Cover: The Evolving Soviet Strategic Threat

The Evolving Soviet Strategic Threat

Published 1975

by Benjamin S. Lambeth


Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.8 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback20 pages $20.00

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].)

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND 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.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND 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.