Soviet writers begin to clarify "defensive defense"

by Sally W. Stoecker

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This paper, an abbreviated version of which appeared in International Defense Review, October 1988, reviews a provocative article on the Soviet military concept of "non-offensive defense" that appeared in the June 1988 issue of the Soviet journal World Economy and International Relations. The article summarizes the four "variants" of a defense ranging from one that is offensive to a strictly "non-offensive" defense. Although the Soviet authors' framework helps to clarify the concept of non-offensive defense, it says little about how the Soviet military specialists now view the roles of surprise and preemption in a hypothetical NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict.

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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