Created: 12/1/1973

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Revised CIA/DIA Estimates of Warsaw Pact Manpower in the NATO Guidelines Area

Based onevidence on thestrengths of some Warsaw Pact force elements in the NATO Guidelines Area, and using improved methods for estimating strengths of othor elements of the Pact forces, CIA and DIA have jointly reassessed Pactin tho NGA. The results of this reassessment are presented in Tablesnd 3. This memorandum discusses the changed estimates which have resulted from the reassessment of air and national air defense forces and the confidence levels attached to these It also identifies some major problems with thethe categorization by uniformedand discusses alternative categorization schemes.

Wo have increased our estimate of overall Pact manpower in the NGAo. (Seehe ground forces total is increased slightlyo annd the air forceso, All of the changes onesult from higher estimates of air forces and national air defense forces and from redefinition of certain categories of forces. otable examplo occurs with the apparent decrease in East German

orces of0 men. This results from

determination that East German SAM troops and other

national air defense elements should be

counted with the air force total rather than the ground

force total.

This memorandum wae produced jointly by the CIA Office of Strategic Research and the DIA Soviet/Warsaw Pact Area Division. It ie issued as partontinuing CIA/DIA effort to improve the data base on Warsaw Pact manpower in support of the MB Fit negotiations.



increased Estimates for Air Force and National Air Defense Personnel

changed estimates of Pact air and airpersonnel in NGA result from [ ewand retinements in the estimative analysis which

now accounts for personnel involved In rear services overhead type activity. These revised estimates account for all of the changes reflected in Table 1.

new information serves two purposes. helps to dispel the conventional belief that thesupport large air and air defense forces withlow ratio of support to combat personnel.

Ground Force Manpower Estimate

6. ncrease in the estimate of ground force personnelesult of revised estimates of ground elements of national air defense forces. we have no basis for changing our current estimate of Warsaw Pact ground forces manpower. It should be pointed out that for MBFR purposes estimates of Pact military manpower do not include personnel in internal security and border guard functions. In the NGA these paramilitary forces comprisendigenous personnel. Some elements of these forces are equipped with tanks and armored personnel carriers and possess combat capability approaching that of regular ground forces.

Table 1

Warsaw Pact Military Manpower in NGA 1/


oto'jnd Forces Air Forces Total


Ground Forces












Germany Poland

Czechoslovakia Total*

Total NGA*





all uniformed Pact military personnel on active duty in NGA, including national air defense personnel. Does not include naval personnel, personnel in reserves,defense forces, or other paramilitary organizations.

Does not include elements of the Air and Air Defense Command which are shown in East GermanForce total.

Includes SAN, AAA and some radar personnel of the respective air defense commands.

Tkese totals have been rounded to three significant digits.


Confidence Factor in the Revised Estimates

I*, esult of tne new information and improved methodologies our confidence in the accuracy of the new estimates of Pact military personnel in the NGA is higher than that held in the old estimates.

In percentage terms, confidence in the estimates of personnel involved in operational or direct support activity isestimate is not expected to vary from the actual by more than ten percent. Confidence in estimates of personnel involved in headquarters, rear services, and army and front level support vary fromoercent depending on the force element involved. The greatest area of uncertainty continues to be the number of personnel in such national overhead elements as defense ministries, military academies and schools, and various administrative, medical, and central support units. Estimates of these overhead elements weonfidence level. These levels of uncertainty applyhose cases where reliable aggregateis available, because of the remaining uncertainty concerning the composition of the various sub-elements of the respective forces.

9. Considering the varying confidence levelsto the manpower estimates in these categories of

iitary activity and their respective impact on the total figures for the indigenous East European forces in NGA, the totals shown in Tablesrejudged to be withinercent of the actual current numbers. Because the Soviet forces stationed in NGA do notarge overhead establishment, the Soviet total can be confidently judged to be within ten percent of actual.

The Problem of Categorization by Uniform Service

The data presented inre organized to fitwo-service mold to ease comparison with NATO concepts of uniform service.

Generally speaking, the distinctions drawn between uniform services in Pact military forces are not as sharply drawn as in US forces. This complicates the intelligence task of estimating personnel by service.


Moreover, the service responsibility for certaintactical air support and tactical and strategic airfrom country to country both in the Pact and NATO.

The most serious problem of interpretation raised by the two-service format relates to thoseinvolved in national air defense. elow presents the numbers of personnel estimated to bein national air defense in East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia, and indicates how these personnel are counted in the totals given in Table 1. The national air defense personnel in Poland and Czechoslovakia are organizedistinct command. Accordingly the two-service breakdown is misleading, and may not be acceptable to the Pact negotiators.

In any case, the breakdown of Pact personnel by uniform service cannot be estimated with confidence. The arbitrary division of the various sub-elements of national air defense by uniform service are, for the most part, not supported by good intelligence information.

An alternative presentation of the data which would facilitate functional comparisons with NATO and avoid the estimative uncertainties inherent in the two-category uniformed service format is shown in table 3.

ormat, which focuses on the functions of personnel would require rigorous definition of the main functional categories, but would be more flexible (the number of categories could beore easily understood by both NATO and Pact negotiators and more confidently supported by US intelligence.

Issues and Alternatives for Presenting the Newthe Allies

new US estimates of Pact ground forceforces strengths should not cause seriousthe Allies. The difference in the groundis so) that it may not beat this time if we continue to use the current


S III Si [


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data categories with the AHftos and the East. The now air force totalsreater problem because of the large increase. However, the new USs considerably closer toan estimate which the FKG has recently disclosed than was our previous estimate. In any case, we have developed rationales and estimating methods which can be used to support the new estimates in detail without disclosure of sensitive information.

17. The main advantage of the functional force categories described ins that they compare more closely with the categories used in the Pact and are therefore susceptible to more confident intelligence analysis. They are likely to be better understood by the East than would our present categories But the Allies are not accustomed to thinking of forces in theseAllied intelligence specialists will recognizemay resist them. Mso, it must be noted that the Pact negotiators have not raised the issue, perhaps because they realize that the current categories tend to encourage undercounting Pact manpower.

18. We believe that before any decision could be made on adopting new categories some further analysis of US and Allied forces along functional lines would be necessary. Tt is not presently clear how the NATO/ Pact force ratios would fall out.



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