Soviet Capabilities for Strategic Nuclear
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASEAS SANITIZED
APPROVED FOR REliM
SOVIET CAPABILITIES FOR STRATEGIC NUCLEAR
i.iiUblc at olted in lhe premwioa ol ilwi EuLmne
THIS ESTIMATE IS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE.
THE NATIONAL FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BOARD CONCURS. EXCEPT AS NOTED IN THE TEXT.
The following intelligence organizationt participated in tho preparation of the Estimate:
The Central inielligence Agency, rhe DefenwAgency, ihe Nchonot Securily Agency, and ihe intelligence ceopra'iofion of rhe Oeportment ol State.
Thel of Stolf for Intetgence. Depwlrtvent of the Army The Director ol Novol InleKgence. Deportment ol the Novy The Aitlilont Chiel of Sloll. Intelligence, Oeportmenl ol Ihe Air Fotce The Director ol Intelligence,arine Corpi
Like previous issuances in tins series, ihis8 summarizes the latest developments and projects future trends in Soviet weapons and supporting systems for strategic nuclear conflict. Intercontinental attack force levels are projected with the assumption of an absence of arms control constraints. Unlike recent NIEs, it docs not contain comparisons of present and future Soviet and US forces or measures of the destructive potential of the forces remaining Io thc Iwo sidesirst strike. The war-fighting capabilities of Soviet stralegic forces cannot be conveyed by simplified sialic and dynamic comparisons of Soviet and US intercontinental offensiveoint assessment of Soviet and US capabilities for nuclear conflict is being prepared under the direction of the Secretary of Defense and thc Director of Ceniral Intelligence.
In this NIE we arc focusing on lhe USSR's strategy, plans, operations, and eapabililies for global nuclear conflict as probably perceived by Soviet leaders. We have emphasized Soviet views on thc origin and natureS-Soviet nuclear conflict and how the Soviets would plan lo operate and employ their forces during the various phases ofar. There are. of course, major uncertainties about how well lhe USSR's present or future forces would be able touclear conflict according to Soviel strategy.
In evaluating their capabilities to accomplish strategic missions, lhe Soviets differ from us in terms of the operational factors they consider. Ihe analytic techniques they use. and their criteria for success. They work toward achieving high probabilities of successfully accomplishing missions within specified periods of time, and thus on dominating events so as to control the course of conflict. In this Estimate we havetrends in Soviel capabilities in terms familiar to US policymakers and analysts, although ihese assessments do noi necessarily correspond to those the Soviets would make. We do not know how the Soviets specifically would evaluale their eapabililies, and have not determined how they measure their abilily lo accomplish slrategic missions.
This Est im ale is in three volumes:
I contains key judgments aboul Soviet programs and capabilities believed to be of grcatcsi interest to policymakers and defense planners
Descriptions of Soviet programs (or the development and deployment of strategic offensive nnd defensive forces and supporting systems.
Discussion of Soviel concepts and plans for the operations of strategic forces during the several phaseslobal conflict.
Projections of future Sovicl strategic forces
Trends in the USSIVs capabilities to carry on! some missions of strategic forces envisioned by Sovicl concepts and plans for nuclear confiicl.
III contains annexes wiih detailed force projections and weapon charactcrislics.
B Soviet Strategic PcJtcin and
C. Future Strategic Forces and
D Operation! ol Soviet Strategicn a
in Soviet Capabilities To Perform Strategic
Destroying Enemy Nuclear Delivery
Neutralizing Enemy Command. Control, and Comm unseat sons and
Warning Capabilities and Other Support Systems
Destroying Other Military and Nonmilitary
Assuring the Survivability of Soviet Strategic Offensive
Piotecting Ihc USSR Wilh Strategic
Survivability of Soviel Command and
The Soviets have achieved capabilities for inter-continental nuclear conflict that aie widely recognized as at least equal to those of the Uniled Stales.1 the USSR lutthcr improved thc milling power and survivability ol its strategic intercomincnlal andnuclear offensive forces, made progress in overcoming some of the weaknesses of its strategic defenses, and Improved its supporting command,and communications systems
During the past year lhe most significantforce developments were:
deployment of accurate MIRVed ICBMs. MIRVed SLBMs, lhe mobile MIRVedRBM, and Backfire bombers
Preparations for flight-lestin* of small andsolid-propellant ICBMs. and improved long-range liquid-propellant SLBMs.
The beginning of sea trials foi Ihe first Typhoon SSBN.
flight test program of
tne MIRVedLBM. including ihe first bunch from thc Typhoon submarine.
Initial testingew long-range strategic bomber, similar In appearance lo the.
Tesls of new small, lung-range land-attack cruise, missiles for sea and ground launch,ange of atilometers. The Soviets are also developing an air-launched lorn range cruise missile
3 In strategic defenses the most importantwere:
deployment of Modified Foibaland continued deployment ofurface-
lo-alr missiles, with much belter eapabililies than older systems againsi low-altitude largcts
Continued development of theWACS
Continued construction of silo launchers as partodernization program for Moscow's ballii-lic missile defenses.
mportant developments in Soviet command, control, and communications included:
Achievement ol an operational launch detection satellite system providing nearly continuousof US ICBM sites.
Reorganlration of the strategic bomber force, and of tactical and strategic air defense forces, facilitating tbeir employment in theater
B. Soviet Strategic Policies ond Strategy
S Soviet leaders view strategic arms policy in theersistent, long-term struggle forof Soviet influence and thc Communis! system Thev recogmre thai military power Is necessary to sustain the Communist regime and ripand itsin the world. It Is the USSR's principal asset for Competition in the global arena. Thc Soviets' ultimate objective Is global political and military domination. They view (he United Slates as lhe principal strategic threat, the greatest obstacle to their political-miliiary activities and lhe achievement of iheir goals. US military power will continue to be lhe major eiternal influence on Soviet weapons development and acquiu-lion and on Soviet planning foi strategic nuclear operations
he Soviets believe that in the presenl US-Sovict strategic relationship each side possesses slioteglc nu-
capabilities lhal could devastate (Iter oilier alter absorbing an altack. Suvici leaden slate lli.ii nuclear warie Uniied States wouldatastrophe thai must be avoided if possible and tbal tliey ilo not regardonflict ai inevitable Nevervy regard nurlear warom limine, possibility and have not accented mutual vulnerabilityesiralilr ot permanent basis for Ihe US-Soviet straircic relation-ship Thev have been willing to negotiate lesliainls nn force immovements and deployments, when it serves theirhev prefer possession ol superior capabilities In light anduclear wai with tbc United Slates, and have been wording lo improve their chances of prevailing inenet in their strategic thinking appears lo be lhat lhe better prepared ihr USSR is lo fight in various contingencies, the more likely il is thai poteniial enemies will be deterred from Initiating attacks on tlie Soviel Union and ils allies nnd will be hesitant to counter Soviel polilical and military actions.
nuclear forces support Sovicl foreign policy aims bv projecting an image of miliiary strength sufficient lo offset lhe sliatecsc forces of potential opponents Soviet leaders appreciate the polilical Importance of world percept ions of military power and have long acknowledged the sonlribution of Stralegic forces to ihe USSR's superpower status They view their current strategic position aslhe conduct of an assertive foreign policy and ihe erpansfori of Sovicl power and influence abroad.
C. Future Strategic Forces ond Programs
protect Kim of the Soviets' strategic offensive and defensive fotces represent our estimates of lhe direction, scope, and pace of their development and deployment programs in the absence of arms control constraints. Wc have considered evidence on thc Soviets' weapon system developmentD programs, and production capabilities We Iiave also considered various factors that influence the Soviets' fuiure policies and force developments
mi nation to improve all aspects of Iheir strategic fotces and supporting elemcnli
lo prevent any erosion of the military riaim they have made over the past decade.
in any inlinetilrul nrwilialuim tn iiiiiii'it tin- USSR's preseni ami isluiiiii'il pru-grains, probably alnug withinloiulid In ciriiiuiscribr US ami NATO force mndi'iui/j.
lkttrs nfiMlNlaties'4itrtii mi(4iM> (oirrs ami Let sx-jpon.
far Iho Soviels have cmilimied Iu (imslruiit their slralegic furci* prur.ramt in accordance with the ARM Treaty, tlicnterim Agreeim-nl. iml key prirvismns nl lhe unratified SALT IItsses* US iiili-sNtrns withgn^-untsls anrlumpltnti olonontiiH-iital-iangi- systems Thevigorous mllRary KftD and prodMllon base and ciintimm In develop vse-jj.mii Systems of virtually every lype. giving thrrn an eipjmled numbrr nf option* for deploying new ami modified strategic offensin- andi en is laiei in the IOSOi We currently an- anaie ofew strategicinlhal are in various stages ol devrlopmenl
Strategic Offensive Forces
2 illustrates the trends in Soviet intercom
tinenlj! isflettsive noclcur lorces lhal wefur
thc neilears in Ihe absence of any arms limitation agreement Fot (he purpose of our force preventions, we assume that lhc Soviets would begin Iu deviate from lhcnterim Agreemcnl and keyof lhe unratified SALT II Tiealy afterirst by retiring fewer older systems and later by increasing deployments of. and lhe number of reentry vehicles oo. MIRVed ICRMs The deviations would be relatively small until lheheseare (or (he purpose of force protections only. Ilolh ihr Untied Slates and lhe USSR haveontinuing commllment to tlic arms control process The acluul Soviet deployments could varyesult of adherence to SALT limillr lo fuiure arms control agreements's consistent with the Soviets' ongoing effort* lo rrvodcrnrxe and augment tlielr strategic forces.s based on somewhat higher pioduction and drpluynumt levels,ome-
'csi Option nl lll>-lv Smartl llieUJS mlSiln SALT Lmilt. m- -Ainu II. .'III. lunftniili "V>
Selected New and Modernized Soviet StrategicDevelopment and
WM iiH Mdd ICBM
ImprcM mail *Mrt ICBM impfOird SSroud SS.lt Sir4l'sl( wt'il|olm.
IRBM -Ti..oe ofsnuB to
SS NX JO
Srcood improved long-nnce Mount
lrrni I'l 'mi' cnuie mistiM-GLCM
< -SICV (SSXX JI)cruise mmikj-ALCM
New iiidciic bomber
Modi lied Gilntli
Ground-based higli-enertr laser
Airborneim) conlrol iirrrifl
Launch deieriion sikilitei:
ASAT dodopiiMniji orbiul taujiicoror
SpaceMwKd nU dwniirK cxiulci*
Spur bised luCK-ierjy liter
what greater techiwlogtcal effort. The differenceour uncertainties about technological choices and deployment levels for some new sysiems. and our uncertainties about thc Soviets' evaluations of their polential offensive force requirements.saximum effort, and is not the upper bound for either technological or production potential. Both projections should be regarded as plausible and achievableof future Soviet force postures. Under these projections foryear period, as shown in figure 2:
Stralegic nuclear delivery vehicles increase byercent under Forcend byercent under Force 2.
Missile RVs and bomber weapons increaseactor of two to three.
Equivalent megatons increase somewhat.
Hard-tared missile RVs.otentially high probability of destroying ICBM silos, increase substantially.
Warheads on jurvivable SLBMs and mobile ICBMs increaseactor of about three to five.
The USSR maintains additional ICBMs that could be used for refire operations tn time of war, but
not include them in our intercontinental attack protections'
llustrates the projected trends in Soviet peripheral, bombers, and cruiae missiles. Thc number of warheads increases significantly because of refire missiles for Ihe
The most significanl projected deployments in intercontinental and peripheral offensive forces, with their dates of initial operational capability shown in parentheses, include:
A small mobile)
ICBMs with better accuracy anil improved(inS.
A medium-sue solid-propellanl ICBM, for silond perhaps for rail-mobile)
' Set vaiawaphv an eliemtiiee mew htid bu iht IMttcior.
B<"tvu of Inlelllfnct and Beiter/h. Department ol Sidle, on uhelher Iht Soutelt maintain mrrt ICBMi
Projected Soviet Peripheral Allack Forces'
Tola! Wiitoni WHS, Rttirr Mini In
1 1 1 1 I 1 1 1 1 1
ii it ii k n n n i
itiwlt.iier.(lrer.tec0iB.U4 lo .IMvuilon
SLBMs for deploymentlass and Typhoon submarines (in4.
A new long-range bomberS)
New long-range cruise missiles for deployment on submarines, aircraft, and ground-based.
Strategic Defensive Forces
rojected defensive developments include:
Eilrnsive deployments of new low-allilude-eapa-ble fighters andAMs.
Deployment of AWACS aircrafl beginning
Upgrading and expansion ol thc ballistic missile defenses at Moscow, wiih potential forwidespread, nationwide deployment.
- Advances in anltsubmarine warfare technology.
Continued progress in civil defense programs.
Improved antiwlellite capabilities.
- Advance! In technologies applicable lo ground, air. and spacc-hascd directed-energy weapons
IA We eipcct Ihe Soviels lo Improve lhe hsotcowystem within the limits oi lhe ABM Treaty by theywo-layer defense using illobased long-range ond short-range Inlcrocptois that have been undergoing testing. The Soviets apparently value Ihe ABM Treaty for both polii-cal and miliiary reasons, they are probably concernedaror US commit menl to ballistic missile defense. We do not foresee thc Soviets' Initiating the revision or abrogation erf thc ABM Trealy within at least lhe not several years. There are considerable uncertainties about what situation will prevail beyond the
he Soviets lor tlie paslears have been developingreel Lacking and missileradars, aboveground ABM launchers, and missiles suitable for intercepts within and outside thcwould prenride ihem the option fo*rapid and widespread ABM deploymentthe limits of Ihc ABM Trealy When fullyystem composed of these elements, using data provided by large battle managementould have the potential for one-on-one intercepts within Ihe alrnosphere of essentially all current types of US ICBM and SLBM reentry vehicles
he available evidence does not indicale thai lhe Soviets have already made lhc decision toationwide ABM system. It does indicate lhat through Iheir developmenl and deploymenl eflorts the Soviets are steadily improving their position to eaerctse op-lioni for potentially effective widespread ballisticdefenses. Now. unlikeears ago when Ihc ABM Treaty was signed, thc Sovielsuch belter capability for ABM deployments beyond thc limits ot Ihe ABM Tieatyn alternative view that lhe Soviets always have had the motivation and now. because of developments during lhe pastears, have ihc technology in support deploymenl of more sophisticated ballislic missile defenses, bolh al Moscow and nationwide The Soviet ABM activities seen lo date could represent lhe first steps inail on wide deploymenl option *
He holdti, a/ ihu lAeia ott lhe Docrto*.lattlhrttxt Armey, aad the rluU'dll Chit) of Slaff fortpail-win of iht
c Iiave considered three (Cprescnlativcfor espanding ballistic missile defenses beyond the limits ol Ihc ABM Treaty.
Option li An improved Moscow dele.or- withaunchers aloites by Iherh.
ationwide defense system nfaunchers atites byo (Noted key miliiary (tiscsuding some ICBMommand and control, govern-menl, and industrial (arRds
Optionore dense defense ofaunchen al moreites by the
here arc different assessments of the Soviets* capabilily loationwide ballistic missile defense One major issue underlying Ihe differences concerns whether ihey wouldidespread defense lhal would rdy for baltlc managemeni on lhe live large peripheral phased array radars (oneoperational and four in various stages of cnn.its ihr holders of ono view believe' or instead would require more suilable
Ihc holocrs of another view believe' Thc second maio* issue concerns Soviet manulas-luriug eapabililies to produceationwide deployment One view holds lhal Ihc Soviets could produce sulhcient ABMtoaximum of aboutBM firing sites per year beginning in thehe holder of this view notes, however, lhateploymenl program would require lhe construction of additional suilable radars, which would require aboulears to complete and would be likely to interfere with olher Soviet military prosuains thai depend on advanced electrofiics components' Another view holds lhal de-plovment ofoites net year is feasiblehird
holitti, ol ikl> uWu< iht Di-eelo: Orfrnit /rtirfliar nee Artacv. aad iht Aauiani Chief of Stall fa Inltitirtnce. IXpati. aunt ol lha Army
' Tht holder, of iht, newlit Depmi,r- . en of
frueClfeivCf tad AVseerrJi.f Slttr
haide- al iht,ht Dr-put, Pl.rerr-rfluvnce. Crnlraf tnltilicnrr Aeeatg
' The hoiitti ol ihUhe Oifttloi. Df/rnie laielliteaer Agmtv
view holds thai tin* Soviets can manufacture enough ABM components to support deploymentilts
PC! Vi-JI 1
hould Ihe Soviets decide lo abrogate Ihc ABM Treaty any lime In.the Maiears, we believe thai (heir decision would be bused on the intention lo initiate deploymentationwide syslem on lhc scale ofe do not foresee their dot rig so within al least lhe next several years We "are unable io judge the likelihood lhat thr SovieU will choose lo abrogate the ABM Trealy during the remainder ol the period of Ihis Estimate, in pari because of differences In agency assessments of lhe eapabililies of lhe AIIM system the Soviets could deploy:
assessment Is lhat the Urge peripheral phascd-array radars being constructed and ABM components under development would befor deploymentationwide ballistic missile defense syslem Initiated during*
assessment is lhal ihere are fewfor lhe Soviet* to abrogate Ihe ABM Treaty The holder of ihis view believes, however, lhat if the Treaty were abrogated by either side Uie Soviets' opansion ol their ABM network would Initially concentrate on Improving the ballistic missile defenses around Moscow,arge tadar infrastructure rusts They might alsoABMs at selected ICBM fields and hardened command and control centers outside Moscow. The holder of ihis view believes thai the Soviets would not deploy al greatationwide ballistic missiie defense along Ihe lines ofrhich depends upon indefensible, prriph-eral radars and weapons design technology from. Rather, thc holder of this viewthat Ihe deployment ol an effectivedefense would require Ihe construction in many areas of large new radars similar to the one under construction al I'ushkino as well as a
' The hold" a/ - lhe Iiiohiu Chief of Stiff foi
rpfrfaw! a/ Ike Aim*
' Tkef lha nw at ikeOeft aaf ii* Auaiomi Chief of Staff foe biiePigenee. lieman menl of lhe Arm*
vigorous ABM development and productionn little of which is likely lo be completed during the period of this Estimate-'*
A third assessment conclude* lhat it is unlikely dining the period of thii Estimatcjhat conditions will arise that would provide sufficientfor Soviet abrogation of the ABM Treaty. The holder of this view believes that ihcthat led lo Soviet acceptance of the Treaty still pertain, including lhe percept ion of the potential for US technological andcapabilities lo outstrip Ihose of thc USSR, and wouldestraining influence. Thc holder of this view believes, moreover, thai for lhe reasons cited in the preceding assessment Ihc Soviets would not be eapeetcrl to initiate depSoymentidespread ABM system during thb period "
are uncertain about ballistic missilelhe Soviets would undertake if thewere to abrogate lhe ABM Trealy. Weinitially, in addition to Increases in offensivelhe Soviets would purine expandedof Moscow, but that theirwould inevitably lead them to drployABM system on thc scale of OptionInitially on llie large peripheralbeing constructed and ABM componentsThey might not immediately beginnationwide deployfler abrogation butexpand the Moscow defenses while assessingand iheir own options
Potential technology Breakthroughs
efforts in two trchnolcgvsensors for ASW. and directed-energyif the Soviets succeedajor break-
" The hohl" of tanhr Prpvip Diietlot foi Intelligence. Cenltol Inlelligence Agency.
" The holJ'i af ihmwu ihe Ihienoi. Buieou of InirUlgemt and Heiettih. Devortr'Wui of ilaie
- loteld at iheoe ImeHi gemee.ad ihe DvrxNw. Bairn, ofVteotch.of Stole, oo ike kmJH.i*
mliitlr d'lenie dirtoptmti ike Smaefi mould mitfailalrlhell'l TiealB ue'e al-ogairj. tee Itiagiaph Iff
through, have profound consequences We have no basishe Soviets will achieve major break througlis during lhe nexlears, bui thev are Intensively investigating these technologies atsd would place high priority on deploying any capabilities lhat minis! result from iheir research efforts
heffort in the field of remote nonacousiic submarine drtcction is apparently aimed at developing airborne and eventually spacrbornc sysiems that could have high search rales. This effort has been in Ihe experimental stage since the. We do not believe that thev have made much progress or are closeechnical breakthrough Our limited knowledge of the program's precise nature^"
J impossible lo
piediel with confidence what success'the Soviets might have In (hc coming decade. Kvenreakthrough occulted In lhe next several years, we do not believe the Soviets could deploy an operational spaccborne or airborne system during lhe nextean
irected-energy weapons potentially could be developed for antisatellite applications, air defense, balllcfield use, and. in Ihe longer term, ballistic missile defense Of the three types of directed-energywith potential weaponlaser, particle beam, andis strongest that thr Soviets arr pursuing development of high-energy lasers We do notthe full scope, concepts of operation, and status of these efforts^
The Soviets nowround-based laser that may be capable of an antisatellite (ASAT) role
We believeuturc ground-based laser ABM weapon. If feasible, is probably more thaneais away
has been evidence that the Soviets are workingpace based laser weapon. They couldigh-power prototype for ASAT applications by lheuture space-based laser ABM weapon could conceivably be developed,rototype probably could not be tested during Ihe period of this Estimate. Testing of technology and cornponenls of laser systems could lake place on manned space stations and these could conceivably becomelure space stations
Soviet particle beam weapon research might eventually have some antlsalrllitc and ballistic miuileot >ca! tons, but the achievementrototype syslem for such uses would be at leostoears in tlse future
We believe tlse Soviets have investigated the leasibihtv nf radsofrequencv weapons There is some evidence ol interest in ASAT applications, hutoderate likelihood of any capability through Ihe.
D. Operations of Soviet Strategic Forcesonflict
n this year's Estimate we have emphasized Soviet views on tlie probable nature and originsS-Soviet nuclear conflict and how the Soviets plan to operate and employ llieh force* during Ihe various phaseslobal war.fT
e believeundamental Soviet objective in aequinng and operating strategic forces ll loigh probabitily of prevailinguclear conflict, even II many important aspects of thc conflict lurn out worse than expected. To this end. training of Soviet forceslobal nuclear conflict is increasingly broad In scone and complei in the operational factors taken into account In their military writings, the Soviets note tliat wan usually do noi proceedto prior expectation) and planning. Thev almost
certainly anticipate wide variations in circwmsfaiicrs and events They recognize that numerou*and degradations would affect plannedparticularly in the unprecedcntedly difficult nuclear environment
The Inherent uncertaintlei of warfare cannot be elliiii^ rutted through such practice, but the Soviets believe that'their ability to continue to operate effectively In adverse conflict situations would be enhancedesult of the experience
ith respect to the first sentence ofhere is anw lhat tbe concept of prevailing in nuclear war is reeogniied by the Soviets as so ridden with uncertainties and so general as tn render it unrealisticriving principle behind specific (orce acquisitions and operations. Rather, as suggested elsewhere in the text, the Soviets appaienlly arc working incrementally within budgetary,and tcchriolocscal constraints to do the best they can al any particular time. They would, of course, hope to prevail should their forces be put to the lest, but Ihey arc fully aware of the great uncertainties and catastrophic losses that would be incurred by all parliesuclear war"
he SovieU' perceptions of thc growingof warfare have led them to plan for more varied contingencies and greater realism in combal training. Their military planners haveaunch -on-tactical- warning option for UndbasedThey have developed and are refining plans fnr conducting theater and irstercontinenlal nuclearover an extended period, and forortion of their forces after nuclear strikes, lo prepare for the eventualityonflict becoming protracted.
lie Soviets operate Ihc majority of their newer SSUNt. with long-range SI.RMs. in waters contiguous lo Ihe USSR, where the* can be more effectively controlled and can be protected by ASW forces The Soviets have demons! rated the capability toclass SSBNs for prolonged periods in the Arctic near or under the Polar icecap. An SSBN could patrol in
" FA* koldtf olttw ii lhe*Wou ol InleUttftltl and H'uorrh. Depotlmeoi ol Stole
deep polar regions where jl could surface through lhe ice to bunch missiles or. more likely (at least In Ihe near terml patrol along the edge of Ihe icecap so lhal it could use the ice as protective cover from ASW detection and emerge into open water lo launch misMle*.
n rcccnihe Soviets havereat effort to increase the probability of maintainingof controluclear conflict, by providing for the survivability of tbeir command, conlrol, and communications system In addition to hardening and redundancy measures, they have emphasized mobile command post* and supporting communications units deployed on aircrafl. (rains, vans.nd subma-rinci ^
e haveomposite scenario in the Estimate, summarized briefly belowt^
| we believe this composite picture captures essential Soviet mihtaiy views on Ihe oper allon of Soviet strategic forces and on thc natuicajor US-Soviet confrunlation that proceeds through inicrconlinental waifnie
flow of events in an actual conflictlikely to vary considerably from thatOur presentation, therefore, should notoviet prescription for nuclearpresentation does not pi eel ode efforts bylo achieve political solutions at any stage, ortheir militaiy actions in response loOn the contrary, thc Soviets evidentlyprepare the military establishment toong global conflict, lo increaseavailable to (lie poliiical leadership atinonflict, ami thus to increaseof controlling events and securingoutcomes
SovieU see liltJc likelihood lhat thewouldurprise attack from aposture. We believe it is unlikely thai thc
Soviets would mount uch an attack ihcmsHmey evidently believe lhat.eneral nuclei, war occurred, il would most likely result fromaloi lliealer conflict, precededolitical crisis period thai could lasl several weeks o< longer During this crisis period the Soviets would heighten Iheir surveillance of enemy aetivlly. shilleacetimeartime posture, and employ concealment, deception, and disinformation loto mask tlseii preparations.
Soviets perceive the conventional phaseNATO-Warsaw Pact conflict as tasting from ato as longseveial weeks, during whichPact wouldATO attack anda counlcroffonsive deep into Westernkey objective would be to weaken lhenuclear capability
Theater Nix lee- Phose
Soviets wouldto achieve thenobjectives without using nuclear weaponsbelieveheater nuclear warcither when NATO used, or was preemptednuclear weapons lo avoid losing lhewar, nr. lest likely, when lhe Warsaw Pactuse nuclear weapons toATOthis phase the Soviets would use. in additionnuclear weapons, hundreds of peripheralintercontinental range missiles andNATO's forward-based nuclear forces and.conflict had spread lo the Far East, againstnaval and air forces, using both nuclearweapons, would continue strikesnaval strike forces.
e believe lhat. overall, lhe Soviels' lossesarge-scale theater confliel would not significantly degrade their intercontinental altack or stralegic de fensivc capabilities. They could, however, lose some SSBNs lo Western ASW forces, and some bombers in peripheral and naval strikes, and suffer degradation of capabilities for command, cootrol, and communica-lions and for tactical warning
Inter conlinenlol Nuclear Phase
rom theerspective, escalation lo intercontinental nuclear war would nut be necessary ll
ihey could achieve Iheir theater objectives without il However, thev view thealei nuclear war as only an uitcertain step away from inlcrconlincnlal nuclear war.ltealei conflict thc Soviels would tiy to acquire slrategic warningS intercontinental strike by such means as Iiilereeplirig commuimalium to and from US nucleai commands and NATO forces As the likelihood of an intercontinental nuclearincreased. Soviet leailers would face lhe difficult decision of whether lo seize Ihe in.tral.ve. as would he consistent wiih then general military doctrine, or lo wail in thc hopeeiling massive nucleai strike*
Tliey would lie more likely lo seize the Initiative by launching intercontinental nuclear strikes If Ihe war had already reached the level nf theater nuclear conflict, than if it were still al the conventional level The Soviets probably would not expect lo be able loS nuclear retaliatory strike, however, and would consider Ihc possibility thai the United Slates would launch its forces on warning
The Soviets' recognition of lhe consequences of intercontinental nuclear conflict could give ihem incentis-es to await strategic warning If Ihey acquired convincing evidenceS intcrcon-Imcntal strike was imminent, they would try lo preempt We arc unable to fudge whatwould be sufficiently convincing to cause Soviet leaders loreemptive altack. They would be nwre likely lo act on Ihe basis of ambiguous evidenceheater nuclear eonllicl were under way thanrisis or aconflict.
For reasons such as lhe lack of convincing tvf< dence from Iheir strategic warning systems or fcai of unnecessarily or mistakenly initiating intercontinental nuclear war. the Soviels mighl notreemptive strike Their launch-on-tactical-warning option wouldarger and more coordinated counterattack than retail-alien, while reducior. lhe risk of unwarranted escalation
We believe lhe Soviets recognize the possilailily thai Ihey mighl fail lo gel reliable tactical warn iitp. of an enemy mlcicontinental nuclear strike They picture lor Ihe iiossibilily that they would be unable to act Quickly enough to successfullyarge number of missiles before an
enemy strike occurred, and could retaliate only alter absorbine un attack. Although retaliation would not support Soviet counterfoil- damage-limiting aims nearly so well as other attack options, II would give ihem lime lo assess Ihe nature of Ihe US attack and to decide upon an appropriate response
have no indication that the Soviets would respondimited US nuclear aitack on their homeland with anything olherassive nuclear attack, but under actual combalihey conceivably could respond diffrirnlly
he objectivesoviet intercontinentalattack would be to neutralize and olfsrt US military operations and warmaktng eapabililies by:
US-based nuclear forces andand destroying lhe supporting infrastructure and control systems for these forces
solating the United States from the theater campaign by attacking ils power protection capabilities
Depcndine on the circumstances, they might also atlempt to reduce US industrial capacity lo suppori miliiary operalions Limiting the initial strikes lo command, control, and communications targets, orortion of US strategic forces utehUM silos, is no" iin.iiMenlith the cvideasM
oviet large-scale Inlercontincntal nuclearwould involve primarily ICBMs and SLBMs. Massive strikes probably would be delivered against worldwide US and allied military targets, as well asore comprehensive set of political and industrial economic facilities Peripheral attack lorces could launch coordinated strikes against lemainine theater taigets We believe lhat the Soviet* would conduct repealed attacks In an allernpt to destiny, degrade, and disrupt thc US capability lo employ nuclear forces, and lhe reconslltuiion eapabililies nl US nuclear forces and their command and control
The Soviets have considerable flexibility in iheir employment of ICBMs lor intercontinentalWe believe ihey would not launch iheir ICBMsingle massive slrikcQ
ll is less clear how thc Sovieis intend to use Iheir SSBNs during intercontinental nuclear conflict Somelass SSBNs would probably be used in an initial Strike against time-uigeiit US command, control, andtargets and bomber bases Othei submarines also might be employed in an initial attack, againsi targets in the United Slates ond Eurasia. Some SSBNs In protected areas near live Soviet homeland probably would be withheld lorprotracted nuclear operation
strategic bombers mayole in initial inlercontinenial nuclear strike operations, within hours after the initial missile strike. We believe it is likely that bombers would be used later, for postattack reconnaissance ami strikes againsttargets in the continental United State* There ister native view lhat Soviet long-range strategic bombers wouldoie in initial intercontinental nuclear strikeithin hours alter the Initial missile strike "
oviet strategic defensive operalions in lhe nuclear phase of a conflict would
s! ic missiie defense operations to protect key targets in the Moscow area, by engaging; enemy missiles until essential elements in lhe ABM system were destroyed or all available Intcicep-Inrs had been eipeniled
Air defense in depth, lo impose successive bai-riers to enemy penetialion The Soviets probably woukl have relocated some surface-to-air missiles to thwart defense suppression and avmdunce luetics. They evidently plan to use nuclear-armed SAMs against |ieneirulors|__
^They plan for the rapid restora-lion nf damaged SAM sites, airfields, endix ml rot. and conimunicaliont facililie*
TV hottlrt tfhr Auluaai Chirl il .Me//.
Intclhtt"ce.ol ihr All fottr
operations lo attempt to destroy enctnv SSBNs
Attempts lo interfere, with and destroy USal lhe lalcil iust pilar lo ihii phase of conflict
Full implemenlalion of civil defense plans,earlier Most of lhe Soviel lenders would be in protective facilities fiom which thev would direct emergency rescue and recovery operations by civilian unils and civil defense military troop unitsew days for preparations, the essential -oilers either would be in she hers at then place ol work ot, Il off duly, would be dispersed In /ones outside lhe elites. We believe Ihe Soviels would attempt lo evacuate most of lhe urban population.
Lolei Phasesuclear Conflict
We have only limited insights into lhe Soviets' views of the nature and duration of the later phasesuclear conflict. They seern lo expect thatnuclear forces woulduch-diminished role. Soviet operations in thc Eurasian theaters would be conducted primarily by remaining general purpose forces supported by small Soviet stralegic nuclear Strikes. Tlte Soviets plan lo reconstitute some surviving general purpose and strategic forces end to secure their theaterof substantial areas of Western Europe
The Soviets prepare for combat operations that could extend weeks beyond the intercontinentalphase. Thev would clearly prefer to accomplish thciiuickly, but recognize lhal Ihc later phases could be protracted, given thc difficulty and compliiity of conducting operations lollnwlng massive nuclear Strikes The duration would depend on such factors as (he capabilities of remaining theater forces, lhe status of surviving polilical leaders, lhe viability of command and control, and the conditions in ihe US and Soviel homelands
force,mall portion of the peripheral atlack lorces. for protracted operations, and would reconstitute additional missile forces usuag reserves We believe these forces would be used against residual enemy conventional and nuclear forces and command and control, and perhaps key sutviving elements of the economymiliiary operations. An alternative view holds that the evidence available is .insufficient to support the judgment that the USSR maintains reserve missiles for ils ICBM force beyond lhe numbers required for maintenance and trainirag This view further holds that, while ihe Soviets may be workingapabilily io reconsli-lulc aome sllo-based ICBMs. the evidence is insufficient to support the view that Ihe Soviets have contingency plans for using such weapons "
We have few details of Soviet planning for SSBN operation!rotracted conflict We believe some submarines would be withheld, under naval force protection,eserve force role.
We have lillle receni evidence on how thc Soviels would employ their stralegic bomber force We believe bombers would conductand strike operations against keytargets
Soviet air defense units plan to restore airfields for defensive operations. Fighters and SAM units would operate from alternate sites if necessary. Civil defense units would cuniinue rescue and recovery operations and aid with lhe distribution of reserve supplies to the civilian impulation. The SovieU evidently ea-pect that some economic restoration would be possible -even aftermultiple nuclear strikes
he Soviets have plans lo reconslilule strategic forces, but wc aie highly uncertain aboul Iheir actual capabilities. Overall, we believe live Soviets could maintain the combat effectiveness of many of the surviving withheld weapons and would be able to reconstitute ilrateglc forces to al least some extent with surviving reserve weapons and materiel, although damage lo the logistic system and requirements lor deeonta mi nation would stretch out thc lime required for reconsli lotion
believe lhe Sovietstheir initial ICBM
" The holder o/ rllihe Ot'fttor, Burton ol In leli'Mcnce end' Neiearcn. Department of Side.
E. Trends in Soviel CopobiNtios To Perform Stralegic Missions,
uring the nexlean Ihe primary wartime missions of Soviel strategic offensive and defensive forces will conlinuc to be lo
Destroy enemy nuclear delivery means
nemy command, conlrol.warning, and olher support system*
Desltoy Oliver military and nonmilitary targets
Assure thc survivability of sufficient offensive forces and command and conlrol capabilities to perform the missions envisioned by Soviet strategy.
Defend llie Soviet homeland stains! attacks by
ballistic missiles, bombers, and cruise missiles.
the Soviel population nnd economy through civil defense.
Trends In Potential Effectiveness of Soviet MIRVed ICBMsinuteman Silo"
Enemy Nuclear Delivery Means
44, he latest types of Soviet ICDM* have Ihe potential toigh probability ofa US ICDM silo The Sovicls have enough hard-target-capable (CBM RVs today lo attack all US missile silos and launch control centersell-eiecuted first strike We protect that, over the neatears, the USSR will have substantially larger number* of hard-large*-capable RVs and thai lhe effectiveness of individual Soviet ICBMs against hardened targets will Increase substantially. As shown In figureell-eiecuted strike Soviet ICBMs would have thetwo RVslnulemantoamage expectancy of aboutoercent today, ami aboutercent by Ihc, although these percentages could vary substantially, as shown, because of our uncertainties about Soviet ICBM characteristics (With one RV. the damage cipectancv would beoerceni today, and abouterceni by lhehe accuracy ol Soviet ICBMs protected lor theill giveigh probability ol damaging silos hardened
J^Allhmigh the Sovicls' hard-turgel eapabililies will inciease substantially, we believe thai ihey will still be concerned thm atortion of (lie US ICBM force could lie launched while
under attack Also, the Soviets could not oplimi/i* live timingoordinated atiack by ICBMs against US missiie silus and by forward-deployed SLBMs against US bomber bases and other lime-urgent targetsof the difference in flight limes of these Soviel weapons
By thehe Soviets eo-.ild develop lhe capability lo use saturation tactics, penetration aids, or maneuvering reentry vehicles in an attempt loa ballistic miuile defense of UShe specific measure* (he Soviets would select, and their effectIveness, would depend on the type andof Ihe US ABM System Regardless of which Soviet measures were pursued,efense would compound tlie Soviets' difficulties inounter for ic attack and would increase theiraboul ils success
Slralreic Aircrafl. Thc Soviets would almosl crtajnlv Uy to attack US strategic aircrall on thc
ground In?nlikely lluilwould Ik* able lo dcttioy roost of ihe nlcil aircraft. Wc do not believe the Soviets will be able to develop the capability duringean Iu target and destroy, withi iIi of lensjvccartons. US aiictaflac hi
SBNs. The Soviet! do not now have lhe capa-bihly lo detect US SSBNs i- >m: in open ocean ateai except by chance, or lo maintain contact with oi tiail thetrthance detection occurs Ovcri ii.nl by modern Soviel nuclear-poweied altack submarines (SSNs) using active sonar is technically feasible if they establish contact, but would require sweater numbers of modern SSNs than lire Soviets have, and could be overcome by US countermeasuies Projectedt in Soviel passive acoustic sensors, plmof more ASW plalfurnis, probably will enhance theapabilities to detect and destroy USoperating in confined areas or close to Ihe USSR but will not give ihem an effective broad-ocean detection capability or improve sigoifujntK their capability to trail US SSBNs We do not believe the Sovicis have made much progress or are closeechnological breakthrough In nonacoustic detection The increased patrol aieas of SSBNs carrying Trident SLBMi will mure than offset Soviel ASWThus, over thc neil decade fhe overallol Soviet ASW against the US SSRN force iWOgnbh "ill dcciine
uclear Force? in Euraiio. We believeand projected Soviel slrategic forces forand intercontinental attack would be more ihan adequate in numbers and capabilities to attack nuclear forces In Europe and Asia In hardened and soft fined facilities'. We are not able to assess the Soviets'to locale and strike mobile missiles thai have departed their fixed base* Their targeting problems would lie compounded severely by planned Western deployments of addiiion.il mobile.CM. Pershing II. and SLCM onthose deployed beyond the range of Soviet tacticalsystems
NcutrcJiiing Enemy Commond, Control, ond Com-rriunicalions and Warning Capabilities and Olher Support Systems
hroughout Ihe neilears, the Soviets will have wnnporisoi sufficient numbers and capabilities Inthem high confidence, under any circumstances
in their ability lo destroy most fined, land-based US nuclear support facilities, such as depots, nuclear Storage sites, maintenance liases, airfields, and ports They have thc capabilily to destroy or interfere with most makw elements of ihe US tactical warning and altack assessment system, shortly before orarge-scale nuclear strike Allhough tbe Sovietscould substantially degiade US tactical warning systems, we do noi believe fliey would be confident thai such interference alone would prevent live launch of substantial numbers of US weapons
SO We cannot assess lhe likely effectsoviet atlack on tlie US command, control, andsystem However, tin- Soviets' dndrlncL
Jand iaracting siraliiiy. and preoccupation wiih lhe survivability of their own command, control, and communications systems Icjd us lo believe that ihey would devote substantial efforts to
Disconnecting and destroying Ihe US National Command Authority, some operating allerualcs. and critical intermediate military control points.
Delaying or preventing transmission of launch orders by disrupting lhe various communications paths with direct attacks, jamming, andinterference, andell-conidinat-ed, ml mm urn warning atlack on many control points and communications facilities.
Preventing reconstttufion of residual command, conirol. and communications capabilities through repeated attacks
hereumber of factors that could reduce lhc Soviets' chances of severely degrading critical US command and conirol of nuclear forces.
The Soviets' inability lo use ballistic missiles to destroy US airborne command posts and other supporting aircraft in flight
The reduced vulnerablllly of US strategicand coniroleriod of crisis or theoler conflict,esult of increased readiness and dispersal
Improvements lo US corrirnaod. control, and
communications systems programed lor this decade
uncertainties about the effects of ipulse on electronic equipment
Uncertainties about whether ihey have 'denuded all lhc important fixed or mobile command, control, and communication* facilities.
Desiroying Olher Miliiary and Nonmllllory Targets
oday,ovicl attack on US-baierf strategic nuclear forces and supporting facilities,oviet stralegic intercontinental weapons would still be available for attacking other targets worldwide, if Soviet forces were fully generated and not degraded by enemy strikes We believe lhal, with the force improvement programs under way, Soviet planners probably expect thai Ihe USSR will be able loihc capabilily to neutralize worldwide targets noi associated wiih strategic nuclear forces, if the USSR were to initiate intercontinental strikes or bunch on tactical warning. The increasing vulnerability of Soviet
ICHM silos during thr; period of this Estimate, as Ihe accuracy of US weapons improves, will present the Soviets with concerns for lhe adequacy of theirin the event lhat Iheyarge-scale US strike. We believe Ihc Soviets' efforts lo expand the capabilities of their SLBM force and develop mobile ICBMs reflect their concerns
Assuring the Survivobilily of Soviel Strategic Offensive Forces
CBMs. We expect that silo-bascd ICBMs will coniinue lo be Ihe largest and most capable element of Soviet stralegic offensive forces throueh the decade. As illustrated in figureilos for the lalest Soviet ICBMs, and their associated launch conirol facilities, wouldigh probability of surviving an attack bv current US offensive weapons, but US weapon systems in development ivouldonsiderably greater
Trends in Vulnerability of anilo to an Attack by US Missiles'
threat. Further silo hardening would result in only modest irnprovcmenlv to Soviet ICHM survivability. We expect the Soviets to.*
Continue to improve their capabilities to launch ICBMs on tactical
a mobile MIRVed ICBM bv theode similar lo thai used with the SSobile IRBM. andarger, more capable MIRVed ICBMail-mobile mode by the
capable olallistic missile de lense for selected ICBMhe
!VJ Hombert. We cannot evaluate the survivability and operability of the USSR's strategic bomber force during ihe nuclear phasesonflict Important factors include thc extent of bomber losses during the preceding phases of conflict, capabilities to disperse and maintain aircraft at unlargetednd capabilities for bomber force reeortstltulton
"|Soviet SSUNs at sea would be potentially vulrscfable lo ASW forces, primarilyof Iheir relatively high noise levels. Typboon-class submarines are expected lo be Quieter Ihan thc currently deployed SSBN classes, thereby increasing their ability to avoid detection by acoustic means SSBNs with loom-range SLBMs can remain in range of targets In the United Slate* while operating in waters close lo lhe USSH, exploiting ice cover and shallow" ocean depths, and avoiding Western SOSUS arrays The Soviets haveignificant portion of their general purpose naval forces lo protect their SSBN* in waters contiguous to the USSR. TheseIncrease the chances that Soviet SSBN* woulderiod of conventional conflict, be able to participate in an initial Soviet nuclear strike, and he available for use in protracted nuclear war.
Protecting lhe USSR With Strategx Defenses
So The USSR deploys massive air defense forces,ils ballistic missile defenses al Moscow,an extensive civil defense program Althoughan assessment of lhe capabilities ofindividually, we have no) assessed lheoverall ptotection. now or in lhe future, lhalafforded the USSB by the combination of ilspassive
Ballistic Missile- Moscow ABM sysiem currently could effectively counter only an altackmall number of RVs not accompanied bv penetration aids The projected upgrade of the Mo* cow defense system will improve lhe Soviets' abilily to defend Moscowetaliatory altack by small numbers of current types of US RVs and against increasingly sophisticated third-country missile ays-tcmi.arge-scale atlack. Ihewould Quickly be exhausted, bul thev might be effective in preferentially defending selected targets in lhe Moscow aiea, such as national command and confiol facilities Thc upgrade lo Ihe Moscow defenses Is expected to provide lite Sovietsoundationore dense defense al Moscow beyond Ihe limits of thc ABM Treaty. With an expanded defense the Soviets could make targets around Moscow, especially command bunkers, less vulnerableubstantial force of attacking RVs. with or without many type* of penetralion aids. The leakage likely in such an atlack would cause severe damage lo most of Ihe above-ground, unhardened facilities in large areas around some of the targets, and some of the hardened target facilities as welt.
f the Soviets were toationwide ABM network, involving as manyaunchers as noted earlier (seehe potential impact on the US strategic missile force could be substantial.S first strike could be degraded, perlsapsignificantS retaliatory strike In ihe face ofefense could be degraded even more. Ils elfretlvcnes* would depend on Iheof key elements of thc network and the poteniial of an it licking fotce lo exploit them. We are highly uncertain about lhe overall potential efleclivc-ncssationwide ABMability lo limit overall damage and to protect key miliiary functions Il would be more effective against SLBMs ihan against ICBMs, bul less effective if US counter measures, such
ax decoy* or maneuverere successful. In any case, widetpread Soviet deployment of an ABMeven if It technically could be overcome by an attacking force, could greatly complicate US attack planning and create major uncertainties about the potential effectivenessS strike.
ir Detente. The present Soviet air defense system. unoVgradedarge-scale ballistic missile attack or highly effective FCM. probably would pet-form well against aircraft at altitudes aboveeters, although it does not have the capability to conduct intercepts much beyond the Soviet borders. Wc are uncertain of the eitent to which itsee would be degraded by defense suppression. The current Soviet air defense system would be relatively ineffectiveow-altitude attack It could, however,igher probability of intercepting low-altilude aircraft in areas where radar coverage is dense and thereigh concentration of ground-based terminal defenses, unless the attacker used Mandofi missiles or effective counlcrmeasures and tactics V
ny judgment aboul the overall effectiveness ol the future Soviet air defense system agajnst an attack by bombers and cruise missiles is thus subject to considerable uncertainly. Penetration of Improvedair defense* by currently deployed bombers will be more difficult. These defenses, however, would be considerably less effective against US cruise mlsiiles Our lodgment is thaiombined attack of penetrating bombers. SBAMs, and cruise missiles,air defenses during the neatears probably will not be capable of inflicting sufficient losses to prevent large scale damage lo the USSR. We believe, however, that the Soviets will be able to provide an irsereasingly effective an defense for many key leadership, conlrol, and military and industrial installations essential to wartime operations. There is an additional view ti.it thc relative improvement* in effectiveness can be estimated only against currently deployedsystems
he Soviet air defense system from the mid-IQSGs on will be cjualilatively different from the current system The Soviets will haveariety of new systems in large numbers that posses* the technical capabilities to defend against at least some types of low-altitude targets. Wc cannot assess with confidence the overall capabilities of Ihese dc-fc "
relative effectiveness of future Soviet defenses against these systems Is likely to be dim in shed by US improvements."
here is an alternative view that this Estimate substantially understates thc capability of lhc Soviet air defense system lo defend key target areasw altitude penrtraior* According to this view,effectiveness in these areas could be high today against bombers. The holder of this view believes that5 the effectiveness in such areas would be significantly higherombined atiack of penetrating bombers, SRAMs, and cruise missiles than the Estimate suggests"
ivil Detente. We believe that, with as littleew hours*arge percentage of Soviet civiliangovernment, andwould probablyarge-scale US nuclearrge scale retaliatory nuclear attack directed against Soviel economic installations would cause sc-
Titof.ht AuUiaar CM ofaggsssasgaaliktsw fcoldV- ol ihu t) of Stall lot
tnitHi/rnct.l iht Aimy
vcre damage lo llie plant and cipiiimietil ul Ihe vasl matoilly of these Ij.ililiex Timelyheltering and dispersal plan* wmild provide effective protectionrgr percentage of Ihr enrotialorce al key facilities Soviel population casualties would vary greatly, depending on (he extent In which civil defense measure* had been implementedin Soviet civil defense prerx* ration* during Ihe neslean would increase the likelihoodarge percentage of the leadership and essenlial work force would he able toarge-scale aitack, bui casualties among (he general population would Ik- at least comparable lo ihose we would einert at present
Survivability of Soviet Command ond Conlrol
e believe lhe Soviet command and control system for nuclear forces, even ll direclly allocked, can ensure transmission of bunch instructions,iHalsatory strikes could be delayed and not fullv coordinated Although US attacks could destroy many known llxed command, control, and communications facilities, elements of the poliiical leadership and military commands probably would survive, andIn Soviet strategic communications would prevent loss of any one channel from disabling lhe overall system
he Sovieis could experience difficulty,in maintaining the endurance and effectiveness of strategic command, control, and oommuniealions for weeks of continuing operations, particularly if subjected to US strikes. They would be rely in* onposts. Theimpact of residual nuclear effects could endanger command personnel and degiadesystems It I* also unclear how effectively theould retarget and employ surviving orweapons Wc believe Ihe Soviets might expert lo lose niosl satellite reconnaissance und would thus rely primarily on lung-range reconnaissance aircraft and signal intercept capabilities.
F. Concluding Observations
c do noi know how the Soviet* wouldIhcir prospects for prevailinglobal nuclear conflict Sizable forces on both sides would survive massive theater or intercontinental strike*
Soviet offensive forces will not be able to reliably target and destroy patrolling US SSBNs, alert
aircraft, aircraft in flight,nl. missile*,lipase Ip-yond lhe rangetactical ih.iiiiuhuikvm We Ix-llrve ilul.he Soviets would crrtlll uikIi-graih'd US warning anil control systems with lite aluliivbunch ICHMs mi tardea! warning
Suvni mobilen-rhaps ihspeneil aircraft. SSBN* nalrolling in waters near (lie USSH, and, currently, iiinst silo-based ICHMsjn- highly sur-vivaldi- Wc ln-lif. tlie Snvirts can Uuiicli It IIMs mi (articaI warning, assuming Iheir ware-mg ami contrail systems arr mules; ratted
Moreover, llie Sovicls arc well awure of their liubilili to prevent mjiiive damage to llie USSIt with llieir Strategic lirlemes even wiih lhe tmi*ro*ement* taking place in tl-rsc forirs They aho tecognizc lhat US strategic defenses, olher than ASW, have very limited eapabililies to prevent massive damage
67 We Ijeheve lhat the Soviets' cuoIpjVikv in iheir capabilities for! conflict probably will In-dependent on commandutmlneed for continuity inommand and conlrol capabilities, and ihetr prospects lor dis-niptiof and destroying thehe Umlrd States and its allies io command and io operate their fnrces. Tlie Sovieis continue to make extensive efforts to improveeel* of their command, conlrol, and communications eapabililies. Wr behevr lhe Soviets would bunch continuing allacks on US and allied strategic command, control, and communications to prevent or impair the coordination of ictallatory strikes, thereby easing the burden on Soviet strategic defenses, and impairing US and allied abilities to marshal military and civilian resources lo reconstitute forces. Wc believe that planned US and NATOin command, conlrol. andwill increase thc Soviets* uncertainlies aboul their capability to disrupt enemy force operations
he Sovieis are attempting to prepare their leaders and military force* for thc possibility of having touclear war. and are (raining to be able to maintain control Over increasingly complei conflict situations They arr well aware lhal thc eouneuclear conflict will probably noi go according to plans Bui Soviet leaders have seriously addressed many of Ihe problems of conducting militaryin nuclear war. improving their ability lo deal with the many contingencies of such adiet and
raising lhc probabililv of outcomes favorable to thc
here is an alternative view lhal Ihe final sentence of the concluding observations conflicts with lhe thrust o[ ihe olher observations pertaining to Soviet increased uncertainties and vulnerabilities. However much Ihe Soviets* serious addressing of operational problems may improve their miliiary capabilities, lhe
uncertain! let about lhe courseonflict would preclude Soviel confidence as io ilshis view, it is apparent, moreover, that their ircognition of the destructivencss of general nuclear war would lead Soviet leaders lo conclude lhal tlsere ts no outcome lhal would be advantageous.1'
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