Created: 4/14/1965

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Soviet Military





Main Trends in Soviet Military Policy







Changes in lhc Strategic

General Purpose

Economic Factor*



Internal 0

I"omic Requirements

Research and Development 11

Changes In Alliance

US Mililaiy Capabilities 18

Detente and Disarmament IS



Military Doctrines and Policies

Sire of the Military Establishment 14

Force Capabilities




To review significanl developments in Soviet military thinking, po icy, and programs, and to estimate main trends in Soviet military policies over the next six years.


This estimate focuses upon broad trends in Soviet military policy and doctrine. It does not attempt to recapitulate existing NIEs on Soviet strategic attack, air defense, and general purpose forces. Our most recent detailed estimates on the size, composition, andof these principal components and the supporting elements of the Soviet military forces are as follows:

Soviet Capabilities for Strategic. TOP SECRET, Restricted Data (Limited Distribution) and Memorandum to Holders of,

; "Soviet Bloc Air and Missile Defense Capabilities ThroughatedOP SECRET.

Capabilities of the Soviet General PurposeatedECRET.


A. Soviel decisions since Khrushchev's fall do not indicate any general alteration in his miliiary policies. During the next six years we believe thai lhe main aim of thc USSR's military policy and pro-grams wdl remain thai of strengthening the Soviel deterrent.' In the

Dimthe National Securityh,Chief ol Suit. InteJIfcenoe USA* that the intensity with mUA ihe USSRJMlve rnikWrES

to ibe US-portend, fa,lhan an intent merely to sl.coeiher.



strategic field, we expect Hie USSR to increase the numbersariety of weapon systems and. in particular, greatly to improve retaliatory capabilities. These programs may include theof anti-missile defenses. But we think it highly unlikely that the Soviets couldombination of offensive and defensive forces so strong as to persuade the leadership that il couldtrategic attack upon the West and limit to acceptable proportions the subsequent damage to the USSR. (Paras.)

Soviets will continue to press their dynamic militaryRorD programs. Soviet security considerations demandtoestern military technological advantagethreaten the credibility of ihcir deterrent. Beyond this,that the Soviet HAD effort represents an attempt totechnological advances in the hope of offsetting presentstrategic advantages. Should the Soviets achieve awhich offered tlie prospect of significant improvementcapabilities, they would seek to exploit it for politicaladvantage, bui their decisions as to deployment wouldweighing of such advantage againsi economic considerationscapabilities to counter. )

respect to theater forces, capabilities forrime Soviet concern. Certain recentrowing concern with non-nuclear war. and wemilitary policy to dovote increasing attention to thisthere is some evidence that the Soviets intend locapabilities for distant, limited military action, an areathey are presentlyreat disadvantage. (Paras.

new Soviet leaders wil] continue to apply economicto the expansion of military programs. Theubstantially increased mililnry effort.demands of costly military and space programs conflictthe requirements of the civil economy, and the newlyprogram does not portend any early easing ofBarring important changes in Ihe internationalwe consider major shifts in the level (if Soviet defensebe unlikely. )

F. Soviet military policy will also be heavily influenced byEnvelopments. In Eastern Europe, if present trends toward autonomy continue, thc Warsaw Pact will evolveonventional military alliance, and the range of contingencies in which the USSR can rely on effective support from its Warsaw fact allies will narrow,sia, thc hardening of the Sino-Soviet dispute will prohabiy force the USSR tonizc thc military implications of China's hostility and ambitions, and the USSR will probably strengthen conventional forces in Soviet Asia. In Western Europe, the Soviets would consider iheir military problem to be sharply altered by any important changes in the political cohesion or military effectiveness of NATO. But the Soviets will continue to weigh the adequacy of military programs primarily against US capabilities, and to judge the desirability of proposed programs against probable US reaction. )

F. Beyond thc general mission of deterrence, we doubt that any single doctrinal design, meeting the tests ol comprehensiveness and feasibility, will govern tlic development of Soviel military forces over thc next six years. Old debates which seem certain lo outlivedeparture, the momentum of deployment programs, the clash of vested interests, attempts to capitalize on some technologicalan urge to match or counter various enemyarc some of the factors which arc likely to inhibit any far-reaching rationalization of military policyingle doctrine.



lir Khrushchev cmeriod ol" fundamental changes In lhcorganisation, nnd operational concepts of tho Soviet armed lorces. Khrushchevilitary machine comprising enormous Und armiesmive operations, maucs o( anti-aircraft guns and fighters lor strategic defense, and only limited nuclear capabilities. By the endhe forceormidable nuclear delivery capability (or offensive operations, mixlriiii/.ed missile, air, und naval forces for strategic defense, and smaller, but greatly modernized theater forces for land campaignsucleai environ-menl This radical change in the nature of the military establishment wai accompanied by important changes in banc Soviet militaryand pohcy. fn ihe mid- fifties. Soviet military iheorirts coricentrated heavily on large-scale campaigns in Europe; by (he early vmei ihey were giving increased attention io (he complex problems of intercontinental strategic uxchangc.

hrushchev's personality and political skill accelerated thc rcvoluiion in Soviet miliiary affairs but did not cause il. Marked advances in militarytine rising costs ol modem weapons, and the growing strength ol NATO would have forced change in tbc Soviet military establishment in any case. But Khrushchev grasped thc politico-military significance of lhe new technology Car quicker than most of his conservative miliiary hierarchy; his designs for adjusting the miliiary establishmentew situations were often much too bold forf the Soviet marshals. Although Khrushchevide variety of polemical, political, and organizational devices io overcome their opposrlioo, he often received only grudging support for hb militaryhe encountered near defiance.

While (he marshals approved of the new missiles, with rare exceptions Ihey opposed Khrushchev's, accompanying military policies, in particular his penchant for viewing military force more as political tools man in terms of (heir actual use in wai fare. Khrushchev looked upon his missile forces primarilyarrier againit war Aware of Sovicl strategic inferiority, he nonetheless believed that the missile forces would serve toirect attack on thc USSR lie also behoved lhat ihey could bo used lootential enemy from opposing Soviet interests Ut local conflicts for fear ofirect confrontation with the Soviet Union. He argued that, if general war should occur, it would be decidedery short time by ihe initial nuclear etehange. Consequently lie often spoke and sometimes acted as though hii misnlc forces constituted in cffecl aness expensivefur lhe diverse military capabilities which lhe Soviel Union had long maintained.

olitico-military doctrine iliuck at some fundamental premises of the Soviet military establishment. It called into question such specifics as (he value of large theater forces and the mass-mobi lira lion syslcm More


fnndamen tally, it cast doubt on the relevance o( traditional military experience. Khrushchev's emphasis on deterrence of all wars through strategic rocket forces left scant basis for the military lo develop operational concepts andfor other components of lhe foices.

hrushchev's decision lo embraceeterrent mlUfaiy policy was clearly hrtved in part on ceonuinic consideialions Thc kind of forces advocated by the marshals toar if it should como. including huge ground forces, were obviously much mora expensive than those advocated by Khrushchev with his faith in the efficacy of deterrence. Bui Khrushchev's lationale for his military policies also indicated that he had considered, at least broadly, the technical aspects of strategic nuclear warfare. He concluded that tlieuccessful disarming strike were enormous and, further, that the first exchangeuclear war would wreak such damage that subsequent operations could have only minor uilects on the outcome. These views were in some respects oversimplified, but they were quite sophisticated whento those held by most Soviet marshals at the time.

6 Under Khrushchev's prodding, and with lhe actual advent of largeof new weapons, thc military leaders began to explore in new depth thc implication; of nuclear warfare. They did so, however, noi so much from lhe standpoint of defining what force levels might Iw adequate for deterrence, but primarily in order to formulate requirements for fighting this new kind of war. In the process, thc force commanders concluded, not that their arms of service had no further ioie to play. Irut that ihey confronted new and more demanding requirements They constantly warned that tlie USSR should be prepared for thc contingency in which deterrence had failed. Neither Khrushchev norimvivit'ive mj.'ih.iU i'vci whollyn.fiij.i- mid the forces actually deployed reflected compromises between their views.

eyond these purely military disputes, the marshals were piobahly alarmed hy certain political decisions entailing commitments and responsibilities, some of which Soviet capabilities could not sustain. Amious to make politicalof Ihe new missile forces, Khrushcheverlin crisis8 which found thc military establishment unready to overawe the US in strategic terms. His ill-fated Cuban venture presented thc miliiary leaders with the grim prospectilitary confrontation with the US under particularlycucimssUoces- And Ihe military implications of Ihc rift wiihChina must have added to the marchals' concern over the wisdom of Khrushchev's leadership.

Chcmgci in tho Strategic He lot ion ship

S. Dramatic successes in piogrums to develop offensive missile systems led tlie Soviet leadership by theo foresee live dayassive array of nuclear-armed strategic missiles would remove the USSR from the galling position of gross strategic inferiority. BeginningS (whenhe Soviet missile force grew rapidly. ICBM deployment pro-

j-tiiim were slowei awl often uneven, bul by the endhc USSBtrategic mktile lone targeted against both Eurasia and the US which hadshaiply ciHtngcd ihe nature of the Bast-West strategic relationship. The bulk oftiles were ol medium and intermediate range, holding Km ope honfagc against US strategic attack, ihe ICBM force, llionghallei, increased Soviet assurance thnl Hu- US would he struckeneral

war. This marked advance in Soviet strategic slaiure was further enhanced

by Soviel space achiovemenls.

9 Tbe buildup of strategic missile forces on both sides impelled Soviety thinking lo grapple with the global nature ol modem war. ln thisthe Soviets sooneir new missile forces deficient in importantIn exploring the nature of general war. they naturally discovered that enormous advantages belonged to (he side which struck first. But tneir own force was neither large enough loirs( blow nor well enough protected Io assure (hem that the enemy would noi be tempted to attack. Indeed,for the vulnerability of (he Soviet strategic missilelaurichcrs grouped by twos andbecame acute once the Soviets discovered thai the US had penetrated their securily and located (heir missile sites.

ne course of action open Io the Soviets was to multiply their strategic attack forces loigh level thai in dine of crisis US policy would be powerfully restrained by fear lhat (lie Soviets mightirst strike. Bu( Soviet advances- had spurred the US inlo large programs of its own which made it difficuli for the USSR to set force goals which were economically feasible and could promise, when reached, lo have litis eflect. Accordingly, the Soviets chose thu alternative means of strengthening their deterrent by improvingcapabilities; ihey .oughtchieve this by some increase in the siie of strategic attack forces, by diversification and improvement ol delivery means and nuclear warheads, and by protection of iheir forces through hardeningand reduced reaction times.

II. Measures to strengthen (he Sovielo included vigorous efforts to revamp strategic defense capabilities. Surf ace-lo-air missiles replaced AAA guns. Several new-generation supersonic interceptors with all-weatherund air-to-air missiles were introduced Into air defense units to replace some of Ihe old day fighters. Warning and control systems were expanded and sophislicatod. D program lo develop anti-missile defenses was

defense capabilities did not overtake the increasingly sophisticated andWestern attackparticular, Ihe growing threat posed by


General Purpose Forces

hrushchev's view of the nature of modern war made land armies, tactical avialion, and surface fleels the prime candidates for reduction to offset the heavy economic burden imposed by Soviet efiorts in strategic attack and defense and



tlicf theater forces was evident n* he poured icotn on (lie utility of nun armies in modern warfare. Soviet military manpower had already been cut by about Iwo million men5 and lhe endargely at the eipemc of groundnhrushchev announced his Intent Iu reduce military manpowerilium He made il clear (hat this cut was to be absorbed largely by general purpose forces; lhal thc intended cut in (hesc fiMcrs would cacccdillion was implicit Mi (lie rapid growth of strategic attack and defense elements.

his cluillcnge was more than conservative Soviet military leaders could in silence, and their oh)rct>ons appeared in the open miliiary press. Most spokesmen defended mutt until ion men armies on the giound* of (heir vital role in general nuclear war. Others almost certainly pointed, in closed forums, to Ihe possibility of "flexible response" by NATO and the contingency of conflict with China, and an article by Sokolovskly4 cited the possibility ofnon-nuclear war. therebyew rationale for large theater forces.

hrushchev never was able completely to override proponents of large theater forces. The force [eductions announced0 groundalt earlya If-completed, andime Khrushdsev's policies were apparently checked. However, another decline In military manpower duringime period indicated thai this check was only temporary. Although tho size of theater lorces was cut sharply during his regime, their capabilities for general nuclear war were considerably increased as the result of grcato mechanization ainl the introduction of free rocket or missile nuclear and CW delivery systems.

n the face of it, it appears strange thai Soviet marshals would continue lo register grcal discontent with an army of ativisions backed upormidable array of tactical missiles and aircraft. From the Sovietoint of view, however, the cuts had been drastic. Someoine divisions had been deactivated. Further the remaining divisions were sharply out in size and about half were maintained at reduced or cadii? strength. Combat and service support of ground forces had also been reduced. The number ofaircraft in Tactical Aviation was halved. In manytt would be difficult fully to mobilize and deploy Soviet theater forces Nevertheless, il is apparent dial they stillormidableloi land warfare, despite their loss of prominence during the Khrushchev


Economic Foctort

liexpansion of strategic attack and air defense capabilities,well as the intensification of efforts on miliiary HrxO and space, ledarked Increase in total defense expenditures.' This increase would have been

1 TWolarmtly under Nudy.eatoraadicc to HoMen of that ertsaiate. covennf. Art tvbject, wil be published when thii analysis is


even greater except for the substantial reduction in militaryIhe order of thrcc^uarter million men8ewcontributed to thc slowdown in the growth of the Soviet economy over the part few years, principally became their impact wai greatest in areasiimg specialized skills, eo/iiprnenl. and resources critically needed for other important economic objectives.

o relieve iht- mctcasingly actilc strains in thc Soviet economy. Khrushchev began again to press for changes to resource allocation. Hethis by efforts in the field ol foreign policy, resuming the tactics of detente, highlighted by the limited nuclear test ban. In discussing thc next Inng-tcrm plan, just before he fell, he referred to Soviet military .forces as being "at Iheir properovellng off fn military spending brought apparent curtailments or slowdownsumbur of military programs. Meanwhile, the marshals, while refraining from direct attacks on the ceilings imposed by thc total military budget, argued for military doctrines and force structures not achievable under those ceilings. Tho evidence suggest* that this problem and these conflicts remained unresolved wlir-n. Khrushchev left the Soviet leadership inhey svill almost certainl) continue to play an important role ui the formulation of policy under the new leaders


IS. Tlie military evidently played no active role in the removalrushchev, although some military leaders were presumably consulted and assurances of ilicir neutrality and of their backing if uecossary were secured. The price, if any. for these assurances was probably not high. In any event, since the ouster there have been no indications of any general alteration of Khrushchev's military policy; indeed, an early action of the new leadership in this sphere was toa slight reduction in the ovett military budget.

ew months of silence, the military piess began5 toseries of articles by prominent officers. These articles all profess obedience to parly control of the military, but seize on Iho concept of collectivity, currently stressed by the political leadership for Other reasons, to assert thc importance of professional military advice. Thoy also tum to special use the anti-Khrushchev epithets of "bragging,'" "hare-brainedndhese formulations appear to be aimed, In thc militaiy context, against relianceingle weapon system for deterrence as opposed to forces capable of dealing with all contingencies should deterrence fail In these articles, the concepts of ultra-conservative marshals came in for sharp criticism, and there was noto "multi-million manne prominent theme has been the needpproach military problemsomprehensive and scientific way, eschewing partial solutions which leave unsolved ot even aggravate other problems. While Ihe argument is obscure, these articlesillingness to abandon earlier estreme positions, and call for the further dcvelopcnenl of many types of forcesariety of military coolingeiides.

hi lhc military spokesmen (In not appear lo be championing ii par-tkiilni view o( doctrine, force structure, or resource allocation II appears lhal. in their view, the first Order of business for the military is to icasscrt itself inf Soviet military doctrine* andand thus be able loa rationale for force structuring. Such steps, however, are piobablyichule to basic arguments about resource allocations in general, and it is no accident that military spokesmen have become vocal as the Five-Year-PIan0 is being formulated. The new Soviet Icadrrs will continue tu apply economic restraints to thc expansion of milftaty piograms.


ur view of the future course of Soviet military affairs has always been based iu large part upon an evaluationarge number of political, economic, and strategic factors. Tlie complciitv of relationships among these factors has been markedly increased by thc iccent change of Soviet leadership and the piospecttruggle for power.

Internal Politics

e cannot rule out thenf sudden political changes in the Soviet Union, Including changes in the relations between the parry and tbe military and Ms the concepts which guide military policy. The present situation of divided leadership makes it likely that ihere willtruggle for supieme power among Iho various leaders, and one of the Issues in this struggle may be flut of military policy.elatively cohesive force among the elements which make up the Soviet elite, lhe officer corps of the Soviet armed forces could constitutetroog supportotential thieat lo existing leaders. It may occur to one man or another (as it did to Khrushchevoid for power with military support. How the miliiary would greetioposal is by no means trrtain; many leading military figures would almost certainly fear loo close an involvement in poliiical struggles. On thc whole, it seems to us moie likely that in any struggle for power the military wouldthemselves to their traditional role ol supporting the aspirations of lhat political leader who least threatened their privileged position tn Soviet society, or who promised to pay greater attention to their opinion in lhe decision-making process.

The marshals may believe lhat collective leadership will better serve their interests than would thc rule of any one man The basically conservative Soviet military establishment may see in the collective arrangement opportunities to press its views with more chance of success lhan it would haveingle ruler, especially if that ruler had some of lhc predilections of Khrushchev.

ver tho next six years, there will almost certainlyholesaleof the aging top leadership of the Soviet miliiaryew generation of marshals, admirals, and generals may take quite different views from those currently expressed by lhe militaryroad rango of subjects.

Economic Requirements

ivcn the uncertainties in our estimates of civilian economic develcrpments and of the siic and composition of the defense program, conclusions about the burden on the MOnumy of defense expend iltirrs can be stated only in general terms. Probable Soviet miliiary and space programs0 foreshadow an Increase in lhe lequiiemcnt loi highly skilled engineers and scientists, complex machinery, and high costven if defense spending were to increase byercent during the period of the estimate, the Soviet economy could shouldei this bui den and at tlie same time gradually improve the equipment and technology of Soviel industry and the standard of living. If, on the other hand, defease spending were lo decrease somewhat, the absolute requirement lor these scarce resources would still be liltle different from what it wasut the strain on tbc civil economy would be eased because of thcsupply of these icsouicea.

n any case, we anticipate that military programs will be increasingly sub|ccted to critical examination in terms of their cost and their effectiveness; not the least ot the factors considered will be an assessment of Western military strategy and capabilities- In early Soviet weapons programihe first ICDM, thc first SAM. and the first missilehc Soviets apjsarently paid scant attonllon to consideration of cost and effectiveness or to tho life expectancy of the system in view of Western technological advances. In this period they almost certainly felt impelled by the exigencies of Iheir strategic position to capitalize on early technology at whatever cost But this type of pressure has diminished, while the cost of modern armaments has risen.

t is still too early to tell what effect, if any. the new agriculturalprogram, announced by Brerhncv onill have on military spending It is dear that the plan for mvestment inuUion rubles in the next Eve years) will require resources which can be provided only by reducing the growth of budgetary allocations to other priority claimants from past rutes. While Brezhnev did nut speedy tlie claimants whose budgets would be "adjusted" to provide agriculture with its added rubles, tome reduction in the rate of growth of previously favored components of heavy industry seems jwobablc. Also, while the types of inputs ncoded to boost agriculture would not seem tout in projected military icsearch and development outlays, it is possible that certain hardware, procurement schedule* will be adjusted downward. Barring important changes in the international situation, however.

and in view of the apparent outlook of the current leadership, major changes in

Soviet defense spending in cither diicction seem unlikely.


Xiring the period of this estimate, the nature of Soviet military manpower problems will be fundamentally changed. Problems of quantity, caused by the low birth rates ol World War II, are being replaced by problems of quality.

Thc sophistication ot equipment in all lypcs ofn increasing degree of professionalism in all rank* which may ptovc mcompjitibic with thc lontmption system now in effect, a* well as com|>elitive with increasing demands for high skill In the civil economy. Whatever the Soviet solution to thisthe cost per man of lhc military establishment is likely to increase

Research and Development

ver the past several years, tlie Soviet RorD effort has continued to grow. Our evidence indicates large-scale and continuing efforts in all major categories oi. ballistic missiles. ARMs. certain space programs, nuclearASW, aircraft, nuclear weapons, and CW. Further, wc see continued efforts of considerable magnitude on tlse scientific fronts supporting military requirements, such as computer technology, meteorology, oceanography,and electronics, 'flic quahly ol this evidence varies considerably. In gencial, however, wc have virtually no information on thc laboratory and design phase of theycle; operational testing usually provides the earliest indicationajor new weapon systemunder development. Thus, new systems of which we have no knowledge could now be in early stages of development.

he Soviets wdl continue lo press their dynamic military and space RorD programs. Soviet security considerations demand vigorous efforts toestern military technological advantage which might ihreaten the credibility of their deterrent. Beyond this, we believe lhat theffortan attempt to achieve major techno logical advances in the hope ofpresent Western strategic advantages.

Should the Sovietsechnological advance which offered (he prospect of significant improvement in military capabilities, thc Soviet leaders would certainty seek to exploit such an ad van it to gain political and mdilary advantage, and they would undoubtedly consider increasing tbeo militaryIf effective exploitation seemed to require it. Bui their decisions as to deployment wouldeighing of economic considerations and of US capabilities to counter against the politico-military gains to be achieved.

The USSR's space program huey element in Soviet world prestige. Space remains the major area In which the Soviets can stillreditable claim to world primacy Theic have hem tenuous indications that the costly Soviet space program may lie subjected to more critical scrutiny by lhe new Soviet leadership For political reasons, however, the Sovietsfford to slacken in the space race, and Irom all indications they have noof doing so. Wc believe that live Soviet space program will retain its priority, that iu accomplishments will continue lo be impressive, and that it wdl focus on goab for which the USSR can most favorably compete.


Changcs in Alliance Systems

Over the next five years unpoctaiit changes will probably occur in lhe military iii nation around (lie Soviet periphery. In Western Europe. Frances acquisition of an independent capability for strategic nuclear attack will pose an additional contingency lo Soviet thinking. The possibility that Westmay acquire nuclear weapons in some way is of great concern to iho USSR.itein Rurope. if ptcscnl (rends towaid nulouoinv continue, the Warsaw Pact will becomeonventional miliiary alliance,estward extension of Soviel forces. In Asia, lhe hardening of the Sino-Sos-ict dispute will probably force the USSR to recognize ihc imlitary implicalioas of Chinas hostility and ambitions.

These prospectiveutting across familiar conceptsipolar svorld organized into two cohesive rival camps, have military as well ns political implications. With respect lo Cliinn. the Soviels will count their overwhelming strategic superiority as an undeilylng advantage, but Ihey will

nevertheless anticipate security problems touclearwould be wholly inappropriate. We therefore ihink that the USSR will strengthen conventional forces in Soviet Asia. As for Western Europe, the Soviel leaders will almost certainly calculate lhat forces and doctrines developed to cope with NATO will suffic*eet lesser tlurais arising from France and West Cermany. But the Soviets would consider their military problem to be sharply altered by any important changes in the political cohesion or military effectiveness of NATO.

has in recent years strengthened the forces of ils Eastindicating that the Soviels rely on these forces at least for the defenseown territories. But as autonomy spreads in Eastern Europe, thecontingencies in which the USSR can rely on effective military supportWarsaw Pact allies will nanow. We believe (hat the Soviet leadorsthis trend and question thc utility nl I'ast European forces forIn which individual national interests du not coincide with those ofThb may require the Soviets to rc-cxaniino iheir concept of asweep through Western Europe, ato thc extent thai theyon tbe Satellite forces for supporting action.

US Militory Copabilities

lve Soviet; will continue to weigh tlie adequacy of most current miliiary programs primarily against US capabilities, and lo fudge the desirability ofprograms against probable US reaction. For example, in weighing tho pros and cons of ABM deployment, the Soviets Iiave almost certainly considered probable US future developments in penetration aids. Soviet miliury doctrine, force structure, and weapons programs will be adjusted to reflect significant changes in estimates of US capabilities and could change sharply in lhe event of unexpected developments in US military policy or capabilities.



Detente ond Disarmament

oviet-Wai on relation* will remain subject to wide fluctuations, period^ of international tensions and crises in vail one paits ol tlie world may disrupt Soviet military plans at least temporarily Tlie giowing complo.ily ol military problems, calling as it does Tor rational planning and scientificill lend to make miliiary policies and plans less suwepliblc to political shifts and temporary changes in the international arena. In any case, we ihink the Soviel leaders iccognize lliat the present and prospective balance of military powerix the West will notolicy of high risks.

utual disarmament will probably be conceptually attractive to some of ihii Soviet leadershipeans for reducing the economic burden of their defense establishment. They may even see possibilities ol improving their relative military position hy driving hard bargains in disarmament negotiations, and securing reciprocal Western action for force reductions which they would hava made in any case. Any progress toward international arms limitation agreement* will probably be slow. But we think that the Soviet* probably svill continue tn seek way* to curtail the arms raceoderate degree by "mutual example"nilateral, uninspected moves by both axles).


Miliiary Doctrines and Policies

otisldering thc relative capabilities of US and Soviet strategic forces, we believe it highly improbable thai the Soviet attitude toward the likelihood ol general war will diange during thc period of this estimate. They almost cer tamly consider that both sides arc effectively deterred by the threat of lelaliation from deliberate initiation of general svar. and that in this period military dc-vclopmenls on both sides are unlikely drastically to alter this situation.

fficial Soviet doctrine concerning limited svar appears to be undergoing iOine modification. Until the, the Soviets dismissed the possibility of such war* between major powers, holding that limited non-nuclear wai* would almost certainly escalate, and limited nuclear wars certainly would.ome Soviet statements on this subject haverowing acceptance of the possibility of limited non-nuclear conflict. Perhaps Ihe least equivocal ol these was Sokolovakiy's statement in an article in4 that thc USSH must prepare foi the possibility of protracted non-nuclear war between major powers Such statements may reflect notice of current US emphasis on "fieiiblehey may also reflect growing concern regarding the possibility of an armed conflict with Communist China We think that this trend in doctrine is likely lo continue, but the Soviets will certainly continue to regard suchas involving very high risks of escalation into nuclear war.

here lias been no perceptible weakening of Soviet insistence that the use of tactical nuclear weapons in limited war would ingger the uiategic While this doctrine serves deterrent purposes in part, il also represents



.in apparent Sovicl convlcrion that escalation undo audi circumstance* would be well-nigh uncontrollable. We do not ixthevc thai Soviet doctrine regarding the limited use nf nuclear weapons will change in lhc foreseeable fuiure. and wc consider it highly unlikely that (lie USSRiniiiaie the use of suchimited conflict. If the Western powcis were to do so, we believe that, doctrine notwithstanding, the Soviets would seek to pievcnl escalation ro goneral war.

he official altitude toward "wars ofhat such wan are "just" and deserving of Soviet support.n the firstolitical doctrine, intended lo assert Soviet solidarityariety of anli-Westem inovements. Inarticular conflictnational liberationowever, tlic SovieU do not (hereby accept an obligation to go beyond political support. They havu provided military assistance in selected cases and always in ways which limited the USSR's commitment This policy is due ia part lo the lack Of Soviel capabilities to enter upon and sustain distant military actions.

of the weaknesses of the USSRorld power is itsto (lie West, inubstantial military force to distantSoviets probably feel impelled lo improve their currently minimalto establish andilitary presence In areas distant fromin order to implement their policy of support for "wars ofdifficulty ofseful capabilily 'cr (his purpose in (be facenaval and air power is very considerable, and lhe support ofatisfactory alternative. Nevertheless. some development ofis probably already underway, and the chances of Sovielin distant limited military actions wdl increase

Size ol the Military Establishment

In. we estimated thai the total strength of Soviet forces was about 2JIillion. Inarshal Sokolovskiy claimed that tbe actual figurethe goal lhat Khrushchev set0 when he announced hb proposals (or force reductions We believe that Sokolovskiys figure is too low, bul wc cannot conclusively demonstrate (his; il Is possible, for example, that reductions occurred4 which the normal lag In acquisition of inielligence un military manpower provenled our takingccount.

Whatever the current total may be. we believe thai major changes in military manpower over lhe next several years arc unlikely, barring major world crises. Stability of manpower levels is suggested by Ihe counterbalancing (rends in probable developments in thc various forces. While lhe number of slrategic attack and defense weapons will coniinue to grow, (he large complements of men needed for early Soviel systems will not be required by some of the newer ones ln (healer forces, Ihe same eflect may occuresser scale. For example, if support for combat-ready units is increased, (his may be offseteneral de-emphasis on cadres for mass mobilization.

Force Capobililioj

oviel strategic capabilities "ot witbuge and growing faiec ol medium, inlctmedialc. and inlciiontmenial range missiles, supplemenlcdomber force nnd missile submarines. These lorces Isnve far more capability (or attack against Eurasia and Us periphery than against North. ami could devastate Europeirst strike. Soviet ICBMs,by lhe Iteavy bomber and part of lhe medium bomber force, could wreak enormous damage on thc USirst strike, but Ihe Soviets do not believe ihey could destroy enough of llie US retaliatory force to prevent the devastation of the Soviet Union.

oviel retaliatory capabilities against both thc US and Europe are less impressive and are almost certainly unsatisfactory from the Soviet point of view. These capabilities lest essentially on haidened missile Uitrichers and missile submarines- The hardened lauaHiers al present comprise about one-thud of the operational ICBM force deployed at onlyites, and less thanercent of thc MIl/IRBM force. The current status o! the missile launching submarine force suggests lhat thc Soviets would not yet have much confidence in its capacity for timely retaliationestern first strike.

he Sovietsispersed single-silo deployment program for Iwo new ICBM systems As these new launchers become operational afterbe Soviet retaliatory capability will begin markedly to improve-Further, lhe Soviets arcery large booster which, as an ICBM, would he capable ofegaton weapon. We believe that the Soviets ateew class of nuclear submarines- if so. these will probablyubmerged-launch missiles, with larger numbers of launchers than in current Soviet ballistic missile submarines.

The Soviets will continue to develop and deploy strategic attack and defense systemsiew to strengthening their deterrent. Our boatashe minimum capability which the Soviets might consider adequate deterrent strength is represented by thc low side of our estimates of Soviet strategic attack and defense force levels fore believe il more likely lhat they wouldreater capability in some, perhaps all. of these types of weapons necessary lot adequate dcterrenr.e. It is possible lhat the force goals which the Soviets consider odcqualc for deterrence In the long term would exceed Ihe upper limits of nur estimates for Ihe neat six years.

We have considered lhe possibilityoviet attempt to acquire aof offensive and defensive faces, which, going beyond deterrence, wouldirst strike which would limil damage to lhe Soviet Union to acceptable proportions. Considering (he number, hardness, and reaction times of targets to be struck in such an atuck, and (he likelihood that many, such as Polaris submarines, would escape destruction,oviet effort would requirearge, highly sophisticated missile forceidespread, very effective anti-missile and anti-air defense. In view of lhe technological and

economic magnitude of (ho task and (hc likelihood (lint Ihe US would dclccl and match ur overmatch Ihe Soviet effort, we believe it highly unlikely that the Soviet! could achieveorce during tlie next lii pa,1

Short of an effective first-strike capability ai defined above, but greater lhan might icrm ade>|iutc for deterrence, lie force leveli which would reflect no comprehensive stiategic or doctrinal design. Such forces might result from Ihc their momentum of deployment programs, attempts to capitalizeemporary technical advantage,sychological urge to match llie US in delivery systems. But they would most likely result from Soviet difficulties in defining and agreeing on force levels which would commute adequate

Tlie most critical issue for Soviet strategic defense is anti-ballistic missile deployment. We believe thatM systems Ihus far developed do not' satisfy thc Soviet requirements in teum of effect ivness and reliability.lhe effort being devoted to ABM development, it is possible, though by no means certain, that within tire period of this estimate the Soviets willystem which they deem satisfactory for widespread deployment. When and ifystem is developed, the Soviet leaders will have tothe great cost of large-scale deployment They would almost certainly wish to defend key urban-industrial areas and they might seek to defend some portion of their ICBM force in order to strengthen tlielr deterrent. Beyond these generalizations, we cannot estimate the extent lo which they wouldresources to ABM defenses.

he Soviet Navy contributes significantly to strategic attack capabiliries, although it is stillefensive force, ll now iseriod of transition to the modem missile systems, ships, and nuclear powered submarines begun under Khrushchev. Tlie capability of (he missile submarine force Is steadily improving, and by tbc end of Ihe decade these subatarines probably

will be conducting regular patrols througlioul tlie North Atlantic and Pacific

and possibly into the Mediterranean.

hc Soviet capability to locate and attack carrier (ask forces has been growing through increased use of reconnaissance and missile-equipped aircraft and cruise missile suumarines. We believe that this trend will continue. Soviet ASW capabilities outside their coastal waters are seseiely limited and will probably remain so foe Ihc period of ihis estimate. Il is clear, however, that the Soviets are making and will continue to make vigorous efforts to improve

'The Assututt Chief of Stall. Intelligence.s thai die lack of InfontiaUon on the iruiuv* Soviet raecarcrt aad Oeveiopmerit HI oil doea not Use degree of certaiot* urnunlthb parajpiph- eadd nV foUmruu; two irnarocei hi the


However. IIvajor eRoit towiird allainrornt olorm would hr made it lhe huge Soviet military reaeaich and dev-lopoienl program provide* the opportunity for achievementigntficent mililaiy advantage Current informationirmat to specific capability toward whichs nuking (ho greatest progrrai.

these capabilities. Tlte Sovicl Navy has longred in mino svaifaro tn which ilighly developed and diversified capabihly.

SS. Available evidence dues noi ol itself indicate whelhcr or no! Ihc Soviets now have programs lor Uie miliiary UM ol Space, apart Irom the miliiary support provided by the Cosmos series of satellites In particular we have no evidencerogram lo establish an orbital bombaiilrnenl capability is sciiously contemplated al present by the Soviet leadership. However, thc USSR almovl certainly is investigating lhc feasibility of space systems for use as offensive and defensive weapons and to provide olher types ol military support, and wc believe the chances arc better ihan even that Ihe Soviets arc developing an anti-satellite capability.

oviet theater forces reflect many years ofevoted almost exclusively to gearing thcrnoncept of land campaigns in Europe during general nuclear war. Efforts to tailor Soviet theater forces to operate under tliis concept failed Io provide all thc required capabilities, but went far enough lo diminish capabilities lor non nuclear war. Certain recent trends point to Soviet efforts to improve non-imctcar capabilities ol some of their theater forces. If this latter concept gains ground, lhe Soviets probably will restructure their forces more extensively, increasing thc proportion of infantry and conventional artillery, and augmenting supporting elements. This could probably be accomplished without major increases in personnel and costs,

otentially important development in Soviet forces is the increasing capability for distant limited action. This is represented by improving long-range airlift and scalifl capabilities, greater emphasis on airborne operations, the recent revival of naval bifantry. and improvement of amphibious capabilities These developments are applicable to regular theater operations, but tbcy also suggest Soviet interest inapability forilitary presence in distant areas. We believe thai these efforts will continue, and that by lhe end of the period special units will be able to move by sea or air to remote areas on short notice. During ihe period of thc estimate, the Soviets will probably press for base and overflight rightsumber of countries to facilitate such movemenis. However, the Soviets do not as yet appear to be

developing the sea and air combat escort capabilities which would make possible long-range military sea and airlift againsi the oppositionajor military





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