tasks. These are some of the factors wr.lch 
have given the naval forces greater weigh*, today in the Soviet scheme 
of things than was formerly the case. 

Judging from Soviet military literature since the appearance of 
the first Sokolovskii edition in 1962, a fairly significant re- 
evaluation of navy rolea and missions appears to have been taking 
place over the past year or two, partly influenced perhaps by re¬ 
assessment of threats with which Soviet naval forces may have to 
cope, and partly by chengM in the capabilities of these forces 
themselves. Ons of the naval tasks upon which ne< emphasis has 
been placed is that of antisubmarine warfare. In particular, more 
•tree* has baan avldant on measures for combating Polaris subs, e 
"problem which had bean traatad somewhat lightly in the first 
Sokolovskii edition, as both foreign commentators and Soviet critics 

*In 1955 Admiral N, C. Kuznetsov, head of the navy, was dismissed 
for favoring e largo surface navy, which also may have been opposed by 
Marshal Zhukov, then Minister of Defense. See Garthoff, op, cit .. pp. 37-38. 
Khrushchev himself has sometimes been credited as the "father of the submarine 
fleet," who allegedly over-ruled Zhukov on the need for submarines. Zhukov 
has been somewhat tendentiously pictured as the opponent of not only surface 
vassals but also submarines. See Izvestiia. October 11, 1961. 

^TheJIew YorJk Times. June 11, 1963. 





pointed out.* The second Sokolovskii edition, by contrast, described 

2 

.this problem as 1 the most important task of the Soviet navy." In 

ap expanded discussion of ASM operations, the Sokolovskii authors 

noted that such operations must now be conducted at great distances, 

and that "the former coastal system of ASM is not effective today 

3 

against missile-launching submarines." A more important role was 
ascribed to antisub submarines in the new volume, and it was stated 
that Soviet submarines used for ASW purposes will be armed with 
"homing torpedoes" as well as missiles.^ Soviet strategic missile 
forces, long-range aviation, and naval surface forces also were 
said to have a role in dealing with the Polaris threat.** While 
taking a more sober view of the Polaris problem than in their 
previous edition, the Sokolovskii authors repeated the assertion 
that such submarines are "vulnerable" despite foreign claims to 
the contrary. In this connection, they said: 


*For American conasentary on this point, see U.S. Editors' 

A- 'lytical Introduction, Soviet Military Strategy , p. 55. A Soviet 
critic was Admiral V. A. Aiafuzov, writing in a Soviet naval journal 
in January 1963. Aiafuzov found in the first Sokolovskii edition 
a tendency to take too much for granted the vulnerability of Polaris- 
type submarines, and found shortcomings in its treatment of other 
naval problems as well. "On Publication of the Work 'Military 
Strategy'," Morskoi Sbornik . No. 1, January 1963, p. 94. 

^Vo ennaia Strateglia . 2nd ed., p. 398. 

3 Ibid ., p. 399; Soviet Military Strategy, p. 422. 

^ Voemiata Strateglia . 2nd ed., p. 381. 

5 Ibid ., p. 399. 

^ Ibid .. p. 398. Some Soviet naval writers also have continued 
to assert that Polaris submarines are vulnerable on various grounds, 
including the "noise" they are alleged to generate when running submerged. 
Admiral A. Chabanenko, "Nuclear Scouts of the Pentagon," Izvestiia , 

Dec. 1, 1963. See also: Captain 1st Rank V. Mamaev, "Targets in the 
Ocean," Red Star . April 4, 1963; Captain 1st Rank V. P. Rogov, "U.S. 
Imperialists Form A 'Polaris' High Command," Morskoi Sbornik. May 1963, 
pp. 77-85. 




Atonic submarines with "Polaris” missiles can 
be destroyed at their bases by strikes delivered 
by the strategic missile forces, /also/ during 
transit and in their patrol areas, by anti-sub 
submarines, by long-range aviation and by other 
anti-submarine forces and means.* 

Other Soviet discussion has indicated differing views on the 

ASW problem. Some spokesmen, including Admiral S. G. Gorshkov, 

commander of the Soviet navy, have expressed rather sanguine views 

2 

of the "successes*' achieved in Soviet ASW exercises. In October 
1963, a Soviet admiral said that "methods and equipment are being 
iraprov/.d more each year" in the ASW field, although he noted that 
"concealment and surprise" might be used as a com'tT to ASW 
operations. A comment in July 1963 in a miH’-.ar/ journal's des¬ 
cription of a submarine exercise to penetrate an ASW barrier 
seemed to suggest an improvement in ASW capabilities by noting 
that the submarine commander "was very much disturbed by the un- 

4 

precedented range of an ASW ship" operating against him. By 
contrast with these expressions on the subject, Admiral V. A. 
Alafuaov in January 1963 made some direct and pungent negative 
comments on the prospects for ASW operations against nuclear - 
powered submarines. In • discussion dealing with the problem of 


* IMd .. p. 399. 

2 Admir&l S. G. Gorshkov, "The Great Tasks of the Soviet Navy," 
Red Star . February 5, 1963. 

^Rear Admiral F. Maslov, "Suddenly end Secretly,” Red Star . 
October 12, 1963. 

^Captain Second Rank N. Belous, "Masters of the Deep," 
Kommunlat Vooruthennvkh Sil . No. 13, July 1963, p- 51. It should 
be noted that in this account the submarine ultimately succeeded, 
despite difficulties, in forcing the ASW barrier. 


231 


finding surface navel vessels and attacking them with missiles, 

Alafusov first observed that this "Is not so oasy, unless one 

uses a missile with a superpowerful nuclear warhead whose destructive 

radius will compensate for all possible mistakes in calculation of 

the target's location." Alafusov then added: 

It will be even more difficult to detect and 
destroy atomic submarines which are all the 
time In a submerged position.! 

Another problem which has been high on the list of Soviet naval 

tasks for the past few years is that of dealing with U.S. carrier 

forces. The revised Sokolovskii volume in 1963 continued to stress 

the importance of operations against carriers, giving preference to 

submarines as the best anticarrier weapon when nuclear torpedoes or 

2 

missiles are employed. An important role in operations against 
carriers also was mentioned, as before, for units of the naval air 
arm and long-range aviation. 3 In this connection, the new volume 
advanced the claim that when air-to-surface alssl.ua. with nuclear 
warheads are used by such air units, only a small number of aircraft 
will be required for successful attacks against carrier forces.^ 

In general, the new volume expanded somewhat on the vulnerability of 
carrier forces, assarting that Soviet possession of missile-launching 
submarines makes it possible to attack carrier force* without having 

^ Horsko! Sbomlk, January 1963, p. 95. 

^ Voennaia Strategila , 2nd ed., p. 398. 

3 Ibid. Soviet Military Strateg y, p. 421. 

4 

Voennala Stratehlla . 2nd ad., p. 398. 




232 


to penetrate their protectlve screen. At on* point In the revised 
volume, reference was made to 0.S. proas accounts that aucle«r~ 
powered aircraft carriers can operate without a protective screen, 

v "S’ X 

end It was said that this "should be ta'reu Into account in 

organising countermeasures against aircraft carriers."* 

The precise role which alsalie-launching submarines should play 

-in Soviet plans appears to be a subject on which there has been 

considerable debate, particularly as regards the contribution these 

submarines would make to strategic operetlons against land targets. 

While recognition that "submarines are the principal striking force 

of our Havy" has been general in Soviet statements, there often 

has been a tendency to associate misslie-launching submarines with 

operations against enemy naval forces at ssa rather than with 

3 

strategic operetlons. 'art of the burden of Admiral Alafuzov's 
criticism of the first Cot jlovskii edition in the previously- 
mentioned review wee thet the book felled to give sufficient 

X .a«S . 

recognition &<; "he strategic role of Soviet missile-launching subs, 
which would further suggest thet this hee be e n n issue in Soviet 
defense planning. 




l J$td. : p. 39V. 

Editorial, "Principal Striking Force of the Havy," Red Star . 
October 31, 1962. 

•* lbld . This editorial, and othar material in the same Issue 
Of Red Star , includlrsn interview with Admiral Gorshkov, appeared 
In the weu of the Cuoan crisis. The emphasis throughout was on 
the defensive mission oi rhe submarine force, rather than upon a 
Strategic offensive role, which might have been expected to receive 
emphasis in light of the setback to Soviet offensive strike 
capabilities implicit in withdrawal of land-based medium-range 
missiles from Cube. 

^Morskol Sboralk. January 1963, pp. 94, 95. 



233 


An indication that this issue nay have moved toward resolution 
in the 1962-63 Interval between the two Sokolovskii editions was 
furnished by the second edition, which gave considerably note 
attention to the strategic role of the mis8lie-launching submarine. 

.v, four different points in discission of strategic operations, for 
~xampie, the 1963 volume identified aisslie-launching submarines as 
a participating eleaent in such operations, aloe® with the strategic 
missile forces and long-range aviation units.* la this connection, 
it is interesting that the Sokolovskii authors* discussion of 
missile-launching submarines did not dwell on Soviet capabilities 
for submerged-launching of missiles, such as possessed by Polaris 
submarines. In other Soviet statements, dating back to Khrushchev's 
/is it to fleet exercises in northern waters in July 1962, occasional 

2 

claims of a Soviet submerged-launching capability have been advanced. 

In the evolution of Soviet naval rolas, one of the more interesting 
levclopments of the last year or so has bean tha Increasing attention 
flven in military lltarature to the question of amphibious landing 
:apabllitias. Critics, both foralgn and Soviet, have in the past 
toted the paucity of treatment glvan this subject in Soviet military 
octrine, the more striking because of the doctrinal prescription 
bat Soviet forces would hqye to be put ashore to occupy the 

* Voennaia Stratealla. 2nd ed», pp. 369, 372, 406; Soviet Military 
trategy . pp. 402, 404, 427, 

2 

Red Star . July 21, 1962s February 5, 1963. a account in 
ivesti ia. November 7, 1962, identified naval missiles shown in the Red 
(uare parade as types that could be "launched from any position — 
i the surface or submerged. 


234 



territory of an ovtritta enemy before victory could be consolidated.^ 

Ataln, the ooit outspoken Soviet critic on record on this point is 

Admiral Alafusov, who scored the first Sokolovskii edition for falling 

"to remember that if it is a question of a 'maritime opponent*, his 

final destruction and the taking of his territory cannot be accoapllshed 

2 

without conducting auphlblous operations." To drive his point hone. 

Alafusov said one oust not overlook the naval forces. 

...without which the ground forces would be in a 
terrible quandary, to say the least, in attempting 
Invasion of eneoqr territory across the sea.3 

In their revised voluae, the Sokolovskii authors went part way 

toward rectifying their previous neglect by adding a notation to the 

effect that: 

*1 

In developing toe navy, one suit take into account 
the elusion of conblned operations with the ground 
forces, and above ell. eake provision for anphlblous 
operations.4 

Meanwhile, in other Soviet military writing in 1963. the 
question of anphlblous operations began to receive more attention. 

A particularly notable contribution to the literature on this subject 
was a serious article by a navy captain in the September 1963 issue 
Morskol Sbornik. The author. Captain N. P. Vlunenko, reviewed 
many of the problems attending anphlbloue landings in the nuclear 
age, and while stressing the hasards. came to the conclusion that 
"it is possible to carry out anphlblous landings even under modern 


**Ste U.S. Editors' Analytical Introduction, Soviet Military 
italic. PP* 71. 75. 

2 flarskol Sboinlk. January 1963, p. 95. 

3 lbld.. p. 92. 

Strateaiia. 2nd ad., p. 313. 


235 


condition*At one piece he made the point thet e nuclear attack 

on the defenaes prior to a landing vould be the aoet effective way 

tc ensure success^ — an approach to the problem which apparently 

3 

has received attention in actual training exercises. Perhaps the 

most significant observation in Viunanko's analysis was that large* 

scale landings of a significant strategic order — such as presumably 

would be involved in operations against a major adversary -- could be 

expected to occur only "when the nuclear capabilities of the 

belligerents have declined and when the conflict has taken on a 

4 

■ore protracted character." One pertinent point not discussed was 
that of the resources required to develop amphibious landing 
capabilities of a significant order. 

^Captain First Rank V. P. Viuasnko, "Modern Amphibious Landings," 
Morakol Sbornlk. No. 9, September 1963, p. 21. 

2 Ibid., p. 26. 

3 

An article by Lt. Colonel B. Burhanov describing a training 
exercise in which a landing took place after neutralising "eneny" 
shore defenses by a simulated nuclear strike appeared in Bad Star. 
October 11, 1962. 


ir 1963, p. 27. 



A doctrine placing ranker heavy reliance on active defense 
against strategic attack haa been a conspicuous feature of Soviet 
strategic thinking in the nuclear age. 1 This emphasis or the value 
of active defense haa been reflected in the commitment of very 
substantial Soviet resources over the past decade or so to the 
development of a system of air defense against strategic bombers, 
and there la a strong doctrinal basis at least for attempting a 

similar active defense effort against missiles. 

3 

The Soviet air defense system entered Its main period of growth 
after the Korean War, at a time when U.S. strategic bomber forces 
also were being greatly strengthened. There always has beer, an 
implicit competition for resources and attention between Soviet 
strategic offensive and defensive forces, resolved more often in 
favor of the latter, at least until the advent of strategic missiles. 
In a sense, the Soviet leadership seems to have followed a course 
of building a deterrent strategic delivery force and pursuing a 
low war-risk foreign policy on the one hand, while taking out 
Insurance on the other hand in the form of extensive air defenses 
against the possibility of an unexpected war. To the extent that 
such defenses might make the success of an air attack on the Soviet 
Onion look uncertain, tfcoy vould also oorvo ao on additional olocsnt 
of deterrence. 

ISee U.S. Editors' Analytical Introduction, Soviet Military 
Strategy, pp. 55-57. 

*See Kllmarx, op. cit .. pp. 265-267. 

^Knrwn as the National 1*V0, from tho formal Soviet designation, 

Protlvovoedtiehnaia Oborona Strany, or Antlalr Defense of the Country. 


237 


How germane such a rationale may remain in the missile era is one 
of the prime factors bearing on the evolving role of Soviet strategic 
defense forces, as well as the civil defense effort, which in Soviet 
eyes is regarded as "one of the essential elements of the over-all 
defense preparations of the country."^ The problems which the Soviet 

1 

Union has faced in preparing itself to cope with bomber attacks are 

i 

dwarfed by those opened up by the advent of missile delivery systems. : 

These problems involve not only difficult technical and operational 

questions, as the duel between offense and defense goes on, but also * 

% 

* 

the commitment of very large additional resources. The recent trend i 

of Soviet discourse suggest<? that many problems in this area remain 
unresolved, although there also has been an obvious attempt to convey 
the impression that progress is being achieved. 


Views on Antimissile Defense Prospects 

Since Khrushchev's much-quoted statement in July 1962 that the 
Soviet Union has an antimissile missile that "ca n hit a fly in outer 
space,public Soviet claims in this field ha^re multiplied rapidly.** 
They became particularly pronounced following the display at the 


^Address to the Fifth All-Union Congress of DOS.»AF by Marshal 
V. I. Chuikov, Sovetsk!1 Patriot . May 26, 1962. 

O 

Statement to a group of visiting U.S. newspaper editors, The 
Hew York Times, July 17, 1962. 

^The first specific Soviet claim of success in this field was made 
by Marshal Malinovskii at the 22nd Party Congress in October 1961, when he 
said: "1 must report in particular that the problem of destroying 
missiles in flight also has been successfully solved," Pravda . October 25, 
1961. See also Pravda . February 23, 1963. Early public indications 
that the Soviet Union was interested in the possibility of antimissile 
defense go back to the raid-fifties, at which time a oviet officer 
wrote that "technically, creation of a potent defense system against 
ballistic missiles is fully feasible." Major F. Kriksanov, "The 
Problems of the Interception of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles,' 
Voennye Znaniia . No. 7, July 1957, pp. 15-16. See also Peter Kapitsa, 

"The Task of All Progressive Mankind," Novoe Vremia (New Times), No. 39, 
1956, p. 10. 






-238- 




s 


November 7, 1963 military parade In Red Square of a new type of 
surface-to-alr missile, which Soviet commentary pieced in the anti¬ 
missile class.* Marshal Biriutov, chief of the general staff, asserted 
on November 8th, for example, that the Soviet armed forces now possessed 
antimissile weapons “capable of Intercepting any missile in the air. 

This circumstance," he said, “permits our country to be defended 

2 

against an enemy missile attack." A similar emphatic claim was made 
e few days later by a Soviet artillery general, who said: “These long- 
range, air-defense missiles are capable of destroying any means of air- 

3 

space attack." Air Force Marshal V. Sudets, Commander of the National 
PVO and the man lamediately responsible for any actual operations against 
a missile attack, was Just a shade lass categorical in January 1964 when 


ha statad: 


Ttje combat capabilities of the weapons of these 
/Pyo/ forces permit the destruction of practically 
T praktlches kl&7 ell modern means of elr-space attack, 
at maximum range, high and law altitudes end super¬ 
sonic speeds,* 


The treatment of antimissile defense in the revised Sokolovskii 
volume was somewhat more restrained then some of the Soviet claims 


advanced elsewhere, bet it too reflected e slightly more optimistic 






* Leont'ev commentary on Moscow radio, November 12, 1963; Major- 
General P, Radchenko, "Pilotless Interceptors Are Launched," Red Star . 
Novemb e r 16, 1963; The New York Times . November 8, 1963. 

2 Isvestlla . November 8, 1963. 

^Mejor"General X. Baryshev, "Nuclear Weapons and PVO," Red Star . 
November 13, 1963. 

^Marshal V. Sudets, "A Reliable Shield," Isvestlia . January 5, 
1964. The word "praktlcheskll" lends Itself to ambiguity, for it can 
be translated as "In a practical sense" or "in practice," which conveys 
quite a different meaning in English than "practically." However, a 
TASS version of the Sudets article* broadcast in English o n Jsnuary 4, 
1964, used the expression "practically all modern means," as in the 
aheraa troaolasioa. 


i 




239 


appraisal of tha prospects for effective antimissile defense then the 

1962 volume. Several changes in the text illustrate this point. The 

new text, for example, omitted a passage in the first edition stating 

that ballistic missiles "are still practically invulnerable to 

existing means of air defense" and that it will be possible to counter 

their massive use "only as special instruments of antimissile defense 

are developed."* •* In another place, discussing the problem of creating 

am effective antimissile defense, the original text stated: 

In principle, a technical solution to this problem 
has now been found. In the future this form of 
defense must be perfected.2 

The revised edition dropped the second sentence, again conveying 

the inference that some progress had been achieved in the interim.^ 

Although the Sokolovskii authors made no categorical assertions that 

the Soviet Union now possesses a system of effective antimissile 

defense, the revised volume contained a new statement alluding to the 

future possibility of such a system in more positive terms than before: 

The greet effectiveness of modern PVO resources 
permits a successful solution to the difficult 
and important task -- the complete destruction of 
all attacking enemy planes and missiles, preventing 
them from ranching the targets marked for destruction. 

The crux of the sMtter lies in making skillful use of 
the great potential of modern means of antiaircraft 
and aatinissild defease.* 


* Voeimala Stretealla. 2nd ad., p. 241; Soviet Military Strategy. 
p. 298. 

^ Soviet Military Strategy, p. 345. 

•* Voennala Stratealla . 2nd ed., p. 309. See also ibid ., p. 393, 
where a similar implication was conveyed by amending a statement on 
the possibility of "creating' an antimissile defense so that it now 
reads: "the task of repelling an enemy's missile strikes becomes is 
realistic possibility." 

*tbid.. p. 395. 





240- 


Together with Che growing Soviet tendency to suggest chat a 

solution to the problem of defending the Soviet Union against missile 

attack has already been achieved, or is just around the corner, there 

has been a systematic denigration of Western efforts in the field of 

antimissile defense (ABM), drawing ammunition from rather candid 

debate on this subject in the United States. Both Marshal Sudets 

and General Baryshev, in the articles mentioned above, compared 

alleged Soviet success with American failure to solve "the problem 

of combatting ballistic missiles, as admitted by American scientists 

and military men themselves."^ Among the arguments summoned in 

Soviet favor by General Baryshev was the statement that heavier 

Soviet strategic missile payloads would permit the use of "decoy 

warheads" to penetrate any antimissile defenses the West might devise, 

and that "maneuverable warheads" foreseen "for the future" would 

2 

further degrade Western defenses. The effect of decoys and 
maneuverable warheads on Soviet defenses was not mentioned. 

While an occasional Soviet statement has linked antimissile 
defenses in general terms with other elements of Soviet military 
strength as a factor helping "to cool down" the imperialists, it 
is interesting that the more explicit arguments designed to enhance 

Ijsvesttlia, January 4, 1964. It may be observed that Soviet 
coimssntary has made no mention of the fact that the United States 
also has intercepted ballistic missiles in flight in connection 
with developmental programs, as presumably occurred in the Soviet 
cate. See The Hew York Times. November 10, 1963. 

2 Sad scar. November 13, 1963. 

i 3Ui- 






241 


the credibility of the Soviet second-strike posture have not 
included the subject. Thus, for example, in the Nevsky and 
Glegolev-tarIonov articles previously mentioned, as veil as in the 
revised Sokolovskii work, no specific claims were made .or antlmlsslli 
defenses as one of the factors that would make the success of a 
U.S. counterforce strike problematical and the survival of Soviet 
retaliatory forces certain. This might indicate that antimissile 
defenses are being thought of by the Soviet Union in terms of 
defending cities, or simply that they are not yet taken seriously 
enough to be introduced into the argument at this stage. 

From the trend of Soviet discussion of the ABM question, it is 

difficult to distinguish propaganda claims from sober evaluation 

'\ 

of the situation. As usual, a curtain of secrecy has been drawn 

over just where the Soviet Union ljihy actually stand in the develop- 

/ 

ment of antimissile defenses. The great difference between claims 
of being able to "hit a fly in space" and the actual large-scale 
deployment of an effective ABM system, which has been elaborated 
upon in great detail in both official and press accounts in the 
United States,^ has been quietly avoided in Soviet discourse. 

Further, if the Soviet leaders have thought at all of the effect 
that Soviet ABM claims might have in exerting upward pressure upon 


*See, for example, Hearings on Military Posture and H.R. 9637, 
"Statement of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara Before the 
House <\rmed Services Committee on the Fiscal Year 1965-1969 Defense 
Program and 1965 Defense Budget," released by the House Armed Services 
Committee, 88:2, January 27, 1964, pp. 7010-7011, 7015-7018; Press 
Conference Statement by President Kennedy, August 1, 1963, The New 
York Times . August 2, 1963; Jack Raymond, "Soviet 'Missile Defense' 
is Minimized by the U.S.," The New York Times. November 10, 1963; 
Richard Witkin, "Air Force Presses For Way to Pierce Missile Defenses," 
The New York Times . November 9, 1963. 


I 

i 

I 

t 

t 

I 

0 

I 

t 

i 


* 


% 





242 





both U.S. and Soviat am* expenditure** -- a pressure they seem 
currently anxloua to deflate — little elfn of thle has crept inso 
the Soviet commentary. 






•' 


At the same tine, beneath the propaganda topscll, there la a 

etratun of serious Soviet discussion of the prospects for active 

defense against both strategic air and missile attacks. While this 

eapeet of the discussion suggests thit the Soviet: Union is proceeding 

%lth organisational arrangements as well as developmental programs 

2 

in the antimissile field, it also seems to indicate that official 
optimism is tenpered by a number of sobering considerations on the 
relationship of offense to defense in the missile age. 


*Sea comment on this point in Thomas C. Schelling, "Managing 
the Armr Race," in National Security; Political. Military, and 
Economic Strategies ir the Decade Ahead, ed. by Daniel M. Abshlre 
and Richard V. Allen, Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1963, p. 607. 

?On the question of organizational arrangements, Soviet 
military literature has nentloned on several occasions in the past 
two years the fomal inclusion of antimissile defense in the over* 
•hll "anti-air defense" system. See, for example, Soviet Military 
Strategy, pp. 344, 417*418; Kallnovskil, Pvavda, February 23, 

. 1963; Baryshev, Red Star. November 13, 1963. Baryshev's account 
, „■£ indicated that "the process of developing the PVO proceeded even 
note intensively after the 22nd Party Congress," from which time 
new organisational planning may stem. The extent to which enti - 
^missile organisation is atlli on paper as distinct from deployment 
vs of actual facilities in the field is, of course, a matter on which 
Soviet discussion la unrevealing. The Western press has furnished 
^eens comment on this question, such as the statement In The New 
York Times . November 10, 1963, that the Russians are "reported 
to have built m entiniaelle missile battery in the vicinity of 
laaiasrad. M 


243 


Th« Offense-Versus-Defense Question 

Despite consistent emphasis on the value of active defense, 

Soviet strategic doctrine also embodies the judgment that the 

offense can overpower the defense in nuclear warfare. This judgment., 

which has implications reaching beyond the immediate question 

whether missiles can relatively easily stay ahead of antimissiles, 

is implicit in the Soviet position on the primacy of the strategic 

missile forces.* However, it also has oeen made explicit. In both 

editions of the Sokolovskii work, for example, the authors stated: 

...one must recognize that the present instrumentalities 
of nuclear attack are undoubtedly superior to the 
instrumentalities of defense against them.2 

Both editions of the Sokolovskii work also voiced a closely 

related view on the offense-versus-defense question which amounted 

to saying that a good offense is the best defense. Thus, the point 

was made that the task of protecting the country against nuclear 

attack "will be achieved primarily by destroying the enemy's nuclear 

3 

weapons where they are based." Retention of this passage was the 


*To some extent, the Soviet argument that air defenses have the 
upper hand over bombers also is at odds with the obverse contention 
that missile-launching bombers can foil the defense by staying out 
of its reach. Occasional tacit acknowledgements to this effect have 
found their way into the Soviet military press, such as tie description 
of an air defense exercise in which the situation "quickly changed" to 
the disadvantage of the defense when one of the "attacker's" bombers "launched 
a missile at a great distance." Major M. Makarov, "Strike Against 
Missile Carriers," Red Star . September 10, 1963. 

2 Sovlet Military Strategy , p. 307; Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed.. 
p. 252. 

3 Sovlet Military Strategy , p. 417; Voennaia Stratexlia . 2nd ed., 
p. 391. 







244 






■or* notab1* In light of the fact that great sensitivity has been 
shown to any implication that the Soviet Union might contemplate 
pre-emptive action in order to blunt an eneny attack. It is difficult 
to argue that the enemy's nuclear forces should be destroyed at their 
b/ .as without conceding that an attack against them would have to 
be attempted before they left those same bases. 

This la not to imply that Sovlat thinking calls for starting a 
wax. In fact, glvan tha balanea of forces In the world, it is hard 
to picture the circumstances in which a war-initiation policy would 
look attractive to tha Soviet Union. Yet there are anomalous areas i. 
the pollclas of states where political strategy pulls one way aud 
military stratagy another. This seems to be the case with regard to 
Soviet doctrine on the question of offense versus defense. The notiw. 
of adopting tha stratagic defensive at the outset of a modem war, 
and counting on active and passive defenses to pull the country throug 
until a counteroffensive could be mounted, has no standing in con¬ 
temporary Soviet military thought. 1 I* this was an unacceptable 
principle of postwar military theory, it has outlived its day since 
the advent of the nuclear age. The adoption of a strategic defense 
in the early period of World War II is now treated in Soviet military 
literature as a necessary but costly prelude to a counteroffensive. 

The World War II achievements of Soviet arms in the period of the 
strategic defense ere lauded, and rightly so, together with 


The offensive-defensive relationship in Soviet thinking was 
summed up in 1963 by one writer who said "it is indisputable that tod; 
the offense must be developed at maximum speed from the very first h<> 
of the war," to to protect "one's country against possible enemy strii 
offense must be combined with "modern air and missile defenses. ..wit hi 


which it is impossible to win a war." Golubev, Vocnno Ietoricheskll. 
Zhurnel , Nay 1963, p, 94, 


- 243 - 


admission of errors in conducting it, but this all belongs to 
history.* Today the situation is different, as emphasized by 
Colonel-General Shtemenko, chief-of-staff of the Soviet ground 
forces: 


The striking power and range of modern weapons puts 
the question of strategic defense in a different 
light than formerly. Our contemporary military 
doctrine flows from the decisiveness of the goals 
in a war. The combat potential of modern armed 
forces manifests itself to che greatest degree in 
the offense, not in the defense. Therefore, Soviet 
military doctrine regards the strategic defense as 
an unacceptable form of strategic operations in a 
modern war.2 

Other Soviet military men have put in stili stronger terms the 

unacceptability of "orienting oneself on the strategic defense... 

in the inicial period of a modern war, which means dooming oneself 

beforehand to irreparable losses and defeat."'* While f^ere is a 

school of Soviet military thought that banks on the prospect of 

reversing the strategic-economic-morale balance in Soviet favor 

in the course of a protracted war, as previously discussed, even 

this school does not deny the critical importance of trying to seize 

4 

the strategic Initiative at the very outset. Thus, Soviet military 
strategy finds itself in a position where its conception of the need 
to take the strategic offensive immediately must live, so to speak, 
in a state of uneasy coexistence with political imperatives against 


See discussion of this subject in Soviet Military Strategy , 
pp, 246-258; Voennaia Strateglia , 2nded., pp, 186-200; Golubev, 
Voenno-Istoricheskil Zhurnal , May 1962, pp. 100-101. See also 
Gallagher, op. cit .. pp. 128-135. 

2 

Kommuni8t Vooruzhennykh Sll . No. 3, February 1963, pp. 27-23. 

*1 

J Kazakov, Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 10, May 1963, pp. 10-11 
Konoplev, ibid .. No. 24, December 1963, p. 28. 

^See Marxism-Leninism On War and the Army . 1962 edition, pp. 255- 
256; Trifonenkov, op. cit .. p. 29, 


246 - 


Soviet Initiation of nuclear warfare. One might suppose that the 
latter imperatives will continue to govern so long as the Soviet 
leaders remain persuaded that neither active defenses nor a Soviet 
first-strike -- nor the two in any feasible combination -- offer 
much hope of preventing unacceptable damage in a nuclear war. 

There is, understandably, no open Soviet literature on the 
calculations which the Soviet leadership may hold on thio scors. . 

The literature does concede, however, that some enemy blows could 
not be prevented, even under conditions which seem to imply a Soviet 
pre-emptive strike. For example, a passage in the revised Sokolovskii 
volume stated: 

One must assume that our retaliatory nuclear 
blow will considerably weaken the enemy's 
nuclear attack forces. However, one cannot 
exclude the possibility that a certain number 
of enemy missiles and aircraft will nevertheless 
be launched to strike our targets. 1 

The critical element In this calculus is, of course, the 

"certain number" of enemy missiles and aircraft envisaged, and on 

this point Soviet reticence is not likely to be broken. Neither 

such data nor detailed studies of the damage the Soviet Union might 

suffer in a nuclear war are to be found in professional Soviet 

i 

i 

discussion. However, there is a voluminous literature in circulation 
in the Soviet Union in connection with the civil defense program, 
from which the Soviet population can doubtless draw its own 
conclusions concerning the dislocation that a nuclear world war 
would bring. 


i- Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 394. One may note here the 
incongruity of a Soviet "retaliatory strike" which is expected to 
hit many enemy forces before they cen be launched. This would seem 
to be more eptly e description of e pre-emp*ive Soviet strike. 


247 


Civil Defense 

la Soviet thinking, passive measures have been accorded an Important 
place along with a system of active defense as an integral part of the 
Soviet Union's military posture in the nuclear age. As a prominent Soviet 
military leader put it early in 1964, "not a single defense measure can 
be decided under modern conditions without considering civil defense 
needs There are many other expressions on record of Soviet Interest 
in civil defense as "an Inseparable part of the defensive strength of 
our Motherland" and "one of the most 1'iportant factors determining the 

2 

potential strength and survivability of the state under war conditions." 
These have been backed up over the past ten or twelve years by a large- 
scale program of civil defense indoctrination and training of the Soviet 

3 

population." 

Contrary to a general lopreus ion abroad of official Soviet 
Indifference to civil defense, this activity continues to absorb the 
time and energies of a great many people in the Soviet Union. For 
example, the organisation DOSAAF (Voluntary Society for Assistance 
to the Army, Air Force and Navy, organised in 1951), with a member¬ 
ship of more than 30 million, is involved in training the population- 
at-large in civil defense. Compulsory training courses have been in 


''Marshal V. I. Chuikov, "Defense of the Population — Main Task 
of Civil Defense," Voennve Znaniia (Military Knowledge), No. 1, 

January 1964, p. 3. 

^Colonel-General 0. Tolstikov, "An Undertaking of Great Impor¬ 
tance to the State," Voennye Znaniia . No. 2, February 1962, p. 22. 

See also address by Marshal Chuikov, Sovetskll Patriot . May 26, 1962; 
Lieutenant-General L. Vinogradov, "The 30th Anniversary of Civil 

Defense," Sovetskli Patriot . October 7, 1962. 

-1 

J See Leon Goure, Civil Defense in the Soviet Union . University 
of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1962, especially pp. 38-61, 
Soviet sources date the beginning of civil defense effort back to 
1932, but its reorganization and orientation around problems cf 
nuclear-age civil defense occurred in the early fifties. See 
Vinogradov. Sovetskll Patriot. October 7, 1962. 




248 


*• . •" >. - 








effect since 1955, and at present the fifth course In this series la 

under way.* In the years 1955-1963, by a partial count, more than 

120 books and manuals dealing with civil defense were issued in the 

Soviet Union, and the number of conferences and lectures on the subject 

was evidently very large. One Soviet account mentions that 2500 

2 

lectures were given in Sverdlovsk oblast alone in 1961. Late in 

1963 it was announced that the monthly journal Voennye Znanila was to 

be increased in size and was to "expand considerably the publication 

of training articles and reporting on the activities of civil defense 

3 

committees and stafl. ‘ Military responsibilities in connection with 
the civil defense program, which have included the furnishing of 

4 

troops for rescue, rehabilitation and other civil defense operations, 
were underscored in the fall of 1963 by Marshal Chuikov. In a dis¬ 
cussion of new Garrison and Guard Service Regulations for the armed 
forces issued in 1963, Chuikov emphasized that garrison commanders 
were charged with assisting civil defense authorities in their areas 
in developing civil defense plans and "conducting the required measures. 

All this dues not mean, to be sure, that the Soviet civil defense 
program is prepared to cope with the problems of a nuclear war, nor 
even that S< .et officialdom Is fully agreed upon the value of civil 


* Sovetskii Patriot . September 18, 1963. The present 19-hour 
civil defense training course, announced in Sovetskii Patriot on 
September 30, 1962, evidently began in the summer of 1962. 

^ Sovetskii Patriot . April 12, 1961. 

3 Ibid .. October 9, 1963. 

^ Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 462-963; Goure, op. clt .. p. 32. 
^ Red Star . October 8, 1963. 













249 


defense under many of the conditions that a heavy nuclear attack 

would create. Exhortations to improve the training program and 

admission!) that "the problems of protecting the population are not 

solved"*' have been a regular feature of th. Soviet literature on 

civil defense. Evidence of internal debat on the subject appeared 

in early 1962, when Colone 1General Tolstit »v, then acting head of 

the Soviet civil-defense service ( Crazhdanskaia Oborona) , referred 

to differences of view on civil defense, but noted also that the 

question hae been resolved in favor of continuing with a vigorous 
2 

program. 

Judging from occasional remarks questioning the value of shelters 

3 

in an era of multi-megaton weapons, this was probably one of the 
questions at issue. The absence of published Soviet information on 
the scope of shelter construction and availability has made this a 

4 

matter of wide speculation abroad. Although references to the 


^Tolstlkov, Voennye Znanila. Ho. 2, February 1962, p. 22; 
Tolstlkov, "Improve the Training of the Population in Every Way," 
Yoennve Znanila . No. 4, April 1963, p. 33. In this connection, two 
basic civil defense training manuals were severely criticized in 
Voennve Znanila . No. 7, July 1963, for inadequate "discussion of the 
destructive effects of nuclear weapons" and other shortcomings. The 
manuals in question were: N. N. Ivanov, et al .. Crazhdanskaia Oborona 
(Civil Defense), State Publishing House for Textbooks and Educational 
Literature, Moscow, 1962; P. T. Egorov, et al .. Crazhdanskaia Oborona. 
Ministry of Higher Education, Moscow, 1963. 

^ Voennye Znanila . No. 2, February 1962, p. 22. See also L. Goure, 
The Resolution of the Soviet Controversy Over Civil Defense . The RAND 
Coporation, Santa Monica, California, RM-3223-PR, June 1962. 

•’Negative statements on the value of shelters have been made by 
Anastas Mlkoyan, Mrs. Khrushchev, and Marshal Mallnovskii, among others. 
See Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists . May 1959, p. 191; The New 
York Times . October 7, 1961; Pravda . January 24, 1962. 

^ / 

See Coure, Civil Defense in the Soviet Union , pp. 106-110. 





250 


construction and use of shelters continue to appear in Soviet 

literature,* it remains unclear precisely how far the Soviet Union 

has gone or intends to go in pursuing a mass shelter program. This 

becomes a particularly pertinent question in connection with any 

Soviet intention to deploy ant'missile defenses on a large scale, 

for, as pointed up by discussion of analogous questions in the 

United States, the usefulness of active defenses against missiles in 

reducing population losse* would depend to a great extent on the 

existence of an adequate system of shelter against radioactive 
2 

fallout. The Soviet leadership thus fini's itself at a crossroads 
of decision not only on the commitment of the very large resources 
needed to support an antimissile system, but also to provide an 
accompanying population protection program. 

It is Interesting to note that no "lobby" against civil defense 
has appeared in the Soviet Union, comparable to those which have 
exerted pressure against civil defense programs in some Western 
countries. With the exception of occasional comments on the 
inadequacy of shelters (made, incidentally, in the context of 
protection against direct nuclear effects rather than fallout) 

Soviet spokesman have presented virtually a united front in endorsing 
a serious Soviet civil defense effort. In Soviet military circles, all 
schools of thought have stressed the importance of civil defense in 

* Ibld .. pp, 79-110; Major L. Gorshkov, "Collective Means of Defense, 
Voennve Znanlla . Ho. 4, April 1963, pp. 36-37; Soviet Military Strate gy., 
pj 529; Voennala Strateglla. 2nd ed., p. 438; Egorov et al., 
Grazhdanskaia Oborona . pp. 159-169; Chuikov, Voennye Znanifa , Ho. 1, 
January 1964, p. 3. 

2 Hearings on Military Posture and HR9637, "Statement of Secretary 
of Defense Robert S. McNamara before the House Armed Services Committee," 
88:2, January 27, 1964, pp. 7017-7018. 



251 


the event of either e short or e protracted war. However, proponents 
of the view that toe Soviet Union must prepare for a protracted war 
have laid particular emphasis upon the contribution to be made by 
a large-scale program for protection of population and industry, 
including shelters, dispersal and hardening of key Installations, 
evacuation from cities, rehabilitation measures, and so on.* 

Recent Soviet treatment of civil defense matters in the revised 
Sokolovskii edition and elsewhere has continued to dwell on the 
need for a bread civil defense program to reduce casualties and 
help the country to recuperate, but also nas reflected certain shifts 
of emphasis. Greater attention has been given, for example, to the 
psychological impact which the first "devastating nuclear strikes" 

might have, not only on the civil population, but even upon well- 

2 

disciplined military personnel. The consequent need for better 
psychological preparation is implied b» such expressions of concern. 

Some vacillation concerning the importance, or perhaps the feasible.ty of 
pre-attack evacuation of the urban population also has been evident. 

One of the new air defense manuals issued in late 1962, for example, gave 


^See Trlfonenkov, op. cit .. pp. 15, 31, 48, 53, 54; Markslzm - 
Leninlzm o Voine 1 Armll . 1962 edition, pp. 187, 255-256, 283, 323; 
Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 451-452, 454-458, 461-463; A. Lago/skii, 
Strateglla 1 Ekonoraika (S rategy and the Economy), Voenizdat 
Ministerstva Oborony SSSR Mc*c~w, 1962, p. 32; Colonel I. S. Baz'. 
"Soviet Military Science n the Character of Modern War," Voennyi 
Vestnlk . No. 6, June 1958, pp. 24-25; Colonel I. Sidel'nikov, "On 
Soviet Military Doctrine ." Red Star . May 11, 1962; V. Siniagin, 

"The Creation of the Material-Technological Base of Coimunism and 
Strengthening of the Defense Capacity of the USSR," Kommunlst 
Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 14, July 1962, p. 14. 

^ Voennair Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 47. For other expressions of 
the growing importance of morale-political preparations, see 
V. I. Kazakov, "Field Training of Rocketeers," Red Star, September 28, 
1963; Voenno-Istoricheskil Zhurnal . No. 10, October 1963, p. 125. 
Major-General N. Sushko. "The Laws Determining the Course and Outcome 
of Wars," Red Star. February 7, 1964. Lieutenant-General lu. Votintsev, 
"Fortitude — How It la Taught," Rad Star. February 8, 1964. 





very limited attention to evacuation measures,* in contrast with 
previous extensive treatment of this subject in civil defense literature. 
The revised Sokolovskii edition also followed this trend by omitting 
the principal passage in the 1962 edition on the subject of pre-attack 
evacuation from cities and border zones.^ Other statements, however, 
have indicated a continuing place for pre-attack evacuation in civil 
defense planning. An arcicle in Voennye Znaniia in August 1963 said 
that "during the threat of energy attack, it may be decided to 
evacuate the population of some cities to rural areas.' The article 
gave advice on what to do in such a case, which included taking alone 
a three-day food supply. Writing in the same publication in 1964, 
Marshal Chuikov stated that dispersal and evacuation from cities 
were the "basic methods of protecting the population," together with 
use of protective shelter. 4 In contrast with Chuikov $ assessment 
of shelters, the revised Sokolovskii edition took a somewhat negati\ 
view in a discussion devoted to criticism of 'J.S. countecforce 
strategy, where it was observed that the role of shelters in a future 
var was "problematical."^ 


*E 3 orov, et si ., op. clC .. pp. 133-134, See also V. Pechorkin, 
"About 'Acceptable' War,’ International Affairs . No. 3, March 1963, 

P» 23. 

2 

The omitted passage, Soviet Military Strategy , p. 460, read as 
follows: Great importance is now attached to the prior and thoroughly 

planned evacuation of the population from large cities and border 
zones during the period when war threatens or during the first <’„ys 
of the war." 

^Colonel V. Moskalev, "Act Skillfully During Civil Defense Alerts," 
Voennye Zn a nii a, No. 8, August 1963, pp. 31-32. 

4 

Voennye Znaniia , No. 1, January 1964, p. 3. Instruction in 
evacuation procedures me use 'f shelters was described in an article 
in the same journal in Februar> 1964, dealing with the carrying out 
of the 19-hor civil defense training program. See N. Qlovieoishnikov, 
"Depending on Conditions,' ibid .. No. 2, February 1964, p, 20. 

^ Voennaia Strateglia. 2nd ed., p. S3. 






253 


XVI. MILITARY U S ES OF SPACE 

Given the rapid development of space technology, one of the 

world's never and potentially more troublesome problems centers upon the 

uses to which space eventually may be put. So far as any concrete 

Soviet plans and intentions with regard to military exploitation of 

space are concerned, relatively little enlightenment has been afforded 

either by Soviet military writing or by the positions the Soviet 

Union has taken on space questions in various international bodies. 

Most Soviet military thought, for example, continues to be focused 

on rhe problems of war as a terrestrial phenomenon, although in the 

past few years increasing attention has been given to the prospect 

that space would become an active dimension in any future war. In 

the International sparring over space policy within and outside the 

United Nations in recent years, the Soviet Union has sought to 

picture itself as the champion of peaceful uces of space, and its 

adherence to the United Nations resolution oi October 17, 1963, 

* 

barring weapons of mats destruction from outer space, 1 has suggested 
a Soviet interest in mutual efforts to discourage an extension of 
the arms race to the medium of space, at least with regard to systems 
of orbital bombardment. 

At the same time, however, there have been persistent and vocal 
Soviet allegations that the United States already has embarked upon 
an ambitious military program for "mastery of outer space," from 
which the argument has followed that th Soviet Union must give 
attention to ways of using space for defense purposes and to prevent 

*See The New York Times. October 18, 1963. 





- 254 - 


the "Imperialist camp" from gain‘;g "any superiority in this area."* 
This has the standard earmarks >f a rationale for the Soviet Union to 

pursue a military space program ? its own, for which the technological 

2 

base is already available. Moreover, Soviet leaders have shewn no 
disposition to forego opportunities to exploit Soviet space achieve¬ 
ments for political and propaganda gains, both in the inf ?rnation»l 

3 

arena and domestically. The further opportunity that development 
of a military space program migb- afford for ex?rting political and 
psychological pressure upon the Wert is therefore likely to be 
weighed by the Soviet leaders, along with the military pros and cons 
of such a program, and the effects it might have in stimulating a 
more intense level of arms competition. All of these considerations 
tend to leave the question of Soviet attitudes towards the military 
uses of space open tc much speculation, if indeed, the Soviet leaders 
themselves know at thxS juncture the directions in which it would 
best suit their interests to move. 


Soviet Charges of U.S. Military Exploitat '<- n of Space 

Perhaps the most conspicuous feature o* the Soviet attitude 
toward the military uses of space has been vhe attempt, mentioned 


* Scvlet Military Strategy , p. 427. 

2 

See Soviet Space Programs . Staff Report, Senate Committee on 
Aeronautical and Space Sciences, May 31, 1962, Washington, D. C., 
pp. 99-150. 

3 See Horelick, op. cit .. pp. 43-70; see also Joseph M. Goldsen, 
"Outer Space in World Politics," in Outer Space in World Politics . 
Frederick A. Praeger, New Yo*k, 1963, pp. 15-20. 

^See Alton Frye, "Our Gamble in Space: The Military Danger," 

The Atlantic Monthly . August 1963, pp. 47-49. See also, Soviet 
Space Programs , p. 47. 



255 - 


sbova, to demonstrate that American activities in apace are aggressively- 
oriented and that therefore the Soviet Union is Justified in looking to 
its awn defense. Soviet military writers, space law experts and inter¬ 
national negotiators all have followed this general line. As one 
American writer has pu^' it, there has been an effort from the Soviet side 
"to create a moral dichotomy between American and Soviet space technology,"* 
in order to convey the Impression that the United States is employing its 
space capabilities to intensify the cold war and pursue aggressive aims, 
while the Soviet Union uses its space technology in the interest of 
"peaceful coexistence." 

Since the first Soviet sputnik was launched in 1957, prompting the 

Soviet Union to reverse its traditional position on the question of un- 

2 

limited national sovereignty over airspace, Soviet theory on space law 
has been subject to continuous improvisation intended to keep Soviet 
political interests meshed with the changing perspectives opened up by 

3 

space technology. Partly as a result of this, the formal Soviet 
position on the military uses of space has developed in a some¬ 
what uneven fashion. The Soviets have argued that the 
military use of space should be prohibited, but also that space may be 
used in conformity with Article 51 of the UN Charter for "a retaliatory 
blow at the aggressor in the course of legitimate self-defense."^ They 


^Robert D. Crane, "The Beginning of Marxist Space Jurisprudence," 

The American Journal of International Law . Vol. 57, No. 3, July 1963, 
p. 622. See also, Soviet Space Programs , pp. 207-208. 

^G. P. Zadorozhnii, "The Artificial Satellite and International 
Law," Sovetskaia Rossila (Soviet Russia), October 17, 1957. 

•*See Soviet Space Programs, p. 203. 

^G. P. Zhukov, "Problems of Space Law at the Present Stage," 
Memorandum of the Soviet Association of International Law at the Brussels 
Conference of the International Law Association, August 1962, pp. 30, 
35-36, cited in Crane, op. cit .. p. 620; G. P. Zhukov, "Practical 
Problems of Space Lav," Intarnatlonal Affairs. No. 5, May 1963, p. 29. 


-756- 


• lso r.ave argued that the "peaceful uaea" of apace should be reatricteu - 

to "non-mi litary uses," dismissing the contention that non-aggreaslve 

military uses are permissible } which strikes at the D.S. position 

that the non-weapon character of G.S. military space programs Is covnpatibl 

2 

with the use of space for peaceful purposes. In the controversy over 
permissible and impermissible useB of space, the Soviet Union has 
centered much of its fire on reconnaissance satellites, charging the 

United States with using satellite systems for espionage "In order to 

3 

organize an attack on the socialist countries," and holding that 
reconnaissance satellites should be considered Illegal before other 

4 

prohibitions on military activity In space are settled. At the same 
time, the Soviet Union has shown some Interest In the reconnaissance 
potentialities of satellites, as will be discussed presently, and when 
a resolution on legal principles governing activities In outer space 
waa finally adopted by the UN General Assembly In December 1963, the 
Soviet Union quietly dropped Its previous Insistence on condemnation of 
reconnaissance satellites in this document. 5 Finally, while arguing 
In general for the "demilitarization" of space, Soviet space law 
writers, such as B. A. Korovin, chairman of the Space Law Commission 


*Zhvkov t International Affairs . May 1963, p. 28; E. A. Korovin. 
"Transform Space into e Genuine Peace Zone," Mezhdunarodnaia Zhlzn , 

No. 9, September 1963, p. 117. 

2 

See Frye, op. clt ,. p. 47. 

3 B. Teplinskll, "The Strategic Concepts of U.S. Aggressive Policy," 
International Affairs, No. 12, December 1960, p. 39; G. Zhukov, "Space 
Espionage Plans and International L w,” International Affairs . No. 10, 
October 1960, pp. 53-57; Red Star . July 12, 1961. 

^N. Kovalev and I. I. Chfjprov, Na Puti k Kosmlcheskomu Pravu (On 
the Road to Space Law), Institut Mezhdunarodnykh Otnoshenli, Moscow, 1962, 
p. 123; Korovin, Me zhdunarodnaia Zhlzn . September 1963, p. 117; E. A. 
Korovin, "Peaceful Cooperation in Space," Intern at ional Affairs , No. 3. 
March 1962, p, 61. 

^See Declarat i on of Legal Principles Govern i ng the Activities o t 
sta tes in the Exploration and U s e ot Outer Space . a/rSS/196? (XVIII), 

7U December 1963. 



257 


of the USSR Academy of Sciences, also have stated that the demilitarization 
of space cannot be realized until disarmament on earth has been achieved.* 

The Soviet position on space iu the sphere of international law 
thus seems contrived to place the onus on the United States for 
"militarizing* outer space and to inhibit U.S. developments considered 
detrimental to Soviet interests, while at the same time leaving the 
door open to the Soviet Union to take such steps as it may consider 
necessary of its security. Meanwhile, Soviet military literature 
has borne marks of a somewhat parallel effort, apparently designed to 
lay the groundwork for whatever military space measures the Soviet 
leadership may choose to sanction. There is some possibility, at the 
same time, that a certain amount of special pleading may be involved 
in military statements on the subject, particularly if the Soviet 
political leadership should still find itself uncertain at this 
juncture over how deeply to become coasltted to a military competition 
in space. 

Among the first statements to present an emphatic case for Soviet 
military interest in space, on the grounds that the Soviet Union 
could not afford to ignore U.S. military space preparations, was a 
series of two articles in March 1962 in Red Star . The author was 
V. Larionov, then a lieutenant-colonel, whose contributions to Soviet 
military literature have grown impressively since that time. In the 

^ Mezhdunarodnaia Zhizn . September 1963, p. 118; see also G. P. 
Zadorozhnii, "Basic Problems of the Science of Space Law," in Kosmos i 
Merhdunarodnoe Pravo (Space and International Lav), Institut Mezhdunarodnykh 
Otnoshenil, Moscow, 1962, p, 38. 



258 


first article, Larionov argued that the United States nad set its 
sights on a long-term program for the military mastery of space 
because it could not hope to catch up with the Soviet Union "in the 
next few years." No mention of Soviet response to t. is challenge 
was made in the first article, although in some passages Larionov 
seemed to be calling the attention of the Soviet leadership to the 
advantages of military space capabilities. He said, for example, 
that: 


...the creation and employment of various space 
systems and apparatus can lead immediately to 
major strategic results. The working out of 
efficient means of striking from space and of 
combat with space weapons in combination with 
nuclear weapons places in the hands of the 
strategic leadership a new, powerful means of 
affecting the military-economic potential and 
the military might of the enemy.* 

In the second article several days later, Larionov was more 
explicit. Here he argued not only that the s oviet Union must counter 
the United States with military space measures of its own, but also 
suggested that the status of Soviet space technology gave the Soviet 
Union a head start in such a competition. After accusing the United 
States of preparing a large array of military space systers from 
bombardment satellites to antisatellite weapons, Larionov said that 
the Soviet Union: 

...cannot Ignore all these preparations of the 
American imperialists and is forced to adopt 
corresponding measures in order to safeguard its 
security against an attack through outer space. 

It is no secret that the technical basis for the 
launching of earth satellites and spaceships is 


J 


"Missiles and Strategy,' 


Red Star . March 18, 


1962. 


259 


the ballistic missile and its guidance system. 

Such complex, perfected technical equipment, 
which is many times superior to American 
technology, is in the possession of the Soviet 
Union.1 

The Larionov formula has since been taken up by others. Both 

editions of the Sokolovskii work, for example, dwelt on American 

military space plans as the basis for declaring that ''the imperialists 

must be opposed with more effective weapons and methods of using space 
2 

for defense." Both volumes also made the assertion that: "It would 

be a mistake to allow the imperialists to gain any superiority in this 
3 

area." In the 1963 edition, several expanded passages accused the 

United States of stepping up its program for military exploitation of 

space, and it was charged that the U.S. program attaches special 

significance to use of the moon for military purposes: 

Research is being conducted to determine the military 
potential of the moon. Studi s are being made of the 
possibility of using the moon for communications, 
reconnaissance and as a base for cosmic means of 
attack. 4 * 

Another accusation, based on an article in the U.S. periodical 
press, was that the United States contemplates placing bonbardment 
satellites armed with nuclear weapons in orbits "passing over the 

5 

Soviet Union." Since the nsv Sokolovskii volume went to press 


l"Outer Space and Strategy," Red Star . March 21, 1962. 

‘ Soviet Military Strategy, p. 427; Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., 
pp. 405-406. 

3 Ibid . 

^ Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd cd., p. 404. oviet charges that 
"American militarists" are planning to occupy the moon were made as 
early as 1960. See P. S. Romashkin, "Technical Progress and Soviet 
Law," Sovetskoc Oosudarstvo i Pravo . No. 1, January 1960, p. 21. 

^ Voennaia Strateelia . 2nd ed., p. 404. 



before the adoption in October 1963 of the United Nations resolution 

against mass destruction weapons in space, it is not clear whether 

the Sokolovskii authors would choose to soften this particular 

accusation if they had it to do over again. However, a similar 

accusation was repeated later in November 1963 by Major-General 
1 

Baryshev, and in a December 1963 article another Soviet military writer 

changed that the U.S. Dyna-Soar program "confirmed once again the 

Insidious intensions of the imperialists... to turn the cosmos into 
2 

an arena of war," notwithstanding prior announcement by the U.S. 
Department of Defence that the Dyna-Soar program was being cancelled.'' 

Along with the theme that U.S. military activities in space 
justify corresponding measures on the Soviet part, Soviet spokesmen 
have touched regularly on the companion theme that the Soviet Union 
would possess the edge in any military space competition that might 
develop. In January 1963, for example, a Soviet scientist pointed 
out that "powerful Soviet rockets and heavy satellites can carry out 
military tasks much better than low*capacity American rockets and 

A 

satellites." In the same connection, Khrushchev and others have 
called attention to the military significance of Soviet manned space 
flights, as when Marshal Mallnovskil said after the twin flights of 

Wd Star7~Hovochar 13, 1963. Marshal Sudets in January 3964 
also charged that thv United State* waa continuing to "use apace for 
military purposes,’ including "tha development of orbital space systems, 

lavest11a . January 5, 1964. 

^Lieutenant-Colonel N. Vasil’ev. "From Airplane to Rocketpiane," 
Savetskii Patriot. December 22, 1963. 

Stew York Timas. Decesiber 11, 1963. 

Si. a. Varvarov, Moscow radio broadcast, January 21, 1963. 



-261 


Vostoks III and IV in August 1962: "Let our enemies know what 
techniques and what soldiers our Soviet power has at Its disposal."^ 

Trends in Soviet Think!in on the Military Significance of Space 

Since the middle fifties, occasional Soviet expressions of 

interest in the military utility of space have found their way into 

print, and have included reference to the military potential of 

? 

satellites for both reconnaissance and bombardment purposes. How¬ 
ever, the development of a cohesive doctrine of space warfare seems 
to have been inhibited by the necessity to prese ve a propaganda image 
of the Soviet Union as a country interested solely in the exploration 
of space for peaceful purposes. Only in the past few years, parallel 
to the increasing attention given to alleged U.S. military ambitions 
in space, can one find an emerging set of Soviet views on the 
possible significance of space in Soviet military strategy. Even so, 
the Soviet literature on the subject remains rather unii.'ormatlve as 
to the specific direction which any Soviet military space projects 
might take. 

As noted previously, the first Larionov article In March 1962 
called attention to the "major strategic results" which might be 
attained by space operations, and other Soviet military literature 
has since reflected the view that outer space must be Included as 

* Red Sta r. August 16, 1962. See also Major-General 1. Baryshev, 
"What Is Anti-Space Defense?" Red Star . September 2, 1962. 

2 

See Raymond L. Garthoff, "Red War Sputniks in the Works?" 
Missiles and Rockets. Vol, 3, May 1958, pp. 134-136; Soviet Space 
Programs, pp. 56-59. 



262 


a likely domain of Military operations in the future. The revised 

Sokolovskii edition, for example, in speaking of the spatial dimensions 

which would characterize a future war, included a new statement that: 

The concept of the "spatial scope" of a future war 
must be basically amended, because military operations 
can also embrace the cosmos.1 

Apart from acknowledgment of the significance of space operations 

in general, the principal focus of expressed Soviet interest and concer 

has been upon the need to develop antisateilite capabilities. Incest 

for such interest are suggested by the intense Soviet political campai* 

against reconnaissance satellites and Soviet Insistence that "the right 

2 

of a state to destroy 3 satellite-spy...is indisputable." In June 

1960, when the U-2 incident was fresh in his mind, Khrushchev told an 

audience in Bucharest, with apparent reference to possible reconnaissan 

satellite operations, that 'these efforts, too, will be paralyzed and 

3 

a rebuff administered." Marshal Mallnovskli in early 1963 indicated 

that Soviet air defenses were not only expected to counter aircraft and 

missile attacks, but also co deal with reconnaissance satellites. The 

defense forces, he said, were "assigned the extremely important role of 

combatting an aggressor's modern means of nuclear attack and his attemp 

4 

to reconnoiter our country from the air and from space." 


^Voennaia Strategiia, 2nd ed,, p. 254. Another Soviet writer in 
late 19bJ stated: "the present development of military affairs gives 
one the basis for assuming that space will be used in the future for 
military ends." Konoplev, Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil. No. 24, 

December 1963, p. 32. See also: Derevianko, ibid .. No. 1, January 
1964, p. 20. 

2 

Zadorozhnli, op . cit .. p. 53. 

Pravda . June 22, 1960. See also C. Zhukov, International Affairs 
October 19'6b, p. 55. 

4 

Pravda . February 23, 1963. See also Red Star . September 2, 


1962 







-263- 

In their revised edition, Che Sokolovskii authors introduce- 
some new references to the need for antisatellite as well as anti¬ 
missile defenses.* They also indicated that antisatellite defenses 
would be intended not only for use against reconnaissance satellites, 
but against other types of satellites carrying out "the widest 

variety of missions," including communications, navigation and 
2 

bombardment. It was not made clear by the Sokolovskii authors 

whether the antisatellite defenses the Soviets have in mind would 

be ground or space-based systems, or both. Neither was it made clear 

what progress has been achieved toward setting up such defenses. 

One statemtnt in the revised edition said that "under contemporary 

conditions, an important task is to create a reliable system of anti- 

3 

satellite defense," from which it might be inferred that the job still 
lies ahead. Another comment suggested less subtly that solutions to 
the problem of antlsatellit • defense are still, figuratively speaking, 
somewhat up in the air: 

It is still too early to predict what direction 
the solution of this problem will take. However, 
as means of attack are developed, so will means 
of defense be created.4 

In this connection, when discussing antimissile and antisatellite 
defense research in the West, the new volume twice alluded to a number 
of esoteric developments that were not mentioned in the 1962 edition, 

Voennaia Strategila . 2nd ed., pp„ 394, 405, 407. 

2 Ibid .. pp. 309, 394. 

3 Ibifl .. p. 394. 

4 Ibid., p. 309. 





264- 


In addition to high-speed neutrons aad electromagnetic flux, cited 
in the first edition, the new text also mentioned the following 
developments: 

Various systems of radiation, anti-gravity, anti- 
:p«tter, plasma (ball lightning) etc., are under 
tody is a means of destroying missiles. Partirular 
ctention is devoted to lasers (death rays), and it 
is believed that in the future powerful lasers will 
be able to destroy any missile or satellite.^ 

The extent of Soviet interest in the development of bombardment 

satellite systems has been less cleariy delineated than in the case 

of antisatellite weapons, even though Soviet space technology pre- 

2 

sumably is capable of developing bomb-carrying satellites. On a 

number of occasions, Soviet spokesmen have drawn attention to the 

convertibility of Soviet manned space vehicles into bombardment 

vehicles, as did Khrushcrurv in December 1961 when he said: "If we 

could bring the spaceships of Yui1 Gagarin and Gherman Titov to land 

St. a prearranged spot, we could of course, send up 'other payloads' 

3 

and 'land' them wherever we wanted." In early 1963, Marshal 
Biriuzov, then commander of the Soviet strategic missile forces, 
apparently meant to convey a similar suggestion hen he said: 


* lbld ., p. 394 . Soviet Military Strategy , p. 419. 

2 

See Statement by Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara to 
the House Armed Services Committee, Tanua.y 31, 1963, p. 321, where 
he said: "the Soviet Union may now have, or soon achieve, a 
capability to place in orbit bomb-carrying satellites..." 

Pravda . December 10, 1961. Khrushchev had earlier linked the 
Titov flight with an implied Soviet military capability to deliver 
large-yield nuclear weapons "to any point on the globe,' although 
his statement was ambiguous enough to leave it unclear whether he 
was speaking of orbital delivery or ordinary missile delivery. 

The New York Times . September 8, 1961. 




265 


"It has now become possible, at a command from the earth, to launch 
mirsiles from satellites at any desired time and at any point in 
the satellite's trajectory.' * Since adoption of the October 1963 
UN reso 1 ution against orbiting nuclear weapons in space, Soviet 
suggestions of this sort have ceased, although as noted above, the 
United States is still sporadically charged with harboring plans for 
orbital-bombardment satellites. Whether the Soviet Union might 
pursue the development of such systems under the cover of the UN 
resolution, on the theory that it was merely taking precautionary 
measures against possible capitalist perfidy, is a question on which 
opinions may vary, but only time will furnish the answer. 

Another direction of potential Soviet Interest in space is the 

development of reconnaissance capabilities, which Soviet literature 

2 

had canvassed in some detail as early as 1939. Owing perhaps to the 
Soviet effort to discredit any American development of reconnaissance 
satellites, there have been no specific expressions of Soviet intent 
to play this game. However, the capacity to take photographs from 

3 

satellites ha; been demonstrated by the Soviet cosmonauts themselves, 

and detailed disc’'??ions of the photographic potentialities of satellites 

4 

have appeared in Soviet Literature at various times. The high 
premium placed by Soviet military men on the role of reconnaissance 


^Moscow Domestic Service, F> bruary 21, 1963. 

^S*e G. V. Petrovich, "The First Artificial Satellite of the Sun," 
Vestnlk Akacemii Nauk SSS R (.Journal of the USSR Academy of Sciences), 

Ho. 3, March 1959, pp. 8-14. 

J See published photos taken on Nikolaev's and Popovich’ flights In the 
magazine JJS31, Novenber 1962, pp. 45-47. 

^See N. Varvarov, "Cosmic Land Surveyors," Kkononicheskaia 
Cazeta (Economic Gazette), January 8, 1961; Voennaia Strategiia . 

2nd ed., p. 86. 






-266 


under modern conditions would suggest that they have not remained 
indifferent to the contribution which satellites might make to this 
requirement.* 


typical expression of Soviet emphasis on the importance of 
reconnaissance was that by Colonel-General Shtemenko in February 
1963. He wrote: "The role of reconnaissance in modern war has 
been increased to an extraordinary degree by the destructive powet 
of nuclear weapons and the great speed and accuracy of their delive.. 
to target. The rapid and accurate selection of targets for nuclear 
strikes can decide the outcome of battle...On the other hand, poorly 
organized reconnaissance can result in great expenditure of nuclear 
weapons to no purpose, and in the last analysis, in failure to fu.ii 
combat tasks." Kommunist Vooruzhennvkh Sil . No. 3, February 1963, 
p. 30. 


267- 


XVII. COALITION ASPECTS OF SOVIET STRATEGY 

Soviet strategic thinking in the postwar period has been pre¬ 
occupied largely with problems relating to the confrontation between 
the United States and its NATO allies on the one hand and the Soviet 
bloc on the other. Increasingly over the past few years, however, 
the Soviet Union has been obliged to turn part of its attention 
inward, as it were, to questions arising out of internal military 
relations within the communist camp. Two phenomena have been largely 
responsible: one, the gradual emergence of the Warsaw Pact countries 
toward a status of somewhat greater autonomy within the Soviet camp; 
the other, the eruption of the bitter and far-reaching dispute between 
Moscow and Peking. In this chapter, we shall touch upon some of the 
developments in Soviet strategic thinking and internal Bloc military 
relations which have accompanied each of these phenomena. 

Development of Warsaw Pact Co-operation 

Looking at the development of the Warsaw Pact over the past nine 
years, one is struck by the irony that what began primarily as a paper 
mechanism to counter the entry of West Germany into NATO has become 
gradually an institution with a meaningful role to play in Soviet 
coalition strategy. This is not to suggest that the i.'.itcaw Pact 
countries wield anything comparable to the weight of the European NATO 
partners in the determination of coalition strategies on the respective 
sides. Nevertheless, with the passage of time, the military co¬ 
operation of the Eastern European countries seems to have become more 
important to the Soviet Union in both a political and a practical sense. 






268 - 


At its inception in May 1955,* 8 * Soviet-engineered response to 

ratification o£ the Paris Agreements on March 26, 1955, the Warsaw 

Pact^ apparently was intended as a device to permit Soviet negotiatioi 

with NATO, as one observer has put it, "on the basis of two 'equal' 

2 

European security organizations." The new Warsaw Treaty supplement 

an existing series oi bilateral mutual assistance treaties, under 

which the Soviet Union presumably could have pursued any necessary 

military arrangements with the East European countries had not a 

collective Pact seemed to be a desirable political-propaganda ins* um 

for dealing with the West. Early Soviet propaganda treatment of the 

Warsaw Pact and the r*ra meetings of its formal organs, together wit* 

apparent failure to flesh out these bodies in the first few years of 

the Pact's existence, tended to support the view that its symbolic 

political role Initially carried far more weight in Soviet eyes 

4 

than its co-operative military aspects. 

Two major bodies were provided by the Warsaw Treaty to carry 
out the functions of the Pact. One of these was a Political 


*For a Soviet description of the Warsaw Treaty on Friendship, 
Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, C. P. Zhukov, V arshavskli Dorqvc 
1 Voprosy Mezhdunarodnol Bezopastnosti (The Warsaw Treaty and uesti 

of International Security), Sotsialno-Ekonomicheskoe Cosudarstvennoe 
Izdatelstvo, Moscow, 1961. 

^Mackintosh, op. cit ., p. 103. For some of the basic material 
in this portion of Chapter XVII, the author has drawn on an unpublis 
paper by Sol Polansky, "The Development of the Warsaw Pact," January 
1964. The interpretations offered are, however, the responsibility 
of the present author alone, 

■*V, Berezhkov, "At the Warsaw Conference," Novuo Vremia «’V. • 
Times), No. 20, October 1955, p. 9; Ludwik Gelbert, U Mad 
Warozawski (Warsaw Pact), Warsaw, 1957, p. 64, cited by Polansky, 
op > cit ., p. 2. 

4 

Polansky, op. cit ., pp. 3-5. 


-269- 


Consultative Committee, whose meetings have been attended normally 

by Party First Secretaries or government Premiers, together with 

their Foreign and Defense Ministers.* In addition to Its political 

functions, this organ Is said to have "Important functions in 

military matters," which include decisions on "strengthening of the 

defense capability and organization of the Joint Forces" and "matters 

2 

of delivery of arms and other materials." The second major organ 

set up by the Warsaw Treaty was a Joint Command. Its announced 

function is "to carry out direct coordination of military operations" 

and "to prepare beforehand for effective defense In the event of 
3 

armed attack." 

The Joint Command has always been headed by a Soviet officer. 
There have been two commanders-in-chlef to date. Marshal I. Konev, 
and the Incumbent, Marshal A. Grechko. The commander-in-chlef is 
assisted by deputies, who are the Ministers of Defense of the Pact 
countries and who nominally are supposed to retain "command of the 
armed forces of each member state allocated to the joint forces."^ 


*Two subsidiary organs of the Political Consultative Committee, 
a Permanent Commission to deal with foreign policy questions .'r.J a 
Joint Secretariat, were provided by the Treaty, but there has been no 
reported activity by these bodies. Polansky, op. clt .. p. 3. 

Delbert, op. clt .. pp. 113-114. 

3 Zhukov, Varshavskll Dog o- or. p. 21. 

4 

V. K. Sobakln, Kollektivnala Sizopasnost * (Collective Security), 
Moscow, 1962, p. 385. The only other element of the Warsaw Pact 
conwand structure that has been mentioned publicly is the Staff of 
the Joint Armed Forces, composed of representatives of national general 
staffs and situated in Moscow. Until his death In 1962, this staff was 
headed by General A. I, Antonov, a close wartime associate of Stalin. 
Another Soviet officer, General of the Army P. I. Batov, is the incumbent 
chief -of -staff. Wehrpolltlk . No. 3, 1963; Kommunist Vooru::hen iiykh Sil, 
No. 10. May 1963, p. 72. 



-270- 


IC Is Interesting and perhaps revealing that this concept was 

contradicted by the description in both Sokolovskii editions of the 

way Warsaw Pact command arrangements might be expected to work out 

in wartime. The Sokolovskii formula stated: 

Operational units including armed forces of 
different socialist countries can be created 
to conduct joint operations in military theaters. 

The cotimand of these units can be assigned to 
the Supreme High Command of the Soviet armed 
forces, with the representation of the supreme 
high commands of the allied countries.! 

Only after thus establishing the principle of Soviet control did 
the Sokolovskii authors add that: "In some military theaters, the 
operational units of the allied countries will be under their own 
supreme high command.'' Militarily, the concept of Soviet control 
of operations, and presumably of strategic direction of a war as we 1 
doubt less makes sound logic from the Soviet viewpoint, but given the 
growing strength of nationalist sentiment in most of the Eastern 
European countries, it may add some political strain to intra¬ 
bloc relations. 

The path to closer military co-operation among the Warsaw Pact 
countries in the earlier days of the treaty was by no means smooth. 
The crushing of the Hungarian rebellion in 1956 by the Soviet army 
certainly dealt a setback to the idea of a socialist military allianc 
based on coranon goals, and the apparently narrow margin of decision 
against applying similar treatment to Comulka*s defiance of the 
Soviet Union probably did not bolster a sense of common cause. At 
the same time, however, events in the fall of 1956 did have the 

^ Soviet Military Strategy, p. 495. Voennala Strategila. 2nd ed. 
p. 475. 



-271- 


effect of prompting the Soviet Union to negotiate a series of 
"status-of-forces" agreements with various East European countries 
in the course of the next year, and may also have led the Soviet 
Union eventually to conclude that a closer binding together of 
military relationships under the aegis of the Warsaw Pact was the 
best way to avoid future Hirngarys. 

These relationships already were close in some respects, of 

course, particularly on a bilateral basis, for the Soviet Union had 

largely equipped and trained the national forces of the new communist 

regimes in Eastern Europe In the early fifties. With respect to air 

defense arrangements, which apparently became more closely Integrated 

with those of the Soviet Union from around 1955 on,* there was 

necessarily a rather high degree of collaboration. The principal 

outward sign of change In over-ail military relationships In the 

late fifties and early sixties was a greater Soviet tendency to stress 

the joint strength of the socialist countries and their fraternal 
2 

co-operation, culminating finally in a series of well-publicized 
joint military exercises In 1961 and 1962. 

This process of upgrading the Warsaw Pact publicly in terms 
of common defense of the socialist camp was typified by two state¬ 
ments of Marshal Grechho, uttered two years apart. On May 9, 1960, 
he said: 


^Kilmarx, op. clt .. p. 267. 

^For example, in 1958 ColonelKJeneral G. I. Khetagurov, commander 
of Soviet forces in Poland, said: "Our combat cooperation with the 
Polish forces is constantly growing. Units of our fraternal countries 
exchange visits." Red Star . November 21, 1^58. In 1959, Marshal 
Konev, the first commander of the Warsaw Pact forces, said: "We 
no longer stand alone guarding the achievements of socialism. 

Shoulder to shoulder with us stand our brothers-in-arms Red S tar, 
May 9, 1959. 



- 272 - 


The might of the Soviet army is a reliable safeguard 
of world peace, a reliable guarantee of the security 
of our Motherland's borders, a guarantee of the 
security of the fraternal socialist states. 1 

Two years later, he said: 

Together with the Soviet armed forces, the 
fraternal armies of the Warsaw Pact countries 
are vigilantly standing guard over the peace.^ 

The trend toward emphasis on the joint strength of the Warsaw Pac 

countries became particularly noticeable as part of the Soviet mlllta- 

reaction to heightened tension over Berlin in the Sumer of 1961, when 

the first of several joint Warsaw Pact military exercises was held. 

The following year, three additional exercises took place, involving 

Soviet forces in joint maneuvers at one location or another with all r 

the East European countries except Bulgaria. In early 1962, a Soviet 

general wrote that "...the joint armed forces of the Warsaw Pact 

countries have grown qualitatively and have become still strongei durl 
4 

the past year." Another officer, appraising the exercises of the 
previous year, wrote in 1963: "The joint exercises conducted recently 
by a number of the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries have proved that 
the Joint armed forces are ready at any moment to deal the aggressor 
a destructive retaliatory blow."* The same officer, Colonel S. Lesne * 


1 Pravda. May 9, i960. 

2 Ibld .. May 9, 1962. 

^ Red Star . October 6, 1961. 

A 

Lieutenant-General K. Flllashln, "Guarding Peace and Security." 
Voennvl Vcstnlk . Ho. 5, May 196t, p. 12. 

^Colonel S. Lesnevskil, "Combat Alliance of Fraternal Arm-es,' 
Voennye Znanlia . Ho. 5, May 1963, pp. 12-13. 



273- 


stated in a long article on the Warsaw Pact later In 1963 that co¬ 
operation among the Pact countries had increased their military capabilities 
and resulted in their "closing ranks in a single military family."* Marshal 
Malinovskii cemented the bonds among the Warsaw Pact members in still more 

dramatic terms when he declared in 1963 th^t the "pact was sealed in 
2 

blood." In line with this frequent recitation of measures that were 
helping to bring the "socialist armies closer together," the published 
report of a conference on military doctrine in Moscow in May 1963 noted 
that one of the items seriously discussed was the necessity of developing 
"a single military doctrine" for all of the Warsaw Pact countries. 

While it might be Inferred from this latter comment that military 
collaboration had not proceeded quite as far as other accounts sought 
to convey, the fact remains that the Soviet Union has found it useful 
to stress the close military bonds asxmg the Warsaw Pact countries. 

To what extent this effort derives from military as distinct from 
political considerations, it is not easy to say. The two are closely 
interrelated. Perhaps the principal Soviet motive can be traced to 


^Colonel S. Lesnevskll, "The Military Collaboration of the Armed 
Forces of the Socialist Countries," Ko mmunlst Vooruzhennykh Sil. No. 10, 
May 1963, p. 73. See also: Marshal of the Soviet Union A. Grechko, "The 
Exploit of the People," Izvestlia . May 9, 1963; Colonel A. Ratnikov, "A 
Reliable Guard of the Security of People," Red Star . May 14, 1963. 

2 Pravda . February 23, 1963. 

3 

Voenno-Istoricheskli Zhurna l. No. 10, October 1963, p. 126. In this 
connection, an article in the fall of 1963, written with the obvious 
intention of stressing Warsaw Pact "military fellowship" in contrast to 
Chinese aloofness, pointed out the need to work out joint actions now 
4 acause it would be too late for a socialist country "to call for aid" 
after the bombs start to fall. Colonels I. Sidel'nikov and V. Zmitrenko, 
"The Present Epoch and the Defense of the Achievements of Socialism," 

Red Star . September 19, 1963. 




274 - 


the fact that, in addition to opposing NATO, Soviet forces in 
Eastern Europe have long had a kind of garrison function to insure 
t'.iat regimes sympathetic to Soviet policy remain in power, as Hungary 
rather vividly demonstrated. As the countries of Eastern Europe 
have come gradually to acquire a larger measure of autonomy in the 
economic, cultural and even political spheres, the naked garrison 
aspect of a Soviet military presence in Eastern Europe would become 
increasingly awkward were it not for the Warsaw Pact, which confer.s 
collective sanction on the Soviet presence under the n-ie of defense 
against the NATO threat. The differing Polish and Soviet inter¬ 
pretations of the Hungarian episode suggest that there is still room 
for friction and misunderstanding between the East European countries 
and the Soviet Union as to how far the Warsaw Pact can be stretched 
to cover Soviet policing actions. 1 Nevertheless, the Pact would 
certainly seem of greater value to the Soviet Union today for its 
Internal cohesive functions than it probably appeared nine years 
ago. 

In the strictly military sphere, some advantages for the Soviet 
Union doubtless arise from closer co-operation with other Warsaw 


*In this connection, the Polish view consistently has been that 
"the Warsaw Pact cannot be used as the legal basis for the actions 
of Soviet troops during the tragfc events which took place in 
Hungary." W. Morawiecki, "Or. the Warsaw Pact," r p~awy Miezynarodowz 
(International Affairs), No. 5, 1958, p. 29, cited by Polansky, op . 
cit .. p, 16. The Soviet Union, on the other hant has continued to 
dispute Polish statements that Soviet troops coulu not put down the 
Hungarian revolt under the legal - Jr.tle of the Warsaw Pact. The 
Soviet view, as recently as Ma^ i*63, was that "...the operative 
strength of this cooperation [ _i.e., the Warsaw Pact/ was convincingly 
demonstrated in the days of the counter-revolutionary putsch in 
Hungary in the autumn of 1956." Kommunist Voo.uzhennvkh Sil . No. 10, 
May 1963, p. 73. 


275 


Pace armed forces. *n peacetime, Soviet access to maneuver areas, 
transit, logistic support and the like are probably simplified under 
the Pact. In the event of local hostilities, involving perhaps 
West Germany, closer Soviet control of national armed forces might 
be facilitated by the Pact, although this would not appear to be 
a central consideration, especially as long as Soviet policy continues 
to keep nuclear weapons out of the nands of other Pact forces, which 
appears to have been the case up to now. Should major hostilities 
occur, there would be obvious advantages in having carried out prior 
maneuvers, joi^t planning and staff arrangements, and so on. How¬ 
ever, on the key ''uestion — the extent to which a growing sense of 
.Soviet military dependence on other Warsaw Pact armed forces may have 
accounted for upgrading of the Pact in the past few years — there 
is no ready answer. 

Soviet strategic missile strength, particularly in the large 
medium-range missile forces trained against Western Europe from 
USSR territory proper, would seem, on the surface, to have reduced 
somewhat Soviet dependence on the East European countries. Another 
point -- the reliability of the East European armies in Soviet 
eyes -- also is germane. In this connection, it is perhaps 
dgnifleant that the modernist school of Soviet military thought 
has never brought up the point that existence of large East European 
armed forces mitigates the requirement for Soviet mass armies on the 
earlier scale, although this would seem to be a logical argument for 
the modernists tc make. This suggests that the S viet Union may 
entertain some doubt as to how much reliance may be placed on other 
Pact forces, and that Soviet military plans may be based on meeting 


27b 


the requirements of warfare in the European theater essentially from 

their own resources. 

Finally, Soviet emphasis on the collective strength and military 
unity of the Warsaw Fact countries has run curiously parallel to the 
worsening of relations with Peking, which suggests that one function 
of the Warsaw Pact co-operation theme has been to serve as a foil 
against Chinese charges that the Soviet Union is guilty of splitting 
the communist camp and of placing its own interests ahead of those 
of other coiununist states. 

Sino-Sovlet Military Relations 

In retrospect, it has come to be felt by many students of Sino- 
Soviet affairs that military relations between these two largest 
comnunist states were never as close as popularly assumed, even 
before open disclosure of the growing rift between them in I960. 1 
While this is not the place to undertake a full review of earlier 
Sino-Soviet military relations, it may be useful to note briefly the 
background against which the post-1960 airing of differences over 
natters of strategy and military policy has developed. 

The seeds of future discord apparently were sown before the 
Chinese Communists came to power on the mainland in late 1949. 

Even during the postwar y*ars when the Chinese Communists were 
fighting the final chapter of the Civil War against the Nationalists, 
Stalfr evidently held a skeptical view of Chinese Cowmnlst military 

•» 

l For a pe.^uflsive exposition of this view, see Raymond L. 
G2rtnoff, "Simo^Soviet Militliry Relations," The Annals of the American 
A cademy, ot Political aiad Social Science. Vol. W), September 1963, 
pt*. Si-93. 





277 


prospects, as lndicat A by his comments in 1948 to Dimitrov and 

Kardelj.* Stalin se”- i! to be hedging his bets by extending 

military help and adv.je sparingly to Mao and by maintaining 

relations with Chiang*s government until the Chinese Communists took 
2 

over. Wirh the Sino-Soviet Treaty of February 14, 19S0, a formal 

irilitary alliance aims ’ principally at Japan and the United States 

came into being. Under tnis agreement, and presumably its various 

unpublished protocols, the Soviet Union began to furnish military 

advisors and equipment to China. 

In the fall of 1950, when Soviet expectation of a quick North 

Korean victory was upset and Chinese "volunteers" had to be committed 

on a large scale, Moscow and Peking faced perhaps the first real 

strain on their co-oper- tive military relationship. The Soviets 

found themselves obliged t » rely on the Chinese to salvage a war they 

3 

themselves had apparently be* in, and in turn Moscow had to contemplate 
the possibility that the war mi, expand to a nuclear level at a time 
when the Soviet military posture was far from adequate to deal with 
a nuclear threat. In any event, however, the threat did not 
materialize and the Sino-Soviet partners were spared the "agonizing 
reappraisal" of their situation which events might have forced upon 


^Vlacimer Dedi^er, Tf"o , Simon and Schuster, New York, 1953, 
p. 322. 

2 

See A. Doak Barnett, Communist China and Asia. Ra.v>om House, 

New York, 1961, pp. 340-344; see also Mark MancalJ, "Russia and 
China: Perennial Conflict," Problems of Communism . Vol. XII, No. 2, 
March/April 1963, p. 65. 

^See Allen S. Whiting, China Crosses the Yalu . The MacMillan 
Company, New York, I960, pp, iv-v, 124-126; Garthoff, "Sino-Soviet Military 
Relations," p. 84. 





- 278 - 


them. By the time the war was closed out after Stalin's death in 

1953, the Chinese had benefited greatly from Soviet aid in building 

up modern, regular military forces.^ - At the same time, however, 

Chinese dependence on che Soviet Union had greatly increased. This 

was particularly true with regard to the future, for if China was 

to acquire the kind of nuclear military po r possessed by the Soviet 

Union and the United States, and the t'chnical-industrial base to 

2 

support it, Moscow's help in rather massive doses was necessary. 

Apparently, this help was never to become available as freely 
as the Chinese would Vve liked, although in the period from 1^54 
down to 1960, the Soviet Union did prove more co-operative in some 
respects than in Stalin's time. Following the Xhrushchev-Bu]ganin 
visit to Peking in late 1954, for example, some of the earlier hard 
bargains driven by Stalin were relaxed: Port Arthur was turned bac*. 
to the Chinese in 1955, and the arrangement for exclusive Soviet 
exploitation of Sinkiang uranium was revoked. Increased help in 
building up Chinese industry. Including an Indigenous arms industry, 
also was forthcoming, and in 1955 a scientific-technical agreement 
was signed. This was to be followed in October 1957 -- as the 
polemics subsequently revealed -- by a secret treaty dealing with 
"new technology for national defense."^ 

*See Harold Hinton, 'Communist China's Military Posture,' 
Current History . September 1962, p. 151. 

^See Alice Langley Hsieh, Communist China's Strategy in the 
Nuclear Age . Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 

1962, pp. 72-75. 

3 

Statement by the Spokesman of the Chinese Government, 

September 1, 1963 -• A Comment on the Soviet Government's 'tatenent 
of August 21, People's Daily, September 1, 1963,Peking, New China 
News Agency broadcast, August 31, 1963. 




-279 


Nevertheless, despite Soviet co-operation with Peking from 1955 

to 1960, a rather tight rein apparently was kept on Soviet military 

coonitaents to the Chinese during this period.* This included the 

somewhat ambiguous Soviet backing of Mao's Taiwan Straits venture 

of 1958, which took the form of a warning from Khrushchev to President 

Eisenhower on September 18, 1958, that the Soviets would retaliate 

with nuclear weapons in the event of a U.S. nuclear attack against 
2 

China. It also has since become known that during this period 
Sino-Soviet relations became seriously snarled over the question of 
nuclear assistance to China, wit teking now charging that on June 20, 
1959 the Soviet Union "unilaterally tore up" the new technology 
agreement of October 15, 1957, and "refused to provide China with a 
sample of an atomic bomb and technical data concerning its manufacture 
In short, the strains which have since become evident in Sino-Soviet 
military relations already were well advanced ' y the time they erupted 
in the open rift of siid-1960. 

The principal issues of a military nature exposed during the 
Sino-Soviet polemics since 1960 tend to spill over well beyond the 


*Carthoff, "Sino-Soviet Military Relations," pp. 82, 86ff. 

2 

The extent of Soviet backing is still ambiguous, for the 
Chinese have subsequently charged that Khrushchev claimed a false 
victory because his warning came after the danger of nuclear 
confrontation in the Taiwan crisis had passed. See Chinese state¬ 
ment, September 1, 1963, and Soviet government statement, September 
20, 1963, Pravda . September 21, 1963, which reproaches Peking for 
ingratitude. 

^Chinese Statement of September 1, 1963 and Statement by the 
Srokesman of the Chinese Government, August i5, 1963 -• A Comment 
on the Soviet Government's statement of August 3, 1963, Pe<»pl_e 1 s 
Pally . August 15, 1963, Peking, Mew China News Agency bruaocast, 

August: 14, 1963. The Soviet Union has tacitly acknowledged a breach 
of faith with regard to the October 1957 agreement by criticizing the 
Chinese for disclosing recent defense Information in this connection. 
Soviet government statement, August 21, 1963, Pravda. August 21, 1963. 




- 280 - 


bounds of strictly military considerations. This is certainly the case 
with regard to the central question of war and peace. The Soviet 
leadership, sobered by its understanding of the consequences of nuclea 
warfare and as yet the sole custodian of nuclear capabilities within 
the communist camp, has perforce been saddled with the responsibility 
of taking practical steps to avoid the risk of nuclear war. The 
Chinese, long-inclined to expect greater political dividends from 
Soviet military power than the Russians themselves,^ and unencumbered 
with practical responsibility for the control of weapons they do not 
possess, have been more assertive m urging pressure upon the West 
under the umbrella of S ov iet missile and space accomplishments. To 
some extent, the Chinese view may be colored by their own experience 
in the Korean Wai and in Southeast Asia, where rather heavy pressure- 
upon the West did not bring a nuclear response. 

These differences of attitude have come to a focus in Chinese 
criticism of the way the Soviet Union has been conducting the policy 
of peaceful coexistence -- what one observer has called Moscow's own 
"theory of containment" directed against the West. Perhaps Chinese 
criticism is seated in a concern that the tactical device of peace¬ 
ful coexistence, by which the Soviet leaders hope to regulate pressure 
on the West so as not to risk a nuclear disaster, may become in the 
course of time a way of life -* a mellowing of earlier militant 
cotununlsm, with gradual divergence between the long-range aims 

*See Donald S. Zagorla, The dino-Soviet Conflict: 1956-1961 . 
Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1962, pp. 154-172; 

Hsieh, op. cit .. pp. 83-99, 169. 



- 281 - 


of the world communist movement_and the national interests of the 
Soviet Union. 

High on the list of specific Issues over which the Soviet Union 

and China have fallen out is the Chinese determination to break into 

the "nuclear club," roost graphically expressed by Chinese avowal of 

willingness to go "with or without pants" for this purpose if 

necessary.* While a good deal of obscurity still attends the question 

of how far the Soviets had gone in assisting the Chinese in activities 

related to acquisition of a nuclear capability before Moscow had second 

thoughts on the subject, it now seems clear from the polemical exchanges 

mentioned above that Sino-Soviet relations deteriorated rapidly after 

the alleged abrogation in June 1959 of Soviet commitments to furnish 

a sample bomb and weapons production data. Soviet second thoughts on 

the desiri-.bility of furnishing other advanced military items to the 

Chinese also are evident. In June 1959 Khrushchev told Averell 

Harrlman that the Soviet Union already had sent some missiles to 

China (he did not specify whether with or without nuclear warheads or 

2 

Soviet crews) to help defend it against Taiwan. However, somewhere 
along the line further Soviet largesse ceased, and China has since 
been denied even aircraft of up-to-date types furnished by the 

3 

Soviet Union to such non-communist countries as Indonesia and Egypt. 

*Chen Yi Interview by Japanese Newsmen, Tokyo, Kyodo broadcast, 

October 28, 1963. 

“Hsieh, op. cit .. p. 164. * 

^S«je Carthoff, "Sino-Soviet Military Relations," p. 92. 



282 


Why the Soviet Union decided to withhold nuclear assistance to 
China is open to speculation. Concern over being drawn by the 
Chinese into a nuclear confrontation with the United States, 
particularly after the Taiwan episode of 1958, is one possible motive. 
It is given some weight by rather frequent Soviet accusations, 
beginning with Khrushchev's speech of December 12, 1962 on Cuba, 
that the Chinese hope to provoke a U.S.-Soviet nuclear war, while 
themselves "sitting it out" -- more or less in the role of tertius 
gaudens , waiting to pick up the pieces.* A second possibility is 
that the Soviet leaders may have calculated erroneously that nuclear 
denial would force the Chinese to modify some other aspect of their 
behavior not to Soviet liking. Signs that there was internal 
Chinese division over the question of jeopardizing Soviet military 
aid or "going it alone" may have encouraged Moscow to believe that 
this pressure tactic would work. A third Soviet motive which has 
been professed openly in connection w:'th the test ban dialogue is 
that, if the Soviet Union were to furnish nuclear weapons China, 
the United States would follow suit by giving them to countries like 
West Germany and Japan, which, in the Soviet view, would c ily 


Khrushchev speech to Supreme Soviet, Pravda . December 13, 1962. 
For other Soviet accusations along the same line, see: Marshal A. 
Ytremenko, "A 'Paper* Tiger or a Thermonuclear Tiger?", article 
written for the Bulgarian paper Rabotnichesko Polo . October 10, 1963; 
Editorial, "For the General Line of the World Communist Movement 
Against Opportunism, Nationalism, and Adventurism," Konmunist . 

No. 14, September 1963, pp. 19, 22. 

^For discussion of internal Chinese schools of thought on 
defense policy and the question of attitudes toward Soviet aid see: 
Hsieh, op. cit .. pp. 34-75; Zagoria, op, cit .. pp. 190-194; 

David A. Charles, "The Dismissal of Marshal P'eng Teh-huai," The 
China Quarterly . No. 8, October-December 1961, pp. 63ff. 


283 


"Intensify the arms race" and "complicate the defense of the 
socialist camp."I 

Closely related to the issue of withholding nuclear weapons 

from China as a source of Sino-Soviet friction has been the question 

of how firmly Soviet deterrent power is committed to the support of 

Chinese interests. Ultimately, this issue brings the very validity 

of the Sino-Soviet Treaty itself into question. Soviet assurances 

have been given in the course of the folemics that the Soviet nuclear- 

missile shield extends to China. Indeed, thi6 is part of the Soviet 

2 

rationale for withholding weapons. At the same time, the Soviets 
have left no doubt that there are limits to their commitment? and 
that it can be considered good only so long as the Chinese take their 
policy cues from Moscow. As Marshal Malinovskii put it in January 
1962, Soviet military power always stands ready to defend "those 

A 

socialist states friendly to us." Another Soviet Marshal, 

Yeremenko, put it more picturesquely in October 1963, when he quoted 
an old Russian proverb to the Chinese: "Do not spit into the well, 
because you may one day need drinking water." 


^Soviet government statement, September 20, 1963, Pravda, 

September 21, 1963; Trifonenkov, Konwiunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 21, 
November 1963, p. 28. 

^Soviet government statement, September 20, 1963, Pravda . 

September 21, 1963; Red Star editorial, "The Leninist Course of our 
Foreign Policy," September 26, 1963; Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . 

No. 21, November 1963, p. 28. 

3 

'Curiously, the Western world seems to have taken the strength 
of this commitment more seriously than the Chinese, ascribing a rather 
high "credibility rating" to the Soviet deterrent in the service of China. 
See discussion of this point in Thornes C. Schelling, "Deterrence: 

Military Diplomacy in the Nuclear Age," The Virginia Quarterly Review . 

Vol. 39, No. 4, 1963, pp. 545-547. 

4 

Pravda, January 24, 1962. See also Zagoria, op. clt .. pp. 335-336. 
^Yeremenko, l oc. cit . 





284 


For their part, the Chinese have visibly chafed at being depe dent 
on Moscow, and have made plain their determination to acquire nuclear 
weapons by their own efforts, stressing that all of China's problems, 
including those of "national defense," can be solved without Soviet 
help. 1 

The question of the policy to be pursued with regard to national 
liberation struggles and local wars has been another vexed issue 
between Moscow and Peking. As our previous discussion in Chapter 
Ten has suggested, the Soviets seem to be seeking a more flexible 
position on the escalation potential of local struggles, partly to 
reduce their vulnerability to Chinese charges of "capitulationism," 
which grew more strident after the Cuban crisis of 196?. The Soviet 
Union has not remained wholly on the defensive, however, with tegard 
to Peking's pretensions to a superior doctrine for winning revolutiona. 
wars. They not only have counterattacked by reminding Peking tha Doth 
the socialist camp and national liberation movements live under the 
protection of Soviet nuclear power. They also have gone further to 
charge that the Chinese are courting war on the basis of Maoist 
military theories that would pit manpower against nuclear weapons. 

This line of attack was pursued in October 1963 by Major-Ceneral 
Kozlov, military correspondent of the Soviet news agency Novosti, 
who baited Mao Tse-tung in the process, deferring to the "strategy 
and tactics for the victory of the weak over the strong," developed 
by Mao in his work, On_Protracted War, Kozlov said: "The tendency 

^hen Yi at .dentists' Banquet, Peking, New China News Agency 
broadcast, January 5, 1962; Chen Yi , led FlaR. August 16, 1960; 

See also Hsleh, op, cit .. p. 112. 



*-/85- 


and idea that victory in a war can be won through 'weakness' is 
naive, to say the least, if not criminal.” Stating that "it is 
impossible to entertain any hope of success when modern techniques 
of warfare are Ignored," Kozlov charged that the Chinese idea of 
"reducing everything solely to a numerical superiority over the 
enemy in the number of troops" would simply "doom small nations to 
hopelessness." Further, said Kozlov, in trying "to Impose their 
limited experience and corresponding theories as a guide for all, 
the Chinese leaders...distort the Marxist-Leninlst theory of war 
and do great harm to the communist cause." 

On the other hand, the Chinese also have made an issue of the 
man-versus-technology question. As noted earlier in Chapter Eight, 
several Chinese statements on this subject have seemed to be 
calculated to exacerbate internal Soviet political-military relations 
by appealing to sentiment unsympathetic to Khrushchev's military 
cheorles within some circles of the Soviet military establishment. 

In an interview with Japanese correspondents on October 28, 1963, 
for example. Foreign Minister Chen Y1 pointedly observed that In his 
opinion "the CPSU, the Soviet people, and the Red Army will not readily 
give up their friendship toward China.A more specific stroke to 
separate Khrushchev from the Soviet military was delivered in the 
Chinese statement of November 18, 1963 which attacked Wirushchev 

^Major-General S. Kozlov. "Against Dogmatism and the Distortion 
of Marxist-Leninist Teaching About War," Narodna Armlya (People's 
Army) article, broadcast on Sofia radio, October 8, 1^63. 

2 

“Tokyo, Kyodo broadcast, October 28, 1963. 




286 


for "nuclear fetishlsmf 1 and for lopsided emphasis on technology 
over man. Declaring wthat while the Soviet army remains "a great 
force safeguarding world peace," the Chinese also said that at the 
same tine: 

Khrushchev's whole set of military theories 
runs completely counter to Marxist-Leninist 
teachings on war and the army. To follow 
his erroneous theories will necessarily 
Involve disintegrating the array....* 

Besides the issues which have been publicly aired in the Sino- 

Soviet polemics by the participants themselves, signs of friction 

over other matters of military co-operation have come to lighc from 

time to time. Edward Crankshaw, the British writer, disclosed in an 

article in February 1961 that one of the concrete issues which had 

come up during the behind-the-scenes arguments at the Conference of 

81 Communist Parties in Moscow in November-December 1960 concerned a 

2 

plan for a joint Sir.o-Soviet naval command in the Pacific. Pre¬ 
sumably the Chinese charged that the Soviet Union wished to impose 
an unacceptable subordinate status on China in this arrangement. 
Raymond Garthoff, in the Annals eesay previously cited, speculates 
that Chinese sensitivity over equality of status may have similarly 
prevented full integration of air defense systems. Newspaper reports 


"Two Different Lines on the Question of War and Peace," Comment 
on the Open Letter Issued by the Central Committee of the CPSU, 

People's Daily - Red Flag . November 19, 1963, Peking, New China 
News Agency broadcast, November 18, 1963. 

2 

Edvard Crankshaw, "Slno-Soviet P.ift Held Very Deep," Tlie 
Wa shington Post . February 12, 1961. Chinese charges in a joint Red 
Flag-People' s Daily article of September 6, 1963 that the Soviet Union 
in 1958 had tried "f * .ng China und^r Soviet military control" were 
apparently related t the naval command issue, as indicated by a peec'r 
made in Japan by a visiting Chinese official Chao An-po, report#- in 
the Japan Times . February 23, 1964. 


287 


of border clashes in Slnkiang and of the strengthening of garrisons 
by both sides along their frontiers in Inner Asia,^ while possibly 
exaggerated, may also reflect an aspect of Sino-Soviet military 
relations that is not quite according to Hoyle, as relations among 
Communist states are supposed to go. In this connection, it is not 
without Interest that recently-released secret Chinese Communist 
army documents of 1960 and 1961 contained a directive on the need 
to preserve the security of the Sino-Soviet frontiers of China.^ 

Although the deterioration of bonds between Moscow and Peking 
has gone much farther than the shrewdest prophet might have foreseen 
a decade ago, one may rightly hesitate to predict what the future 
bolds for Si.io-Sovlet military relations. At one extreme, it is not 
Inconceivable that at some future date the two sides may find them¬ 
selves shooting at each other, although this does not seem likely 
unless their political relations decline even beyond the point they 
have reached today. Both sides certainly have great cause to 
maintain some semblance of unity vis-a-vis the Western alliance, 
and If the choice presented to the Soviet Union were either to 
aaslst China oi see the mainland wrested from cotu*i*:iist control, 
one might perhaps expect the Soviet Union to lend a helping hand. 
Likewise, if the Soviet Union were to become involved in a major war 
originating outside of the Far East, China's fulfillment of her 

^ee: "Peking Spars with Soviets ''ver Wilds of Central Asia," 
Christian Science Monitor . October 2, Parnsworth Fuwle, 

"Soviet Tightens <?atch on China," T he New ¥ork Times . Soveraber 17, 

1963. 

fyor further comment ot these documents, see Alice Hsieh, 
Communist China's Military Doctrine and Strategy. T^.e BAKU Corporation, 
RH-3833-PR. Abridged. October 1963. 




treaty obligation* to the USSR night be expected, although un¬ 
certainty es to what for* Chinese support eight take 1* likely to 
be a touchy problea of Soviet strategy. 

Short of such extra** situation* which eaka prediction hazardous 
the tendency of both power* to define their policy in teres of their 
own interests seems likely to persist, with the prospect that thel. 
military relations will continue to be guarded and somewhat distant. 
Soviet strategy will probably reach a major crossroads of decision, 
however, when China becomes a nuclear power in her own right. At 
that time, the Soviet. Union iay have to choose between seeking an 
accommodation of some kind with her populous neighbor in the fast, 
or making other arrangements Cor Soviet security which could greatly 
altar the structure of Eaat-Waet relationships as they exlui lodcv. 




-289- 


XVIII. THE UNFINISHED SEARCH FOR A WAR-WINNING STRATEGY 

While the Soviet leadership may be increasingly assailed by 
grave doubt that a nuclear war would serve any rational policy 
purposes at all, this sentiment has noc yet seeped down into the 
main body of Soviet military doctrine and strategy. Soviet military 
literature provides no room for the cot,-. pt of "no victor" in a future 
war, and in this respect it continu, o ecbr he doctrinaire 
ideological position that in the even*' of v.ar , ' *..ie true balance of 
political, economic and military forces" between the opposing systems 
"guarantees" victory for the communist :amp.* 

However, when it comes to laying dow.-, the military path toward 
attainment of the "decisive political and military goals" set for 
the Soviet camp in any future general war with the Western coalition, 
Soviet military theory seems still beset by conflicting views and 
uncertainty. It reflects a continuing ambivalence between the 
concepts of a short, decisive war and a long one, between the radical 
notion that the shock effect of modern strategic weapons might bring 
quick victory by paralysing an enemy's will to resist and the ncre 
traditional view that victory is to be secured only by large-scale 
combined arms operations, ending with occupation of the enemy's 
home land. 

The 1963 Sokolovskii edition seemed *_o be as much at cross- 
purposes with itself on this question as it-> predecessor. Key 


^Soy,l et Military Strategy . ; . 313; V oennaia St rater Ha . 2nd ed., 
p. 2 r >8. ;.. e also: N. Talensky, "The 'Absolute Weapon' and the 
Problem >f Security," International Affair s, No. 4, April 1962, p. ’6. 
Major-General N. Sushko and Major T. JLopdratkov, "War and Politics ;n th« 
Nuclear Age," Knmrnunlat Vooruzhcnnykh Si l. No. 2, January 1964, p. .-<i. 




290 - 


passages expressing both viewpoints were retained. For example, the 
prospect was still offered that :i modern strategic weapons...make it 
possible to achieve d delve results in winning victory in war some¬ 
times even without resort to tactical and field forces," and that a 
country subjected to "massive missile blows may find it necessary to 
surrender even before its armed forces have suffered decisive defeat."' 
On the other hand, the more traditional view also was repeated, with 

the argument that for final victory: 

...it will be absolutely necessary to smash the 
enemy's armed forces completely, deprive him of 
strategic areas of deployment, liquidate his 
military bases, and occupy his strategically 

important regions,3 

In other recent Soviet military discourse, perhaps as part of the 
traditionalist school's effort to hold its ground against the troop- 
reduction implications of Khrushchev’s December 1963 policy statement^ 
there has been a notable tendency to place renewed emphasis on the 
combined-arms formula for final victory. The Red Star series on the 
"revolution in military affairs," which began in January 1964 with 
General Lomov's two-part exposition on military doctrine, was 
particularly weighted in this direction. 4 


P. 105 


Woennala Strateaxis. 2nd ed., p. 20; Soviet Military Strategy , 

94. See also Konoplev, Kommunist Vooru shennvkh Sll, Ho. 24, Dec. 1963 

2 Voannala Strateglia. 2nd ed., p. 32; Soviet Military Strategy, 

5 ~ See also Derevlanko, Kranunlst Vooruzh ennykh Sll, No. I, -*an. iy 


A oennaia Strateglia. 2nd ed., p. 246; Soviet Milita ry Strategy, 
p. 302.,”" An afterthought was added to this formula in tine revised 
edition, to emphasise the combined-arms aspect of the situation. 

Where the original text observed that "ail these and other tasks can 
only be accomplished by ground forces," the new text added: "...in 
combined operations with other branches of the armed forces. 


4 See Lomov, Red Star . January 7, 10, 1964; Colonel-General 
S. M. Shtemenko, "The New Requirements Posed for the Combined-Arms 
Commander," Red Star . January 16, 1964; Major-General N. Sushko, 
Red Star , February 7, 1964. 


-291- 


Continued Debate on Choice of Strategy 

Western commentary on the first edition of Military Strategy 

had pointed out that in terms of an over-all strategic design, the 

work failed "to lay out a promising formula for winning a war against 

1 

the United States if such a war should have to be fought." The 
alternative prospects for a Soviet military victory, given the 
strategies expounded in the” book and the existing relationship of 
,'orces, appeared to rest either on the hope that U.S. morale would 
collapse early in the war or that the Soviet Union could outlast 


its adversary in a protracted struggle — neither of which possibilities 
offered a very convincing basis for a winning military strategy. 

There was no effort at direct rebuttal of this assessment in 

the revised Sokolovskii edition. On the contrary, the authors 

seemed to lend further strength to the Impression that Soviet 

military strategy is still at a loss to offer any promising design 

for victory. There was, in fact, a new suggestion that considerable 

Internal debate still turns on questions of choice between a European 

land-war strategy and a strategy for a new kind of war involving a 

powerful transoceanic enemy. In a section of their book dealing 

with "Methods for Conducting Modern Warfare," the Sokolovskii 

authors Included a new statement that: 

A debate continues around all of these questions. Tn 
essence, the argument Is over the basic ways in which 
a future war will be conducted. Will it on the one 
hand be a land war with the employment of nuclear 
weapons as a means of supporting the operations of 
ground forces, or will it on th® other hano be a 
fundamentally new kind of war in which the main means 
of solving strategic tasks will be missiles and nuclear 
weapons? 2 

*See U.S, Editors' Analytical Introduction, Soviet Military 
Strateg y, p. 75. 

2 Voennala Strateglia . I'nd ed., p. 367, 




-292- 


It strikes one ar somewhat strange to find the issue posed in 
this fashic.i, after the enormous outpouring of assertions from all 
schools of Soviet military thought that a new war would be "fundamenta 
different from any past war and that strategic nuclear-missile weapons 
would be the "decisive means" employed. At the very least, the passa* 
attests to the stubborn vitality of the traditionalist outlook, agalr 
which some military leaders still find it necessary to inveigh.* Hcv 
ever, the question at issue in this case may have been less a matter 
of selecting one basic strategy versus the other, than of debate o\ t - 
ways in which theater campaigns on the Eurasian continent should be 
related in scope, character and timing to global strategic operation* 
The latter are clearly a cardinal concern of Soviet military theorist 
seeking a strategy for any general war with the United States, as 
attested by the bulk of the material in the Sokolovskii book itse!< 

At the same time, an undercurrent of rivalry for coranand prestige 
and pride of place between old line field generals and a new generate 


See, for example, Marshal Malinovskii's exhortation to a group c 
military editors in November 1963, where he said, acong other thingr: 
"We must boldly smash and throw out everything that Interferes with : h 
creative development of progressive military thinking and...be prepar 
for active, decisive operations to the point of daring under conditio 
of the employment of missiles and nuclear weapons by both sides." 
Roramunlat Vooruzhennykh S ll. No. 21, November 1963, pp. 9-10. See ah 
General of the Array, P. Batitskii, "The Main Thing Is Constant Combat 
Readiness," Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sll . No. 18, September 1963, p. 24 
Major-General I. Y. Krupchenko, "On Teaching History of Military Art i 
the Higher Service Schools," Voenno-Istorlcheskli Zhurnal . No. 9, 
September 1963, pp. 40-41; Konoplev, Kommunist Vooruzhennykh Sil . No. 
December 1963, p. 32; Marshal Biriuzov, ibid .. No. 4, February 1964, 
pp. 19-20. The latt®r, while criticizing officers who cling to out¬ 
moded views, said caustically (p. 19); "There is no place in the 
missile forces for those who measure the new means of warfare with an 
old yardstick." 



293- 


of technically-oriented, engineer-trained Soviet officers also seems 

to run through the debate over theater warfare versus strategic 

operations. This issue came to the surface in one of the January 1964 

Red Star articles, authored by Colonel-General S, M. Shtemenko, 

chief-of-staff of the ground forces. The article dealt with the 

question whether the combined-arms conmander could still be considered 

under modern conditions "the basic organizer of combat and operations." 

Shtemenko argued in the affirmative, but in the course of doing 50 , 

he noted that the higher technical qualifications required in modern 

warfare "gave a few comrades the opinion that a contemporary combined- 

1 

arms conmander must necessarily be an engineer." While Shtemenko 
spoke only in the context of ground forces personnel, an extension of 
the field officer-versus-technical specialist issue to wider circles 
within the Soviet military establishment is implied by the unusual 
publicity buildup of the special qualities of strategic missile 
officers, to which we have referred earlier. 

Awareness of Shortcomings in Strategic Doctrine 

In the revised Sokolovskii edition of 1963, there were several 
amendments which tended to show an awareness of logical shortcomings 
in current strategic doctrine, especially as regards the question 
of how an essentially continental land power like the Soviet Onion can 
find a realistic strategy against cn overseas adversary If it is 

* Red Star . January 16, 1964. See also Chapter Eight for dis¬ 
cussion of another aspect of this question, that of the tension 
between the new "military specialists" and the Party apparatus in the 

armed forces. 


-294- 


obliged to follow the doctrinal dictate of invasion and occupation 

of the enemy's ho.neland. One such amendment occurred in a discussion 

of requirements for gaining "complete victory over an enemy." In 

the original version, it was said that this could be accomplished, 

after strategic nuclear attack against the enemy state, 

...only by completely defeating the enemy's armed 
forces and capturing his territory, including the ^ 

regions where strategic weapons are reliably protected 
/Underscoring added 

In the revised version, the words underscored above weie omitte 
The inference to be drawn here is twofold. First, that the authu 
recognized a certain unrealism about suggesting that the deep inter! 
of a country like the United States could be readily Invaded and 
captured by Soviet troops. Second, that 'caewhat greater weight ma • 
nave been attached to the prospect of the enemy's collapse after 
nuclear bombardment, in which case occupation of his territory t>culd 
be a different matter than fighting one's way in. 

A second amendment in the 1963 Sokolovskii edition concerning 
amphibious landing capabilities already has been discussed in 
connection with naval forces in Chapter Fourteen. This change, 

2 

recognizing the need "to make provision for amphibious operations,' 
was paralleled by other Soviet commentary which appeared to concede 
that, in a war against an overseas opponent, the ground forces canno 
be expected to accomplish their mission of final destruction of the 
enemy and seizure of his territory without naval and amphibious 
operations. 

* Voennaia Strateglia . 2nd ed., p. 263: Soviet Military Strat 
p. 377. 

^ Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p. 313. 



-295- 


The display of greater realism appears to take at least partial 
cognizance of an important lacuna in the doctrine of combined 
operations customarily expounded in Soviet military literature. It may 
be meant to suggest no more than that Soviet amphibious capabilities 
should be improved for operations around the Soviet periphery or in 
local conflict areas. However, If it is meant to imply the buildup 
of invasion capabilities on a more ambitious scale, it opens up 
perhaps larger questions than it answers, particularly as regards 
the matter of resources that would be required if the Soviet Union 
were to embark upon development of naval and amphibious capabilities 
on the scale required for invasion of an overseas opponent like the 
United States. In light of the pressure already exerted upon Soviet 
resources bv other military and civilian requirements, an amoitious 
new program of this sort would seem difficult to realize unless the 
Soviet leaders were prepared to boost their defense budget very 
substantially -- a step for which they apparently have little 
enthusiasm, as suggested by the tric ing of the Soviet military 
budget for 1964. 

Thus, while the advocates of the combined-arms path to victory 
may have worked some of the kinks out of their theory, they apparently 
have not sold their case so far as claims on the Soviet budget are 
concerned. Unless the Soviet political leadership places more confidence 
in the alternative strategy of a shock-eTfect, first strike than 
it has manifested to date, this would appear to leave toe search for 
a military path to victory in the category of an unfinished item 
on the Soviet agenda. 




-296- 


XIX. SOVIET MILITARY STRATEGY AMD D IS ARMAMENT 


Soviet disarmament policy customarily has been part and parcel 
of an over-all strategy designed to improve the Soviet Union’s 
military and political position, while strewing restraints in the 
path of its major adversaries.* The prospect that the So .at milit 
search for a war**finning strateg. may prove unrewarding, or that 
victory in a nuclear war, even if attainable, may come to look 
increasingly barren, does not mean, of course, that the Soviet 
leadership will find it necessary or even possible to seek a disarme 
world as the only alternative answer to the problem of Soviet seoar- 
The intermediate ground between armed peace and a disarmed world is 
broad and unexplored. How long it may take to cross it, no one 
car predict, but it seems sate to say that during whatever lengthv 
passage may lie ahead, the Soviet leaders will continue to regard 
Soviet military power as an indispensable safeguard of their seo'rit 
and a strong support for their political strategy. 

At the same time, one must recognize that the character of the 
links between political and military power has been changing. In a 
for Id where nuclear war may seem no longer a rational course and 
where the possibilities of altering the political balance by uro 


See Malcolm Mackintosh and iiarry Willetts, "Arms Control and 
the Soviet National Interest," in Louis Heikin, eu., Arms Control 
Issuer for the Public, Prentice-Hal 1, Inc., Tnglewood Cliffs, New 
Jersey, 1961, pp„ 141-17?; Richard J. Barnett, "The Soviet Attitude 
on Disarmament," Problems of Co munism . May-June 1961, pp. 32-37. 

See also, by -he present author, "Wiiushchev's Disarmament Strategy, 
Orbis. Vol. IV, No. 1, Spring I960, pp. 13-27. 





or threat of military action are otherwise fraught with great 
danger, Soviet attitudes toward the management of military power 
tn the service of politics may well undergo change. Along with 
this process could come also some shift in Che customary Soviet — 
approach to disarmament. While the political-propagandu exploitation 
of the disarmament issue has been a central feature of Soviet 
disarmament policy,* we shall be primarily concerned in this chapter 
with the relationship of disarmament to Soviet military strategy and 
with Soviet military attitudes toward disarmament. 

Ties Between Military Strategy and Disarmament Policy 

It is hardly surprising that Soviet disarmament proposals 
frequently have been made with an eye to improving the Soviet 
strategic position or altering the military balance to Soviet 
ao’antage. This pattern is familiar in the history of disarmament 
negotiations generally, and in the Soviet case — as in pre-Soviet 
Russia -- disarmament initiatives often have coincided rather closely 


*In this connection, a recent major work on Soviet foreign 
policy notes that although no agreements resulted from the Soviet 
Union's postwar disarma.wnt campaign, the S. let effort did serve 
'to expose the enemies of disarmament and to mobilize world public 
opinion for the struggle against the danger of war," M. Baturin, 
and S. Tarov, Vneshnaia Polltlka Sovetskogo Soiuza Na Sovremennom 
Stage., (The Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union at the Contemporary 
Stage), Izdatelstvo Institute Mezhdunarodnykh Otneshenii, Moscow, 
1962, p. 67. 



-298- 


with strategic and military needs.* Many of the various Soviet 
disarmament proposals since World War II have had a rather close 
connection with the evolving requirements of Soviet military 
strategy, although this is not to suggest that the timing and natu 
of these proposals was wholly a mafr -ubordinating other aspe 
of Soviet disarmament policy to immediate military considerations. 
It may be useful to recall a few examples of Soviet disarmament 
positions which havj had a fairly obvious link with strategic 
developments. One of these occurred in the first years after the 
war in response to the 1946 Baruch Plan for international "cor. - '’'' 
ownership of all atomic energy activity potentially dangerous to 
world security." After definitive rejection of the Baruch Plan 
early 1947, the Soviet Union countered with demands for a ban on 
atomic weapons and destruction of all stocks."* This was follower 
by successive Soviet proposals from 1947 to 1949 to reduce all 
conventional forces by one-third, concurrently with a ban on atom! 
weapons. The effect of these proposals would have been to depriv 


*For example, the Litvinov proposal to the League > e Nations 
Preparatory Commission at Geneva on November 30, 19< ' ."Immedia 
Complete and General Disarmament" came at a time when -he led Army 
was undergoing major reform and reorganization and the first Ft - c 
Year Plan for Industrialization was about to begin, placing t.te S 
Uni>n in a position which made a check upon the armament efforts 
the other powers a strategic necessity. An earlier pre-Soviet Rus 
proposal which led to the Hague Conference of 1899 came similarly 
a time wh»;n Russia needed to modernize her forces and was concer.ie 
Austrian and German military strength in the West and the growing 
power of Japan in the East. See Count Witte's confidences to his 
advisor, Dr. C. J. Dillon, in E. J. Dillon, The Eclipse of Russia . 
George H. Diran Co., New York, 1918, pp. 44-45. See also 
Michael I. Florinsky, Russia . Vol. IT, Fite MacMillan Company, 1958 

pp. 1260-1261. 

2 

- Documents jn Disarmament . 1945-1959, Vol. I, Department of 
State, Washington, D. C., 1960, pp. 7-16. 

3 Ibid .. p. 1.-19, 68-8?. 

* Ibid., pp. 84, 176, 187, 188, 191, 193. 






-299- 


the United State* of the new weapon* in which It was superior to the 
Soviet Union and to leave the latter with far superior conventional 
strength In Europe. 1 The fact that the proposals were unlikely to 
be accepted would permit the Scvlet Union in the meantl.se to pursue 
Its own program to acquire nuclear weapons, unhindered by f nternational 
constraints, which cf course is what happened. 

Another example of rather close correlation between Soviet 

strategic interests and disarmament policy is afforded by the major 

set of proposals put forward by the Soviet Union In Nay 1955, not 

long after Khrushchev forced Malenkov out of the leadership hierarchy. 

By 1955, the strategic situation had greatly changed. The Korean War 

was followed by a vigorous buildup of U.S. strategic delivery forces 

and the extension of a world-wide network of American bases, bringing 

hoije more forcefully than ever to the Soviet leadership the potential 

consequences of a nuclear war. In Europe, the portent of a stronger 

NATO was raised by the Imminent re-arming of West Germany, also posing 

a troublesome new problem fof~Soviet strategy. While Soviet military 

power had not been neglected, and the U.S. nuclear monopoly had 

by now been broken, the strategic situation from the Soviet viewDoint 

was nevertheless deteriorating. Precisely at this juncture the 

Soviet Union put forward its new set of disarmament proposals in 
2 

May 1955. They called for a two-stage program, beginning witii 

*See Mackintosh and Willetts, o p, cit ., u. 1^*5. 

‘^Docuneiit3 on Disarmament. Volume 1, pp. -^56-466. 



-300- 


an immediate "freeze" of all for-et., to be completed by th'c end o£ 
1957. Conventional forces would be reduced to levels previously 
suggested by .in Anglo-French plan, 1 anc elimination of nuclear 
weapons would begin when 75 per cent of conventional reductions wer 
completed. Among other significant provisions, Liquidation of all 
military bases on foreign soil would begin in the first stage, at-, 
all countries would renounce the use of nuclear weapons. As a 
measure to prev :nt surprise attack, observers would be stationed at 
communications Junctions, ports and airfields. When completed, th 
program would 1« we the major powers with a fixed level of con¬ 
ventional forces, and with no nuclear weapons or foreign baser. 

Fro -1 the Soviet viewpoint, these proposals, if accepted, «ou. 1 
have cleared the board of those aspects of Western military power 
which gave the Soviet leaders most concern. Soviet conventional 
superiority In Europe would he retained, German rearmament would 
be nipped in the bud, NATO and other Western alliances would come 
apart at the setias when U.S. bases were dismantled, and the Soviet 
Union would finally have laid at rest the threat of U.S. nuclear 
power. 

Some of the subsequent Soviet disarmament proposals in the m-x 
years after 1955 also showed a continuing link with the changing 
strategic situation and Wirushchev's emergent military politic . 

For example, in early 1956, as Soviet nuclear capabilities were 

^The force levels adopted from the Anglo-French plan of Ju> 

1954 were 1.5 million men Cor the Soviet Union, »nited tat.- ., m'l 
China respectively, and 650,000 for Britain and France. 



-301- 


grovlng 1 * 3 rnd Khrushchev's ideas of substituting "firepower for man¬ 
power" began to take shape, the Soviet Union proposed that nuclear 
disarmament be shelved for the time being while making a fresh 
effort In the field of conventional reduction.^ Although these 

suggestions led to no disarmament agreements, it is interesting 

3 

chat in 1956 the Soviet Union began unilateral troop cuts, suggesting 
that Khrushchev hoped to obtain some disarmament "mileage" from 
measures to be taken anyway in connection with his military reforms. 
Somewhat similar efforts to turn unilateral troop reductions to 
account in the disarmament market were to be observed in Khrushchev 'u 
troop-cut statements in January I960 and December 1963. Soviet 
troop reductions also have been cited in the context of the strategic 
dialogue, as discussed earlier-in Chapter Three, to support the 
argument that the West cannot justify its arms programs on the grounds 
that the Soviet armed forces are larger than those of the Weot. 

Another argument has been that Soviet unilateral reductions have 
removed the Western pretext for Insisting on inspection.^ 


1 See Mackintosh and Willetts, op, clt .. p. 152. 

Documents on Disarmament. Volume I, pp. 603-607. 

3 Ibjj(L, Volume I, pp. 630-639; Volume II, p. 780. 

^or examples of these arguments, see V. A. Zorin, ed., Borbu 
Sovetskogo Soiuza Za Razoruzhenle 1946-1960 Cody (The Soviet Union's 
Struggle for Disarmament, 1946-1960), Izdatelstvo Instltuta 
Mezhdunarodnykh Otnoshenli, Moscow, 1961, pp. 83, 212, 302. The 
same work also argues, pp. 73f£, that Western arms control proposals 
are intended to serve the West's strategic objectives, to gather 
intelligence, lull public opinion, and so on, rather than to 
stop the arms race. 



-3C2- 


The revival of a Litvinov-style proposal for general and conp 

disarmament, marked by Khrushchev's speech to the UN General Assu . 

in September 1959,* had quite different Implications in a strategl 

sense than previous postwar Soviet proposals. It was much more 

tenuously linked with immediate military c -iderations, and aitnei 

at bigger game. Politically, the sweeping Khrushchev proposal w<. 

doubtless meant to put the West on the defensive, with little 

expectation that it would lead to anything more concrete than pro 

longed and incc-clusive negotiations from which the Soviet Union 

could hope to extract maximum political-propaganda advantages. C 

the outside chance that adoption of a plan somewhat along the li .. 

of this and subsequent Soviet total disarmament proposals might 
2 

transpire, what opportunities might it seem to offer from the 
Soviet viewpoint? 

For one thing, the rather drastic change of relationships in 

a world abruptly and totally disarmed might seem likely to the So\ 

leaders to create a favorable environment for well-organized 

3 

revolutionary movements to gain the upper hand. During the proct 
of dismantling formal military machinery, for example, real 
opportunities could arise to accelerate "national liberation raovei 
withe >t fear of effective Western Intervention. This seems to ha' 

* The New York Times . September 19, 1959. 

2 

For copies of the original 1959 proposal and subsequent 
versions offered by the Soviet Union up to 1962, see: The Soviet 
Stand on Disarmament . Crosscurrents Press, Inc,, New York, 1962, 
pp. 9, 25, 53, 80. 

3 

See by the present author. Some Factors Bearing on Sovie t 

Attitudes Toward Disarmament. The RAND Corporation, P-2766- 

July 1963, p. 9. 


303 


been Che sense of Mikoyan’s reproach in early 1962 Co Chinese 

criCies of Soviet disarmament policy, when he said that disarmament 

as proposed by the Soviet Union would not make the national liberation 

struggle more difficult, but rather would strip the imperialists of 

the means of "resisting the revolutionary actions of the proletariat 

1 

end the peasantry." 

Even well short of a totally disarmed world, the Soviet leaders 
might feel that partial implementation of such measures as the 
scrapping of nuclear delivery systems and withdrawal from overseas 
military bases would bring about the demoralization and collapse 
of the Western alliance system — a political and strategic prize 
well worth seeking in itself. 

Militarily, adoption of a Soviet-style plan would ultimately 

leave only national militia forces, equipped with light arms, for 

the maintenance of Internal order. Units of national militia also 

would be nude available to the UN Security Council for international 

2 

peace-keeping purposes. With the proportionately larger militia 
which the Soviet Union and Its East European auxiliaries would have 


* Election Speech in Yerevan, Pravda . March 15, 1962. 

^While the Soviet position on an international police force for 
peace-keeping purposes has softened slightly in the past year or two, 
it is still inhospitable to the idea of a permanently'organized 
international armed force independent of a Soviet veto. The essential 
Soviet attitude on this ouestion seems unchanged from the statement 
made in October 1959 by G. A. Zhukov, Chairman of the State Committee 
for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, who said the West looks 
for "the establishment of an international police force armed to the 
teeth, which would have the Job of suppressing peoples determined 
to change the social system in their countries," Pravda. October 2, 
1959. Sae also statement by Khrushchev on October 31, 1959, Pravda . 
November 1, 1959. 




-304- 


at the r disposal, and protected by the veto in the Security Counci 

the Soviet leaders might feel that opportunities would arise to 

intervene in the event of civil uprisings in noncommunist countries 

1 

of Western Europe. The United States, of course, would have no 
means to come to the rescue. The main cloud in this somewhat rosy 
picture might be China, which presumably would dispose of even 
larger militia forces than the -oviet Union. 

Tie possible advantages to be seen by the Soviet leaders in 
adoption of a total disarmament plan would, of course, include •> 
end to the risk that a nuclear war might bring the destruction of 
Soviet society, and the freeing of resources for nonmilitary purpo 
Doubts about Soviet ability to stand the pace of a stepped-up arm? 
race also would be resolved by a total disarmament solution, altht 
they might be replaced by problems of keeping up in a 'peace iace" 
a 1'outranee . 

While an interesting case could be pressed still further for 
Soviet interest in a radical replacement of present military 
arrangements by total disarmament, there are also off-setting fact, 
which doubtless work in the other direction. One of these: relu. t 
to trade off a powerful military machine and familiar security 
arrangements for the unproven benefits of disarmament. Another: 
a realistic view of the intimate dependence of Soviet political str 
on the authority of military power. Closely related to these cor.si 
in the minds of the Swiet leaders is the conviction that Soviet de 

power is mainly responsible for preventing war and protecting the 
political and territorial integrity of the Soviet bloc. 

*See Mackintosh and Willetts, op. cit .. p. 156. 


-305- 


Anothe.r factor In this category ia the persistent belief that 
communist superiority in the political, economic and military elements 
of power must be attained before a new communist order can be 
expected to replace capitalism in the world. The possible future 
threat posed by China also enters the picture. And, finally, there 
is the unpalatable invasion of Soviet secrecy and the dilution of 
the Party's internal monopoly of power which would be implied by 
acceptance of international authority over the disarmament and 
peace-keeping processes. 

This list, too, could be extended, but the point is evident 
that the Soviet leadership is not likely to make up its mind to 
embrace total disarmament at one fell swoop. What might emerge 
in the Soviet approach to disarmament could be somewhat less 
concern for fashioning disarmament proposals so as to yield obviously 
one-sided military and political advantages for the Soviet Union, and 
somewhat more concern for measures promising to reduce the danger of 
war, to lighten the burden of armaments, and to control the character 
of the arms competition. 

The possibility of employing arms control measures to reduce 
the tempo of the arms race and to channel it in directions which the 
Soviet Union might find less burdensome would seem to have a 
particular appeal to the Soviet leadership at a time when converging 
demands upon Soviet resources are great. If no positive gains for 
the Soviet military posture were forthcoming, an arms control 
program '..'hich prevented "weapons' gaps” from widening might still 
look attractive in terms. of the relative correlation of forces 


between the two sides. 



306- 


This raises again an loportant but as yet unanswered question 
bearing on the Soviet approach to disarmament. Does the Soviet 
leadership st'll consider that improvement of the Soviet Union's 
relative pcwer position is an esset.t'al objective to be sought in 
disarmament negotiations, or does it now recognize Areas of mutual 
intereot in which both sides might give up something in order to 
attain a common benefit? The test-ban treaty signed on August 5 
and ratified in September 1963, seems to have involved both of 
these elements. On the one hand, it probably contributed to some 
easing of international tension and may have marked a step toward 
slowing down the proliferation of nuclear weapons which both sides 
professed to find to their mutual interest. On the other hand, the 
Soviet Union waa quick to observe that the treaty foreclosed testlr 
of the kinds of weapons "in which superiority is on the side of th 
Soviet Union," while permitting the Soviet Union "to conduct under¬ 
ground tests of nuclear weapons if necessary for the security 
Interests of the Soviet Union and other socialist states." 1 The 
Soviet leaders themselves mey be uncertain as to which of these 
criteria is the more important. The chances are, however, that even 
when the criterion of mutual interest enters the picture, as In the 
test-ban case, the Soviet leaders will continue to base their 
decisions essentially on tha grounds of self-interest. 

Editorial "To Strengthen Our Country's Might," Red Star. 
September 21, 1963. See also: Pravda. September 26, 1963; Red 
Star. October 10, 1963. 



-307- 


Sovlet Military Attitude* Toward Disarmament 

The role played by the Soviet military In the formulation of 
disarmament policy, and military Intereet In the technical aapecta 
of a jubject which obvloualy Impinge* cloaely upon military affafra, 
are matters on which very little light Is shed by public Soviet 
discourse. Rituil advocacy of Soviet disarmament proposals Is expected 
of and, as we shall note, obtained from military leaders, but their 
public interest in the subject seems to stop there. Soviet military 
literature Itself is distinguished by an almost total indifference to 
disarmament and arms control as a technical problem of serious pro¬ 
fessional interest to military theorists and planners. 

One cannot find — either In Soviet military publications or^ 
in the abundant output of political-propaganda organs on the 
subject of disarmament^ -- anything comparable to Western exploration 
of arms control techniques to lower risks of accidental war , to 
tighten command and control arrangements, and to help in the 


In addition to Soviet publications on disarmament already 
cited, some of the more representative recent works on the subject 
are: V, M. Khaltsman, SSSR 1 Problem Razoruzheniia (The USSR and 
the Problem of Disarmament), Izdatelstvo Akademli Nauk SSSR, Moscow 
1959, a monograph on the history of Soviet disarmament policy; 

E. K. Fedorov, Prekraahchenia ladernykh Ispytanll (Cessation of 
Nuclear Testing), Izdatelstvo Akademli Nauk SSSR, Moscow, 1961, an 
account by a Soviet scientist of the test ban issue; 0. V. Bogdanov, 
Iadernoe Razoruzhenle (Nuclear Disarmament), Izdatelstvo Institute 
Mezhdunarodnykh Otneshenll, Moscow, 1961, a description of Soviet 
policy on the subject and criticism of Western views; I. S. Glagolev, 
ed., Ekonoralcheskle Voprosv Razoruzhenlla (Economic Problems of 
Disarmament), Izdatelstvo Akademli Nauk SSSR, Moscow, 1961, a 
collection of articles following the Marxist-Leninist view of 
this subject. 




management of crisis situations.I Neither does Soviet writing furnl 
any equivalent to the growing body of Western literature in which 
various concepts of deterrence, strategic posture and arms control 
are viewed as interrelated aspects of the international security 
problem. At the same time, it is true, as noted previously in this 
book, that there has been some tendency of late for Soviet writers, 

€op£C laiiy iti Sc Qii G6S Lg^cQ ala i H i jr* tut ICIclgTi aUGl€nC6S f CO cISp iO' 

the technical idiom of this literature even though continuing to 

2 

attack its concepts. In part, the relative absence of a technical 
analytical literature of disarmament in the Soviet Union can be 
explained by the fact that such literature does not carry the emot‘ 
force and high moral tone demanded by the general Soviet disarmamen 


For a convenient listing and critical discussion of some of 
the voluminous U.S. arms control and disarmament literature, see 
James E. Dougherty, "The Disarmament Debate: A Review of Current 
Literature," in two parts, Orbis. Volume V, Number 3, Fall 19b?, 
pp. 342-359 and Volume V, Number 4, Winder 1962, pp. 489-511. 

2 Among examples of this trend in Soviet writing are: V, Pecho 
About Acceptable' War," International Affairs. No. 3, March 1963, 
pp. 22-25, an attack on strategic concepts of Herman Kahn and Raymo 
Aron; Boris Dimitriev, Pentagon 1 Vneshnala Politika SShA (The 
Pentagon and the Foreign Policy of the USA), Izdatelstvo Instituta 
Mezhdunarodnykh Otnoshenii, Moscow, 1961, a somewhat dateu propagan 
attack on military influence in the United States, with portions 
devoted to concepts of "massive retaliation" and "mutual deterrence 
N. Talenskii, "Sincere? -- Yes. Realistic? -- No," International 
Ml&iis, No. 3, March 1963, pp. 98-100, a criticism of zonal 
disarmament and Inspection proposals advanced by Louis B. Sohn 
(an accompanying "guest" article by Prof. Jay Orear of Columbia 
University, defending the zonal concept, appeared in the. same 
issue); A. A. Blagonravov, "Destruction of Means of Nuclear Delive. 
govpe Vremia (New Times), No. 52, 1960, p. 1C, an earlier discussio. 
by a Soviet scientist which went into problems of detecting missile 
launchings. In addition, thifi category includes the previously 
mentioned articles by General Nevsky in the World Marxist Review. 
March 1963, the Glagolev-Larionov article in International Affairs . 
November 1963, and portions of the 1963 revised Sokolovskii edition 
Voennala Strategiia (Military Strategy). See also guest article 
Yuri Sbeinin, "A Soviet Scientist Looks at Disarmament," Bulletin o 
Atomic Scientists . January 1964, pp. 19-22, in which the Soviet aut 
argues that the American concept of "anas control" cannot provide a 
adequate substitute for the "non-trivial" approach of "complete and 
universal disarmament." 





309- 


line. Secondly, the treatment of sophisticated concepts on the Inter¬ 
relation of arms control and strategy not only calls for spe'llng out 
more details of Soviet military posture and strengths than normal Soviet 
practice allows, but such concepts tend to make poor propaganda for 
Soviet advocacy of radical and highl v oversimplified disarmament 
solutions. Finally, the voluminous Soviet literature on war itself 
provides the basic underpinning, for the Soviet disarmament position, 
which takes the view that arms control echemes and concepts are 
attempts to "legalize" nuclear war and the arms race. 

The Soviet military outlook on disarmament customarily finds 

expression in the formula that "*« l""« »• no rccmcr.t has been 

reached and no universal disarmament implemented, tha Soviet Union 

and all other countries of the socialist camp are maintaining and 

will continue to maintain their defense might at the necessary 
1 

level." One gets the Impression that, having got this off his 
chest, the average Soviet military man goes about his business 
with little further thought about disarmament as a practical 
expectation to be reckoned with. The formula is sometimes carried 
a bit further, however, to suggest that Soviet military men are more 
willing to hang up their uniforms and call it a day than their 
Western counterparts. Thus, Marshal Yeremenko declared in January 
1964 that: 

_ 

Colonel A. M. lovlev, "New Technology and Mass Armies, Red 
Star . April 5, 1961. See also: Editorial, "The Strength and 
Pride of the People," Pravda , February 23, 1964. 




-310 


Some people In the West may find it incongruous 
that Soviet military circles should join xn 
advocating disarmament and the exclusion of 
interstate wars from the life of society. It 
is well known that Western military men try hard 
to prove...that a world nuclear war, or at least 
a restricted, local one, is quite acceptable and 
even necessary.* 

It ie interesting that Marshal Yeremenko's formula barring 


"Interstate wars" left room for what the Soviets define as 


"national liberation struggles" to continue, even in a disarmed 
world. A colleague, the somewhat nebulous General Nevsky, offered 
another point omitted by Yeremenko when he said earlier that "Soviet 
military men are willing to change their uniforms for civvies if 


the Soviet proposals for general and complete disarmament are 
carried out," because, said Nevsky: "They have no private interests 
running counter to the peace policy puraurd by the Soviet govern¬ 
ment." 2 

this general picture of a Soviet military elite which stands 
ready and eager to dissolve Itself is • conventional Soviet myth 


^ Moscow News . No. 2, January 1J, 1964. 

^orld Marxist Review . March 1963, p. 30. The argument that 
Western military men are more opposed to hanging up their uniforms 
than Soviet soldiers is paralleled by the argument ♦•hat "monopoly- 
dominated" Western economies have a vested interest in the arms 
race, whereas the controlled Soviet ecc..omy is held to be free of 
such interests. See V. Onushkin, "Atomnyl Blznes" Amerikanskykh 
Monopolll (The "Atomic Business" of American Monopolies), Izdatelstvo 
Sotsialna Ekonomicheskoi Literatury, Moscow 1960, passi m. 

At the same time, the customary Soviet line that the U.s. economy 
could not shift from arms production to disarmament has been altered 
recently in some Soviet writing to concede that the transition 
could be made without big problems. See Zorin, op, clt .. p. 293. 


-311 


which may have aome basis in fact, but which hardly anounts to an 
accurate description cf the complicated realities of Soviet life. 
Disbandment of the armed forces and their absorption into civil 
society would involve not only social and institutional problems 
of considerable magnitude, but also a difficult shift of values 
which the Soviet leadership has sought unremittingly to inculcate 
in the Soviet fighting man for tha past four-and-a-half decades. 

To make light of these problems would suggest that the possibility 
of facing them on a large scale has not been taken very seriously. 

At the same time, it should be recalled that the Soviet Union 
has carried out substantial demobilization programs in the postwar 
period.* While not comparable to uprooting the whole military elite 
and expunging Its role in Soviet life, these programs are instructive 
on at least two counts. First, they were carried out, despite the 
dislocation of personal lives Involved and over some opposition 
coparently from military leaders. Second, there was dissatisfaction 
and lowering of morale, and in at least one case — the January 
1960 reduction program — the troop cuts were halted before completion. 
Kllitary morale was not tha only issue Involved in this case, how¬ 
ever, as w« have pointed out earlier in Chapter Two. 

Some of the "temporary" dislocations and problems experienced 
in the 1954-1959 period of demobilizations wara rathar frankly 


In his January 14, 1960 Supreme Soviet speech, Khrushchev 
retroactively seated that Soviet forces stood at 2.8 million men 
by the end of 1948, were brought back up to 5.7 million by 1955, 
and subsequently reduced to 3.6 million by January 1960. There 
is some uncertainty as to whether all of these figures can be taken 
at face value, but nevertheless a sizeable reduction appears to 
have taken place. Sea Pravda . January 15, 1960. 




.312 


'4 




< «•* 


described in a speech by Marshal Malinovskii in January I960, on the 

eve of a new round of cuts.* Rumblings of discontent and adjustment 

difficulties also found their way into print after the 1960 reduction 

program began, particularly with regard to officers, of whom some 

2 

250,000 vere to he prematurely retired. Even after suspension of 
toe program in 1961,. there vere signs that re-employment of demobilised 
officers had not been solved, such as an appeal to reserve officers 
In Red Star in March 1962 to migrate to the Far East where farm help 
was needed.'* A year later, partly as a response to continuing 
problems of readjustment, an extension of the January 20, 1960 decree 
providing benefits for discharged military can was announced in Red 

A 

Star. 

Other scattered glimpses Into the state of the Soviet military 
mind suggest that the Soviet officer's feeling about his place in 
Soviet life, and his dedication to military values, are somewhat 
more complicated phenomena than the myth of the compliant officer 
would indicate. Tor example, scnae disenchantment over civilian 
unconcern for the hardships of the officer's life has occasionally 
found expression in the press. Testimony on this point was furnished 
by N. Makeev, the editor of Red Star , writing for a civilian audience 


* Red Star . January 20, 1960. Among other things, Malinovskii 
noted that 407, of the officers discharged in previous demobilizations 
had not yet found "responsible posts." 

^ Ibid . See also, ibid., July 9, 1960, December 14, 1960. 

3 Ibid .. March 16, 1962. 

U 

Ibid., March 29, 1963. A certain amount of chronic readjustment 
difficulty associated with the "normal" return of discharged draftees 
to civilian life also is reflected in the Soviet press from time to 
time. See Colonel A. Mitlashln, "A Soldier Comes Home," Izvestiia. 
January 30, 1964. 



- 313 - 


in Izveatlla . in February 1963. In a bitter comment on the "un¬ 
concerned citizen," Makeev wrote: "What doe» he care that while he 
sleeps, thousands of officers tirelessly carry on their difficult 
duties...what does the unconcerned citizen care if the tea-times 
wounded colonel has changed his place of service twelve times since 
the war..." Makeev concluded by reminding his civilian audience that 
the contribution of the officer to Soviet life is not less than 
that of "the farmer, the engineer, the agricultural specialist, or 
the doctor."* 

Uther Soviet military writers similarly have commented from time to time 

time on civilian "misunderstanding? 1 of military personnel and their 

2 

contributions to Soviet society. Such comments suggest that the 
Soviet officer corps nurses a wounded pride that would tend, at 
the least, to complicate its reassimilation ir.to civilian life. 

Military sensitivity to undermining of the martial values and 
heroic deeds upon which whe morale of the Soviet fighting man rests 
also has been displayed by the Soviet military leadership. Addressing 
a group of Soviet writers and artists in February 1964, for example, 

Narshal Msllnovskii was critical of "incorrect tendencies" in 
portrayal of the last war, charging that various artistic works 


^ Izvestila . February 2, 1963. The problem of the Soviet military's 
place in the national life is one of long-standing. In the middle 
twenties, for example, this was one of the questions addressed by M. V. 
Frunze, who played a central role in reform of the armed forces after 
Trotsky's ouster. Frunze argued on the basis of Lenin's prediction 
that the Soviet Union would one day be involved in "frightful bloody 
clashes" with Western "Imperialism," that the Soviet military must be 
imbued with a sense of purpose and "should not be isolated from the 
political life of the country." M. V. Frunze, Izbrannie Proizvedenlia 
(Selected Works), Vol. II, Voenizdat Ministerstva Oborony SSSR, Moscow, 
1957, pp. 219, 274, passim . 

*See Colonel M. Makoveav, "Our Officer," Red Star . February id, 1964. 


i 





314 


contained "pacifist themes and abstract negation of war" and brought 

"irresolute and patty people" to the center of the state. Conceding 

that war was cruel and devastating, Malinovskil said nevertheless: 

"Wa reject such a une-sided apptoach to this important subject." 1 

While pacifist values ere not condoned in the Soviet Union, and no 

popular literature of the *'Fai! Safe" genre is permitted to portra> 

the Soviet soldier as a greater threat co his country's security than 
2 

the enemy, it is nevertheless interesting that Marshal Malinovskil 
should display concern over the possible contamination of Soviet 
youth by antimilitary art. 

Such occasional glimpses into the military state of mind in the 
Soviet Union do not, of course, furnish grounds ftr concluding that 
Soviet military men would be either more or less resistant to a 
general disarmament program than their counterparts in other 
countries. What they do suggest is that the exaggerated simplicity 
of the official Soviet myth covers a host oi problems that would have 
to be dealt with by the Soviet leadership no lata than by leaders 
of ether societies. 

^Speech by Marshal R. la. Malinovskil, Pebruraijr 7, 1964, Red Star. 
February 9, 1964. For similar military criticism oi artistic works 
which failed to provide proper "heroic" inspiration, see Captain 2nd 
Rank A. Chernomys and Lieutenant Colonel V. Fedorov, "Wherein Lies the 
Beauty of an Heroic Deed," Red Star . January 29, 1964; Marshal I. 
Bagramian, "Mighty Means of Patriotic Education," Sovatsk il Patriot. 
January 29, 1964, See also Marshal Krylov's eonmnts on pacifism, 

Rad Star . June 9, 1963, 

2 Saa Sidnay Hook, Ttea Fall-Safa Fallacy. Stain and Day, Mow York, 

1963, pp. 19*23. 


S15- 


XX. IMAGE Cff THE ADVERSARY 

AC & time when both the United States and the Soviet Union seen 
to be seeking ways to clarify the complexities of their strategic 
relationship in the nuclear-misslie age, greater importance than ever 
before attaches to their perception of each other. In this regard, 
as noted earlier in this book, the picture of the West Chat emerges 
from Soviet discourse of the past year or two has begun in some 
respects to take on more objective dimensions, notably in treating 
tha United States as e strong but withal somewhat more responsible 
adversary than was formerly the case. Both editions of the Sokolovskii 
work were landmarks of a sort in this connection. 

The first Sokolovskii volume conveyed an image of the West that 
in some respects departed notably from familiar Soviet lore on the 
"Imperialist enemy." Though colored, to be sure, by serious dis¬ 
tortions of Western motives and intentions, the work contained a 
relatively straightforward and generally realistic account of U.S.- 
HATO military strength and strategy. The revised volume largely 
followed the pattern of tha first in this respect, again picturing 
the United States as a formidable and resourceful opponent. However, 
its appraisal of Western military strength was tempered by somewhat 
more stress on Internal contradictions and instability of the NATO 
alliance. 

One should caution against assuming that greater realism in 
looking at the Unite! States is universal among Soviet writers, or 
that it necessarily connotes * softening of the basic hostility with 
which the West is viewed. As much of the material which has come 





316 


, under examination in this hook indicates, the premises upon which 
Soviet spokesman base their interpretation of the adversary remain 
essentially unchanged. There la a further point to be borne in 
mind also. Publicly-expressed Soviet views of the West more often 
than not are meant to serve propaganda ends of one sort or another, 
such as demonstrating aggressive intent in every Western move. The 
private Soviet assessment, on tha other hand, may vary frou one case 
to another. Thus, the image of the West reflected in Soviet public 
statements does not necessarily correspond in all respects with what 
Soviet leaders may think privately about the strategies and Intentions 
of their opponents. 

Sovlot View of Strengths and Weaknesses of Western Military Posture 

Until quite recently, it was the fashion for Soviet military 

writers to picture the United States as the devotee of a one-weapon 

strategy, paying only Up service to the concept of balanced forces. 

This view has now shifted — to the point that at least one Soviet 

military loader. Marshal Chulkov, has intimated that American 

rejection of "one-sloed" theories is an example which the Soviet 

Union should b< in mind. ^ The general Soviet tendency today is 

to credit the United States with havlnr changed its strategy and 

force structure in recognition that victory in a global nuclear 

war can only be attained by the joint effort of all arms, even 

2 

though strategic forces still have the central role. This, 

*In Izvestila . December 22, 1963. See discussion of Chulkov's 
special pleading on this point in Chapter Twelve. 

^ Soviet Military Strategy, pp. 168-170; Voennala Stratealla. 

2nd ed., pp. 83-86. 






-317 


interestingly enough, is a concept very clw<*e to the one that most 
Soviet strategists have claimed as their own. At the same time that 
Soviet coroner tators speak of the general trend of U.S. strategy with 
a certain amount of oblique approbation, however, they also have been 
highly critical of a particular development in U.S. strategic 
thinking — the "counterforce" or "city-sparing" c ctrine enunciated 
by Secretary McNamara in 1962. We shall take up his subject at 
greater length presently. 

The United States was obliged to shift from a once-rigid strategy 

of "massive retaliation" to that of "flexible response," according 

to the Soviet view, because of the growth of Soviet retaliatory power, 

which would make general war unprofitable for the United States.^ 

There is an obvious inconsistency, which Soviet writers have conveniently 

overlooked, between this description of a change in U.S. strategy and 

the continued assertion that the United States also is preparing to 

2 

wage a "preventive" general war. As our earlier discussion has 

suggested, there is probably a certain amount of rote as well as 

tendentious purpose in the accusation of U.S. plans for preventive 

war, a danger which the top Soviet leadership Itself now appears to 

3 

regard as somewhat remote. There is, however, no such evident 

l Soviet Military Strategy , pp. 157-159; Voennaia Strategiia. 

2nd ed., pp. 75-77; Nevsky, World Marxist Review . March 1963, pp. 32-33; 
B, Teplimkii, "U.S. 'Grand Strategy'", International Affairs , No. 2, 
February 1964, pp. 24-25. 

2 Soviet Military Strategy , p. 160. 

^See earlier discussion of Soviet views on likelihood of war 
in Chapter Nine. 




318 


reservation in Soviet views at all levels concerning U.S. interest in 
end planning for local war operations as part of an effort to 
strengthen the U.S. position in the underdeveloped world.* 

Witi? regard to the Soviet assessment of Western military strength, 
there is explicit recognition in Jovlet military writing of the 

2 

buildup of strategic delivery and conventional forces in the West. 

The most fully elaborated account of Western forces and programs in 
the open Soviet literature remains that given In Chapter Two of the 
Sokolovskii work, as revised in the 1963 edition. While no changes 
of major import were made in the description of Western military 
programs and capabilities in the revised edition, it up-dated 
material previously presented. The new material, reflecting data 
in open Western sources since publication of the first volume, dealt 
with both numbers and in some cases qualitative changes In Western 
weapons systems. For comparison at a glance, some of the figures 
given in the successive editions (or U.S. atrateglc force strength 

3 

arc sunned up below. 


* Rgd Star . November 27, 1963, December 12, 1963; Soviet Military 
Strategy , pp. 158-159. Tepllnskil, International Affairs. February 
1964, pp. 25-27, 29. See also our previous discussion in Chapter 
Ten of the Increased attention given to U.S. limited war theory in 
the second Sokolovskii volume. 

See, for example, Grechko, Red Star. December 22, 1963; Chuikov, 
Isvestlia . December 22, 1963. 

^ Voennaia Stratesila . 2nd ad., pp. 103,109; Soviet Military 
Strategy , pp. 173, 177. 


319 


1963 


1966 


|CBM 

1st Ed. 

2nd Ed. 

1st Ed. 

2nd Ed. 

Atlas 

132 

126 

132 

132 

TITAN-1 

— 

54 

108 

5w 

TITAN-2 

— m 

«■» • 

— 

54 

Mlnuteaan 


20 

800 

950 

Bombers 

132“ 

(1962) 

200 

1040 

1190 

Heavy 

Medium 

600 

1300 

630 

1100 

900 

900-1000 

Missile Subs 

Subs 

6 

9 

41 

41 

Missiles 

96 

144 

656 

656 

Snace Weapons 

«•«• 

— 

34 

34 


The figure given in the second Sokolovskii edition for over-all 


manpower strength of the D.S. armed forces was increased from 2.5 
million at the end of 1961 to 2.8 million in 1962. As in the 
previous volume, no comparative figures for Soviet and Western force* 
were offered, preserving the discreet silence with which this subject 
Is .Invariably treated in Soviet military literature. With regard 
to ground forces, the combined strength of NATO, SEATO and CENTO 
was given as approximately 5 million men, or about 160 divisions, 
compared with 160 divisions in the previous edition.^ Of these, 

NATO was said to have 90 dl Islons, as before.^ 

^ Voennala Strategila . 2nd ed., p. 257; Soviet Military Strategy , 
p. 311. 

2 Voennaia Strategila . 2nd ed., p. 114; Soviet Military Strategy . 

p. 182. 

3 

Voennala Strategila. 2nd ed., p. 114; Soviet Military Strategy , 
p. 183. 



-320 


On the question of nuclear weapons, the absence In the 1962 edition 
of any figures for the U.S. stockpile war remedied in the new edition, 
which gave the figure of "about 40,000." a number cited by Khrushchev 
on several occasions.* The Soviet stockpile was described cryptically 
in the same passage as being "more than enough," Among additions to 
the description of U.S. missile capabilities were figure, for war¬ 
head yield, given as 3 megatons for Atlas-E, 4 megatons for Titan-1, 

2 

and 600 kilotons for Mlnuteman. 

In a book intended, among other things, to argue thj case for 

Soviet military superiority, the rather candid appraisal of American 

military power in both editions doubtless presented certain problems 

for the Sokolovskii authors. If left to stand alone, the picture of 

a militarily formidable Western opponent would hardly help to enhance 

3 

the Soviet image as the dominant weight In the world power balance. 
Perhaps for this reason, the authors showed e somewhat greater 
tendency in the revised volume to offset their description of 
Western military strength by references to internal strains and 
contradictions in the Western alliance system. These comments, of 
course, were not without some basis in developments over the past 
year or so. In expanding on the theme of growing instability within 

^ Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p, 244. 

2 Ibid .. p. 103. 

o r_ 

At the same time, it should be recalled that from the view¬ 
point of the Soviet military, the picture of a Western military 
threat of great magnitude is not without certain self-serving 
aspects, since it would tend to fortify the case of those urging 
further strengthening of the Soviet llitary posture. See dis¬ 
cussion in Chapter Twelve. 



-321 


NATO, the new volume ascribed this In part to increasing opposition 

by the European partners to U.S. leadership in the sphere of 

"military policy and strategy."* 

The tendency of the revised edition to discern chinks in the 

opponent's political morale position was matched by increased emphasis 

2 

elsewhere in the book, as in other recent Soviet military literature, 
on the superior political-morale qualities which the Soviet system 
is said to eng' .der, both among troops and the population. It may 
be recalled from our earlier discusrion of the short-versus-long 
war issue ir. Chapter Eleven that one school of Soviet ".hought has 
particularly stressed this factor. A representative statement of 


this school put che matter as follows: 

The imperialist states will not be able t ' bear 
the hardships of modern war...in case of war the 
political-morale potential of the world socialist 
system will be vastly superior to the morale 
capabilities of the imperialist aggressor. This 
will determine to a considerable extent chi outcome 
of the struggle in favor of socialism.3 

Apart from the political-morale factor, Soviet comnentary 

professes to find several other v/eak points in the Western posture. 

One of chese is the vulnerability of Europe, both with regard to 

the density of its population and Industry in the event of nuclear 
4 

war, and with regard to its peacetime role as a "hostage," to which 

^Voennaia Strategiia, 2nd ed., p. 35; see also pp. 97, 206. For 
a Soviit~analysis of Internal NATO difficulties, in which an attest 
was made to demonstrate that despite growing disunity the threat of NATO 
aggression has not diminished, see F. Fyodor "NATO and che Demand of 
the Times," International Affai rs. No. 2, February 1964, pp. 38-41. 

2 V oennaia strategii a. pp. 47, 50, 491, 495. 

•^Trifonenkov, On the Fundamental Laws of the C ourse _ and Outcome 
of Modern Mar . p. 48. 

^ Soviet Military Strategy . ?p. 409-410; VoennaU_Strateftiia, 

2nd ed., pp. 340-341. 


-322- 


Khrushchev is fond of alluding. No less Important:, in Soviet eyes. 

Is the passing of the day when the Uni ed States could consider 

Itself Invulnerable fo attack. As Khrushchev put it when talking 

with a group of American businessmen in Moscow in November 1963: 

"The time when the United States, being separated from Europe ' y 

the vast t panse of the Atla.itic Ocear, could feel itself secure 

and never Involved in conflict and wai that time has passed."^ 

While fully aware that the Soviet Union Itself enjoys no 

invulnerability to nuclear attack, the Soviet leaders seem to feel 

that the vulnerability of the U.S. homeland is the one factor more 

than any other that represents the Achilles' heel of their major 

adversary. With respect to U.S. overseas bases, the Soviet view 

is somewhat inconsistent. On the one hand, Soviet, spokesmen have 

2 

argued that these bases are highly vulnerable in the missile age 
and therefore a liability, while at the same time these very bases 
have been the target of an Intense Soviet diplomatic and propaganda 
campaign aimed at securing their liquidation. O. balance, it 
would appear that the Soviet Union regards U.S. verseaa bases more 
as an element of Western strength than of weakness. 


^Time-Life News Service, Transcript of Interview with Chairman 
Khrushchev and American Businessmen in the Kremlin, November 6, 1963, 
p. 8. See Pravda . February 6, 1959, for one of Khrushchev's earlier 
cosnents on the same theme. See also Tepllnskll, International 
Affairs. February 1964, p. 24. 

2 R. Ia. Malinov8kll, "15th Anniversary of the Victory Over 
Fascist Germany," Pravda. May 10, 1960; Marshal A. Yeremenko, "The 
Strategic and Political Value of Military Bases," Interna t ional 
Affairs . No. 11, 1960, pp. 59-60; Khrushchev interview, Pravda. 
September 10, 1961; Karaev, Kwunlat Vooruthannykh SIX. No. 3, 
February 1964, p. 13. 



323 


Criticism of U.S. Counterforce Strategy 

In a speech at Ann Arbor on June 16, 1962, Secretary of Defense 

Robert McNamara gave a definitive outline of a new strategic 

philosophy stressing that military targets rather than cities and 

population should be the object of attack in the event of a nuclear 

war. Stating that the West was strong enough to survive a massive 

surprise attack and still go on "to destroy an enemy society if 

driven to it," McNamara also t iphasized that "we are giving a 

possible opponent the strongest imaginable incentive to refrain 

1 

from striking our own cities." 

From the time of this speech, Soviet commentators have devoted 

a great deal of attention to criticism of U.S. "counterforce" or 

"city-sparing? 1 strategy, terms used more or less interchangeably 

by Soviet sources with reference to the basic strategy enunciated 

by McNamara. On several occasions in 1962 Khrushchev and various 

Soviet military leaders expressed flatly negative views of what 

they called McNamara’s attempt to establish "rules" for nuclear 
2 

warfare, while some Soviet spokesmen chose to Interpret the 
Ann Arbor speech as the enunciation of a first-strike doctrine and 


* Vital Speeches of the Day . August 1, 1962, pp. 626-629. 

2 

Khrushchev speech of July 10, 1962, Pravda. July 11, 1962. 

See also: Major-General M. Mil'shtein, "Certain Strategic Military 
Concepts of the American Imperialists," Mirovaia Ekonomika i 
Mezhdunarodnie Otnosheniia (World Economics and International Relations), 
No. 8, August 1962; Major-General N. Talenskii, "Preventive War- 
Nuclear Suicide," International Affairs . No. 9, September 1962, 
pp. 10-16; Colonel-General A. Rytov, "USSR Air Force Day," 

Konnunist Vooruzhennvkh Sil . No. 15, August 1962, p, 14. 




324 


"concrete end practical evidence of preparation for a preventive 
war."* Presumably with these Soviet allegations in mind, the U.S. 
side in the strategic dialogue sought to make clear that the new 
U.S. strategy was not oriented around a first-strike. Later in the 
year, for exaapla, Secretary McNamara pointed out that the Implications 
of the U.S. strategy were "exactly the opposite," since with "a sure 

second-strike capability," there would be no pressure whatsoever on 

2 

the United States to try to strike first. 

Subsequent Soviet discussion of U.S. strategy has continued to 
reflect a concerted effort to discredit the concepts advanced by 
McNamara at Ann Arbor. However, there have been some Interesting 
shifts in Soviet treataant of the subject, suggesting awareness of 
the need to present a more persuasive Soviet case. Four points are 
worth noting In this connection. First, while Soviet strategists have 
remained unreceptlve to the city-sparing aspects of the McNamara 

doctrine, they themselves have begun to emphasize the second-strike 

3 

assurance afforded by their own strategic posture. Second, some 
sensitivity has been displayed, as noted earlier, to the Implication 
that Soviet strategic doctrine Is less humane than the counterforce, 
clty*sparlng approach.^ Third, the argument has been Introduced that 

^Marshal Sokolovskii, Rad Star . July 19, 1962. 

^Interview with Stewart Alsop, "Our New Strate&," The Saturday 
Evanlnn Post. December 1, 1962, p. 18. 

3 

See discussion of this question in Chapter Five in connection 
with Soviet efforts to enhance the credibility of the Soviet 
deterrent posture. 

4 

See discussion of the Soviet attitude toward strategic 
targeting restraints In Chapter X1ZZ. 


325 


the counterforce doctrine Is a further elaboration of the U.S. 
"flexible response" strategy, representing an attempt to escape 
from "the crisis of military policy and strategy" in which Western 
leaders find themselves.* And fourth, there has been more effort to 
trace the development of the counterforce concept and to demonstrate 
Its untenability from a military standpoint. 

These trends became apparent in several Soviet analyses which 

appeared in 1963, the first of note being the work of General Nevsky, 

2 

the nebulous military commentator of whom we have spoken before. 

The points laid out in Nevsky's article in the World Marxist Review 
in March 1963 were taken up and amplified in the second Sokolovskii 
edition, which put forward the fullest critique of the U.S. counter- 
force strategy in Soviet writing to date. This critique is worth 
observing in some detail, not only as an example of the way the 
Soviets perceive the process of U.S. strategy formulation, but also 
for the light it sheds on Soviet thinking with regard to the counter¬ 
force doctrine Itself. 

Tha first part of the critique covered the development of 
U.S. counterforce theory, which was said by the Sokolovskii authors 
to be "the result of prolonged study of the problem of waging 
nuclear war," aimed at determining the target categories which must 

^Nevsky, World Marxist Review . March 1963, pp. 30-33; Voennala 
Strateglia. 2nd ed. t p. 83. 

2 

"Modern Armaments and Problems of Strategy," World Marxis t 
Review. March 1963, pp- 30-35. See also article by Pechorkin, 
International Affairs . March 1963, p. 24, in which the feasibility 
of McNamara's concepts was challenged, though on less extended 
grounds than by other Soviet authors. 



Initially, 


b« destroyed in order "to bring quick defeat of the enemy."* 
according to the Sokolovskii authors, differing views were advanced in 
the United States as to whether it was better to concentrate on 
destroying the enemy's strategic forces or to attack lai*«. population 
centers. The first alternative presented the greater difficulties, 
because: 

The delivery of nuclear strikes against the enemy's 
strategic weapons is a more difficult task than 
striking large cities. In the main, these difficulties 
are due, first, to the fact that such weapons exist in 
significant quantities, and second, the majority of 
them, especially missiles — which under today's 
conditions are absolute weapons -- are emplaced in 
nearly-invulnerable underground bases, on submarines, 
etc. Further, the trend toward increasing this 
invulnerability is growing all the time.2 

Another factor also affected the choice of which target system 
to strike, for according to the Sokolovskii authors: "This depends 
to a considerable extent on the delivery systems available anu thelt 
numbers." If accuracy of the systems is poor, "they cannot be used 
against smsll targets like missile launch pads or airfields." If 
their numbers are inadequate, they "can only be used against large 
targets, like cities." 3 

Continuing their description of the process by which the 
United States arrived at the strategy enunciated by McNamara in 
June 1962, the Soviet authors said that the U.S. command conducted 
war games for several years, using computers "to test various kinds 
of attacks against the Soviet Union." The resultant findings were 


^oennaia StrategjULa , 2nd ed., p. 84. 
2 Ibid. 



-327 


that strikes against cities would not "remove the threat of powerful 
retaliatory strikes," which could wipe out the United States. On the 
other hand, strikes against the opponent's strategic delivery forces 
could "significantly reduce hla capability to destroy American cities 
and peculation."^ 

On the basis of these considerations, the United States "came to 
the ultimate conclusion that it was necessary to destroy the enemy's 
armed force, and first of all, his strategic delivery means." Thus, 
in the Soviet view, evolved the "counterforce" or "city-sparing" 
strategy which the United States has now offered "as some sort of 
suggestion to the Soviet Union on 'rules' for tne conduct of nuclear 
war." l 2 3 

The second part of the Sokolovskii critique dealt with problems 
of carrying out a counterforce strategy. Among obstacles to such a 
strategy, the Soviet authors enumerated the following: First, how 
"convince" others of the need to adhere to "new rules" of sparing 
cities, when "most military targets are located in or near cities." 
Second, if these "rules" are to be followed, the United States and 
its European allies should start tc remove all their military 
installations from cities. However, this is not only unrealistic, 

l Ibid. 

2 Ibid .. pp. 84-85. 

3 

Ib id.. p. 85. Elsewhere in the revised Sokolovskii edition, 
the authors were skeptical that the United S ates would in fact try 
to follow a set of rules in the event of war. They said, p. 365, 
that: "...the U.S. militarists do not intend to employ their nuclear 
weapons solely against military targets.. .they are planning to use 
such weapons above all against targets in the deep interior, against 
cities, against the peaceful population, against the economy, and 
also naturally against...the armed forces." 



328 


but as noted in the Western press, if such a move were cat led out, 
"...the USSR would draw the conclusion that the United States was 
preparing to attack." Finally, counterforce strategy presupposes the 
need for a large system of population shelters, "whose role and 
significance in a future war appears quite problematical."* 

For a counterforce strategy to be "realistic and practical," 
ace.rdlng to the authors, five basic requirements must be met. Thee* 
were listed as:^ 

1. Reliable and numerically-adequate reconnaissance means, 
in order to assure necessary target information. 

2. Large numbers of missiles of great accuracy, reliability 
and readiness, "since there are considerably more 
military targets, than cities." 

3. Reliable systems of command and control, warning and 
communications. 

4. Careful planning to co-ordinate missile strikes and 
military operations of the whole coalition, "based on 
extensive use of computers." 

5. Surprise. 

With respect to the first item, reconnaissance, the Sokolovskii 
authors said the United States banks on the use of large numbers of 
satellites, capable currently of taking photographs "with n resolution 
of 2 meters." By the 1965-1970 period, they will be capable of 
"60-centlmeter resolution from an altitude of 500 kilometers." How¬ 
ever, according to the Soviet authors, prospects for solution of the 
reconnaissance problem are poor. Citing the American press and 


Ibid . See also: Glagolev-Larionr* , International Affairs. 
November 1963, pp. 31-32; Nevsky, World Marxist Review. March 1963, 
p. 33; Pechorkin, International Affairs. March 1963, pp. 23-24. 

^ Voennaia Strategiia. 2nd ed., pp. 85-86. 



329- 


Henry Kissinger as authority, thev pointed out that Soviet missiles 
will be increasingly dispersed and hidden in underground silos, and 
many will be mobile or based at sea, all or which will make 
reconnaissance more difficult.* 

With respect to the second requirement, the United States was 
said to be staking its bets mainly on such solid-fuel missiles as 
Minuteman and Polaris. While conceding the advantages of Minute- 
man, the authors pointed out that Polaris is net accurate enough to 
be employed against any targets other than large cities, which 
counterfcrce strategy "is supposed to avoid. 

On the third point, the Soviet authors noted that the U.S. 

plans to use satellites both to obtain ?0-minute warning of missile 

attacks on the United States, and for invulnerable communication 

and navigation systems on a global scale. They also mentioned the 

use of airborne and sea-based command posts. However, they offered 

3 

no comment on the efficacy of these measures. 

As to the co-ordinated planning problem, the Sokolovskii 
authors again adverted to the opinion of anonymous U.S. military 
specialists that the difficulty of obtaining target information on 
a growing 'oviet missile force increasingly complicates the planning 

1 IbiJ., p. 86. 

2 Ibid . Sec a Is.’: N. Talenskii, N/TG Nuclear Force Is a 
Dangerous Vent we,' Internatio nal A ffai rs, . 5, May 1963, p. 26; 
Nevsky, World Marxist levicw . March 1 *63, p. 33. 

3 

Voennaia Strategiia . 2nd ed., p, 87. 


330 


and organization of a U.S. missile attack.^ All these reasons, they 

said, cast doubt on the effectiveness of a counterforce strategy, 

which banks on full destruction of the opponent's strategic weapons. 

Still citing anonymous opinion, the authors then stated that the 

uncertainty of accomplishing this task means that: 

...the political value of a counterforce strategy 
may be depreciating even more rapidly than its 
military value, because it becomes increasingly 
difficult for the representatives of the military 
command to convince the political leadership of the 
absolute reliability of their plans and calculations 
based on fragmentary intelligence data on enemy 
targets.2 

Militarily, the value of a counterforce strategy also will 

continue to decline during the sixties, according to the Sokolovskii 

authors, because: "...even if the percentage of the Soviet strategic 

forces which the United States can destroy remains constant (which 

itself is a rather optimistic assumption), the absolute number of 

3 

surviving forces will increase.” Finally, turning to the question 
of surprise attack in relation to counterforce strategy, the authors 
asserted that such a strategy la in essence aggressive, because it 
would offer nu expectation of victory without preventive war and a 
surprise attack. "This strategy," they said: 


* Ibid . See also: Nevsky, World Marxist Review . March 1°63, p. 33 
Pechorkln, International Affairs . March 1963, p. 24. The latter, in 
addition to mentioning the difficulty of target location as a problem 
for the United States, also implied that this would be a problem for 
the Soviet Union, since the location of U.S. targets would not be 
pinpointed for the adversary by "the U.S. Secretary of Defense." 

The PechorVin argument then went on to make the point that: 
"Accordingly, large thermonuclear warheads would be used to blanket 
great expanses, which means they would Inevitably hit the cities as 
well, especially in the densely-populated countries." 

^ Voennala Strategila . 2nd ed., p. 87. 

3 Ibld . 



-331- 


...involves first of all the need for a preventive 
var. A strategy which expects to achieve victory 
through the destruction of armed forces cannot be 
based on the idea of a "retaliatory strike"; it 
is based on preventive action, on the attainment 
of surprise.^ 

While rounding out their critique of counterfort strategy with 
the customary allegation that the United States is actively studying 
ways to achieve "maximum surprise" by means of a first strike, the 
Sokolovskii authors also added a new note in their ’963 discussion 
by suggesting that changing conditions may now be reducing U.S. 
confidence in the feasibility of conducting a surprise attack. On 
this point they said: 

U.S. military experts consider that the possibility 
of achieving strategic surprise will increasingly 
decline in the future. This is due to the fact 
that modern means of detection and warning make it 
possible to spot ballistic missile launchings, 
especially strategic miss les, and to send warn'.-’g 
information on such launch.'ngs to the appropriate 
command centers.2 

The above excursus on U.S. coun’erforce strategy by the 
Sokolovskii authors, while still po. raical in tone and disposed at 
times to fall back on Marxist-Leninist platitudes about U.S. 
behavior, nonetheless represents a somewhat more objectively- 
argued analysis than has been customary in Soviet military literature. 
In this and similar Soviet treatment of the counterforce question, 
one may discern several factors which presumably help to account for 


* Ibid .. p. 88. 

2 

Ibid .. pp. 90-91. A similar view, it may be recalled, was 
also expressed in the article in the November 1963 issue of Inte r¬ 
national Affairs by Glagolev and Larionov, p. 32. See discussion 
in Chapter Five. 


332- 


the strenuous Soviet effort to discredit » a counterforce, city¬ 
sparing concept. First, assuming that Soviet strategic delivery 
forces are considerably smaller than those of the West, there is 
an obvious di advantage In embracing a strategy which, by the Soviets' 
own account, requires large numbers of delivery vehicles. Second, 
there would appear to be an incompatibility between the Soviet 
weapons program, with its recent stress on super-megaton yields, 
and a strategy calling for precise delivery and measured megatonnage 
against military targets. To reverse direction of this program would 
probably entail great practical difficulties, besides depriving the 
Soviet arsenal of weapons upon which a high political premium evident 1. 
is put for their lntimldational and deterrent value. Third, the 
important role played by Soviet secrecy is underscored by the Soviet 
attitude toward the counterforce strategy. While in Soviet eyes an 
advantage may lie with their side so far as obtaining target data is 
concerned, they also appear to feui that their position in this 
regard may be somewhat shaky, hence the emphasis put on the difficulty 
of locating targets as a barrier to a counterforce strategy. 

On the whole, in terms of the strategic dialogue, the line 
pursued with regard to the counterforce strategy issue seems intended 
to lend further support to the Soviet contention that rhe United 
States can no longer count on carrying out s successful first-strike 
against the Soviet Union, and that Soviet capability to deliver a 
retaliatory second-strike is now in any event beyond question. 



“ 333 - 


Future Prospects fi<r the Strategic Dialogue 

It would be premature in the extreme to suggest that the Soviet 
image of the West now mirrors reality with reasonaole fidelity. 

Soviet perception of the West is still filtered through ideological 
and parochial suspicions that produce a woefully distorted picture, 
particularly of western motives and intentions. At the same time, 
it ran be said that the successive Sokolovskii editions and some 
other recent expressions of Soviet strategic thinking have come a 
little way toward presenting a more objective image of the other 
side. 

This in itself may be a small start toward a more meaningful 
and mutually instructive dialogue between East and West, particularly 
between the two great nuclear powers on either side. Some slight 
change in the mode of discourse -- with the discussants talking past 
each other loss and to each other more -- is another small start that 
may be discerned in the present trend of affairs. It generally has 
seemed that th<» discussants in the strategic diaiogue were speaking 
from an entirely different conceptual framework, arguing from 
independent systems of logic -- which in fact is not far from the 
mark. As a result, they have talked past asch other more often than 
not. A chang** in the mode and quality of discourse -- if nothing 
else, a b*-t'.er mutual gra ;p ot it technical idiom, while unlikely 
to jridge th« conceptual gap, might at least draw the two different 
systems of l>gic closer together. 

It could l»* said that there is precious little evidence of 
impro ement m the quality of discourse exhibited from the Soviet 




-334 


side in such vehicles as the successive Sokolovskii volumes, the 
rebuttal of the Sokolovskii authors to the U.S. editors of their 
work, the Glagolev-LarIonov exigesis on Soviet peace policy and 
military posture, the Nevsky conmentary on problems of strategy, end 
other recent examples of Soviet strategic thought, not excluding the 
frequent sallies into this field by policy and decision-makers like 
Khrushchev himself. All have more or less In common a penchant for 
painting the motives of the other side black, the pci idea of the 
Soviet Union white, and its superiority unquestionable -- a picture 
which somewhat oversimplifies the situation, to say the least. 

And yet, it is perhaps unwarranted to dismiss out of hand the 
possibility of raising the level of discourse and moving the strateg. 
dialogue onto more productive ground. The expanded discussion cf 
U.S. strategy in the revised Sokolovskii volume is a case in point. 
One may feel that the treatment of counterforce strategy was pre¬ 
judiced by being used to support Soviet charges of aggressive U.S. 
plans and to fortify Soviet claims to an invulnerable retaliatory 
posture. However, the analysis demonstrated at least that the 
authors had done some homework and had acquainted themselves with 
the U.S. literature’on ths subject. If their rendering of the U.S. 
process of strategy formulation was imprecise, it showed at least an 
understanding of some of the factors involved, and in the process 
revealed some of their cun concerns, including the strong dependence 
of the Soviet military posture on a continuing high level of secrecy. 
The Red Star commentary of the Sokolovskii authors, in itself a 


forensic development of a rather unusual kind in the strategic 
dialogue, showed several 3igns of Soviet desire to clarify foreign 





- 335 - 


understandlng cf the Soviet military posture, as did the International 
Affairs article by Glagolev and Larionov and some, of the other state¬ 
ments examined in this book. 

The question may be raised that an Improvement in the quality 
and level of strategic discourse is not necessarily of any significant 
moment in Itself. No matter how well informed by common appreciatiorf* 
of the problems and concerns of the parties involved, strategic dis¬ 
course Itself will never be a substitute for the substance of military 
force in a world where the politics of power holds sway. This is no 
doubt true. Still, the forms and character of the strategic dialogue 
can Influence the policies governing military power. In an age when 
the destructive potential of military power Is so great that its 
use or misuse is the common concern of all, this would seem to be a 
sufficient excuse for Improving tha quality of the dialogue. 

One of course should expect no miracles. The strategic dialogue 
is a form of communication between antagonists, not a vehicle for 
healing hostility or for clearing up a deep-seated clash of purposes. 

It may make some contribution to avoiding mistaken Impressions about 
the posture of the opponent. It may, of course, have just the 
opposite effect, but that is a risk that exists in any event. At 
best, the strategic dialogue could lead to a useful end ii It serves, 
as Walter Lippmanput it recently when describing President Kennedy’s 
influence on the course of world events: "...to convince the Soviet 
Union that it must perforce and that It can comfortably and honorably 
live within a balance of power which is decidedly in our favor."* 


The Washington Post . December 3, 1963. 



336 - 


EPILOCUE: SOVIET STRATEGY AT THE CROSSROADS 

In the opening chapter of this book we noted that the Soviet 
leaders seem to stand today at a crossroads of decision on many 
Issues of strategy and defense policy. Problems of various kinds, 
some unique to the Soviet situation and others basically similar to 
problems with which Wester*, policy-makers and strategists must cope, 
have converged upon the Soviet leadership at this stage of the 
twentieth century. 

One of the problems of first magnitude, as we have seen, is 
related to the allocation of resources. Diffic .lties within the 
Soviet economy and competing demands upon it evidently have made 
it more difficult than usual for the Soviet leaders to decide what 
share of their resources shall be devoted to military purposes. 

Another fundamental problem, growing out of the military- 
technological revolution of the present age, centers upon Soviet 
awareness of the destructiveness of nuclear war. This has given 
rise to questions about the feasibility of war as an instrument of 
policy and the limits of military power in the nuclear-missile era. 

The unhealed Sino-Soviet estrangement represents another 
problem of great magnitude, which, among other things, may have 
called into question the possibility of future Sino-Soviet military 
co-operation and some of the basic strategic assumptions upon which 
Soviet planning probably has been based. 

In the immediate area of Soviet militemy policy and strategy, 
it would appear that well on to two years after the unsuccessful 
deployment of Soviet missiles to Cuba, the Soviet leadership is 



- 337 - 


still confronted with a number of unresolved issues in seeking a 
military posture suitable to Soviet needs in the power contest with 
the United States. The ongoing military dialogue in the Soviet 
Union, which we have examined at some length, bears witness to the 
fact that there are still differing schools of thought on many 
matters which have been under debate for some time past. To mention 
a few, these include: (1) the size of the armed forces which should 
be maintained; (2) the kind of war -- short or protracted -- for 
which Soviet forces and the country should be prepared; (3) the 
prospects of survival under conditions of nuclear warfare; (4) -'.a 
respective weight of strategic missile forces and combined arms 
operations in any futurej*ar against a powerful overseas enemy; 

(5) the question whether the criteria for developing the Soviet armed 
forces should stress mainly their deterrent and intlmldatlonal 
functions or their war-fighting value, and finally, (6) the problem 
of finding a winning military strategy for any war that might have 
to be fought with the United States. 

In addition to such questions bearing on practical decisions 
with regard to defense policy, there also has been continued al¬ 
though inconclusive evidence of a certain amount of underlying 
strain between Party-political authorities on the one hand and 
some elements of the professional officer corps on the other. 

While it is important to remember that an essential consensus 
still binds the various elements of the Soviet leadership together, 
am! that the areas of agreement on purpose and policy are doubtless 
much broader than the areas of contention, nevertheless, the aboee 



- 338 - 

brl«f catalogue of vaxatloua Issues Is enough to suggest that 
Khrushchev and other Soviet leaders have their hands full today 
In charting the course of Soviet defense policy. Indeed, a 
convergence of such probleas over the past year or tvo would seen 
to account In large part for Soviet Interest In cultivating a certain 
measure of detente In U.S.-Soviet relations. It Is in this sense 
that one might say that Soviet strategy Is at a crossroads today, 
as the Soviet leaders play for time, seeking ways to work them¬ 
selves out of their various difficulties.