Ogarkov's Complaint and Gorbachev's Dilemma

The Soviet Defense Budget and Party-Military Conflict

by Abraham S. Becker

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This report attempts to illuminate the conflict within the Soviet Union between the Communist Party and the military high command over resource allocation in the early 1980s. It examines the measures of resource growth that the two sides could have used in the debate. It also considers Gorbachev's approach to the same problem in the last half of the 1980s and the connections between the two episodes. The author suggests that, in the future, Gorbachev's ability to maneuver may be limited by the growing harshness of military-Party relations. Furthermore, his failure to make good on his promises could aggravate the military-Party conflict.

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