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An examination of Soviet views on limited war. Since by definition the Soviet Union is not aggressive, it is said to stand in no need of a limited war doctrine. Limited war is thus ignored in Soviet military dictrine. Despite habitual Soviet denials of the possibility of keeping limited wars from expanding, however, Soviet military writers and even Khrushchev have given some recognition to the likelihood of their occurrence. The Soviet decision to engage in a limited war and the scale of that war will depend less on any doctrine than on Soviet assessment of risks, gains and losses involved, and on the actions and policies of the opponent.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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