Cover: The Costs and Benefits of the Soviet Empire, 1981-1983

The Costs and Benefits of the Soviet Empire, 1981-1983

Published 1986

by Charles Wolf, Jr., Keith Crane, K. C. Yeh, Susan Anderson, Edmund D. Brunner


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This report extends, through 1983, estimates of the economic costs of the Soviet empire that were published in a previous RAND study (R-3073/1-NA) covering the period 1971 to 1980. Its objectives are (1) to determine the extent to which the Soviet Union allocates resources for its broad international security interests; (2) to evaluate the burden that the empire imposes on the Soviet economy, and how this burden has changed in recent years; (3) to identify gaps in the estimates as a guide to needed improvements in future data collection; (4) to evaluate the political, military, and other benefits that the Soviet leadership attributes to the empire; and (5) to consider the extent to which economic stringencies within the Soviet Union, as well as other possible explanations, account for the marked changes that occurred in empire costs between 1981 and 1983. The study finds that Soviet empire costs declined appreciably during the early 1980s, but remained substantial in both absolute and relative terms.

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

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