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THE SOVIET STRATEGIC INTEREST IN LIMITED DISARMAMENT
TAFF STUDY CIA/RSS
REFERENCE TITLE: CAESAR XXIII
THIS MATERIAL CONTAINS INFORMATIONTHE NATIONAL DEFENSE OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ESPIONAGE LAWSSC., THEOR REVELATION OF WHICH IN ANY MANNER TO AN UNAUTHORIZED PERSON IS PROHIBITED BY LAW
CAESAR XXIII Off. Ser. No. 12
THE SOVIET STRATEGIC INTEREST IN LIMITED DISARMAMENT
Tbisorking paper. It Is Intended to be an Informal airingritical Intelligence problem,efinitive statement on the subject. In this exercise, the question of disarmament is discussed in terms of Soviet strategic thought, planning, and goals. While political (propaganda) objectives have long seemed primary and arc no doubt still Important (If notn Sovieton.disarmament, this paper is concerned largely with the hardSoviet military strength relative to that of thethe USSR may hope to make through the conclusion of agreements on limited measures of arms control.
Although the writer has benefited from theand research findings of colleagues, he Is solely responsible for the paperbolo. The C-
"^ould welcome comment on the paper, addressedwrote it, or toC
THE SOVIET STRATEGIC INTEREST IN LIMITED DISARMAMENT
Although the Soviets have in the past succeeded in temporarily deceiving the world public about the magnitude of Soviet strategic power, their actual militaryhave been incommensurate with both Soviet political aspirations (especially in Europe) and. strategic military challenge. Their past inability toorld image of Soviet military pre-eminence or toignificant change In the actual correlation of strategic forces does not seem to have dampened their desire to achieve such goals.
The Soviets have always regarded the fundamental question as that of the balance of power: while they have often talked tough and invoked strategic threats, they have generally been cautious in their actions. (The Cuban missile base venture was not an exception: the decisions to place missiles Id Cuba and then to remove them were both taken because of felt strategic inferiority;grossly miscalculated the risk in deploying the missiles and withdrew them rapidly when the risk was made clear to him.) Khrushchev still appears to regard astrategic situation as critical to his foreign policy. While ho may find the current strategic posture of the USSR adequate to the task of deterring the nest fromgeneral war, he almost certainly finds that the* still markedly Inferior strategic position of the USSR does not satisfy Soviet political requirements. He undoubtedly realizes that as long as the United Statesredible military supremacy, the USSR will be without an effective basis for changing the political order of things inmore through negotiations than through direct military action. He is consequently eager to. strategic supremacy, to foster the idea of nuclear stalemate and strategic balance.
Khrushchev will strive to improve the strategicof the USSR, we believe. Id part through directto Soviet military power, and, In part, by anmethod: controlling the arms race. Indirectin the struggle for military supremacy Isoviet tactic. Becauso of important advantages (notably secrecy) and disadvantages (notably strainedhe Soviets have almost never engaged the United Statesirect, numerical weapons competition. Thus, instead of producing long-range bombers and, later, ICBHs,rash basis, Moscow has tried to compensate for deficiencies In theso capabilities by indirect methods. Thcso have included, at various times and in various combinations, eceptive propaganda claims about Soviet missile strength, exploitation of early technological breakthroughs in weaponry and space exploration;he build-up offorces to copehreat from Western Europe and the holding of Europe as strategic hostage under themedium and intermediate range ballistic missiles; ajor military demonstrations, such as increasing the explicit military budget and exploding very high yield nuclearand (S) the Cubanthe sense of being an effec tive alternativerash ICBM program.
Having failed with those schemes to produce the desired effects, Khrushchev now seems to have turned to limited disarmament to augment the relative power position of the Soviet Union; he has clearly rejectedadical step-up in the production and deployment of strategic weapons. This is not to sayirm policy line on limited disarmament has been set. On the contrary, we are Inclined to think that this issue, like Important military problems such as troop size, Is still In flux. The military elite, who have in the past resisted certain of Khrushchev's military programs, have also shown signs of dissent from certain of his arms limitations schemes. They may for professional reasons tend to regard not arms control but substantial arms expansion as the best way to approach the problem of strengthening national security. Hence, negative Soviet actions at Geneva may to some extent reflect indecision or controversy in Moscow.
Through arms controlformal treaty or reciprocal unilateralSoviets probably hope at the very least to prevent the strategic military gap from widening; at most, they may hope to tip the power balance in their favor. edium expectation may be to improve their strategic military position with respect to the Westignificant degree without jeopardizing other essential domestic programs.
Thus, the Soviets may see in arms controlo gain in the strategic rivalry by means of maximizing Soviet powerower level ofo reduce the size of the arena of competitionay that would exclude fields in which the USSR is comparatively weak or has no particular incentiveombardment satellites), and allow the USSR to compete in fields of its own choosing ADMs, Lasers);o clear the decks of "obsolete" weapons, installations, and unnecessary personnel (Khrushchev's conception ofis much broader than that of many of his military colleagues); o deprive the United States, even in symmetrical force cuts, of an important Inherent ndvantago: greater potential for strengthening Its militaryo make' Immediate, if small, military gains even where agreements soom to-be mutually beneficial;o under-mino Western military cohesion and strength; o Inhibit the dlssomination of nuclear weapons; o make political gains at home and abroad; and,o channel the active arms competition intothesoon to regard as less dangerous and more promising (for them) than direct competition in numbers of offensive weapons.
The same concerns which Impel the USSR towardaccord with the West on arms control will probably set limits on disarmament. It is highly doubtful that anyleaders seriously regard GCDtrategic goal. wo think, GCD may be counter to the assumptions which the Soviets make about power and national interests. Such considerations as the desire to freeze strategic nuclear power, to make general war appear as virtually suicidal, to avoid Inviting Chinese or French or German rivalry in stratogic power, will probably determine the degrees of reduction* which the USSR might be willing to make In
strategic nuclear forces within the next decade. Similarly, the problem of keeping the East European empire intact may dictate requirements for minimum levels of Sovietforces, irrespective of United States positions.
At the same time, however, because the Soviets (or some of them) seem totrong strategic Interest In regulating the arms competition, they may be willing to abandon some taboos, such as aerial surveillance of Soviet territory, which, whether by their choosing or not, are perhaps becoming dispensable ltems^suitable for international bargaining.
THE SOVIET STRATEGIC INTEREST IN LIMITED DISARMAMENT
DILEMMA OF POWER
Policy of Indirect
STRATEGY OF DISARMAMENT
Attitude towards Arms Limitations 17
I. THE DILEMMA OF POWER
A. The Problem
Driven by their great power pretensions as well as by purely military considerations, the Soviets have long felt compelled to rival the military might of the United States. This compulsion has been vexing to Sovietwho have found themselvesreat disadvantage in respect to material resources at their disposal, and who at each juncture have had to face the reality of military capabilities which were incommensurate with both Soviet political aspirations and. challenge. Except for short periods in which Soviet bravado and public credulity combined tonlrageower imbalance in favor of the USSR, the Soviets have been in this predicament since at It was then that the Soviets, giddy with the first successful ICSM test which symbolically ended the invulnerability of the United States to strategic attack, began to challenge the primacy. military power.
Plainly, the Soviets see military forceymbol and instrument of their total power position. They expect the world to see in the growth of their military power proof of the success and invincibility of their social system. Moreover, the political ambitions of the USSR seem to place different, even greater, demands on Soviet militarythan, say, might be deemed necessary for deterrence of general war. It has appeared toasic Soviet policya sounda world belief in Soviet military superiority would be extremely helpful to theof the Communist movement and of Soviet foreignorrollary assumption evidently isorld image of Soviet military inferiorityis theimage developing sincea serious liability. If Soviet leaders, political and military, are at oddsumber of basic defense questions, they seem to be of one mind on this.
1. odern Day Bismarck
Khrushchov himself is an unabashed practitioner of classical realpolitik. Re has regarded tho stratoglc power balance as' critical to his foreign policy, and on tho basis of claimed "shifts in the correlation of forces" he has demandod concessions from the Vest. Basing policy onoviet military strength, he has tried to erode tho Western will to opposo Soviet political offensives. And he hastho world's fear of nuclear war, brandishing his weapons in naked attempts at nuclear coercion.
In the 'fifties, heard campaignum-alt conference to try to settle outstanding international issues with tho West on the basis of an alleged newof power. Having pictured the ICBM breakthrough In the USSR as. superiority, he made the specious claim that tho Soviets were now roughly equivalent inpower with the United States. While he9 over an exchange of visits between President Eisenhower and himself, and established the "Spirit of Camp David" whichew phase In Soviet forolgn policy and domestic policy aseries of unfortunate(for him) prevented the multilateral summitin Paris0 from materializing and lod the Soviets toajor reassessment of the strategic situation.
Having failed to make progressolitical settlement on tho basislaimed new alignment of power during President Elsenhower's administration, Khrushchev again used this strategom with President Kennedy. Soon after meeting with the President in Vienna inhrushchev declared:
The Western loaders stato that thepower of the capitalist andcamps now is equallyolicy of the Western powers, there is no common sense,senso which should flow fromof the correlationthat has arisen in the world
Again inhrushchev plaintivelythe basis of allogod admissions in the West that bloc strength was "not inferior" to Western"with equal strength, there must bo equal rights, equalut once again, Khrushchev's efforts came to nothing. The American part in the East-West dialogue was not tohanged power relationshipasis for negotiations. In fact, the United states1olicy of substantially strengthening its strategic and tactical forces, and, consequently, of widening its military lead over the USSR. By. spokesmen wereclear military supremacy for the United States (and adding insult to injury by publicly downgrading earlier estimates of Soviet ICBM strength).
2. Foreign Policy Record
The record of Soviet foreign policy in respect to the East-West confrontation over the past decadeix of gains and losses. On the one hand, Sovietpower, though inferior to that of the United States, has succeeded in inhibiting certain Western initiativesaking the United States reconcile itself to gains alroady achieved by the USSR. Thus, Soviet power wasto discourage the West from intervening in the Hungarian uprising6 and from smashing the Berlin Wall constructed On the other hand, the Soviet posture was not formidable enough to force the West Into perceptible political retreat on major outstandingissues. Soviet power failed, for example, to prevont the United States from deploying nuclear weapons at European bases in the 'fifties; it failed to cow the Westerlin settlement; and it failed in the most direct confrontation with the United States totrategic military base in Cuba (although it succeeded inolitically important Soviet presence in Cuba).
Although the pattern of success and failure inforeign policy defies attempts totrictbetween them and the power balance, the record
of Soviet actions nevertheless shows that, at least since the Korean War, the Soviets have always been sensitive to the United States posture and policy and to the changes in the world military structure.* Although they have-talked tough and liberally invoked strategic threats at different times since Stalin's death, they have generally beencautious in action, it can be said, that, ule, their aggressive declaratory policy has beenby seeming changes in the power balance in theirbreakthrough, space feats, high yieldtheir Conservative actions haveealistic appreciation of the strategic power situation, in which they have always been second-best.
The logic of power takes unexpected turns, however, and problems of strategy in real life can seldom be reduced to simple formulas or equations. Consider, for example, the following paradox: the clear strategic supremacy of the United States has prevented the USSR from forcing its programuropean settlement on the West; on the other hand, anxious to redress the imbalance of power In order to restore dynamism to their foreign policy, the Soviets embarked on the venture to place missiles in Cuba. . power in the Cuban case did not restrain but rather tended to provoke the USSR toisky venture; however, when the moment of confrontation occurred, the situation reverted to the first instance, in which the Soviet leadership believed it the better part of valor to retreat in the face. power.**
in the caseorea, the Soviets probably had cal-
that the United States would not intervene mili-
tarily in the eventorth Korean attack: . administration had indicatedourse but the President reversed himself upon learning of the North Korean treachery.
**In regard to the Cuban venture, long and careful study of the Soviet action has led us to believe strongly that the Soviets, at least until the President's speech ofctober, did not estimate that therereat risk of strategic attack against even Cuba, let alone themselves, at any stage of the venture.
B. The Pol icy of Indirect Competition
The Soviets, then, have longonsuming, desire to be ranked as superior or at least equal to the United States in military might and to effect political changes on that basis. This motivation, in turn, has given impetus to the more strictly military needs to compete with the United States in an arms race. For what would sufficeminimum dotorrent" fell short of tho political need to close the strategic military gap. Howovor, because of the peculiar philosophy of the present Soviet leadership, and the array of advantages (notably secrecy) and(notably strained resources), in comparison to the United States, the USSR has almost never attempted to compete directly with the United States in an arms bulld-up, but has repeatedly turned to indirect methods to achieve its strategic objectives.
The indirect methods used have Included, at various times and in various combinations, eceptive propaganda claims about Soviet missile strength, oliticalof early technological breakthroughs in weaponry and space exploration; he build-up of powerful forces to. cope with throats from Western Europe, and the holding of Europe as strategic hostage under the numerous medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles; ajordemonstrations, such as military budget increases and very high yield nuclear explosions. There was also the Cuban missilo base venture, which was Indirect in the sense that itold alternativeirect competition in numbers of intercontinental weapons for the purpose ofimproving Soviet strike capabilities against the united btates.*
*The nXs'sITes which were to bo deployed in Cuba were intended to supplement and ease requirements on the Soviet ICBM program, but not to substitute for it.
In the late 'fifties, when the Soviets in ther??l? boldly and repeatedly challenged the primacy. military power, they paradoxically failed toechnological head-startuperiority in forces-in-being. oviet intercontinental
oclded ln the earlyaJor intercontinental bomber force, tit* Jef^lon was evidently made8 to foregoof the first generation ICBM in favor of selond LnL
fSiJ? Sy??ems' Jhe flrstnot become opera!
tfro of actual development and deployment of weapons of the intercontinental strike forces of the USSR72 reflected no governingcon-
Jhetates iro* stacking the Soviet camp XaVm"itary respectability. Furthermore, during !the SS5Rnone of the followingl,aedby the propaganda and byP Soviet writings on military doctrine:
(1) ilitarily effective pre-emptive capability;
a sure-fire retaliatory capability;
ar-winning capability against the United States.
Nor can It be said that, in the period in question Soviethift in the balance of-^wer capabult?.srentercontinental strikethefe was intrategic philosophy which guided the development of offensive intercontinental forces up it was thatvery minimum deterrent."
For beforo that date, the USSRorce of dubiouswhich, in relation. offonslvo andforces, was capable of doing very United damage to American territory in the event of general war. uch more serious deployment program, more or less consonant with the strategic threat, was in evidence before that date in rospoct to strategic air defense weapons.
In short, as national intelligence estimates have pointed out, tho USSR was willing to tolerate an actual condition of limited intercontinental capabilities"and con-siderable vulnerabilityong period of time. But this was not true of the seeming condition of the strategic military situation.
In the period in which critical defense decisions were beingwas firmly in the It was in all probability his ideas about Soviet long-range force development that carried the day. Faced as he was with competing demands for limited resources (he had, for example to chooseargeargo MRBM program), and confident about bis ability to understand his counterparts in the West and to control risks, Khrushchev was in no hurry to upset. military supremacy byowerfulstriking force. Khrushchev, rather, was confidenteeming alteration in the power situation would serve his purposes, at least in the near run. Hoquite well that what matters in regard to the power balance question in peacetime is not the actual Military capabilitiestate, but what others think about the state'smore accurately, what one state's beliefs aro about another. e exaggerated-Soviet rocket capabilities against the United States because he was aware of actual Soviet inferiority in strategic forces, but was confident that his claims would be generally believed.
Thus, in tho, strategicwhich Soviet propagandaond for Western self-deception and fears about the trend in Soviet strategic weaponsbolster the image of Sovietpower and, consequently, the Soviet strategic As pointed out in other intelligence Issuances,
i eg if decoptlon, as an integral part of Soviet policy, had as objectives not only compensation for an unavoidable, adverse imbalance in strategic power, but also thefrom the Vest that the Sovietorce programmed for theould not close the gap and might even permit it to widen substantially. The effort to deceive moreover, was intended not merely to deter an attack on the Soviet Union, but to secure political gains as well.
Khrushchev's public confidence in the deterrentof Soviet deceptive missile claimsigh point in In bis speech to the Supreme Soviet inof that year he boasted that the USSR was "several years" ahead of the United States in the "mass production" of ICDMs, and that the "Sovlot army today possesses such combat means and fire power as no army has ever hadufficient "literally to wipe the country or countries that attack us off the face of the earth." Consequently,said, "the Soviet people can be calm and confident; the Soviot army's modern equipment ensures the unassall-ability of our country." At the end of tho following month he would announce unambiguously that the Soviet Union Is "now the world's strongest military power."
Over the same period, the principal military element in the Soviet deterrent scheme was the massive force intended for war against Europe. This might haveeaningful. strategyurely military sense had theof SAC forces from Europe not coincided with the emergence of the Soviet MRBH force. The real deterrent against the United States, hence, was largely indirect; Europe, as Khrushchev would acknowledge (in,hostage."
By the endhe Soviet leaders realized that the strategic deception scheme had backfired; not only was it exposed to the whole world but in the meantime it had done irreparablo damage to tho USSR byajor improvement in tho defense posture of the United States, thereby resultingubstantial widening of the. military lead. Furthermore, it was by that time clear to the Soviet leaders that the effectiveness of the counter-Europo threat had been underminod by the proven inability
of tho Soviets to force Western political retreats and to provide the necessary backing for Sovlot politicalin Western Europe.
Painfully conscious of slippage both in respect to the power balance and the stability of Soviet strategic deterrence (their retaliatory threat was no longer credible in theoviet loaderseneral reappraisal of the peacetine Soviet military posture and the strategic situation. They concluded, it seems, that theirof building deterrence and pursuing foreign policyon the basis of bluffing the West about Soviet long-range attack capabilities, while holding Europe hostagethe threat of mass annihilation of Sovietno longer adequate for political purposes or, perhaps, for national security.
The immediate Soviet reaction to the crisis instrategy was toew series of essentiallymeasures to improve the strategic situation (andT in regard to the Immediate political problem, to strengthen tho weakened bargaining positions of the USSR inome of these measures were demonstrations or counter-demonstrations; others amounted to real Increments in Soviet military power. To help obscure or compensate for their strategic deficiencies, the Soviets emphasized super-bombs, manned bombers, and nuclear submarines. They resumed nuclear testing, suspended the troop reduction program, deferred transfer of specialized categories of servicemen to the reserves, and announced Increases in tho overt military budgot.
Inajor policy speech atd CPSU Congress, the Defense Ministericturearge and versatile military establishment that wastore-emptive attackould-be aggressor and to fighthortrotracted war in Eurasia if necessary. Ualinovskiy's speech also gave doctrinal underpinning to the policy measures bearing on tho size and composition of the armed forces, therebythat the changes were intended to have greater pormanenco than was suggested by previous Soviet public statemonts.
The decision to make public In thinly veiledthe doctrine of pre-emptive action was evidently taken with the aim of countering possible intentions of. adversary to follow up its new claims to military .superiorityore aggressive foreign policy. The Soviets, inintimated that the USSR had lowered the threshold for initiating war. They presumably estimated that theinitial use of nuclears by them (if threatened with imminent attack) would bo more credible than their previous claimseliable second strike capability.
With the shifting of the sands, the Soviet leadership had toow basis on which to build tho image ofmilitary power. Tho dramatic measures taken1 would notasting effect. The collapse of strategic deception, the diminution of strategic secrecy, thoof Communist Chinaival power and potential throat to Soviet security, the changes .in the composition. strategic forces, and probably suchproblems as scarce resources and divisions in thethese factors combined to force the Soviets to search for new answers to the strategic dilemma. Thomust have been unavoidable to the Sovieteal intercontinental attack capability had to be developed. Tho United States1 was stillosition tothe Soviet Union with relatively little damage to its own territory.
he Soviets wore indoed taking measures to Improve their intercontinental strike capability. They stopped up construction of sites for advancod ICBUs; and they sought to Improve their retaliatory capability byortion of the new launch sites.
Such measuresong time to implement, andat least as far as the competition in ICBUs iswas plainly on the side of the United States. In view of the urgency which they attached to the problem ofthe strategic Imbalance which could no longer befrom the world, the Soviets2 tried aindirect and unusually imaginative meaeuver tohanged strategic situation almost overnight. Having estimated that their action would not. intervention
ossible blockade) and that if the United States were about to intervono . to take military actionlockade) the USSR could withdraw without irretrievable political loss, the Soviet leadershance on.HRBM and IRBM launchers in Cuba. Had this gamble their additional strategic strength would havealtered the general strategic situation, so great would have been the psychological impact ofmall number of Soviet IRBHs and MRBMs in Cuba.
C. Policy Since Cuba
1- Controversy over the New Course
With the collapse of the Cuban venture, the crisis in Soviet military strategy had deepened. Not only had the Soviets failed toadical improvement in their strategicsuffered the embarrassmentrave defeat which cost them prestige with their Eastern comrades as well as with the Western adversary.
Both the deployment in and withdrawal of missiles from Cuba were tacit admissions of Soviet strategic The Central Committee organ Kommunist (No.xplicitly admitted in an editorial that the Soviet leadership had "soberly weighed the balanco of power'*the crisis in the Caribbean and took the onlycourse open to thorn. As Soviet prestige dipped low in the wake of the crisis, the remaining dynamism wont out of foreign policy, leaving it aimless and virtually Immobile. The Chinese taunted the Soviet leaders with accusations of both "advonturlsm" and "capitulatlonism." Soviet military morale seemed to slipow ebb and thoro wereof dissatisfaction among tho military over Khrushchev's handling of the Cuban operation.
Under such conditions, the need to improve thestrategic position of the USSR with genuine increments to the militaryolitically irrefutable argument, and the position of the advocatos of greater defensowas consequently strengthened.
But again, the expected, the logical, did not happen. Rather, Soviet leaders fellolicy struggle, lasting untilver what course to follow in pursuit of the common objective of improving the country'a.relative strategic position. On the basis of largely indirect and inconclusive ovidencc, we have discerned two principal schools of thought in contentionhole range of basic national policy matters. There was, on the one hand, the traditionalist-minded school which argued for direct measures to improve the country's strategic position. This grouping, whlob probably attracted most of the military elite and was apparently led by Kozlov in theo Increase the defenso establishment's share of the country's strained resources;o make even greater tho disparate growth of heavy industry by greatly expanding, among other things, plant facilities for heavy machine-building; o strengthen conventional as well as strategic military forces; oard line on foreign policy, and, hence, to undermine earlier efforts to achieve accomodation with the Westisarmament negotiations).
The othor school of thought, which we shall callInasmuch as he was plainly its principalpreferred to steer an almost diametrically opposite course (although toward the same objective of improving the relative strategic position of the USSR). Khrushchev's plan was to maintain the pace of growth of Soviet armed strength without further Impairing the country's economic growth or stimulating tho West into another cycle in the arms race. In tho pitch of the debates, Khrushchev thuso hold the line on resource allocations,adical distribution of resources either in favor of the military establishment or economic development;o resist any widening of tho gap in rate of development between heavy industry (military) and light industry, and specifically to oppose any major expansion of the heavyindustry;o cut back the size of conventional forces while strengthening strategic forces; o pursuewith the West and generally to reduce international tensions; o engage in disarmament negotiations with the aim of slowing down the arms race and improving thestrategic position of the USSR. The last aim, which is central to this study, will be discussed at length shortly.
It appears, Id retrospect, that during the winter,, Khrushchev suffered serious loss of prestige in Soviet ruling circles; that his strategic if notthinking was put into question; that he had some very rough sledding, especially in January and February; and that Soviet foreign policy lapsedonfused and ratherstate in the course of the internal policy debates. Eventually, toward the end of March, Khrushchev managed to get the upper hand. At that time, Soviet foreign policy seemed toore deliberateoptimistic Tsarapkinbig concession" at Geneva; accord was reachedhothe Soviets asked for resumption of bilateral talks on Berlin and Germany,signsettlement in Khrushchev's favor of outstandingissues, notably resource allocations, began to appear.
Thus, Khrushchev's course eventually won out in the internal rough and tumble, and it is this course we see being charted today. His success' has been illustrated by the signingartial test ban treaty In July, and the announcement in Decemberammoth chemical investmenteduction in the military budget (nominal though it may havecontemplated" cut in the size of Soviet .forces.* Although Khrushchev's views now seem tothere is still important resistance which must beif certain of his foreign and domestic programs are ever to see the light of day or are to have any lasting effects. Each of his programs is fought for individually; each tends to give wayreater or lesser degree to the inertia of the Soviet bureaucracy. The result is that, however radical Khrushchev's original plans for change may be, the bureaucracy seldom makes radical swings in national policy,
*In his speech at the4 plenum of the Central Committee, Khrushchev mentioned at one point that the USSR "is proceeding with certain reductions in militaryand tho numerical strength of the armed forces."
because of omnipresent strongly entrenched interests.* As we. shall see shortly, there is evidence of internalto Khrushchev's arms reduction and control schemes,
as there was evidence of resistance to his resourceprogram.
2. Strategic Assessment
Looking now at the strategic power situation, the Soviets probably see their relative position improved since the Cuban debacle ofut still greatly inferior to the United States in terms of actual military power, and still precarious in terms of the world image of the balance of power. Thus, on the one hand, they may see in the worldairly stable strategic situation which is owing in part to the deploymentelatively modest ICBU force combined withassive European theater capability, and in part to. acknowledgment that the Soviet Union is capable of doing great damage to the
*Khrushchev's speech at the4 plenum of the Central Committee contained an illuminating discussion of tho problem of bureaucratic inertia in the Soviet Union. Ip an effort to explain why his chemical program adopted8 was never fully implemented, Khrushchevt is very difficult to change existing proportions. To make it clearer,hall make use of geometrical terms.ircle, devide itegrees among theministries, and Oosplan departments. Everyone then guards his own sector within the limits assigned him.ule, while working out the plan for the next year and determining the extent of capital investment bybranches, the level of increase achieved last year is taken as the base. Soranch in the past year has shown an increaseercent, then this is taken by the departmentalists protecting the interests of their branch of their sector as the starting basis of the plan for the next year, without taking changed conditions into account."
United States (evenetaliatory strike) and therebyredible (although not absolute) strategic Repeated by the Secretary of Defense on several occasions since the Cuban crisis, this acknowledgement has been eagerly received by the Soviets and used tostrident claims, resumedeliable and credible second strike capability. The previous Soviet compulsion to threaten pre-emptiveis, toower threshold of war in the event of impending Western militarythus diminished, as has the appearance of such threats.
The Soviets, on the other hand, cannot help but be disquieted about the well-publicized fact that. strategic forces are far more powerful than counterpart Soviet forces, can kill the USSR several times over, and even afteroviet first nuclear salvo, canetaliatory strike annihilate %he main strategic targets in the USSR. Soviet military officers' appreciation of the magnitude of power and Versatility of combat capability of the "main adversary" is plainly registered, among other places, in the Defense Ministry book, "Militaryn both its versions.
The great disparity In forces-in-being is only part of the story. The other part is the fact that the United Statesar greater potontlal to Increase theof its strategic forces (It can add0ear to its arsenals) at far less cost to thegeneral economic development and pursuit of other military programs than has the USSR.
The disparate situation in respect to both forces-in-being and potential, moreover, is bound tohief factor motivating the Soviets to alter the status quo in the international power structure. While the Soviets are probably confident that their present power position is sufficient to deter the West from initiating general war, they have little reason to believe that they can winar, or even surviveation should deterrence fail. Nor can they be complacent about the political worth of their military powerls the West.
What the Soviets learned from the abortive effort to place nisslles in Cuba Is that the United States, so long as it had strategic superiority (local superiority is not necessary, as in the case ofould,art against any Soviet effort of that kind to change the balance of power. President Kennedy had warned Khrushchev ofetermination on several occasions1 but the Soviet leader had evidently not been While Khrushchev may decide that it is necessary to test President Johnson as well, Khrushchev seems at present to beifferent persuasion, and to be attempting to change the power balance in other, less sudden andarms control.
To sum up, the Soviets at this juncture probably find the international strategic situation morethan at: any time sincen that theirhas recognizably increased.. They nevertheless desire to improve their relative strategic position, which remains very inferior, though they are under less compulsion than. As suggested earlier, forces suitable for deterring the West from initiating general war might not satisfy Soviet political requirements. The far moreand less. strategic forces, if the United States makes clear its determination to use them if necessary, will generally actrake on aggressive tendencies in Soviet foreign policy. If the United Statesredible strategic military supremacy, the USSR would be without effectivo grounds to change theorder of things inmore throughthan through direct military action. Consequently, the Soviets aro eager to. strategic to foster and preserve tho idea of nuclear stalemate and strategic balance; they are certainly anxious tothe gap from widening any further; and their current policlos suggest that they are unwilling to tolerate the existing strategic gap indefinitely and are acting to reduco it. Their preferred method of achieving those goals, is not tho multiplication of strategic attack weapons tothose of the United States,wo shall argue in the pages thatreverse strategy of arms control in conjunctionigorous RID program, especially in the field of essentially defonsive weapons.
II. THE STRATEGY OF DISARMAMENT
A. General Attitude Towards Arms Limitations
These days it is very difficult to speak of aattitude" as if all Soviet*elite views conformed with Khrushchev's. Plainly, they do not. There exists,iversity of views among the Soviet elite on perhaps the whole gamut of domestic and foreign policy matters. We are on firmer ground when we speak of Khrushchev's views and the opposing views of identifiable special interest groups, such as the military high command.
1. Khrushchev's Views
On the question of reaching accord with the West on arms limitations, Khrushchev's thinking may differ greatly from that of his military associates. He has long displayed an interest in using disarmament Issues as an Instrument of policy; whereas the Soviet military, traditionally, have seen little value in disarmament outside of propaganda, although of late they have evidently begun to take ainterest in disarmament questions.*
Khrushchev, we think, now sees in certain types of arms limitations, even when symmetricallyeans for advancing the interests of the Soviet Union. He probably
now exists in the USSR Ministry ofmall staff concerned with disarmament. (Similar staffs have been set up in Poland and Czechoslovakia.) In the USSR, the staff provides military consultants to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Organization Section, which is reponsible for disarmament organizational work. Actually, however, the disarmament policy questions are handleduch higher policy level.
hopes to improve) tho general strategic-political-economic situation of the USSR through arms limitations. Be has alreadyillingness to agree on somefor limiting the arms race, indicating thatis moreropaganda tool for him. While he has pursued certain arms control schemes in conjunction with creating an atmosphere of political detente, it seems likely that various arms control schemes have an Intrinsic value for him, rather than being dependentsoft" phase of Soviet diplomacy. In otherarmclimate facilitates accord on arms limitations but is not essential for the preservation of agreements which have already been made. The Soviets would oxpoct, becauso of the strong mutual Interest in notew cycle in the arms race, toood amount of political flexibility. Such was the case duringoratorium on nuclear-testing: and such was the case again in the fall ofthe signing of the three-environment test banthe Soviets harassed the West in respect to convoy passage on the Autobahn andBarghoorn's arrest. Indeed, the Soviets in these recent actions may well have been testing their room, for maneuver (and perhaps demonstrating to the Chinese that conciliation in one area does not entail conciliation in all areas).
Khrushchev and his colleagues, plainly have regarded disarmamentory useful means of political agitation to capture peace sentiments and to mobilize pressure against Western military positions and actions. Still, even In the light of the disappointing record of disarmamentit would seem fair to say that the Soviet interest in disarmament has almost always transcended the interest in propaganda. An abidingthat of propagandaSoviet disarmament proposals over the past decade has been to restructure world military power to the advantage of the USSR. Some proposals have tried toreductions in force that would have been (or already had been) undertaken unilaterally irrespective of theresponse; and some have sought to disarm the West of its distinct military advantages by eliminating thosewhich were in ample supply. arsenals but hardly existed at all in Soviet arsenals.
Moreover, while the Soviets4 have usually called for formal treaties on arms limitations, they have also tried to place limits on the arras race by tacit oratorium on nuclear testing was aoutcome ofolicy. Similarly, the current practice of bidding for reciprocal unilateral reductions, or, in Khrushchev's wordsolicy of mutuals not really new. Thus, infter the Soviet budget had been cut and Soviet troop size had been reduced byillion men to the pre-Korean war level, Zorin declared at the United Nations that "actions of this kind do much to improve the international atmosphere and strengthen confidence between states. All governments, and particularly those with large armed forces, would do well to follow that example."
Khrushchev himself advocated reciprocal unilateral arms reduction in0 in appealing to the West to follow his announced planeduction -in troop size. At that time, however, he was bidding for cuts in conventional forces while claiming superiority in missiles and military power in general. Once again in in announcing plans to cut military spending and forces, he did the same thing. This time he made no claims to Soviet military supremacy, and he has since had some success in getting the United States to respond in the manner desired by him. ear-end statement to the DPI, Khrushchev spelled out his preferred disarmament scheme, which he appropriatelypolicy of mutual example":
I should like to note one other aspect of the matter, which is that if solutions of some of the above mentioned issues require appropriate international agreements, forifferent approach can be found. Take for instance the question of military budgets. The Supreme Soviet of the USSR has alreadyecision to reduce our military expenditure under the budget It wouldood thing if other states also took similar action. m quite sure that the peoples would wholeheartedly indorse such awould callolicy of mutualthe curtailment of the arms race.
Or take the question of reductions of forces. ecently said we weretho possibility of certain furtherin tho strength of our country's armed forces. There is hardly any need for detailed explanation that if similar action were taken by the other side too, new chances wouldor further constructive measures to achieve an international detente.
At least at this stage, the idea of reciprocaldisarmament seems to appeal most to Khrushcheveans of achieving arms control and improving thestrategic military posture of the USSR. He undoubtedlyumber of advantages in this approach to" the overall strategic power struggle. Reciprocal unilateralprecludes the problem of inspection; does not bind the Soviets to international treaties (and like the moratorium, can be undone at lower cost in terms of world opinion than if the USSR were legally bound byffords the Soviet Union generally greater flexibility thanegotiated disarmament; and does not involve the Soviets in drawn out East-West negotiations over measures that the USSR would like to take quickly irrespective of Western actions (suchut in conventional forces).
On the other hand, the Soviets do not have thein this approach that the West will follow suit. The West did not, for example, respond in kind to earlier Soviet force and budgetary cuts. For this reason, one can speculate, internal opponents of troop cuts might find allies among foreign affairs officials who may feel that more could be gained from the West by negotiated armssettlements.
Khrushchev himself has indicated that the idea of unilateral reductions had to be sold to his skeptical in the summer3 heisitorrevious Moscow debate on unilateral versus negotiated force reductions, in which he argued successfully that the West should not be allowed to control the Soviet decision. He evidently also had encountered resistance to the idea of unilateral disarmament as opposed to trading-off in formal
negotiations inhen he was trying to gainin ruling Soviet circles for his planne-third cut in the size of Soviet forces. Thus, two weeks before announcing his plan inremlin reception: f the supporters of the cold war drag us into the labyrinth of endless debate, must we follow their path, the one to which they wish to impel us? Should we not think for ourselves andreduce our armed forces and place rockets to guard our frontiers?"
2. Ullitary Skeptics
The military elite, who have been known to hold ideas very different from Khrushchev's about forcealso have shown signs of dissent from his armsschemes.
The military elite may, contrary to Khrushchev, tend to regard not arms control but arms expansion as the best way to approach the problem of strengthening national security. Military elite attitudes, to be sure, areby professional interests in maintaining andthe strength of the military establishment. Soviet military officers, moreover, may fret that severethough accompanied by similar or greater reductions in theto undermine the prestige and power status of the military in Soviet society.
On the other hand, the military may not regard all types of accord on disarmament as prejudicial to theof Soviet national security, or to theirinterests. They would probably offer no resistance to types of disarmament arrangements that do not adversely affect Soviet force structure, and that tend to be more political in nature, such as non-aggression pacts andzones.
There is fairly good evidence that the military high command (presumably with some exceptions) was veryto have the USSRreaty banning nuclear testing
in throe environments. tudy of RED STAR between the Initialing of the.test ban treaty on Julynd itson Augusthowed that the principal organ of the defense establishment had nothing whatever to say-in favor of the ban. In contrast, pravda keptonstant stream of propaganda in favor of the treaty during that period. Moreover, Marshal Mallnovsky'suly Order of the Day, honoring Navy Day, pointed in the same direction. In sharp contrast with the mood of the tlmo, Malinovsky stressed that the danger of war had not diminished and that the USSR was "strengthening" its defense capabilities.* After the treaty was signed, however, the senior officers resigned themselves to the accomplished fact and acknowledged It as an earnest of the peaceful intentions of the DSSR.
The military again subtly demonstrated opposition to Khrushchev's intention, announced at the December Plenum of the Central Committee, to undertake another unilateral force cut. tudy of the Soviet press and radiofound another instance of conspiracy of silence on the part of the military, while the question of further forco cuts has been under deliberation in higher policyhus not until the end of Februaryenior marshal mention Khrushchev's proposal for another troop cut. Some militaryMarshal Chuykov in an IZVESTITA articleeemed to argue against it, principally by warningontinuingof Western manpower strength. Soviet military organs have given minimal attention to the proposed troop cut; at tho same time, they have published materials calculated tohreatening picture of Western military power and hence to reinforce the warning given by Chuykov.
*See FBTs Radio Propaganda ReportIndications of Soviet Military Opposition to the Test Ban Treaty."
**See FBIS Radio Propaganda ReportfSoviet Military Demonstrates Resistance to Threatened Force Cuts."
Khrushchev has sincebriefly in his Februarypeech at the Central Committeethe Soviet Union "is proceeding" with "certain reductions" in military expenditures and troop strength. However, his carefully ambiguous language regarding the precise status of these measures, taken together with his commitment in the same speech to ensure the satisfaction of all military requirements,uestion as to how successfulhas been in putting across his program for military cuts.
B. Strategic Objectives
The Soviets now seem to beolicy aimed at controlling the East-West arms race. On the basis of the current Soviet actions, the character of past Soviet disarmament proposals, our understanding of Sovietmilitary thought and capabilities, and the general strategic predicament of the USSR described in the first section of this paper, weange of probable(politico-military) objectives of the current Soviet policy of limiting the arms
erminology, evidently, no longerroblem for the Soviets. Their rejection or acceptance of theusage of "arms control" depends upontated objective of "arms control" is general and complete Thus, Sheinin, vice chairman of the Committee on the Study of Disarmament in the USSR Academy of Sciences recently wrote in an American journal:
At the present time, after the American Government has agreed with Sovieton principles of complete anddisarmament, measures of "arms control" are proposed as ways toward the realization of these principles, not as alternatives to them. Such, at least, should be thesuch is the belief of Jerome Wiosner, who wrote that "arms control" means the same in the United States as disarmament means in the USSR. (BULLETIN OF ATOMIC SCIENTISTS,
1. Alter the Power Balance
In working to reach accord with tho Westthe arms race, the Soviets (notably Khrushchev's coterie) seems to haverimary objective theof the rolative strategic military position of the USSR. They seeegulated arras competition, we think, anthe only opportunity In thisresolve the predicament which has confronted themumber of years: their felt need to rival the United States in strategic military power, but theirand/or reluctance to rise to the challenge in direct fashion. In this respect, the Sovietsreater Interest in placing limits on the arms race than the United States.
A minimum Soviet expectation Is undoubtedly tothe imbalance ofmilitary andfrom worsoning. An extreme expectation may be to alter the balance of power in their favor. (This, we think,to Soviet leadersealistic if remoteas we shall argue later in this discussion.) The Soviets probably calculate that, within this decade, they can achieve through arms control measures (in conjunction with some forward movement inore symmetrical, stable strategicis, more than the minimum but less than the maximum objectives.
Fulfillment of thereat achievement for the USSR. It would presumably be the Soviet calculation that the United States, which was not provoked to attack the USSR when the United States had great superiority, would be even less inclined to do so when the military strengths of the two powers were more nearly equal. ituation would then afford the USSR groater flexibility and opportunity to challenge and. positions militarily and in this respect, the proximity of the USSRocal preponderance of Soviet conventional military forces in Europe would take on exceptional significance indisputes in Europe.
On the other hand, it does not seem that the primary interest of the USSR in controlling the arms competitionasting relaxation of international tensions. oal would imply acceptance of the status quobeing resigned to an indefinite state of marked strategic inferiority, in military power and at the negotiations table. We think, rather, that the Soviets are eager to relax international tensions in order to facilitate progress toward more specific political, economic and strategic goals. Such goals include (a) the basic need to improve the relative strategic military stature of the USSR; (b) the long-standing desire to make some substantial progress on Berlin, and (c) the immediate goal of obtaining substantial and long term credits from the West to support new Soviet economic programs.
2. Maximize Power at Lower Level of Expenditures
A corollary of the basic objective of altering the balance of power may be the perceived opportunity to gain in the strategic rivalry by means of maximizing Soviet powerower level of military expenditure. Bence, Khrushchev, who is eager to strengthen his twoeconomic development and militarypolitical maneuver, sees an opportunity to have his cake and eat it too. He could ease the economic burden of staying in the arms competition. Re mightimited arms competition inasmuch as the USSR is forced touch greater economic penalty forthan is the United States.
3. "Contracting the Arena"
Not only might Khrushchev move to slow down the rate of expansion of forces in both camps; he might also see the possibility of reducing the size of the arena of competitionay that would exclude fields in which the USSR was comparatively weak but allow the USSR to compete in fields in which it was comparatively better off or might be thought
to benefit more in terms of increments to its strategic power.
ood example of what we might call the strategy of "contracting the arena" is the agreement made last fall at. not to orbit strategic weapons. Here the Soviets may have seen clear advantages for themselves: the agreement removes the necessity to compete ineapon in which, we believe, they have nointerest,ime when critical resources aregreat strain by competing requirements, military and civilian, within the USSR. (The agreement removes the need to compete not only in the development of orbitalsystems but in the development of costlyto neutralize the adversary's capability ashe agreement thereby enables the Soviets to concentrate their limited resources in pursuits of their own choosing, where they may feel themselves to betronger position to competeenjoy the prestige of anotherence, "contracting the arena" would afford the Soviets greater flexibility both in respect to shifting resources within the military establishment and from the defense to the civilian economy.
Symmetrical Measures Seen as Advantageous
While asymmetrical force reductions in favor of the USSR are, of course, preferred by" the Soviets, symmetrical reductions or other restraints of apparent mutual benefit may also serve the aim of improving their strategic They may calculate that apparent symmetrical:can be advantageous to them In the following respects:
(a) The disparate strategic situation, whichendency to widen, can be prevented from doing so. Even fairly symmetrical arms control measures tend to deprive the United states of an important inherent advantage: greater potential for strengthening its military powerhe ability to add0 Minutemanhe greater potential of the United States is likely to be an advantage so long as the Soviet deterrent is generally
effective, but not absolute. ituation obtains at the present time when the United States acknowledges the existenceoviet strategic deterrent but insists that this country is not absolutely deterred, on the contrary, that it is willing to risk all-out war in defense of its commitments and interests.) We doubt that there will everituation of absolute mutual deterrence; there isthe possibilityation would prefer death to surrender. In otherroclaimed "vital interest" may be just that, the loss of which would be regarded as equivalent to loss of life, an interest therefore defended with the life of the nation.
The strain on Soviet resources, created by the demands of the new chemical program, moreover, will probably be prohibitive as regards the USSR's ability to close the strategic gap by direct competition with the United States In the expansion and diversification of strategic forces. What is more, the task of maintaining the viability of the Soviet deterrent, of preventing further slippage in the strategic position of the USSR, is becoming Increasingly burdensome. (According to the best Judgment of. Intelligence community, the pace of Soviet militarywill be forced to slow down to satisfy the economic program. And even though the Soviets in the short term have the option of reducing conventional force levels to ease pressures on the strained resources, in the long term they will probably have to cut back or stretch out one or more programs for advanced weapons.) Hence, again the attraction of symmetrical arms limitationsay out of the dilemma.
The Soviets may also believe that through what seem to be mutually beneficial disarmament agreements they can obtain immediate military gains. For example, themight have seen some military advantage in theof the test ban treaty last August. In fact, they have explicitly claimed, evidently in answer to unnamed internal critics, that the USSR has protected its lead in high yield weapons, while leaving open the possibility of testing small weaponsfield in which the Unitedilitary lead. There is no telling, moreover, how much information and what kind of conclusions they have
drawn about the effects of their very high yielo
5. Eliminate Obsolescent Forces
Another goal (which may be supported by only ain the military who share Khrushchev's views on war) may be to clear the decks of "obsolete" weapons, and unnecessary personnel. Khrushchev's conception of what is obsolescent is much broader than that of many of his military colleagues, and hasontinuing source of contention between them. To the extent that Khrushchev desires to "clear the decks" by disarmament accord, it is not surprising that the ground forces commanders are cold to his arms control schemes: the ground forces now aro an immediate object of such schemes. It Is noteworthy that while in past, Soviet military officers justifiedarge standing army on the grounds that It was necessary in the event of general nuclear war, they now advance the additional argument that the USSR must bofor the contingency of limited war. The latterlaore compelling and more difficult one for Khrushchev to refute; it may bo the chief obstacle in the path of the troop cut which he haswhich is probably much greater than the one now said to be underway. (Khrushchev may, in other words, bo trying to restoro the program temporarily adopted insevere unilateral cuts In conventionalwas gradually defeatedombination of internal and external factors.)
Again assuming that itclear the decks" program, Khrushchev would want to cut conventional forces irrespoc-tivc. actions. . actions, in this case, would probably make it easier for Khrushchev to push his program through. 0 Khrushchev was more frank in explaining his objectives: the nature of war had changed radically from World War IIew philosophy was needed for tho development of Soviet forces, etc. And he explicitly
stated in public that it was no longer important whether the West reciprocated in cutting its forces; the USSR would do so in any case, although reciprocity was desirable.
6. Prevent Dissemination of Strategic Weapons
Tho Soviet interest in preventing tho spread ofpower is probably at least as strong as the American interest. The Soviets wish to concentrate bloc nuclear power in their own hands; this being impossible, short of making war on China (or colluding inhe Soviets have acted to inhibit, at least to defer, Chinese development of nuclear weapons. (We would not ruleovietat some future time to destroy or to cooperate in destroying China's nuclear facilities in order to prevent China from rivalling and threatening the USSRajor nuclear power.) The Soviets are also greatly concerned about weapons-sharing in the West; as is known, theymultilateral or multinational forcesorm of dangerous nuclear proliferation. Their principal concern clearly is West Germany, which they fearistorically hostile power, and against which threat they have developed enormous conventional and strategic forces. (It might explain, in large part, tho Soviets'"European myopia" reflected by their force structure.)
Tho Soviets are hence likely tooen interest in any suggestions or schemes which might prevent or retard the proliferation of nuclear weapons and strategic delivery systems, both inside and outside the bloc, or, falling that, which would impose international controls on various Nth countries after theyuclear capability.
The Soviet proposal (first advanced inoixed number of strategic weaponsin the United States and USSR seems to represent the quintesconce of Soviet policy: Let there be but two great military powers, each supreme in his own realm, and nearly equal to one another, so as totand-off and to be able to sottle differencesinimum danger of resort to strategic weapons. (The arrangement implies maximum flexibilityactical scale, for military actions as well as political.)
7.. Undermine NATO's Military Structure
Little need be said about an obvious and related objective: to undermine Westorn military cohesion and strongth. The current policy ofetentethe apparent Soviet threat to Europe,. efforts to build up Europeanforces. This tack may be more effective than the boisterous Soviet propaganda aimed at forestalling the establishmentultilateral nuclear force in Europe. On the other hand, however, being Interested in separating Europe from the United States and in exploiting Do Gaulle's tendencies in that direction, the Soviets do not appear to be opposed to the idea (which at this stage is probably popular only in the Kremlin) of multinational conventional forces in Europe. Suchevelopment would imply rrcuter Europoan independence. military power; would notharp threat to tin- Soviet Union, whichajor nuclear power; and would tend to promote Soviet flexibility in dealingurope virtually free of. nuclear support.* It might be something that the Soviets someday will want to encourage. Consider the following statement
by Marshal Teremenko in the3 issue of INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS:
In working out their own variantsmultinational nuclearhe West
" *The changing political relationships in the Western alliance may also affect the military-political values that the Soviets attach to their counter-Europe military threat. While It may become less effective against the United States as Europe moves in the direction of political-military autonomy, the continued existenceassive countor-Europe threat may on the other hand,oreEurope more responsive to Soviet political demands. (This would be so especially if De Oaulle succeeds In persuading European mombers of the NATO family that. commitment to defend Europe with nuclear weapons is unreliable.)
European NATO countries proceed from the premise that it is much safer toeapon in one's own pocket than in that of the most devoted friend. They proceed from the "need" to make it clear to aenemy that an attempt to launch aggressionATO country woulduclear counter-attack, for the government of the given country wouldnuclear weapons or would have the indisputable right toay inon their use.
If ituestion of conventionalthese arguments might carry some weight. But as applied to nuclear weapons they are nonsense...
8. To Hake Political Gains
While contending that the basic Soviet objective in limiting the arms race is to improve the relative strategic position of the USSR, we recognize that individual Soviet proposals are designed to support Soviet foreign policy objectives, and, if realized, might themselves constitute important political gains for the USSR With respect to Europe, for example, such measures as non-aggression pact, nuclear free zone, foreign troop withdrawal, andof nuclears, are directly tied in with such political aims as dividing the NATO countries, neutralizing Germany's future military-politicalaining acceptance of Soviet holdings in Eastern Europe, etc. Other arms control arrangements may, more indirectly, also serve important Soviet political objectives. Thus, as has been suggested in other intelligence issuances, the Soviets saw
*We expect almost all Soviet proposals on limited measures to continue to aim at, or to be tied to other proposalsat, the weakening of the Western position in Germany and Berlin.
the test ban as an Ideal issue on which to isolateChina from tho mainstream of world opinion.
There is also the problem of domestic politics. As we have already pointed out, Khrushchev had waged astruggle at home before his present course in foreign and domestic policy could be charted. In order to carry through certain military reforms at home, he has had toertain climate abroad. Thus, it was only after Khrushchev had met with President Eisenhower in and returnedighly optimistic estimate of the world situation, that the Soviet leader was able to put across bis hard-fought military program at home. To rebut those who had misgivings about his program for sharp cuts inforces (he may not have deceived all hisabout Soviet missile strength) ho would pointdefinite" improvement in the internationalconsiderable" relaxation of East-West tonslons, and "more favorable" prospects for peace, afeguard for the risks involved in undertaking the military cuts.
Again Khrushchev first had to claim that the threat of war had greatly diminished before formally declaringeduction in the budget was plannededuction in force size contemplated. Since early last year, Khrushchev had been campaigning behind the scenes for cuts in defensein conventionalduring the summer intimated his intentions to several foreign visitors. But it was only after theof the partial nuclear test treaty and the fostering of the "spirit of Moscow" that Khrushchev was able to sell bis chemical program and military budget cut to theand to announce to the Sovietcontemplated" planroop cut.*
has evidently boon some cutting of Soviet forces, beginning in the summer of last year, if only through Thus, in September, the small class4 was called into military service, evidently without other call-ups to offset the manpower deficiency.
9. Channel the Arras Race
Painfully aware of the difficulty of (indeed^ the virtual impossibilitys well as the danger of* striving toecisive leaduantitative arms race with the United States, Soviet leaders have long been trying to shift the competition to the less dangerous and more(for them) field of qualitative weapons developments. Their conception of superiority, insofar as it is revealed in the literature, is derived from an assessment ofcriteria as well as numerical comparisons. They have said that "if one side has more effective weapons, it is possible for that side (all other things being equal) to hold the upper-hand over the enemy which possesses inferior weapons." (KOMMUNIST OF THE ARMED FORCES, No.. Reasoning thus, they have emphasized scientific andcapabilities as such, and are very much concerned with gaining lead time over the United States in theof new weapons and*countermeasures. "The Sovietis not limiting itself to those military means which the adversaryoviet Defense Ministry book said some years ago, "for undoubtedly that would be insufficient. Any pre-empting of the adversary's potential in the creation of the newest means of combat not only gives undoubted superiority in case of war, but also makes it difficult for the aggressive imperialist forces to unleash wars." . Rybkin, "ffar and
In the past, the Soviets have often based claims to military superiority on the qualitative factors. This has helped them to draw attention away from invidiousof force size. In two important pronouncements an article in KOMMUNIST in Mayamphlet inMarshal Malinovsky declared that "in thefor quality of armament forced upon us by aggressive forces, we are not only not inferior to those who threaten us with war, but in many respects are superior ton the KOMMUNIST article Malinovsky also threatened that "this superiority will increase if the arms race is notnd in the pamphlet, after asserting that the "development by our scientists of super-powerfulbombs and also global rockets" was an index of Soviet superiority over probable enemies, he stated:
Let them know we do not intend to rest on our laurels. This common vice of all victorious armies is alien to us. We do not intend to fall behind In development, and we do not Intend to be inferior into our probable enemlos.
The Soviets have, in fact, made great efforts to surge ahead in the qualitative development of strategic weapons, just as thoy have done in outer space exploration. They undoubtedly believe that the world's image of Soviet power will be much enhanced by more technologicalthat the political returns will be great oven though the roal military value may be small (unless and until there is actual production and deployment on ascale). The whole past record of Sovietin advanced weaponry and outer space is suggestiveompulsion to be thetip the strategic balance through psychological warfare. Thus the Soviets had the first ICBM, the first artlflcal earth satellite, the first manned space flight, the first (claimed) ABM. It seems that they also aspire to have the first Laser weapondevelopment which might have an impact on force postureto nuclear and rocket technology.
The Soviets already have significant capabilities in basic fields related to Lasers and open Sovietprovides evidence that some fundamental research is now underway." Also, moreear ago, Khrushchev
a recent articleoviet scientific magazineoviot experiment in which Laser lightlate immersed in water; the plate buckled and explosive boiling occurred as it was pierced by the light. It is also plain that the Sovietseen interest. research in exotic weapons. Also, the revised edition of the Defense Ministry book "Militaryublished last fall, made the following statement about weaponsin the United States:
Various, systems of radiation, anti-gravity, anti-matter, plasma (ballre under studyeans of destroying Particular attention is devoted to Lasers (deathnd it is bolloved that in tho ruture powerful Lasers will bo able to destroy any missile or satellite
himself had indicated. industrial official that the Soviets were ahead of the United States in the Laserfield and were not limited in their researchong conversation, Khrushchevteel ruler with tiny holes, which, he said, had been drilled by Laser beams.
Malinovsky, too, might have had Laser weapons in mind when he statedrief interview in the November (No. issue of KOMMUNIST OF THE ARMED FORCES:
But the new weapons are also beingand being replaced by still newer ones. The possibility is not excludedundamentally new weapon will Comrade Khrushchev has spoken about the fact that the weapons we now have are terrifying weapons, but those which, so to speak, are on the way /na vykhode7 are even more modern and even more terrifying.
The Soviets might see another important advantage inthe arms competition: secrecy. Even if the soviets threw open to inspection large areas of their country, they couldubstantial reservoir of secrecy which would afford them the opportunity to forge ahead in one or another field without the United States knowing the pace of development. The corollary advantage is that in an environmentegulated armswith respect to production and deployment ofUnited States might lose the stimulus to devote the vast amounts of resources necessary to keepn the move, while the Soviets might, under protection of -secrecy, make important progress.
If the major powers do make significant progress in reducing the size of their forces and placing controls on their expansion, logically, qualitative developments in weaponry would tend to assume greater importance in the strategic power rivalry. The Soviets would, ofevelopment. Moreover, their compulsion to move ahead technologically would probably be greater under circumstancesartially regulated arms race, for the
Soviets would thenempting opportunity to alterthe strategic power balance. Thus, whatever gains were made through arms control could be carried still further by vigorous work in the development of exotic weapons.
Consider, for example, the consequencesoviet breakthrough in defensive weapons. ituation ofstandoff, the developmentperfect" defense theoretically could nullify the strategic stalemate and substantially alter the strategic balance in favor of the USSR. echnological breakthrough of this magnitude, even without full deployment of the radically new weapons, might alter the strategic situation: human fears and massas in the past, might do the work of deployment. Any such development would, in turn, probably bring on another arms race; but the diversion. scientific energies to peaceful programs might resultong period of Soviet military ascendancy with great political advantages.
C. The Limits of Disarmament
Against the backdrop of estimated motivation and objectives, how far might we expect the Soviets to beto go in disarmament? Or, put another way, what might the Soviots calculate to be in their best interest with respect to degrees of arms reduction and control?
There are, we think, limits on Soviet interest In disarmament that stop far short of general and complete disarmament (GCD). Arms control now appears to be an integral part of Soviet strategic planning; GCD does not. While GCD, ironically,actical role ina general framework and environment for keepingwith the West in motion, and propagandizing the "peace-loving interests" of the USSR, it is highly doubtful that any Soviet leaders seriously regard GCDtrategic goal. In fact, Khrushchev has of latenotes toheads of government in DecemberGCD is notrofitable tactical course to follow at this time, whereas partial disarmament measures are.
This is not to question the strongly-enunciated Soviet desire toew world war. What we are suggesting here is that the Soviets do not in theirplanning regard GCD, even supposing itrerequisite for general peace6 the Soviets have been saying that world war isr if fully implemented, as serving the national interests of the USSR.
GCD seems to be counter to the assumptions which the Soviets make about power and national interests. In the first place, Soviet leaders would not necessarily assumeisarmed world wouldore stable one; they might, we think, well estimate the reverse. As noted, they haveeen appreciation of the power ofweapons, which they call "absolute weapons" in the sense that they tend to make large-scaleotally irrational method of achieving political ends. Further, they probably ^assume that the presence-of large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction contributes to world stability if more or less symmetrically distributed between the two camps. The authors of the book "Military Strategy" said as much in the first edition of that work They wrote that American strategists "have begun to understand" that the multiplication of strategic nuclear weapons in the United States and the USSR has already broughtuclear stalemate. Implying that theythe idea, the authors wrote that "the growth of nuclear missile power is Inversely proportional to the possibility of its use."* Moreover, the thrust ofthinking on nuclear war is that if it can be made to appear as suicidal, it will not occur; and it is partly on this basis that he and other Soviet spokesmen repudiate
suggest' that the massing of weapons has Increased stability contradicts the traditional Soviet line that the arms race increases tho danger of war; it was probably for this reason that the statement was dropped from the revised edition of the work, which, significantly,uclear stalemate.
American ideas on controlled strategic warfare, for they tend to make nuclear war manageable and therefore arational course of action.
If this is indeed an operative Soviet assumption, then the Soviets would be averse to the reduction ofstockpiles below the "unacceptable damage" level. For then, general nuclear war might no longer appear as "madness" or annd the danger of another world war might be greater.
The problem of Communist China may also dictatelimit to cuts which the Soviets might be willingin their strategic and conventional militarycuts in strategic forces, for example, would tendChineseFrench or German, etc. Thehave tried to got around the Nth country problema disarmament scheme (first at.t Geneva int.nd at'Geneva again this year) whichfor retention In the United States andlimited" number of ICBMs, ABMs, and SAMs.*
Lower limits on arms reduction In general would also be dictated by the need to keep the East European blocin tow, although It is difficult to say whatif any this consideration would have on the level of Soviet strategic weapons. GCD, at least at this juncture, appears to be incompatible with the Soviets' interest in preserving their East European empire.
At the same time, however, there is reason to believe that the Soviets might be willing to take relatively large strides in the field of arms control, and to modify what had earlier been rigid positions and principles.
*Vc would not be surprisedoviet proposal of this kind were eventually accompaniedirect Soviet proposal to take action against other nations possessing such weapons.
The problem of inspection mayase in point. In the past, secrecy hadentral role Inevery aspect of military planning and forceurning point was reached, however, withffair, followed by the disclosure1 of. estimates of Soviet long-range strategic weapons. Such developments in strategic surveillance have probably had an enormouson Soviet strategy; at the very least they made the Soviets painfully aware that their capabilities formilitary secrecy in the sphere of strategic weapons deployment were dwindling. esult secrecy is perhaps norucial ingredient in some aspects of Soviet military planning. And as the value (effectiveness) of secrecy lessens, it tends toispensable commodity. In other words, we would not be surprised If the Sovietsillingness to make "concessions" regarding in the form of inspection of deployed sites, or some sort of "open skies" inspection.*
There is still,arge reservoir of secrecy which is essential to Soviet military planning and which the Soviets in all likelihood will resist compromising. This is, most notably, the secrecy of, in which endeavor, they may believe that they will bo able to alter the power balance in the world.
Put another way, in approaching the problem of arms control, the Soviets are probably more concerned about the consequences of the loss of secrecy than about giving in on the principle of no international inspection. In fact, the Soviets have already demonstrated that they no longer
*At the same time, we acknowledge that there may be other, perhaps stronger, reasons militating against importantessions on inspection, such as the desire to keep the option ofapid, temporarily secret deployment In the eventreakthrough in some new weapon system.
intheir proposals for
black boxes" for surveillance of undergroundSe' pound inspection posts to prevent surprise attacks, and for "control"imited numberweapons in the United States and USSR.
WG thiDkthe same concerns that moti-
reaCh accord with the *est on armsfelt need to protect and improve the national
thG "SSR-will be instrumental inthe limits of Soviet disarmament policies.Original document.