SOVIET MOBILIZATION READINESS

Created: 9/8/1988

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MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD:

IN PART FXFNPTIQHS (fallll

(Dill) DATE:1

Soviet Mobilization Readiness

1. eptember, the Defense Policy Panel of the House Armed Services Committee with Representative Les Aspin,i) presidingriefing on Soviet mobilization readiness and the ability of.the US to monitor Sovietto go to war. The briefing was held at the TS Level with presenters including Doug MacEachin, Director of the Office of Analysis

in attendance included:

Aspin, I)

Spratt, C)

Kasich, H)

Ray, A)

present include:

LouEllis

Clark Murdock John Till son

MacEachin began his presentation, concentratingreadiness of Warsaw Pact forces opposite the NATO The Soviets refer to this area as the westernmilitary operations and it contains theof Warsaw Pact forces arrayed against NATO. which the Soviets attach to their forwardin this theater is evident in their peacetimeand the priority they are given forand support structure. These forcesstandard against which the Soviets rate the readinessother divisions.

5. In assessing the readiness of Soviet forces to go to war, Mr. MacEachin reminded his listeners that there are many dimensions of readiness. These include the physical dimension--how much equipment and manpower is actually incontrast to those forces that must be mobilised to bring Pact forces to full wartime strength. The qualitative dimension must be factored in as well on how prepared are the forces to carry out what is planned for them. Mr. MacEachin was careful to point out to Committee members that differences exist within the Intelligence Community on issues such as how quickly the Soviets could complete their war preparations and the willingness of the Soviets to launch an offensive at less than full mobilization.

Turning to forces in Eastern Europe, the wartime combat potential hos increased markedly since. These changes include both enlarging the force structure and introducing more weaponry. In East Germany, the typical Soviet maneuver division now hasmore combat power than5 and Soviet tactical air regiments are currently being equipped with the newest generation aircraft. In addition, the Soviets have augmented their forward based logistic stockpiles and the transport to move them. The end result is that the forces are less dependent on early resupply from USSR-based stocks.

Another Improvement has been the establishmentegular peacetimethe commandtheater-level commando-necessary to direct the full preparations of oil forces in the Western theater of military operations. Establishing this command structure prior to the outbreak of hostilities and routinely exercising it as part of the peacetime force structure will facilitate the eapeditious implementation of war preparations. F)

Despite these improvements, the number of active duty Soviet troops stationed ln the forward area have not substantially Increased. They remain atf their wartime strength. The logistical and support structure is at even lower level of peacetime manning. Community estimates indicate that there areen assigned to Soviet ground and air forces based in Central Europe. Anmajor portion of which would be personnel for support components would be required to bring these forces to full wartimo strength.

Mr. MacEachin's major message to the Members was that the strengthening of forces does not automatically translate into Increased readiness. Moreover, the number of men required to bring these forces to full readiness has also increased.

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Any mobilization along the western theater of operations would also eotail the dismantling of sectors of the civilian economy.

10. The Members followed the presentationumber of questions. Chairman Aspin asked ifayseasonable estimate of the warning time we would have that the Soviets were launching an attack. Mr. MacEachin responded that the Soviets would certainly not be prepared to launch an attack in less than two weeks.

There was some detail" liscussion of whether we use Soviet planning factors or our own in estimating their combat readiness.

11. Mr. Kaaich, H) asked about the combat proficiency of the bloc forces as compared to the Soviet army. While our briefers indicated that some of the East European forces are better at reservist training than the Russians; on other dimensions the Russians lead followed by the East German and the Polish armies. Mr. Spratt, C) inquired about the impact of East Germans entering the conflict against the West Germans. Mr. MacEaehin allowed that this clearlyoncorn to the East German leadership and thatesult. East German forces were the most tightly integrated Into the Soviet army. The formal briefing ended with the callote, and with Chairman Aspin thanking the participants.

CA Record

Office of Congressional Affairs

Original document.

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