Cover: Soviet leadership politics and leadership views on the use of military force

Soviet leadership politics and leadership views on the use of military force

Published 1979

by William M. Jones

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback35 pages $20.00

Soviet military doctrinal writings emphasize the value of preemptive attacks carried through to the complete defeat of the enemy. An examination of histories of various Soviet leaders reveals a recurrent pattern. A dominant leader is replaced by a group of successors which, in turn, devolves into competition ending only when one competitor has established dominance. In the dominant leader phase, and early days of competition phase, aspirants to the top position enhance their power by building a coterie of proteges. Once the competition flares into direct conflict, the ultimate winner has preemptively attacked his opponents and their coterie, and carried through until eliminated as a future threat. Assuming that Soviet leaders would view the prospect of major superpower war as being analogous to top level political power struggle, their history and experience would tend them toward preemption in force with intention of carrying through until the enemy is eliminated as a threat.

This report is part of the RAND note series. The note was a product of RAND from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.