A Comparison of the Polish and Soviet Armaments Decisionmaking Systems

by Michael Checinski


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The accessible Polish literature, the author's experiences in Poland, and interviews with former key Polish personnel open a "window" on the Soviet military-industrial complex. Discussion of Polish and Soviet systems identifies and describes links from the highest decisionmaking body (the Polish Committee for National Defense, the Soviet Defense Council) through intermediate military-bureaucratic bodies (Military Industrial Commission, General Staff components, the military group of each Central Planning Commission, the military departments of the industrial ministries) to the military "buyers" (voenpredy) in the factories, institutes, and other enterprises. The Soviet Defense Council military doctrine and strategy influence all economic planning and development in the USSR. The military elite and the military-oriented Party leaders tend to push for rapid modernization, while the military industrialists are reluctant to change. The direction of Soviet defense policy and the size of Soviet military forces are decided solely by the Party First Secretary and the Politbureau together with the Defense Council.

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