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A comprehensive survey of Soviet problems of strategy and military policy, particularly since the Cuban crisis of 1962. Among the principal problems facing the USSR are the allocation of resources, an increasing awareness of the destructiveness of nuclear war, the continuing Sino-Soviet rift, and the development of a suitable military posture vis-a-vis the United States. Unresolved issues in the Soviet military policy include the size and the makeup of the peacetime armed forces, the kind of war for which to prepare, the likelihood of escalation from a limited war, the respective weights of strategic nuclear operations and combined-arms theater operations in a general war with a powerful adversary, the prospects of survival of a surprise nuclear attack, whether to develop the armed forces for deterrence or for actual performance, and the choice of a strategy for victory in a possible war with the United States. Internal strains in the political-military establishments add to the uncertainties, as does the new need to consider Secretary McNamara's damage-limiting philosophy. These and other points are examined in detail and their implications analyzed. (See also R-416.)

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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