Changes in the Soviet Military Leadership Since 1987
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Part of a larger effort that seeks to identify and explain the major elements of continuity and change in Soviet military organization, concepts, and goals since the rise of President Gorbachev and his "new political thinking," this Note assesses the personnel changes in the Soviet High Command since the dismissal of former Minister of Defense Marshal Sergei Sokolov in May 1987. It also offers three case studies of the most typical Gorbachev appointees. The author observes that (1) the political leadership is dissatisfied with the slow pace of perestroika in the military and feels that more radical reforms are necessary; (2) these radical reforms require a younger, more flexible military leadership, unhampered by interservice rivalries or traditional institutional thinking; (3) the civilian leadership is strengthening its control over the military; and (4) the Soviet Union's poor economic performance may put the High Command among Gorbachev's political opposition.
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.
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