Defense and Counteroffensive Under the New Soviet Military Doctrine,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The Soviet military in recent years has been revising its operational strategy-which it refers to as military art-to reflect the new political thinking and new military doctrine of the Gorbachev era. Under the new doctrine, discussions of the art of modern warfare have increasingly portrayed the initial period of a conventional war with NATO in terms of defensive and counteroffensive, rather than purely offensive, operations. This report analyzes the evolution of Soviet military art following the Warsaw Pacts adoption of a defensive military doctrine in May 1988 and 1989. The research for the report was completed shortly before the revolutionary upheavals of late 1989 and 1990 radically changed the political structure of Eastern and Central Europe. The rapid fall of communist systems in the Warsaw Pact countries, the accelerated departure of Soviet forces from these countries, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact as a strategically significant warfighting alliance, and the concomitant end to Moscows political and military hegemony in the region destroyed much of the strategic and political foundation on which the operational concepts developed. Soviet concepts of defensive and counteroffensive operations, which were still being elaborated and amended even as their strategic basis collapsed, must now serve as a point of departure for additional analysis of the radical shifts in Soviet military strategy and operational concepts.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Defense Systems