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.
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/principles.
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.