NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL
Main Issues In Soviet
OF CENTRAL INTEUIGENCE
Contwad m tht UNITED STATES INTELIIGENCE BOARD Al mdimTid ovsrUol9
It INTERNAL FACTORS AFFECT!NC MILITARY POLICY
Political-Military Relations J
Economic Considerations 4
HI. THE STHATECIC RELATIONSHIP WITH THE US
Tlie Anns Control 7
Trends- in Scialcglc Force* g
PROBLEMS IN EUROPE AND THE FAR 6
The USSR and Eur
The USSR and
Theater Force Requirement
PROJECTION OF SOVIET MILITARY POWER AND
APPROVED FOR RELEASE CIA HISTORICAL-REVIEW PROGRAM
MAIN ISSUES IN SOVIET MILITARY POLICY
To examine lhe significant issues in Soviet military policy and to assess their implications for Soviet military programs over thc0 years.
developments havereater possibility ofchanges inilitary policy than at any time sinceof Khrushchev. The collective leadership now faces majorconcerning both lhe strategic and general purposethe alternatives are some that would represent athc policy of tlie past several years; whether any of theseadopted will depend not only upon the power balance withinleadership, but also upon external political developmentsthe lertdership's reaction to them.
focus of Soviet military policy is on strategic andwith the US. In thc past few years the Sovietsstrengthened iheir strategic forces and in some respectsthe US. Moscow probably feels tliat it has attainedstrategic balance- -the most favorable of the postwarwillingness to discuss strategic amis control with the USthis judgment, as well as its desire to mitigate thcof the arms race. Within the limits allowed by anycontrol agreement, we believe that the USSR wouldstrengthen its strategic forces, both offensive and defensive. Inof an agreement thc Soviets will probably continue thewith the US and devote increased resources toprograms.
military policy toward Europe is strongly coloredconsider!lions. The Soviels have continued their effortsthe Warsaw Fact as an instrument not only of militaryagainst the West, but also of political influence in Easternrecent events in Czechoslovakia, one of the "northern tier"USSR placed main reliance, have raisedconcerning the value of the Pact to Soviet militaryEurope. We believe that thc USSR is determined to maintainin Eastern Europe and that it will continue to stationforces there. It probably also will strengthen in theaterthe western USSR.
which the Soviets previouslyorderproblem, now seems to be viewedajor threat. Since
hc USSR has nearly doubled its forces along China's borders. There has been no similar buildup on thc Chinese side, and disorders in China would seem to make an attack on the USSR highly unlikely. Nevertheless, the Soviets arc evidently concerned over die possibilityhinesehinese move against Mongolia, orollapse of the Peking regime which could necessitate SovietThe continuing buildup against China together with the new requirements for Eastern Europe will probably result in aincrease in Soviet theater forces. Any strategic threat that China may develop can for some years be met by existing strategic forces, but for the longer term Moscow must consider tlic problem of antiballistic missile defenses.
do not believe that the USSR will seek to rival thecapabilities for distant, limited, military action. On the otherprojected improvement of the Soviet general puiposc forcesan increasingly useful tool for Soviet policy. Sovietnaval forces, are likely to be more in evidenceworld, both in support of specific political objectives and asof lhe USSR's great power status. Such forcescapable of limited miliiary intcivcnlion in situations inubstantial Soviet interest and little risk of conflict will)power. We lookontinuation of militaiy aid as anSoviet policy and its extension to new areas as opportunities occur.
Today, as for Ihe past several years, Ihe major problems of Soviel miliiary policy concern (he US, Europe, and Cliina. The great bulk of thc Soviel miliiary effort has been directed to meeting Ihe miliiary challenge from these areas. Elsewhere in the world the USSR's military problems stem primarily from thc use of military power and resources in suppon of Soviet foreign policy. Such problems have, increased in number and importance as the USSR has Income involved in new areas and its commitments have grown.
Even before the Czech crisis, Ihe improved strategic relationship withUS, tlie rcvlivcncss of Eastern Europe, thc unremitting hostility of China, the June war in thc Middle Easi, and the prolonged conflict in Vietnam had raised new questions of priorities and requirements both within the Sovietestablishment and between (ho USSR and its allies. And lhe competition bctww.ii civilian and military demands on national resources promised to sharpen as both military costs and consumer expectations rose. In this situation the Soviet leaders apparently wereearching review of the military policies of thc past few years and exploring options for the future.
The Czech crisis has raised no entirely new military problems for the USSR, but it has exacerbated old ones. Long concerned with thc rcstiveness of its East European allies, the USSR, for political as well as military reasons, lias sought to strengthen thc Warsaw Pact; now the Pact is in some disarray and the Soviet leaders must entertain new doubls almul Ihe reliability of East European forces, particularly tho Czech forces. Thc intervention has aroused new apprehensions within NATO and has probably arrested the decline in NATO military efforts, at leastime. These considerations are relevant to future Soviet decisions concerning general purposewhich will be greatly influenced by lhc course of events in Eastern Europe over Ihe coming months. In thc strategic weapons Geld, thc Soviet leaders had, afterdelay, agreed to dUcuss aims conlrol with tho US. Bui the Czechhas soured US-Sovicl relations and put new obstacles in the wayossible anus control agreement.
FACTORS AFFECTING MILITARY POLICY
military policy is inroduct of Kremlin politics, which,elsewhere, involves questions ofmakes theofdecisions should he made. Under conditions ofleadership, however, thc decision-making process is complicatedfact that nothing of consequence can bo decided until il has been eollec-
tively scrutinized and weighed against tho individual intercits of the political leaders. Tins diffusion ol authority has not prevented the leadership from dealing cffectivi'lyide range of problems, but It has tended lo inhibitelay initiative in defense matters.
his situation has had an important beating on the relative weight of thc military voice in Soviel councils. Not only has the political leadership seemed mom responsive to special Interest arguments, but at times the absence of clear signals from tbe top has given greater influence In the decision-malting process to military and civilian advocates of unproved military forces. Although thu miliiary itself has periodically shown signs of interservite rivalries over resource priorities and future force structuring, it has nonetheless been united In making its claims for continued preferential treatment in the allocation of resources The increases in thc military budget of the past few years indicate, moreover, lhat the vigor with which the military has presented its arguments has not gone unrewarded. Tlie military has exploited and benefited from the resurgenceore suspicious and fundamentalist Communist outlook that has occurred under the present collective leadership.
fl. Trends In Soviet military doclrine have been generally consistent with the improvement In the fortunes of the military under the collective leadership. The role of the conventional forces as an instrument of national policy has been emphasized, but the Soviets have continued lo stressrimacy of th*forces ai the ultimate recouise in war. We believe that ihis relatively li.Hinonious approach lo military requirement reflected the gem-rat satisfaction of tlie military with thc policy pursued by the new leadership.
ven before the Crech crisis, however, there were issues of military policy th.it promised to introduce new tensions into pQiitirjiI-rnilitary relations. There is nu persuasive evidence that the militaryecisive role in the very hard political-military decisions Involved in the inter vent ion in Crechoslovakia, or that their views came down on one ot another side of the choices posed. They will, however, bo much concerned wiih thc implications of tho newcreated by the Creeh events for Soviet military posture and plans, Iisues afTecting trie future of the Warsaw Pact, Soviet deployments in Central Europe, and even thc pace of thc strategic arms race will implicate Ihe military's dealings with the polilical leadership for some time.
8 We believe lhat Ihe perennial problem of resourca allocation is likely toharper issue In lhe making of Soviet military policy. In Khrushchev's last years Soviet military expenditures were temporarily stabilized, due in partause in strategic weapon deployment and in part to his efforts to eeono-nure. Under tho now leadciship. however, ihey have continued to lise.aj thc result of increased outlays for strategic weapons and for research ami developmenthe Increase hai not outpaced the overall growth of Ihe rwnomy, but lhc requirements of those programs for scarce high-quality
reumrecslite sort needed lo sustain economic growth have aggravated tho impact of defense spending.
Wc estimate conent Soviet expenditures for military and space progiams at aboutillionequivalent of about (GO billion. Of this total, we believe that nearlyercent goes lo lire strategic attack and strategicforces combined, overermit to the general purpoie forces, IS perceni lo command and general support, andercent to military HAD and the space program. The distribution of eipenditures for the Soviet military has changed substantially over the past several years, reflecting the pattern of prinrities. The most pronounced change has occurred in eipenditures for HAD and space, which0 accounted for onlyercent ol* then Ihe same year, expenditures for general purpose forces amounted tof Iho total.
Soviet criticism of the high level of arms expenditure* in the US, which Kosygin termtdcertainty reflected the leadership'sover rising military costs in the USSH. The Soviet military leaders have undoubtedly pointed to thc US miliiary effort in pressing their claims foroutlays for defense. And articles in the Soviet military presssuch outlays and stressing thc importance of heavy industry suggested that the 'military-industrial complex* in the USSRhreat lo itstition. The immediate effect of lhc Czech crisis will be lo strengthen the position of these elements,
the past, the strategic forces have led in the competition forlhe military establishment and lhe civilian economy. The Sovietmay have hoped that when certain strategic prugrams reached plannedcould divert some of these icsouiccs to otherthe civilianperhaps to the relatively neglected general purpose forces We believeconsiderations weighed heavily In ihcir decision to discusswith the US- Any such calculations, however, probably have beenby (be Czech crisis, which almost ceitainly will lead to pressuresoices in excess of previous plans, and would weigh againstother military spending. Thus an mtcmiEcation of competition isonly between civilian and miliiary piograrm. but also within the
or thc near term, at least, Soviet miliiary eipenditures almostcontinue io rise. New requirements for theater forces could not bereductions in outlays for other forces, even if the Soviets should seekso. and we doubt lhal they would in Ihe present situation. Resourcesto strategic progiams are not readily Iraniferrable. Nevertheless,of lhe larger military effort on the economy will probably Impelsavings in military programs. Il is possible that it will
lhat led tho USSR to agree to discuss strategic arms con-
"it li the
III. THE STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP WITH THE US
loncern over ils position in Eaitcin Europe, lhc most important issues of Soviet roililaiy policy relate to the strategicbetween the US and tbe USSR. Thetrategic weapons programs wens setime when tbe US enjoyeduperiority ia in trr cent mental delivery systems as to pu! the USSRolitical anddisadvantage- The aim of Soviet strategic policy, therefore, has been loore formidable deterrent and to narrow and eventually to over-come the US lead Toward this end the Soviets have built strategic forces whicharge assured destruction capability and important damage-limiting capabilities as well.
W. The Soviels evidently attach great importance to lhe attalnmcnl ofparity with the US. but we do not know how they .Mine il. If thoy seek parity in numbers of intercontinental delivery vehicles. It is clear that Ihey have not readied it.heir intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force will probably surpass the US force in numbers of launchers, hut the Soviets will remain inferior in submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and heavy bombers. At present construction rates, they could match the US Polaris forceut their heavy bomber force will probablyc believe, however, that in assessing the strategic balance the Soviets would go beyond numbers tove differences in weapon systems such as warhead yield, the target system to be attacked, and damage-limiting capabili-titn. Viewed in this light, the Soviets may consider their capabilities forattack roughly comparable to those of die US.
he Soviet concept of strategic forces differs from that of the US. which focuses upon intercontinental delivery systems. We believe that in the USSR thc strategic mission is assigned to the Strategic Rocket Forces, Long Range Aviation, and ballistic missile submarines All of these forces include do-ballistic missilesntermediate-range baltiitie missilesediumnd diesei-powered iubn.arines--which *vc believe are intended primarily for use in Eurasian operations. The US has no MRBMs or IRBMs and has virtually eliminated its medium bomber force. Moreover, the US has no counterpart to the Soviet submarine-launched cruise missiles, which, in addition to their primary aniishipphig role, also have the capability for use agaimt land targets. If the Soviets include medium range as well ai intercontinental delivery systems in their assessment of thebalance, they could conclude that thc USSR hud attained slratcglc parity with lhe US. or even superiority.
'en.siiitant Chief of Su.IT.MAP, dVi notwill ba any ifssmfMli .hanR* in the staa of ih? Soviet hesvy bomber fo.ee duringof thliFor his view trt theNIE II SIR, "Soviet
'Mt) Onnc-nst. the Aisi-tint Chief of Slsff.SAF. coeUriLes In MM tb" So'icf medium bomber force hsi an intercontinental mission. For his vsewi sea
ecent statements by Soviet leaders have in (art. laid claim loparity ox superiority for the USSR. In announcing Soviet acceptance of aOM conlfol talks. CrOtnyko described Soviet military power relative to that of the US at being "by do meansew days later. Breihnev declared that Ihe US planned "lo Iry to achieve strategic superiority over live Sonethese statements were undoubtedly intended to justify the Soviet decision to enter into arms conlrol negotiations, but Ihey may also reflect (he USSR'sof its present strategic position.
The Armi Control Talks
Tlie timing of lhe belated Soviet acceptance ol (he US proposal for aims control tnllcs raise* questions of the USSR's motives. It would appear lo run counterepealed Soviet stalemcuts that any significant impiovement in US-Soviet relations was impossible in the context of the Vietnam war. And it came only six monthshange of administration in Washington which could lead to changes In US arms control policy. lis timing, however, was piobably dictatedumber of factors, political ami military, Tho SovieU probably reasoned that the political climate had been changed by the Initiation of negotiations between the US and North Vietnam, and they may have hoped to influence the US position in Paris. The delay in the Soviel response alsoonsiderable build-up in the Soviet ICBM force, thus strengthening the Soviet position at the conference table. And. finally, debate within tho Soviet regime may lave contributed to the delay.
Tbc economic considerations contributing to the Soviet decision areno mote compelling (ban tbe strategic considerations. Military arguments for strategic arms control In tbe USSR probably center around thc present stralegie situation, the most favorable to the USSR in the postwar period.US plans for improvements in its strategicmissileinutcman III. andSoviets probably believeonsiderable sustained effort would be necessaryaintain the relativethey have now achieved. Tbey may also be concerned lest tlse end of the Vietnam war enable thc US lo divert additional resources to ils strategic foices. t'inaliy. tlwy may reason that further increments to then strategic forces would have little effect on Ihe relationship between (be US and thc USSR so long at the US maintained its large, second-strike assured destruction capability. If these arguments were to prevail in the USSR, the Soviets wouldek an agrecmonl lh.it preserved thoir present strategic relationship wiih thc US.
It is too early to assess the full implications of the Czech crisis for Soviet policy toward arms control. The Sovieis still have the same basic economic and military incentives; Indeed, it is possible that tho new military requirements generated hy lhe Czech crisis have added to those incentives. Moreover, the present Soviet line seems to be that the Czech crisis is an internal Communist Bloc affair lhat should have no effect on the USSR's relations with tbe West.ossible, therefore, that the Soviets will seek lo proceed with arms control talks. inimum, however, the Czech crisis has delayed (he opening of
talk* wiih lhc US and has dampened the prospects of any real piogress toward
aims control in thc near term.
we believe that die Soviet Government is stillsome form of strategic arms control for both economic and militarycannot estimate, however, whether the USSR will actually accede tocontrol agreement, or. until the ultimate Soviet posilion is known,agreement is possible. Moreover, tho pressures against such anthc Soviet system would be formidable. The Sovietto negotiate was probably contested, and its opponents piobablylo ieverse it, and to continue (he longstanding pattern of increasesstrategic forces.
any case, the Soviet leaden cannot base their strategic planningpossibility ol strategic arms control and will almost certainly exploreThey mightolicy of minimum deterrencearge assured destruction capability, or they mighttry for strategic superiority of such an order that it could be translatedpoliiical gain. We consider it highly unlikely lhat thc SovieUeither of these courses of actsoo. Tbe first, that ofecision to sacrifice thc haid-won gains of recent years.would involve economic sacrifices lhat are probably unacceptablepresent leadership and would almost certainlytrong USWc believe, therefore, that in the absencetrategic aimsthe USSR will continue the arms competition with the US wiihof maintaining and if posvlble improving ils relative strategic position.
Trends In Serologic forces
lie future sire and composition of Soviet forces for Liter continental attack will depend not only on Soviet initiatives, but also upon developments on the US side, in particular upon US deployment of MIRVs and ADMs, and on (he terms of any arms control agreement The Soviet response willbe both quantitative and qualitative. The intercontinental striking forces will probably include an ICDM force with at least as many launchers as those now programed for tbeorce of nucJcai-powered ballistic missile submarines comparable to tho US Polaris fleet,eavy bomber force significantly smaller than lhal of the US. We also estfmato an incrrascdon qualitative improvements, particularly those related lo survivability and capacity lo penetrate enemy defenses.*
losely related to the question of force goals for slralegic atiack forces is the adequacy of strategic defenses.umber of yean, the Soviets have given equal priority to both. They have built air defenses whichormidable capability against aircraft attacking at medium and high altitudes. They are currently deploying onlargeew long-range surface-to-air
"Detailed citinitrs of Sevtet itratevlc foices appear in lhe loithcomlng-
mtssile (SAM) system whicK will greatly improve their capabilities againitsupersonic aircraft and srandoS weapons. They do not yet havedelcnsa* against strategic attack at very low altitudes.
2 the Soviets began to deploy around Moscow an ABM system which was then still under development- Deployment is continuing and tbe first elements of the system will probably become operational this year. Changes in construction activity around Moscow suggest that the Soviets do not consider this system satisfactory, and they almost certainly will not deploylsewhere. Dissatisfaction with this system was probably one consideration behind the SovieU' decision to enter arms control talks. As soon as an improvedvail-ablc. the Soviets will probably deploy ABMs in defense o( other areas, but their numbers may be restricted by an aims control agreement. We doubt thatystem could be brought into service before the
trategic Voltey Under Anns Control As noted above, we believe lhat Soviet Interest in strategic arms control stems primarilyesire to stabilize the present strategic situation of mutual deterrence and to conserve resources lhat would otherwise be consumed by strategic weapon programs, 'lhe Soviets are most unlikely to accede to an agreement that would limit their strategic Options without securing these objectives,
oviet strategic policy in an arms control environment can be forecast only in tho most general way. Whatever the terms of an agreement,tiatrgie forces would not comenJiv!l. Tie Sovfeti would almost certainlyffort with the objectives oftheir suategic forces and of hedgingossible abrogation of thc treaty. They would also make qualitative implements to their forces in the Old. aimed at maintaining their assured destruction capability and improving Iheir da mage-limiting rar>abmries. But if. as we believe, economic considerations hadarge partecision to accept arms control, there would probably be some reduction in Soviet expenditures for strategic forces, or ateveling out,
IV. MILITARY PROBIEMS IN EUROPE AND THE FAR EAST
he major part of the Soviet military establishment consists of forcm, stra-ti-gic and general purpose, which arc equipped and deployed for operations on tlie USSfVj periphery. Most of these forces are conccntialcd in the West, but tho traditional European orientation of Soviet military policy has undergone some modification in the past few years as the Soviets have sent strong reinforcements to the Chinese border area. Now the ScvieUhanged political and
Onji.oIU the Director. Defend I* trill goer Apney.en. TjcklU Ai.lmnlf SUff. Isldtigeoee. USAF. and Brie.Ji,Auutanlf Stir! forsieaent of the Army,m kU poutb-lilv that theay pe-wesi an ABM capabdUy.willcutud b. uciailthe fotnroeitrs; NIUeV "SoviH SbatofM
military situation in Europe that will almost certainly alter their view ol military requirements in that area Thus, the military situation is changing on both the western and eastern frontiers of the USSR. The Soviet response to these changes will largely determine the sire and composition of Soviet theater forces over the neat sevcial yean.
Tho USSR and Europe
Soviet European policy is directed to Iho reduction or elimination uf US influence in Europe, the isolation and containment of West Cermnny, and the weakening or destruction of the Atlantic alliance. Thus NATO remains thc focus of the USSR's military policy aod thc chief determinant of its military requirementi in Europe. Neverllieless. significant (Ir.rlopinc.iis on the NATO side in the past fewemergencetrategy of "flexiblehc defection of Fiance, US Initiatives aimed at mutual forcehad no apparent effect on Soviet military posture. Until the Czech crisis, there had been no appreciable change in the size or disposition of the massive Soviet forces arrayed against the West.
Soviet military policy in Europe,haped as much by political considerations as by military requirements. For example, the official Soviet line that France's departure has actually increased tbc tlireat by giving West Cermany more influence in NATO's councils also supports the moic general Soviet objective of discmu aging contacts between Eastern Europe and the West. The Soviet view of thc military threal from NATO seems unrealistic and inflated. It It possible that it reflects to some extent real but irrational fearsesurgent Cermany, which the Soviets are determined to keep divided. It is used also lo justify the continuing Soviet effort lo strengthen thc Warsaw Pact, which serves Soviel policy bothilitary counterpoise to NATO and as the institutional framework for the exercise of Soviet political control io Eastern Europe.
The Soviets almost certainly have considered the military contribution of the East European countries an Important one. Sot only have theyuffer Iwttween the USSH and Western Europe, but to the extent lhat their forces met military requirements posed by NATO, they took the place of forces that would otherwise have to be raised io thc USSR. Moreover, in the even) of war with NATO, the Soviets had planned to assign key missions lo East European forces, particularly those of the "northern tier"Cermany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Warsaw Pad exercises and other evidence indicated thatampaign against the NATO central region the main weight of attack would be delivered by Soviet and East Cerman foices In the center, and by the Polish and Czech forces in their respective areas, the Polish and Czech armies would beed under autonomous national commands subordinate to the Warsaw Pact supreme command. These plans asMimed the reliability of the "northern tier" armies and the continuing stability and cooperation of their governments, assumptions basic to the USSR's military policy of thc past several years.
ntil the recent events in Czechoslovakia, these assumptions were not seriously questioned despite an increasing number of problems within the Pact But the revival of nationalism in Fanero Euiope in the past few years has been manifested in increasingly assertive criticism ol Pact arrangements. Some East European slates have raised questions concerning thc validity and realism of Pact strategic planning, the Soviet monopoly on command and decision-mo king, the price and quality of Soviel equipment, and Ihe heavy cost of theirlo Pactumania, which hat termed thc Pad anas cut its forces and reduced Hi participation in Pact affairs to the point that it can be considered little moreominal member. Until recently, the Soviets appeared willing to accept some diversity within the Pact, but Czechoslovakia seems to have exceeded the bounds.
he harshness of thc Soviet reaction to developments In Czechoslovakia relates both to polilical changes within Ihe country and to iU strategic location. Tlie USSlt could tolerate the recalcitrance of Rumania in Pact affairs, but the defection or even the noncoopcratlonnorthern tier" state wouldthe bases of Soviet military policy and planning in Europe. Similarly, while thc Soviets apparently regard Rumanian nationalism atenial sin, thoy considered thc liberalization of the Crrch regimeortal one. Thus in Czechoslovakia theyhreat to lhe entire system of Soviet power In Eastern Europe. In fact, however, that system had been losing cohesiveness for tome time, and it may be that belated recognition of this fact helped to precipitate the heavy handed Soviet response
n the aftermath of the Czech crisis the Soviets will face military problems in Europe which ihey can only regard with grave concern. In their attempt to shore up their East European position, they have in fact removed one of its main supports, thc Czech armed forces, with II divisions andircraft, were among th* most effective In Eastern Euiope- For the near term, the SovieU will probably not feel able to count oo the reliability of these forces in Any serious contingency in Central Europe. Tlic Soviet military leadership will want to fill lhe gap. In Moscow, the Czechs piobably agreed to thestationing of Soviet forces on Czech soil But while thb will suffice for the political purpose of keeping the Czechs docile, it does not replace the military capabilities formerly provided by the Czech armed forces. The Soviets obviously hope toolitical situation In Czechoslovakia which will pwmil renewed confidence in the Czech forces.
eyond Czechoslovakia, the recentn Europe have raised profound qucitioni coocerning the value of the Warsaw Pact to Soviet military policy in Europe. For political reasons, lhe Soviets are clearly determined to preserve the Pact. They rvidently value itymbol of unily in an increasingly fragmented Communist world. Moreover, it justifies the Soviet military presence in Europe.
he major problem foe Soviet military pol.cy io Europe is that of theof the East Europeanwltclhcr the SovieU can continue to
consider the Eul European force* as extensions ofmiliiary power.how of political solidarity, ihey were ableecure the participalion of theseCerman. Polish, Bulgarian, andlhe invasion of Czechoslovakia. Bui the feelings of their allies were probably mixed and the Sovieis cannot regard this charaderue measure of ihetr reliability. The only completely submissive Soviet allies at this point are East Cermany and Bulgaria. In these circumstances lhe USSR probably sees increasedfor Soviet iheater forces for Europe.
Iho USSR and China
China, which in military terms was once considered by the Soviets as no moreorder security problem, now seems to be viewedajor ihreat. The evidence docs not indicate that the Chinese are making military preparations along thc bolder. Furthermore, the near chaos in China would seem to make an attack on the USSR highly unlikely. Nevertheless, (lie Sovieis evidently feel that they must allow for the possibility, however remote, that an irrational Mao could order the Chineae armed forces to attack the USSR. They are piobably also concerned that the political order in China may collapse entirely, posing for the USSR the question of whether or not to intervene.
Thc Soviet leaden undoubtedly hope thnt the Mao regime will be replacedew leadership with whom friendly relations can he established, although the more realistic among them probablyontinuation of great power rivalry even after Mao's demise. Moreover, fee the near term at least, tbe Soviet geneiel staff can hardly base iti military planning on such hopes. The military threat from China has raised new problems of force levels, ul deployment, and of logistics.
Soviet theater forces deployed near CMM have nearly doubled lo strength sincehe Soviets have deployed aboutdditional rhvisions to ihe bolder area, bringing thc total strength therehe buildup basbeen accomplished primarily by strengthening units already in thc Ear East and by fleshing nut cadres redeployed from the West. We believe that onlyf these divisions arc fully combat ready, but allrobably could be byir defenses and tactical air support have been considerably strengthr-ned. moteozen new airfields have been constructed, and nuclear capable missile units have boon deployed along the border. The Soviets arc apparently preparingariety of contingeiicins, including large-scale militaryorlhe Chinese. Ihey are not only strengthening their defenses, but are also developing substantial capabilities for operations inside China. The Iwo major operational groupings in the border area, onn in the Southern Maritime region and one In the Transbaykal Mililsiy Districtre located in thc most suitable areas for Ihr mounting of large-scale ground opeiations against Norlheast China,
The Soviets probably see the defense of Mongolia as their most imrnediate Faitrm problem. Of the Soviet divisions sent to reinforce tho Chineseave gone lo Mongoliao thc neighboring Tianil-aykal MD. Ihey
haw hern accompanied byait elements;f thc new airfields aie located in Mongolia. The minion oi these foices is to dctet the Chinese from attack and toro-Chinese coop within the country. Considering Mongolia's limited capacity lo; self-defenie. the Soviels probably consider that they will bo more or less permanently committed to the protection of thc country am! its regime.
Though we cannot judge the ultimate extent of the buildup along the Chinese border,ivisions nre likely to be deployed in the near term. The logistic problems of supporting sizable forces in such remote areas must be substantial in terms of both transport and maintenance, especially sincu thc reinforcement has involved some of the latest and roost sophisticated Soviet equipment Thus the buildup hai already posed new requirernenU for tho military planners. If it lontinucs, they must weigh these against the military needs Implied by the changed situation In Eastern Hurope and decide whether to meet them by redeployment or by raising new forces.
China'sstrategic capabilitiesore serious potential threat to lhe USSR. Tlie Soviets probably estimate that the Chinese willncdiunvrange delivery capability before they achieve an intercontinental one, and ihey cannot be reassured by Cliineic expressions of unconcern about the hazards of nuclear war. Ine Soviets probably rely on their great strategic superiority to deter the Chinese, but for the longer term they must consider tlie problem of defense against thc Chinese strategic threat.
Theater Force Requirements
the next few years Ihero is likely to bo substantial increase inof the Soviet theater forces. Tbe buildup on ibe Chinese border,is likely to result in an overall increase on the ordertotal ground force strength. In addition, the Soviets must now considerextent they can continue to rely on the East European forces to meetrequirements in Europe. We believe that the USSR is determinedits position in Eastern Europe and that it will continue toforces there. It probably also will strengthen iU theater forceswestern USSR.
Soviet strategic forces for peripheral operation' arc now deployed pi imarily against Europe, an emphasis that will probably continue. Development* in Eastern Europe have underlined thru deterrent value against NATO. At the same time, the Soviels havu seen new requirements for strategic forces in the threat from China, the mobile missile units deployed on the Chinese border will almost certainly be lupplemented by additional longer range systemi.
Tlic Soviet strategic forces appear adequate In size to meet theof both Ihc European and Far Eastern theaters. They includeHRM and IRBMedium lioinbcrs, and abouticiel-
powered ballistic missile submarines Moreover, (he capabilities of these forces will piobably improve significantly over the neat several years in terms ofand survivability. By thehe MRBM/IRBM force willconsist of new missile systems deployed in haid and mobile launchers; the medium bomber force will probably deebne in numbers but thc introduction of air-to-viirfacc missiles (ASMs) will lend lo compensate for this and improved bombers may be brought into service. As the buildup against China continues, we believe lhat there will be some rcdisposition of sriategic forces.
question of defense against thc potential strategic threat posedmissile development has probably been deterred. Thc Sovietsbelieve that their great superiority in offensive strategic weaponslitem lo cope with any threat that might materialfie in theand they hopeolitical change in China that would removeIf tbe Chinese should begin to deploy strategic ramilcjUSSR, the Soviets probably would meet (be threat initially byperhaps redeploying some of their MRBM/IRBM force. In lhcthey would probably deploy light ABM defames againstew key targets.
V. THE PROJECTION Of SOVIET MILITARY POWER AND INFLUENCE
A problem that hai become of increasing concern to the USSR In lecent years is that of adapting its military power to thc range of political uies that its growing commHmcnti and inteiests require. Tlie Soviet use of military power for political ends has ranged from threats to large-scale intervention; in this respect, Soviet practice has resembled that of other great powers in the past. Thc pattern of usage, however, lias been different doe to the changed character of war in thc nuclear ago, lo limitations on Soviet military capabilities, to the nature ol the Soviet political system, and to geographic factors.
In the postwar era thc USSR has used its military forces cautiously and sparingly. Except for the Cuban missile venture, which was an alienation of policy, it has consistentlyirect military confrontation with tbe USilitary challenge to vital US interests. The USSR has used its own military forces to impose Its will only in Eastern Europe where in the Soviet view vital nalional interests were at strike. In conflicts elsewhere in thc world the USSR has relied on local forces to achieve its ends, providing ihem with political and military support.
The generally cautious Soviet attitude toward military involvement has almost certainly been influenced by an awareness of the limitations on the USSR's capability lo project its military power to areas distant from its periphery. Over the past several years Soviet airlift and sealiTl capabilities have Improved considerably, but the USSR still lacks (he ica and air combat capabilities necessary for distant operations against significant opposition. The USSR is undoubtedly contented over the much greater capability of the US for suchhich not only provides additional options for thc US. but also
imposes limitations on Soviet actions. In Vietnam, however, where thishas been most apparent, thc Soviets may not think that it has worked to their net disadvantage,
In Vietnam, the Soviets have avoided diiect military involvement which would haveonfrontation with the US and have sought instead to achieve their policy objectives by supporting indigenous Communist forces. The polilical slakes in thc Soviel view have been high: the further extension of communism in Southeast Asia, thc prestige of the USSK and its claim to leadership of the Communist world, and ihe opportunity to discredit lhe US politically and to cast doubt on its military strength. Because of US control of Ihe seas and Chinese hostility, the problem of supporting thc Vietnamese forces has been difficult, but the cost to the USSR has been relatively small as compared wiih US expenditures; Soviet military aid to Vietnam for rheotaled something over SI billion. And while the issue is far from resolved, the Soviets probably estimate lhat in tho long term they will achieve many of their political aims. Certainly, they will not see in Iheir Vietnam experience any pressing requirement to develop large capabilities for distant, limited military action against oppositionajor power.the massive expenditure of resources that would be required to achieve such capabilities, wc do not believe that they wiU challenge US superiority in this respect.
Nevertheless, the USSR's use of military power to support its political objectives is likely to increase. Tlic normal improvement in its militarywill broaden its political options. This trend is already apparent in the expanded Soviet naval presence in lhe Mediterranean which, in addition to iU military missions, serves Soviet politic! aims in the Middle East. The lecent extensive naval visits in the Indian Ocean and Persian Culf indicate that the Soviets foresee new opportunities in that area. Soviet forces, particularly naval forces, are likely to be more in evidence around the world, both in support of specific political objectives andemons [ration of Ihe USSR's great power status. Such forces would be capable of limited miliiary intervention inin which Moscowubstantial Soviet interest and litllc risk of con-flictajor power.
Soviet Military Aid
Soviets evidently consider military aid an important tool ofthc beginning of thc programhey have extended aboutin miliiary aid to non-Communist countries; in addition. Easternmore0 million. The militaiy equipment involved wasat discoi.nl prices for thcart and arrangements forew cases including outrig/it grants.
he recipients ol Soviet and East Europeanor the most part have been targets of opportunity in developinghere the SovieU have sought to displace Western influence and lolimate conducive to the
growth of Communist influence. Thcare, more than half, has gone to thc radical Arab stales of thc Middle East and North Africa. Indonesia, which accounts foruarter of the total, has received virtually all the miliiary aid dispensed to non-Communist countries in the Far Fast. India, which has received something overercent of thc total, is the only other major recipient. Soviet and East European economic aid has concentrated upon tho same areas.
The Soviet leaders must view the results of these substantial expenditures with mixed feelings. In some cases, the returns have been negative. Indonesia, for example, not only butchered its native Communists, but embarked on an independent foreign policy, and still owes the USSH for most of the aidThe Arabs have been more cooperative, but their defeat by Israel reflected on Soviet military prestige. The political payoff from India has been small, but the USSR probably sees this aid program as part of its struggle with China.
In thc wake of the June war in the Middle East, the Soviets probably recognized that along with its uncertain results military aid entailed somedisadvantages. Thc provision of aidependency on the part of the recipients, but it also creates new obligations and commitments on thc part of the donor. Thus, regardless of its inclinations, thc USSR wasand heavily involved in the Arab-Israeli crisis from the outset. And after thc disastrous defeat of the Arab states it was faced with the necessity of replenishing all or most of their losses. Moreover, in world affairs the donor becomes identified to some extent with the policies and actions of its client states over which it may have little control; in the Middle East crisis, the USSR almost certainly found this situation embarrassing and, on occasion, dangerous.
Nevertheless, Moscow still appears willing to give military aidan opportunity offers itself to advance Soviet policy or to establish afootholdew area, ft has recently extended credits to Iran, South Yemen, and Sudan; offers of military aid to Jordan and Pakistan are outstanding; and Soviet military aid almost certainly will be extended to new areas of thc underdeveloped world over thc next several years- While the geographic scope of Soviet miliiary aid is likely lo grow, we do not envisage any appreciable change in thc levels of aid from those immediately priorarring, of course, any ciis-is similar to thc Arab-Isiaeli war of that year.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
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