The Warsaw Pact Command Structure in Peace and War

by Michael Sadykiewicz

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Although the Warsaw Pact has been in existence for over 30 years and has received considerable attention in Western publications, many aspects of both peacetime and conflict contingencies are still poorly understood. This study attempts to improve understanding of organizational and decisionmaking mechanisms by describing and analyzing the Warsaw Pact military command structure in peace and war. In particular, it describes the peacetime command, control, and decisionmaking mechanisms; compares the organizational structure of the Warsaw Pact with that of NATO; indicates the nature of Soviet hegemony; and considers the Pact's wartime command structure. The study is based on publicly available Warsaw Pact and Western sources, as well as on the author's personal experience through the 1960s as a high-ranking Pact officer, and on discussions with other former Warsaw Pact officers.

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.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

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