Thisorking paper, an informal ossay on the
role of the Soviet military in politics. Tho first part of the paper surveyseneral way the army-party relationship since Stalin's death The second, conjectural part explores the possible actions of the army in any struggle to sottle the present succession problem.
In preparing this paper, the writer roceived much advice, not all of which he accepted, from colleagues who have far more knowlodge of Soviet political affairs than ho. The writer alone is responsible for the paperhole. I
the military and the succession problem in the ussr table of contents
MILITARY IN SOYIET POLITICAL
In Past Leadership
Anatomy of Party Control Over the
The Khrushchevian era has ended. The master politician has been forced to quit the Soviet political scene. Sis heirs who ousted him have sought to impress the world with the orderly manner in which thoy have achlovod continuity of rule. Yet, the presentln Soviet parlance, collectiveatemporary and uneasy one. The current party leadership appears to be split not only between individuals but between bureaucracies asthoparty apparatus and the vast planning andapparatus. This relative diffusion of supremepower, we think, is an Inherently unstablewhich cannot long endure. Sooner or later, the party leaders will have to come to grips withissues, and to determino where ln the bureaucratic structure the locus of supremo power is to reside. It is then that Khrushchev's heirs, driven by personalwill actively contend among themselves tothe enormous powers given up by him.
Among the "power" questions that may give impetus to political struggle are, who shall don the mantle of Supreme High Commander, that is, who shall have his finger on tho nuclear trlggor; who shall take Khrushchev's place as chairman of the Supreme Military Council, whichhadersonal instrument of control over the army; and who shall preside over the powerful RSFSR Bureau. omewhat lower plane, tho new leadership is faced with the immediate need to make personnelwhich are bound to be controversial and replete with political implications. They must, for example, fill the recently vacated posts of chief of the goneral staff and head of the powerful administrative organs department of the central committee.
Tn short, tho arrangements made by the newhave not solved the problem ofthey have only been the opening moves of the game. How long it will take to settle the succession problem or what will transpire in the interim in, of course,guess. (It took some four years to settle the post-Stalin succession problem.) It is our thesis that the army high command will almost of necessity becomein any active struggle for supreme power. Although we are uncertain as to what rolo the military elite will play, we would surmise that an intercession by them could, undor certain circumstances, have great consequences for both the outcome of the political content and the future course of Soviet policy.
The army is no stranger to politics, even though it has no legitimate prerogative in that sphere. in formulating defense policies, which bear on all important sectors of Soviet political life, ormal function of the high command. But more than that, tho high command has become Involved at critical times in the politics of leadership, notably in the struggles to settle on Stalin's successor. Regarding the military's role in the ouster of Khrushchov* all that we can say at this point is that the conspirators in the party presidium had apparently secured in advance theof key members of the high command that they would not oppose the planned coup. We think that the military leaders (with some exceptions) would have wished to soo KhruHhchev ousted principally because of his efforts in the preceding month to pushew economic program to the detriment of the defense sector.
There is no evidence to suggest that the military have been the initiators of or tho main driving force behind struggles ln tbe party leadership. But, lnof developing leadership crises, their supporthas been solicited to add to the forcesarticular faction* Thus, even though the military may not havoominant role in precipitating leadership crises, their support or neutrality, as the case may be, apparently has been viewed as crucial to the outcome of each struggle. Had the military sided with Beria in
alenkov, and the "anti-party group"hrushchev probably would not have attained supreme power in the USSR, By the same token, had the military in the most recent crisis sided with Khrushchev, hewould not have been toppled.
The next stage in the leadership situation may see the political leaders (and their respective bureaucracies) struggling to consolidate supreme power in their own hands (and offices). In any such contest, the rival factions will again find the army far too powerful an institution to ignore. The political rivals are likely to consider tho army's support critical ln the contest and will be anxious to gain their backing or to deny it to tho opponent At the same time, the military leaders themselves may wish to intervene to protect their stake in policy. Thoy may also wish to help bring the strugglepeedyfor roasons of national security or simply to be counted on the bandwagon of tbe frontrunner. But even if tbey were reluctant to become embroiled at all, forces beyond theiras appeals for support by the political contestantseadlock amongwork to draw the military into the political disputeartisan role. On the other hand, we would regard it asemote possibility that the army chiefs instead of doing the bidding of one of the contending factions would act independently, toew political coup or to capture supreme power for themselves.
The army's involvement might be limited to public or private demonstrations on behalfandidate; or it could even come to tbe use or threatened use of troops. Should the military leaders be divided as to whichfigure to support, their division mightilitary intercession. But wo think it highly unlikely that military discipline would break down to the extent that senior officers would translate their privateintoby supporting rival party factions with troops. Tho military chain of command can tolerate considerable differences in outlook among the top marshals because the operational control of troops is centered ln the bands of only one ofDefense Minister. The man who fills that post may be the pawn
of the general staff orarty faction, but whoever owns him virtually owns tbe army.
It appears to us, on the basis of the scantat our disposal, that none of the present top party figures nowarticularly strong advantage as far as gaining the backing of the military is concerned. umber of the party loaders have had connections with the army in the past, and some, notably Brezhnev and Podgorny, continued to have responsibilities in the defense sector up to the time of Khrushchov's fall. Nevertheless,had virtually made the military his personal domain and had methodically preventod his presidium colleagues from developing strong ties with the military.
Irrespective of the kind of role thoy may play in nny succossion struggle, the army chiefs will try totheir interests and impose their common viewpointsew political leadership. In the military sphere, thoy can be expected to resist new cuts in defense and might attempt to recover ground lost under Khrushchev. In domestic matters, they would not want to seeeturn to the Stalinistwhichadical swing to liberalism. They can also beto oppose turns in Soviet foreign and economic policy that seora in their eyes prejudicial to the military establishment or national security. Their success in getting their positions adopted will depend, in part, on the views of the new leadership; ln part, on the role they play in any power struggle; and, in part, on the political mettle of the military chiefs.
If the military were to mako some major gains at the expense of party authority, chances are good, on the basis of past experience, that the pendulum would swing back against them soon after the now political leadership consolidated its control.
"There are no forcos in tbe world that can shake the monolithic unity of the party, tho people, and their Armed Forces."
Col. Gen. M. Kalashnlk, Main Political RED STAR, 4
I. THE MILITARY IN SOVIET POLITICAL LIFE
Readers of Soviet military literature are frequently reminded that party rule over the army is an "objective historical law." This law is said to be reflected ln the CPSU Program adoptedhich declares that "party leadership of the armed forces, and the increasing role and influence of the party organizations in the army and navy, are the bedrock of military development." the Soviet military establishment Is subject to party control, but tbat control is neither absolute nor unyielding.
In the past, party control has fluctuated ln degree and effectiveness. It has never, however, ln the post-Stalin period been so oppressive as to transform theestablishmenthoroughly servile, voiceless behemoth in Soviet society, without any will, mind or political influence of its own. On the contrary, the military bureaucracy has led within the system of party rule an activo--if, from our vantage point, anlife.
In the first part of this paper, we shall lay out the facts and deductions that are our measure of theviability of the military bureaucracy. We shall thereby set the stageonjectural discussion in the latter part of the paper on the various roles the military
night play in any struggle anong Khrushchev's survivors to succeed him at the helm ol supreme power in the USSR.
A. Involvement in Past Leadership Struggles
Despite its complete lack of ideological orprerogatives for participation in the politics of leadership, the Soviet army can boast of practical experience in that dangerous game. Our evidence on the subject is lamentably Incomplete. Nevertheless, we believe we are on firm ground in stating tbat the military have participated in one way or another in the major political crises known to have taken place at the center of party rale between the time of Stalin's death3 and the settlement of tho post-Stalin succession problemhis experience, wo would think, must be given weight in any consideration of the present succession problem in the DSSR.
The Beria Episode: On Stalin'somewhat dazed group of senior politburo members acted in concert to inhibit military interference ln the political realmrief interregnum during which the relative powers of Individuals and apparatuses were clouded Inemporary moratorium on struggle in the Kremlin was established, ln effect, during which time tho army high command remained entirely passive. This may not haveifficult achievement at the time. The military, it will be recalled, no less than the rest of thehad been cowedolitically submissive role by Stalin. What additionally helped to pacify thechiefs wero the decisions taken by the new, uneasy coalition shortly after Stalin's death to reunify the defonse establishment (which Stalin had divided into separate ministries for the army and navy).and to recall the celebrated Marshal Zhukov from relative obscurity to
to serve as First Deputy Minister oi Defense.*
But as tbe uneasy coalition began to crumble in the weeks tbat followed Stalin's death, tbe military chiefs found themselves confrontedituation whichtbeir involvement in the Kremlin struggle. It was nouestion of throwing their supportnified party leadership; they now had to choose between contending factions. When the showdown with Beria finally came ln Junerecalls with trepidation that ltdangerous"military evidently played an active, perhapsritical, role inBeria's bid for power. reat deal of mystery still surrounds this event; thereumber of exciting, but unfortunately conflicting, versions of what had actually occurred. All of the accounts available to us, we would emphasize, ascribe to the military an important role in tbe crisis.
The winning faction in the Kremlin rewarded the army for its partisan support. The gains, which were to result in the greatly increased prestige of the military, began to appear as early as The rival MVD army was dissolved; thereertain relaxation of security within the armed forces; new military personnel policies wero adopted which stabilized and standardized induction methods, terms and conditions of service, and demobilization measures; awards and honors were heaped on the military (Including tho unveilingust of
*Zhukov"best known of tho marshals; his great popularity in the USSR was probably the reason for bis downfall Be was celebrated not only as an able strategist and wartime hero butrofessional officer who resented political interference. Time would prove his reputation, for during his tenure as Defense Minister, he would help raise professionalismigh level and undercut, to the dismay of the party, political activities in the armed forces to the extent that he thought they hampered military efficiency.
Marshalhe number of officers in government and party positions mas increased to someumber of disgraced officers were rehabilitated; and the virtual freeze which had existed on officer promotions was lifted.
A parallel stop,art of the reward, was to remove the gag from the mouths of the militarywho for years had to live with tbe stagnatingdoctrine which bad been dicated by Stalin during the war. , as one expert observer put it, "thought was reduced to silence, and genius reduced to The new military thinking and writing led eventuallyasic restructuring and reequipping of tho Soviet armed forces with modernized weapons.
The Khrushchev-Malonkov Struggle: Tho military also suffered some losses shortly after the Beriamost notably, cuts ln the military budget and lnto Halenkov's efforts to finance his consumer goods program. These setbacks were obviously notby the military, who saw an opportunity to make plain their grievance in the midst of the Khrushchev-Malonkov struggle for power that ensued4n this struggle tbe military came down squarely on the side of Khrushchev, who chose to fight Malenkov's economic linorogram in sympathy with the military's
The power struggle4 hinged on the question of military preparedness and found expressionunning debate on the priority of heavy over light industry. Speeches made by presidium members during the yearthat they were divided into two groups on tbeof allocation of resources to the armed forces: Bulganin and Kaganovich emphasized Westernand the need for continued priority for heavy
"*Tt. GarthoifT "Soviet Stratogy in the
industry in order to maintain the defensive strength of tho country; Halenkov, Saburov and Pervukhin were inclined to consider the financial needs of other sectors of the economy at the expense of the military. In this debate, the military leaders wero also vocal and partisan,the campaign for renewed emphasis on heavy industry before as well as after Malenkov's political defeat, *
It is quite possible, although we do not have firm evidence, that Khrushchev's followers actively sought the support of the military leaders. But it would appear that these two dissatisfied groupshe military and Khrushchev's followers) were brought together,the need of much wooing on either side, by similar viewpoints on the failure of Malenkov's policy and the felt necessity of increased military strength. It was, in short, an ideal symbiotic relationship that brought important gains to both parties.
It isnot impossible, given thepaucity ofevaluate the effect of the military's role on the outcome of the Khrushchev-Malenkov power struggle. Minimally, it could be said, thechieftains contributed to the defeat of Malenkov. Undoubtedly, Khrushchev could have won the day had the military been entirely indifferent to the political struggle and tho great debate that was its expression. However, the outcome of the power struggle might have been very different had Malenkov and the military found common cause against Khrushchov.
There is also an interesting postscript to the Khrushchev-Maienkov struggle. Immediately afterfirst defeat was assured, the military once againidy reward for their support for Khrushchev. These events happened in 5 budget revealed that the Soviet government intended to return toevel of appropriations for defense,itost-war high; new attention was given to armaments; and Zhukov moved into the post of Minister of Defense with Bulganin's rise to premier. In March, six officers were promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union and five to the rank of chief marshal or marshal of a
specialtbe largest simultaneous promotion to these high ranks ever made in the USSR.
Nevertheless, the military bonus was kept within well-defined limits. No representatives of themilitary class were yet promoted to the ruling party organ, the presidium, although Zhukov was elevated to candidate membership (non-voting) in that body ln tbe following year. Moreover, as the new Khrushchev-Sulganin foreign policy began to unfold in late spring andhe military found themselves the objects ofln the regime's campaign to relax international tensions. Militancy gave way to conciliation; the Soviet military occupation of Austria was ended; and in tho fall, the Soviets announced thatesult of the "relaxations of international tensions" following the Geneva conference, the Soviet armed forces would be reduced ln size bymen. (It is possible that5 announcementroop cut was an effort to take belated credit for cuts which had actually taken place under Malenkov's aegis in the two preceding years.) Thus, as before, the pendulum which had first swung in favor of the military seems to have swung against them shortly afterwards.
The Anti-Party Group: Inew coalition inmado an abortive attempt to force Khrushchev from the commanding position, theof Defense, Marshal Zhukov, played an important role in defending Khrushchev against the "arithmetical majority" in the presidium.
That Zhukov came to Khrushchev's defense is beyond question. However, weomewhat muddled picture of what he actually did. For example, we have only an unconfirmed rumor that he was directly responsible for having supplied special planes for transportingcentral committee members to the Kremlin in an effort to muster support for Khrushchev.* We do not know whether
*gee CAEtfAirxYT-^gnrushchev and the Anti-Party Group,
ln tho pitch of tho crisis Zhukov acted independently or ln consort with the rest of the marshals. Robert Conquest has written on the basis of one account (which we have not been able to track down)ecisive point in the crisis may have been reached when Zbukov announced to an emergency session of the central committee that the Soviet armed forces would not permit anyone to bid fore do know from an official Soviet statement, tbat the anti-party group made an abortive attempt to get tbeto do their bidding.** According to anotheraccount, however, Zhukov allegedly spoke up only towards the end of tho plenum, after the tide had clearly turned. This would suggest that Zhukov held back until it became clear to him that Khrushchov was going to win. However, if Zhukov, as reported elsewhere, had in fact helped to round up Khrushchev's supporters in the provinces for the central committee meeting, it would mean that he had made his commitment earlier,ime when the odds wero against Khrushchev.
In any case, it is obviously difficult to judge whether Zhukov's support was critical to Khrushchev We can only guess whether the party first secretary could have overcome his formidable opposition bad Zhukov
5bort Conquest, The Soviet Succession Problem,"
acting on behalf of the "anti-partyadutile order to troops in tho Kromlin tothe presidium members in order to carry through tbe plan to unseat Khrushchev. Henco, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers was powerless to act without the cooperation of bis subordinate, the Minister of Defense. That all of the key commanders in tbo Moscow aroa stood firm during the anti-party group crisis and refusod to act except on Zhukov's orders is revealed by tho fact that they retained their Important jobs afterwards. Had any of them balked at Zhukov's authority and yielded tofor support by thohrushchev faction, in the party presidium, events might haveery different turn.
not remained loyal to KhruBhchev and lent his name to the "anti-party group." Our guess is tbat Khrushchev would have lost under such circumstances.
In any event, it does seem clear that Zhukov, whether he wanted to or not, bad to choose between the contending factions. He was privy to the meetings of the presidium, since be wasandidate member of that body, and was undoubtedly propositioned by members of thefaction. In those critical June days, "partyand "dominance" over the army became irrelevant to the issue at hand. The relevant facts were Zhukov's effective leadership of the army; the loyalty of hisln the army high command to himself and to Khrushchev (many of the top leaders owed their positions tond Zhukov's decision to side withdespite the majority vote of the presidium tohim. The reasons why Zhukov backed Khrushchev are not entirely clear to us, although we would surmise that the marshal believed that the army had more to gain from Khrushchov under whom lt bad fared well, thanew leadership under Malenkov (who had tried to cut back the army) or Molotov and Kaganovich (who perhapseturn to the Stalinist era).
The tribute which Khrushchev paid to the army was probably commensurate with the importance of tho support Zbukov had renderod the first secretary. For the first time io the history of therofessional military officer was taken into tho ruling inner sanctum, tho presidium,oting member. Zhukov would thus share in some of the powers of the man whose political life he had helped to save. But Zhukov's rich reward would also be his undoing. The prominent display of his uniform in the ruling party presidium threatened the sacrosanct principle of strict party dominance over the military; and his prestige and haughty manner, at least ineyes, threatened the party chief's image as top man, If not his actual power.
Hence, the pendulum which had lifted Zhukovofty position inwung In the oppositefour months later, and finished both his military and political career in the same stroke.
The Spectre of Bonapartism: There is an important postscript to tne Zhukov affair that merits attention here. Tho case represents one of tbe rare occasions in Soviet history when the military eliteeriod ofstable party leadership, threatened or were thought to have threatened the principle of party dominance. otable precedent was the case of Stalin's blood purge of the Soviet officer corps on the eve of World War II.)
A conclusion to be drawn from this, it seems, Is that the threat of Bonapartism, whether real or not, has in the past alarmed the party, chiefs. (The party condemned Zhukov, among other reasons, for having manifested "Bona-partist tendencies.") Various party leaders may continue to regard the army high commandource, and perhaps the only one, of potential opposition to party supremacy. (The Chinese Communists had on several occasions appealed to tbe Soviet army to overthrow Khrushchev on tbe grounds that he was soiling out tho army, country and worldmovement.) Khrushchev himself took prophylactic measuresossible Bonapartist coup bythe system of political controls and by surrounding himself with military men who had served with him during the war and owed their high ranks to him. Whilemay have felt secure in the thought that the highthough they resisted him on certain policynot rise against him, will the new party leadership have that confidence?
Tho Overthrow of Khrushchev: What role Soviet military leaders played ln the ouster of Khrushchev from power is stillystery for us. Although we have no positive evidenco that theyirect role in bringing Khrushchev's rule to an end, it does appear that key figures in the high command, including Malinovsky, had been advisod in advance about the impending coup, and had given their assuranco that thoy would not act onbehalf. By refusing to defend the Supremo High Commanderowerful opposition in the party, tho military chiefs thus contributedajor, ifway to his overthrow. For had they Interfered, they might bavo prevented any such drastic moves against Khrushchev by his party colleagues. Indeed, had theeven thought that the military, learning of the
plan to depose Khrushchev, would havo come to his support, it is doubtful that thoy would havehowdown ln the Central committee onh.
Throughout Khrushchev's reign, the military were on the defensive against the strong-willed leader who had his own ideas about peacetime and wartime requirements for Soviet national security, and tried, with unevento Impose them on the military leaders. They in turn made no secret about their dismay over, or sometimes opposition to, his ideas about modern warfare; his schemes for making sweeping cuts in the defense budget andmanpower; his passion for stratogic weapons to the detriment of conventional weapons; and his handling of the Cuban missile venture. Such grievances are rumored to have been among those hurled at him at the central committee plenum which felled him.
Long-standing differences with Khrushchev, then, undoubtedly helped to put the military chiefsrame of mind receptive to the suggestion of ousting Khrushchev. But the military probably also had an Immediate ronson for wishing to see Khrushchev put out to pasture. If, as It now seems, Khrushchev had tried (and failed) last September to pushew long-range economicoriented toward the consumer sector, the defensewould have boen severely reduced, and the panoply of weapons and forces desired by tbe military for the latter part of this decade and the beginning of the next would have been placed in jeopardy. As late asctober Pravda carried an editorial which made it clear that Khru-sKcfiev was unswerving in his determination to have his way with respectew economic program. Hence, by that time, the choice might have beon cut-and-dried for the military, as well as for the civilian opponents of Khrushchev.
One of the first acts of the new leadership was to make it plain that there would be no change in economic priorities, no shift in resource allocations away from the defense sector. The new leadership would promotewolfare, to be sure, but not at the expense of the military's purse, as Khrushchev had wanted to do. The
military vould continue to get their share ofa payment for their neutrality in the political crisis.
This is not to suggest, however, that the military chiefs were necessarily of one mind that Khrushchev should be deposed. umber of senior military officers, it will be remombered, were in sympathy with some of Khrushchev's views on war, doctrine and force requirements. Such people would probably have been loathe to see Khrushchev removed, not only because of the effect of that action on thebut also because of their fear of losing their Jobs, marshal Biryuzov, the late chief of the general staff, may have been one such person. Bad be not been killed in an airplane crash onctober, he might well have beenfrom office for political reasons. ong-time strategic weapons commander, Biryuzov owed his rise in the military hierarchy to Khrushchov. And on the very day that the central committee was voting to removefromStar carried an article signed by Biryuzov which heaped praise on Khrushchev for his role ln the liberation of tbe Ukraine. By contrast, Pravda on the some day carried an article, signed by Marshal Konev (who had once felt the end of Khrushchev'shat also dealt with the liberation of the Ukraine but nowhere alluded to Khrushchev. If Biryuzov had boen among the military leaders tipped off about the impending political crisis, bis article might have been intended to prevent the defaming of Khrushchev.
Some Conclusions: We cannot, of course, draw any definitiveour woefully incompleteon tho Soviet political struggles of thond the recent deposing of Khrushchev. We would, however, like to set forth for consideration somegeneralizations about the nature of Soviet military Involvement in these struggles, generalizations which may have some relevance for the present succession problem.
The case histories which we have reviewed suggest that intensive political Infighting in the Kremlin tended to make precarious the normal army-party rolationsbip. The fragmentation of party authority at the top caused the army to emerge temporarilyore powerful political
force in relation to the party itself. These disruptive developments In the army-party relationship wore tempered, however, by the restrained political objectives and actions of tho army high commandhey have never to our knowledgeid for supreme power). The high command, either In the person of the Defense Minister or his senior associates, is the element of the military that hasinvolved in party politics.
In the Kremlin struggles, moreover, contendinghave had to take new measures either to neutralize the army politically or to gain its active backing. While the army chiefs had never given evidence of dividingamong rival factions contending for Stalin's mantle, they might havo had differences of opinion about theof depriving Khrushchev of that mantle. And, perhaps prophetically, the military have never turned up on tbe losing side. Also they were rewarded for their services or neutrality ln each crisis. But, up until the present crisis, they wore eventually deprived of some of their gainsthe case ofcut back to size by tbe former party ally who became Jealous of his political prerogatives and anxious to secure theof the army to his own authority.
B. Role in Policy Formulation
If the army's role ln politics has been limited, generally, to times when tbe party leaders are divided, the army's participation in policy formulation hasontinuing process.*
role of the army in the formulation of policyecurring theme in our CAESAR reports and has alsobeen discussed in unclassified forums. The4 issue of Problems of Communism, for examplo, contains two Illuminating'articles ada*resse'3 to this subject: Mr. Gallagher's "Military Manpower: asend T. Wolfe's "Shifts in Soviet Strategic Thought." Hence, our treatment of the subject ln this essay will be brief.
Like any bureaucracy, the Soviet militarytends to develop its own professionalat times give rise to views and positionsfrom those of the roling party elite. There
|that the military nave voiced independent views "On" tne allocation of resources and foreignon the critical Berlin and Cubanwell as the more technical military questions of force size,doctrine and nuclear testing.
In their capacity of advisers to the supremesenior Soviet officers have often found themselves deeply involved in matters of general policy. On theof Khrushchev or his party associates or upon their own initiative, the military chiefs used secret forums like the Higher Military Council to make their viewpoints known to the policy-makers. The HigherCouncil, where senior officers came into direct contact with Khrushchev and other presidium members, became the most important channel for bringing the military influence to bear on policy since the expulsion of Marshal Zhukov from tbo party presidium In meetings of the Council, the officers evidently often crossed the thin divide between advice and special Whether tho Council, in the absence of Khrushchev, will continue to be such an important channel, or evon to function at all, remains to bo seen.
Over the past decade, the influence of the high command in general policy has grown, largely bocauso of the critical importance of the military factor in foreign and economic policy decisions. The political leaders have revealed their anxieties about this trend in military influence in some acutely defensivo reactions ln the specialized military press. Thoy have periodically rebuked
an examination in depth of this institution, so* our CAESAR XXIV, The Highor Military Council of the USSR, dated
the military, especially since the Cuban debacle, for their presumptions ln the policy-making sphere. The military, for their part, seem to havo retreated, in the past year, to safer ground In this dialogue. Instead of claiming, as in theirect role in moldingdoctrine" (which ln Soviet terminology is equivalent to national policy on defensehey have been emphasizing their technical contribution to militaryonly the officer corps can make. But the fact that they continue to talk about much the same things as before under the rubric "military science" suggosts to us that they have not relinquished their prerogatives in the policy sphere, but have merelyactical maneuver.
What role they may play in the policy sphere under the new leadership and in the eventtruggle by one of the leaders to consolidate power in his own hands will be discussedater section of this paper.
C. The Anatomy of Party Control Over The Military
The party has maintained its dominance over tho armyomplex system of controls, bothand personal.
Loyalty. An important.and in tho case of the high command^ the most important factor is loyalty. This is the core, the sine qua non of party control. Generally speaking, the loyaltyofficer corps to the party has long been unquestioned and virtuallyfrom loyalty to country. The period of grave distrust by the party of the professional military officers carao to an end during World War Two.
Tho party leaders have sought to insure the loyalty of the army by infusing lt with the llfoblood of the party itself. Evon before Stalin left the scene,f the officer corps were party or Komsomol affiliated. More units are now said to have some sort of party-Komsomol
organ.* And great numbers of military personnel have been made officials of local civilian party organizations, vhile top military leaders have been taken Into higher party organs. At the last party22nd, vhlch was held in Octobermilitary representation in the central committee was Increased somewhat over;the previousalmost tenwas still smallerroportion of the total membership than the military groups elected athh congresses9. (Marshal Zhukov's stay in the chiof policy-making body of thebrief, and bis successor, the more amenable Malinovsky, was not brought into the ruling party circle.)
But what becomes of loyalty, the cement which binds the army leaders to the party leadership, when the party leadership is broken into rival factions? Except ln the senso of forestalling a' basic change in the established system of rule, loyalty to the party would, as in the past, become irrelevant to the problem of succession; the relevant question would be, loyalty to which party leader or faction?
Party discipline. As members of party or Komsomol organizations, the bulk of the military are also subject to party discipline and directive. In the Interest of maximizing military efficiency, however, the party central committee has given the party organizations in the armed forces considerably less authority than that given their civilian counterparts. At meetings of army and navy party organizations, members have the right to criticize any member or candidate, regardless of his position. But they are forbidden to criticize the orders and instructions of commanders and chiefs at the meetings. Also, unlike
arty organizations and groups existed inercent of companies and equivalent subunits as compared withercent M. Kh. Kalashnik, "Political Organs and Party Organizations of the Soviet Army andigher Party School Publishing House, Moscow,
civilian party organizations, army primary partydo not have the right to check the activities of administrative or command elements. Nor can mattersto misdemeanors of commanders of their deputies be examined ln the primary organization of whichember.* In other words, by thisparty discipline has been tailored to accommodate military discipline and is virtually subordinate to it.
The party discipline to which the army highitself is subject is oxerclsed by the centralof which the leading military figures are members. In times of stable party leadership, this form of control evidently operates very effectively and smoothly. But what becomes of this form of discipline when the central committee itself is turned into an arena of political struggle? Can the military members of the centralunder such circumstances, avoid becoming embroiled in factional disputes which percolate into that body?
It would seem to us, in short, that party disciplineorm of control over the military will not prevent their becoming involvedtruggle to decide what tho complexionew party loadership shall bo.
The Main Political Ad Ministration. Tbe agency responsible for political fndbctrlnation and forthe activities of the party organizations in tbe army is the Main Political Administration (MPA). This organization has evolved from the political commissar
has been some zigzagging in respect to the line on criticism of service activities of commanders. Under Zhukov's aegis as Defense Minister, the service duties of the unit commanders, for example, were not permitted to be criticized by his subordinates at party meetings. In the tightening up of party control shortly afterremoval, this ruling was reversed. But It wasonce again, perhaps as early
system butar cry fron its forebear. Until Zhukov was fired, the chief of the UPA was subordinate in the chain of command to both the Minister of Defense and the central committee. Now the office of the chief of the MPA is subordinate only to the central committee, and is said to function with the rightsentral committee department. The chief of the MPA is still required to report to tbe Minister of Defense on tbe state of political affairs in the army, but is evidently not subject to his orders, and signs political directives to the troopsof the Minister of Defense or jointly with
Under the office of the chief of the MPA, th*
political organs are integrated with the military. The embers of the historic conflict between professional and political soldiers are still smoldering. Nevertheless, much bas been done7 to improve relations between the two groups, most notably the exchange of command and political positions and the increased requirements for specialized training of both types of officers ln the other's sphere of competence.
While it isery important Instrument of party control ovor tho army, the MPA also does not seem to us to have much relevance to the question of army involvement in party politics. three top armywho are tho likely military element toarty successionDefense Minister, the Warsaw Pact Commander and the Chief of the Generalhigher rank in the political hierarchy than the Chief of the MPA and are evidently not personallyto his directives. Force component commanders, how-evor, are subject to MPA control to some extent; political administrations have been set up in each of the forcoheadquarters, including that of the Strategic Rocket Forces. But even with respect to force component commanders,
*That is, whoever succeeds the late Marshal Biryuzov
in that office.
tho MPA does not appear to have overriding control over their political activities. For example, Khrushchev's hand-picked chief of the MPA, Yepishev, either did not want to or could not prevent the ground forces commander, Marshal Chukov, from publicly opposing Khrushchev's troop cut proposal of last December. Thereood number of other cases in which senior officers carried their policy differences with Khrushchev to the public forum.
Tin- Military Councils. An important but frequently overlooked (in Western analyses) instrument of partyin the armed forcos is the military council system. Through the military council system tho central and regional civilian party chiefs are brought into direct contact with the senior military commanders and serveheck on their administrative authority. On the militaryand force component levels, the commander serves as chairman of the military council, which has bothand administrative responsibilities. The local chief political officer also servesaomber of the military council. Inasmuch as decisions taken onas well as political matters on this level aro subjectajority vote, it would seem that this system has the effect of retaining some aspects of the oldsystem. ecent articleoviet general stressing the Importance of one-man command has revealed sensitivity among Soviet officers on this very point, and may indicate that they are trying to have removed the serious liabilities currently Imposed by the military council Bystem on the field commander's ability to make independent decisions.*) Tho military council system, significantly, does not interfere with militaryilitary council evidently cannot overrule an orderigher military command.
Khrushchev. Th" removal cf Khrushchev fra'Dcene has complicated the problem of party control over
^General of the Army P. Kurochkin, "Contemporary Combat
the army. This Is because of the central role Khrushchev had played in the control system. He occupied the posts of Chairman of the Higher Military Council and Supreme High Commander of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union, in addition to the powerful offices of Chairman of tbe Council of Ministers and First Secretary of the Party. As Supreme High Commander, Khrushchev had his finger on the nuclear button, he had direct and exclusivecontrol over the Strategic Rocket Forces. In his other governmental posts, he oxerclsed the important powers of promoting, hiring and firing marshals, generals and admirals. Despite the fact that ho stacked.the highwith men who wore closely associatod with him during World War II, tbo mombers of the high command were not completely docile on policy questions and advancedwhich diverged in some important respects from Khrushchev's own thinking. And, more important, in the final analysis, his Stalingrad comrades let blm go down the drain.
Police Blements. There are also police controls which the party exercises through the Administrative Organs (AO) department of the central committee and special sections of the KGB assigned for that purpose. The AO department, the head of which was recently killed in the airplace crash with Biryuzov, evidently has overallresponsibilities io the central committee for security, intelligence, and judiciary matters, both within theestablishment and outside. The KGB provides the watchdogs who perform the expected counterintelligence and police functions ln the armed forces, ln addition to such special details as guarding nuclear woapons depots.
The operative question, however, is whether and in what ways the established system of police controls would function to frustrate involvement by tho militaryolitical leadership struggle. If used adroitly by one of the rival factions, the secret police could play an important role in controlling tbe actions of thehigh command (by placing them under house arrest, forcing them to issue orders, etc.). But in any direct confrontation between tbe secret police and army units under orders to act, including in Moscowhow of
force would be crucial, the army units could quicklythe KGB. The party ln recent years seems to have strengthened the secret police, but, except for theof the police of the border troops, has stopped short of building up the KGB as an armed force which could rival regular army units (as in Berla's time).
Inhe Party-State Control Committee headed by Sholepin extended its tentacles into tho armed forces, where "committees" and "groups of cooperation" were established at various command levels. The committee serves as the party's inspector general with authority to make spot checks of virtually any militarywithout regard for the official chain of command.
The party's controls over the army, in short, are extensive and apparently very effective, but they have important limitations: they are not strong enough (or may not bo iutonded) to preclude the military froman indepondont and Influential voice in policyand thoy are not sufficient to prevent the army from playing on important role in political struggles.
Uoreovor, tbe very fact that Khrushchev concentrated so much control over the defonso establishment in his own hands, haserious problem in the laps of the present party leaders. Bis exit hasarge power vacuum in tho military control mechanism which will not be easily filled, short of aggrandizement of theso powerstrong successor,ajor change in the control machinery ot tho top.
II. THE MILITARY EW LEADERSHIP CRISIS
A. The Possibilities
Many Western observers (ourselves included) think lt very likelytruggle for power will sooner or later erupt among Khrushchev's heirs. Tbe presentleadership arrangement, it seems ot us, isemporary moratorium on struggle, ifmokescreen behindower struggle is already taking place. The system, as nurtured by Khrushchev and Stalin before him, militates toward consolidation of supreme power by one man. Indeed, as Leonard Schapiro recently put it, the system is probably unworkable in its present form without one man at the top. The inherent instability of the present coalition is apparent ln the division of power not only between individuals but betweenas well. The Brezhnev-Kosygin team is aof twoanda history of conflict. There is some question an to whethercan preserve the supremacy of the professional party apparatus in controlling the economy in view of tbepower of the vast planning and managementcaptained by Kosygin.
Another factor making for instability at the top is the apparent failure to date of any of the newto decide who among them should fill such powerful posts vacated by Khrushchev as Supreme High Commander, chairman of the Higher Military Council and chairman of the RSFSR Bureau. Who will have his finger on the nuclear trigger, and how will he get it there, are questions that probably will have to be settled before too long. How such questions are decided will go far to answer the basic question, in whose hands will supreme power in the USSR be held?
Assuming that our estimate of tbe leadershipis correct, that individual leadors will struggle
among themselves to consolidate Khrushchev's dropped powers, what roaction might we oxpect from the military?
We are inclined to think that the military will ln some manner become involved in any struggle to decide who Khrushchev's successor at tho helm of power is to be. What kind of role thoy play will probably depend, among other things, on the intensity and duration of thostruggle itself.
The military probably realizes that the present leadership arrangement isemporary and inherently unstable compromise. They are probably also concerned that tho absenceingle commander-in-chief, with his finger on the nuclear button, tends to degrade both the Soviet deterrent and the actual ability of the Soviet military establishment to respond decisively In an They would therefore probably be anxious to see supreme powor consolidated in the handsinglein order to restore the strategic military position of the country to its former state.
Zf, as we think is likely toeriod of active struggleolding action by collective rule, the military (as an institution or in the person of the Defonse Minister) will very likely enter or be drawn into the disputeartisan role. In the first place, the military chieftains might become involved by their own choice. It might appear to them that the security of the Soviet Union is gravely endangeredeeply divided party leadership and they might, ln consequence, intervene in an effort to hasten thoof the succession struggle. Tbe possibilityoluntary military involvement would be greater should tho contest involve issues bearing on the future of the Soviet military establishment.
This is not to suggest, of course, that Soviet army leaders are eager to become Involved in the leadership problem. onservative, cautious segment of Soviot society, the militaryroup may have taken to heart tho moaning ofZhukov ouster, and, honce, willbe very careful about getting embroiled voluntarily
MD VfiliV TCM-_Tl
in party politics. But wo would not regard their penchant lor cautionactoreadership struggle.
Whatilitary involvement in any succession struggle seem to us almost unavoidable is not so much the above-montioned contingency of willful involvement as the external ^forces that will* work-to draw army leaders into the dispute. In the Soviet environment, the army is simply too powerful to be ignored by the factions or individuals contending for supreme power. They will try to gain the backing of the army high command for themselves or at least to deny lt to their opponents. In the factional struggles that followed Stalin's death, the military always turned up on the winning side, and historically-minded party chiefs are likely to consider the support of the military essential to tho attainment of supreme power. Should the central committee become an arena of struggle, the top military leaders who sit in that body would inescapably be pelted with entreaties for support from the rivalthey would be forced to choose sides (as onctober)otion affecting the leadership struggle be put upote.
Not only might the army leaders be forcedartisan role by circumstances beyond their control; they might also find themselves cast in the roleeluctant arbiter, provided they were able to actloc. The latter role, ahich otherwise seems romote, wouldood possibility should tho contestants for the party leadership become lockedtalemate.
ossible breakdown lnernicious, drawn-out struggle at thocause such disarray among the party rank-and-file as to paralyze the political effectiveness of tbe partyhole. And if at the same time the army chiefs were to maintain strict military discipline, they would have considerably greater political leverage andthan the rival party chiefs, and wouldore advantageous position from which to Influence the outcome of the succession struggle.
Wo can, of course, only speculato about tbe formilitary involvement night take. It might, for example, be limited to public or private protestations on behalf of the fortunate contender and the parrotting of his statements on policy and ideological natters (as in tbe first Khrushchev-Malenkov struggle). Or it might even involve the use or threatened use of arms (as in the case of the showdown with Boria).
A decision to move army troops into tbe streets in Moscow could be taken at tho initiativearty leader, but the operational order would havo to comeenior military officer, notably the defense minister. (Bulganin, then chairman of the council of ministers, apparently triod and failed to move troops on behalf of the anti-party group during the crisis of) As far as we can tell, the only armedat the disposal of any of the top party chiefs are the small KGB units assigned to protect them. (Somo party chiefs, Brezhnev and Shelepin, might throughwith the KGB be ablo to marshall the support of various othor KGB elements.) We can imagine ainarty leader or faction, either faced with tho marshalling by the opposition of secret police units or desperate toinal bid for supreme power, might urge tho Defense Minister to move forces into or around the Kremlin and to apprehend opposition elements.
Wo think it likely that the military will simply do tbe bidding of one of the contending factions; yet wo would not rule out the possibility of self-Initiated actions on their own behalf. They might, although we think it improbable, blatantly play the role of kingmaker, picking their own candidate and foisting him on the party. An even more drastic step would be for the army chiefs to try to capture supremo power for themselves.
One canumber of reasons for estimatingilitary takeover is not likely to happen. The Soviet officer corpstrong intorest in preserving the existing political order, whichemporarytakeover would virtually dostroy. (It would bedifficult for tho party to recover from such a
failure.) The army leaders are indebted to the system for the lofty positions they occupy and the place the army as an institution occupies In their society. They would have no guarantee that they could fare as well or better under an alternative political system; indeed, they may not even be able to envisage what ansystem might or ought to be. And their upbringing and sense of tradition would probably mako them feel very uncomfortable ln tho role of political rulers. While they have expressed divergent views on various party policies and have sought greater Independence for the army in regard to its internal administration, they have never revealed any desire toully independent political force which would rival the party itself.
Nevertheless, we cannot exclude the possibility
ilitary takeover. Circumstances might arise during leadership struggles that would give impetus to aintervention on its own behalf, or on the behalfarty official of the military's choosing. evelopment might occur:
if the military high command feared imminent interference in the political struggle by an outsideChina;
ilitary attack on certainoutlying Soviet positions byestornommunist country seemed impending; or
if thero were an internal crisis, suchublic uprising against the party and government.
In the latter event, which is admittedly very unlikely, there would, of course, be no alternative party to take over the leadership of the state. Only the military would be capable of swiftly restoring and maintaining public order and only they couldemporary substitute for party rule. Senior professional army officers, while loyal to the party under normal conditions,trong professional group identity andthey sense mass
anti-partyover the reins of power at least for the duration ol the emergency.
B. Divisions Within The Military
As there are in any bureaucracy, there are many strains acting as centrifugal forces within tho Soviet officer corps. In the current panoply, wo can identify such divisive forces as personal antipathies, service rivalries, rival World War II cliques, conservative and modernist thinking on military doctrino, the ameliorated but still extant professional-political dichotomy, and the more subtle but increasingly important rivalriesthe combined-arms officers and the advanced weapons technicians, as well as between the old and the young officers. These strains, however, havo evidently not undermined the basic cohesiveness of the officer corps, the binding element of which is iron discipline. Some of these strains could perhaps be said to have undercut the military efficiency of the Soviet defonse (for example, in the sense that various rivalries have resulted in an unbalanced forceneglected air force and surface fleet). But tho important question for our present purposes is whether tho divisive factors will affect the ability of the army to intercodoremlin political struggle over Khrushchev's former powers.
Our own study leads us toto botho divisive strains currentlyon the officer corps will neither lead to ain military discipline nor be sufficient toilitary interventioneadership struggle. Senior officers may debate policy and despise one another to their hearts content, but this would not result lnorders for the employment of troops. Although involved in debates on policy matters in the, tho senior army commanders did not give tbe slightest hint of dividing themselves among the factions in the political struggle that took place in the Kremlin over that span of time.
This is not to say, however, that the military would necessarily be Immune from any acute stato ofin Soviet politics that might develop out of the current leadership situation. On tho contrary, themight find themselves personally divided as to which contender for supreme power to support. Theircould be exploited by the rival party factions and could retard orecision to intervene in some fashion. Yet, the marshals would undoubtedlythe system of unified troop control and strictdiscipline as strong reasons to remain united on so important an issueeadership struggle, inesort to arms could take place. emporary breakdown in party discipline would weaken the authority of thereakdown in military discipline could be disastrous for the army, regime and country alike.
The military chain of command, moreover, can tolerate considerable personal differences among the top marshals without being seriously undermined because the operational control of the troops is centered in the hands of oneDefense Minister, Marshal Malinovsky. The Defense Minister is all tbe more powerful with the Supreme High Commander's seat vacant, ne may beto tho will or divided will, as the case may be, of his staff; he may act according to their wishes or not act until they can reach agreement; or he may disregard their counsel altogether and act on his personalor at the beckoningarty faction which might own him. In any case, the army troops can move only on bis orders; tbe commanders of all major troop elements--military districts, groups of forces,directly subordinate to him. Troop commanders have the choice of resigning their posts but they cannotigher military order whilo occupying theirat grave personal risk. Hence, as long as militaryremains intact, lt Is i. ultimately the decision which the Defense Ministerof the manner ln which he arrives at thatwill determine when and how the army will Intervene with troopsuccession struggle. (In the case of Malinovsky, we would estimate that he would act only in concert with his follow senior officors.) Hence, we would regard troop control and military discipline as the factors that will
probably discourage the marshals from splintering in any circumstances surrounding tho leadership contest.
It follows from this that the aspirant who wins the backing of the Defense Minister (and/or his clique, as tho case may be) wins the support of the army. This being the case, other hypothetical considerations come to the fore:
recognizing the critical importance ofympathetic man ln tbe post of Defense Minister,arty faction might replace Malinovsky (if be seemed unfriendly to them)ore amenable officer ln maneuvering toower base for taking over the commanding position ln the party;
alternatively, although lesstrong grouping of seniorthat Malinovsky was about to throw the army's supportan whom theyconspire to eliminate him physically and thereby pass the critical command to the next ranking officer, Marshal Grechko, or evenore junior one.
C. The Army's Candidate
Should the marshals be dissatisfied with tho present leadership arrangement, which is divided, which of tho party figures would they prefer to see consolidate power in his own hands? Or, put another way, should tho principal party leaders compete among themselves forpowers, which of them would have the greatestwith respect to currying the support of the
We have no ready answer to such questions. The military would no doubtan who finds common cause with thorn on important military-related policy matters. This is not to say, however, thoy they would necessarilyan because of his policy views. They might feel, for example, that by backing tbecontender, eveneakor one was more in
sympathy with their program, they coulduicker settlement of the succession problem and termination of its attendant instability.
Our task is made tho more difficult by tho fact that we have precious little information on tbe personal relationships between top party and army people, and we know little about where individual party leaders stand on various policy issues bearing on defense. The evidence which we have been able to accummulate on ties between senior party people and tho military--incomplete andthough itasis forsome preliminary Judgments. (Soe our Kremlinological checklist at the ond of tho text.) "Connections'* in the military as well as ln other bureaucracies in the Soviet Unionreat deal of weight in the development of personal careers.* Hence, the fact tbat certain of the party leaders have had or still have ties with themay give them some advantage over other colloaguos ln currying the support of the military.
It is plain, first of all, umber of top party figures have had some connection with the military at one time or another in their careers. The now first secretary of the party, Brezhnev, appears to have had more bases of contact with the military than bis probable rivals.
Before Khrushchev's ouster, Brezhnev's name turned up in lists of "outstanding" party officials who served at the front in World Warwith those of Suslov, HZhavanadze, Ignatov and Kalnbernzln. But neither Brezhnov'i
forcesorfrankly reported (andractice underfficers and generals are advanced not in accor ance with their political and military qualities, butof amicable relations with someone higher up, or personal ties,orking relationship with someone in the past."
nor anyone else's war experience was given the singular treatment reserved for Khrushchov. The most lavish tribute paid Brezhnev tor his wartime role, curiously, appeared in the MILITARY HISTORICAL JOURNAL on tho eve ofouster.* Since that event, however, the military press available to us has studiously avoided mentioning the names of living political leaders in historical articles on the war.
In any case, Brezhnev's experience with tbeto date cannot be said to assure him tbe backing of the high command. For one thing, ituestion whether
JOURNAL was signed to press onctober. The author of the memoir-type article recalled that at the time of1 German drive into the USSR Brezhnev was secretary of the Dnepropetrovsk Oblast partyin the Ukraine. The articlo said that in1 the fighting had reached Dnepropetrovsk and Brezhnevonsiderable role inivision to fight the Germans. Thanks to the initiative of Brezhnev and Semen Zadionchenko, another regional party secretary, hundreds of party members were mobilizedodka factory was converted to produco Molotov cocktails. In Septomber after the city had fallen, Brezhnev with the approval ofcommander of the Sixthhelped set up an assault groupounteroffensive.
his past military service would necessarily work in his favor since he hadoliticaltho amy level during the war, and later as chief of the naval political department. Indeed, he might, while servingolitical capacity ln the armed forces, havesome professional commanders. Also, the fact that Brezhnev was ono of the most avid past supporters of Khrushchev's economic policies may have lost' him friends among the military. And they will probably remember that he was the first of Khrushchev's associates to endorse the nuclear test ban treaty last yoar.
The new chairman of the council of ministers, Kosygin, on the other hand, has had hardly any contact with the military, havingong-timeln Soviet light industry. In this respect, he would tend to beisadvantageossible competition for military backing. However, the fact that Kosygin was outspoken Just after7 purge in stressing the party's sustained allegiance to the heavy industry line, may put him in good standing with the military. It may also be reflective of KoBygln's sentiments thatchemicals program, inaugurated failed to prosper under Kosygin's direction as planning chief.
Another presumed front-runner, Podgorny, has had fewer ties with the military in his career, butmay appeal to themandidate oa the basis of his rather pronounced position (in the past) on priorities for defense and heavy industry. ecent effort was made toilitary affiliation for him, also, by including him namehort list of regionalwho served as members of okrug military councils in the late fifties.*
*Yu. P. Petrov. Party Construction in the Soviet Army
and, Ministry ot Defense Pubiisning House,
Both Brezhnev and Podgorny are believed to have had responsibilities in tbe field of defense industry right up to the time of Khrushchev's ouster, and Brezhnev has additionally been reported to haverequent participant in meetings of the Higher Military Council.
All in all, it seems that neither Brezhnev nor Podgorny, nor for that matter any of the principal party figures, can lay claim to the military bureaucracy as his political stronghold. On the contrary, it appears to us that Khrushchev deliberately prevented his colleagues in the ruling party presidium from developing strong ties vith the army (even though they may have currentin the sphere of defense). Khrushchev made the army his personal domain. He surrounded himself with his clique of officers. He donned Stalin's wartime mantle of Supreme High Commander. He plainly dominated theof array policy and, until his dismissal, was the only party leader publicly associated with major policy initiatives affecting the armed forces. Finally, he made the Higher Military Council his personal instrument for arriving at policy affecting defense, and used it, evidently, to by-pass the full presidium.
D. Consequences for Policy
Policy affecting the defenso establishment isa strong if not the overriding interest of tbo military in the outcome of tho succession problem. There Is ample evidence that right up to the time ofouster, the Soviet leaders were unable toa number of basic, interrelated military questions, such as whether there should be another troop cut, asby Khrushchev last December and whether, forof policy planning, doctrine should prescribe an important combat role for general purpose forcesuclear war. Khrushchev's departure from tho scene has almost certainly settled the question of whether there shouldeduction in the military's share of resources. However, all the outstanding military policy issues havo not been resolved by his removal, even though it has
undoubtedly improved the chances of their being settled in favor of the more conservative-minded military leaders. While the military are to some extent divided amongover various defense issues, it is also evident that they hold In common some very strong views which they will try to Impose on any new political leadership. One such common viewpoint Is the need to continue to strengthen the defense establishment. This was forcefully advancedED STAR editorial entirely devoted to that subject nine days after Khrushchev's dismissal. The presei leaders have expressed sympathy with that view, but have not indicated how and to what extent they will try to meet specific military demands; their position is made the more ambiguous by repeated allusions to such themes as continuation of the coexistence policy, the keystone of Khrushchev's quest for detente abroad and relaxation at home, and tho steady raising of tho people's welfare.
The kinds of specific demands that militarywill probably make on any political leaders aro as follows:
Irrespective of tho rationale, be it requirements for thermonuclear war or local conventional war, thowill want to maintain large modernized, and versatile armed forces; they will consequently resist any efforts to cut back severely either the size of the army or the military's share of tbe economy. They may also attempt to recover ground lost under Khrushchev's heavy-handed direction of the militaryIs, to restore parts of the military budget or production cut away by Khrushchev and to refurbisb the prestige of tbe militaryof the oldor arms of service which Khrushchev had sought to undermine. They appear to be ln agreement with Chinese and North Vietnamese critics that Khrushchev dangerously neglected the problem of preparing the Soviet armed forces for limited non-nuclear warfare, and may therefore press with increased forceasic change in doctrine and the adoptionostly policy of reequipping and retraining thefor limited actions in both adjacent and distant areas.
Tbey can always be expected to seek morefor the military's contribution toas botter pay and retirement programs or the elimination of tho shefstvo systom, ln which military personnel are as-slgned work ln tho economy. They may demand morefor tbe military with respoct to the running of the defense establishment. They may, for example, petition for (a) tho curtailment of the military council system, which placos an Important check on tbe administrative initiatives of major field commanders; or (b) smaller political incursions into tbe duty time of professional officers (more combat, less political training and They may askreater say in internal security matters and try to regain control of the border troops which are now under the KGB. And they may seek increased representation in the party centralor even tho restorationilitary seat in the presidium, ln order to protect their professional interests and toore direct say in general policy.rofessional military presence in tho party presidium would increase not only their influence on policy but their prestige in Soviot society as well.)
The military will probably not want to seeeturn to the Stalinistwhich they suffereda radical turn to liberalism. They can also be expected to oppose turns in Soviet foreign policy that seem to them to be prejudicial to the military establishment or the security of the country. Forthey will probably continue to oppose any major Soviet concossions ln disarmament. (They had revealed some dismay over the test ban treaty)
But some of the major interests of the military and political leaderships aroollision course. In tho policy sphore, tho maintenance of general purpose forces at present levels taken together with the hugeffort and tho continued buildup of strategic forces, willonstant upward pressure on the Sovietbudget and on military manpower. In view of the fact that the strained economic situation will continue to plaguo Soviet political leaders for some years to como, they will have to return, before long, to policies
of restraining the growth of military spending if they hope to make serious progress in general economic.
In tbe sphere of politics, we would expect any new political loader in the process of consolidating his power to try, eventually, to subjugate the military to his own authority. This would entail depriving the military of gains they made in tho process of thestruggle at the expense of party authority. Also, any new loader will probably not put his anxieties to restotential military opposition until he builds up his own following in the officer corps. He can only do this by making wholesale changes in the high command. The Stalingrad clique now in power would have to give way to another clique. Finally, the civilian-armymight become strainedew party the present ono included. The older, politically experienced, former combat commanders who now fill the top military posts might be found by the new partyto be too strong and obstinate to deal with.
ew party leadership wish to replaco the older commanders with young blood, it would be necessary to reach far down into the ranks before coming upounger generation of officers. This is becauso not only the highut almost all of the noxt echelon of commanders are men ln their sixties. It is rare toeneral officer of any note in bis fifties.* The new party leader would also stand to gain from bypassing the whole generation of older officers in filling out the high command posts, for he would make the younger group indebted to him for the sharp advancement in their careers.
Gel Yakubovsky, now ln command of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, are excoption. Hisxperience (his present postpringboard to more Important jobs and ho isember of the central committee)1 and energetic character makeikoly candidateeading post ln the defensewhen the present echelon of older men is retired. The fact that he has spent virtually the entire post-Stalin period in Germany in various command capacities suggests that his personal ontourage will probably come mainly from the GSFG.