The End of a Monolith

The Politics of Military Reform in the Soviet Armed Forces

by Eugene Rumer


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This report analyzes the conflict within the Soviet armed forces that has developed as a result of the ongoing discussions about a fundamental reorganization into an all-volunteer/professional army or a territorial militia. It follows the rapid progression of the public debate, from its inception in 1988 to the present, where it has become a key issue on the Soviet national security agenda. The author identifies the major groups involved in discussions about military reform, examines their arguments, and assesses the impact of these discussions on the Soviet military institution. He suggests that the expendability of the existing High Command could lead to a cure for the intramilitary split and an opportunity for a radical transformation of the military institution and national security decisionmaking in the Soviet Union.

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