Cover: Has Soviet nuclear strategy changed?

Has Soviet nuclear strategy changed?

Published 1985

by Benjamin S. Lambeth

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback23 pages $20.00

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 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.