Created: 8/1/1986

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Management ofWarsaw Pact Weafions Acquisition: Soviet Goals and Pact Reality


Directorate of Intelligence

Management of Warsaw Pact Weapons Acquisition: Soviet Goals and Pact Reality

A Research Paper

This paper was prepared

of Sovieiith contributions from

. SOV A. Il was coordinated wilh the Directorate of Operations Comments and cwerie* ar welcome and mav be directedOVA.

Management of Warsaw Pad


Soviei Goals and Pact Realit,

Classified Soviet writings inrlicate that ia ibcore demanding wartime role for rvon-Soviet

tVfl^ZPact (NSWP) faces, while at fhc same time Soviet ecooomic

ptaoncnew drive for integration of the Soviei and East European economies. NSWP forces began to be assigned key offensive missions against frontline NATO forces. Meanwhile. Last European industries were called upon to produce new technologies and equipment, particularly in the fields of computers, microelectronics, and machine tools. were Intended to isprov. Pict uuliutyiawjmuV capabilities while easing tbe burgcmine strains oo tbe Soviet Union.

Progress toward Soviet goals, however, was >coperdizcd by NSWP miliury and industrial deficiencies, and by the lacktrong management mechanism lo remedy tbem. NSWp armaments were falling behind those of Soviet and most NATO inventories in both quantity and quality, aad NSWP defense and support industries were characteriied by lagging miliUry technology, slow industrial mcderniMlion, and duplication of effort. To overcome Ihese prorjlems. the Soviets pressed for further Warsaw Pact military und economic integration, emphasising Pact wide rniliury sundards and etlerotve industrial cooperation and specialization

9 the Soviets setighly centralized, formal system for Warsaw Pact defense and armaments planning, which replaced the pattern of informal bilateral coordination of already established plans lhat had existed since the. Under this centralized system, still in operation. Soviet-driven Pact plans are the foundation upon which NSWP nations develop their five-year defense plansighly structured fashionive-year preparation rxiricd. Defense plim cslnWish how the armed forces aod the national territory should be prepared for war nnd document the targets for arm*ments acquisition. National five-year and annual state economicccify arms menu production and delivery gents, which arc closely coordinated with defense plans

In theory, the Warsaw Pact countries ccdlectivriy determine the directions of Pact developrrvent Tbe Pact's fsxirieaM Ceanitsuite Cemmmiaer (PCC) decide* high-level political issues affecting collective defense. The Cemncil of Defense Minium (CDM) deals with more arjecirVc military matters and determines the main irends of dmeVopment of the Combined Anned Forces


wan. miner

n nceavdance with PCC raolutions. The Military Council advises the CDM on lelevani issues and worki on ibe Warsaw Pact budget with ibe chiefs of Ibe finance departments of Ibe various nations' defense ministries Tbe CAK Technical Commit let prepares recommcmdalJoos for Pact armaments acquisition, studies future technical developments, aod coordinates national armamenu research and experimental andwork. Within the Council for Mutual Ecx>nomic Assistancehe Permanent Commlnion oa Defease Industry supports arms menuby sdrisisstsrjs=izsticss,adoption of technical standards recom.neoded by the Pact's Technical Committee, monitoring tbe capabilities of each nation's defense industries, and studying and implementing reoommendaiions on national industrial specialization and joint weapons research and development) and production

In reality, the Soviets have stacked the deck in this elaborate apparatus:

the Cai Commander In Chief (CinCk Chief of Staff, the head of the Technical Committee, and the bead ofermanent Commission on Defensealways held byMany key staffas those of the CEMA Secretariat Defense Industry Department, which serves the Permanent Commission on Defensealso largely or entirely filled by Soviets.

The Soviets use proceduralas control of meeting agendas andhelp ensure acceptance of tbeir proposals in Pact and CEMA forum*.

Sovietsreat deal of informaiion on the workings and performance of tbeir allies' defense industries and military forces, while keeping their own capabilities secret

The mosl important instrument the Soviets use to steer Warsaw Pactis the planning process. Armamenu planning takes placean alliance level (through multilateral and bilateral agreements)within each state-im'lcates (bat the Soviets

begin military planningear earlier than do ibe NSWP countries. The Soviet Ministry of Defense uses iu own armaments planning to drivelanning. Using CAF planningase, the Combined Command

formulate* recommendations for each NSWP country on tbeiu force* over the next five-year plan period. NSWP detenteturn draft their own five year defense plans, taking into accountCommand's rrsnmmersdaticets Negotiations on forceissues are then conducted between the Combined Command andNSWP states, with the CAF recommendations serving asfor discussions. Final agreements are formalized in bilateralby the CAF CinC and by the defense minister and Councilvf ihe NSW *laic.

National armaments planning is heavily influenced by the Soviets in other way* as well. Most NSWP planning orgs ni rat ions and processes have been organized to closely resemble tbrar Soviet counterparts. Throughout the planning cycle, Soviet party, governroent, and economic offiaiU visit and receive their NSWP counterparts and attempt to coordinate positions The Soviet* also use representatives of ibe CAF CinC stationed with tbe NSWP armies to influence planning within the NSWP states. These representatives. Soviet officers who arc usually foui-stnr generals, serve ns tbe key links in the entire reporting system established between the individual armies and lhe Ccenbined Command

Despite the highly structured process, planning rarely proceedsreports that since tbebe Soviet appetite for

arms and pressure for Introducing new arrrtaments programs havebilateral negotiations progressively more difficult asseek to rnodify ambitious Soviet plans. Although tbeprocess is designed to allow each nation to influence lhereports that lhe Soviets have proved insistent oa

many of their proposals. The Soviet tendency to modify agreements midplan also inhibits the effectiveness of tbe planning process

We cannot confidently isolate the changes that have been wrought by the Pact planning system independent of other factors. We believe, however, that progress in equipment modernization and standardization and in development of NSWP defense Industry has been significantly enhanced by the centralized system. NSWP countries have improved their military and defense industrial capabilities despite considerable cconorrucThey have substantially upgraded their holdings of land arms and aircraft, and have tackled new and more challengini nroductton tasks in both complete weapon systems and componentry

The planning apparatus affords thcSovict* several advantages. Ii:

Allows them to plan and closely monitor both the defense Industrial capabilities and weapon inventories of their Waraaw Pact allies.

Hdps reduce the stress on Soviet defense industries and free production resources for manufacturing more advanced equipment.

Contributes is ract readiness-at ain!arger base on which to draw.

Contributes to weapons standardization in the CAF. which in turn facilitates joint operational planning, training, supply, maintenance, and repair.

Enhances control of NSWP forces, because the dependence of each Warsaw Pact army, except Romania's, on many types of nooindigenously developed and/or produced arms would make it difficult, if notfor any of tbe armies to contemplate any long-term action without the guarantee of external logistic support.

Provides an image of greater consensual decision making than exists, whkh may make it easier for NSWP leaden to claim thai they have not caved in to Soviet pressure.

Pact coordination of armaments acquisition has had both advantages and disadvantages for the NSWP nations The centralised planning process has formalized the necessity of responding lo Soviet demands, but it has also made It easier for tbe NSWP nations to register (heir opinions and influence decisions before they are made. Although the NSWP defense induslrieaeneration or more behind their Soviet counterpart, coordinated planning haa made possible more efficient specialization of production and helped eliminate costly duplication. Pact cooperation has kept the Bast European! fromroad military RAD base of their own. but haa allowed them to advance RAD in profitable areas that have dual military and civil aprklieatsooa, such asachine toots, and microelectronics. Finally, the planning process has facilitated weapons trade within the Pact, thus allowing tbe NSWP states to reap some of the financial benefits of producing military equipment

Pact planning haa not aeersmplUbed allntended lo:

ot* the primarynarrow tbe gap between Soviet and East Europeannot being attained. According let

30 the NSWP countries agreed to held by iberound forces similar in quality to those ihal existed in theUnioa in the. Although their capabilities have improved.

( no NSWP country had met those goalsnd probably few will do

' so

the scaled-down plans thai the East Europeans have since agreed to are not being met. Most Pact countries have not bought the contracted quantities of increasingly expensive Soviet weapons.

All NSWP countries have bad problems meeting scheduled deliveries to each other and to tbe USSR.

Pad members do not appear toooperative mechanism for determining poets for military equipment, and both the Soviets and East Europeans reportedly sell to each other at inflated prices

Although some oquiprnenl standardization has been accomplished both in the factory and in the field. Ihe record has been miied. For example; Pact nations have at least seven types of battlea range of gun calibers, ammunition, engines, and other features. Problems with licensing technological processes within CEMA have impeded technology sharing and haveey factor hampering industrial suodardiration.

Foreign military salesccasionallyource of contention between the Soviets and their allies. In tbe, the Soviets proposed formal Pact coordination of military assbtancc to tbe Third World, but negative NSWP reaction caused tbetn to call for better voluntary coordination instead

In Ihe future. Ihe Pact system of planning and management will probably be tasked with even greater challenges- Urn er Gorbachev's drive for industrial modernization, heavy demands are being levied oa tbe Soviet machine-building sector, which produces military arms and equipment as well at consumer and producer durables. The Soviets may be hoping lo

alleviate some of the stress oo this sectorradual increase of the NSWP role in Pact military production. The* will want to guard, however, against NSWP countries wresting back some of tbe economic and miliury clout these countries have forfeited through their dependence on the USSR for weapons. Tbey will also want lo ensure that NSWP countries do notoverextended, jeopardizing other commitments to the USSR and Ibeir own industrial modernization To mainUin their Influence and to steer their miliury economic relations with tbe NSWP countriesirect leatc.ciU. the Soviet; air. prababJy depend heavily on the Pact planning and management system, and they may seek to broaden grill further its scope and authority



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