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Argues that the emerging Soviet strategic force posture is becoming increasingly congruent with long-established Soviet military tary doctrine. The USSR appears to be within range of acquiring a credible first-strike disarming capability against the U.S. Minuteman force coupled with a large reserve second-strike posture which could be withheld for intrawar coercion. If its ICBMs are MIRVed to the limit of the Vladivostok understandings, it may eventually acquire as many as 7800 RVs. This arsenal could underwrite a whole range of specialized strategies and options in addition to the officially declared massive preemption doctrine. If, however, the Soviets chose to follow their enunciated doctrine, there is the disturbing possibility that they could do so with devastating effectiveness. Realization of this possibility constitutes a major factor underlying the dynamic changes currently underway in U.S. strategic planning. (Prepared for the October 1975 issue of [Current History].)

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