The Soviet Turn Toward Conventional Force Reduction

The Internal Struggle and the Variables at Play

by Harry Gelman


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This report examines the relationship between the Soviet force posture toward Western Europe and the political struggle that is being waged in the Soviet Union for control over the priorities of military deployment policy and military-industrial decisionmaking. It presents an overview of the intertwined issues that have been the key battleground in this contest: how to define the Soviet military budget, how far and how fast to cut it, how far to reduce Soviet conventional forward deployments in Europe, how much asymmetry to accept in such reductions, how to reorganize forces for "defensive" purposes, and whether to move away from the traditional Soviet mass conscripted army in the direction of a professional army. Finally, the study considers prospects for the future.

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.

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