USSR MONTHLY REVIEW

Created: 4/1/1982

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Ouilook for Soviet Military Manpowerecade of]

tcecntly, both the economy and the military benefited fiom an expanding Soviet manpower supply, however,emographic dilemma for Ihedecline in the number ol young men available for either service as conscripts or training to become officers. This dikmma is further compOCaiedrtion of ethnic minorities among ihesc yos>ng men. To gain the flcaibtUty accessary to deal with both the shortage aad the ethnic aspects, ihc Sonets may increase (be term of service for conscripts bymonths or more. Their solution for Ihc officereas clear-cut. Whatever measures arethe costshe civilian economy will be relatively small. Q

An expanding manpower supply during the early Dierhnev years facilitated the growih of the militaryillion men to its current level of i9 million, as shown in figurefillion are in the national security forces, performing tasks analogous lo those of the US military,illion are inervice in the Construction. Railroad, and Internal Security Troops. The noncombat service* (of which the United States has bo counterpart) carry out tasks that are critical in the Souiet Unioninternal order and assisting the chronica Ity back-logged

Only JO percent of the miWary are careerhe rest are conscriptswo-year term (threu years in seagoingonscripts have no choice in their service assignment. The Strategic Rocket Forces and the Air Forces lake the best educated, while ihe noncombat services are left with the kail educated, ihc politically suspect, or the leasi physically fii.q

tlfconscript is notoriously harsh, and few reenlist. The limited time avatlabk for trainingmeans that career peisonnc! do all the lobs that require special skills. The usual conscript jobs are cttremely narrow and specialized. Nearly all the career military are officers, who are educated in the Soviet5 four- and five-year military col-

lmt*ct tfc Trtmdt tm ,k< MMllj Mdwower Shortest. One of Ihe demograpbse effects of World War IIecline ia the site cf the drafi-age cohort in iheor instance,J the number of males reaching draft age was onlyerceni of what it had been five years earlier. Inecond demographic effect is beginning to appear as the children of the small cohon born during the war themselves reach draft age. This dip will be .hnllowct than lhai of5 level will beercent of0ul it willermanent turning point. Theuick return to manpower abundance, butill not. Thus, even though the impending shortage will be less severe in tbe short run, its long -un effects will be more serious. | |

In the past the Soviet miliury appears to have subordinated its demand for conscripts lo themanpower supply (see figureroop redueiusm in thereceded the dramatic decline in the number of available males, and the increasedof thelosely followed the rapid recovery in the relevant age cohon. If the Soviets make no changes in conscription polky lothe flagging supply of, by mid-decade milltarj manpower will have to be culillion men. We do not bdkve Moscow will peimlt Ibis to happen. Q

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Competition: Comer/pithoa* the CIA estimate of the dunging ethnic composition of the draft-ageOS-ycar-old) population.0 lile ethnic share* had been stable for many years, with Slav* ai about three-quarters and non-Slavs at one-qujrtcr.owever. non-Slavs had risen to one-third of the draft-ate popahiion. and for the fmt time Russians were no longer in Ihe majority. By ihe end of this decade, nearlyercentycar-oldv will be non-Slavic: the Slavic advantage will have ilippcdo i. (

rise issue of ethnicot new io the Soviet military. The Soviet* alreadyechanism for absorbing cihntc rninoriiies. Estimate* of ihe sirethnic makeup of the noncumbat services demonstrate thai they serve (he purpose of an ethnict posing minorities to political indoctrination and military discipline while omening Slavic dominance of ibe national security forces.

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Conscript Demand and Draft-Ago Males

including one in Russian luerature. marc typicallyiudvaniagc In addition, the strenuous efforts thai raised the proportion of collcgc-educaicd officers from3 toerceni0 probably increased the eihnicof the officer corps.

As ihe Dumber of college entrantse share of Russians among them decline in, it will be difficult to maintain both the high educationaland (he ethnic eiclusiviiy cf the officer corps We calirute that0 kss Ihaa one-lenth of all male russian college graduates became active (as opposed to reserve) officers.0 this was about oiK-fiflh, and0 il probably will be one-ihitd. Competition between ihe military and dvihaa sectors for the highly educatedound to inieniify.

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F.lhnic Com pus WonYeas-OUs ia the bo'ltl Union

Rapidly increase the proportion of minorities in the national security force, unless conscriptionon Russians. We believe force reductions are not an option current-I) under serious consideration by Soviet leaders, even though they did adopt this solution in the

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Limited Defermenti.ountry already practicing universal conscription, were is link slack to be found in deferments, and not nearly enough to offset ih* manpower shortage. Wc estimate thai underoviet standards, betweennd IS percent of the membersraft cohort avoided service altogether by reason of ec xntion. family hardship, or health. As noted, educationalave been recently lightened, and further major gains from tightening arc not praclknl. j j

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Term E'tentiim We cstimulcix-month c'liniioi of ihc concni two veoi term of xivtcc would maintain military manpower al inoaKnpocm 'am would will be near ihc mmmsm feasible, but within atstoricalimonih extension would incur economic cost*.would delay ritiry into ihc labor force and cause all ihc costs of iheohorts to be borne by ihc civilian economy. Tbe main advantage of an extension would be thai military manpower levels would remain consiam. Is addition, by allowing ihc noncombat "sponge"cauia its present site, an extension of sets-tec time provides flmt-lit. forwilh elhnK shifts in theopulation. Q

Officer* Unlike conscript set vice, the choiceilitary career is voluntary. This sharply limits Ihe Soviet leaders* options for maintaining ihe ethnic and etluca-tiostal standards of the officer corps The light labor market ofill offer collegeider choke among civilian occupations, and Ihe military may be forced lo accept officer candidates with less

Half measures lo relieve tbe problem might include encouraging officers to stay on active duty longer, creating slots for more retired or reserve officers, and further encouragingn high school youth. These half measures are unlikely to beThere are. however, ihree longstanding policies which might be pursued more vigorously, though they also have weaknesses,

Intensified tihmc Ainmilatlon. The Soviets might step up their efforts to promote ethnic assimilation via Russian language instruction ia school Thispolicy has achieved some gains, bui there is widespread agieement that It has failed lo erase ethnicityundamental cleavage in Soviet society.

Nevertheless, surveys of occupational prciligc in the Soviet Union suggest that while office it ensoyprestige generally, young people do not1 career as especially attractive. Minoutiet are likely lo be pailicularly resistant to incicasedefforts They are reluctantelocate fiom iheir home republics, ihcy have been less liiely to choose college majors in technical fieldshe military; and in many cases they are all loo familiar with ethnic prejudice in tbe services, from the militiry experience of friends and relatives,

Increased Pay andinally, tho Soviets may consider increasing officer pay orwo liiciorsotential monetary incentive effect, however military pay scales are clacificd information and are not widely known in the Sonet Union, and in any case, consumer purchasing power already far exceeds ihe availability of consumer goods. Mote appealingoviet civilian would be the perquisites, particularly the guaranteed access to scarce housing. However, such benefit* arc not the exclusive present: of officers. For example,youth wary of the hardships of military life could obtain tbe same benefitsivilian party member.'*

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Increased Prestige. Tbe Soviets could also continue trying to raise ihe prestigeilitary career. As the demand for better educated officers has grown, so too have effortsppealore sophisticated youth.

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