An analysis of the conflict of ideas and interests between the two dominant institutions in the Soviet Union--the Communist Party and the military establishment--and its implications for future Soviet policy. Under Stalin, the Party, through an elaborate system of control and indoctrination, dominated the military. The power struggle that followed Stalin's death weakened the control mechanisms and strengthened the military's position. During the past twelve years, the officer corps has been progressively transformed from a group of relatively expendable commanders into a group of technocrats who are becoming increasingly indispensable to the maintenance of highly complex weapon systems. If the Soviet military assumes the more active role in Soviet politics that it is now in a position to take, it will probably emphasize defense needs at the expense of social planning. The military is likely to reappraise policies geared to detente and may well modify or abandon them.
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