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ITI

ELECTE

Best Available

~S

STATEMENT A
DITIUTION
D

O~

19

The United States Government has not recognized the incorporation of E-stonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania into the Soviet Union. Other
boundary representations on the maps are not
necessarily authoritative.

The Department of Defense redUted the cost of
producing this edition of S'oviet!Iilitar:Y Power
by 40% compared to last year.4ý

For sale by Superintendent of Documents,.
US Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402

FR

See inside hack cover for ordering information.

N

O E

In 1990, the Soviets launched a seventh Delta
IV- class strategic ballistic missile submarine
as part of their continuing offensive strategic
nuclear force modernization program. Additional units of the Delta IV, equipped with
16 multiple-warhead SS-N-23 ballistic missiles.
are excpected to enter the fleet in The 1()90%.
BIr CK COVER

0-

f'

SOVIET
MILITARY
POWER

N

1990
"oeselon
NTIS

For

(3RA&I

DTIC TAB
1Uaznounced

PRIJCE-*b.5U per GPO
10/10/90
TELECON

CG

Distribution/
Availability Codes
Avail and/or
Special
Dist

. -CTl11990

.Best Available Copy

CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1
6

Context of Change

CHAPTER 11
10

Soviet Foreign Policy

CHAPTER III
Soviet Security Policy in Transition

First Edition

September 1981

Second Edition

March 1983

Third Edition

April 1984

F6urth Edition

April 1985

fifth Edition

March 1986

Sixth Edition

Murch 1987

Seventh Edition

April 1988

Eighth Edition

September 1989

'Ninth dition

September 1990

20)

CHAPTER IV
The Economic Foundations
of Soviet Military Power

32

CHAPTER V
Nuclear. Strategic Defense. and Space
Programs and the US-Soviet Balance

48

CHAPTER VI
General Purpose Forces
and the [IS-Soviet Milance

72

('IIAPiER VI(

I,, ltll'
• ,i!'
, I *•;ll

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VN[O•IDVý1%-

thc littritic
103Ih

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3est Available Copy

-------------- w----

PREFACE
The ninth edition of Soviet Military Power is published at a time of unprecedented economic and political
turmoil in the Soviet Union. With that turmoil has come
an unusual degree of uncertainty about the future course
of the Kremlin's enormous military structure. Any authoritative report on Moscow's military forces and the
threat they pose requires a greater degree of sophistication and willingness to deal with nuance than ever before. Neither those who are determined to believe that
the Soviets no longer threaten Western interests, nor
those who regard the Soviet threat as largely unchanged,
will find much support in Soviet Military Power 1990.
The, ambiguity of the threat encompasses far more
than the Soviet Union. As the chance of global conflict
recedes, dangers in the developing world are increasing.
Challenges to our national security are becoming more
diffuse and complex. Instability in the Middle East and
elsewhere, terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and weapons
proliferation are among the threats that must be taken
into account as we reshape defense policy.
At the same time, prudence demands that we focus
on the most dangerous challenge to our national security. The military might of the Soviet Union is enormous
and remains targeted on the United States and our allies. All evidence indicates that this fact will not change.
Furthermore, the threat is no longer clear cut; the implications of change within the Soviet Union are not
completely known.
As assessment of Soviet power becomes more difficult, the need for this publication increases. There is first
the most obvious requirement to set down in one accessible document all we can appropriately reveal about
current Soviet forces, their numbers, deployments, and
level of technological sophistication. The use of this information is hardly confined to the United States, or
even the West. Recently, as part of a heated exchange
with a prominent military figure, Georgi Arbatov used
the 1989 edition of Soviet Military Power to argue that
his own nation's arms production had been excessive.
The .Soviets once denounced this publication. Now they
find it a useful reference.
Second is; the nccd to give interested readers a fuller
aipprcia tMion of modifica!ions of Soviet military doctrine
aid c:apahilitics. In some cases, change is profound, For
e'atrnplc, with the collapse of Soviet control in Fatstern
iripe, and the unwillingness of the Kremlin to follow
p':-.! pr;mclicc,, and maintain its power through the use
,rc. lie Wa raw Pact has hegun to disintegrate. As
, 'Y,,tlireai 0' ;a surprise atiack aigainst the North

SOVIET
MILITARY
POWER
1990

Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been greatly
reduced. Defending his government's actions in allowing Eastern Europe to go its own way, Soviet Foreign
Minister Eduard Shevardnadzc said, "A bloc that has
to be forcibly prevented from disintegrating was not and
cannot be a reliable prop in serious matters." This document details exactly what has and has not changed with
respect to the Soviet posture toward Europe and considers the character of the Soviet threat to NATO.
In other cases, however, Soviet military power still
presents a threatening face. This is nowhere more obvious than in strategic nuclear forces and strategic defense
capability. The Soviets continue to modernize strategic
forces that support a doctrine designed to threaten our
strategic forces. The rhetoric of President Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms and the reality of his military force deployment are in great contrast with respect to strategic
forces. This is not surprising. If its military capability were noit supporled by the largest nuclear arsenal it-,
the world, the Soviet Union would cease to be a superpower. Although Mr. Gorbachev speaks of restructuring. he surely cannot intend to reform his nation into
second-class power status.
The Soviet threat is changing, but it is not going
away. As we watch that change, dispassionate analysis becomes more, not less, important. Soviet Military
Power 1990. therefore, includes discussions on the range
of factors affecting Soviet forces.
After a brief introduction, tile document considers
Soviet foreign policy and raises important questions
about how the Kremlin now defines its national interest.
Next, the document looks at changes in Soviet security
policy with emphasis on how that policy has altered the
threat in Europe. This is followed by a chapter devoted
to the economic foundations of Soviet military power.
The USSR's economic crisis will continue to have a major impact on its security policy, so the economic dimensions of Soviet military power are given greater weight
in this edition than ever before.
The next two chapters examine the Kremlin's nuclear,
strategic defeinse, and space programs, and its general
purpose FOrces. These chapters also consider the USSoviet bhlarCe in each of these areas. The final chapter
olecrs ',,o1ic geiicral commentnils on the naturc of thlie threat
and dliscussc& prospects for the future.
Sirnec I; styc;ir's issue, we have gained additional in-

"sihl
ci Mt! thc ch acter of t[le Soviet military. "Military
,4aT)t( •I

lehs i,Inot c•,"i fr ciiouigh. but there is a grcater

"'wil'inr'>.m ih p irl ni the pohliical and milary lead-

ershipl to air problems and disagreements in public. This
miay be credited to the atmosphere of reform, or to the
fact that the difficulties are so great that they simply
cann6t be kept secret.
Fo!t example, domestic support for military service is
beingthcalled into question. Largely as a result of' the
Baltic secession movements, antimilitary and antidraft
campaigns, and the overt resistance of some local governments (such as Armenia) to the draft, Soviet draft
evagfin has mushroomed. In his speech to the party
coiftess in July 1990, Defense Minister Dmitriv Yazovoadmitted that the military's spring draft call up had
fallth short, with several thousand no-shows. In Armeni',the turnout was negligible.
'In addition, there is clearly considerable disagreement
wktlin the Soviet military on a host of fundamental issuJ, such as the disintegration of Soviet influence in
EA•tern Europe, the pace of reform in military structure.
arld ghisnost itself'. Many junior andi mid-level oflicers
wdi~ld do away with the draft altog,.,ther and would bar
the' military from internal police operations. Elements
of the Soviet High Command openly oppose many of
Ptesident Gorbachev's reform efforts. As this document
!66ihts out, much that was once certain about the Soviet
military is now open to debate. It is not clear how that
debate will be resolved.
<'.IlAnother area in which we continue to gain insight is
t&'• burden of defense on the Soviet economy. The Intclligence Community has estimated that Soviet defense
sjnding has increased steadily over the past 25 years,
afiiounting to 15-17 percent of estimated gross national
pfduct (GNP) in the 1980s. In contrast, the official Soand
,i&t position has been that the defense spending
the
"remuch
smaller.
Even
hence the burden -- is
vised" defense budget released by Gorbachev in 1989
(which quadrupled the previous official number) would
mean that defense spending would amount to only 9
percent of GNP. More recently, the Soviets have hinted
that the burden is really higher. President Gorbachev
himself has admitted to spending amounts equivalent to
between 13 and 15 percent of the country's GNP on
defense, while some Soviet economists have speculated
that the burden may be considlerahly higher, perhaps as
much a:,; 25 percent of the Soviet GNP.
These are awesome figures for a governincnt which
cannot even provide enough soap for coal nlItners. 13v
ec .xcontrast. during a period of unparalleled economic
pansion in the United States, defense was allocatcd betwecni 5 and 6 percent of our GNll .

There are some indications dtat ihis astonishing level
of Soviet spending is being reduced. Early in 1989 ,President Gorbachev announced defense spending reductions
of 14.2 percent by 1991. We estimate that Soviet, niilitary spending fell 4 to 5 percent in real terms irk•!989.
Even with these reductions, Soviet defense spending is
higher than when Mr. Gorbachev came to power..Most
important, spending remains at a level that will permit
considerable Soviet force modernization.
That modernization is particularly noteworthy in
Moscow's nuclear arsenal and strategic defense capability. The Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)
force is undergoing a complete upgrade. This includes
the continued deployment of the SS-24, a multiple wvarhead missile deployed in both a fixed and mobile version. the mobile SS-25, and the new version of the SS48t8,
which carries 10 warheads. With the enhanced suriivability of mobile systems, coupled with greater yield and
accuracy of the new model SS-18, the Soviets will retain
a credible first strike capability against US silo-based
ICBMs and non-alert forces, even if the Strategic Arms
Reduction Talks (START) Treaty is signed.
Modernization of the Kremlin's bomber force jineludes new Bear H and Blackjack aircraft equipped with
longer-range cruise missiles. We will probably see some
reduction in the total number of bombers in the Soviet
forcc as it removes obsolete bombers and concentrates
on qualitative improvements such as its cruise missile
forcc.
!,
This is also the case with the Soviet ballistic missile
submarine force. The deployment of the Delta IV and
Typhoon, which carry 16 and 20 nuclear missiles respectively, is consistent with the overall trend toward quality
over quantity,
lhc Soviet investment in strategic defenses is about
equal to that of its investment in offensive nuclear progi aii,. liiL' SOOVit'
h Wvet i-MiCL tthi'il' ilHll )ItII~
110
lL•,
.i.

No thorough analysis of the Soviet military can render a simple picture of the current threat. Debates over
the future of the Communist Party. the structure of the
economy, and the military are commonplace. In such
an atmosphere, it is diflicult to predict what will happen
next month, let alone next year. But as far as Soviet
military power is concerned, there are some basic steps
that the Kremlin could take that, even in the midst of
this uncertainty, would help convince the West of the
sincerity of its desire to reduce the threat.
For example, the United States would like to see a
Soviet Union that places less reliance on the military.
This would mean a military that commands only a reasonable share of the nation's wealth. In addition, the
Kremlin should cease its massive military aid rrograms.
which last year totaled roughly $15 billion, to rcigimes
such as Afghanistan, North Korea, Libya. Angola, Victnam, Syria, and especially Cuba, which is only 90 miles
from America's shores. This would go a long way in
convincing us that the Kremlin is serious about "new
thinking" and tackling its domestic economic problems
rather thar, continuing its traditional ,geopolitical maneuvers of the Cold War.
Any serious analysis of the Soviet military reveals a
picture of vigorous internal debates and uncertain intentions, as well as change and instability. What it does not
reveal, no matter how much we might wish it, is an eviscerated Soviet force structure and evaporating threat.
The truth is more complex than that. There is certainly
reason to be optimistic about the future trend in the Soviet threat. But the facts lead only to the conclusion that
the Soviet Union remains an enornmous military superpower. The intentions of that regime are changing. But
intentions are not enough to support dramatic changes
in our own level of preparedness. We must see fundamental and enduring changes in both the capabilities
111d clhnrictel

"'St I ictl

iliits ry

4

v\\Ci,

TiiissieIC protectiion of' Moscow int1.o a d uail-layered sys-

tem, the only such system in the world. Moscow also
maintains an antisatellite capability, which includes systeim, that aic now able to destroy satellites in low earth
Rc;arch ot. m-ore advanced systems, such as lasers,

undcrt ircs str(

Soviet interest in the military uses of

sp;ce. (iivcn whati must he vcry intense conpcitition mor
dcfctN,,: rubies. Soviet spending in the strategic defense
atUir i iindeed impressive and indicates an extremely ro-

,l', c(ntmmillucni to dcvcloping a u'tilly capable nlissilc
,'it'>L"
's

.

Dick Chcney
Secretary of l)c'cinse
Scptcnibcr 1990)

(I iAl'iFR

Context of Change

The legacy of the Soviet polilicall past collided with glasnost and present-day perestroika reforms in the expression of this
retiredl Soviet military officer who took the occasion of the 1990 Moscow May Day parade to accuse the Communist Party
of
heing the "people's torturer.'

I NI'~l (

III( )IN

Sinyt:c Nllc
Im 1
I 1t:

Iut /fj/II I'utt t(,wI
publishe'd 1;1l \'ixlr.
I
1iiyf
11
ii w
III di tiVc I
111olH : 1 II lit: %w riJd.
p11t'A.
(It ct.tn1~'1,1111, hm ni
m
l F"It mrid \VcSt

I ItL)011-V Of' CýISt-h)OunIId1j
11 10,hldl\ý
(
I tW\
I[I Sm ICtIoc\
(TII1,1 j\. fIIlfl\ 1.114, tMOV 1dld [LIMfI ditli.
h-cc CICCtiolis III
Nlit:tin!i
11t1:
hi
ici:d~p
l ;Iltciilion N' 111C\\wrld.
Thit CX1lvnrdii~ln

ot:nlts

tfl,

Il''()St)(t)

bjmc

itol'tI(ndlti

queIstionIS. \Vliat is happening to Soviet military powver"

I lw rechace
i Soie niii trvpower' af1ect1
WeCstern sCcurItyI Interests? What arc the limlpic~i ions
1`6r the bakialce between East and West'. The atislA eis to
NCCun ltV
theseý ai11d othe~r qCtitionlS wViI llshape the 110%\
order In
a urope. and 1'railie the debate surrounding
such en-tlcial Issues as thle conti nuing role of' the North

mrec
tlnIc Tra1wgntin(AO.te
of, a tini ted Germany. and thle Status of, thle Warsaw
P,10. Ot1,1it sio Euope. si1mi l,1 r changes InSoviet ini Iita rv
1po.CI a11rofCS VIdcri'i, btitl ltll[iV
ma te l ha
e expected to
afkcct recio nal balanrces as %welI. Al00,11
thoughSLI
a osnss
onl stdicl-iqustionsý niav be dif"elult. if' not Iimpossible.
to re~icli It, the miidst of, the current turbtilecnee and
coi rpleci K it is essenmtial to add ress thecm III ordler
to rc~ich an\LIIC
ndistandin of tlthe changes-! ;.ilkd thie
piosIects for the I'Ltit
tue.
&

SOViIK MilI.ITIA\RY POWERA l9A)
ict Ah'~hluai'i I'(mnr. like
describe aind ax-sess the Current stat tisof, SI1\[itiliuitr\ caIpabilty anld to derive\
the im1plic"ations 'Or the t !S t ISSR mili1tary baldance.
:\ddiltintl l\ thisl edlition lleC1CIS the 1p1o1to.und. Ceven

lhiis1
\car's ed1it
ion ol' .S

it, jrcdeces,,ors. seeks to

IV%\
01111011,1ABci
ie
iiI cli are- OCenIl-lL
rItii the Soviet
t liiiol aiid [aýsternl Europe and InI thieiir i'Catioiis \With
Ilie recst of, thle v orid. "Ilie essenlkce of, thlese Chaiices- is
lii nhil % cliltii
bcaLLI,
use t C a 1' Sie
iCO1iilex.V exar
Ii iuB an;Id ItIiprIeCctdCited. IDutriing the pastI yeatr tile
TId ho
IessIe,,d
I,XI
the tiiet:i[lse nt'iia1111 stru'c-fei
iii a
SoX jetI Ilion III
Crisis, the celchi'ations, of peoples InI
LaitaI uif fpC ,tar~tling onl theC
iie:%
path to freedaoml
tIli~ldcti'c and step
th1'i'e ý\\oild to ad I"JSt its
OC
sCcilni ticit
Nlmhlý
ithit1 an1 eti it'Otiiiiciii
of' both nex\\
hI pc'n oiltI tlilITI!, Iiiicvat'liii%
SI iet111
tilihltaiX

muritist heC addre"Sed
lvit
cntet. niliai' e~l~iihiies
.1 i ,c h hK'11 lld itc itldc INt
l )IIInu
itclctta lsi that
let' li~ I nilcli Suts
ILIIts'lles
WI 111

V.eIi

I

)-Iif'1r

diliXl

!IH

h) tlew CC(fullltk-

'1S~ III.' d tltl
I

~.ii Iin

po\c

It'.imul

i'~ii,

SoL.

iX1,1
.111c(
tlX

I,

iII

aid

fI

in

f

pdIshtul(:1

t iilsl
mie
1 ()I
st1c

lta

o

ou

nsaiiyadrsrcuieteeooy

international cooperation and particiain Genaian
unlification anld new%Scuri--ty stru~ctures in)Europe. tratle
and ecoilomiei Interaction with the WVest. and the politiu-CdItI0ios
issueCs inlvolVed iII c retlC
cal 'LS výeli OSslii l r11L
and at-i.s Conltrol. This edit ioll of Soi el A'hhtarv A'mer
addresses thecse funrdamenital and COmpingICII1- issueCs di'-1\
n Soviet Security policy and military caplabilities

The presentation and analyvses of' the issues in the
1*0llowinrg cha~pters gnerafl l fo)cus onl fIve ItLindailien tal
(uesti OnS:
a What has and has nlot chianced?
a WhaIt do these chancl-es mleanl?

a What trenlds and directions can be idenitified?
a I low (10 these (levelopmenc~tS af'11ct the military balance
between the US and USSR?
N Whatl are- the prIosIec~ts for the IUtt tire?
InI Chapter 11. SO';iet forein' poiyIS dISCuIssedi
hangeCs Inl thle \vorL~ especially\ ill Paýsternl Europe.
are dIramatic. Former allies ]ii the War.sa%\ Pact have
beconlie iiioi'e Hindepen~dent of' thle Soviet tUnion. iianmsF'Oriinc11, the Soviet political aiid millitary postue- InI
Europe anld elsewliei'c.
Inlhatr
lI. the basic issueCs of' SeCuri -tv policy.
traItecn and doctrine aic p'esen ted to pro~ ide a 1,6oun dation f'oi' undi'StaiidlIII- the uii.1dame1~litta f'oi'es f'oi'
chainec at wor'k. ('liatices Ini Soviet sectirity policy aind
doctrine have called for ai ilc\\ analyticail f'raniewoik lot'
assessine, the tranIlsition of' So% ietsecit'itv policy.
(Chapteir IV explores the un1derlyiviti stretigthis and~
weaknesses ol' the 'otindation of' Soviet mii tar fl\Vr
thrughan
iia\ ~s o' S\ c tcsoitice.S. aiidlio\ they\ ateaillocmate.
1,Xti'ciiic ecoiioiliic dilficulties have~ aflcctcd
th sIc capabiities, and d.ispositioin of, Soict tI'cs
UI.Jiidei'staiding, the i'unctdiiiietital econotillic for1ces or01
dwiiaiin is kc\ to anigSoviet prionitics onl defense11
toleell1cwlotllclits.
1I tl
iiifId'i' \

o i" " i
l i se fi

m c 11I:1.d:
SI TI~ct
ii icl t' Pi(
s
cteIM C

(

~lupt' I

Protest% again~t Nioscowv's control over non-Russian republics have multiplied; a demonstration in Baku, Azerbaijan, where
ethnic rivalrie,, and nationalistic sentimecnts have fueled outbreaks of violence, and a rally celebrating the 71st anniversary
of Ukrainian unification (inset) illustrate the depth of popular dlisenchantment with the current political structure. These
ýwntiments havo lornented(l alls for increasedl sovereignty in several republics.

ol thle U.ni ted States
reprel-sent abhsolluteC
Soviet leader-s. they haime beenl Ilargel\: exenmpt Froml
raiclk Ciicang-s mlaindaIted elsewhiere.

I rrzto

Ill (1ha11er

VI, Soviet general'Zl purp--ose for'ces ate'

SION.
lv anal ved. Sonme ol tilie
dIevelopmnets
1 are %C]i'%
pi on11ItSi ng-. \0111
hi othersl17
1C- arflscuainl11or reflect lit'

oti nio positivC chaznge.
Slated- Soviet 1intenitions
incnderedctionls n1thle mi1litary- bncld'eC anid nIlI, ar>"
ptodlttelilti projected amid laculial For1ce withdrav~lk tronil
Lasterti Inr1ope atid arounld tile world. r-Cd to,111
\11Inl
lo-ce levls oerll redCtIICotis Inl tile threaC.t to NATIO.
ý1tn(l aI 's'illllingcs' to pule uteanine''ul and %scliable1hi
"art11is cotrol a'grcenilents. eseilystraIcui'c Ar\tms ReCduiction 'I alk, (S'IAR'I'). Hi
nit id discussions otiai( hemiiti%1'114.iiri, .irif rf
'.1
i. T-7.! Nit ',.viet omin hattie tank is
ca:;l WC;ipIIsO'
( '011Vel1ion0
an
11(1 CoMivetItinl AlsiClc
ý,hr..
iIr n ririt't drmlvl to; mmplai v. mmlmr tanoks 111,1
he.,~
1 Itmr i n:'
1 1.tu
ll op ( (I
' II. I'Ih sili's]II\C
clI cC It, I II
I"-*'.1..Inomm.11vdl %i"otm'rmmtmirm hbmtttmtaniks nosw monmmstitmmt I1cI S-Soviettcl Aliton'liip stuuiwl Inlotvilli'.tI
to 011ke1
......
li-, ftojil Sofi.mt Imik gmmsmmmturN
ammml
74t
(l1cm1;letlsI1a c;Insc conicern. I'llc
Soviet'l continue11
I~ ~~I
Ill' \tm.
, Owm
I mIn'l
lo.
o poltik lIt!'h
Iil cwcl"'.oF todcnnlil ar
knpilt
-

*1

*

-

.,,,101

iih

6% 9
n,q2l11YA-.
KII
C

C

Lithuanians asl< abonut their status under Gorbachev in 1990l(upon
thv President's arrival in the capital of Vilnius. Baltic separatism

The withdrawal of sulected Soviet armored forces from Czechoslovakia began soon after the two countries signed A bilateral

se~s
a ( mrpel Iinrg chalIlenge to the current struc:to re of the Soyviet
Union.

agreement in Feb rua ry 1990) sti pulati ng thIiat all Soviet troops
would he withdrawn by mid-199~1.

out niiriib1eriing total NATO 1)1productionl Inl 1any1 eaIseS.
llyiin CInIi ter- \'II theC prIospec~ts foI [ilie flut Ire1
I)exelopmnjcnts tha~t have\r býeen 11111inital'
orn
Ill
Mre discuIssd. Inl spite of theC unIcer(,lItainti. it ISclearl thai
1)[C
orCcrdLIt(Ictiim areC compliciate by Sox let stock pill mthe Soviet Uni1onl still po,,sssSes a vaSt an1(l (1,LaIi[-L'etS
e il( the Irak." limi1ted detuton o equipment
lillitary- ar1sena,'l xxhiCh mu1It he respclCted fb its, capa(Ltc. retentionl ill lasterit1 ulurOpc ofI elelielits of,
dI
bilty an 'tS po(tentl 'I]
j'
t
tl' damacLe 1.S linter~csts.
11Ihmn1e1lilix
(I'isfls. midl operaItiotia-l and political
I1\Iox lldifunda 1mena
anI~d nLtIrI-11 -1-thle cha-Ces inl Soviet
ls'U.i~icitel
\ iith le xxtlidraxal of" for1ces From
flhlitar\ý capabhilities '.xIll he is thle Critical queIstionl.
[w(cn~i I)Cnnwrmcrai Repul[Nic. l:11rthelmIilore. the
nelijie
S i1c ~ifena debatec over ilil im-iv doctrin.Wiehpe
r i1h1emsCrmi.idflo h
I I
OtIcl' itcin
1(1'
Ii n i
o
ifnim
WIn'.I
euiypolem
11
frihl
pose bx1I~
Sovliet ivu11lifLl
1'rx

proh~ili posd h Imiipct

mil

I

4
CHAPTER

Soviet Foreign Policy

The Soviet Union's archilect of change, Mikhail Gorbachev, was sworn in as President March 15, 1990. Gorbachev has used
his new office to damonstrte much greater flexibility and Initiative in Soviet foreign policy, Introducing a new perspective on
the effort to promote Soviet security goals.

OVERIVIEW
The debate over the most el1tive means to ensure
Soviet national security is central to the ongoing ref ortn
process within the Soviet Union. Soviet leaders have
reevaluated the importance or their military ox)wer in
achieving national objectives. They understand that
maintaining expensive, large, offensively postured coilr0

ventional military forces in Europe hinders their ability
to tiieet their economic and political objectives. As a
result, the Soviet l-adership shows evidence of relying
more heavily on achieving Soviet security objectives
through what some ollicials have termed "negotiating
down the threat" that Moscow perceives, rather than on
maintaining large, expensive, and oleniSively posttured
conventional and strategic Iorces. This chapter examines

the transition in Soviet foreign policy .
changed and what has not changed.

what has

in the West as the Brezhnev Doctrine, a policy or
intervening militarily in any country where a communist
regime was about to be overthrown,

The foreign policies by which Moscow has pursued
Soviet security interests have varied substantially over
the course of Soviet history, During the Brezhnev era, in
the belier that the international "correlation of forces"
had shifted in their favor, the Soviet leadership coupled
a massive and sustained arms buildup with assertive
Sind adveiaturesome internwtional poiicies, In an efTort
to make the USSR the dominant political power in
Europe, lor example, the Soviets maintained and significantly improved enormous conventional forces opposite
NATO in Eastern Europe and the USSR, intervened
militarily in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and maintained
forces there in the ensuing years, and supported a decade
of severe repression in Poland, Moscow also deployed
SS-20 intermediate-range mobile nuclear missiles that
altered the European military balance, and at the same
time waged a propaganda campaign of political warfare against NATO counterdeploynients. Similarly, in
an eflori to exploit targets of opportunity and advance communism in key locations, the USSR shipped
large amnounts of military hardware to Third World
client states, pledged support to "national liberation
movements" that frcqLuently resorted to terrorism, entercd into security commitments with Marxist-Leninist
regimes in Cuba, Vietnanm, Angola. Mo1ambhique, and
Ethitpia. and in 1979 invaded Afghanistan,

These are :..:)ortant changes, nonetheless, it remains
to be seen
Yvhat extent Soviet long-range political
goals have ci..,rnged and are compatible with those of
the US and the West, In arms control, difficult issues
remain, including questions of Soviet comrliance. Economic relations with the West continue to be hamlpered
by the slowness of progress in real, market-oriented
reform, Extensive illegal activity is still directed toward
the acquisition o' sensitive Western technology. Soviet
intelligence services, including the military intelligence
services, are particularly active today in most Western
countries.
These apparent contradictions in Soviet foreign policy reflect the extensive debate taking place within the
Soviet Union today over the proper nature and mission
of the Soviet state, In the past several years, the
Communist Party's ideological guidelines for foreign
policy have been increasingly discarded, However, a
consensus in favor of an alternative has yet to emerge,
and the Party remains in control. In this uncertain
environment, advocates of a number ol' dilt'ering world
views have been competing for predomiinancc in Soviet foreign policymaking. Many Soviet international
experts, particularly within the Ministry of' Foreign Atfairs and the semiollicial Soviet foreign policy institutes.
are thought to favor the renunciation of doctrines and
strategies that posit a permanent state of conflict with
the West. but others, particularly within the Soviet
military, intelligence wrvices, and Communist Party
apparatus, are thought to continue to favor policies
which see the world primarily in ideological terms. It
is not yet clear which point of view will ultimately
prevail. The basic premise of "new thinking" has been
accepted, although the full meaning and implementation
of this approach is still being debated, resulting in some
inconsistencies between stated intentions and actions,

President Gorbachev has reassessed this interventionist approach. Under his leadership, Soviet foreign policy
has demonstrated much greater flexibility and initiative,
introducing atnew perspective on the effort to promote
Soviet security goals and redefining some of' the goals
themselves. As part of their concept of "new political
thinking." the Soviets are seeking to identify areas of
Mutual interest with the West, ("New political thinking"
is a concept that includes the principles of "balance of'
interests," "mutual security." and "freedom ol' choice,"
ais well as a re'lection of' "zero-suni" thinking,) There
also has been important progress in Soviet foreign policy
in other areas, such its the Soviet withdrawal from
Afghanistan, cooperation in the Angola/Namibia settlement, and evidence of' repudiation tol' the doctrines
ol' class warfare and international struggle. The Sovict,i
have also specifically renounced what has been known

The changes in Soviet 'oreign policy have been
prompted largely by the internal and external crises
facing the Soviet Union, The Soviet leadership faces
both an economy in crisis and at nascent, untested
political system, Moscow seeks a sympathetic internaClapter II

-

..-

II
i

Ff
I

I

Tension showed on the faces of Lithuanian Intellectuals whose
hopes for independence were frustrated during President GorLachev'l visit to (he Baltic republic In January 1990.

President Gorbachev Issued a stern warning to Lithuanian leaden
considering a declaration of independence from the Soviet Union,
which was followed by an economic blockade of the republic.

tional environment to allow for internal political and
economic reform. The USSR desires improved relations
with the United States and Western Europe in order
to alter fundamentally the nature of relations with the
US and the West away from confrontation toward
greater cooperation. Also, to improve its domestic
economy, the USSR seeks to achieve greater access to
international trade, technology, and financial markets
and to encourage NATO countries and others to reduce
their defense expenditures.

litical pliralism, openness,
economy,

Soviet foreign relations are influenced as ',..' by
MosLow's policies toward the many nationalities and
religious groups residing in the Soviet Union. The Soviet
crackdown in Azerhaijan in Janluary 199(0 and Moscow's
policies in Soviet Central Asia have al'lected adversely
Moscow's relations with the Islamic world, Moscow's
puit repression of Soviet Jews had a negative efTfct
on Soviet relations with Israel and the West for many
years, while the Soviet Government's niw liberalized
emigration policy has affected adversely Soviet relations
with the Arab world. The Soviet economic bKlokade
and political intimidation tactics used in the Baltic states
in the spring of 1990 hampered Soviet efforts to draw
closer to Western Europe.

spokesmen also now cite the importance of developing

The United States has welcomed the important steps
which have been taken in the Soviet Union toward
democratization, economic reform, military reductions.
and changing foreign policy approaches. President Bush
has made clear that as the USSR moves toward democracy and openness, US policy envisions going "-eyond containment" and looks forward to welcoming
the Soviet Union into the broader "commonwealth of
nations." The United States remains hopeful that Gorbachev's program of ,prestroikta will lead to genuine Po12

and a free market

soviet FOREIGN POLICY IN PRACTICE
Within the framework of the "new political thinking," several concepts have been articulated which represent significant breaks with the hardline rhetoric that
has traditionally justified or defined Soviet behavior.
The Soviets now assert, for example, that all countries
should be free to choose their own policies. Soviet
good relations with all states, regardless of their ideological atfiliation, and of seeking to play a constructive role
in regional and other issues. In practice, "new political
thinking" has produced greater Soviet diplomatic flexihility, fostering more constructive approaches to many
international issues.
In the area of foreign military assistance, although
support currently continues at a high level, the Soviets
have begun cutting back. For example, the value of
Soviet military aid to Third World countries dropped to
$15 billion in 1989, about $2 billion below the previous
year's figure. Lower shipments to Iraq and other Middle
East states accounted for the drop. Andrei Grachev,
Deputy Chief of' the International Department of the
Communist Party Central Committee, said in May 1990
that Moscow is putting less emphasis on its relations
with the Third World in light of political changes in
Eastern Europe and the Sovieti Union, He indicated that
foreign military assistance programs would be subject to
a very radical review in the near future. Nevertheless, it
is not yet completely clear how much the Soviet cutback
in foreign military aid is due to the economic troubles
the Soviets fatce at home as opposed to a real change in

I

long-term goals,
Furthermore, it is unclear to what degree cuts in
foreign military assistance grants could be translated
into gains for the Soviet economy, Thus, the cost-benefit
analysis for granting military aid often involves political
issues as much as fiscal ones. Moscow probably will
continue to provide grant military assistance if there can
be a net political gain,
US-Soviet Relations
President Gorbachev's program of "new thinking"
includes as one of its goals improved relations with the
United States, The US has welcomed the new Soviet
openness, US-Soviet relations in 1990 have expanded
considerably, and the US and USSR now have the most
extensive set of contacts and discussions since the end
of the Second World War, Washington and Moscow
now hold regular discussions on a wide range of issues
and have nade progress in a number of areas of mutual
interest. Although arms control talks are probably the
best known element or this relationship, other US-Soviet
discussions focus on regional issues, human rights issues,
and bilateral and transnatlonal issues as well.
Progress in this Soviet-American relationship continued during Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze's visit with Secretary of State James Baker in
Wyoming in September 1989, during the meeting be.
tween President Bush and President Gorbachev oft the
coast of Malta two months later, in Ministerial-level
meetings in early 1990, and at the May 30-June 3
Bush-Gorbachev Summit in Washington. In Wyoming,
the United States proposed that the US and the USSR
both adopt a policy of "Open Lands," by which the
United States and the Soviet Union would reciprocally
eliminate most restrictions on travel by oflicials of the
other side. At Malta, President Bush sought progress
toward improved relations in the areas of economic
and commercial relations, human rights, regional issues,
arms control, and the environment, At the Washington
Summit, numerous agreements were reached including:
a A pledge to slash stockpiles of chemical weapons,
a A statement on the main elements of the forthcoming
strategic arms control agreement,
a A statement of objectives for follow-on strategic arms
talks that commits both countries to pursue stabilizing
reductions in the number of multiple nuclear warheads
on strategic missiles;
a A statement pledging to accelerate work to enable
completion of a Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) agreement by 1990;
n A pledge to work together against proliferation of

nuclear, chemical, and ballistic missile technologies;
and
mA commercial accord that, upon taking effect, will
facilitate trade between the two countries,
United States support has been provided to the Soviet
effort to institute democratization, economic reform,
and legal reform, and improve the Soviet human rights
record, Senior Administration officials have visited the
USSR to make American experience in these areas available to the Soviets. Progress has also been made over the
past two years toward greater US-Soviet cooperation
in curbing proliferation of missile technology, chemical
weapons, and nuclear weapons, and in addressing global
environmental problems,
The growing US-Soviet dialogue provides a useful
forum for encouraging Moscow to continue reducing the
Soviet military threat and to play a more constructive
role in international atTairs. The United States has been
urging the USSR to take a number of specific steps
toward this end ihat include:
mDeveloping a horce posture which is reduced in size,
less threatening abroad, and more reflective of reformist intentions at home;
w Releasing more information on Soviet military re.
forms and budgets, and
v Refraining from the threat or use of force against the
territorial integrity or political independence of any
state.
The United States has developed a multilevel dialogue with the Soviet defense establishment and a program of military-to-military exchanges for the purpose
of promoting several important goals:
a To encourage the Soviet Union to develop detfnsive
doctrines, strategies, and operational planning;
wTo urge the Soviet defense establishment to take steps
toward "military glae'no"x . openness in defense
budgets, planning, strategy, and operations;
a To impress upon the Soviets that US security objectives
the protection of the US and its allies,
and advancing freedom and democracy - are benign:
(This includes making known the true defensive naturc
of United States military doctrine, demonstrating the
defensive structure or US forces, and displaying the
capabilities of US wearon systems to help increase
Soviet understanding ot United States defense policy.)
a To impress upon the Soviets the openness of US
defense planning, including the public disclosure of
the defense budget and the open congressional review
which follows;
a To make known to the Soviets the limited role of the
Chapter II

13

.

demonstrates that the United States is within reach
of achieving its goals of enhancing strategic stability

and strengthening peace and international security. A
START Treaty, for which President Bush and President
Gorbachev have pledged to complete negotiations by
the end of 1990, will characterize a relationship be.
tween the United States and Soviet Union that is more

"cooperative, predictable, and stable.

The United States remains concerned about the Soviet Backfire bomber. SS-18 modernization, and agreement provisions that could affect US alliance relationsihips. The manner in which the Soviets resolve these
outstanding issues will be an important indicator of their
ability to deal constructively in the arms control arena,
and to implement the Treaty once completed.
A US Air Forre F-1$ escort guides a Soviet MIG-29 Fulcrum fighter
through North American airspace en route to a US air show.

military in a free, democratic society, and

"w
To promot better understanding through human con.

Ever. as arms control negotiations with the USSR
progress, however, it Is important to consider the matter of Soviet compliance with previous arms control
"obligations, For example, the Soviet Foreign Minister
has admitted that the Krasnoyarsk radar is an illegally
situated radar in clear violation of the Antiballistic

tacts between military ollicials of the two countries at
ill levels,
In support oi' these policy goals, an unprecedented
program or military-to-military contacts was instituted
between the US and Soviet armed forces and det'ense
ministries. In June 1989, for example, then-Chairman
of' the Joint Chiefs of Starr Admiral William Crowe
visited the Soviet Union. where he signed the US-Soviet
Agreement on the Prevention or Dangerous Military
Activities. In Octoher 1989. Secretary of Deflense Dick
('hney welcomed General of the Army Drnitriy Yazov
in the first ollicial visit ever by a Soviet Minister of
Defense to the United States. There have been numerous
other meetings and exchanges at various levels, and also
exchanges of' port visits by US and Soviet warships,
Arnm Control
Significant progress has been made in various nogotiations. particularly the Strategic Arms Reduction
Talks (START). thc provisions already agreed to in
START include central limits on nuclear delivery vchicles (I,(6X)) and warheads (6,(X.)); and sublimits on
heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICIMs) (154),
ICBMiand submarine-launched ballistic missile (SILBM)
warheads (4.9(X)), .nd mobile ICBM warheads (1,011).
The aggregate throwweight of' deployed ICRMs and
SLBMs will also be cut to 50 percent of the current

Soviet level.

The progress thus far in the START negotiations
14

With their tall sections severed, obsolete M-4 Oison long-range
bombers no longer count as part of the Soviet Union's manned
strategic bomber force.

I

Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972, The Soviet Government

In chemical weapon (CW) negotiations, the US and

has also stated that SS-23s, a weapon system covered by
"the Intermedlite..Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
of 1987, were located in Eastern Europe prior to the
signing of the Treaty. The Soviet violation at Krasnoyarsk, Soviet violation of the Biological Weapons
Convention (BWC), and Soviet failure to advise US
negotiators about the transfer of these INF missiles
call into question Soviet good faith in negotiating arms
control agreements. The Soviets have indicated a will.
"ingness to addres%some of these concerns by initiating
destruction of the radar and by making an effort to
resolve our concerns about violation of the BWC.

the Soviet Union made significant progress at the Washington Summit in 1990, President Bush and President
Gorbachev signed an agreement that culls for the destruction of most US and Soviet chemical weapons by
2002, Destruction will begin by the end of 1992, and
at least 50 percent of the stocks must be destroyed by
the end of 1999, Neither country will be permitted to
produce chemical weapons once the agreement takes
effect, Currently. the Soviets possess the most exten.
sive chemical warfare capability in the world and have
acknowledged an aggregation of at least 40,000 tons of
chemical munitions.,

In the Defense und Space Talks (DST), the US seeks
to facilitate a cooperative transition to a more stabilizing
balance of strategic offensive and strategic defensive
forces, Although seriouts differences remain, the Joint
Statement on Follow-on Strategic Negotiations released
at the Washington Summit rcflected Soviet agreement
to continue thc I)ST "without delay," with the obj'ctive
ol"implementlIng) tn appropriate relationship between

Important progress has been made toward a CFE
agreement. The Soviet Union and the other members of
the Warsaw Pact have agreed to seek the establishment
of a secure and stable balance of forces at lower levels,
the elimination of disparities prejudicial to stability and
security, and the elimination, its a high priority, of
the capability for launching a surprise attack and for
initiating large-scale offensive action,

strategic oflnsos and defenses,"

"The 23 participants in the CFE negotiations agreed
that the categories of equipment to be limited under
the CFE Treaty will include main battle tanks, armoroed
combat vehicles, artillery, combat alrcraft, and attack
helicopters. There is agreement on the concept of regional sublimits on equipment concentrations, and on
the need to establish limits on eqtipment stationed in
Europe, Furthermore. the West and the East have
both proposed limits on the equipment held by individual participants
limits that will alfect only the
Soviet Union. since no other country in Europe even
approaches its levels of equipment holdings. l3oth sides
also agreed on the need tor an on-site inspection regime

to monitor treaty limits,
Many details relating to these provisions remain to
be worked out, but signilicant progress on the basic
content of a CFE Treaty has been made. The Soviets

have publicly slated that they place a high priority on
the CFE negotiations, and have agreed to try to meet
the goal or signing a treaty this year.
Europe

Deitnction of Sioviet Intmedilate-ranlle and shorter-ranpl mlr-

silos

(the destrution of an SS-0 Is shown here) has continued

with Implementation of the INF Treaty.

For most of the post-war period. Soviet policy toward Europe was dominated by Marxist class-based
views supported in Eastern Europe by the Red Army.
the KGB, and Soviet-imposed communist regimes.
Whereas NATO has always been a voluntary association
of' democratic states enjoying common political goals.
the Warsaw Pact from its inception in 1955 has been
little more than a vehicle for Soviet military domination
Chapter II

15

...........
of Eastern Europe. Gorbachev's decision in 1989 to
renounce the Brezhnev Doctrine reflectied alundamental
change in the Soviet approach,
As a result, the likelihood of Fast-West militaryI
conflict along the European Central Front was reduwd
significantly in 1989 and .1990. The removal of obstaicles
to it united Get'wtiany In NATOprogress; towii.rd ýWest,
European economic Integration, otnd the increitiiing dei.,,
solution of the Warsaw Puct have redulced ten!sions in
Europe and offer opportunities for a ntew relationship,
between Europe and the USSR. At the same time,
the extendve polit~ca&l changes taking place within the
Union and Eastern Europe involve signiflcant
*Soviet
uncerta nties.
Europe changed dramatically over the past

*Eastern

T

......

......

Intensive East West negotiations over the past year, beginning with
talks *between Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard ihetvardnadxe (con-

year, Steady political pressure in Poland and Hungary.
and popular uprisings in East Germany and Czechoslovakii, resulted Inthe first rree elections intheme countries
in over 40 years. Demiocratically elected governmetnts

with Interpreter (right), and his West German counterpart,
foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher, led ta West German
Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Moscow meeting In July when the
Soviets agreed that aunified Germany may continue atsamember
of the NATO Alliance.
top),

were in place in till tour by niid.1990. with the commiunist partius retaining only small representation. In
Bulgaria and Romania, the freest elections Iin 40 years
led to coalition governments. but onus dominated by

ARMS CONTROL OBJECTIVES

*SOVIET

succesors to the Commuiqt Party,
In 1989, Soviet and East European regimnes began

Political
n Enhance the image of the UISSR its mireliable

particpant.communist
@Employ arms control furo to demonstrate the ,new
thinking" In foreign and domestic policies

wRemove the US nuclear umbrella from Wes.tern
Eurpe.rope
Military
is Eliminate or curtail key LIS strategic forces and

programs Including the strategic Defense initiative.

o Enhance military capabilities but at lower force
levels.,oad

s Negotiate asymmetric Lis general purpose nuval
force reductions.

a Eliminate UIS theater and tactical nuclear systems
from Europe.
a Impede Lis and NATO farce modernization plan..
a Prevent NATO f~rom deployling advanced-teelinoiogy

weapons,

Eiconomic
n Knable allocation of smew resources from the defense

to the civilian sector.
* Improve opportunlities for acess to Western technol.
ogy and c2pitall.
a Establish a more predictable onvirommewtt Inwhich
to plan force moedernization and expenditure.

taking preliminary steps to reduce the enormous con.
ventional torces which had been built up to solidif'y
rule and intimidate Western Europe, and

the movement toward popularly elected governments

accelerated the process. Although G]orbachev pledged itt
Dctte 98t eueSve ocsi atr u
hy 50,(XX) men, lor example, the Czechoslovak Lind
Hungarian Gjovernments in early 1990 pressed Moscow
toimealsthdat call kSoviet forces, toileaSviet agreedosoaian Hugrbytendo'19.Iadto.
adiond
r19.I
n
Cchsovakia.an
hHungary.b
PltdEstrttn
n
twolvliHnay
atCunay

Bulgaria announced in 1989 that they would cut their
ranging f~rom atcut of' 9,0X)
with more
in Hlungary to one of 400(X) in Poland
cuts expected.
rorce leivels significantly

Although some East European political and military
leaders believe that the Warsaw Pact nity be useful
during the transition to a European security structure,
ain increasing number recommend its rapid abolition,
and the Pact no longer represents an integrated, reli-

able military command. The Warsaw Pact's military
structure has not disappeared, but cooperation and
contact between Soviet military officials and officials
of' East European members of' the Pact appear to be
diminishing.

16

The Soviets tire no longer assured of

I

the reliability of the non.Soviet Warsaw Pact allies to
support Soviet political and military goals. Moscow
could not count on any East European military to
participate in, or even tacitly support, an attack against
NATO countries,
Soviet relations with Western Europe have Improved
markedly over the past several years. Moscow's declsion, as part of the December 1987 INF Treaty, to
destroy all of its intermediate. and shorter-range mis.
siles and launchers, and the Soviet withdrawal from
Afghanistan in February 1989, addressed two obstacles
to improved Soviet-West European relations which had
existed for a decade. Moreover, Moscow's acknowl,
edgement in July 1990 that a united Germany should
have the right to be a member of NATO marked a
watershed in Soviet relations with the West, Gor.
bachev's stated commitment to use peaceful means to
resolve problems or foreign policy hus improved' the
perception of the USSR in Western Europe. Moscow's
expectation ol' tavorable Western responses to improved
Soviet conduct has provided an incentive for restraint in
Soviet policy,
One of the most important examples of ENkst-West
contact was the Military Doctrine Seminar, conducted
under the auspices of the 35 participating Conference
on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) states
in the Confidence- and Security-Building Measures
(CSBM) negotiations, This landmark seminar was tin
unprecedented three-week session (January 16-February
5, 1990) during which the Chairman of the Joint Chief's
O1' Stall. General Colin Powell. met with his NATO
and Warsaw Pact counterparts, and others, to discuss
conventional doctrine and force posture,
Mostow is promoting the integration of the USSR
into the European economlic Lnd political system as well
ais the development of' a new Pan-European security
framework, The Soviets seek to build new mechanisms
and institutions through the CSCE process to help the
USSR maintain influence in European allitirs, Although
the Soviets recognize that reliance on the 35-state CSCE
will dilute the role of' both superpowers in Europe, they
view CSCE as a forum that would guarantee them the
opportunity to press their own economic and security
interests and initiatives. Attempts to aggravate EuropIan relations with the United States tire exemplified by
Soviet press.•re oin naval arms control and advocacy or
nuclear-fI'e ;,ones in Europe.
ReiIonal Policies
Soviet regional policy reveal.; elements of both continuity and change. Until the ascendance or Gorbachev,

Soviet regional policy was strongly influenced by a desire
to expand Soviet influence and access, and characterized
by extensive arms transfers and support for indigenous
Marxist-Leninist parties or radical national liberation
movements and client states. During the Brezhnev
era. the Soviets attempted to expand their influence in
the Third World through direct application of military
force or by supporting client and East Bloc forces,
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the transport of
Cuban forces to Angola and Ethiopia, backing for the
Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, and support for
the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua's subversion of its
neighbors in Central America are perhaps the most
notable examples, Moreover, there was a steady rise
in military assistance programs of all types, including
Soviet aid to the communist regime in Cuba.
Today, Soviet policy toward the Third World is in
a state of transition, In 1989, the USSR withdrew
its military forces on schedule from Afghanistan, assisted In the agreemeni to remove Cuban forces from
Angola, and supported the withdrawal or Vietnamese
orcecs from Cambodia. In addition, the Soviets have
reduced their level of military forces in Cam Runh Bay.
Vietnam, In spite or increased aid to some client states,
including Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Ethiopia, the
Soviets reduced their total level of military assistance
in 1989.
The USSR now appears to believe that it needs to
court potentially i lportant states regardless or their
ideology or the set|timents of traditional friends, The
primary Soviet objective in regional aflItirs appears to be
to strengthen and broaden links with emerging powers,
and to identify potential areas of cooperation with the
United States. At the same time, Moscow is likely to
continue striving tol increase its power and influence at
the expense of the West
through diplomacy, economic and military aid, and limited support of movements hostile to Western interests.
Soviet behavior is driven both by the primacy of domestic economic reconstruction, which requires a more
benign and stable external environment and reduced
foreign aid expenditures, and by the desire to preserve a claim to superpower status and a key role
in aill regional alfairs, As a result, the Soviets have
increasingly turned to the United Nations and other
multilateral fora, particularly in cases where Moscow
was overcommitted to clients bogged down in civil wars
with little chance or securing victory. Nevertheless,
Soviet policy in Afghanistan suggests that the USSR
may still be prepared to make available large quantities
of military equipment to clients in regional conflicts
under certain conditions,
,CIapterIf

17

-4.

'I

Debate in the USSR concerning the expense of Soviet
Th1ird World policies began during the Brezhnev era
but has taken on operational significance only recently.
The Soviets will probably continue to be a major arms
exporter during the next few years, although It is likely
"thatthey will provide less grant military aid - now
totaling over $8 billion per year - in favor of greater
reliance on cash sales, Soviet clients have been seeking
more sophisticated and costly system, and Moscow
seems prepared to comply, particularly for those who
can afford some form of cash repayment. Moreover,
Moscow appears reluctant to relinquish the potential
Influence or hard-currency earnings that its military
exports provide,

4

Moscow's continued willingness to provide large
amounts of economic assistance to certain selected states
seems more doubtful. To date Soviet net economic assistance to key clients like Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea,
and Cambodia, has not wavered: Moscow provided
on average the equivalent of over $10 billion annually
during 1985-89 (though much of this was in fulfillment
of prior obligations), The Soviets are trying to shift the
emphasis in economic aid programs away from grant
assistance to poorer radical clients and toward joint
venture programs with more economically successfUl
Third World countries, They are also strengthening
their ability to obtain sensitive military technologies
from countries capable of developing them, In any case,
Soviet policy changes toward the Third World are those
most easily subject to change.
The changes in Eastern Europe have eliminated an
important avenue t'or Soviet support to radical clients.
The new East European Governments have begun cutling political, economic, and military support to Soviet
clients who cannot pay with hard currency or commodities. Should this trend continue, the cost of' Soviet
efforts to provide current levels of political, militury,
and economic support for some clients will increase,
Moreover, Moscow will not be able to count on East
European diplomats, Intelligence personnel, or financial
resources to assist Soviet initiatives to the extent that it
has in the past.
One area of Soviet regional policy which continues to
he disturbing is the continued support for "active miasures." The Soviet Union persists in channeling covert
support to leftist paities and anti-Western groups in
developing countries. Since Gorbachev assumed power,
for example, the Soviets have actually increased "active
measmures" campaigns designed to advance the new Soviet foreign policy goals and undermine Third World
support for United States military presence in the vanrous regions,
Id •'•

18

Eat Asia omd t

Pacific

Moscow is seeking to expand its role in East Asia
and the Pacific in an effort to gain assistance in Soviet
economic development and to increase Soviet influence
in the region, Since the historic May 1989 Sino-Soviet
Summit in Beijing, Moscow has remained committed to
further improving relations with China, despite differences over the pace of political reform in the Soviet
Union, Other Soviet efforts In the region have been
slowed by Moscow's reluctance to make significant concessions on contentious issues such as the return of the
Northern Territories to Japan and the scope and form
of foreign economic participation in development of the
Soviet Far East. The offensive potential of Soviet sea
and air forces located adjacent to Japan and Korea also
continues to pose an obstacle to better Soviet relations
with states in the area,
Soviet policy appears to be shifting toward a new
strategy that emphasizes improving relations with noncommunist countries, especially Japan and South Korea, and enhancing security in the Far East, Soviet otflcials stress their interest in establishing a regional arms
control mechanism, Increasing cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), participating in multilateral economic organizations, and
resolving the Cambodian conflict, In addition, as part of
the 500,000-man unilateral reductions that Gorbachev
announced in December 1988, Soviet forces east of
the Urals are to be cut by 4) percent by January
1991, While the force reductions in this region have
thus far progressed rather slowly, they uppear to be
proceeding generally in accordance with Gorbachev's
stated commitment.
Middle Fast mnd Sobth Asia
Under Gorbachev, Soviet policy in the Middle East
and South Asia seeks to promote Soviet obj'ctives without alienating the United States. The Soviet withdrawal
from Afghanistan: increased overtures toward Egypt,
Israel, and Saudi Arabia: a joint call with the US for
peace in Lebanon: Soviet cooperation with the United
States and other nations in opposing Iraqi aggression:
and some reduction in Soviet support for states such
as Syria and Libya, represent important changes fromn
earlier Soviet practices.
For the most part, Moscow has not actively ohstructed United States efforts to promote an Arab-Israeli
settlement. However, the Soviet sale of advanced Su-24
light bombers to Libya in 1989, Soviet arms sales to Iraq
through much of 1990 in spite of the Iraqi development
and use of chemical weapons, and the continuing Soviet
.,

i

military relationship with Syria complicate efforts to
reach a settlement,
In South Asia, Soviet policy has long given preference
to India, whose links to the Soviets remain strong.
In the wake of its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the
USSR is now also seeking to improve damaged relations
with Pakistan and other Islamic states in the region,
although continued Soviet support for the Najihullah
regime in Afghanistan remains a major obstacle to the
.mronali,,atikn
of reldtiotis with tnese govemrments,

During the Brezhnev era, Moscow's involvement in
sub-Saharan Africa focused heavily on military assistance for Marxist-Leninist allies - Angola, Ethiopia,
and Mozambique. Though declining, military aid still
dominitex, Soviet policy toward the region.
The USSR is trying to maintain its influence in An.
gola and Ethiopia while prodding these states to negotlate an end to their respective civil wars, The So.
viet Union continues to provide military assistance to
the Marxist regime in Angola (hundreds of millions of
dollars), and military advisers contributed to Angolan
military operations against the anticommunist National
Union for Total Independence or Angola (UNITA) in.
surgency in the December 1989 offensive, While pushing
the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola
(MPLA) toward direct talks with LUNITA, Moscow
has made clear its unwillingness to supprt it military
solution to th• war,
Ethiopia was the largest sub-Saharan recipient of
Soviet military assistance in 1989. receiving well over
haltfa billion dollars. Moscow has concluded, however,
that the war is unwinnable and that Ethiopia should
sLek a political solution. Military advisers are being
withdrawn, but Soviet air crews still provide limited
logistical aupport, and Moscow retains the naval facility
at Dahlak Island.
In South Africa, the Soviets have cultivated improved
relations with Pretoria while also autintaining their relationship with the African National Congress, Significantly, Moscow no longer advocates an armed struggle
and is positioning itself to influence the transition to
a post-apartheid government. As elsewhere in Africa,
Moscow is trying to keep its options open.
latin America
Soviet leaders believe conditions favor the expansion

of their influence in Latin Amer;ca through enhanced
state-to-state ties, economic cooperation, and efforts to
reduce tensions with the United States. At the same
time, Moscow faces constraints on its ability to adopt
new policies.
Soviet economic assistance to Cuba -- approximately
$5 billion per year - drains Soviet resources by divertlng them to the inefficient Cuban economy that supports
the Castro regime. Castro has resisted calls for economic
or political roro-,m, choosing instead to continue his
course of confrontation with the United States.
Despite problems in the political and economic
spheres, Soviet-Cuban strategic and military ties remain
firm, Moscow views Cuba as a long-term investment of
great strategic value and has been reluctant to reduce
its military presence or Intelligence-gathering apparatus.
The Soviets continue to help improve Cuba's air, antlair,
and naval capabilities, Soviet shipments of MiG-29
advanced fighter aircraft to Cuba in 1989 increased the
threat to the region and indicated the limits of "new
thinking," Soviet indications that aid to Cuba will be
reduced are a positive sign and may enhance US-Soviet
cooperation on economic and other issues,
In Central America, after several years of promoting
tensions, the Soviet role has become less obstructionist,
In 1989 and 1990, Moscow encouraged the Sandinista
Government in Nicaragua to hold free elections. The
Soviets probably did so in the expectation of a Sandinista victory, but following the election of a democratic
government, they have offered continued economic aid.
Howver. a decline from previous Soviet assistance eevels of almost $1 billion per year is expected.
PROSPECTS
Soviet foreign policy has reflected the uneven progress
evident throughout the Soviet reform process. There has
been a clear desire to improve relations with the United
States and Europe. The Soviets have also taken concrete
steps to enhance their image as a less threatening global
participant. As a result, the likelihood of" a conflict
stemming from US-Soviet confrontation is lower than
it has ever been in the post-war era. On the other hand,
there is ample evidence that "new thinking" has not
changed every aspect of Soviet foreign policy, It appears
the Soviets now seek a calmer international climate in
order to address the economic and political concerns
plaguing them internally and externally, However, there
remain contradictory trends in Soviet policy and continuing temptations to advance Soviet interests at the
expense of the West,

Chapter II

19

CHAPTER

Soviet Security Policy in Transition

-

--

-

-

-

As democratic reforms sweep through lormwr communist regimes in the countries of Eastern Europe, and the Warsaw Pact
collapses soaviable military alliance, Soviet military farces have begun withdrawal from some forward bases. Here, equipment
of a Soviet division Is loaded aboard trains prior to departure from Czechoslovakia.

INTRODUCTION
Soviet policy and doctrine underlie all decisions reluting to force structure and use of military power.
Much has change~d over the last decade in the way
the Soviel. leadership views itself and the world. and
this has been te~lected through Fuindamental changes
in policy and doctrine. This chapter reviews these
20

changes and their rationale largely through what the
Soviets themselves are saying and through the limited
evidence available, Although somewhat speculative.
since evidence does not yet indicate whether or not the
prospective, ch es will actualyot radedra
understanding of this conceptual fr-amework isessential
int order to identify' trends and to interpret adjustments
in Soviet force structure.

I

The chapter provides an overview of Soviet security
policy in transition and examines the incentives for
change, the military policy transition itself, and the direction of that transition, It concludes with a discussion
of :current issues and concerns' and prospects for
the i'uture,
OVERVIEW
In promising, a less threatening l1orce posture, the
SSoviets have stated that they have adopted a defiense
doctrine that reflects a concopL of "reasonable sutfl,
ciency." Evidence ot' this change is reflected in several
areas:
n Reductioii in the overall size of conventional forces
and reduitloins scheduled to be completed by the end
of 1990,
SDr.creased overall spending and military production,
as well as the limited conversion of' sonic military
production tfacilities to consumer goods,
, Withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghunistan.
, Agreement to withdraw all Soviet forces from Hungary by June and Czechoslovakia by July 1991ý
- Agreement to withdraw Soviet forces froIm the present
territory of* the German [Dern•a'lic Republic within
three to four years: and
* Reduction orf forces in Mongolia and various parts of'
the USSR.
Oil the other hand, the Soviet concept of aidutensive
doctrine seenis to apply only to conventional florces, not
to strategic forces. The Soviets have not announced reductions in strategic torc,, ats theý have in conventional
forces: indeed, they are continuing to maintain and
modernize their arsenal of'strategic nuclear weapons and
have refused to agree to the elimination of first-strikecapable heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs),
With respo't to conventional forces, (he Soviet military
started at a much higher level, relative to I'orces of other
countries, of over 5,(XX),(X) military persormel, 211 divisions, aLnd the highest levels ofltanks and certain other
equipment in the world. Even with their announced
unilateral reductions, the le'cl o1ttheir forces will still
outnumber those l' any other country in the world, and
indeed the entire NATO Alliance, in many categories of
farces.

Thus, there are mnaiy anmbiguitles and uncertainties
about the current. and future course of Soviet military
forces, programs, budgets, and production, There is
much that we in the West do not know about current
Soviet military programs and even more that we do not
know about what will happen to Soviet military forces
in the five.year plan for 1991-1995, P1resident Bush and
others have proposed that the USSR apply gldamo.'t to
the Soviet military and publicly release information on
the Soviet military similar to what thc US Government
releases on the US military. Release or such inf'ormation
could improve mutual understanding and help demonstrate the true nature and direction of Soviet military
programs.
SOVIET SECURITY POLICY AND INCENTIVFS
FOR CHANGE
Shortly before the 1988 Reagan-Gorbachev sunmnmit
meeting in Moscow, (Georgi Arbutov. the Director of
the Institute for the Study of the USA and Canada, told
American reporters that "we are going to do something
terrible to you., We are going to deprive you of an
enemy.- This is indicative of what appears to he a
major revision in Soviet militatry doctrine, initiated by
the political leadership. Although there are serious
legitimate concerns in the West about these changes, the
situation holds great promise for reducing international
tensions and the arms buildup that resulted from over
40) years of aggressive Soviet foreign and military
policies,
The realization that the Soviet approach to national
security triggered a counterproductive military response
from the West has led the Soviets to adopt at policy
that is a1striking departure trorn the traditiotnal Soviet
fixation on "antagonistic contradictions" in determining
inilitary sulliciency, President Gorbachev's redelinition
of national security in the nuclear age constitutes a direct
challenge to the "zero-sum" assumptions that shaped
the traditional Soviet military approach to secttrity, This
was explained by a lead editorial in at General Staff'
journal:
Security in the nuclear age must be evaluated
dilffrently, Assessing security is more and more
becoming a political task. It can only he resolved
Chapter Il1

21

TIMELINE OF KEY EVENTS
February 1956
Gorbachev announees that Soviet military
force developments would be based on the
principle of "reasonable sufficiency."
May 1987
The Soviets announce a new "defensive"
military doctrine.
June 1987
The Soviets announce that future milltary force developments would emphasize
quality over quantity.
The Sviets
May 1908
The Soviets start to withdrew forces from
Afghanistan.
December 19HN
Gorbachev delivers UN speech unnouncing. unilateral withdrawals and reductions
of Soviet forces.
January 1989
The Soviets announce cuts in their overall
military budget and military production
(baseline for the cuts not given) through
1991.

August 1989
Poland appoints a noncommunist prime
mlnhter,
September 1989
The Soviets announce a 71 billion ruble
defense budget for 1990.

March 1990
The Soviet constitution Is amended deletlig ft tefrrerre to tLe lesA:.g rule •r ihe
Soviet Communist Party,
The Soviet Union and Hungary sign a
bilateral agreement tor the withdrawal of
all Soviet troopw by mid-1991,

October 1989
Hungary abandons the leading role of the
Communist Party.

East Germany holde free elections.
Hungary holds free elections.

November 19"9
Tae Berlin Wail comes down,•
Th
o. Pre.M
Czechoslovak Communist Party
sidlum and Secretariat resign en mase.

April 1990
Poland holds feee local electlovs.

Long-time Bulgarian leader TWdor Zhiv.
k4v Ws!removed from his party and goaernment posts.
December 1989
Old line communist leaders In East Germany resign.
LIS President and Soviet Presides meet
off the coast of Malta.
A noncommunist (Vaclav Havel) becomes

Mao 19pr
Talks 4etween East and West German
leaders and Four Powerm begin.
VeltsIn Is elected Chairman of Supreme
Soviet of the Russian Republic.
May 30-June 3. 199(0
US-USSR Washington Summit.
Romanian prJtertern

are violently sup-

February 1989
The Soviets complete troop withdrawals
from Afghanistan.

President of Czechoslovakia.
The ('eauseseu Government in Romania
Is overthrown by force.

pressed.

May 1989
The Soviets make first CFE proposal that
includes deep cuts In Soviet/Warsaw Pact
forces.

January 1990
The Polish Communist Party disolves
itself.
February 1990

The Soviets announce a 77.3 billion ruble
defense budget for 19b.

The Bulfsarlan Communist Party Chairman and senior leadership resign.

July 1991)
(;ermaoo Economic and Monetary Union
is implemented.
The Soviets drop their objections to full
membership by a united Germany In
NATO,

June 1989
The Soviets start to withdraw from Mongolia.

The Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia sign
a bilateral agreement for the withdrawal
of all Soviet troops by mid-1991 .

August 1990
Moscow supports UN economic sanctions
ltaint Iraq and imposes arms embargo.

Bulgarian Socialist Party (former Cornmunlst Party) wins eletions.

The Soviets announce for the first time
the breakdown of their defense budget
(O&M, R&D. personnel, procurement,
etc. for 1989)

"'•!;22

• " ''

by political means through detente, disurmament,
strengthaniing confldence, and developing international cooperation,
This recognition not only heightens the importance
of political as distinct from military-technical variables
in the security calculus, but places unusual emphasis on
threat reduction, unilateral restraint, and collaboration

with adversaries. Not since the "nuclear revolution in
militury affairs" has there been such an intense national
debate in the Soviet Union -over the direction of force
development.

""Betweenthe 1960s and the mid.1980s,'Soviet wartinme
ob.ctlves Included -the defense of the territory of' the
Soviet state and that of its allies and the achievement
of mtilitary victory In the event of war. Military victory
required the achievement of several stratogic objectives
to include the total destruction of the enemy's armed
forces, occupation of key regions of his territory, and

imposition of post-war peacetime conditions. Implicit
in this concept of victory was the survival or the Soviet
state and political system, which, in the view of Soviet
military and political leaders, would be problematic at
best if the war were to esealate to massive use of nuclear
weapons,
Soviet military thinking envisioned the outbreak of

a conventional war near the Sovic, periphery, which
would subsequently escalate to nuclear use on a theater
scale, tollowed quickly by a massive global nuclear
exchange. Given these expectations and the need to
reconcile the requirements to achieve victory in war and
preserve the Soviet state, Soviet military strategy has
been directed toward attaining victory with conventional
arms under the constant threat of the enemy's use of
nuclei)r weapons. The Soviet concept of operations
focused on rapid destruction of much of NATO's nuclear capabilities concurrent with a deeply penetrating
convwntional ground offensive, The Soviets were very

Soviet Operalional Concepts,

"Traditional Offensive Strategy 9nd New Declared Defensive Doctrine

Chapter I11

23

strongly disinclined to initiate nuclear use as long as
the enemy maintained a survivable nuclear retaliatory
capability. Soviet planners were extremely pessimistic
about the ability of combatants to avoid escalation after
initial nuclear use by either side.
Changes in Soviet military doctrine and strategy began to evolve well before Gorbachev became General
Secretary, and Soviet statements of their doctrine now
stress war prevention and defense far more than did the
doctrine of the 1970s and early 1980s, Soviet military
strategy still includes the concept of the counteroffensive
to repel enemy aggression, but the traditional concept
of victory appears to be in the process of redefinition,
The definition of victory in Soviet doctrine may eventually encompass less ambitious objectives that include
the successful defense of Soviet territory, including the
possibility of counteroffensive operations that may cross
state boundaries, accompanied by early war termination
before either side has escalated to nuclear use.
The reasons for this change spring from two key areas
of concern to the Soviet leadership: military-technical
and political-economic, The military-technical concerns
appear to have grown out of strategic appraisals made
in the early- to mid-1980s by the political leadership as
well as the military, Since the Soviets flrt'ily believed
that nuclear escalation would effectively, deny achievemnot of the wartime strtategic objectives, It apparently
was deemed necessary to question traditional military
assumptions and expectations about the ability to con.
trol escalation on the battlefield, rhe concept that a
Warsaw Pact strategic conventional offensive could pr,emptively deny NATO any incentive to initiate nuclear
use was viewed to he questionable at best,
Until the rnid- 1980s, the dominant, although possibly
contested, Soviet military approach toward achieving
a capability to fulfill its doctrine involved attempts to
add and restructure force4. The Soviets also developed
operations, such as deep penctration by operational maneuver groups (OMGs) designed to seize key objectives
that included airfields and other nuclear-related 'iacilities
and control centers before NATO's nucleor weapons
could be, used, Soviet deployment of tactical nuclear
artillery within the Warsaw Pact beginning in 1982 may
also have been expected to help restrain NATO's early
use of its own nuclear artillery, At the same time, while
the Soviets sought to reduce the size of the US strategic
nuclear arsenal through negotiations to help reduce the
scale of destructiorn of the USSR should escalation
control fuil, the Soviets continued their unprecedented
buildup in strategic nuclear forces.
This wartime strategy of a pre-emptive conventional
14

strategic offensive, largely associated with Marshal Nikolay Ogurkov (Chief of the General Staff between 1977
and 1984), led to the NATO perception that the mugnitude and immediacy of the Warsaw Pact threat had
increased considerably, As a result, NATO responded
politically and militarily. Politically, NATO demon.
strated increasing coherence and resolve most clearly
in the deployment of Pershing I1and ground-launched.
cruise missiles (GLCMs) in 1903. Militarily, the US and
NATO took deliberate steps to increase the capabilities
and readiness of their conventional and nuclear forces.
Soviet military behavior helped to spur US investment
in high-technology conventional weapons and nuclear
modernization,
As a result, Soviet military planners anticipated thz
decreasing likelihood of a rapid conventional victory in
the event of war, raising. the prospect or' a conventional
stalemate and possible wartine dissolutioti of the Warsaw Pact alliance, At the same time, they could expect
increased da'ger of nuclear use, given NATO's greatly
increared nuclear readines,,. In the area of global stratcgic forces, the Soviet military's conf'rontational posture
in Europe severely undermined support in the West for
maujor reductions !ir intercontinental strategic nucieu-r
tiystems, More disturbing, perhaps, the force-building
approach had probably Increased the likelihood that war
would occur.
In addition to the military-technical, the second and
more widely acknowledged major source of change of
Soviet military doctrine and strategy wats the political.
economic, The economic costs of building and sustaining the military forces required to support a confrontational "victory"-oriented strategy had become increasingly burdensome. In addition to the direct costs of
the military's seemingly insatiahle denmands on scarce
material and human resources were the indirect econeomic costs imposed by relative political and economic
isolation from the prosperous, technologically advanced
economies of the West,
The relative significance of' the militury investment
burden becomes clearer in light of recent Soviet acknowledgernents of the extremely poor and now declining performance of the Soviet economy over the past
three decades. The Soviets have not only been suffering from the well-documented liabilities of a command
economy, but according to some Soviet economists,
as much as 25 percent of their gross national product
(GNP) may be directed to the military sector. Gorbachev and his supporters understood that the military
burden had contributed signilicantly io the stagnation
and decline of the Soviet economy and living standards
while directly and indirectly undermnining the overall
:

defense posture of the Soviet state, In addition, poor
economic performance and isolation from the technologically advanced West had led to the serious erosion of
the technology base and, consequently, had severely un.dermined long-term Soviet competitiveness in advanced
military applications of new technologies,
To overcome these effects, since 1985 the Soviet
political leadership has sought to define defense and
strategy more broadly in terms of political, economic,
and social considerations. This new definition of a more
comprehensive view of national security complemented
Gorbachev's "new thinking" in foreign policy which
advocated transition to a less confrontational, more
defensive posture around the Soviet periphery to reduce
both the risk of' war and the potential for nuclear
escalation,
There has been general consensus on the need to

change military doctrine and strategy, The friction that
has been evident between key members of the military
and political leadership under President Gorbachev over
these changes has basically evolved from diftLrences
over professional prerogatives, issues of East-West reciprocity, the military's contention that NATO remains a
serious military threat, and the pace and magnitude of
change, It has not been over the nature and direction of
the change itself, Implementation of' the new doctrine
will continue to be the source of' bureaucratic conilict
within the new, broaider national security est-ablishment
of' the Soviet Government.
SOVIET MIINI 'TAR' POiICY IN 'rRANSrr11ON
President Gorbachev's policy of' 1hrst'oeAa, or restructuring Soviet society, has heeti applied to thie area
of military doctrine. strategy, and military development
as it has to all other spheres of Soviet smiety. Some
Soviet political leaders have advocated bringing military
policy more in line with ec.onomic and international
political realities. Many Soviet civilian retorrmlers have
criticized previous Soviet policies for excessively emiphasizing military preparation for a future war, while
down-playing the role of political means for aichieving
national iecurihy oh.jcives.
The dleploymen• of SS-2() missiles and the invasion
of' Afghanistan are cited by Soviet civilian critics as
examples of an excessive tendency in Soviet foreign
policy to rely on military force, At the political level.
the policy flowing fronm this "new thinking" reflects the
thesis that the Soviet Union hlas no valid reason to
remain in a state o01lass confrontation with the US
or any other country. At the military level. the central
question is how the political ob•:ctives of preventing %Aar

%

All,

The Congress of People's Deputies, shown here, Isa forum for
open discussion of political Issues, The Supreme Soviet, no longer

a rubber stamp for programs of the Soviet leadership, Is also
becoming a forum for debate and action as Its delegates address
the Soviet Union's new political and foreign policy direction,
under perestroika.

and strengthening strategic stability can be reflected in
the development of strategic and operational concepts
for the imned forces and plans tor mobilization ot'
industry.
Instltuliloalizing the Search for Alternative Means of
Security Drelslonmaking
By broadcning the Soviet perspective on national
security. President Gorbachev has reduced the ability
of the prof'essional military to pre-emptively shape the
discussion of' national security policy, XA1ile noting
that "rclorni will take time. education. and patience,"
Foreign Minister Shevardnadze has declared that "wu
are no longer going to let our military do all the, .job,
There will Ix, no more monopoly."
One of' the two key aspects of' the strategy to change
national security decisionmaking has been to encourage the eniergence of' institute specialists Ias influential
experts on security issues, Evidence of this is the elevation of' two fbrmtr directors of the Institute of World
Economy and International Relations to the Presidential
Council and increasing the number of institute specLlists on the Central Committev, Supreme Soviet, and in
the Minikiry of Foreign Affairs (MFA),
The Second new mechanism for defense decisionmaking came into being in June 1989 with the establishment
of' the Defelnse aid Siatc Security Conmmittee (DSSC)
of the new Suprenme Soviet, and has already become
Chapter III

25

years in response to evolving political, economic, and
military-technical realities.

Debate over the future orientation of the Soviet military and *defenslve sufficiency, his extended beyond the military to include
prominent civilians sich as Georgi Arbatov.

a factor of some consequence in the struggle to estab* lish civilian oversight of military policy, A July 1988
"swentflic-practical" conference of some 1,000 top offi.
cials of the military, intelligence community. the MFA.
and institute specialists paved the way for the DSSC and
put the campaign against the General Staff monopoly
on threat definition into high gear, In a speech to
the conference, Foreign Minister Shevardnadze argued
that:
There is a need to introduce a legislative procedure
in accordance with which all departments engaged
in military and military-industrial activity would
be under the control of the highest nationwide
eloctive bodies, This applies to us. of armed
force outsidt: the country's borders, defimse development plans, and openness of military budgets
where they are linked mainly with the problem of'
national security,
The Committee has a full agenda and still lacks the

expertise and authority to exercise full civilian control.
THE NEW MILITARY DOCrRINE

Military doctrine in the Soviet Union pnrvides political guidance to the armed forces on the likely character
ofa future war, potential opponents, force development,
and employment concepts. It identifies both general
political objectives of a future war us well as the specific
military-technical preparations necessary to meet thos
objectives. Soviet military doctrine is not immutable and
has undergone a number of changes over the last 30
26

Although defense of the USSR and primacy of Party
rule have always been pre-eminent political objectives,
military-technical considerations have played the domi.
nant role in Soviet force development throughout much
of the post-war period. For most of this time, the
emphasis has been on the conduct of large-scale oftensive operations on enemy territory as the best method
to secure wartime Soviet political objectives. Consequently, military doctrine in the Soviet Union has pro.
vided the political rationale for the unrelenting development and modernization of both nuclear and conventional weapon systems, the deployment and maintenance of an enormous force structure in both Eastem Europe and on the Sino-Soviet border, continuous
growth in Soviet military expenditures, and the development and further refinement of overtly offensive
employment concepts. In short, from the beginning
of the post-war period, Soviet military doctrine has
played a critical role in the development of the very
"enemy image," both held and projected, that President
Gorbachev has over the last five years gone to such
lengths to reduce.
Not surprisingly, a fundamental revision of' Soviet
military doctrine became an early objective of President Gorbachev's new approach to national security,
Two years of discussion in the Soviet Delense Council
preceded the announcement ort a new military doctrine
at a Warsaw Pact meeting in May 1987, At a Forcign Ministry conrerence reported by the Soviet press
in January 1989, however. Foreign Minister Shevardnadze indicated that the doctrine had not yet been fully
elaborated even by the time of President Gorbachev's
United Nations speech in December 1988. Then at the
January 1990 Confierence on Security and Cooperation
in Europe/Confidence- and Security-Building Measures
(C'SCE/CSBM) Military iDXctrinc Seminar in Vienna,
Army General M. A, Moiseyev, Chief of the General
Stall' claimed the Soviet military now operates under a
new set or principles. These sharply contradict previous
core premises of Soviet military do.trine, and it remains
to he seen if and how they will actually affect Soviet
military strategy and deployment, The guidelines were
ats follows:
i War is no longer considered a means of achieving
political objectives,
v The Soviet Union will never initiate military actions
against any other state,
u The Soviet Union will never he the first to use nuclear
weapons,
* The Soviet Union has no territorial claims against nor

F

LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT OF THE MILITARY IN THE USSR
The Committee on Defense and State
Security chaired by Leonid Sharl, Is part
of a legislative system that Is still in Its
Infancy. The Committee was created In
June 1989 to help draft legislation involving military and security issues and
to oversee the activities of the Ministry
of Defense, KGB, and police. Committee membership is dominated by ofcials
from these organnuatlona, Over half of
Its 43 members are professional military,
representatives of defense/heavy industry,
or KGB officers. There are three subcommittees: Armed Services (chaired by
a civilian - scientist Yevgeniy Velikhov)t
Defense Industry (headed by defense Industry manager Mikhail Simonov); and
State Security (headed by regional party
chief Grigorly Kharchenko).

The extent to which the Committee
evolves Into a real oversight body able to
play an aggressive role in the strategic
decialonmaking proces depends In part
on the evolving authority of the Supreme
Soviet and developments affecting other
players in the defense policy system (the
President, the Presidential Council, the
Defense Council, and the Party leadership bodies). Aiom important are the pnlly prefersece of its members, many of
whom reflect the relatively conservatlve,
pro-military blase of the militaryIndustrial Institutions that employ them.
Most deputies involved in the Committee
lack the time (many are still carrying
out the responsibilities of their original
jobs) and experience to provide aggressive ovemnight. Moreover, those military
oicer who have taken a critical stance

does it consider any other state to be its enemy,

toward the armed forces have come under
considerable pressure from the military.
The Committee also has very limited staff
and technical support.
Nonetheless, the Committee has probably benefited from the apparent downgrading of the USSR Defense Council,
which previously dominated defense declslons. Moreover, as Committee members
and staff gain experience, the Committee
will be better able to function as an indsependent check on the military. Additionally, the apparent determination of the
more activist Committee members (coupled with pressure from other reformminded leglilators) likely will prod the
Committee Into assuming a more powerful
role in the decialonmaking proces,

The military-technical component of the new doctrine

a The Soviet Union seeks to preserve military parity aLs
atdecisive flctor in averting war, but at much lower
levels,

is structured to provide guidance in four basic areas:
a Nature of the threat.
a Character of future war:,
a Force development, and

Consequently. according to Soviet strategists, war

prevention, in place of war preparation, has emerged

a Methods of armed conflict, training, and preparation,

as the pre-eminent political objective of the new doctrine, Although this ob'ective is to he atchieved primarily
through a combination ol' political and diplomatic incasures, the military has not been relieved of' its primary
mission of dcllnding the USSR in the event that war
prevention fils.

Today, the imprint of the new military doctrine is
most visible in the latter two areas, although the political
leadership hopes that its new approach to security will
also shape the direction and context of the firsi two.
Nature of the Threat

This new dociritne forces the military to forego its
exclusive emphasis on offensive operations, Instead. the
new political guidelii,.-s manuate that the Soviet armed
forces focus on the conduct of defensive operations to

Threat definition, as a key starting point fbr future
force planning, remains a subject of debate between
civilians and the military establishment within the Soviet

repel aggression during the initial period of any future

Union, The civilian leadership and national security

conflict. The military has not, however, conceptually
relinquished the necessity for the preparation of a subse-

advisers worked to persuade others thai "new political
thinking" hais achieved a reduction of the Fkast-West

quent strategic counteroffensive, which calls for training

military confrontation and hats had a direct impact on

and capabilities similar to those which would be needed

Western military programs. All appear to agree that

I'or an olrensive attack. Although the Soviet military
continues to assert its control over the military-technical

the direct threat of war, which the Soviets protessed
to believe wat, quite high earlier in the decade, has

component of'doctrine, forces and employment concepts

now receded significantly, These civilians point to pro-

are to be structured in such a way as to prevent esculalion, provide an opportunity for the political leadership
to negotiate a solution, and terminate a conflict at the

posed reductions in the US defense budget and program
cuts to support their view that "new political thinking" is having a stabilizing effect on the external threat

lowest possible level of destruction.

environment.
Chapter 1II

...

...

.

.-

27

THE PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL AND THE DEFENSE COUNCIL
A series of constitutional amendments
adopted on March 14, 1990 created a
Soviet president who is also the supreme
commander In chief of the armed forces,
Under the new system, the president has
the power to coordinate the activities of
those institutions involved In defense and
to declare mobilization, war In the event
of an attack on the USSR, martial law,
and a state of emergency in a particular
region. The president has an advisory
body, responsible for elaborating "messures to implement the main directions of
the USSR's domestic and foreign policy
and ensure the country's security."
The fate of the USSR Defense Couoell
under the new system appears to still be
under consideration, those portions of

the Constitution dealing with the Defense
Council - article 113, point 3, and article
121, point 5 - were deleted. Several Soviet spokesmen, Including Gorbachev himself, implied that the Defense Council has
been dimestablished by the new provisions
and Its role taken over (at least In part) by
the Presidential Council. The membership
of the Presidential Council includes some
of those offielals previously Involved in
Defense Council deelslonmakina, such as
the Chairman of the Council of Ministerm, Defense Minister, Foreign Minister,
Chairman of the KGB, and Minister of
the Interior, However, the mission of
the new Presidential Council (which met
for the first time on March 27, 1990)
Is far broader than the Defense (ountil, This is reflected In its mmnbership,
which Includes economic advisers and col.

tural figures. Moreover, missing from the
membership of the Presidential Council
are Chief of the General Staff Mikhail
Molseyev and other military leaders.
It Is possible that the Defense Council
is being reconstituted as a defense subcommittee of the Presidential Council. On
April 10, 1990, Gorbachev stated that
"questions of defense have been devolved
to the functions of the Presklent as Coinmender in Chief, but the working body,
the Defense Council, operates under the
President." This measure might have been
an attempt to placate military leaders
who were concerned that the new constltutlonul arrangfement deprived defense
Issues of' a top-level decislonmaking body
dedicated solely to security-related affairs,

Senior Soviet military leaders, on the other hand,

ontiinUe to assert [hat the means employed in stieh a

have continued to insist that, while the threat of imme.
diate war has receded, the military danger to the Soviet
Union hits not significantly decreased and mauy, in flact,
he growing, In the military's view, this increased millittry danger is inherent in the exponential improvenment:s
in lethality and effeetiveness of new weapon system;,,.
Moreover, they believe continued regional instability
and conflict tare compounded by the increasinl. weapons
technology available to the Third World, In short., tle
military argutCs that increasing international uncertainty
and instability force theor to retain sufflicient combat
potential to fulfill tany :and aill missions levied on the
arrmed Iorces by the political leadership.

war could be either nuclear or conventional, although
widespread nuclear use would produce catastrophic restilts, Precision-guided munitions and high, accuracy
conventional systems are likely to issotme a greater role
in ainy l'utUre ,onlliCt, even supplanting nuclear weapons
ais the weapoins of'prerlerence in the exs.ution of'certain
missions,

1lie outcome of this debate between the 6.,ivilitl and
military leadership over the natLure of" the "lhreat" to
the Soviet Union will critically influence the direction of'
Soviet security policy. In tiny ease, the determiination
of' the military to preserve its catpabilities against its
alleged adversaries appears inconsistent with the new
cooperative approach to security policy and a reduced
emphasis on the use of force,

The Soviet mnilitalry leadership believes that a conflict
is likely to he protracted and lead eventually to a strategic nuclear exchange. Theret'ore. the intcentives are high
ifor ending Liconflict before it escalates to a competi.
tion of' relative industrial •ases for the production of
high-tehti.ology weapons•
Force lDvelopnent

Character of Future War

The Soviet approach to f1orce developme:t for the
past two decades has been based on bahlnced. but steady
growth of' each of the services of the armed fIorces,
The objective of this growth has been to support the
execution of' large-scale ollfnsive operations to defeat
enemy armied forces and to occupy enlemy territory in
the event o' a luture conflict,

While the Soviet political leadership appears to have
lorced doctinatl changes on the military, the Soviet
Generatl Stas atssessments of' the character of l'utI r

At the 27th Party Congress in 19H6, Gorbachev declared that hencef'orth Soviet force development would
e based on the principle of "reasonuble sufliciency."

war have yet to exhibit anyr major chlanges,

Gorbachev and his advisers, however, fatiled to provide it

28

They

I
specific definition beyond the stipulation that the armed
forces would no longer have the capability for surprise
attack or the conduct of large-scale offensive operations,
The provision of more specificity for "reasonable sufliciency" quickly became an issue of major contention
between the military and civilian defense analysts.
This issue was resolved to some extent at the 19th
Party Conference in 1988, At that time, the political
leadership decreed that future force development would
move away from a quantitative emphasis in favor of
qualitative parameters. After the Party Conference,
Soviet Minister of Defense. Marshal Yazov justified the
shift in emphasis to quulity not only on the basis of
cost savings, but also by reference to the fact that
the military-technical revolution is rendering quantity
less decisive on the modern battlefield. Adherence to
the principle of "reasonable sullciency," therefore, in
no way restricts the modernization o1' Soviet weapon
systems or military equipment, The continuing develop.
ment of the Soviet Navy's aircratl carrier progratl and
the comtinued introduction of' modcrn equipment into
the ground forces, air forces, and strategic rocket fIores
indicate that the military has succeeded Iii imposing its
interpretation of "reasonable sutliciency" on the Soviet
force development prowess,
"Reasonahle sulficiency" seems to apply, however,
primarily to the quantitative development of Soviet general purpose forces. It clearly has provided the doctrinal
juslitication f'or both the unilateral withdrawals ol'Soviet
forces from Eastern Europe and the Sino-Soviet horder.
the restructuring of Soviet forces to a more defensive
orientation, and Soviet proposals in the Conventional
Anned Forces in riurope (('lFE) negotiations,
Of thiary iniportance to the political leadorship.
however, is the principle that "rcasonahl: sulliciency"
must provide a basis for reductions in Soviet military
spending and frocurement. The UtS estimutes that after
it period of' steady growth between 1985 and 19,9 of'
at-out 3 percent per year, Soviet military spending was
cut 4.5 percent in real terms in 1989, while weapons
procurement outlays dropped 6-7 percent, The Soviets
have also atnnounced ai series of' cuts notably in the
procurement of tanks. ammunition, helicopters, and
inflantry lighting vehicles,
NMethods of Armwd Conflict, Training, and Preparation
According to tlie new military dot:trine, dcfensive
opera-tions would dominate daring the initial period of
atfuture conventional conflict, Prior to the aidoption
of the new military doctrine the Soviets viewed defense primarily as a tforced type (if military action, to
.

be conducted only temporarily until conditions could
be created to return to decisive offensive operations.
Since 1987, however, they have asserted that this new
"'defensive doctrine" has led to revised operationalstrategic plans. basic planning documents, and combat
regulations. Training, according to Soviet presentations
at the January 1990 CSCE/CSBM Military Doctrine
Seminar, has also been restructured in line with a new
defensive-orientation, The Soviets state that the number
of largo-swale exercises has dropped off significantly
Army-level and below exercises were down substantially in 1989 from a level of 40 operational and
tacticit! exercises in 1986. Also, the number of strategic
nuclear forces' missile launches was halved in 1980,
and training manuals and documents for use at Soviet
military academies have been revised in line with the new
orientation. These, statements are generally consistent
with Western observations.
As with "reasonable sufficiency," however, there are;
a number of unresolved. Issues with regard to thig Corn.
ponent ot' the new doctrine, First, the Soviets ,are
not renouncing entirely the concept of' otTbrisive

€c-

tions. The military argues, for example, that oven
large-scale operational counterstrikes tire a fundamental
component o1' any detlnslve operaition designed to halt
and repul an aggressor. However, according to Soviet
presentations at the CSCE/CSBM Military Doctrine
Seminar, these offensive actions would take place
only within the context of a larger-s•c defensive
operation.
Second. the military hait been unable to resolve the
fIndamental contradiction between the politically mandated disavowal of surprise aitack and the requirements
associated with ihe struggle to seize the initiative in the
event of any future conflict. Soviet military art hau
traditionally viewed surprise attack as the best method
for wei/ing the initiative and dictating the subsequent
course of a conllict, The objective has been to stun tin
opponent initially and then to press the attack in order
to prevent that opponent Irom recovering his balance
and regrouping his forces for an etTective del'ense or
countenittack. Furthermore. in spite o1' renunciation ot'
preventive or pre-emptive attacks at the CSCEiC'SBM
Military D)octrine Seminur, it appears the Soviets intend
to seie lire superiority over an enemy from the outset
of any conflict, most likely through the conduct of
pre-emptive targeting of' enemy deep-lire systemns. At
a mininmrum, this suggests that the politically mandated
disavowal of" surprise attack has not yet been completely correlated with traditional Soviet oper~ttional
requirements.
Third, the Soviets have yet to allay Western suspi.
Chapter III

29

"SOVIETMILITARY REFORM:
TACTICAL ADJUSTMENT VERSUS RADICAL TRANSFORMATION
*

DE[

U
INISTIY PROPOISAJ

ADICAL VIESiON OF 4UUTARY RI XM

Mannien

Manning

a Retains conscription, but conscripts In selected poshs
would have a choice between serving a 2-year flied
term or a 3year term under contract.
* Has vague provisions for alternative service.

. Create a smaller military manned by volunteers.
. Creates territorial units In the ground forces.
* Creates a territorially based reserve.
Defense Decislonmakink

Defense decislonmaking
a Civillaniaes the post of Defense Minister.
o Strengthens power of USSR President,

Republic Autonomy

Republic Autonomy

*

,

a Reaffirms centralized control of military,
mReMecth possibility of creating national or territorial
units,

pA
Gives each republic the right to conclude a treaty
with Moscow covering defense issues.
a Subordinates territorial units and reserve forces to
both Moscow and the republics.

Personnel

Fenonnel

a Miai harsher penalties for htrasting servicemen and
their families,

s Gives military personnel the right to loin trade unions
and political parties,

a Allows officers to leave service voluntarily.
a Reduces general officers 30 percent,

mReduces the number of political officers.

cions that large-scale iounteroftensive operations will
not be extended into olTensive operations into Western
Europe, It is evident that the Soviet General Stall'
has concluded that stationed ftorces in peacetinic are
insuflicient flor the conduct or otrensive operations, but
tire well suited to the achievement of defensive objectives
and operations in the initial period, or first few weeks,
of war. The General Stafl has remained relatively
unspecific on the course and conduct of" military operalions in any subsequent period of' war, referring to the
possibility of conducting counteroirensive operations, if'
the political leadership is unable to achieve a negotiated
settlement, The West must consider the possibility that
the intention of defensive operations during the initial
period of' war might be to secure sufficient time for the
Soviets to mobilimg and deploy forward sufficient forces
to execute a large-scale counteroffensive,
ISSUE'S AND CONCERNS
Despite movement toward a more defensive doctrine,
the Soviets have continued to develop a strategic nuclear
force, as well its command and control structures, that
30

a Eliminates many privileges of the top leadership.

the factor they consider
have enhanced survivability
most important in maintaining stability in it crisis or war
situation where the imminent employment uf nuclear
weapons is possible. Extensive and resource-consumning
Soviet construction and expansion of dvp-underground
bunkers for the political and military leadership is continuing. The Soviet deployment of rail- and roadmobile intercontinental ballistic missiles, the continuing
construction of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, and the production of modern intercontinental
bombers will result in the creation of a highly survivable
strategic nuclear force,
Moreover, Soviet military planners have not given
any signs of' reducing their elTorts to achieve a qualitative
leap in military capatbilities by developing a new generution of weapons bused on emerging advanced technology, Likewise, they appear determined to develop at
fundamentally new class of weapons by exploiting new,
cutting edge technologies such as plasma, directed energy systems, and biotechnology in order to be prepared
for what they see as a revolutionary change of the nature
of the future battlefield.

Soviet military reformers have yet to address a num.ber of important issues, such as the role of military
procurement pries relative to the general price reform in
any transition to a market economy, The losses involved
in undervalued wholesale prices for military acquisition
are generally covered by hidden state loans and they are
never repaid, Ending subsidies to defense industries that
are paid abnormally low prices for the hardware they

produce for the military would allow the assessed value
of production to rise to the actual cost of production,
This may force a contraction of conventional forces to
sustain military research and development funding

The establishment of an all-volunteer force in the
context of significant reductions has also been raised,
Reducing ground forces would allow the professionalization of the military while also avoiding the tensions
between Soviet republics generated by the large semiannual call up. In turn, a more professional force would
permit employment of more sophisticated weaponry and
simplify current command and control problems,
The professionalization of Soviet armed forces is an
aspect of military reform which has engendered spirited
debate. Two competing proposals are being drafted by
commissions of the General Staff of the MOD and the
Defense and State Security Committee, Under these
proposals volunteers will constitute a larger part of the
armed rorces, the political control apparatus will be
reorganized and reduced, and the republics will enjoy
greater control over defense issues (for example, home
stationing),
The more radical version being drnfled by the DSSC
Commission is the work of lower-level oflicers tinder the
outspoken Major Lopatin. It envisages the transfer of
the Soviet military to an all-volunteer system within four
to live years and would civilianize the post of Defense
Minister. The Defense Ministry's proposal is predictably
more conservative and foresees a gradual phase-in of'
changes over the next 9 to 10 years, however, it reflects
some concessions to the reformers, incorporating a provision shifting selected conscript posts to billets filled
on a contractual basis, The conce%tions probably reflect
the high command's perception that signilicant change
in the military system is inevitable, and a desire to have
an input in the reform process and delimit a hasis from
which to negotiate.

w:-1
.
A

first stagp of Sovi troop withdrawals frnm Hungry,
Apart of "M.
SovWt inlfantiyw and their personnel canm wrme loaded
aboard a train inHalmaker Hunary InMarch 1990,
PROSPECTS
Numerous factors have coalesced to compel the Sovi.
ets to adopt a security policy that now includes internal
as well as external factors, Domestic crises including
the economy, nationalism, Party integrity, and the host
of issues that emanate from these, are bringing the
Soviet Union to the brink of economic breakdown and
potential internal chaos, As a result, the Soviets are
developing a policy and strategy that is oriented toward
defense of the USSR and away from external adventurism. Although still supporting regimes in Angola,
Cuba, and Afghanistan, they cannot afford to support
the spread or communism externally to the extent they
have previously.
As a result oftchanges in the Soviet Union, the demilitarization of the Warsaw Pact, and the democratization
of' Eastern Europe, long-held Western objectives have
been l'=;i!,:ved, But there are too many uncertainties
associated with the shift in Soviet security policy and
Internal unrest for the West to assume that the Soviet
Union no longer has the potential to do harm to free
world interests, While the Soviets will prulbably continue
along the path of democratization and military reform,
albeit inconsistently, they will pursue policies that, from
their perspective, enhance their security interests, What
i,, not clear is the ultimate direction their perceptions
will lead them,

Chapter III

31

71

t

CHAPTER

The Economic Foundations of Soviet
Milit~ary Power

Under perneMIAa the Soviet leadership has Identified selected military production cub as part of the retuctruring of the
Soviet economy. Thus far, few facilities, such as this MIG-29 plant, have been converted for use within civilidn Industry.

3IN

or centralized economic planning plus the burden or

TRODUCIION
Decades of investment priorities skewed to promoting the rapid buildup of military power in the Soviet
Union have created a mnilitary giant that now over.
burdens a civilian economy crumbling from ne~glect.
The accumulated problems which resulted from decad1es
.32

_

_

_

_

_

achieving military superpower sta~tus have combined to
threatcn the foundations or Soviet military and political
power. Indeed, critiCal economic problems are the
underlying catalysts of many of the historic military and
political changes that are now occurring in the Soviet
Union.
__

_

F

In trying to control all aspects of the economy from
Moscow, the huge, overcentralized, self-perpetuating
bureaucracy has mismanaged a resource-rich nation toward economic disaster, Misdirected investment policies
have hobbled the economy with an aging civilian Industrial infrastructure increasingly less capable of compet.
ing in the international arena and incapable of meeting
the growing needs and demands of a work force disenchanted after decades or sacrifice. Widespread -break-

downs in transportation and distribution have long intertbred with the delivery of output from producers both
to factories and to final consumers. Rational economic
decisions by plant managers remain Impossible because
prices are set arbitrarily and do not reflect real costs,
Subsidiaed prices on energy and raw materials, for
example, encourage waste and mtisk the need for conser.
vation. While efl~ctive in the past in directing bountiful
and cheap resources to priority programs, the central
planning system has proven inept at raising the general
level of productivity and incapable of adapting rapidly
and efficiently to resource stringencies and changing
international political and economic conditions,
This chapter provides an assessment of the economic
itactors influencing Soviet decisions in the security arena.
While Gorhachev's announcCments ol cutting dellense
are largely in response to strong economic pressures and
represent his intention to redirect resources to economic
needs, they also most certainly further Soviet ef1orts to
constrain Western military modernization, give added
impetus to the arms control process, and enlist Western
supLprt to help salvage the USSR's economy, In light
of thes political implications, it is essential for the
West to consider closely the Soviet military-economic
relorms. The potential for significant changes in traditional Soviet military resource allocation priorities must
he analyzed carefully to ascertain the factors that will
help shape future Soviet military power.

THE %'OVIFTECONOMIC CHALLENGE
In the five years since Gorbachev first raised ýxpec-

tations in 1985 with his visions of economic relorm,
the Soviet Union remaias a resource giant mired in
arn inefficient socioeconomic morass, To date. reform
efforts have succeeded only in undermining the discipline

or the command economy, while proving insullicient to

provide the benefits of a market system. As a result,
many traditional economic problems have been made
worse. Stagnation and decline now prevail in nearly
all sectors of the economy, Petroleum production --an important hard-currency earner -- is down, as is
housing construction, Despite plans to conserve on
resources and consolidate priority investment projects,
investment spending continues to be wasted as local
authorities disperse resources over an enormous number

of new projects while ongoing projects stand unfinished,
Although the production of consumer goods and services has increased, Soviet citizens have ample reason
to believe living conditions have become much worse
because not all these consumer goods being produced
are reaching the market and because the far larger
increase in money Incomes has led to an even greater
imbalance between demand and supply in the consumer
economy, As a result, inflation is rising, and long lines,
chronic shortages, hoarding, and rationing have become
commonplace, along with widespread diversion of supplies from state stores to special distribution systems, In
terms of Food and consumer goods availability, Soviet
citizens consider themselves in many respects worse ofT
today than during the late 1970s and early 1980s a
time Gorbachev called the "period of stagnation,"
While many of the problems racing the Soviet cconomy arc not new, tiL impact they hlivc onl the economy
has been magnilied under Gorbachev's contl'using and at
times contradictory attempts atireform, and some new
problems have been creatted. In addition to intensified
supply and transport disruptions. the refonn program

has led to a growing willingness by various ethnic and
labor groups to advance their own agendas, Soviet
workers arc increasing demands for economic cooncs.
sions more and better housing, food. and consumer
goods, salfer working conditions: and environmental

safeguards
at a time when resources also are des.
perately needed to promote industrial modernization.
energy production, and inlfrastructurc development. As

strikers discover the influence they hold through work
stoppages or slowdowns, the potential for serious strike.

originated economic disruptions grows despite efforts
to ban strikes in certain critical industries, In a selfperpetuating cycle, the deteriorating economic situation
both contributes to and is exacerbated by rising labor

and ethnic unres;t, a situation that likely will worsen in
Chapter IV

33

scope and intensity in the near future.
Dismal economic performance and lack of progress in
economic reform to date have prompted the Soviets to
reassess and revise economic policies, With superpower
capability resting
status consisting solely of a military

precariously on u deterioruting economic base, the So.
vict leadership has begun to shift its resource allocation
strategy toward shoring up the economic foundations
of national power. This will entail, as the Soviets have
announced, cuts in military spending and military-sector
involvement in greater civilian production. Improvements in consumer welfare are seen Ls the key incentives
needed to raise worker productivity to a level where the
Soviet Union can compete economically in~the world in
•,the next century,
t
x
ta
SOVIET MILITARY SPENDING
:•.
Until recently,
the Soviets provided little information

on their military expenditures. In May 1989, Gorbachev
released a new accounting of Soviet defense expenditures
for 1989 ....773 billion rubles .... that, while almost
four times greater than previously claimed levels. 6.
unrealistically low in comparison with the resources
required to equip and maintain a force the size of the
Soviet military, The new Soviet budget is only about
half the size of Western estimates of Soviet military
outlays and likely excludes numerous military-related
activities, In addition, the budget probably does not
reflect subsidies to the prices paid by the Ministry of
Defense for weapons, equipment, and research and development (R&D) work, Despite fervent oflicial Soviet
claims that the new defense budget accounts for all
military-related spending, the Soviet leadership may be
acknowledging a higher level of defense spending as
reflected in statements by Gorbachev and then-Politburo

kii

Empty meat and produce counters ofder stark testimony to a
civtlian economy crumbling tram mlsmanagement and neglect
during decades of priority Investment in Soviet milliary power.
34

...........
...- ....
ECONOMIC PROBLEMS OLD AND NEW
CONFRONT THE SOVIET LEADERSHIP
Lingering Traditional Problems
Price Structure
~aa Ineffective
lnellelent Central
Planning
, Aging Plat. and Equipment
a Supply Bottlenecks
I Resource Stringenclea
a Rising Energy Costs
mAgricultural Losses
a High Military Spending
a Low Slavic Birth Rate
New Challenges
.LbrUrs
Ethnic Disturbances
a Unemployment
Crime
U
u Foreign
Rapidly Competition
RCing Incomen

= Inflation
a Pnvironmental Damage
a (rowing Budget Defiglis
menmber Yegor Ligitchev in ML.y 1990 that the USSR
has been spending 18-20 percent of the country's na.
tional income [13-15 percent of gross national product
(GNP)] on defense.
During his first four years in office, Gorbachev did
not alter the broad-based military modernization ef.
tbrt he inherited from his predecessors. Indeed, statements by Chairman of the Council of Ministers Nikolti
Ryzhkov in June 1989 and President Gorbachev in May
1990 indicated that the original 1986-4) plan called for
defense spending to grow tit a rate about twice that o1'
economic output, Accoeding to Gorbachev. this in ltct
occurred in 1981-85, but adjustments to this plan were
initiated in 1987 and 1988 as defense spending supposedly was held level. President Gorbachev announced in
January 1989 that a 14.,2 percent unilateral reduction in
military outlays would be completed by 1991. While the
US Government has measured reductions in 1989, there
is little evidence indicating any slowdown before 1989,
Soviet military expenditures fell 4-5 percent in real
terms in 1989. according to Western estimates, Weapon
procurement expenditures, which account for about half
of total military spending, bore the bulk of the reduction, falling 6-7 percent, The largest reductions were
concentrated in general purpos rorcei, especially in
ground forcus equipment, Procurement for strategic
offensive forces declined by about 3 percent last year,

while outlays for strategic delense remained essentially

i

JI

Moscow.
A T-34T recovery vehicle Isused to ptI%h hay Into concrete silage trenches at a itock-breeding (Arm neam

unchanged, Howevier, despite these reductions, the
lovel of military expenditures remains higher than when
Gorbachev came to power and continues to allow ror
significant f1orce modernizaition.
The: Soviets claim atdefnse budget for 199() of' 71.0)
billion rubles that Indicates the Soviets plun to continue
with stated unilateral dIeInse spending reductions ais
they measure them. Since there arc conflicting statemeats by Soviet olliciuls ubout the timec period f1or
completing the 14.2 percent reductioni and abotit tlhe
size of' thet 1988 base-year defense budget, it remauins
unclear whether the 1990 planned reduction completes
the announced unilateral reductions. Some Soviet otlchils had noted that unilateral reductions would extenid
into 1991, Followinig these cuts, Soviet intentions for deflen - spending through the mid-1990s remain uncertain,
('lairman of the Council of Ministers Ryzhkov stated
in Mlay 1989 that the Soviet Union will strive to reduce
dwfense's share or'the national economy by one-third to
noil-hutll'by 199)5,

*

With the further deterioration in Soviet economic
performance thus flar under Gorbachev, atsubstantial
imiprovemeint in the economy is unlikely during the 13th
Five-Year Plan, and real defense spending cuts in the
1991-95 Period will be necessary for the Soviets to meet
their goal of' reducing the defense burden. In contrast,
however. early indicators of thr. 1991-95 economic plan

suggest that in spite or' ambitious growth targets lfor
civilian goods production In defense industry ats part
of conversion efforts, the value of military production
also appears slated for growth Lis more technologically
advanced and expensive systems enter prodiuction.
MILITARY PRODLICIION
Soviet 1989 output of military materiel generatly ['ell
from 1988, mirroring Gorbachev's January 1989 announcemnitt that output wotuld be reduced. Trhe most
pronounced cuts occurred in ground Forces materiel.
Output of strategic systems wats generally level while the
number or naval surfoce units produced actually rose,
Thei production of'submarines remained the samne. Some
of' the declines reflect longer-terma downward trend%-,
output of conventional ground force equtipment ats
well as helicopters and fighter aircraft have declined
since Gorbachev took ollice in March 1985. However.
since 1985 thie n'uuruacture of' cruise missiles hats
accelerated.
Ground Force.
The deepest cutback occurred in the production of
the premier off'ensive ground Forces weapon. the taiik,
output was halved fromi 104), ats the Soviets had an.i
nounced, to about 1,7(X)
which is still twice the
annual N~ATO production. Smaller, but sig~iificant,
Chapter IV

35

US ESTIMATE OF SOVIET MILITARY
EXPENDITURES AND DEFENSE BURDEN
Beesus official Soviet defense budget claims are

Air Forces

Declines were noted in the output of bombers, fighters, and fighter-bombers in 1989. The decline in overall
bomber output reflects a lower rate of production, as
neither sufficiently Informative not persuasive, the US
expected, of the Bear H bomber, Output of the Backfire
Government continues to develop Independent estimates
remained essentially constant, and production of the
of Soviet defense spending. Thewe etimstes do -tiot rely
on~oviet statistics,ý A direct costing, (building-block)
long-range. Blackjack continued at at low rate. The
approach IsWsed that requires the identification and
number of fighters and fighter-bombers produced is
enumeration of the physical elements constituting the
only about half that in 1980; however, because of the
Soviet Union's defense effort over time and the aplarge quantities in Soviet Inventory, and the enhanced
piliation of cost factors to them. To best compare theqult
ncabitesothnwrarrfschste
proportion of economic resources committed to The mulquliye
nder capabilitie ofthe nFuraicraft, such
Fasnter
Itary Inany particular year, burden estinuete - miloeverl Fxonrofor
aaiiiswl ot bafulcrumeadbytelanker,
Itary spending an a percent or GNP - are calculated
oealfrecpblte ilntb fetdb h oe
us~g
(urrnt)pr~es
peval~nn hos yers.Sovetproduction, The combat effectiveness of these aircraft
is being Improved by continued output of' Airborne
defense budgets - 1989:' 77.3 billion rubles, 1990:
Warning and Control Systemn (AWACS) aircraft,
71A0 billion rubies - are most likely stated Incurrent
prlc~tm, although this remains uncertain, Roughly hair
the size of US estimates of Soviet defense spending,
Naval Forces
Soviet official budgets Imply p level of defense burdtin
that, while still large by International comparison, IN
In 1989, 21 surface warships and submarines were
considerably less than Western estimates,.
produced, which compares with the average production
_____________________________________

*
*

cuts occurred in artillery and muitiple rocket launcher
output. The decline in tank production must be viewed
in light of force reduictions and reorganizattion: the
Soviets eliminated obsolescent tanks ats part of their
unilateral reductions, aind they reorganized their ground
forces, enahling the sustitinnment or force modernization
ait lower levels of tank production. The overall modest increases in output of antiaircraft (AA) artillery.
such Lis the self-propelled ZZS6 30-mim AA gun and
surfiice-to-air-miiisile (SAM) system, apparently result
~from increased requiremlents caused by the conversion
of' tank units to miotorized rifle units. As a result of'
these changes, thie equipment complunment of'renlaining
forces will be comparativcly more modern,

rate of 18 units In the precedling eight years. We estinmate

that in 1989 the Soviets started construction of 20 units
in these categories, which represents an increase of
three units%M~alve to 1988, However, for two decades,
the number of naval ships launched annually has been
decreasing, ats Soviet ships have becomec larger and more
sophisticated with Increasingly complex weapons Lind
electronic suites, Production of Delta IV- Lind TyphoonEstimated Soviet Defense Expenditures:
1989 as a Percentage of 1988
Ion

T"

Missile Forcm
The Sovieu; turned out strategic offensive missile
systemis in 1989 ait or about the sunic levels its in
1988. emphasizing mobile intercontifnental ballistic missiles (ICBIMs) while maintaining output of' silo-based
ICi3Ms, Output now includes the SS. 18, SS-24 (ait least"
through this year), and SS-25 ICBMs and the SS-N20 and SS-N-23 submarinc-launched ballistic missiles
(SI.BMs), As dictated by the Internnediatte-Runge Nuclear Fomwes (INF) Treaty. output of' the SS-20 ended,
but tactical forces are being provided with increased
numbers of'SS-21 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM.s).
Sea-launched cruise missile output %yasunchanged from

36

~

~
'

~
I

,'"0

h>'

,

,

class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) continued strategic submarine force modernization, but the sixth and most recent Typhoon was the last
one of that class to be produced. Continued production
of Victor il1, Sierra, Kilo, and Akula attack submarines,
and Oscar I! guided-missile submarines has improved
antiship and antisubmarine warfare capabilities. Among
the surface warships completed was the first Soviet
conventional take-off/landing (CTOL) aircraft carrier,
the Tbilisi, which will offer improved air defense capa.
hilities. Other completions included another Slavaclass cruiser, Udaloy- and Sovremennyy-class de.
stroyers, a Krivak Ill-class frigate, and Grisha V-class
corvettes,

a 19.5 percent cut in production of weapons and military
equipment by 1991, there have been a series of Soviet
statements on future reductions in output, The overall
implications of these statements have been far from
clear because they were often contradictory, they seldom
noted if the cut was from past output or planned future
levels, the time at which the reduction is to occur, and
the unit or units of measure for the reduction, At least
part of the confusion appears to stem from shortcomings
in the Soviet planning process, as well as a continual
updating of their reduction program throughout the
year. Western assessments of the shape of future Soviet
production plans are complicated by the lack of precise
and comprehensive data on current production and the
imprecision of announced production goals,

Space
Space launches declined in 1989 from 1988, and the
assessed number of space launch vehicles and spacecraft
procured in 1989 may have declined as well, However.
space launch events are only a partial measure of the
Soviet commitment to their space production programs,
Many new Soviet satellites produced in the last few years
are more capable, reflecting increased sophistication and
time on orbit, Hence, the need for replacement spacecraft and the boosters needed to put them into orbit
are accordingly reduced, Furthermore, technological
problems with new models of spacecraft also affected
some recent launch and production activity,
Future Production
Since Gorbachev's announcement in January 1989 of

.........
'

~~
rI

''•.....--

~'.~..........

00
.••

•'

In spite of such uncertainties, several general fea.
tures of the Soviet reduction plan are apparent, First,
while the program probably calls for some cutbacks in
many types of military materiel, the largest cuts will
continue to be in the area of theater force materiel
and concentrated in offensive equipment such as tanks,
Second, the majority of program cuts probably will take
effect during the 13th Five-Year Plan (1991-95). Some
evidence from Soviet sources indicates that they may be
planning for a moderate increase in at least the value of
output during the next five-year plan, such an increase
could reflect the entry into production of a new gener.
ation of more capable
and hence more expensive
weapons and somewhat increased quantities of defensive
equipment such as antiaircraft systems, While it seems
that recent Soviet output and their announced plans
may mirror a Soviet belief that the Conventional Armed

CaarMve:lhMmsnwt
of
p" iI
log (lD!stributlon)'
p i/

211

Chapter IV

317

Soviet Production 1982-84, 1986-88 and 19891
Equipment Type

Pre-Gorbachev

Gorbachev

Yearly Average
(1982-84)

Yearly Average
(1986-88)

Gorbachev
(14" )

Tanks

2,800

3,400

1,700

Other Armored Fighting Vehicles

5,400

4,600

5,700

Towed Field Artillery

1,300

'1,000

800

Self-Propelled Field Artillery

900

900

750

Multiple kocket Launchers

600

480

300

Self-Propelled Antiaircraft Artillery

200

100

250

Submarines

9

9

9

Major Surface Warships'

9

9

12

Minor Surface Combatants

57

55

54

Bombers

40

47

40

Fighlerm/Fighter Bombers

950

7004

625

ASW Fixed-Wing Aircraft

5

5

5

AWACS

2

5

5

Military Helicopters

580

450

400

ICBMs

116

116

140

SLBMS

115

100

100

SRBMs

58W'

70W•

700

Long-Range SLCMsa

354

200

200

Short-Range SLCMs/s

990

1,100'

1,100

15,000

16,000

14,000

SAMs

3

Total military production, including exporlt
51.CM divided at 600 kilomefm

'Exclud, man-portable SAA'
Data adjusted to refled new Information

Includes carriers, cruiser. destroyers, frigates, coreft• and paramlltay Ahlpsodit* same class
Asof September 1990

Production of Ground Forces Materiel: USSR and US'
Equipment Type

USSR

US

USSR

1987

US

USSR

1988

US
1989

Tanks

3,500

950

3,500

775

1,700

725

Other Armored Fighting Vehicles

4,450

800

5,250

1,000'

5,700

650

Towed Field Artillery

900

252

1,100

502

800

60

Self-Propelled Field Artillery

900

2252

900

175'

750

40

Multiple Rocket Launchers

450

48

500

48

300

47

Self-Propelled Antiaircraft Artillery

100

0

100

0

250

0

T,,,.,l mil;tary produ(lion, including exports
fData adluoled ?n rlti flnrw information

Missile Production: USSR and US1
Equipment Type

USSR

us

USSR

us

us

USSR
1989

198I

1967
ICSM

135

34w

150

12'

140

9

SSLS•

100

0'

100

0

100

21

SRP*

750

0

650

0

700

0

LWaWliIde SLCM'

200

170

200

200

420

1,100'

570'

1,100'

1,100

180

kCwAx

Sbor.'iat

Mro djb i

6u

w.01

26
380v

iq0h

Production of Aircraft: USSR and US'
Equipment Type

USSR

US

USSR

1909

45

22

40

0

50'

700

550

625

470

5

10

5

5

5

10

5

10

5

52

5

2

40W

0

Fihte:•d)ilhtwr-,,m6 •700

MAC5

US

USR

52

45

ASW Fixed-Wing ANrcrAl

US
19"8

1f*7

"MililaryHelico"ders•

3400

340'

Production of Naval Ships: USSR and US'
Equipment Type

USSR

US

USSR

1967

Salliak Mosile Subamaaina

US

USSR

1988

US

1989

0

1

1

2

1

GpIArAck Submampiwe

7

2

7

3

7

5

OdwrSubmadn"

a

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

Alrwft Can'iers

a

a

a

Crulmnt

0

4

1

3

1

3

0

3

0

3

0

2

5

0

7

1

Iaeh1 e3

rpteo and Corvettea'

5

A.of11.14wrer 1

Chapter IV

39

CA

A Mi G-29 Fulcrum is seen performing a *touch-afld-gol landing on the new, 65,000 metric-ion displacement ThIlisi-class
aircraft carrier during initial Black Sea flight operations In late 1989.

tores in Europe (('IT) Treaty will be successf'ully
COnclluded. fore cutbacks well below treaty limits tire
likely, Such Cuits could include armior, artillery, and
tactical aircraft units.
THEf IND)USTlRIAL BASEC

Historically, the Soviets havc dcvotcd their best resoures and most skilled personnel to weapons production. This skewed emphasis has resulted inl anlincrasitigly oint-of-date mnanufacturing base for conisumer

durables and capital equipment. The relative neglect

of inanufticfutring technologies has led not Only to a
shortage of' new machinery nleeded for civilian produ1ctionl linies, butl also to ii widening gap with the
West ill inldustrial Cq~lipinlel design and production
capabilities [flat threatens thie military industrial iector's
ability to produce high-technol ogy weapon systemis inl
the futiure. While the legal and illegal acquisition of'
Western technology has helped bridge the gap in several
significant areas, 116reign technology cannot compensate
flor the general lack of' innovative ability in the Soviet
indlustrial sector. The lack of' innovative capabilities
throughout research and development and indutstrial
elements will impede advances inl civilitan antd miilitary
technology. The gap iiinl n ttt rn technologies is
40

even more worrisomie to the military because, despite
its disproportionate share or assets, the defense industry
isbecoming miore dependent onl materials, comnponents,
arid SUhassemblies suipplied by the civilian ecoinomy.
These shortcomings have led Soviet military leaders to
exprcss concern at least since the early 1980s about the
economy's ability to support the development of' future
state-of-the-art weaponls.
Metallurgy
The Soviets began a massive, well-coordinated, cciitrtlly di rected effort shortly aflter World War 11 to becomre the world's largest llt'roLuS anld nonricriOusN Meitals
producer. These metals wvere viewed as the keys to both
m'lilitalry and inlduStrial power. As a resuilt or this effort.
thie Soviet Unionl islargely sCIf-sufli11CIent inl Most Or these
metals, eveni though they were often forcedl to exploit
low-gradle ores to avoid dependenct onl other countries.
Ill nmny cases, they have developed a significnat export
potential.
TOday. this manut111'Ct uring sector isreachiniga critical
period. Many of* Ohe key miines are becomintg depleted.
and the grade of' ore is dropping, A large portion of'
the inldustrial Plants ;ire Old, Using inlelliCienlt equ011ipmen

and technology. Labor and power shortages, and a
growing concern for the environment, are posing major
constraints for Soviet metallurgical industries, The Soviets are turning to Western assistance to supply more
elfcient equipment and technology to enable them to
continue the growth in output needed to sustain their
economy,
Energy
Soviet industrial development has always been based
in large part on vast amounts of' relatively cheap resources
especially energy, The Soviets continue to
be the world's largest producer of' both oil and natural
gas, Among the major industrial nations, the Soviet
Union ranks number one in reserves of coal, natural
gas, and oil, Older reserves, however, are becoming
depleted and the Soviets have been expL:iting reserves in
less accessible areas of' the USSR such as West Siberia,
This is contributing to rising extraction costs which will
lead to increases in overall energy costs, Despite rising
costs, it will remain Car cheaper [or the USSR to produce
oil domestically than to import it, Soviet oil exports,
second only to those of' Saudi Arabia, will remain
profitable,

transport, and defense,
Transport and Distribution
Soviet economic progress is being stifled by mounting
problems in the transport and distribution system. The
Soviet Union remains heavily reliant on rail transport
for the distribution or raw materials and finished goods
largely because roads are insutDciently developed in the
USSR, particularly in rural areas. Soviet railroads, how.
ever, are plagued by inadequate construction, particularly of supporting infrastructure such as mechanized
loading and unloading facilities, poor maintenance of
existing rolling-stock, and at general lack of concern
for safety, Railway managers are rewarded for total
freight transported, leading to freight often traveling
more kilometers than necessary, thereby clogging rail
networks and resulting in spoilage of farm products,
Conversion
Soviet leaders seek to address the growing shottages
in the civilian economy by redirecting resources and
capacities released as a result of weapon production cuts
into production of civilian goods, The leadership views
the defense industry as the only sector with the avail-

Energy conservation has been partially successf'ul.

able industrial capacity, raw materials, skilled labor,

Natural gus has displaced oil as the leader in the overall
energy balance, thus improving energy clficiency and
reducing environmental pollution,

related experience, and ellective management required
to meet the tremendous needs of the civilian sector in
the shortest time possible,

Starting in the mid-1990s, the replacement or worn,

According to Soviet statements, some 4(X) defense

energy-inellicient equipment becamie increasingly hburdensotne for the electric equipment industry. In addition, the post-Chernobyl cancellatiol of over 501 nucleir
reactors rurther strained tie electric equipment industry
mad prevented the planned replacement of'conventional-

plants and 100 civilian plants that produce military
pIroucts are engaged ill or irc planning to becomne
involved in industrial conversion. At least 200 mili-

fuecled plants with nuclear plants, Electricity shortages
appear inevitable after 1995 due to the stagnation or the
nuclear energy program,

civilian econromv. rhe leadership has set It) civilian
production priorities for the delfense industry which are
key to Gorhachev's goals of' raising living standards
and modernizing the economy. Growth targets in these
areas, however, appear grossly optimistic, 'the program
met with dillicUlties in 1989, when even modest goals
went uinrlttlilled, It is unlikely that plans to raise defense
industry's civilian share of production rrom 40 percent
in 1988 to 65 percent by 1995 will be achieved,

The USSR faces dillicult near-term cnergy-relttted decisions particulhrly in Ihe oil industry, Unless thie Soviets
continue to develop new reserves primarily wit h the help
of imports or' improved technology, oil output could
decline, resulting in a partial loss orfenergy exports. This
would diminish the country's leadling source of' hardcurrency earnings, Il the 'uels and the electric power
inrrasttructure, stagnation or tihe nuclear program further complicates the USSR's energy programss, Clearly,
the Soviet ecoionmy cannot do without energy, and the
USSR will probably he florced to make compromises
among competing claimants for investment in energy
industries and other equally pressing investment needs
such as modernization. agriculture, housing, medicine,

ttary research and development organivat ionts are said
to bev designing equipment and products needed in the

There is little enthItsiasm in the dclf'nse sector [or
conversion, XIrense indusyr) orlicials resist being lbrced
to,.-^rd ncC civilian produIts unrelated to their current
military prodtiction. In an i-librt to mute the impact Onl
military production and preserve capacity for inobilizaion. del'ense industry olflicials are spreading conversion
inelliciently among hundreds of' plants, For the most
part, conversion involves redirecting workers, raw maChapter IV

41

r

CIVILIAN PRIORITIES FOR
DEFENSE INDUSTRY
SFood-Proesing and Aruhome
Textile ManufActuring Equipment
v Equipment for Public Catering Sector
a Consumer Goods
a Electronics
@Computer Equipment
o Medi•al Equipment
a Communications Equipment
a Civilian Aircraft and Equipment
* Civilian Fishing Vessels and Cargo Ships

terials, and intermediate production resources toward
existing civilian production. In other cases, new civilian
product liles are set up using excess resources and idle
capacity. In the instances where military production
is being reduced, the military !incs either continue to
operate at lower rates, or sonic of a plant's production
lines are being mothballed,

"To date, the Soviets have designated only three
defense-industry-subordinated plants for total converit shipyard and two ground
a
sion, All three plants
forces equipment facilities .-- are only minor military
producers that already produce more for the civilian
economy than for defense, Closing facilities such as
these will have no significant impact on the defense
industry's ability to support the militariy in peace or war.
SOVIETMIILITARY MANPOWER
Human resources are as critical to Soviet national
power as industrial and tech,'|ologicalI resources, and are
also a subject of increasing concern to the Soviet leadership. The predominantly Slavic [uropean republics
have experienced low birth rates and declining longevity
particularly
while the traditionally Muslim regions
are seeing very high
the Central Asian republics
birth rates. The effect of' these two trends has ben a
constraint on the overall pt)p.lation growth, atdeclining
pool of new entrants into the labor three, and ant
altering of the USSR's ethnic composition. Ethnic
Russians will soon lose iheir majority status hi the
population, although they will remain the dominant
nationality. By 2010, they will comprise 40) Ilrcent of'
Russians as well
the population. Slavic nationaltieis
Its Ukrainians and Bfieorussians will still constitute it
Smajority through 2050, but Central Asian nationalities
are expxected to ac.count for more than hall' the total
population growth through 2011t, and nearly two-thirds
through 2050.
42

These demographic trends have sharpened the tradeoffs in allocating entrants into the labor force throughout the various military, civilian, and university sectors
of society. Because Soviet Muslims prefer to live in their
republics - where religious, cultural, and family
ties are strong -- population growth does little to relieve
labor constraints in the European USSR, where Soviet
military industry is concentrated. In the military, the
declining proportion of Slavic nationalities has led to an
increase in the conscription of non-Slavic nationalities.
The Soviet military press hus published increasingly
frank discussions of the manpower problems facing the
armned forces. For example, educational levels among
those from regions with significant Muslim populations
remain uneven, with marked deficiencies in technical
skills, particularly among conscripts from rural areas.
Conscripts from Central Asian regions demonstrate
lower proficiency than conscripts from Slavic regions
in the use of sophisticated weapons and equipmer~t.
This lower proficiency is attributed primarily to their
poor Russian language skills, which complicates training. The language barrier also complicates command
by the officer corps, which is predominantly Slavic,
and exacerbates discipline and morale problems in multiethnic military units, The declining proportion of
Slavic conscripts, however, is leading .o an increasing
ethnic unix in combait units. Although the Soviets have
implemented measures to improve Russian langutige
instruction in Central Asian secondary schools and have
attempted to recruit mote Central Asians into the oflicer
corps, neither strategy has enjoyed much success. This
is due to the Central Asians' strong ethnic identification
and resistance to assimilation into the predominantly
Slavic culture. In fact, the Soviet military press reports
that the number of' draf'tees with poor knowledge of
Russian is growing.
The D)ecember 1988 announcement ofta 5M),(XK)-nman
reduction ill military manpower could help reduce the
particularly Central
military's reliance on non-Slavic
minorities. The reductions will buy the Soviet
Asian
leadership time to reassesti the role of non-Russians in
the armed forces., and to improve upon methods to
encourage Muslim integration into the military. This
respite, however. may be only temporary. The popuIlation's growth and changing ethnic composition will
present challenges 1or Soviet leaders into the foreseeable
future.
A 5(OX),0)-nan reduction in the armed forces could
help alleviate a number of'other manpower-related problets. in addition to providing savings through reduced
demand for wtapon procurement and other military
goods and services. The cut will provide unskilled lalbr

to the civilian sector of the economy, supporting recent

efforts to improve consumer welfare. According to
the Soviets, the manpower reductions will include the
release of 100,000 officers, many of whom possess engineering and technical skills required by Soviet industry,
Public involvement in military issues is threatening
long-standing policies. A case in point is the military
mantuing policy. The manpower system Gorbachev
inherited was bused on conscription. Soviet youth were
introduced to military life in a mandatory premilitary
training program, drafted at around age 18 for a manda,
tory two-year active-duty tour (three years in naval
and KGB afloat units), assigned to mixed ethnic units
far from home, and then discharged directly Into the
reserves, creating the massive mobilization base required
by Soviet military doctrine,
This system is undergoing serious reappraisal, with
an increasingly assertive Soviet public, particularly in
the non-Russian republics, calling for wholesale refortn
of the military manning system, One Set it' proposals would modify the 'traditional policy of assigning
conscripts !ar from hiie; tctivists from -the Baltic
and C'uacasus republics, as well as Moldavia and the
Ukraine, are pressuring,the political leadership to stalion conscripts drafted from these republics closer to
home.
Activists in several republics have gone farther by
demanding that republic residents be exempt f'rom service in the Soviet military and have drafted legislation
on alternative service, In some cases, they advocate
policies that would resurrect n,1001J unlits, analogouLs
to those set uLp during the Russian Civil War, Other
proPosals would allow republics to Set up their own
arnlies and detfnse ministries. It is clear something
must be done: between 1985 and 1989 incidents ofdrafl
evasion incleased nearly eightfold, according to Soviet
'Statenments.

minorities assigned to local units.

Further concessions to republic demands for home
stationing or creation of national units would multiply
the problems encountered in January and have major
consequences for relations between Moscow and the
republics, since such concessions may in effect endow republic authorities with their own military forces, It also
would raise the question of how to procure manpower
for those forces still deployed beyond Soviet borders and
areas in the Soviet Union (such as the Far Pa1st) that
have a limited conscription base,
Another series of proposals would introduce major changes in conscription policy, In spring 1989,
the political leadership . over the strong objection
of the high command -- bowed to public pressure to
reinstate student deferments, which had been gradually
phased out in the early- and mid-1980s as the supply
of draftees declined, In July 1989, also over military
opposition, the defemient was applied retroactively to
those students already drafted, Other proposals opposed
by the military leadership would allow for alternative
service for draft-eligibles who oppose participation in
the military on religious or moral grounds, Another
proposed change would decretise the service tenure t'rom
two years to one year, All those proposals would result
in a deline in overall force levels,
Even more disturbing to th, military leadership is the
escalating political pressure to jettison the draft entirely
in tiivor of a volunteer militury, When it was first proposed, the military leadership was strongly opposed to
the change, contending that the transition to what they

.a!l a "mercenary" army would Ie excessively expensive
(beIIause ol'the high salarios and perquisites needed to
PROBLEMS FACING RETURNING
SOVIET SERVICEMEN

Despite adamant opposition Irom the high command

(which has argued that giving republics their own armies
or units would inliame already volatile interethnic disluLtes). the po.litical leadership has signaled aLwillingness
to negotiate on some of these demands. Some adjust-

intents in tile direction of' honi1 staltioning were madte

during the tI'll 1989 call up of draftees, when lip to a

Sinlg

quarter
the dralt
and
nCseluctsu
d republics
(inesudthe or
Blklt!C
Lind eS
CUalICLISus
republics)
were assigned
to posts in their home military district. In the Cau¢a.ISU, this policy complicated the l~elense Ministry's
mission or restoring order during the Jantlary 1990
ilare-up of Aeri-Armeniain violence by creating real and
anticip•ted reliability problems with those indigenous
it

"The question of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from
Czechoslovakla and Ihungary Is now ucute. More than
350)1 officers and warrant officers and some 30,000
families will be returning to the motherland with them
(Teetnll
rne)wlviulyliyth
.,. No one has given
much thought to what this aunf'
means.
(The returning personnel) will virtually have the status of
refugee %,without apartments, their families without 1o0N,

and theirschols.l"
children (and there are nearly 19,000 of them)
witholut
Army General M.A. Molscyev

Chief of the USSR Armed Forces General Staff
A'rKonyr Xreird, February II, 1990

"1

Chapter IV

43

attract volunteers) and preclude the development of the
large mobilization base of trained reservists that is still

Soviet military R&D is experiencing the eflects of Itrvtsrolka despite calls from military and civilian officials

necessary because "the danger of war still exists," Since
that time, there has been some small movement toward
a professional military, Increased professionalism probably would result in a much smaller and more Slavic
force due to Russian language requirements, as well as
a probable lack of desire on the part of non-Slays to
volunteer because of cultural and nationalistic attitudes.
This strategy also would entail a major expansion of the
career enlisted contingent and noncommissioned officer
corps as well as a major change in the mobilization
system.

to spare it from budget cuts. The 1990 Soviet military
R&D budget is targeted for 13.7 percent reduction, with
further cuts possible in future budgets, While publicly
released figures for the Soviet military R&D budget are
assessed to significantly understate the full range and
value of military R&D activity, the direction of change
planned for the budget appears to Indicate a real decline
in military R&D spending, Military R&D budget cuts
are occurring at a time when the Soviet Union is facing
a vigorous technological challenge from the West and
will certainly test the management skills of those in
charge,

SOVIKI MILITARY RESEARCH &
DEVELOPMENT (R&D)

*

The Soviets halve created an elrective R&D base capahel of developing equipment which, in some cases, is
superior to Western systems in terms of militarily useful
technology, The Soviet ucquisition system accomplished
this in spite of an uneven and, in many cases, backward
technology base, The incfllciency of this system required
the expenditure ofr a large amount of resources, which
came at the expense of' the overall economy, The
Soviets now realize that their inefficient and increasingly
backward economy will not support them adequately in
cotntering Western high-technology weapon systems of
the 1990s and beyond, This realization is a significant
factor inlluencing the changes, fromrs.restnrika to troop
reductions to new military doctrine, which are currently
taking place,

Continued research and development effectiveness in
the fiace of these reductions will most likely conic about
by reducing inetliciencies in the system, eliminating duplicative research, and transferring some of' the work
to the civilian sector. More dramatic steps could include a halt in development of weapon systems that
are not deemed essential for fulfillment of' military requirenients, The decision could also be made to skip
the production of a generation of' particular systems.
concentrating on the less costly research phase to help
produce a technologically superior product in the next
generation. In addition, there is no evidence confirming
that any major weapon development programs have
been stretched out or canceled, and research and development of follow-on systems in all major weapon
categories appear to be continuing with no sign of
decline.

qI

The deployment of the 20-ton XvAnt-2 module, shc~wn here being
prepared for launch to the Mir space station In lae November
1969, vastly enhanced the Soviet space station's capabilities for
military and scientific research,

44

From launch facilities such as Piesetik, the Soviets continue to Improve their military capabiiiteie, In space with the military space
strategy of supporting terrestrial military forces and denying the
use of space to other states,

Another ei1'ect of' /kT'rcAFOiA11IM habee the dfiversiOnl
,,I sonme miii tarv resourccs to civilianl applications. VillItarx R&Dl) acilities are beimne called onl to Increase
their involeinicit Iin designing new civilian products.USR
S
Technological Capabilities
While the '-conveCrSIonl of' nillitary. R&D) resources to
civil ian pro.'cts has atpparentllv bgun. Soviet officials
complain that thle pace is cietremely slow. The emiphasis onl thle technioktzical advancemencit of' the civil
sector wkill hold some lone-termi advaintaucs for military,
R&D) despite thle short-term cosrints. Th nacdSemiconductor Materials and
MireetoncCrut
icechnologicail sophistication of' thle work f'Orce anld thle
1172'ILper
Ce induflstrial inIfrastrlmet Lire of' thlenitire country
Software Producibility
NOIi he supp~lortive of' fulture higlm-techilology\' weapon
Parallel Computer Architectures
"svstellls.

USSR/US

-

Machine Intelligence and Robotics

Fveni Iii the short termi there are certain bemicfits f'or--mnil i tarx R&DI. T]he dulI-uIse nati[ire of' mia n of' tilie 15
national priority technology programls (see Iniset ) \kill
cleaIrkýly suport the Soviet n11iilftav alone1- with the Cixihai
sec tor. Thkxokoifttieiifria
o tehn loes.

--

Simulation and Modeling
ooi

--

Sensitive R~adars-

J

advacedma
triais.and
ach ti tecnolgy xil al bePassive Sensors
of, 'rceat ImIliportanlce to thle mihlitarv\ Irenexxd cfiIPImaSignal Processing
onimprove0`d ulti li,'ation of' tech ntologvw for xxeapoii
ý,sOis
svstiii an I hetter xal i pc riaice. Ths1 ork
Signature Control
xxii he aided hx aiccess to ttechntolog\ miore casi lv transWeapon System Environment
fierredl fr-om the W'est ais aLresult of' Soxict ref'orm ef'forts. I nfbrm11atloll technloloexy advanices X01i not onlx\ aidC
Data fusion
In the autonilated control and operation of' in.d11ividua
xxcpns~stemls hiut \\III also0 be of' e-rCit xaIL ic to thle
Computational Fluid Dynamics
Sovitsfr auomatd
trop oiiiiiau andcontol.
Air-Breathing Propulsion
.-\d Miccd timcliine tecliiioloex, \%IIill
exxeponsx
%ia
teni prod net ion 1i10omc respoINsi xC. reduce the defetilse
Pulsed Power
--

-

-

T

-------

-

t

Hypervelocity Projectiles-,
-High

NATIION.AL PR1ORIT)I

-

Energy Density Materials.~L

Composite Material,;

hi;(I NOL.OGY PRO(;RANIS
j

Superconductivi~ty

* I etigl~Ivrn* I lw ics
N I li'Ilt

I (41tilra~tttre SttlRvrcontdLclis il)

Is1, nttvt-I

non

Biotechnology Materiaks and Proceswss

msI(hl

"* I uchnolw)Iticivs.

Nlacliine,..

and Pr)(hictciin of

"* xdsancvd

Nl aicrial
'116mictcvd ltintccfItIII4wlN~ Nlvflinds
*iI-pv.mIsiront1newIAl ' ( Ivan lranspnri
* Ins
rnirnntals( Ivan Fnvrc- ( ,cttrattinn
* I'ogrct~a

Produtiomnr

:1([Its
mid
ironniicntiall ' ( lcIva

l'rocvsscs iii NlVialliir,,

( lumis r~

tritlud I hurinimmncv:it

oik

Sinfcn I

-tads

in orne nithe, i tdnolg

a I-

with t.

United 5Oi.it

and
(-v(,eratlvlUgging except in suniv ire.is

II tit if tit I ittil l'rourlimciti

*(

Position of USSR relative to the United States

I-wifit

Relative USSR/UJS Technology
Level in Deployed Military Systems'

Nav--l
------orc...
-------.

StRAM

..

SSN%

Bombers

AN

LTorpedoes

___

SAMs

Sea-Based___
Aircraftj-

Ballistic Missile Defense

Combatants

-Surface

Antifalellile

Naval Cruise Missiles

_____-___

TCruiCAe Missiles

Mines

Land Forces

Communications

-

SAMs (,Including Naval)

ECMIECCM

Tanks

Early Warning

Artillery

Surveillance and_____
Reconnaissance

-Training

Infantry Combat Vehicles
.....................................

-

I

Simulators
___

,iiwe,arrmws
denote. that the ~relative technologyi level is
c~hanging significantly in the direction indicated.

Antitank Guided Missiles

riotrRl~eative comparisons of deployed technology levels shown

Att-------k

depict overall average standing; countries may be superior,
Chemical Warfare
Biological Warfare'

i
____________.

.

Air I n (*%a
Air I ort es

Fighter/Attack and
tnitorceptor Aircraf

equal, or ifroinsubsystems of a specifictehogyi
military system,
ehooyi

ideployed
,

.

op~s~e

oAr

,i

l-

n

~tn

eisr~

.nn4uoeoat~f0 ttdteii he compsirlkn, pre mnot
depentlent
on %ctnarto,
lttin, twosnitiy,ratitn.nForother operarlnn~i
faievomSyisniowlarther than en,.

I[oUl~

tl

ttnhr

~

Aqof September
1950

A*

~imiciooyInaSty

odpoydboo~
oetyn

tt0r1

~lr n'tn
~irs
~tr

f

burden on the economy, and allow for faster, more

of high-power microwaves, electrothermal guns, elec-

cost-effective incorporation of new materials into these
weapon systems,

tromagnetic launchers. neutral particle beam systems, a
variety of lasers, charged particle beams, and ultra-wide
band radars. These technologies will have significant
impact in the commercial areas of electrical power generation, electric drives and controls, and within the
medical industry,

"TECHNOLOGICAL COMPETITION
"The.time delay between the initiation of pure research and the application of the resultant technology to a military system typically is about 20 to 30
years, The Soviets understand this and have a long
history of supporting research activities, Soviet military
writers ascribe revolutionary military potential to the
emerging generation of military technologies and decry
the technological weaknesses of the Soviet economy,
Nevertheless, the Soviet Union remains a formidable
technological power and is striving to improve its defense technological base, The recent changes in the
political and economic structure of Europe will not
change this fundamental Soviet dedication to research
,and development of militarily applicable technologies or
the acquisition of these technologies through technology
transfer or espionage,
The Soviet Union is currently lagging behind the
US. but actively researching air-breathing propulsion,
biotechnology materials and processes, composite materials, data fusion, passive sensors, photonics, 'and
signal processing, They are on par with the US in the
critical technology areas of high energy density materials
and hypervelocity prqctlles, It is envisaged that they
will continue to exploit our open scientific literature,
technical exchange programs fostered by the spirit of
gl,•aiost, and espionage to accelerate their research. in
these militarily critical areas, They are significantly
ahead of the US in the area of pulsed power that
enables the development and production of directed
,:nergy weapons. kinetic energy weapons. target identification, and surveillance systems. These technologies
have significant applications in the field of untisatellite
weaponry, This field requires advanced tchtiologiual
capability in the form of energy storage, pulse-forming
networks, and coupling of the palse-to-l0ad its in laser
and high-power microwave applications. T'he direct
military application of these technologies is in the areas

PROSPECTS
The choices Soviet leaders make in the hear future
on resource allocation and economic reform likely will
determine their f'uture superpower status, Resource reallocation through defense budget cuts and conversion are
likely to continue over the next few years, These eltorts
alone, however, are not a panacea for overcoming
the ills of the Soviet economy and will be insufficient
to overcome the Inertia of the existing system. Without reforming the existing command economic system
Into a more efficient market-driven system, reallocation
schemes run the substantial risk of becoming yet additional ineffective half-measures that seal perestroika's
fate in the system's ingrained economic inefficiencies.
To date, however, the Soviet leadership appears incapable of carrying out the comprehensive reforms to
bring about the fundamental tconomic changes necessary to raise productivity and restore growth. Until the
Soviets are prepared to dismantle the failed command
economy, embrace market mechanisms, and accept the
initial high costs of unemployment and rising prices.
the economy has little reasonable hope for recovery,
Without systemic reforn, the Soviet Union is assured
of continued economic decline and instability. Even
if radical reforms are adopted. the Soviets face many
years of economic turmoil before they cum hope to see
significant improvements.
The paradox remitns, however, that in spite of these
increasing economic dilliculties, the Soviets are continuing to fund expensive military research and development
activities and produce technologically advanced weapon
systems, Such spending will continue to come at the
expense of the civilian sector.

Chapter IV

47


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