The current debate over Soviet defense policy

by Josephine J. Bonan

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback28 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

The dramatic changes that Mikhail Gorbachev has brought to the content and conduct of Soviet foreign policy in the form of "new political thinking" have profound implications for the West. This paper analyzes Gorbachev's policies on national security issues. It includes a brief overview of new political thinking, including its goals, origins, and the elements it comprises; discusses the emerging role of Soviet civilian defense analysts in the formulation of Soviet defense policy; and considers both the strategic nuclear and theater conventional dimensions of "reasonable sufficiency." It also analyzes in depth the particularly contentious issues that civilian defense analysts and the professional military are currently debating. It concludes with some observations about the implications of new political thinking for the West.

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.