The USSR: Problems, Policies, and Prospects
THH USSR: PROBLEMS, POLICIES, AND8
History may ultimately record that the Soviet Union of Brezhnev, Kosygin, and company was not much different in its essentials from tho Soviet Union of Nikita Khrushchev. There are, of course, notablein temperament and style between the present careful collective and the impulsive and impatient Mr. Khrushchev. contrast with the impressive serios of changes which occurred in the aftermath of the death ofmain lines of Soviot doctrine and policy have remained substantially unaltered in the roughly three years since the fall of Khrushchev.
It is true, nevertheless, thatollective leadership there havo been important changes in the
way that national policy is formulated and in the way that it is carried out. If the present leaders have not been inclined to find new paths or to seek new purposes, they have nonetheless repudiatedexcesses of style and extremes of policy. They have chosen to reignargely colorless committee and to govern primarily through compromise and They seem toKhrushchev often didmany of the problems facing them are very complex and that their ability to act on these problems ia limited. Another domestic undertaking comparable to Khrushchev's vast program to transform the Virgin Lands, for example, would seem to be beyond the courage and the capacities of tho collective. Similarly, abroad, another move analogous tobrash (and disastrous) missile venture in thc western Hemisphere would seem to be completely out of character for the wary group of men now in the Kremlin.
Arc ta: Thie memorandum was produced eolely by CIA. It waa prepared jointly by the Officee of CurrentEconomic Reeearoh, and Strategio Research of the Directorate of Intelligence and by the Office of National Estimates.
Thus tho spirit of the collective is cautious. Perhaps as important, the machinery of the collective is cumbersome. It is certainly an oversimplification to say that, if Khrushchev controlled the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy controls his successors. Thore is, however, some truth to this notion. Brezhnev, for example, often seems to speak for the professional party apparatus; Khrushchev usually spoke to it. In any case,ariety of views and interestswithin the Politburo, it cannot always be easy to arrive at decisions and may often then be difficult to execute them. Moreover, it is clear that there are strong disagreements among the top leaders over such diverse matters as the pace and character of economic reform, the proper allocation of the nation's economic resources, and what some regard as the declining momentum of Soviet foreign policy.
shortcomings of committee rule,the political appetites of the leaders whoit. are matters of common knowledge andthe Soviet establishment. And certainlyof accomplishment and the failuresserve to give the discontented and thea pretexteason for seeking chango. But
no one canperhaps least of allhow many specific failures (such as their inability to foresee or forestall the Arab collapse in the June war) the present leaders can suffer, or how many chronic issues (such as their constant struggle over economic priorities) they can endure.
if the present Sovieton the brinkew year, isinditself, it could do so on severalit has, after all, managed to survive for
more than three years without major changes in its composition or in the way that it functions,whatever happens in the future--this in itself is no small accomplishment. Second, even if they should not claim the lion's share of credit for themselves, the top leaders have at least helped to put some momentum back into an economy which, under Khrushchev, was showing signe of foundering. Third, they have some reason for satisfactionumber of lesser gains,easure of progress in theof tho limited economic reform program, and
apparent improvement in relations with tho general publicesult of the increased availability of consumer goods duringh Anniversary year. In the international sphere, they can feel soma pleasure about the way events are moving in Western Europe and about tho trend of their relations with Turkey, Iran and India. Thoy have preserved theirin the Middle East and probably think their chances of expanding it are good. They can also derive some comfort from the distress the United States isfrom the war in Vietnam. Concerning the Communist movement, they can feel substantial relief at the way Peking has damaged its own position.
6. Despite accomplishments such as these, theleaders, looking back on the year just past, have little reason for jubilation. Indeed, they havo reason devoutly to hope that next year will be better than laat,7 brought them woe as well as blessings.
Thus, at7 brought them:
. the economy, the slighting of investment, the key to future growth;
the leadership, an apparentof controversy over the question of resource allocations;
and, in tho aroa of popular and party morale, waning ideological fervor, unrelieved discontent among many writers and artists, and continuing restivoness among the young.
And thus,7 also brought the leaders:and pain at the Arab military debacle in the six-day war in the Middle East;
some reason for increasing concern over the possibility that the US would take actions which would enlarge the war in Vietnam, raising the question of more direct Soviet involvement;
over the potential dangers of Mao's cultural revolution, frustration over the antics of the Cubans and the Rumanians, and'dismay over their inability to restore discipline among the Communist parties of the world.
7. What of the new Hill itimilar mixture of profit and loss, pleasure and pain? Probably so. Domestic prospects are not especially bright. The question of resource allocation, forwill almost certainly remain at issue, andbetween the regime and some of its unhappy subjects is not likely to be dealt with in anyand lasting way. Much the same can be said about the USSR's prospects abroad. The urge to compete with, to outdo, and indeed to undo the United States in most areas of the world and in most areas ofpolicy will no doubt remain one of the strongest impulses behind Soviet policy. At the same time, this urge is likely to some extent to be curbod by the Soviets' appreciation of the limitations of their own capacities and by their awareness thatconflict between the two great powers would bo mutually suicidal. Thus, the quandary the Soviets find themselves inis the United Statea will almost certainly remain precisely that
8. Moscow, however, will certainly seefor gain8 which it may be all the more eager to exploit because of the strategic standoff with the US. Though essentially cautious, the Soviet leadership is conscious of ita "superpower" role andteadily growing capacity to make its political, economic and military weight felt in areas outside its traditional orbit. There is every reason tothat Moscow will be especially alert to extract advantage from the position it has established in the Arab world.and in the Mediterranean Basin generally. Here, as elsewhere in the Third World, military aid will continue toandy opening wedge, though there will be both trials and errors and the Soviets will find it impossible toingle pattern on relations with these countries. Inthere will be further losses in the East, some progress in the West. Toward China, therehanceodest improvement in relations only if Mao should die or be replaced.
9. The ambivalence involved in seeking to compete with the US without confrontation will lead toand, at times, arguments within the leadership. Even should the leadership change appreciably (and this
is alwaysts collective nature willendure over the short term. To many of theleaders, the power relationship with the US, though improving, will continue to appearsome will wish to devoto priority attention to all manner of efforts to eliminate the imbalance. Others, however, will see less need of this, will be content to settle for an adequate level of deterrence; any other course, they would fear, would simplythe US to an even greater military effort and force the USSR into arms expenditures which could only cripple the Soviet economyhole.
lthough disagreements as fundamental as this are not likely to be resolved totally next year, there are few grounds for the West to be encouraged about the general trend of Soviet thinking. The pattern of recenttenor of public discourse, the disbursement of funds, the completion of missile silos, the reluctance of the Soviets to discuss USconcerning arms control, the Soviet posture in the Middle East, and even the increasing eminence ofthese signs suggest that the leadership has concluded that it must continue to seek majorin the Soviet strategic position, even at the risk of jeopardizing economic growth.
I. THE POLITICAL SCENE: DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN
celebration ofh AnniversaryBolshevik Revolution bore the narks of thestyle of the collective personality whichSoviet policy during the past threetheeek-long break from his normalreason to be festive, the official oratoryon around him was anything butback over the five decades of itsSoviet government had more to be gratefulmere survival, but aa it contemplated thethe nation and its place in tho world, it also
had reason toober view.
anniversary happened to just aboutwith the third anniversary of Despite some internal shifts ofcommittee that took over from him has sinceintact and its way of doing businesshardly at all. Some of this stabilityimpartod to the national economy and toabroad. Not much yeast has been puthowever, largely bocause committee rulecompromise, caution, and the choice, inof the safe middle way. The collectivesuffered any serious setbacks, oither at home
or abroad, but neither has it turned any major profits. As it begins its fourthumber of importantold, somebecoming more insistent
a regime whose overriding domesticis economic performancet the neod toincentives to stimulate labor outputideological fervor declines. Accompanyingin fervorreeping socialamong the youth, and alienationeducated elite. The regime has been unableany answer but repression, often harsh, toof some of the leading lights of
the cultural intelligentsia who aru impatient for
liberating reforms* The regime finds its economic goals further hampered by the lethargy and resistance to change of its massive bureaucracy.
4* None of these underlying difficulties seems as likely, howover, to provoke controversy ovor domestic policy as does the issue of economic allocations. This problem,ecurrent one, seems now to be reappearing in sharpened formf partly under the pressure of rising defense expenditures, and has produced discord within the Politburo it self.
tensions in the Sovietoth foreign and domestic policies have become
more evident recently. There is no reason to oxpect that these tensions will diminish* Yet even if the complexion of the collective personality should be altered, it is not likely that collective! rule will suddenly collapse or that the collective style will change sharply. Moreover, no matter who the architects of Soviet policy might be, they would have to work with much the same materials now at hand* Thus, the Soviet leadership's prescription for dealing with its problems in the immediate future will probably be more compromise and more caution.
6* No single figure has been able to dominate the political scene as Khrushchev once did, and the country has had to function without the kind of forceful, though often eccentric, direction of policy that he provided. The precedence given to tho general secretary of the party, Brezhnev, during the jubilee cereiaonies confirmed him in his place as the leading figure in the regime. It seems, however, that he is still only preeminent rather than predominant. Ho, Kosygin, Podgorny, and Suslov have become the inner circle of the Politburo whoso views probably count for more than those of the other seven members. It is probable, that on roost, if not all, of the chief issues of Soviot policy that have arisen during the past threeajority of these top four havo stood on common ground.
There is no doubt, however, that consensus has sometimes comeeconomic reform proqram announced5 seems to have been an assortment of painfulthat at other times the dominant view has been challenged by leaders of the second rank.
The collective leadership has survived so long largely because none of the leaders has as yet displayed the power, fortitude, or the desire to upset existing arrangements. (Shelepin, one of the younger men in the Politburo, seems to have had serious designs on Brezhnev's position, but his claws have
thi ^FLS? J* Moreovar' 8ince Khrushchev'scollective has been governeduling ofCommittee which decrees that thein the party and government should neverheld by one man. Apart from this check onof one-man rule, and the o. the party chief, there are no known or safeguards regulating politicalthe *
present political equilibriumto be intrinsically fragile. Of theleaders, the largest question mark hangs over
the future of Kosygin, who from time to time is rumored
ce ready to step down, either because he is tired and ill or because his economic policies are beinq frustrated, with his departure wouldoice which seems generally to have been on the side of moderation. By and large, he has displayed this quality more consistently than Brezhnev. The party chief, though he too seems to haveiddle of tho road position onajor issues, gives signs of being more orthodox in basic instinct as well as more inclined to defer to military interests.
; (Thisis not to say, however, that chanqes in the internal balance of the Politburo wouldbe reflectede-orientation of Soviet foreign policies. Although differences in outlook exist, distinct cleavages have not been apparent. It seems to be true that in Soviet politics now there are those who normally respond to issues as ith ideological rigor and
bureaucratic conservatism, and others who are willing to stretch doctrine and entertain certain unortho* dox departures in policy. What cannot be said is that all Soviet leaders can be placed in one or another category or thativision reflects soatterplit betwoan militants and moderates.
prosent leaders would like to seepower and ideology become dominant on a eal prospect, however, the notion
orld-wide Soviet triumph has long since lost much of its substance and virtually all its immediacy. Too many things have happened in recentmuch trouble with the economy, too many rows with the Chinese and within the international movement, and too few gains against thepermit anySoviet leaders to view the future with the kind of simplistic optimism onco expressed by Khrushchev.
if the Soviets now understand thatdefinite limits to their ability to shapethe course of events abroad, they have not
as yet shown signs of accepting this appreciation gracefully. They sometimes seem most reluctant to match their ambitions to their means. Soviet foreign policies now seem to reflectew sophisticationore realistic and flexible awareness of national interests) and an old simplicity (the dogmatic insistence that tho world conform to the Soviet image of it). This ambivalence can be expected to persist for some time and to be evident in the way Moscow deals with the mostinternational issues now facing it.
Relations With the US
no aspect of Soviot foreign policyambivalence more conspicuous than inthe US. The attitudes of the Sovietconditioned by persistent, underlyingthe purposes of the foremost "imperialist"the one hand, and, on the other, by an awareness
of the dangers in the nuclear age of uncontrolled antagonism between the two great powers. The second of these conflicting impulses has, in general,under the collective leadership, as indeed it did under Khrushchev,-but not without creating tensions in the policy-making process* In particular instances, where decisions affecting relations with the US were concerned, hesitancy, ambiguities and the attractionarder anti-imperialist line have been apparent. From time to time, episodes occur, such as the recent drugging of the USattache and his British colleague and similar KGB-enginoored incidents, which are hardly contrived to improve the stato of US-Soviet relations.
14. The Soviet leaders have publicly asserted that no resolution of basic differences with the US is conceivable so long as the US is involved in the war in Vietnam. But they have also indicated (and, during the Middle East crisis,trong desire to keep the lines open to Washington. And though they have at times insisted that US-Soviet relations must remain frozen for the duration, they have been willing to conclude specific agreementsn the peaceful uses of outer space) and to negotiate about others uclear proliferation) when they saw larger advantage to Soviet policy. In formulating its policies toward the US, the leadership has been unable to resolve the contradictory demandsolicy which seeks, on the one hand, gains against the US in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere and, on theacit understanding with the US to avoid measures and countshich would seriously risk international crises.
15. The USSR does not view arms controlroblem of great urgency. Moscow does see, however, some political profit in disarmament negotiations and in US-Soviet agreement on certain limited forms of control, suchuclear nonproliferation treaty, especially when it can be usedeans of promoting the political and military containment of West Germany, rhere is no reason to believe that the desirability of reaty has been at issue within the Soviet leadership.
16. Other arms control proposals now pending hold little interest for Moscow. Thus, for example, proposals to restrain the world arms trade aro not likely to appeal to the Soviets since such trade and aid is clearly regarded in Moscow as its primary political tool in tho Third world. And concerning measures of greater scope, such as the control of strategic weapons, the Soviets are likely to proceed with great caution and suspicion. In this instance, the collective leadership's characteristic hesitancy when faced with questions of considerable import is probably compounded by the apprehensions of themilitary, by the baneful influence of Vietnam on US-Soviet relations, and possibly by differences of opinion within the leadership as well. It is possible that the Soviet leaders will, after consider able agonising among themselves, decide to enter into exploratory discussions with the US on the ABMbut for tho present the prospects appear to be slight that they would be willing to agree to any comprehensive program of strategic arms control.
17. The Soviet leaders have seen in USin the war in Vietnam an opportunity forand political profit, and they have beeno exploit this opportunity wherever possible (as for example, in Western-Europe). They are also concerned, however, that through their own involvement in the war they might become embroiled in situations which they could not control. Neither the US nor North Vietnam, tho principal actors in the conflict, is veryto Soviet influence; cither of them could behave independentlyay which could test the USSR's resolve, strain its resources, and risk its direct involvement. But, if uncomfortable about tho degreo of their commitment to an ally whichill of its own and whichause (control of the South) which is not of vital concern to the USSR, the Soviets nonetheless see no acceptable alternative. Almost certainly, they hopo Hanoi or Washington, or both, will some dayolitical solution to the war possible. In the meantime, they will seek to persuade the US not to escalate the conflict any
further and to agree to termsettlement which would be acceptable to North Vietnam.
18* Tha USSR's delight at the way China was able to dissipate its resources in tho Communist world by behaving bizarrely at home seems to have beenby concern over China's rabid hostility,over the course of events inside China, and apprehension over what might happen next* Over the last few years, the Soviets have strengthened their armed forces along the Sino-Soviet frontier and in Mongoliaprobably fearing only borderprobably preparing for more serious contingencies. In the political andarena, the Soviets have won handsome dividends by striking an attitude of cool restraint toward the Chinese Although it is conceivable that there are varying estimates within the Soviet leadership of the long-term outlook for Sino-Soviet relations, it is most unlikely that Moscow will consider anto its present course as long as the Mao faction remains in power in Peking.
The Communist Movement
19* By and large, the trend toward declining Soviet authority in the Communist world has not been arrested. Among the Eastern European states, Rumania has been the most vocal and demonstrative in claiming tho right to pursue its national interests largely according to its own lights, but such tendencies aro growing, though moro quietly, elsewhere in the region. And the USSR's problems with Castro'sparticularly over whether Latin America is ripe for revolutionary upheaval orthe emotional gulf between tho two Communist states ever wider.
20* At the same time the Soviets havo some successes to their credit. They have managed to slow down the movement in Eastern Europe toward broader contacts with West Germany and other West European states* They have also finally, thanks again in no small part to Chinese extremism,tep toward tho conveningnity conference of tho international
movement. Nevertheless, it is evident that the kind of international Communist cohesion that Moscow longs fororlorn hope. Most of the Communist parties which will gather in Budapest in February to "consult" on an international conference want no partoviot-imposed policy consensus.
Soviet leaders appear to betheir generally conciliatory approach toEuroperomising one and soem tothey would have much to lose and little torevertingarsher policy. They willfor some timo their present line of trying
to persuade the West Europeans that the US is beginning to disengage from Europe and that detenteenevolent Soviet Union is an ever growing possibility. The Soviets will almost certainly continue publicly to treat Weot Germanyariah, but will privately seek to explore the possibility of movement in Bonn toward acceptance of the status quo in Germany.
The Middle East
Soviet decision in the midst ofconflict to start some replacementequipment in friendly Arab countriesprovisional, intended primarily as aaction and not as an encouragement tomilitancy. But tho Soviets must recognize that,
if they wish to enlarge their Influence in the area, an aim they are vory unlikely to abandon, they have no alternative to continuing to work with the radical Arabs. The speed with which the Soviets moved into the military vacuum opened up by the Egyptians in the Yemen and their incipient courtship of Jordan are proof that Moscow will not be backward in exploring avonues of new influence. But it is still unlikely that they will wish to do this by entering into actual military alliances with any of the Arab states, for the USSR has no desire to give theseold over its policies. The establishment of Soviet bases in the area would contain some of the 3amo hazards and would, in addition, seriously undercut the USSR's
"anti-imperialist" stance. Short of this, however, Moscow is likely to see both political and military advantage in expanding its military presence in the area.
23. Moscow will continue to exploit anti-Western attitudes in Arab countries, but it will not run the military risks or accept the political costs of identifying itself with Arab aspirations to destroy Israel* It follows also,ajor change in ArabSoviets will not give very much help to diplomatic efforts to moveasic settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Third World
24, Partlyesult of its experiencesyears in such places as tho Congo, Ghanathe Soviet Union's confidence thata reliable formula for dealing withWorld has diminished. Khrushchev'sassumption that the underdevelopedingle economic and socialcould be exploitedniform way has been
confounded by events. The USSR has made steady progress in increasing its influence in the states on its southern periphery, such as Iran and Turkey, and will continue to give caroful attention to its relations with them. Elsewhere in the Third world, it is questionable whether the USSR's political profits have been commensurate with itsof cash and diplomatic energy. In any case, recent history has demonstrated that military and economic aid and the appeal of common socialistcannot guarantee the Soviettable political foothold in the midst of nationalist
25. In Latin America, Moscow, seeing little prospect that the Communists can achieve power in the present circumstances by insurrectionary methods, has counseled the parties of the area to pursue united front tactics wherever possible. Meanwhile, the Soviets themselves, despite Castro's angry protests, are trying to build for the future on the
basis of expanded commercial, consular andties with governments of varying political coloration. Much the same approach is taken toward Africa and the non-Communist nations of Southeast Asia and the Far East.
26* Despite its disappointments, tho USSR will almost certainly maintain sizable aid programs for the loss developed countries. Economic aid patterns may change? there are signsore discriminating approachhift to greater emphasis on military aid. But, while new extensions of economic assistance have boon declining, total drawings by recipient states next year are likely to be about the sane as in recent years,0 million*
27. The lessons of the Middle East war have obviously not made the Russians any the less ready to"use military aid as an instrument of political influence. To this end, the USSR is evidently fully prepared, where opportunity arises and where geography permits, as in the case of Nigoria and the Yemen, to call on its capacity to provideaid promptly and in- quantity* Despite their reluctance to make extended commitments, the Soviet leaders are almost certainly convinced that,reat power, the USSRegitimate interest in practically all areas of the worldolitical need to assert that interest.
collective leadership has reason towith the performance of the economyfirst two years of the current Five Yeargrowth, which had slowed. (See table on pageproduction wasecord level inremained high Above averageina vital role inbut new monetary incentives andalsoeneficial effect. of industrial output increasedpartesult of greater raw materialagriculture. Most of tho production goalsFive Year Plan are being fulfilled. Withwheat imports no longer needed,increased and the hard currency Implementation of the major economicin5 has proceededand the reforms appear to be yieldingimprovements in efficiency.
does not mean, however, thatis without serious economicthe contrary. In the distributiondefense and consumption have beeninvestment goals have been greatlyspending rose sharply, andrate of improvement in per capitathan doubled. The rate of growth ofhowever, which was already low,further, and in the key machinery sectorof lnvestnent goods grew much more slowly than
did military equipment and consumer durables. in agriculture increased at only about half the annual rate originally scheduledn the many-faceted program launched by Brezhnev5 to get agriculture moving again. In sum, these two fat years for the marshals and consumers were achieved in part at the expense of industrial and agricultural investment, the key to the future growth of the economy.
USSR: Indicators of Economiclan
Annual Rate of
Gross national product 5
Agriculture 3 4Claimants
Consumption (per capita) 5
Industry 7 o 5
Agriculture oto 16
3. Toettor shake to consumers in the jubilee year the Kremlin importedillion in clothing from the West, paying with hard currency that could have been UBod to import machinery and equipment. Also, because of the large carryover of feed grains from the6 crop, the regime could assure plentiful supplies of meat and milk. Money incomes were permitted to rise sharply, in partonsequence of new monetary incentives introduced in agriculture to spur deliveries to the government. As final insurance that the pie would indeed be large, the regime stepped up the pressure on workers and managers alike.
Plans and Problems
J; Encouraged by the economic successes, the leadership apparently sees no reason to change the policy of favoring the military and the consumer. Indeed, the military apparently are being favored even more strongly. At the Supreme Soviet session in early October, the regime5 percent increase in the explicit defense budget8 and anercent rise in outlays for science, which are thought toizable amount of defense expenditures. The plan8 and general guidelines, while essentially reaffirming the over-all goals forand consumption originally set, indicated major cutbacks in investment forand in output goals for key, nonmilitaryilitary-relatedhowever, is to3 percent increase
revised planslsoof the rapid rise in money incomes,spurred8 by the inauguration of ain the minimum wage, generous new benefitsin northern regions, and improvementsand other benefits. For thehe rate of growth planned forgoods industries8 exceeds thatgoods.
By continuing to favor the military and the consumer the regime is taking some major risks-more so than in theears. The continued slighting of investment in favor of defense is bound to weaken long-run prospects for economic growth. Moreover, the regime will have great difficulty in increasing the supply of consumer goods nearly enough to match rising incomes and expectations. Thecould be shortages and rising dissatisfaction.
By permitting the rate of growth ofinvestment to dropith no upturn apparently in the cardshe regime is sacrificing rapid improvement in the quality of its industrial plant anduture slowdown
in theindustrialgrowth of
8. Similarly, in agriculture, large cutbacks in investment make sustained future gains inless likely. The revised planay have reduced by as muchhird the original goal for investment in agricultural machinery and equipment.
Performance Next Year
9. The consequences of the decision to skimp on investment will not cause serious problems in industry and agriculture for another year or two because of the time required to build and use new facilities and equipment. Whether the economy will continue to grow8 at the high ratesill depend mainly on earlier investment and on such factors as the effects of the economic reform on industry and of the weather on agriculture.
In agriculture the chances are poorignificant increase in productionainfall was below normal this fall in thewinter grain areas. Fertilizer deliveries8 are scheduled to increase only at half the rate achieved. Under these conditions, crop production could rise substantially above last year only if the weather next spring is exceptional. Output of livestock products, such as meat and milk, is likely to level off or decline somewhat even if8 harvest is good.
The poor prospects for increases inof quality foods andepetition of the special efforts madeo improve the quantity and quality of consumer goods make it unlikely that per capita consumption will rise nearly so rapidly8 as. But the regime has made commitments that will boostincomes byercent and thuserious risk of acute shortages and growing popular discontent.
12. All in all, tho regime's position is not enviable. There does not seem to be agreement in tho leadership, however, as to what precisely should be done to improve thc regime's position. There is evidence, in fact, that the decisions in favor of increased allocation of resources to thohave had their detractors. The decision to cut back so sharply on planned investment insurely was not reachedattle at the highest political level. Politburo member Polyansky has already called this decisionand other special pleading has appeared in the press in recent weeks. Thus, the allocation of economic resources is stillatter ofcontroversy at the highest level.
Controy fi rsv
Soviet defense policies are in part aof Kremlin politics, which, like politicsconcern the questions who decides and what should be decided* While the first question may rarely be asked directly in the Soviet Union, it poses itselfractical, political way every time the Soviet leadershipajor decision and everyajor policy is brought up for Itatter of some significance that the leadership's conduct of policy has been subjected to question over the past year.
This situation has an important bearing on military policy. Recent evidence suggests that the military establishment would not be reluctant to mix in the political arena to assert or defend its interests. Special pleading in the military press for higher allocations was apparent lastand fall when the new Soviet budget was being formulated and the proponents of higher defense spending and the heavy industry interest seemed frequently to make common cause. In part because of the existence of this influential lobby, the regime's present emphasis on military policy seems set for some time to come.
world situation as seen from thelikely to reinforce this disposition. Thepower and policies of the United Statesconstitute, in the Soviet view, not only ato Soviet security butrincipalthe exercise of Soviet political influence in Despite the rapid progress in Sovietprograms over the past two years, the powerwith the United States must still The Soviet leaders are awareefforts in US forces are aimed atthe accuracy and penetration ability of USand at greatly increasing the number of
In assessing their military needs for the future, the Soviet leaders will undoubtedly wish to continue strengthening the Soviet deterrent, not only for defensive reasons, but to reinforce the image of the Soviet Unionreat power. Even though they recognize that strategic power cannot be employed in war without unacceptablethat this recognition is shared by the United States and the rest of theare likely to believe that the mere possession of power will tend totheir freedom of action in world affairs.
Beyond this, the Soviet leaders will continue to seek practical ways to translate their military power into effective political influence abroad. ain concern in this context is to develop the kinds of conventional capabilities that will enable them to show the flag andoviet militaryin areas of particular interest such as the Mediterranean. And, despite the disappointments they have suffered in using military aid to influence "national liberation" movements, they almost certainly will continue their effort.
The Coming Year
specific military programs tothe announced increases in spendingbe projected until direct evidence But, judging by the lines ofin the deployment programs of the pastthe trends in Soviet doctrinal writing, it isto identify certain programs and forcesreceive substantial emphasis. There isthendCBM programs arethateployment may be extended) thatof operational sites for the new KY-6ICBM has begun; that new Polaris-typewill be appearing in some numbers; and that
a system that could lead to the developmentOBS has been tested successfully. Air defense capabilities will almost certainly continue to be expanded.
7. Moreover, there is no indication that the Soviets are ready to agreereeze on ABM There have been no tangible responses to US overtures concerning this subject. The Soviets have continued work on the deployment of the Moscow ABM system and on the ABM research and development program. And Washington's decision to proceedimited ABM deployment in the United States seems likely to lend weight to the arguments of those interests in the USSR which press for larger military programs in
generalore extensive ABM deployment in
8. In general, the most important issues ofmilitary policy will continue to center upon the strategic relationship with the US. If thehope to improve their relative strategicor even to maintain it, they will feel impelled to respond to planned improvements in US strategic forces. Whatever the specific responses may be, the Soviets appear determined toredible doterrent. Beyond this, thoy evidently attach great importance to the attainmentilitary posture which they can construe as rough parity with the US, and which they can use to support their assertion of equality with the US in international affairs. Thuse considerations together with the internalsituation would seem to assure that the high priority given to militaryto strategicpersist and that defense expenditures will continue to grow.Original document.