Computers and Strategic Advantage

I. Computer Technology in the United States and the Soviet Union

by Rein Turn, Nancy Nimitz

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One in a series of three reports that collectively examine U.S. competition with the Soviet Union in computer technology and the military advantages that the United States may achieve by virtue of superior computer technology. The present status and expected future developments in computer technology in the two countries are compared. It is concluded that although the Soviet Union lags behind the United States by at least five years in the capability to manufacture integrated circuits, computer systems, storage devices, and peripheral equipment, the rate of development of Soviet computer technology is high and could be further accelerated by transfer to the Soviet Union of Western technology and know-how. The relationship between computer technology and military capabilities, and the exploitation of the U.S. advantage in computer technology are further explored in R-1643 and R-1644.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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.