Has Soviet nuclear strategy changed?

by Benjamin S. Lambeth


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback23 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

This paper was presented at a conference on "The Calculus of Terror: Nuclear Strategy and Its Discontents," sponsored by the UCLA Project on Politics and War and held at the Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Italy, December 9-13, 1985. By comparing the new tone of recent statements by Soviet leaders on nuclear issues with ongoing trends in Soviet force modernization, it attempts to explain inconsistencies between Soviet rhetoric and behavior and to determine whether Soviet nuclear planning has changed in accord with the leadership statements, or whether Soviet leaders have been manipulating foreign audiences with a propaganda campaign. The author examines recent Soviet statements on nuclear deterrence and the Strategic Defense Initiative and concludes that in the future, Soviet doctrine is likely to continue to stress the importance of assuring Soviet security through the pursuit of plausible war options.

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.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation 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.