This Note examines the state of the NATO-Warsaw Pact conventional military balance between 1945 and 1975 as it was perceived at the time, describes the methodology used to arrive at these conclusions, and discusses and assesses perceptions of both defense analysts and Western officials regarding the military balance. In particular, it considers the analytical approaches used to assess the state of the balance, how "subjective" the analyses were, and ways the interpretations of the balance have changed over the years. Underlying this discussion is the role of nuclear strategy in shaping perceptions of the conventional force balance.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation 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.