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For more than a decade the Soviet Union has been making an extraordinary effort to increase its military power. In the strategic field, the outline SALT agreement reached at Vladivostok in November 1974 may signify that an end to the quantitative buildup of Soviet strategic forces is in sight, though as yet neither a complete accord has ensued from the Vladivostok transaction, nor have Soviet strategic programs slowed down. In the field of ground-air theater forces and naval forces, programs to improve these aspects of Soviet military power also are continuing and appear relatively insensitive to changes in the political environment under detente. This paper examines various factors which influence the formation of Soviet military policy, and identifies some of the salient military policy issues growing out of current Soviet unilateral programs, as well as the negotiations on limitation of strategic arms and the talks on reduction of theater forces in Europe. (Prepared for a symposium on Soviet policy, chaired by Professor William Griffith of MIT.) 82 pp. Ref.

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