Created: 6/1/1985

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Soviet Strategy and Capabilities for Multitheater War

National IntcUigciicc Estinatc




Wo.rn.tion3 wu mod In (he preparation of thu Estimate,by lhe NMfeail fattier. tMelltfeoce Board on Out date.



The following intelligence wganizalions participated in Ihe preparation of the Estimate:

The Central Intelligence Agency, the Detenu tnteUigeoce Agency, Iho Notiond Security Agency, ond Ihe intelligence orgoniiertion of lhe Deportment of Stole.

Also Participating:

Tho AMiitarrt Chief of Stoft for InteKgence, Department ol rhe Army The Director ot NqyoI Intelligence, Deportment of the Navy Tho AwJitont Chiel of Stofl, Intelligence. Deportment of the Air Force The Director ol InteUigence, Heoda/jortcri, Marine Corpi



The Primary




Soviet Strategy for Theater

War in

The Nuclear

The Campaign in Central

Operations on NATO's

War in East

Operations Against US

The Campaign Against

War in Southwest



Thc Strategic

Command and

Prudence Over

Soviet Crand

Soviet Capabilities in lhc Various


The Military

The Role of Nuclear

Impact of INF

NATO's Strategic Nuclear

Conventional Force

Assessing Western



The Miliiary

Soviet Capabilities in thc Western

Soviet Capabilities Attains!

Soviet Capabilities Against


The Miliiary -


Soviet Capabilities fot Multitheater

Inteitheatcr Transfer of


Adaptability of Theater


Transfer of Forces From Europe to the Far

Transfer of Forces From ihc Far East lo

Transfer of Forces To or From Southwest



This Estimate assesses the capability of the Sovietwith its Warsawultithcater war over the next five years. It completes the series of theater threat assessments.1

The term "theater" in this paper reflects conventional usage, such as the European theater or the Pacific theater in World War II. The terms "theater" and "region" are used interchangeably throughout this Estimate. When referringpecific Soviet theater of military operations*iven region, such as the Western Theater of Military Operations, the abbreviation TMO is usedhows thc Soviet TMOs that are addressed in this paper.

This Estimate focuses on the three principal regions in which the Soviets appear prepared to undertake military operations;

Europe (the Soviet Northwestern. Western, and Southwesterngainst NATO.

East Asia (the Soviet Far Easterngainst China, US forces in thc area, and possibly Japan.

Southwest Asia (thc Soviet Southern TMOX against thc Persian Gulf countries, eastern Turkey, Pakistan. Afghanistan, and US forces in the area.

While the Estimate does not repeat the voluminous data on Soviet/Warsaw Pact forces already provided in other NIEs or the forthcoming factbook on Pact theater forces, il does address likely Soviet wartime objectives in the various theaters as well as the capacity of Soviet/Pact forces in each theater to accomplish these objectives. In this regard, the Estimate describes the interrelationship of the three regionsoviet perspective, and the part each plays in overall Soviet strategy and military planning. Further, it assesses the Soviet capacity to control and sustain simultaneous military campaigns in three widely separated areas and lo coordinate themommon goal.

This Estimate discusses the likelihood that Moscow might transfer forces from one region to another in accordance with tbe Kremlin's overall strategic priorities. This includes judgments regarding the

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strategic mobility of Soviet forces, and tbe degree of flexibilitylanners would have in committing force* in regions otber than theirareas of employment. As an adjunct, tlie Estimate discusses out views of Soviet risk takingonflict, ami the likelihood that Moscow might take risks in one region (bv economizing forces there) to improve its chances for success in another is)

The focus of the Estimate is on theater forces. The subject of nuclearin respect tu its likely impact on Soviet stialegy and actions in eachalso discussed (s)

This Estimate was produced under the auspices of the National Intelligence Officer for General Purpose Forces The drafterr

Defense Intelligence Agenc^Tfu)



Developments over the last two decades have increased thc likelihood that, in thc eventATO-Warsaw Pact war. the Soviet Union would have to conduct simultaneous campaigns in several widely separated theaters. Moscow is evidently prepared for such aThere arc sizable Soviet forces designated for operations in Europe, the Far East, and Southwest Asia. They are uniquely structured and equipped for operations in their respective areas, and are designed to operate independently, without major reinforcement from other regions. In addition, thc Soviet General Stall hasoncern with the control of forces waging war in different regions.

Soviet planning for multithcater war is undoubtedly based more on prudence than on preference. It is doubtful that, given thc choice, the Soviets would opt to conduct simultaneous major offensives in multiple regions.

lobal war, Moscow's grand strategy would be heavily conditioned by two main concerns:uclear attack against the Soviet Union and rapidly defeating thc adversary that can do it mostSince the Soviet priority of effortlobal war would bo against NATO, Moscow would attempt to avoid operations In other theaters that could constrain its capacityuick victory in Europe.*

The most likely Soviet course of actionATO-Warsaw Pact war would be toefensive posture opposite both China and Iran, and to attack US forces io the western Pacific.

Thc capability of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies to prosecute military operations varies considerably among the three principal regions, but it is clearly greatest opposite NATO. This is also the region in which allies of the Soviet Union would make thc greatest impact.

In the eventATO-Pact war. die Soviet objective would be the rapid and total defeat of NATO forces through offensive operations by superior forces. The Soviets consider defensive operations against

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NATO only in lhe context of their contribution to ihe. offensive. They have the necessary forces toeneral offensive in Central Europe, and have deployed these forces to facilitate such an offensive.

Il is virtually impossible to assess the Pad's capability lo execute its strategyapid conventional offensive in Central Europe, because NATO stralcgy calls for using whatever ilnuclearstop such an offensive.

By conceding to theuperiority in conventional forces while refusing to renounce the Grsl use of nuclear weapons. NATO is clearly implying that its strategy for thc defense of Europe is based on theuse of strategic forces. In the final analysis, if both NATO and the Pact follow through on their strategics and declared policies, ain Central Europe would most likely be decided by nuclear rather than conventional forces.

The manner in which the Soviets allocate and exercise their forces indicates that,ar on the Eurasianampaign against China would be second in importance to thc European campaign. The Soviet Pacific Fleet is capable of launching strategic nuclear strikes against the United States as well as against regional states, including China, Japan, and Korea. It is also postured and equipped to opposeinto the Seas of Japan and Okhotsk by US and Allied naval forces. Its capacity for open-ocean antisubmarine warfareowever, is hampered by its limited detection capabilities.

If Moscow were unable to persuade Tokyo to deny the United States access to forward operating bases in Japan, thc Soviets would be likely to attack US forces there, as well as those Japanese military targets whose neutralization would be necessary to support such attacks.

Soviet forces in the Far East have the capability tohinese attack against the Soviet Union and toounterattack quickly. They also have the capability to launch limited offensives into northerneast and west of Mongolia. To take and hold all of northeastern China, including Beijing, the Soviets would have to either use nuclear weapons or at least double their forces in the Far East. We do not believe they would attempt an attack with Beijing as its objective with fewerivisions. This would require the movement of an additionaloviet divisions to the Far East Many of them would have to come from the force oppositeove that Moscow would almost certainly be unwilling to make.

In the absencehinesewe consider extremelySoviet invasion of China makes little sense, especially in the contextlobal war. Since most Chinese main-force units are

ilometers from thce facto buffer zone already separates Soviet and Chinese forces.

A Soviet decision to use nuclear weapons against China would very likely be conditioned by events in the European Theater, as well as by Soviet objectives in thc war with China. Tlie Soviets would probably be reluctant to initiate the use of nuclear weapons against Chinaampaign with only limited objectives,hinese nuclearstrike could seriously degrade Moscow's ability to prosecute the campaign in Europe.

In Soviet military planning. Southwest Asia receives much less attention than either NATO or China. Thc Soviets have the capability toariety of military operations in the region, ranging from occupation of small areas of Iran or Pakistanarge-scale atiack toort on the Persianajor invasion of Iran, however, would be extremely difficult for the Soviets to execute. The Soviets would probably not regard thc attainment of strategic objectives in Southwest Asia as decisiveATO-Warsaw Pact war. On balance, we believe the Soviets would regard invasion of Southwest Asia as an unattractive optionultithcatcr war.

Overall, the Sovietwith its Warsaw Pact allies-has the capability to conduct simultaneous military operations in Europe, the Far East, and Southwest Asia. Operations against China, however, would have to be limited in scope. Campaigns in the threeby TMO highbe conducted largely independently of one another.

ar in all three theaters continued beyond two or three months, offensive operations in the Far East and the Persian Gulf region would begin to stretch logistic resources. Moscow would have to consider that continued offensives In these theaters could developong-term and large-scale commitment of manpower and material that would compete with and ultimately could weaken the war effort in Europe.

We cannot envision the circumstance in which Moscow wouldajor drawdown of its forces opposite NATO to attack China.ove would jeopardize any chance tbe Soviets haveuick victory in Europe and, in view of China's lack of capacity to mount andoordinated attack into Soviet territory, would be unnecessary.

Given the fact that thc Pact alreadyuperiority in conventional forces in Europe. Pact planners would probably see no urgencyarge-scale transfer of forces from the Far East to EuropeATO-Pact war.



It is highly unlikely that, in the contextlobal war, the Soviets would transfer large forces to Southwest Asia. Ground and tactical air units now in this theater arc sufficient to undertake operations up to andull-scale invasion of Iran. The Soviets, however, would probablyefensive posture opposite Iran, and hold the majority of their units in the Caucasus for operations against Turkey-lobal war, rather than reinforcing the Indian Ocean Squadron, the Soviets probably would recall some units from the Indian Ocean and South China Sea, particularly if US aircraft carriers were not present.

In sum, the Soviet Union will continue to posture its forces to fight in three principal theaters on its western, eastern, and southern borders. The priority of effort, however, will be toward the west. In the eventlobal war, Moscow would subordinate its actions in all other theaters to the war against NATO. In all likelihood, so long as it were at war with NATO, the Soviet Union would not undertake major campaigns in the other theaters without being forced to do so, but would attack any US forces in these theaters that threatened the USSR.




evelopments over (Ih- Iml Iwo decades have increased the likelihood thai. In the even!ATO-Warsaw Pact war. thc Soviet Union would have to conduct simultaneous campaigns in several widely separated theater* Eai Im In the period follow iin: Worldoviet planners could concentrate almost exclusively on the United Stales. Westernand the developing North Atlantic Alliance In, however, the Soviet break with Chinaew dimension into Soviet militaryand Mojcqw had lo consider the possibility of war with China a* well.

Z. Bv thct became apparent from the major buildup ol Soviet lorces In the Far East thai Moscow's defense planning was developing on the assumption that the USSR mishl become involved in -two-theater land war -against NATO and China Moreover, Japan* gradual defense buildup and strengthening of IU lira lo tbe United States have increased the potential wartime threat to the USSR in the northwestern Pacific Finally, (he developing Sino US relationship hu further complicated Sovietcalculations in this

vents in Southwest Ana over the past five years havehird dimension to the picture. The fall ol lhe Shah of Iran, lhe growth of ShltleIhe Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Iran-haq war have destabilised the Persian Gulf region, increasing the potentialS Soviet confrontation there and raising the specter thai the USSti could conceivably have lo fifth) in ihree regions, (s)

w evidnttly piepared foeontin gencv There are liuble Soviet forces in each ol lhe prospectivesee figurehey are uniquely structured and equipped for operations ui theirareas, and are designed to operate independent!without maior reinforcement from other

Principal Adversary

Soviet Union clearly recognizes the United States as its primary connlcrweight in world affair*

CxiaiU on vVbiuw Putill U- movinedorthcoming 'ladbool' Intriagency Inlalliaence

Figure 2

Approximate Distribution of Soviet Forces

Sou Ih well


and the US-dominated Noith Atlantic Alliance as its principal military advervaiy The Industrializednations and Japan monopollie lhe worldsand technology and largely determine itsTheu social and economic structures are essentially antithetical to thoae ol the Soviet (Man, and they are an obstacle to the eiparaton of Soviet influence. Most important in the Soviet view, the NATO nations have the mihtary capacity to destroy the Sovtet Union and itsesult, the prepondefance ofall non-Soviet Warsaw Pacthave wartime mission* against NATO. The Soviet intelligence agencies focus their reporting on the NATO countries, and Soviet military planning and exercises are directed primarily against NATO. In addition. Soviet planners probably expect thai US forces In lhe northwestern Pacific would engage Soviel forces shortly after the initiation of


in Europe, and they cannot exclude the possibility that Japan might support US military

Number Two

The manner In which thc Soviets allocate and exercise their forces indicates that,ar on the Eurasian laoviet campaign against China would be second in importance to thc European campaign. Por moreecade, the Soviets have oriented more than one-fourth of their ground and tactical air forces toward their eastern (rentier. They abo keep one of their four Beets in the Pacific. Chinese nuclear forces, though not equivalent to those of tlie Soviet Union,ause of concern to Soviet leaders.

Like NATO In the West, China is an obstacle to the expansion of Soviet influence in Asia. Relations between thc USSR and China have fluctuated since their split In, and last year's bilateral political negotiations between Moscow and Beijing have led to improvements only in economic and cultural affairs- The Chinese leadership continues to consider the Soviet regime Itostile toward China. There have been recent improvements In thooi their relations that require our closehowever, and China seems to beore active role in finding areas in which the two sides can agree to make progress despite the stalemate inissues.

SouthwestDistant Third

In Soviet military planning. Southwest Asiamuch leu attention llun either NATO or China. Moscow began to focus oa the areaotential tlwater of military operations (TMO)lter tbe situation there destabilized. Soviet actions to date, however, have been more conceptual than real. Tbe Soviets have not increased tbe rate of ground forces modernization- It continues to lag that in other areas, and the units In this region are still among the least well equipped of any along the Soviet periphery. The capability of the Soviet air forces for offensive action, however, has increased substantially. Soviet naval forces in thc Indian Ocean, meanwhile, havein size, but the Soviets have made no attempt to challenge US naval supremacy in the region.

The reason for the comparatively relaxed Soviet military posture opposite the Persian Gulf region (excluding Afghanistan) is dear. While the area Is

important to the Soviet Union for politicalincreased influence (here would provide thc Kremlin some leverage over Western Europe and Japanol their dependence on Persian Gulfarea is not key to the Soviet Unionecurity standpoint None of the nations in the regionhreat to Soviet territory.

"]Nonc could prevent Soviet forces from advancing through Iran or Pakistan to the Gulf. The "Kremlin would undoubtedly welcome awhich would serveuffer zone on the southern Bank of thc USSR as well as deny US access to the region. The Soviets have occupiedof Iran twice in this century0 to oppose thc British and1 to check Germanuffer zone in Iran would not be comparable to those the Soviet Union maintains In Eastern Europe and Mongolia

While Southwest Asia does not present athreat to the Sovietso long as there are no US forces or facilities inarea is key to Moscow's goal of increased influence in the Middle East The Kremlin, however, must balance its moves in the area to avoid the appearance of directly tJireatening the security of the Western rations. Theutside tbe NATO area, andanno inclination to get involved there. In fact, many European NATO countries are reluctant even to support an improved US military posture In thc Gulf region, lest it detract from the direct US military commitment to NATO or involve them in an unwanted war.

Inrive to tbe Persian Gulf, the Soviet leadership would have to consider not only the difficult operational environment and Iran'sfor protracted opposition, but also that the United States has declared the region vital to its interests and stated its intent to take all necessarythc use of force to protect Western access to Persian Gulf oil. The Sovietsrecognize that thc West has major Interests at stake la the Calf.atter of prudence, tbey also must take seriously the US pledge to defend these interests. Tbey probably assess that the United States hasarginal capability to intervene directly ingiven thc politicalelatively strong capacity for air and naval operations In and over the Persian Gulf and adjacent areas.




In the eventATO-Warn- Part war. lhe Soviet objective would be (he rapid and total defeat of NATO forces through offensive operations by superior forces. The Soviets consider defensive operations against NATO only In the context of their contribution to the ofleruive They have the necessary forces toeneral offensive in Central Europe, and have deployed these forces to facilitate such an oBeo-sive

ar In Europe, time would be of the essence for the Soviets. Tney would attempt to seize quickly their key military, political, and economic objectives In Central Europe Thev probably view NATO's conventionalwell forward in Central Europe to defend territory but lacking in both reserves and maneuvervulnerabletrong air and ground attack. At0 time, tbe Soviets probably overestimate NATO's capability to reinforce Its forces fn Europe. They also are Impressed by Western technology and the capacity of the NATO countries to produce war materials In the longeruick Soviet victory In Europe would deny these potential strength* to NATO.

Ihe Nudaor Question

Another factor dial drives Soviet strategyuick victory In Europe Is the desire of the Soviet leadership to keep any fighting from going nuclear. Once the nuclear threshold had been crossed, tbe Pact's conventional forces would suSer heavy attrition and thc Soviet rvorneiand would be held at risk.

Soviet itralegists brieve widespread attacks against NATO nuclear forces would be necessary during the conventional phasear to eliminate or reduce NATO's capability for escalation. Despitethat the Soviets are considering the possibility that tbe increase In their nuclear capabilities inmight deter early NATO cscalabon aad allow them to extend the period of conventional war. they cannot be certain, and probably expect that NATO would be forced to use nuclear weapons ultimately to stave off defeat. AH Warsaw Pact planning, therefore, proceeds on the basis that nuclear operation* could begin at any time. Once the Pact determined lhal NATO had obtained authorization for widespread use of noctear weapons. It would anempl to preempt such use. The Soviets consider that the initial massed use of nuclear weapons wouldecisive impactATO-Pact war.

A Hinorkol Perspet'lvw

TVrategy loe war on tbo Kuradanis influenced heavily by iuarlier campaigns, particularly in World War II On thefront, lhal experience wu initially largely nesatiie The Red Army wu unprcmicderman attack, was taker* by mrpitae by Operation Ihiparorsa, and spent the early period of the war retreatlne deep into iu. own territory.

On tbe eastern front, the Soviet caperirnce was essentially pcrtllve Ai opposed to the long defensive campaign it fought agatssst Germany. Moscowonly two major actjora agairut lhebattle ofear theborder, Inn tbe eve of World War IU and die ManclHuian campaign, al the war's end. iii yean later. Both were purely offensive actions Both were characterised by

Erteonvc punning and detailed but secret preparations.

Hm aunhafcng of superior force* at the endile supply line,

The launchingevastating hilts llut not only Inflicted heavy canjajiiek. but altoevere rnycaalogkal efforthe

ooeraUoa* multoi io drrtsrtT Sovtaf victories and wore decided ia has tana two weeks Judged according lo the amount of writing devoted to ibecn. both are still seen at oQering valuable InsiglMS into planning and conducting conventional campaigns

Several eiternal factors contributed lo lhe Soviet success inthe fact that tbeArmy there had been depleted to aanaaart Japaa'i war effort la ether areas, and (hat lha Emperor wat already Indian! to mireoaoraaak of Dae nodeu borrabing of lluounra* and Nagasaki The Soviethowever. IgBomcton Soviet planners emphasise thai the key contributor! lo the tueeen of tbe campaign were the secrecy that lurroundcd thc prcpa-rarioosthe Soviets to gain irntegk surprise) and the speed and strength that characterised the offensive ULlowtag Soviet forces to achieve their major ebroetiva entirely within tbe initial phase ai theSoviet auiliorlues have atvidted the campaign eitensitely. and have concludedeliberateis far preferabletrategy bared on protracted defensive and counteroffensive operations

n public, the Soviet leadership lias consistently rejected the notion of limited nuclear war andthat it would be impossible to control escalation once thc nuckar threshold had been crossed. Noncthc-

less, thc SovlcU probably regard limited nuclear war in Europeontingency for which they mint be prepared.

Soviet leadership's preoccupation withcapacity lor nuclear warfare iv manifestedpriority that nuclear Issues have been accordedSoviet foreign policy Initiatives., the Kremlin's number-one foreignwas to prevent the Introduction of Pershing IIcruise missiles (CLCMi) Intowith this effort, Moscow has conductedpropaganda campaign to force NATOthe first use of nuclear weapons

The Campaign in Central Europe

lhe Sovietar in Europe wouldor lost In NATO's Central Region, whichbulk of NATO's mlhtmry farce* and most ofSixty percent of the Pact's divisions andof Its tanks opposite NATO arethis area. The Soviets plan to conduct aoperation against NATO In Centralarea they describe as tin- Western TMO. Itcharacterized by multiple, successive frontwith few If anyupported bythc Strategic Rocket Forces, and (lieIt would be conductedidthkilometers andepthSoviets plan lo complete this operation Ido

Operations on NATO's Hanks

operations on NATO's flanks, onsmaller scale, would be Initiated almostwith lhe general offenatvc la Centralwould be designed to destroy those NATOcould threaten the USSR, to tie downto prevent their transfer to Central Europe,seize key objectives eaaential to'theof Pact naval forces. On the southernSouthwesternarly Pact operationsattacks on Allied naval forces in theespecially the aircraft carriers andplatforms that could strikeove against thc Turkish Straits,access to and from the Black Sea. OnSank (the Northwesternheprobably attack nordicni Norway fromand through Finland to seize the NATO basesdeny their use, and to facilitate Sovietin the Norwegian and Barents Seal

ore extensive Pact operations on thewhich would not be critical to the success of the Pact main effort, and indeed could detract fromprobably not be undertaken until key objectives in Central Europe had beenat least until the Padere was well developed If the Soviet campaign in Central Europe went according to plan and NATO forces there weir defeated inonth, largo Pact operations on the flanks might not be necessary.

naval operations in the NorwegianArctic Ocean would be designed largely toareas lo US aircraft carriers,submarines, and amphibious assaultto preserve lite Soviet capacity to launchby protecting thc Northern Fleet'sballistic missile submarines (SSBNs)

War in East Asia

Soviet strategyar in the Far Eastlobal conflict would be Influenced by whether lhe fighting there involved only lhe United States and possibly Japan, or also Included China While opera-boos against US forces would lake place mainly atonflict with China would beand campaign involving both ground and air forces'

Although Beijing clearly shows no interest in formally allying itself with Tokyo or Washington. China snares with the United States andommon security interest In curbing Soviet expansion in the Far East. To Moscow, thii translates into the possibilityar in Asia could pit tbe Soviet Union against not only the United Statos and perhaps Japan, but also China The structure of Soviet forces in thisland force* aimed primarily at China, naval force* aimed primarily at US forces afloat, and air force* aimed at both plusreflects this assumption.

Operations Against US Forces

f the United State* became involved Inivmlo the Far East, tbe primary focusoviet attack would be US naval force* In the Pacific The object would be lo destroy those forces that could attack me Soviet mainland, deny vital straits, or disrupt Soviet naval operations In the Pacific. The Pacific Ocean Fleet would attempt lo eatabiish aea control in tbc waters contiguous lo lheSoviet bal-

* ForOMaflnd dlaorioaw>Ctim.


tf w

IH f

missile submarine bastionconduct sea denial operationsistance olautical

developing their contingency plans (or warFar East, the Soviets must, therefore, takeUS naval forces In the Pacific as well as USbased in Korea and Japan. With respectthe Sovieu are probably most concernedpotential for useorward operating base forbecause Japan's Self-Defense Forces doan independent threat to the SovietTokyo's efforts to improve theof its forces and US prodding to that endfactors, especially in viewperceplionevelopingrelationship, (s)

The Compoign Against China

strategyar with Chinafrom its strategyar withprimary difference is tliat Soviet strategistsenvision only umiled-objeetive attackswith penetrationsepthoin northeastern China, and about halfthe area west of Mongolia (seehecontingent opposite China, although large in

absolute terms, is small in relation to tbe size of Chinese forces and territory. The Soviet units,are dispersed along stiongpoints clow to Ihc border to protect Soviet lemtory, but are notin depth toeep and sustained offensive, (s)

NorrAeoifcrn China. In the eventino-Soviet conflict, the primary Soviet objective would be to seixe northeastern China. The Soviet operation would be similar to the one In Manchuriaorces from the Far East Military District would attack to the south and west, while forces from Mongolia and the Transbaika) MD would attack to the soulh and east. The two forces would attempt to converge and link up. cutting off Chinese forces in the area, and occupying anilometers deep, (s)

The SovieU would probably conduct aaltack from the Central Asian Military District Into the Urumqi Military Region west of Mongolia (s)

Soviet attacks in these areas would bo designed tohinese invasion of thc Soviet Union, with the expulsion of Chinese forces and the establishment of zones of occupation to protect Soviet cities and lines of communication (LOCs) near the border,the port of Vladivostok. The latter would be



Potential Soviet Invasion Routes Into China



Sioetiev Mfi .



Sncflydng MR

tilanl f Iovi-ce




essential Io the prosecution of maritime operations against Japan and US forces in the Pacific.

In the absencehinesewe consider eatremelySoviet Invasion ofmakes little sense, especially in the contestlobal war. Since most Chinese main-force units areilometers from thce facto buffet zone already separates Soviet and Chinese forces. This buffer zone contributes to Soviet security by reducing the chances of accidental border incidents lhal could lead tooviet move against China would involve the USSRwo-front land war and reduce rather than enhance Soviet security In thest. since Soviet forces there arc not adequate to occupy northern China indefinitely. Prolongedwould require substantial rein for cements and defilade the Soviets" capacity to prosecute the war with NATO.

The Nuclear Question RectViud. The large reserves of Chinese manpower and the vast einanse of Chinese territory pose several problems for the Soviets On; Is the nuclear problem- The Soviets might feel they would have to use nuclear weaponslicto oBset the Chinese advantage in manpower.

lhc use of nuclear weapons against the Chinese, however, would pose enormous risks for iho Soviets. In the first place, they would have to consider the possibility of Chinese nuclear retaliation, which could destroy several Soviet cities as weB as major military targets In the Far East Secondly, tney would have to consideruclearchange with Chins could lead to one with NATO. Any Soviet decision to use nuclear weapons against China, therefore, would very likely be conditioned by events In tbe European theater, as well as by Soviet objectives in the war with China. The Soviets would rsrobably be reluctant to initiate tho use of nuclear weapons against Chinaampaign with only limitedhinese nuclear retaliatory strike could seriouslyMoscow's ability to prosecute the campaign in Eurs tneir technology improves, the Soviets will probably rely more heavily oo improved ccorenoorul munitions against large Chinese troop corscetstiatkoos If Soviet forces were In danger of being ovorwhelmed by shoes numbers of Chinese troops, tbe Soviets would be likely to employ chemical weapons, against which the Chinese have little capacity lo defend themselvesimited capability to reply In kind

Although nuclear weapons would have aImpactino-Soviet war. the total defeat of

China would entail occupation of the country by conventional forces, and Soviet forces in lhc Far East are clearly inadequate for such an undertaking. Forrotracted war on Ihe Asian mainland makes little; sense fromolilical or military point of view.

War in Southwest Asio

Soviet military strategyar In the-Pcrsian Gulf region may not be as well defined as it is for wars In Europe and China, despite the fact that both the Soviets and their czartst predecessorsong history of intervention in northern Iran. Twice in this century ihey occupied parts of the area in response to what they perceived as threats lo their security, ln0 their forces occupiedprovince ofan attempt to rid the area of British forces that were supporting resistance to tbc new Soviet regime The Soviets withdrew theSeptember. In1 they again occupied Iranian territory, tbb time with the help of British forces, to oppose German influence. British forces withdrew byut Soviet troops, inof an earlier Anglo-Soviet agreement,and were subsequently reinforced. Heavy pressure by the United Stales and the United Kingdom applied through thc United Nations over the nest two months compelled lhe Soviets to remove their troops in May. Those erpcriertcra, however, are not applicable to the current situation, in which any Soviet move into Iran would be strongly resisted by the Iranians. Thc Soviets would also have to consider tbe possibilityS military reaction.

Soviet military literature on the Persian Gulf Is lacking. Wlslle much has been written on military operations in Europe and the Far East, virtually all recent Soviet literature on the Gulf region IsIt denounces US interference in the area. Il dwells on thend "aggressive" US naval buildup ln the Indian Ocean. It cites the esubushment of thc Rapid Deployment Force and (Is successor, USCENTCOM. as examples of Americant provides no due, however, as to thc types of campaigns the Soviets are conridering ln the region.

Soviet military strategy for war in Southwest Asia is not clear. However, roughly concomitant with the US decision following the Soviet Invasion of Af-gbanittan loorce capable of rapidto Southwest Asia, the Soviets began to focus on the areaotential theater of military operations.



have not, however. Wgni&canllymilitary posture in the area. Forceon the contrary, have continued at ain relation lo the oiliersignificant force changes in the regionprimarily from the Soviet invasion ofand subsequent operations there. Neithernor five years of operations inhave more than marginally enhancedfor military operations in Southwest Asia.

Mtrltitheoter Wor

do not have good evidence on Sovietfighting simultaneous campaigns in widelyregions. The Soviet Union .has never fought amultitheater war. Following thendowever, thehave to contend simultaneously with thethe west; small British, French, andin the north near Murmansk andthe Japanese, Americans, and British whoat Vladivostok In the east; tbe Czech legion inBasin in the south; and bands of Whitethe breadth of the nation. During Worldthc Kremlin resisted Allied pressures tountil Germany had surrendered.

Force Deployments

iews on multitliealer war arebest inferred from thc manner in which itts forces and from tbe structure It has established to controltrategy of multitheater war implies readiness for combat in separate geographic regions simultaneously. It Implies adequate forces in thctheaters, as well as substantial reservesboth for mobility and flexibility of employment to respond to setbacks and capitalize on opportunities. Finally, itystem of command and control that provides for centralized control of independent operations In each region.

Soviet forces meet these criteria Given our understanding of Moscow's likely objectives in each of the three regions, we believe Soviet forces in each region are adequate for initial operations. TheIndicates, moreover, that the Soviets would rely primarily on these forces to accomplish initial(seehis is particularly true of ground and naval forces, whose transfer would be both time consuming and risky. While frontal air forces could be transferred rnore quickly, they arc likely to remain with the com dined-arms formations they support Overall, the major variations In readiness and combat

Sofcolovskiy on Forces Redeployment

Marshal SoVolovsliv, in an ankle entitledountry to Repelrovided some insight into the Soviet view of the transfer ol lorces:

During the course of the war Itbenaturally, to avoid certain transfers of special-ists from one region to another. But these transfers under present-day conditions should be reducedinimum. Comptex storehouses with all necessary equipment should be created at the mobil nation center. During the last war the equipment for manning the units frequently had to be brought In from dozens of storehouses located hundreds and even thousands offrom the mobilization points,uture warituation wiD be intolerable, since it does not correspond to present-day mobilization time limits.

potential of forces in the various theaters suggest that Soviet/Pact forces In each are uniquely structured, manned, and equipped to meet contingencies peculiar lo that region, and that major reinforcements from outside the region are not regarded as essential.

The Strategic Reserve

Nevertheless, on the basis of their experience in World War II and analysis of the scale of losses likely to be experiencedar under modern conditions (conventional orhe Soviets have devoted considerable attention to the creation and organization of their strategic reserves. Tbey classify as strategic reserves those units of the armed forces In direct subordination to thc Supreme High Commandis. the Moscow, Ural, and Volga Military Districts, airborne forces, and VGK air armies. They also include tbe stores of supplies kept in arsenals, depots, and bases of central subordination. Sucharc intended for weighting attacks at the outset of hostilities, for making up losses suffered In battle, for reinforcing and creating new groupings of forces, and for accomplishing other missions arising In the coursear.

For the most part the ground force units in the strategicthose existing inare "not ready" or cadre formations. They wouldrequire large-scale mobilization, preparation, and training before they could be committed to comoat. Many units would have to be moved thousands of kilometers by road or rail to their area of employment


In theory, these units could be employed in any TMO. Augmentation of tbe strategic, reservegroundthe past several yearsthe Soviets" concern over their ability totheir forcesult it heater war.

ilitary operations in all regions would also be supported by KGB Border Guards and Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) troops, as well as by similar NSWp paramilitary forces Border Guards wouldinitial defense of the border and assist in tlie collection of tactical intelligence Many units are equipped as light infantry, and some have tanks, armored personnel carriers (APCsX and artillery. They would perform such duties as rear area security.

Command and Control

strategy evidently does envisioncampaigns in each theater. Iton World Warxperience, includingcampaignecause of theof the Far Eastern theater, the great diversityand equipment assembled there, and theof the area, the Soviets experienced difficultythe missions of the fronts and fleetthem for operations. At first they triedthey had used against Germany,representative of the CHQ. Marshal Vasalcvskiy,operations in the Far'Eastmall staff.ew weeks,realized that this system was inadequatetask he faced In the Far East Hethe post of Far Eastern commander inproviding him with an appropriate stall.was accepted, and, according totho resulting organization was anto the successful execution of thein Manchuria.

Prudence Over Preference

by the manner in which theand exercise their forces, wo conclude thatfor the contingencyultitbeater war.Is undoubtedly based more on prudencepreference. It Ls doubtfulUieSoviets would opt for simultaneous operationsregions- Any advantage they might enjoyin such alines, forlargely disappear in practice, becausegreat distances and difficult terrain thattheaters.

Soviet Grand Strategy

lobal war, Moscow's grand strategy would be heavily conditioned by two mainuclear atiack against the Soviet Union and rapidly defeating the adversaiy that can do it mostBecause the Soviet priority of effortlobal war would be against NATO, Moscow would attempt to avoid operations in other theaters that could constrain its capacityuick victory Inoviet attack into China, for instance, could developong-terra. large'SCale commitment of manpower and material and compete for resources with the campaign inimilar situation would exist if the Soviets were toajor offensive in Southwest Asia. They would have lo commit some ground and air units that couldbe used in ihc European campaign. The Soviets, moreover, would probably not regard the attainment of strategic objectives In Southwest Asia as decisiveATO-Warsaw Pact war.

In the contextlobal war. the Soviets would probably see no real urgency for major operations against China or in Southwest Asia Compared with NATO, China poses little threat to the Soviet Union. The Persian Gulf nations pose none. The Soviets, therefore, would have little to galo by attacking China while they were al war with NATO, but much to lose. By tlie same token, lhe Soviets would probably not attack Japan unless Tokyo permitted US forces to stage combat operations out of bases inoviet move toward tbe Persian Gulf would detract from the Soviet capacity lo conduct operations against both NATO and US forces In tlie Pacific While the impact on Soviet operations in Europe would not boprimary effect would be to limit Soviet operations in eastern Turkey, which would not be critical to thc campaign In Centraldrawdown of Soviet naval forces In the Pacific to augment the Indian Ocean Squadron would Impair the Soviet capacity to attack US foices in tbe Pacific to protect their SSBN force, and to defend theagainst attacks by US carriers and sea-based land attack nuclear-armed cruise missiles.

Conceivably, the Soviets might initiatein thc Persian Gulf region to deny oil to the NATO nations. Such operations, if undertaken, would probably be in the form of strategic air attacks agsansl the tanker loading fatalities in tbe Gulf ports Denial of

*Sm foolnoU II. on paf -I.tewof iht AuUtanl Cftfe/ of Slaf lot lattBi&tiwe. Orpcimaai of On Ami.


Culf oil, however, would not have aneffect on NATO's fighting ability, as NATO hasays ol crude oil reserves, and Us wartime military requirements would beiaction of peacetime civilian consumption that could lie diverted to miliury use

Thc men! likely Soviet course of actionATO-Warsaw Pad war would be toefensive posture opposite both China and lian. and to attack US forces in the Western Pacific. In addition, the Soviets would try to dissuade Japan from tiecorning an active participant, and would press Tokyo to deny the United States use of air and naval facilities in Japan. Falling this, the Soviets would be likely lo atuck these facilities, since US combat aircraft based in Japan would be able to attack rnibtary Urgrts in the Soviet Far East, as weQ as Soviet naval forces operating in the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the western PadBc

Only one view In tbe Intelligence Community holds that tho Soviets wouldround invasion of thc Japanese main islands' All believe, however, llul the Soviets would probably bolster their defenses on Sakhalin and on the Kuril Islands,the northern territories claimed by Japan These areas are key to Soviet strategy both to defend the homeland and to launch strategic nuclear attacks against the United. States. They guard the Soviet fleet access to the western Pacific, and are indispensable to the fleet's capacity to defend Its SSBN bastions in the Seas of Okhotsk and Japan.

do not have good insights into wlultoward Korea would be during aThe Soviets might try to complicate USrseutraliie US air forces in Korea whileown forces by erseotsragirig North Koreathe South. We believe Pyongyang wouldto Uke advantage of tbe opportunitythe absorption of US forcesorldwidewould give serious thought to an attack wllhencouragement from Moscow. It mightafter the opening of hostilities In Europernlglst wait until US forces earmarkedthe defense of South Korea had beenelsewhere. If P'yorjgyang failed to actthe Soviets would probably attack USInorth Korean attack, however,in demands by North Korea for increasedboth logistic and operational, particularly air

' Ttw holdrr of Iht)htSUf for

i. ' I iht Army.i It SO for c

.f (Mi aalgacl)

support. In essence, if the Soviet leaders believedland war in Korea would cause more problems foi Ihe United States than it would for thc USSK, they would probablyorth Korean attack II. however, they concludedar in Korea would compete for resources with (heir campaign against NATO, thev would probablyorth Korean attack.

the outsetATO-Pact war, lheattack US naval forces in thcautical miles of live USSRprevent their use against the eastern USSR, andany possibility of their being transferredEuropean Theater


capacity of the Soviet Union and ItsPad allies to prosecute military operationsamong the throe principal regions.


capacity is clearlylso the region in which allies ofUnion would make the greatest and mostIn the other theaters, the Sovietsbases In client states to support militaryAfghanistan for operations in theor in Cam Ranh Bay In the Far East,There would, however, be Utile if anyby nun-Soviet military forces otherMongolians

Pod Forcei

Warsaw Pad forces oppositeoorasiderablr in quality and readiness, theyin number andtbe Soviets maintain opposite both ChinaThey Includeercent of the Pact'sand tactical air forces (TO percent If unitsCaucasus are allocated against Turkey ratherand throe of the four Soviet Pad ground forces arc echelonedtoustained offensiveare largely mechanised, and heavily outarmies Id most key arms, including armor

The Miliary Bolorsce

how the Soviets assess theIn the Western TMO Is not clear. For years,


Eastern participants at tbc negotiations on mutual and balanced force (eductions (MBFR) have insisted (hat tlie loices of the two alliances in Central Europe are approximately cquaL The Soviets, moreover, do not rale their forces as highlyis NATO as Western analysts do. Nonetheless, there are indications that Pact planners rate Iheir conventional lorces as superior to those ol NATO.

Pact, however, continues to maketo Its force posture oppositein those forces opposing NATO'schanges go beyond such routine forceas the Gelding of new fighters,ew generation oflonger range tactical missiles- They includereorganization of air and air defense forces,of thc Soviet armies in East Germany,of new operational concepts such as tbemaneuver groupod tlienew types of units, presumably to implementWc believe the Soviets are alsoearly reinforcement of Eastern Europe,movement of fronts from lhe western USSRSovietthatin tlie NSWP armies (which compose apart of Pad first-echelon forces) are notwith those in Soviet first-echelonto increase thc weight of Soviet forces in theto improve its overall combat power.also alleviate any apprehension tlie Sovietmay have concerning the reliability of itsPoland.

Tho Role of Nuclear Weapons

ground and air units have thc capacitya general offensive in Centralby Umlted offensives on the flanks. Itimpossible to assess tbe Pact's capacityexecute lb strategyapidoffensive In Central Europe, becausecalls for using wliatcver itstop such anact attack against NATO woulda large extent on the capacity of Pact air forcesair superiority Over the Europeanto destroy NATO's nuclear forces in thebefore they could be employed. At thcfighting. Pact strategy callsidespreadair operation against NATO's airand nuclear command and controlthe same time, the Pact would attempt to overrun

For oetaila. wtarmm fad Ho**txUat

NATO's forwardmuch of its nuclear artillery and short-range tactical missiles. Special-purpose forces (Spetxnaz) and OMCs,behind NATO's main defensive area, would have the mission of locating and destroying NATO's theater nuclear weapons.

his wouldery ambitious undertaking, however, and, given the potential problems that could force the Soviets to cancel the air operation, tlie Pact must have serious doubts ihat it could eliminate the NATO tactical nuclear threat* The Pact's problem is further complicated by thc fact that the ground tactkal weapons are dispersed throughout Ihe NATO corps areas, many of the strike aircraft are based well lo NATO's rear, and submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles routinely operate in European waters, where the Soviet capacity for detection is very limited.

Impact of INF /Aodernization

The arrival of Pershing Ils and CLCMs In Europe, moreover, greatly complicates the picture for lhe Soviets. Unlike NATO's shorter range tactical missiles (Lance) and artillerylarge number of which would be overrun In the eventuccessful Pact offensive in Centralnewer missiles would not be affected by early Pact groundThe mobile missiles would not be good targets for Pact short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) using conventional warheads, and those CLCMs in the United Kingdom and Sicily would be out of the range of Pact SRBMs, with the exception of tlioseodeployed in Eastern Europe. Inasmuch as the new US missiles are capable of striking strategic targets as well as follow-on forces in the Soviet Union, however, Pact planners would have to include them in their conventional as well as nuclear target planning.

This raises the question of how the Soviets would handle the rear-based theater nuclear systems (bombers and CIXMs In the United Kingdom and CLCMs Iniven the abundance of high-priority targets on tbe continent, and thc fact that bombers attacking Britain would lack fighter cover, we do not believe the United Kingdom would be an early target for air attack. The same applies to Sicily for similar reasons. If the Soviets did.not attack US lorces in (lie United Kingdom and Sicily in the initial airubstantial part of NATO's ground-


based and air-launched theater nuclear weapons would so untouched. These alone with tbe sea-baseddo revere damagehe USSR

NATO'sueleor Deterrent

il the Pact's conventional offensiveinitial success. Pact leaders would have lotheuick defeat ofand tactical nuclearof lhc three Western nuclear powers act inemighttrategic nuclearthe Soviet Union. NATO's strategica much stealer threat to Soviet territory thantactical weapons, because of their greaterpower and ability lo reach deep Into theThey are, moreover, not likely lo bebv any conventional Soviet campaignalso are assuming an ever-increasing roleplans The French nuclear arsenal, forb assuming greater importance instrategy as conventional forces sufferfor economic reasons. The same applies toIfesser degree, live United States, forbajor overhaul of lis

Conventional Force Improvements

None of the NATO nations, on tbe otherignificantly improving its conventional forces. On the contrary, all European NATO capitab haveentreaties by the major NATO commanders -principallystrengthen their corrventiori-al forces, citing the high costs involved. Overall real growth in raoo-US NATO defense spending hasonlyPercept annuallybe yearercent goal was adopted Tbe Implications for conventional forces are clear, inasmuch as only two non-US NATO members have nuclear weapons and both arerge portion of any increased defense expenditure, to strategic nuclear forces.

With respect lo conventional forces, many non-US NATO nations have made major reductions in personnel, maintenance, current operations, andSeveralFrance, lhetbe United Kingdom, andreduced military and civilian manpower and are relying more heavily on reserves All European NATO nations have curtailed training, and many haveor trimmed held exercises. They have phased out older weapons to save on maintenance and have limited replenbhmen! of ammunition and spare parts.

Assessing Western Reaction

he disproportionate rate of improvementWestern strategic and conventional forcesImpacts on Moscow's confidence In ils ability to assess lhe likely Western responsearsaw Pact conventional attack Thcurthcr complicated by lhe facl lhal there arc three Western governments that control nuclear weapons. Thc Unitedhe only nation to ever have employed such weapons, and lhe Uniied Kingdom and France assert that they will coniinue lotrategic nuclear capabilityafeguard against the failure of the US nuclear umbrella. The British and French strategic assets, by themselves, are no match for Soviet strategic forces Nevertheless, they could do eriorrrious damage lo the USSR, and will beexpanded ovri thedecade. Thc Soviets take them very seriouslybeforo their walkout from the talks on Intcrmcdlate-range nuclear forcesthat both the British and Frenchbe included In those negotiations-


To occupy Central Europe with conventional forces, the Soviets would have to defeat the ground forces of the three nuclear powers as well as those of the other Allies.ighly questionable that the Soviets would assume that these three nations would sit on their strategic nuclear stockpiles if theirand tactical nuclear forces were being overrun Tins would be an extremely risky assumption, and the Soviet leadership characteristically leaves little lo risk.

In essence, by conceding to lhe Pact aIn conventional forces while refusing to renounce


first use of nuclear weapons, NATO is clearly implying that its strategy for the defense of Europe Is based on the ultimate use of strategic forces. In the final analysis, If both NATO and thc Pact followed through on their strategies and declaredampaign in Central Europe would probably beby nuclear rather than conventional forces.

Cost Asia

Soviets maintain about one-fourthroops inhe eastern USSR- Except for the fourin (heon thc Kamchatkaon Sakhalin, and one in the Kurilare oriented against China Tbe Sovieton thc other hand, which is the largest fleetSoviet Navy (although Itmallersubmarine-force than the Northern Fleet)primarily against US naval forces inThe Soviets also haveircraftFar East which could be used to support thein China, or to attack US forces inand thc Pacific

The Miliiary Bc4once

The military balance in the Pacific depends largely on the status of US air and naval forces in the region, including thc number of US aircraft carriers deployed to tbe western Pacific For their part, thc Soviets have considerably upgraded their Pacific Fleet over tlie lastthrough the allocation of new ships and aircraft and through transfers of ships from other fleets. Soviet air forces In Asia are being modernized at roughly the same pace as those in Europe.

Although the gap between the capabilities of Soviet ground forces in East Asia and those facing NATO has narrowed somewhat, most ground units opposite China are still not as well equipped as those opposite NATO. They are also considerablyby the Chinese, who havedvantage In manpowerdvantage in combat divisions along the border. Despite theirnumbers, the Soviets clearly have the advantage over the Chinese in firepower, mobility, and quality o! equipment. The Chineseot equipped,or adequately supported lo withstand attacks by mobile armored forces supported by superior air forces. They also have little capability to defendhemical attack. Tbe Soviets, despite these advantages, continue to modernize iheir forces along thc border, and to improve their capacity to support these forces logistically.

he Chinese are also improving their war-fighting capabilities In thc Inst four years, forthey haveheirCs. andin the border region by one-third. Nevertheless, they continue to fall behind the Soviets In overall force improvement, and the military balance along the liontier is tilling more and more In favor ol tlie Soviet Union. Significant Iv. tlie Soviets have made major improvements to their army in Mongolia, despite repeated Chinese demands that Soviet forces fnere be reduced.esult, these units are nowosition to threaten the North China plain and Bcuinghas abo established an important ail and naval base at Cam Ranh Bay and augmented its forces in the South China Sea. actions that are of concern to the Chinese.

Soviet CapobiGlies in the Western Pacific

Soviet Pacificapable ofnuclear strikes against the United Slatesas against regional states. Including China, postured and equipped tointo the Seas of Japan and Okhotsk byAllied naval force* lis capacity forwarfare1 however, bits limited detection capabiblies. Thus, whileforces cannot detect US submarines In ibewe believe the Pacificair and air defensenose athreal to any force that approachedor the Seas of Japan or Okhotsk.

Soviet CopabiUlics Against Japan

Moscow were unable to persuade Tokyotbe United Stales access to forwardin Japan, the Soviets might limit their attacksforces at sea and defend against attackingfrom Japan while weighing the militaryrisks of attacking US bases ka more likely, however, that, failing toacqulesence, tbe Soviets would attackin Japan as well as those Japanesewhose neutralization would be necessarysuch attacka The Soviets haveforces available in the Far East thatof such missions. Key to the Soviets'attack these targets will be their ability to obtainin the region. The relatively shortof many Soviet aircraft would limit the areaair operations. While Soviet heavy andcould strike targets throughout Japan,bomber force would probably be able lo attack

those targets on Hokkaido and northern Honshu. In addition, tighter escort would probably be limiled to the approaches over the Sea of Japan and Hokkaido and perhaps northern Honshu.

7S. The Sovirt capacity to conduct airstrllies against Japan, however, must be viewed in the light ofimited capacity for airapanese ground-based airand Nike surface-to-air missile (SAM)not sufficient, to defendetermined Soviet air attack J


Tbe Japanese Defense Agency hopes to purchase some Patriot SAMs. perhaps as earlyo replace the Nike system. In addition. Japanese defense firms plan to acquire production license* fo> the Patriot to help develop their own missile program. In the meantime, however, the brunt of the attack would have to be borne by Japan's fighters They could inflict heavy casualties on attacking Soviet air forces, but could not stand upustained Soviet attack.

he Soviets could not invade the Japanese main islands without significantly drawing down their ground and air foices opposite China. In the case of ground forces, lhe only available units close to Japan


is J J

are those divisions that border northeastern China (seehey arc crucial to the defense ofin the east and the Trans-Siberian Railroad in (he north, and the Soviets could ill afford to commit any of Ihemapan if there wereemote chance that China might enter Ihe war. (s)

ven an attack limited tois defended by four Japanesereqube

on the order of seven to eight Soviet divisions (given Ihe Soviets' propensity for absolute forcehey would have to be moved on merchant ships and landed after tbe naval infantry and air assault troops hadeachhead. Before undertakingenture, lhe Soviets would have to attain air superior-ily in thc northwestern Pacific. This would entail the destruction of any US aircraft carriers and cruise-


Key Soviet Forces Opposite Northeastern China

nionei vision

Maamiaiionsto<age Air assault battalionmobile assault D'toada FiphiDrrSghUroombe' base intifTiedtaio-ianoa bomber bate


mbslle-arrned platforms In lhe area. Ihe ellminat Ion of US airbascs in Japan and Korea, and the overcoming of Japanese air defenses.

An invasion of Hokkaido wouldajor reallocation of forces and would ngnifieantly limil tbe Soviet capacity for operations against China. Moscow would have to consider whether the benefits to be obtained by occupying Hokkaido would Justify the extensive and risky operations such an undertaking would entail As long as they control the Kuril Islands, the Soviets are virtually guaranteed access to tbe northwestern Pacific. Possession of Hokkaido would improve the Soviet capacity to protect tbc SSBN bastions in the Seas of Japan and Okhotsk, butcapability for SSBN defense in narrow, confinedin thisalready quite good and will Improve as new fixed underwater detection systems are fielded.

Soviet forces oppositeSakhalin and theclearly configured for defensive rather than offensive missions. They are strong In coastal and ai- defense but generally lacking in mobility.

Except for one opposinghe Intelligence Community believes that an Invasion ofone limited toentail operations beyond those the Soviets would want to undertake In the Far EastATO-Pact war.

Soviet Capabilities Against China

forces In the Far Eastern TMO havetohinese attack against theand toounterattack quickly.have the capacity lo launch limited offensivescast and west of Mongolia.Soviet advance would be facilitatedthe manner in which Chinese forces arcChineseefense in depth in whichforce would be confronted withand better equipped units. Tlie majorunits are organizederies ofwell0m) from the border Interrain suitable for defense, but well forward of

he AaUlM Chul ol Stag let Inlfutgenot. DepartmentAmu, belieoetttdaATO-Watuuc Focihe global In scale. In (hai eotnl. Iht Seoul CoxnJput high rrlortly cm torlv control of the In Feroutethe See oloeehwoe thU tctlhout mane llokteldolo mrtiton. Therefore. Ihev> holdi thaiagainst IloUMdo are cety fiA


Beijing and industrial centers In lhe southernMilitary Region (MR) China's major maneuver forces are located behind the defensive areas into react lo enemy Incursions.

A limited Allack Into Northeastern China. Despite the qualitative superiority of Soviet forces, an attack across the Amur-Ussuri River border intoChina would not be cosy. Tbe Soviets could probably quickly seize an areaepth ofilometers. Beyond thai, however, they would have much greater difficulty as ihey confronted Chinese main-force units The Chinese greatly outnumber lhe Soviets in the area, and their lines of communication (LOCs) are much shorter The logistic advantages, therefore, would be on the Chinese side

The Soviets could probably advance to Ihe area of Harbinm) Inside the border. If tbey wanted to hold the irea, however, they would require reinforce men Is Such reinforcements would have to come from either Ihe strategic reserve or from units that have missions against NATO. Chineseon the other hand, would be available from the southern Shenyang and Beijing MRs, and subsequently Irom the central reserve units io tbe Wuhan MR.

Because of lhe great distance separatingChina from lhe western USSR, resupplylng and reinforcing forces opera ling in tbe region wouldajor problem for thc Soviets. In eastern Siberia, lhe Soviets arc dependent on the double-track Trans-Siberian Railroad, which. In following the Amur River, runsong distance in the immediate vicinity of Ihe Chinese border. It would be vulnerable toespecially In the winter when therozen Russia lost lhe war with Japan5 in Urge part because of tho Inability of the (then) single-track railroad to supply and reinforce the Czar's troops in Manchuria. When the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railroad becomes operational (seehe situation wijl be improved somewhat for Moscow, but logistic support of unitsie Farill sn"roblem.

ecause of thc vulnerability of their land-based supply lines, the Soviets have made substantial efforts to develop iheir logistic base in the Far East They have large amounts of combat equipment in storage depots. Attliough the Sovietsarge number of airfields in the Far Kail, the number of transport aircraft in lhe region Is low.ajor airlift wouldransfer of aircraft from the European theater. Airlift alone, howcvei. could not provide lhe

cxtcnsive reinforcement thai would be required if the Soviet! attempted to occupy northeastern China as farg.

ajor Offensive Into China. To take and hold all northeastern China, including Beijing, the Soviets would have to either use nuclear weapons or at least double their forces in tire Far East. This judg-menl is based on an analysis of opposing forces in the region and historical precedent. As for Soviet views on conventional force ratios, Soviet strategists, whenplans for the Manchurian campaign5 (which provided for an attackepthnsisted onubstantial superiority over the Japanese in quality of equipment {which they also have over China)umerical forceover the Japanese (which they could not achieve over China} The Sovietsorce ol aboulivisions toapanese force that had been largely depletedesult of Japans war effort against the United States. Britain, and China.

lie situation the Soviets face in Chinauch the opposite. The Chinese haveefense in depth and have ampleworld's largest standingImplement it We do not believe thc Soviets would attempt an attack with Belling as Its objective with fewerivisions This would require, the movement of an additionaloviet divisions to tbe Far East. Many of them would have to come from tbe force oppositeove that Moscow would almost certainly be unwilling to make.

Attack Into Northwestern China.enjoys thc advantage in manpower andin the eastern sector of the Sino-Soviet border,applies to tbe western sector. In theRegion, Chinese forces are weak andto China proper by Just two secondarya single-track railway. Tbe Soviets,ample forces In the area, and their LOCsshort The Soviet task west oftherefore, be far less difficult than thatChina.

Southwest Asia

forces In the Southern TMO arein comparison with those in the otherThe potential Indigenous opposition bhowever, and there are no indications thata major expansion of its forces In theunits most likely to be committed in theinclude theivbionsactical aircraft

in the MDs north of Iran and in Afghanistan, and the small naval contingent (routinely including about five combat vesseb) in the Indian Ocean.

The Militory Balance

he balance of forces on the Iranian border clearly favors Moscow. The Iranian Army was no match for Soviet forces in the region before the Iran-Iraq war began, andven lessatch now. with its units depleted and ma [deployed. Iranian regular and paramilitary forces could notoviet invasion of their country. They could, however, delay the Soviet advance byblocking positions In tbe rugged terrain that controls the approaches to Tehran and by interdicting Soviet lines of communication. They could also make any Soviet occupation long and costly by conducting guerrilla warfare similar to that which the Soviets face in Afghanistan.

pposition by other nations in the region would depend largely on the scenario. Turkey, Iraq, and Pakistan would probably not come to tbe aid of Iran, but would fight if their own borders were threatened. The same applies to tlie Gulf Arab Stales, wluch are apparentlymall rapid deployment force,

Soviet Capabilities

The Soviets have the capacity toariety of military operations In the Southernhese range from small cross-border forays into Iran or Pakistan in conjunction with operations into large-scale attacks to the Persian Calf (see figuren each case, the Soviets would have to corrsider tbc fact that any military action in lite region couldS response.

Occupation of Azerbaijan. The Soviets are clearly capable of occupying Azarbayjan blm Iran. This'b the most feasible Soviet option In thc region from bothtical and military points of view. Politically, the Soviets probably feel that the United States would be less likely to respond to an attack that did not clearly threaten Western vital interests. In addition, an attack limited to Azarbayjan would not be an Immediate threat to Pakistan or the oil-producing nations south of the Persian Culf.

Militarily, this would be the easiest option for thc Soviets to execute. Force requirements, at least

-Seeocttt ft-cer and CnoA&tla tn the Southern Theater of MOiUiv Operations. IjA-




would befive to seventbe Soviets could avoid most Iranian Army units In addition, the attacking force would be within range of tactical air forces in the Soviet Union. This operation would be easiest to support logistically. because LOCs would be comparatively short and easy to secure Moreover, this attack could be undertaken and completed quicker than any other, minimizing both lhe potential for organized Iranian opposition and the chance for the United States to respond. In this regard, thc Soviets undoubtedly recognize that the United States would have difficultiesovietmove into Azarbayian, especially given tbe political situation In Iran.

lthough the risks associated with this scenario are relatively low. so ate the immediate gains.of Azarbayian would not afford the Soviets any control over Iranian oil An invasion restricted to Azarbayjan, moreover, would not markedly Improve lhe Soviet capability to eaecute other limited options that could threaten NATO's access to Persian Golf oil. such as an assault on the Strait of Hormuz, because Soviet air forces would not be able to provide effective' fighter coverage over tbe Culf. To attainapability, the Soviets would have to commitforces and extend their operations well Into central and eastern Iran.

ulf Port. Faced with onlyopposition, thc Soviets have the capacity to conduct an overland attack with three to five divisions toort on the Gulf of Oman or on the Arabian Sea. An attack against thc Gulf, however, would be much more difficult than an Invasion of Azarbayian. It would probably be launched out of Afghanistan, and the Soviets would have to at leastprobablyforces there to providefor the attacking force. Moreover, Soviet LOCs would extend from the USSR through Afghanistan to thedistance ofm over very difficult terrain. They would be vulnerable toby the Afghan resistance, as well as Iranian or Pakistani forces.

ny operation against the Gulf would also threalcn Western Interests In the region. The Soviets probably would assume that their forces would be subject to attack by US forces, particularly carrier aircraft. They undoubtedly realize that it would be easier for the United States to counter rapidly an attack In this area than one in Azarbayian and that it would be extremely difficult for them to take orulf port if their ground units and LOCs were subject to interdiction by US forces. The Soviets, therefore.

would probably have toontingency plan to engage US aircraft carriers In the Arabian Sea as part of any military move against tlie Culf. They would have to weigh the risk of engaging US forces in an area where they could regard the United States as holding an air and naval advantage, against thc limited short-term gains afforded by possessionulf port On balance, this would be an unattractive Option for the Sovietsultitheater war.

A Full-Scale inwiion and Occupation of Iran. The Soviets have sufficient ground and tactical air forces in the Southern TMO toeneral offensive into Iran with the objective of advancing to the Persian Culf and occupying theajor Invasion of Iran would be an extremely difficult operation for the Soviets to execute. Constraints would include determined and protracted Iranian resistance, the highly constricted terrain, difficulties In providing logistic support for both ground and air forces, and thc short combat radii of Soviet tactical fighter aircraft

The ground force requirement would be on thc order ofoivisions, Thc campaign would require atonth of preparation, and its execution would be very time consuming, as the forces moved tluough difficult terrain with extended LOCs and with little room to deploy or maneuver.on tbc degree of Iranian resistance, it could well take the Soviets six toeeks to occupy tbe Khuze-stan oilfields and seize key oil facilities on the Culf. They could probably occupy the western and southern littoral of theKuwait toan additionaloivisions. This would entail the transfer of five toivisions to the Southern TMO from other parts of the USSR, makingery unlikely optionlobal war.


Sovietwith itsthe capability to conductoperations In Europe, East Asia, andAsia. Operations against China, however,to be limited in scope. Campaigns in theby TMO highconducted largely Indcpendendy of onein the three TMOs opposite NATOcourse, have to be coordinated. Tbe TMOwould operate under the generalthe General Staff in Moscow, which wouldover those forces not specifically assignedtheater commanders, including most units in the

central USSR, several airborne divisions, and some air armies and transport aircraft.

Logistic slocks in the Western TMO opposite NATO's cenler are believed sufficient to sustain Pact units in combat (or at leastays. Our data on Soviet stockpiles on NATO's Banks and in the Far Eastern and Southern TMOs are not as good as they are on stocks in the Western TMO.esult of recent improvements in logistic infrastructure as well as an increase in'stockpiles. Use Soviets probably havestocks in the eastern USSR to support limited operations against China (of the type described in this Estimate) for at leastays. Stockpiles in theUSSR arc probably sufficient to support forces operating In Iranriod If live Soviets limited their operations in Iran to Azarbayjan, logistic stocks in the Caucasus would be sufficient toorce of five to seven divisions in low-intensitytype the Soviets would experiencean indefinite period. The main logistic problem the Soviets would be likely to face in Iran would be.hortage of supplies, but rather getting those supplies from the southern USSR to the units as they advanced deeper into Iran over very primitive and vulnerable LOCs.

ar in all three theaters continued beyond two or throe months, the Soviet capacity to conduct offensive operations in the Far East and thc Golf region would begin to show strains. Moscow would have to consider that continued offensives in these theaters could developong-term and large-scale commitment of manpower and material that would compete with and ultimately could weaken the war effort in Europe.

Inferthcafer Transfer of Forces

ultitbeater war, the Soviets couldforces from one region to another to enhance their prospects "for success or to respond to actions of their opponents- Our assessment of how thc Soviets would probablyransfer of forces among the throe principal regions is based largely on our understanding of the priority the Soviets would assign to each regionultithcater conflict, and the capabilities of Soviet-forces in each theater. Tbe strategic mobility of Soviet theater forces and their adaptability to fight in varying environments arc also important

Strategic Mobility

nultltheater war. thc Soviet Union would enjoy the advantage of interior lines-

Troop transfers could be made over the nation's railways, highways, inland waterways, and Largely uncontested airspace. The Soviet Union conducted major troop redeployments in World War II, and has the capacity for similar or greater redeployments now. The largest such move during World Waras thc west-east transfer of aboutivisions over the Trans-Siberian Railroad in preparation for thc attack into Manchuria. The process took about three months, although some equipment had been moved to the Far East earlier and stockpiled there.

The Trans-Siberian Railroad Is still the main east-west rail link in the Soviet Union. When the Baikal-Amur-Mainline (BAM) Railroad becomesin thethe last link was laid in. the rail capacity between Lake Baikal and the Pacific coast will increase by about SO percent. The BAM will also be less vulnerable to interdiction than the Trans-Siberian line because itiles north of the Chinese border (see figurehe BAM, however, will not affect the Soviet capacity to move forces between the western or central USSR and the Lake Baikal region, and hence will not significantly increase the Soviet capacity to shift forces between Europe and the Far East

Transport aircraft, both military and civil, could be usedesser degree to transport troops and supplies between the eastern and western USSR. The primary mission of Soviet Military Transport Aviation (VTA) Is to support airborne forces, bul the Soviets also use VTA to move ordinary troops, minus heavysuch as tanks. In exercises. The capacity of VTA has expanded dramatically over the last decade-this increase has been more than offset by additional heavy equipment io airborne divisions and by the establishment of air assault units, which are prime competitors for VTA aircraft.esult, the net capability of VTA for simultaneous airliftto be either the combat and combat support elements of aboul six airborne regimentsull airborne division. The civil airline. Aeroflot,imited cargo capabilitysed chiefly fortravel, especially during the semiannual troop rotation. Since the use of VTA and Aeroflot for intertheater transfers would severely restrict theof airborne and air assault operations, we do not expect thc Soviets to use aircraft to move heavy units, such as lank or motorized rifle divisions..

If thc Soviets decided to transfer forces into or out of the Southern TMO, they could use thc Caspian Sea as well as transport aircraft, roads, and railroads.


Figure 7

Baikal-Amur Mainline Railroad (HAM)

of Theater Force*

Another factor Soviet planners would have to consider is whether force* designed to fight in one theater are readily adaptable for bchtitnc in another The ttiueture of the Soviet ground uniti in thewith small complements ol tanks and armoied personnel carriers, and wiih light towed artillery lather than heavier self-propelledfoe employment in theerrain ot" Iran and eastern Turkey These units could abo be used in the tugged terrain ol northeastern China, but would have lo be transported several thousand miles to fight iherc Lacking in armor, firepower, and tactical mobility, they would be less well suited against NATO*center (s)

Soviet ground force* in the Fai bast use tanks older than (hose of the units in the west. and. while these tank* compare favorably with those of the

Chinese, they would be vulnerable to NATO antitank weapons Conversely, the modern, heavy frontline unit* opposite NATO are more sophisticated lhan required for missions against China, (s)

Risk Taking

Another factor that would bear heavily on any Soviet decision to transfer forces from one thealrr to another would be the degree ofhe Sovietperceived and was willing to take. Traditionally. Soviet leaders have not been prone to take maior risks in one area (by economizing their forces there) in order lo maximize thrir military power in

Stalin minimised bis risks in1 and2 when he ordered the transfer of units (the exact number is unknown, but it probably exceededivisions) from Siberia, including many from opposite Manchuria, to bobter the defense of Moscow There is

evidence lhal he had already beenhli agentJapan had decided not to attack thc Soviet Union, despite pressure from Oermany to that end The Kremlin, moreover, could haveinferred lhatat war with the Umlrd Stain and Britain and still mindful of its stunning defeat by the Soviets atwould be wary of attacking the USSR. Despite these facts.keptivision in the Far East throughout thewhen tbcy wereneeded In Ihc west, and even after Japanese forces in Manchuria had been depletedesult of Japan's war effoil against the'Americans. British, and Chinese,

If Pact forces became involvedrotracted war with NATO, however, the Soviets would have one option with respect to Onna thai they did not have with respect to Japan. They couldtrategy of massive retaliation againstto the si rat egy the United States declared publicly when it enjoyed nuclear superiority over the Soviet Union, By informing China that any attack againsi the Soviet Union wouldoviet nuclear rcsiionse, Ihe Soviets might feel that they could transfer some forces from the Chinese frontier to tbe European theater. Such an assumption, however, would entail major risks for the Soviets, inducting the chance that BVuing might call Moscow's bluff, and that the Kremlin might not be able touclear war to one theater.

Since there is no credible military challenge to Soviet security from the Persian Gulf countries, the Soviets could bo expected to eccnomiie their forces there to facilitate operations against NATO or even against China.xsove would bo virtually risk free.

A lets likely and much riskier move for the Soviets would be to invade Iran before attaching Western Europe In the hope of diverting potential US reinlorcements for NATO lo the Persian Gulf. Soviet planners might calculate that they could exchangeo IS of llielr poorly equipped and trained divisions from thehave only peripheralagainstmore critical US divisions, and divert US strategic lift assets away from NATO.

The Soviets know that Washington is coo cemediversion of US forces to the Persian Gulf could have serious implications for the collective defense of Western Europe. They are also aware that, despite pressures from the United States, (be Europeao NATO nations have taken no meaningful steps to compensate foriversion by improving their

own foicea. Soviet planners almosl certainly would calculate that the logistic problems they would lace in such an attack would not be as great as those the United States would face in moving Iroups lo lhe Persian Gulf, or later in simultaneously supporting operations in the Culf area and reinforcing Western Europe. Abo in this scenario, the Soviets might elect lo allow time for the Uniied Stales to deploy iu forces, land ihem in the area, and move inland Once the US forces were firmly committed, the Soviets might welltalemate in Iran, shifting as much of their air assets as possible toward NATO. They might also attempt lo close the Suez Canal to further impede lhc transfer of US forces.

option, however, would entail costsSoviets would not be able to calculatelhe first place, they could not be assured of howStales would respond or if. In fact, anynumber of US forces would actually bethis area. Moreover,iversionarymake sense only If the irrtermhortalsuch lhat the Soviets believed war witheither desirable or inevitable They wouldassume, however,oviet attack inlotrigger NATO mobilization and theof NATO forces. If it did. Ihe advantagesdiversion of US forces might be more Ihanthe reduced possibility that the Warsaw Pactany degree of surprise with regard lo itsNATO. Other Soviet uncertainties woulddegree lo which air assets committed to thesuffer attrition, reducing thetr availabilityagainst NATO and the chance thatsuch as Pakistan might be drawn inlo

Tromfor of Forces From Europe, to tho For East

We cannot envision the circumstance in which Moscow wouldnajor drawdown of ils forces opposite NATO to attack China.ove would leopard ire any chance the Soviets haveuick victory in Europe and, in view of China's lack of capacity to mount andoordinated attack into Soviet territory, would be unnecessary

In the unlikely eventhinese attack. Soviet forces along the border are sufficient lo repulse it and loounterattack to eject Chinese forces. Thc Soviets would almost certainly notlarger operations against China until ihey hadar in Europe, In view of the extensive reinforcements lhat would be required.

Transfer of Force! From the For Eost io Europe

oesceivaMe thai before attacking NATO the Soviet* would transfer some of thru ground and air unit* from the eastern frontier to the western USSR Iu beef up their second-echelon forcer and reserves in lhe western and central MIXrecedent lor such atransfer of umli Irom Siberia lo defend Moscow in World Warhough it is not likely lhat the circumstances (Ihe Sovicl army on defense) will be repealed. Any future Sovicl campaign in Europe would be offensive from lhe outset.

nder these circiimslancei. and civen the fact lhat the Pact alreadyuperiority in conven-lional forces in Europe. Pact planners would probably see no urgencyarge-scale transfer of forces from east to west. In fact,ransfer could do mote harm than good. To influence the Pact's prospectsuick victory in Europe, lhe transfei would have to get under way several months before thc Pad attack, providing clear warning to NATO, and perhapsmobilization in the West European countries and the implementation of SACEUil's Rapid Rein-foi cement Plan for the transatlantic reinforcement ol NATO's ground and air force* Such actions could more than offset any increased numerical advantage Ihe Soviets might gain.

The Soviets, moreover, obviously do nottheir forces opposite China excessive to their needs. In numbers, the ground forces are only slightly larger than lhe force the Soviets maintained opposite Manchuria In World Warconsidering lliat several divbions now on Sakhalin and tlie Kuril Islands could not participateampaign Inhile the pace of the quantitative buildup in Sovietforces alone the border has tapered off from that of thend, force rrioderniranon continues. In addition, noodivisional ground units such as attack helicopter regiments and multiple rocket launcher regiments are being increased.

The weight of thc Soviet strategic nuclear threat directed againstlso continuing to grow. The Soviets haveian ISOaunchers in Siberia and an additional SO In the central USSR lhat could hit targets In western China. These are in addition to the considerable array of other Sovietackfire and Bad-get bombers, shorter range ballistic missiles, tacticalolder ballistic missile submarines in the Sea of Japan I


onet leaders evidently consider theof strong miliury forces in the eastern USSR not only indispensable lo the seeurity of their bnrden. but also as insurancewo-front war Theybelievetiong military presence along the bolder wouldhinese altack in ll* even!ATO-Pact war. althougb sve haw: no reason lo bebeve lhe Chinese would attack the Soviet Union, even under such circumslances In (lie evenlATO-Pact war. therefore,inor shlfl of Soviet ground and air units away fromajor transfer of forces is unlikely

Transfer of Forget To or From Southwest Asia

ighly unlikely lhal. in the contextlobal war, lhe Soviets would transfer large forces inlo ibe Southern TMO. Cround and tactical air units now in ihb theater are sufficient lo undertake operations up to andull-scale mvastoa of Iran, and- -given the limited maneuver roomground units would probably not be desirable, even If they were available. Cround and tactical airwould be required if lhe Soviets were to continue their attack south of the Persian Gulf.

I2S. Before the Soviet Indian Ocean Squadron could seriously challenge Western naval forces In tbe area, threaten US sea lines of communication, oreaningful contribution to any Soviet landin the Southern TMO. it would requireaitgmentatlon. Some augmentation could come from Soviet Pacific Fleet forces deployed lo Vietnam and the South China Sea, normally three to five general purpose submarines, two to six surfaceand abouluxiliaries. More substantial augmentation, however, would require that the Soviets significanteduce iheir capabilities in tbe other, more vital theaters

-The Pacific Fleet, which provides the bulk of forces in the Indian Ocean, has priority missions In wartime to protect the SSBN force, beto conduct strategic nuclear strikes, and establish sea control in the Seas of Okhotsk and Japan and the area adjacent to the Kamchatka Pcnlruula and the Kuril Island chain to defend against aircraft carriers andsile Lunching plat forms.

The Baltic and Buck Sea Fleets, which also contribute ibips to lhe Indian Ocean Squadron, abo have Ugh-priority minion* against NATO

olar. rather than reinforcing tbc Indian Ocean Squadron, the Soviets probably would recall wmc units liom the Indian Ocean and South China Sea, particularly if US aircraft carriers were not


f Western fecces. particularly aircraftwere operating near the Persian Culf. however, the Soviets might rcbase some strategic aviationin the southern USSR to attack them lo prevent their use against lhe Soviet Union and lo piedudc iheir transfer lo another theater.

he Soviets would probably limit their ground operations in the Southernto the point ofefensive posture oppositeand commit the majority of their units in the Caucasus against NATO's southern flank in Turkey. Ifground forces were needed in other areas, Moscow might well limit Its operations In eastern Turkey, assign security missions along lhe Iranian border to paramilitary units, and transfer some divisions from the Caucasus to other thealers


he position of primacy that NATO occupies in Soviet thinking: is not hkety to change No otber group of nations outside the Soviet camp has the potential to achieve tbe military power of NATO. The Soviets will continue to fudge NATO on itsnot its Intentions, and will improve ihetr forcesgly."

he Soviets will attempt, with little success, to persuade the East European countries to spend more money on iheir armed forces. The result willontinually widening gap between the capabilities of the best Soviet units and those of the non-Soviet Warsaw Pact countries. The Soviet leadership is likely to payttention to this problem as NATO's strategy for attacking follow-on force* evolves,remium on the capacity of Pact Brat-echelon units to overcome NATO defenses quickly.

s both East and West experiment with new concepts for land warfare in Central Europe, nucleartheater andcontinue to play an important, perhaps dominant, role in the strategy of both alliances. This will result partly from the reluctance of most West European nations to

" AdtteuBloa ot antfcitMla) Improvfowoi.Wifii- PW.i in -ill appear la NIKT. tndi and / n Warm* Pari Tka+trt

commit Ihemselves to lhe spending necessary to raise then I. ji threshold (by improving Iheir conventional forcesaster rate than the Soviets improve theirs) and partly because some European leaden feellhal itprecisely nuclear weapons that deter war in Europe by ultimately tying the United States to lhe defense of the continent. They will argueATO ilialegy based primarily on conventional forces would be lesseterrent, and could result In an East-West conflict limited to Europe, f

Both superpowers are following acourse, ensuring that nuclear weapons willlo have the potential lo resolve any NATO-Pact conflsct in Europe.

ngoing developments indicate that the Far East will continue to play ain Soviet military strategy. The Soviets will still worry aboul Ihc prospect of China's taking advantageact-NATO conflict lo settle old scores such asclaims. There ore some signs of progress inial ions, but tbe Soviets are not likely lo meet any of the preconditions the Chinese hove set for improvedreduction of Soviet military forces along the Chineseithdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, and an end to Soviet support for the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia On thc but point, periodic clashes on the Vietnamese-Chinese border will only serve lo focus Chineseon llie problem. Nor will Soviet-Japanese relations improve markedly, as Moscow will refuse lo even discuss wiih Tokyo the issue of the disputed Northern Territories. Tbe US-Si no-Japanese relationship, mean-while, will probably move steadily if slowly.forward The Chinese clearly regard the Soviet Union as tbe principal threat lo their security, and they need Western technology.}


oscow's principal objective in East Asia will be to Increase its ownexpanding its militaiyat the same time containing China and reducing US and Japanese influence. In

j j

of llut objective, tbe Soviets will continue io buildorce posture (bat will be viable even against the comb-ned forces of the Unitednd Japan, to hedge against tlie possibilityorst case scenario These efforts, however, will not be al tbe expense of Soviet forces lacing NATO.

he military balance cntlveSinc-Soviet border will continue loismatch of superior Chinese numbersuperior Soviet technology. The Sort eta will nuke no attempt to match the Chinese numbers, but (hey will field military hardwarealiber the Chinese cannot duplicate. The Chinese will continue to press for Westernfrom thc United States, Japan, and Wothave military application. Even if they acquire such technologies, however, they will hive difficulty absorbing ihem because of shortcomings in Industryacilities. In short, the Imbalance In military forces along lhe Sino-Soviet border will grow even larger in favor of Moscow, bat the Kremlin's options will still be limited because of China's reserves ol manpower and Its vast territory.

outhwestIts gcostrateglccontinue lorime arena forcompetition as the Soviets seek to expand ihetr influence In the Middle East, and the United Stales looks for ways to ensure Western access to Persian Culf oil Given thc instability of the region, the potentialuperpower confrontation there will remain high. Nevertheless, Moscow's actions in the area will be guided rnore by poliucal than military concerns. We do notajor effort lo improve the Soviet military posture In the region, nor do we

believe Ihat Moscow feels such an effort is necessary.

he Soviet position in Afghanistan will weigh heavily on Moscow's future capacity to conduct mlli-taiy operations in lhe Persian Culf region If that positionibe result of declining resistance to Soviet occupation or improvedof the Afghancapacity to con-duel operations in the Culf region will be enhanced. Some regular Soviet forces tied up in counierinsur-gency operations in Afghanistan would be freed for operations elsewhere, and Soviet land LOC* would be more secure.

An end to tlie war between Trail and Iraq would Improve the capacity of both countries tooviettn the longer term as both Iraqi and Iranian forces recovered from the war. Any postwar redeployment of Iranian units to north-em Iran would alsooviet invasion ofmore costly, although the Iranians, bycould not prevent the Soviets from occupying Aiarbaybn.

In sura, the Soviet Union will continue to posture its forces to fight in ihree principal tbeaten on its western, eastern, and southern borders. The priority of effort, however, will he toward the west. In the event olglobal war. Moscow would subordinate its actions in all other theaters lo the war against NATO. In all likelihood, as long as It were at war with NATO, tbe Soviet Union would not undertake majorin the other theaters without being forced to do so, but would attack any US forces In these theaters thai threatened tbe USSR,



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