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Summary of a model of decisionmaking in Soviet defense to clarify issues and identify points of disagreements and misunderstandings by Western analysts. The paper is organized around problems observed in some of the literature on Soviet defense decisionmaking and in informal statements and comments on the subject. These problems include inappropriate and confused imputations of influences, effects, and relationships in the flow of the decision process. Two levels of the decisionmaking process--high-level and low-level--and their patterns of behavior are examined. The high-level process is composed of the Politburo, Central Committee Secretariat, and Presidium of the Council of Ministers. The low-level process includes the production ministries, Defense Ministry, and Party organizations below the Central Committee. The author gives his own comments and closes by suggesting that the progress made in understanding Soviet defense decisionmaking can help unify the several existing models used to explain not only Soviet decisionmaking but decisionmaking in general.

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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