Eastern Europe's northern tier and proposed changes in Warsaw Pact military doctrine

by Sally W. Stoecker


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The Warsaw Pact's Political Consultative Committee issued a "revolutionary" communique on May 29, 1987, stating that its military doctrine would be "strictly defensive" and would require only the minimal level of weapons "sufficient" for defense. This paper reviews the varied responses of Warsaw Pact countries to this declaration. The author speculates that military officers of the Northern Tier countries--Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the German Democratic Republic--may lack enthusiasm for a revised military doctrine because of concerns about the defense of their homeland and their strategic importance within the Warsaw Pact. On a political level, however, these countries have issued disarmament proposals of their own, suggesting a political endorsement of Gorbachev's arms control initiatives.

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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