Off. Ser. No. 15
TRENDS IN SOVIET THOUGHT ON LIMITED WARFARE
Thisorking paper, prepared ln support ofCapabilities of the Soviet General Purpose Primarily on the basis of open Soviet military and political writings, this report attempts to identify new trends ln Soviet thinking on limited warfare and to probe their possible consequences for Sovietpolicy, or foreign policy as it relates to theof local crises.
Although the writer has benefited from theand research findings of colleagues, he is solely responsible for the paperhole. Theesearch Staff would welcome comment on the paper, addressed to
TRENDS IN SOVIET THOUGHT ON LIMITED WARFARE
Toward Greater Tactical
Toward Strategic Nuclear
FOR SOVIET MILITARY
Distant Limited Military
Effect on Weapons and
Responsivehanging world around them andnew opportunities to advance the power and prestige of the USSR, the Soviets have embarkedew course in tholr thinking on the question of limited warfare. Whereas the Soviets had earlierigid negative stance on direct involvement ln limited warfare, especially in Europe, they now appear to wish to have the option to use their military forcesub-strategic scale. In general, tbeytrong interest in gaining greater flexibility in the management of local crises and, in recent military writings, have sought to communicate this interest to the West, particularly the United States, which has also evinced an interest in reducing the risks of rapidfrom small-scale warfare In Europe as well as in other critical areas of tho world.
There is no indication, however, that the Soviets are interested in bringing greater flexibility to the realm of strategic warfare. On the contrary, the Sovietsreject as impracticable. Immoral, and unacceptable to. theories on controlled strategic warfare. Rather, the Soviets stress that the adversaries will fightecisioneneral nuclear war; they dramatize the horrors ofar and the certainty that none will escape widespread nuclear destruction. The Soviets, hence, wish to preserve the idea of nuclear stalemate or strategic militaryto undermine it. This closes the circle, for the freezing of strategic military power tends to make the local use of military force possibleow risk of escalation. In short, greater "tactical flexibility" and mutually-acknowledged "strategic inflexibility" appear to be correlative objectives of the Soviet leadership.
It is perhaps too early to estimate with confidence the impact which the observed trend in Soviet thought will
have on military policy, both in regard to the management of crises and the training and equipping of Soviet troops. For one thing, Soviet doctrine still appears to beormative state, asNATO doctrine on the problem of limited warfare in the European theater. Even if entirely firmed up, the doctrine would be an inadequate basis for forecasting Soviet behaviorocal crisis because, in the final analysis, how Soviet leaders react will depend not on any established doctrine but on their assessment at the critical time of the risks involved and of their capabilities to exercise various options. That the Soviet leaders appear to be reaching for the option to use elements of their military forces to resolve local Issues does not, of course, mean that the Soviets will use them for that purpose. But they probably calculate that such an option is indispensable in an environment of mutually acknowledged strategic stalemate.
Where increased tactical flexibility is likely to affect Soviet policy in Europe, in the absence of an ideal stalemate, Is ln situations ln which. and Soviet interest in preventing escalation takes precedence over the issue immediately at stake. Thus, it is unlikely that the Soviets would attempt to settle the Berlin question by military means as long as the United States makes clear and credible its determination to defend the Western stake in Berlin with strategic military power, if necessary. Similarly, it is unlikely that the Soviets would launch an all-out conventional attack against Europe as long as tactical nuclear weapons are on standby in NATO forces there, . doctrine states that the self-imposed armaments restraint would be abandoned if it interferes with the business of winning. Rather, under such conditions (of an imperfect strategic stalemate) Soviet expectations for Western acceptance of their bid for "tacticalseems to be in the sphere of plainly defensive actions, suchebuffest German attack against East Germany. Thus, they now appear to be reassessing the risks of rapid escalation to generalthey had previously regarded as so great as to inhibitoviet defensive operation if this meant engaging the attackersarge scale military action in Europe.
- ii -
It Is hard to estimate the scale of limited warfare in Europe on which tho Soviets would be willing to fight without resorting to strategic weapons. Full-scalewar in Europe, while tactical nuclears are available to both sides, seems improbableoviet expectation. The deep-gralnod fear of the consequencesirectconfrontation between Soviet and American troops in Europe will almost certainly continue to work to avoidlash. It la still not clear whether the Sovietof tactical flexibility extends to the use of tactical nuclears in limited warfare ln Europe. Doctrinalon the problem tend to be ambivalent. While some statements consider tacticalealisticwith which Soviet forces must be prepared to dealocal crisis, most stress the likelihood of escalation if nuclear weapons are employed. The ambivalonce may, on the ono hand, be intended simultaneously to deter the Dnited States from resorting to tactical nuclears and, falling that, to avoid confronting the United States with an unambiguous promise of escalation; on the other hand, It may reflect different assessments by Soviet specialists of the risks Involved in either initiating the use of tactical nuclears, or responding in kind to the opponent's initiative ocal conflict. Outside the Europeanin limited conflicts ln underdeveloped areas where there is no direct confrontation. and Soviet forces, they omission of statements to theseem to regard the use of tactical nuclears by one of the major powersess dangerous course of action.
Distant Limited Military Action
The Soviet search for greater tactical floxlbllity in the Middle East and Southeast Asia has already affectedeginninghe Soviets haveillingness to use Soviet troops in combat situations in local crises on an unacknowledged basis. Tbe Sovietln the Indonesian-West New Guinea crisis and the UAB-Yemon war reflects at the voryolicy decision to use trained Soviet crews while indigenous crews are still in an early Htage of training. Beyond this, however, it
- iii -
Is difficult to say how much Soviet philosophy regarding the uso of Soviet troops in local wars in underdeveloped
areas has already been changed or will change. We do not know, for example, whether the Soviets would favor the use of their troops on an acknowledged basis, under anynor howilitary force they would beto commitocal conflict in tho Middle East or Southeast Asia. In all probability, the Soviets have not yet changed their estimate that direct Involvement of Soviet. forces even ln distant areas, would be extremely dangerouB. (There was evidently never any plan to employ Soviet troops based Intrictly local war between the United States and Cuba.) There is not only the fear of escalation that restrains the Soviets. There is also the fact that the USSRery limited capability forwarfare at any distance from the bloc. Therefore, unless and until these restraints are lifted, tbe USSR will probably try tony direct Involvement. forces in distant areas,ny public knowledge
of the employment of Soviet troops in combat In distant areas.
Soviet thinking on limited warfare seems to be moving in the direction of attaining still greatermaneuverability in distant areas. Because the Soviets are severely limited ln airlift, seallft, and naval support suitable for distant military actions, they might find the ideaystem of foreign bases attractive from theof their utility ln enhancing Soviet limited warfare capabilities. Indonesia, for example, could provide alogistic base If the Soviets decided to give more open support to revolutionary movements In Southeast Asia. Bow-ever, the leaders of the young states, jealous of their newly acquired sovereignty, are loathe to have itand, for that reason among others, we are unlikely to see the establishment of full-fledged Soviet military bases in Asia, Africa or the Middle Bast. If, on the other hand, tbe USSR manages to win over one of tbe smallas an ally or to subvert its government, ormall country should desperately neod Soviet aidrisis, the possibility of the creationoviet base on that country's territory would become quite real.
While the change in Soviet thought on Unitednight have an Important impact on the training and equipping of Soviet forces, the basic orientation of the armed forces toward general nuclear war will almostbe retained. Where we might expect to see change, if the idea of limited warfare preparations becomes firmly implanted, is in the one-sided emphasis on nuclear warfare evident In Soviet military doctrine, planning and training. Because of tho Soviet expectationajor conflict ln Europe would either be nuclear from the start or would rapidly escalatelobal war, virtually the full weight of professional Soviet military thinking on large-scale combat in Europe has up to now been brought to bear on probloms of nuclear war. Now, however, Soviet military specialists may be concerned that the overwhelming emphasis in Soviet doctrine on general nuclear war is eroding the USSR's conventional war-making capability, and thatuture situationtrategic nuclear stalemate orthis could be disastrous for Soviet foreign policy. The dilemma of having to prepare the armed forcesfor nuclear and limited warfare may, ln terms of the Ideal, be Insoluble, Inasmuch as the nuclear andbattlefields make very different, and at times,demands as regards mode of operations and And the USSR is bound to be more constrained in respect to satisfying dual force requirements than the United States because of more limited resources. ompromise may be reached ln Soviet military planning, whereby the erosion of conventional capabilities is slowed down or arrested and specific kinds of capabilities for limited warfare are added that do not now exist. The recent appearance,ong absence,pate of articles In the Soviet military press on the subject of amphibious landings may be an indication ofeadjustment.
I. THE EVOLUTION OF DOCTRINE
In recent years, Soviet doctrine on limited warfare has been in the process of adjustment to new strategic objectives and opportunities. Tho focal point of change which at times has been so gradual as to bo barelyhas been the critical question of escalationocal conflagration to general nuclear war. There hasistinct if somewhat tortuous movement away from earlier categorical positions on the danger offrom limited warfare in various parts of the world. The major watersheds in this process have tended to follow, usuallyood interval, important shifts. foreign policy and strategic thought bearing on limited warfare. Though reflecting the keen responsiveness of Soviet leaders to such developments in the Host, the changes in Soviot doctrine have boon not imitative but singularly opportunistic. Their common purpose appears to be that of affording Soviot leaders greater flexibility and maneuverability in dealing with local Issues, particularly in political and military crises. But there may be other, more parochial reasons for changing the doctrine, such as the desire of various military leaders to justify theof large and versatile conventional forces.
In the mld-and late fifties, the Sovietsery rigid posture in Europe where they deliberatelya politically taut situation. If Europe becomes an "arena ofhe USSR Supreme Soviet solemnly declared inar "would inevitably develop into another world war." The Soviets were content to liveany military flexibility in Europe and with theonly of all-out nuclear war or humiliating surrender in the evonterious Western military probe orchallenge. They did not seem to find this anposition because, at tho time,. was similarly constrained.
Outside Europe, in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, the Sovietsess rigid political and militaryand consequently greater opportunity for expanding Soviet influence In those areas. In the fall
USSR (through the Czechs) made its initial arms dealon-bloc country, Egypt, at Egypt's initiative, ime when tho primary Soviet objective in tho Middle East was tho destruction of "aggressive militarythe How Baghdad Pact. he Soviets offorod tho Indonesian government arms for the first time, perhapsood opportunity there to have Soviot weapons used directly against NATO countries in the area. Military assistance then became and hasajor part of the Soviet aid program to non-bloc countries.
At no time between the Korean Warowever, did the USSR assign elements of Its ownombat role in local conflicts outside satellite countries. Soviet intervention ln the Suez crisis6 took tbe form of strategicrattling of missiles capable of hitting Britain andthe threatened dispatch ofto participate ln the local crisis. But in actuality, the Soviets woro so anxious not to become involvedln tho local crisis that thoy forbade the Egyptians to use forty-fivoot bombers supplied oarlier by the USSR. Horoovar, Soviet bloc advisers and technicians in Egypt were instructed not to take part in tho fighting and, immodlatoly after tho first air attacks, most of them were withdrawn from tho crisis area. Thus, while thoy wereto oxport arms (albeit obsolescent by Soviot standards) to small countries with the aim of altering the power balance in the aroa and to run the risk of those weapons being used against members of the Western alliance, the Sovietswere extremely anxious (especially ln time of crisis) to avoid becoming directly Involvedocal war.
The Soviets mighthort timo have assessed the danger of direct involvement in local war somewhatwhen, ln the glow of the first successful ICBM test inhey jubilantly claimed that theof forces ln the world now favored the socialist camp and that tho advent of strategic rockets nulllflod tho strategic advantages formerly possessed by tho United States. In bringing the Syrian crisisitch lnSovietsew emboldened assessment of the risks of involvoment ln local war: they publicized both theof Marshal Rokosovskiy to the Trans-Caucasus Military
District and the holding of Joint maneuvers by thatand the Black Sea Floet. Against this backdrop, Marshal Zhukov warned from Albania, whore he was visiting: "We are all ready to strike at any military adventure organized by the United States near our southerneveral days later, howover, directly afterommuniqueBritish solidarity with Turkey, Khrushchev turned Up at the Turkish Embassy in Moscow ln an affable mood and thereby ended the crisis. And shortly after that,ovember, the Central Committee announced tbat lt had expelled Marshal Zhukov from that body as well as from the Presidium on tbe groundse undermined Party leadership of the armye was "disposed to adventurlsa in his understanding of thereign
Tho charge of "adventurism" implied that it was Zhukov's heavy band that had steered the Soviets toward military intervention in the Syrian-Turkish affair. Wo of course, do not know what really happened, butfrom the Immediate aftermath that Khrushchev and his associates at least in retrospect regarded the mores toward direct intervention in strengtherious mistakegreat risks of escalation to strategic warfare. Tho lessons that the Soviets appear to have come away with from the crisis are these: It is one thing to intervene in an uprising ln Hungary,atellite; it is quite another thing to Intervene in supportympathetic elite in Syria, which isatelliteontiguousby making war against Turkey,ATO ally of tho United States. he much vaunted demonstrationoviet ICBM capability did not make the West any the less reluctant to meet local Soviet challenges head-on, risking strategic warfare If necessary. ew methods had to be found to defend political gainsistance from bloc territory without becoming involvedirect clash between Soviet and American forces.
The Impact of the crisis on Soviet doctrine wasin the renewed emphasis by Soviet leaders on the strong likelihood of escalation from all types of local wars. Khrushchev, for example, declared in an interview in "We must not think that under present conditions minor wars would be localized. Should such wars break out,
thoy could soon groworld war." rominent Soviet military writer and mouthpiece for Khrushchev's views, Major General Talenskiy, was even more categorical in March of the following year:
ontemporary strategy stresses with all clarity thaTTKe" all-embracing natureis an inevitable and logical development. Atocal war can be nothing"but the initial stageorld war^ (Talenskiy's emphasis)
Over the same span of,. doctrine of "massive retaliation" was being transformed at the hands of the Secretary of State, ore flexible policy whichewuse of tactical nuclear weaponsocalized conflict. This development evidently sparked concern ln Soviet military quarters.over its import for Soviet doctrine and military capabilities. Although his wasonely cry ln the wilderness,olone-8 issue of the now defunct newspaper beviet Aviation had called upon Soviet military science to "develop methods and forces for conducting armed struggle on any scale."
Toward Greater Tactical Flexibility
An important watershed In the transformation of Soviet doctrine on limited warfare was reached inhen Khrushchev delivered one of his rare discourses on the subject. peech whichassiveaimed at expanding Soviet influence in theareas, Khrushchev de-emphasized the probability of escalation of certain types of local military conflicts. He distinguished between "local wars" andescribing the latter as "inevitable" andthat Soviet bloc encouragement of them (which hewould not lead to general war. Subsequent official Soviet pronouncements on tho subject of local war went even further in de-emphasizing the danger of escalation. For example, the CPSU Program published in1 did not
evenarning that local war might spread Into general war. Nor did Khrushchev himself refer to the danger ol escalation from local conflicts outside Europe the last time heolicy statement on the subject of local wars, atd CPSU Congress in
Also In open military publications, such "conservative" officers as Marshal Rotmistrov and General Kurochkin, began to urge the study of local wars of the postwar period as woll as World War II,asis forcontemporary problems of military science. This new
interest In the study of local wars was not however reflected in
What the Soviots were suggestingn effect, was that the danger of escalation had diminished in theareas, especially on the Asian periphery and in the Middle East, but that the strategic situationtaut as ever in Europe. The new turn in doctrine on local war was accompaniedajor change in tho Soviet military aid and assistance program. Inhe Soviet Union for the first time granted up-to-date military equipment to Indonesia. Sinco then, Egypt, Iraq, Finland, Syria as well as Cuba also have received first line Soviot equipment. That is to say, most equipment furnished the major recipients of Soviot aid has been Identical with tho material that the USSR is manufacturing for its own armed forces, including equipment not yet fully deployed in the bloc and not even made available to Communist China.
As regards Europe, there has been in addition to public statements, good collateral evidence that Khrushchev
WSr there t0 outQuestion in
milltary, of course, would have preferred tnat anyEurope be localized,writings
at the time saw this asemote possibility at the very least.
The publication of tho book "Military Strategy" in2 marked another watershed In the evolution of Soviet doctrine on limited warfare. It revealed an awakened Soviet interest in extending to the European theater the flexibility which the USSR by then enjoyed in the management of local crises in underdeveloped areas. Certain Soviet leaders had evidently come to regard the established doctrine on local or conventional warfare in Europe as too dangerous andfor Soviet political and military maneuver. Their malaise was probably one of envy of the United Stateswhich moreear before had discarded its strategic strait-Jacket andheory of "flexible response" applicable to the European theater. (In its1 statement to the NATO Council,. had called for
conventional forces at least strong enough toause ln tho event of substantial Soviet conventional aggression.)
The fact that the book, 'Military Strategy,"to be at cross-purposes with Itself on the question of United warfare (this Is true of the revised edition as well as the original) nay, in part, reflect ainternal dialogue on that question, and in part, tho complexity of the problem and the multiple purposes which publicly enunciated doctrino may be Intended to sorve. In some places the book (in both its versions) strossod the improbability ot limited warfare in Europo, emphasizing that if nuclear powers are drawn into an armed conflict it will "inevitably develop into an all-out nuclearnd threateningdirect attack against tho USSR or other socialistill obviously leadew world war." But elsewhere the book discussed local war situations and operations, ypothetical large-scale non-nuclear "local war" ln central Europe, and urgedlace be carved out for local war in Soviot military strategy. Thus, the book strongly Implied an active role in small-scale war for the Soviet military establishment: "Soviet military strategy calls for the study of the moans of conducting such wars ln order to prevent thornorld war and to bring quick victory over the enemy." In another placo tbe book (in its firstcalled for the study of local war on the grounds thatar might also bo thrust upon the socialist countries" by "Imperialist circles fearing that world war might be completely disastrous for capitalism." (Theto socialist countries was dropped in the revised edition, which generally played down the Westernhe fact that for the first timeong whllo tho book discussed types of operations that would be distinctly applicable to limited war, is also suggestive of strong interest ln tbe problem. Geographic areas are unfortunately not montloned in tho context of such discussions, as in the following examples:
A local war might be another matter. Here, as before, the main events might develop in the areas of military operations near the front, although the methods of armed conflict in this case as well have boon
changed considerably compared with the past war,.since the war would bewith different weapons and the threat of nuclear war would hangover TEe warring countries.'
Bach of these typos of strategicwill be manifestedorld-wide nuclear war. In local wars, certain of these types of strategic operations may not be used or will be usedimited scale. This would be particularly true of military operations deop within enemy territory. Military operations in land and naval theaters acquire decisivein such wars.
Although the revised edition of the book, published in autumn of this year, also appeared to be atwith Itself, it plainly sustained the previouson the need to prepare Soviet forces for limitedoven in Europe if necessary. Equally significant is tho fact that since last winter there have been aof articles in tho Soviet military press urging that Soviet forces be prepared for local war contingencies, the use of tactical nuclears. Mote how thein chronological progression, tend to become more specific and clear:
Last January, Col.. Shtemenko, chief of the main staff of the ground forces, could haveon-nuclear conflict ln mind when he wrote in RED STAR that Sovlot tank and motorized infantry troops can "operate successfully under conditions of the use of nucloar weapons as well as of tho use of only conventional means of He also wrote elsdwhere ln the articleimilar vein that field training of ground troops includesof both the "condltionsutual and wideof nuclear weapons, and of conventional means of
combat." But again the statements could also have referred to isolated situationsuclear war in which battles are fought with conventional weapons alone.
This ambiguity was removed in Pebruary when the Commander of the Leningrad Military District, Army. Kazakov, stated that the USSR was developing itsforces because the West was planning to fight local wars, presumably without nuclear weapons.
In May, articlesradical"conservative" indicated that both schools of thoughtommonin adjusting Soviet doctrine and capabilities to local war contingencies. In what wastrongly Khru-shchevian article, Major D. Kazakov wrote in the No.ssue of KOMMUNIST OF THE ARMED FORCES:
Based on the dialectics of reality, Soviet military science believesuture war, if it is impossible toent, can begin suddenlyorld nuclear and missile war. However,onclusion does not exclude thethat under certainorld conflict may burst forthocal war. We should also not lose sight of the fact that the imperialists,before the inevitabilityighty return nuclear missile strike, may force upon us another form of war,the use of nuclear weapons. The practical conclusion here is that our Armed Forces should be prepared to offer proper resistance with conventional weapons, maintaining missiles and nuclear weapons at the highest degree of combat readiness.
And Marshal Rotmistrov, one of tho leading conservative spokesmen, wrote in theay issue of the EnglishMOSCOW NEWS:
Soviet Army has at its command an absolutely new arsenal of weapons,
with well-tralnod man able to wage both atonic and conventional warfare,arge or snail scale, in any climate and on any territory.
The fact that this statement appearedewspaper published only in English meant, of course, that the message wasexpressly for American and British eyes. (The idea to which Rotmlstrov haB alluded, of employing tactical nuclearsmall-scale warettlesome and evidently highly controversial question for the Soviets, and wo shall discuss it in various places in this paper.)
Finally, the most recent ovidence of change in Soviet thinking on limited warfaro is also perhaps the most We refer here to an article published in RED STAR in which four of the authors of the book "Military strategy" lambasted. editors of the English translations (of the first edition) for their "slandorous" commentaries on the work. Escalation and limited war were among the questions on which they showed special sensitivity. They insisted, in the first place, that. editors were in gross error in saying thatetaliatory strike by the USSResult of an attack against one of the states which are members of the Soviet bloc would mean that the Soviet Union would strike the first blow against the United States." Obviously, the Soviet authors retorted, "the unleashing of war against the Soviet Unionesult of an attack against one of the socialist states would notstrike against tho USA."* They next saidthe book they wero not speaking about. but about an attack by "imperialist forces." If, of course,. itself were the aggressor, thon tho retaliatory blow would bo struck against that country. Clearly, those writers too, are trying toessage across to- they aroitch forwant it known that they, too, wish to respondocal military action ln Europe in proportion to the situation, without automatically provoking an attack. strategic forces.
In the same article, the Soviet authors also sought to clarify their position on escalation. They described as an outrightruncated statement lifted
from. editors' annotations that the Soviets sayhat local war will inevitably turnlobal war. Much exercised over this, the Soviet authors retorted that nowhere in the book was it said that "any local war will inevitably turnlobal war." This was an "absurdheywith the Chinese in mind, for they are the ones who have accused the Soviets of advancingine. The authors then noted that since the Second World War, there had beenonflicts and local wars. What was actually said In the book, they declared, was tbat any local war "can" turn into a world war. "Obviously, the words 'Inevitably' and 'can'ifferent meaning." As if that were not enough, the Soviet authors proceeded to rebuke. editors for saying that in the Soviet view any warake the formorld nuclear war." (Their elipsis and italics.) According to the Soviet authors in their article: "What is emphasized in the book is not that any war will turn into nuclear war, but onlyar in which the nuclear powers are involved."
The foregoing, in short, are the best available examples of the darts and turns in recent Soviet writings on the question of limited warfare. They are plainlyof new Interests, new ways of thinking and planning for local war contingencies. Yet, they have appeared along with reiterations of elements of the established doctrine that tend to suggest that little if anything has really changed in Soviet expectations about limited warfare. The case in point is the periodic reiteration right up to tne present time of the doctrinal forumla which states that if the major powers are drawnocal war (evidentlyln the world) the war will inevitably escalatelobal nuclear war.
Because the picture is not yet clear, the evidence being not only thin but mixed, we cannot draw firmabout the present status of Soviet doctrine on limited war. What we can say with confidence, however, is at least this: Soviet thought on limited warfare isighlystage; political and military leaders are sensing new opportunities and requirements in response to changing political and strategic relationships. Above all, it is
clear that the common direction of their thinking is toward increased flexibility in sub-strategic crises.
Toward Strategic Nuclear Stalemate
There is also an Important corollary to the search for greater tactical flexibility. The Soviets have made it abundantly clear that they have no interest whatever in Introducing any flexibility into the realm of strategic warfare. They consistently reject as impracticable, and thoroughly unacceptable to them. theories on controlled strategic warfare. In the course of repudiating these theories, the Soviets usually. motives, saying that the real intention of the "Pentagon brass hats" is to convince. people that nuclear war need not be horrible. The Soviets, for their part,the horrors of general nuclear war and the certainty that neither side will escape widespread destruction; they stress, ln addition, that, because of the Ideologicalthe adversaries will be bound to fightecision inar.
In'"our view, this public stance is not simply aharangue intended to portray the USSRhampion of peace. The Soviets obviouslytrong interest ln avoiding general war. They have made it clear that they fully understand the size and power of American strategic forces. And there is no reason to believe that they have been shaken of the manifest convictioneneral nuclear war would not spare the USSR unacceptable destruction, of the conditions under which the war had begun. As stated. national Intelligence estimate, tho available evidence does not suggest that the Soviet leaders are building their forces toosition from which they couldeliberate attack on the West and count on reducing retaliation to levels that would be in any sense tolerable. Unless and until the Soviets achieveosition, they almost certainly will not regard the Initiation of strategic warfare byational course of action.
whether or cot tbe Soviets really believe that, once the strategic threshold is crossed, the war cannot be brought under control, is, of course, beyond our ability to know. Whatever they believe now, there is always the possibility that they might act differently In the midsteal emergency. All we can say at this time is that it is plainly not in the interest of the USSR to admit to the possibility of controlling general war once it has started. To do so would have the effect of undermining the notion which the Soviets are trying to preservetrategic stalemate. General war has got to be thought of as an almost impossible course of action if the stalemate is to be generally acknowledged.
Apart from the wish to avoid general war and the propaganda benefits to be derived from deploring the idea of making it manageable, thereumber of strongreasons why the Soviets are seeking to make the strategic power situation more, not less, rigid. For one thing, theoretically,trategic nucleardiminishes greatly the credibility of strategic threats and tends to prevent the use of strategic militarypossible the use of military forceub-strategic scale (not directly Involving the territories of theow risk of escalation. The achievement of "strategics it were tends toine quo nop for greater "tactical flexibility" ln tbe sense of limited warfare possibilities. They are, in short, correlative aspirations of the Soviet regime.
ractical problem, tho Soviot doslgn for tactical flexibility and strategic Inflexibility Is readilyin terms of the European situation. It Is clear to the Soviets that the United States defends its stakes in Europe primarily with strategic power, and the lessened possibility of its uso through acquiescensctrategic nuclear stalemate is therefore an important Soviet goal. The Soviets are quick to agree with any American suggestionbalance" of military power has boen reached, whereby
neither side can.impose its will on its adversary by the threat or use of strategic forces. At one point, in the first edition of the book "Militaryhe authors wrote that American strategists "have begun to understand" that the multiplication of strategic nuclear weapons in. and USSR has already broughtuclear stalemate. The original edition went so far as to say (implying that the Soviets endorsed this notion) that "the growth of nuclear-missile power is inversely proportional to the possibility of its use." To suggest that the massing of weapons has increased stability, of course, contradicts the traditional Soviet line that the arms race increases the danger of war; it was probably for this reason that the revised edition of the book dropped the sensitive statements, butretained references to strategic stalemate. Inthe fact that the revised versioneferencetatement by President Kennedyn the need for the United States tohoice somewhere"humiliation and holocaust" also seems to point up Soviet sensitivity on this question: for this is precisely the predicament in which the Soviets now find themselves.
This leads us to another consideration: Soviet envy of the new military flexibility sought and partially attained by the United States in the international arena, particularly in Europe. The Cuban experience may have underscored the need to prevent the United States from acquiring In Europe the advantageous position lt enjoyed in Cuba, of being able to use superior forcesocalized conflict with fair confidence that the opponent would not expand the conflict to strategic nuclear warfare. The Soviets seem to envy also the political advantages which the United States might gain from military flexibility, such as increased credibility for its threats of counteraction and greater maneuverability in local crises. There is, for example, an unmistakable air of seriousness in Soviet criticism of the United States for abandoning the "massive retaliation" doctrine andeloping Instead its local war theories for carrying out "aggressive designs" without risking the collapse of the capitalist systemorld war. The envy of which we speak is particularly ln evidence in statements made by Soviet military leaders over the past year (such as those cited earlier in this paper) promising not escalation, but
an appropriatea response inany local acts of aggression by tbe imperialists. elf-conscious power, the USSR feels obliged to declare itsof. political and military challengeIn the world, and hence finds that it must claim orilitary doctrine and capability commensurate with the challenge. Thus the assertion (quoted earlier) by Marshal Rotmistrov that the Soviet army is capable ofany kind of war, on any scale, anywhere in the world,irect reply to the challenge implicit. doctrine. The book "Militaryad earlier made clear the nature of. challenge, as in the following quotation:
The strategic concept, themessage ofT, stressed, "must be both flexible and determined" and must prepare for the conduct of any war: general or local, nuclear or conventional, large or small. This concept is based upon the same idearetaliatory strike" the onlybeing that, whereas previously the threat oftrike implied the unlimited use of nuclear weaponsof the scale of /Theeneral nuclear war, now the "retaliatory strike" must beto the nature of the potential conflict.
The Soviets, by the way, have long been responsive to developments ln Western strategic thinking and doctrine, as well as to military hardware in NATO arsenals. Thus, it was above all owing to their fear of strong Western reliance on nuclears, ln the event of war in Europe, that the Sovietsery dim view of the possibility of limiting the scope of armed conflict there. Soviet military documents (published prior to saysserted that NATO has no limited war doctrine, that lt does not plan to fight any serious conventional war, that the (imputed) inferior conventional strength of NATO IS compensated for (in Western planning) by nuclear weapons, and that all calculations of the NATO command are based on
the uso of nuclear weapons. Now it is true that the Soviets have for several years closely followed strategic debates in this country and have witnessed the build-up of certain conventional forces for specialized local war operations. But they did not associate these earlier developments with Western strategy for Europe. In their view, while. massive retaliation stratogy was8 all but doad and buried as far as the rest of the world was concerned, it was still very much allvotrategy for Europe.
owever, tho Soviets have been witness to concerted efforts. leaders (as revealed in speeches by the Secretary of Defense among others) in radicallyNATO stratogy for Europe. Soviet publications. preference for staged responses to Soviet bloc initiatives and for strengthening NATO conventional forces ln Burope in order to reduce NATO's dependence on nuclears. Other steps taken by the United States may also have served to confirm in Soviet eyes this trend toward developing concepts and capabilities for non-nuclear war in Europe.
In Maythe publication of "MilitarySoviets indicated that they understood that the doctrine of "flexible response" was now being adapted to the Europoan theater:
The strategy of "massive retaliation" which existed prior1 in. andhas become obsolete and is boing replaced by the strategy ofresponse" which provides for theand conduct not only of general nuclear war but also of limited wars with or without the use of nuclear weapons against the socialist countries.
However, tho fact that. strategy of "flexiblehas been the subject of controversy between the United States and some of its NATO allies who fear that the strategy will undermine the nucloar deterrent, probably has kept tho Soviets from drawing firm conclusions for their own military doctrine and estimates.
II. IMPLICATIONS FOR SOVIET MILITARY POLICY
It is perhaps still too early to estimate withthe impact which the observed trend in Soviet thought on limited warfare will have on Soviet military policy, both in regard to the management of crises and tho training and equipping of Soviet troops. What can be said at this time is largelyypothetical order. There are, in addition, several considerations which bear directly on the relationship of doctrine and policy that must first be sorted out and acknowledged as qualifiers to any conjecture subsequently set forth in this paper.
To begin, we are most constrained when attempting to forecast Soviet behaviorilitary crisis on tho basis of explicit Soviet military doctrine. Whether and how tho Soviet leaders will reactilitary way in any crisis anywhere in the world will undoubtedly depend not on any established doctrine, but on their assessment at the time of the crisis of the risksthey may believe they stand to gain or to lose; the local andapportionment of power; and how they assess tho actions and policies of the opponent. Surely, Khrushchev will not bo bound by any doctrine, but will reserve maximum freedom of action to manage tho crisis (as he did in the case ofrobably as any head of state would do.
In the case of central Europe, at this Juncture, any Soviet assessment of the risks of engaging in limitedactions in Europe is likely to.be complicatedumber of factors. There is first of all the uncertainty about how far the United States would be willing to goilitary engagement without using its local nuclear power. There is also the uncertainty about how individual NATO countries would react when warfare is conducted or about to be conducted on their soil. (What may be "tactical" to the United States and Soviet Union may be "strategic" to the NATO allies.) The Soviets are fully aware of theof certain continental NATO countriesront-line nuclear defense and an independent strategic nuclear We do not yetlear reading of how Soviet military planners are reacting to these developments.
Secondly, Soviet declaratory policy on military doctrine plays an Important role in tbe contest of power politics, Bast-West as well as Slno-Sovlot. (Marshal Sokolovskiy and his colleagues, ln their preface to the second edition of "Military Strategy" made it clear that the book was Intended for Western eyes as well asonsider the question of escalation, around which Soviet discussion of limited warfare has mainly revolved. Tho Soviets often reiterate the doctrinal formula which states that if the major nuclear powers are drawnocal war, the war will inevitably escalateeneral nuclear war. Obviously (although pure dotermlnists mayar will not escalate automatically, escalation will depend on the will of the antagonists. (The style of leadership of tho present Sovlot regime is suggestive of supremo pragmatism and opportunism ln reaching the "determined" historical objectiveorld-wide Communisthe main purpose of reiterating this doctrine in public forums Is to deter the United States from undertakingactions against the USSR ln local situations. In their propaganda, tho Soviets exploit tho danger oflnay as toould-be adversary with more serious counteractions than he might wish to accept> they try to instill doubt in his mind as to the risks of the venture; and, gonerally, they try to deter him fromilitary actionolitical crisis or, as in the case of Cuba, to inhibit him fromocal Communist challenge.
It might havo been the case, moreovor, that into undertake the Cuban venture the Soviet leaders calculated that. counterparts foundtbe Soviet threat of automatic escalationocal conflict ln. and Sovlot troops were directly Khrushchov may have thought. feareneral war would rise outonflict over Cuba, where Soviet troops woro stationed, would deter. from attackingat least would. military actions long enough to gain time to placo strategic missiles in Cuba. In fact, even now the Soviet loaders may calculate that the retention of some Soviet troops in Cuba actstrongeminder to. of the danger ofin the event. military initiative against Cuba.
Of course, tho continued token Soviet military presence in Cuba is based on the safe assumption that the United States will not attackleast not without warning, in whibh case the troops could be hastily withdrawn or be declared "non-belligerent."
At the same time, to be sure, the Soviets areconcerned about tho danger ofmany people are in thisthe eventirectclash. and Soviet forces. In this respect, tbe residual Soviet fear of general war serves to rogulato tho peacetime exploitation of the country's military power, especially in the management of political or military crises. This built-in element of restraint may even operate independently of any. resolve toonflict. There is also the possibility, depending upon tho credibility of the threat of "inevitable" escalation, that. and Soyiet forces come directly to blows, the doctrine wouldelf-fulfilling prophesy. This is because each antagonist might believe that the other really believes ln "inevitable" escalation and would act on that belief to secure the great advantage of striking first. Theoretically, however, ituation of acknowledged strategic stalemate, this possibility is remote. And practically, in terms of the existing relative capabilities for the ultimate situation, the Soviets would be strongly reluctant to assume this "inevitability."
Recently, ln using military doctrine as anto communicate intentions or threats to the West, the Soviets have slippedilemma. On the one hand, they wish to deter the United States, as suggested in theparagraphs. With this aim in view, they stress the danger of escalation from local conflicts. On the other hand they wish to attain greater flexibility so as to be able to use military forces at their disposalocal situation without bringingevastating attack by SAC against the USSR It is no wonder, then, that Sovietwriters often appear to be at cross-purposes within dealing with the question of escalation from limited warfare.
A good example) of the contortions to be found in recent Soviet literature is the disavowal in thoED STAR of any Intent to attack. first ln the event of an attackATO allyovietfour months after the assertion by marshal Yeremcnko in an INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS article that
The laws of modern war are Implacable; no matter which NATO country sows the wind, the whole /Bato7 bloc would reap the This is axiomatic nowadays.
ThIs is notase of flat contradiction, When road in the general context of his article, Yeremenko's statement applies almost exclusively to ainATOederal Germany aboveuclear blow against thea "local war." Yoremenkoituation ln which West Germanyuclear capability. The motive behind Yeremenko's threat is clear: the Soviets are intent on forestalling the creationultilateral nuclear force (desired by the United Statos)ultinational nuclear force (the variant doaired by some West European countrios). In fact, in the course of discussing the idea of "multinational nucleareremenko acknowledges that tho arguments in support of this concept "might carry some woight" if ituestion of conventional arms.
Finally, while we may benefit from the fact that Soviet military doctrine sets forth the guidelines for the development of the military establishment, lt Is still hard to estimate on that basis the future course ofand equipping of Soviet troops. This Is because Soviet doctrine Is still very much inact which isof indecisionumber of basic military policy questions. (There is substantial corroborative evidence of such indecision, as for example, in tho continuingover the prerogatives of the military and political leaders in the sphere of defense palnnlng, and in thedebates over resource allocations.) That Soviet doctrlno has not yet been worked outhole range of questions pertaining to tho conductossible future war is made clear in the following paragraph found only in
-an nil ft.
tbe revised edition of the book "Militaryub-llsbod this fall:
These questions are subject to. Essentially, the argument is over the basic ways in which future war will be conducted, whether this Is toround war with the employment of nuclear weaponseans of supporting theof the ground forces, or anew war in which the main means of deciding strategic tasks will be nuclear-rocket weapons.
The European Theater
That the Soviet leaders appear to be reaching for the opt ion to uso elements of their military forces to resolve local East-West confrontations even inritical area as central Europe, does not mean, of course, that the Soviets will use their forces for that purpose; itreater willingness to uso them if they regard the risk of escalation from their action as lowiven situation. Such an option, ideally,iminished credibility for strategicthreatsn understanding by tho opponents that thero is room for fightingecision over the local issue without either side causing the conflict to escalate. Tho option also presumes that the interest which both sides havo ln preventing escalation toproportions takes precedence over the interestat stake.
Were this situation applied to Berlin, to take an extreme but critical case, the Soviets would clearly be ln an advantageous position, given the present deployment of forces on both sides. The Soviets could use their local military preponderance to resolve tho Berlinln their favor overnight. For what has madeaccept this "bone in his throat" for so long and after so many ultimatums is not the military garrison in
West Berlin but the fear. determination to defend the Western stako in Berlin even if it means resorting to strategic nuclear weapons. By the some token, as long as the United States succeeds in making credible its determination to protect the integrity of West Berlin with strategic firepower, if necessary, Soviet policyBerlin is not likely to be affected by changes in Soviet doctrine on limited warfare in Europe.
As to tho possibility of an all-out Sovietattack against Burope, given the present array of military power and commitments, this, too, seems out of the question Irrespectiveoftening of the Soviet position on limited warfare in Europe. rominent Western student of strategy has pointed out, the inducement offered to tho Russians to stay non-nuclear ln an all-out premeditated attack has been accompanied by the proviso that we will abandon the armaments restraint as soon as It seems to interfere with the serious business of winning. As long as this. doctrine, and as long as tactical nuclear weapons are on standby among NATO forces in Europe, the Soviets would almost certainly estimate that the tactical nuclear weapons would be used to stem the aggression.
*lt has alsoRED STAR onritten by one of the authors of "Militaryaj. Gen. A. A. Prokhorov.
Where Increased tactical flexibility will have an impact on military policy under conditions of an imperfect strategic stalemate is, as suggested earlier, ln those situations In which. interest ln preventingplainly takes precedence over the issuo at hand. One such situation might be an attack by West Germany against East Germany, or intervention by West German troops in the eventajor revolt in East Germany. The first case is not our scenario,oviet ono. It appeared in both editions of the book "Military Strategy."* Inase, Soviet bloc forces would counter the aggressio
might strike certain bases io Westhere may also bo attempts to strike rear objectives with the help of aviation, although it is doubtful whether such strikes will take placeargeut probably would not "go beyond the Yalu" in tho sense of overrunning andparts of Westfear of triggering escalation to general nuclear war.
Another case in point is the illustration mentioned earlier in RED STAR on November 2, in which the Soviets claimed that they would rebuff an "imperialist attack"ocialist country, but would not attack the United States unless it had first attacked the Soviet homeland.
The point to be made here, it seems Is that up to now, the Soviets havo been inclined to regard the risks of rapid escalation to general war, in the event of an attack by one or more European NATO countries against an East Europoan satellite, as being so great as to inhibit (or evenuitable rebuff, if that meant engaging tho attackersarge-scale, millitary action. Now, the Soviets look at the risks differently and appear to be eliciting Western reactions to this change. It is, in short, in the sphere of plainly defensive actions orconfrontations that the Soviets would hope to gain most from their bid for "tactical flexibilitv." And it is probably only that kind of flexibility in Europe to which tho Soviets might realistically expect the United States and its allies to accede.
The deep-grained fear of the consequencesirect massive confrontation between Soviot and American troops ln Europe will almost certainly work to avoidlash. Yet the present realities are such that Soviet forces would necessarily be drawn into any serious military conflict between say, West Germany and Bast Germany; in that. forces would also very likely become Involved. What the Soviets might attempt to do inituationtheir interest in preventing escalation is stronger than their interest in the matter being foughtto doplct the bloc military forces engaged in the conflictarsaw Pact operation under the command of an East German. This might serve to deflate the anxiety on both
sides about escalation, for theif itofonsivebe depicted as serving an East Gorman political aim ratheroviet. That is, it wouldind of Soviet political-strategicdespite Soviet local military involvement. It would probably bo the closest thingroxy war ln Europe.
That the Soviets might have given sone thought toolitical safeguard, flimsy though lt may seem, ie suggestedrend begun inf publicly naming an East European officer of ministerial rank as being ln commandoint Warsaw Pact oxorclso. There have been three such exercises to date.
The Nuclear Problem
It is not clear whether the Soviet conception of "tactical flexibility" Includes room for tho tacticalof nuclear weapons. When the Soviets address themselves specifically to the use of nuclear weapons in limited warfare (we have only open sources to go onhe picture becomes very hazy. We have, again, only been able to perceive trends. The Soviets had consistently deprecated the very Idea of "tactical" nuclear weapons until they themselves had succeeded in equipping their own forces with such weapons in" strength. Sincehe Soviets haveore sober look at the prospects for using tactical nuclears In local warfare as well as in general war. They tend to treat the employment of nuclears in local crises in generalossible contingency with which Soviet forces must bo prepared to doal. One wonders whether some Soviet theorists might also be inclined to see itore probablo development in the eventtable mutual strategic deterrent, which we believeoviet goal (and an expressed American expectation). Underondition, as persuasively pointed out by someanalysts, the factors which inhibit escalationimited wareneral war should encourage the use of tactical nuclear weapons in limited war.
Thc striking ambivalence evident especially since last fall in Soviet statements on tbe probabilityocal nuclear conflict ia plainly suggestive of an Intent to keep the West off balance and deterred from introducing nuclears. (In the latter respect, theIs probably soenay of discouraging escalation to general war in the event that the antagonist fails to be deterred from resorting to tactical nuclearsocal crisis.) The ambivalence may also reflect differentamong Soviet military specialists of the risksln either initiating the use of tactical nuclears, or responding* in kind to the enemy's initial use of nuclearsocal conflict.
Upoviet military writings hadpromised automatic escalation to global war if tactical nuclears were introducedocal war. But in November of that year. Marshal Malinovskiytatement ln an Important political-military pamphlet that could be read to mean that the Soviets would reply in kind to the use of tactical nuclears, but would not necessarily escalate the conflict. In May, ln another Important pamphlet Col.. Lomov mado the following flat statementavoat about certain escalation: "In local war, which can groworld war, nuclear means of armed struggle may also be used."
On the other hand, the older line stressing theof escalation has also found its way into print in recent months. Thus, the revised odition of the book, Stratogy" carefully weighed tho problem (as if inof opposite arguments by other Soviet theorists) and came to the conclusionactical nuclear exchange ln the course of limited warfare was certain to cause
Zt could also happen that thein tho course of the local war employ nuclear weapons of operational tactical designation, without resorting to strategic nuclear weapons. This radically changes tho character of military operations,them great dynamism and docisivencss.
However, it is doubtful whether the war will bo conducted with the use of only some operational-tactical nuclear means. Once lt has come to the point that nuclear weapons are being used, the antagonists will be forced to put into action all their nuclear might. The local war will changeuclear world war.
But this quotation characteristically harks back to ain which major nuclear powers are drawnocal conflict; and on this point, doctrine has consistently stated that conflict would inevitably spreadlobal nuclear war. Hence, to tho Soviet way of thinking, the most dangerous situationocal military crisis is WhenUSSR and the United States both resort to tactical nuclear weapons to defend their stakos. This view, as is known, is shared by some framers. defense policy. Whata much less dangerousthe use of tactical nuclearsrisis in which onlyof the major nuclear powers is involved. Thus, by omission of statements to the contrary, the Soviets haveower risk opportunity for the United States to uso its nuclears in local crises in such areas as the Far Bast and Southeast Asia, without threatening immediate escalation to general war.
Distant Limited Military Action
The Soviet search for tactical flexibility in the Middle East and Southeast Asia has already beenin policy.. Beginning2 the Soviets havea willingness to use Soviot troops in combat in local crises on an unacknowledged basis. From the time of the Korean Warhe nearest that the Soviets carao to direct involvement in local war outsideEast Buropean satellites was in their backing of the Pathet Lao, That effort, however, was confined to training and logistic support. There was never any sign of direct participation of troops in combat in Laos, not even under the guise of training. However, as the Soviet military aid program
expanded over the past two years, lt added the feature of Halted, secretive employment of Soviet troops io combat situations on behalf of some states receiving Soviet aid.
The Indonesia-West New Guinea crisis and the UAR-Yeraen war reflect at the veryoviot policyto use trained Soviet crews while indigenous crews are still In an early stage of training. But beyond this, it is difficult to say how much Soviet philosophythe use of Soviet troops ln local wars in underdeveloped areas has already boon changed. We do not know, for example, whether the Soviets would favor the use of their troops on an acknowledged basis, under any circumstances, nor howilitary force they would be willing to commitocal conflict ln the Middle East or Southeast Asia. From the political standpoint, tbe Soviots have publicly pledged themselves to render support to newly emergent states but have never explicitly mentioned the possible commitment of Soviet troops.
The Cuban episode is of an entirely different order. In this case the deployment of combat ready Soviet units was Intended not for usetrictly local war between the United States and Cuba, but toarger Soviet strategic objective which placed the USSR on the firing line. By the same token, Soviet pledges made after tbe crisis to defend Cuba implied defense fromtho national security of the Soviet homeland and not Soviet troops ln the locale alone.
In all probability, the Soviets have not yet changed their estimate that direct involvement of Soviet. forces, even in distant areas, would be extremely dangerous.
not only the fear ofT.
restrains the Soviets. There is also the fact that the USSRery limitod capability for conducting warfare at any distance from the bloc. Unless and until these restraints aro lifted, the USSR will no doubt try tony direct Involvement. forces in distant areas,ny public knowledge of the employment of Soviet troops in combat ln distant areas.
The march of Soviet thinking on limited warfare seems to be in the direction of overcoming the major obstacles in the way of attaining still greater political-military maneuverability ln distant areas, and consequently greater Soviet prestige. The Soviets have expressed concern over the development. capabilities for distant action; they have called for close attention to be paid by Soviet military specialists to the problem of local wars; they have urged that local war problems be taken into account by Soviet military strategy; they have observed that local wars are most likely to break out in the near and Middle Bast, Far East, Africa and Cuba; and they have acknowledged the possibility that socialist countries could be involved in local wars.
The yearning for greater military prowess in distant areas may already have leduest for Soviet base rights or logistic support rights in some non-bloc countries which are recipients of Soviet
The Soviets might find the ideaystem of foreign bases quite appealing from the standpoint of their tacticaltheir importance to the Soviets in regard to enhancing Soviet limited warfare capabilities. Indonesia, for example, couldaluable logistic base if the Soviets decided to give more open support to revolutionary movements in Southeast Asia. As others have pointed out, the placement of medium range missiles in Indonesia under Soviet control couldreaton developments in Southeast Asia (depending not only on. response but on the Chinese Communist response as well). The mere presence of the Sovietwould have considerable influence on events: medium range missiles based on Java could cover all of Southeast Asia; and the Soviets could see inseful symbol for Soviet support of wars of liberationounterthreat. intervention In such wars.
The fly in the ointment, however, is the political reality. Tho leaders of the young states, Jealous of their newly acquired sovereignty, are loathe to have it compromised.
Thus Indonesia has rejected the idea of Soviet control of bases on Its territory. Syria wants aid, but does not want Soviet technicians and instructors ln the country. And so forth. Under such circumstances, wo aro not likely to see tho establishment of Soviet military basos in the Middle East, Asia, or Africa. If, however, the USSR manages to win over one of tho small countries as an ally or to subvert its government, the possibility of the creationoviet base on that country's territory would become quite real.
Effect on Weapons and Training
The chango in Soviet thought on limitod warfare will probably havo an important impact on tho training andof Soviet forces. basic orientation of the armed forces toward general nuclear war will almost certainly be retained, however. Thus, we expect requirements for general nuclear war to continue to be the principal factorsstructure and size of the Soviet theater forces. The requirements themselves have been the subjectong controversy, but the underlying strategic assumption that the armed forces must be trained and equipped to fightunder the worstnuclearhas not been quostloned.
Where wo might expect to see change, If the idea of limited warfare preparations becomes firmly implanted, ia in the one-sldod oraphasis on nuclear warfare evident in Soviet military doctrine, planning and training. Up2 the Soviets expected that any major conflict in Europe would either be nuclear from tbe start or would rapidly escalatelobal war. For that reason, virtually the full weight of professional Soviet military thinking on large-scale combat in Europe has been brought to bear on problems of nuclear war.
/ In snort, tbere was no "evidence oi the existenceilitary doctrine for tho training and oqulpping of Soviet forcos for large-scale limited warfare.
It may well have occurred to Soviet militaryas it has to some of us, that the overwhelming emphasis in Soviet doctrine on general nuclear war will probably erode the USSR's conventional war-making capability ovor the long run. uture situationtrategic nuclear stalemate or standoff this could bo disastrous for Soviet foreign policy.) This erosion has already begun, "hilo some changes in Soviet force structure havo no doubtSoviet conventional war machlnory (motorization of Infantry and increments to infantry conventionalther measures (such as cutbacks in frontal aviation and tube artillery) havo tended toetrimental effect on the conventional capability of the troops. The same may be said for the planning of operations: doctrine demands that nuclear weapons be the basis for planning of major military operations.
The dilemma of having to prepare the armed forces simultaneously for nuclear and limited warfare may, in terms of the ideal, be an insoluble one, inasmuch as the nuclear
and conventional battlefields make very different, and at times, contradictory demands as regards mode of operations and equipment. And the USSR is bound to bo more constrained in respect to satisfying dual force requirements than. because of more limited resources. ompromise may be reached in Soviet military planning, whereby the erosion of conventional capabilities is slowed down orand spocific kinds of capabilities for limitedare added that do not now exist.
The recent appearance,ong absence,pate of articles ln the Soviet military press on theof amphibious landings, may be an indication ofeadjustment.j
Until this tine, evidently, the Soviets had no serious phibious landing capability. The acquisition of one would importantly add to their capabilities in some of theareas where tho Soviets havo demonstrated the greatest willingness to become involved in local conflicts. It might have been this vory capability, in additionew troop organization, f"
| >'inallf, last begun to develop a
signiry max xnt military capability to defend their political Interests ln distant areas, and perhaps additionally to offer newln the underdeveloped areas.Original document.