Accession Number : ADB008711


Title :   The Soviet Decision to Invade Czechoslovakia


Descriptive Note : Advanced research paper


Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI


Personal Author(s) : Guth, Robert M


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/b008711.pdf


Report Date : Sep 1975


Pagination or Media Count : 74


Abstract : A review of events leading to the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, focusing on factors which influenced the Soviet government's decision to use military force to resolve a growing political problem. The role of intelligence and security forces in reporting events taking place within Czechoslovakia is described as are the parts played by the Soviet military leadership and the various political positions and pressures exercised by the USSR's Warsaw Pact allies. Finally the decision itself is examined in terms of its timing and the known or suspected stands of the Politburo membership. NATO reactions to the events preceding invasion, and to the invasion itself, are discussed. The paper asserts that intelligence and inept diplomacy provided Moscow with distorted information regarding events in Czechoslovakia, raising alarms that influenced the decision; that the Soviet military leaders preferred a political resolution of the Czechoslovak problem; that the Warsaw Pact allies were divided on the issue but that the conservative were more influential; and that the Politburo membership was divided and did not make its decision until some 10-15 days before invasion. With regard to NATO, its position was clearly and openly one of noniterference--expecting no threat from the action and avoiding all possible provocation of the USSR. The paper closes with a warning that this reaction to the Warsaw Pact's internal troubles, although correct in this instance, could be exploited by the USSR in a future situation, to mask a first strike against Western Europe.


Descriptors :   *MILITARY OPERATIONS , ATTACK , ATTITUDES(PSYCHOLOGY) , COMMUNISTS , CZECHOSLOVAKIA , DECISION MAKING , FOREIGN POLICY , GEOPOLITICS , GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , INTERACTIONS , LEADERSHIP , MILITARY ADVISORS , MILITARY INTELLIGENCE , NATO , POLITICAL SCIENCE , REACTION(PSYCHOLOGY) , RISK , RISK ANALYSIS , THREAT EVALUATION , TREATIES , USSR , WARSAW PACT COUNTRIES


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE