Historical Roots of Contemporary Debates on Soviet Military Doctrine and Defense
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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This Note examines the themes of and historical context for the writings of Soviet strategists of the 1920s, such as Alexander Svechin and Leon Trotsky, who emphasized the importance of defensive operations. It discusses early Soviet debates about the operational-political and operational-strategic aspects of doctrine, wars of destruction versus wars of attrition, and strategic offense versus strategic defense, as well as related arguments concerning the organization and missions of infantry and the use of fortifications. Finally, it suggests some parallels between the strategic circumstances facing Soviet military theorists in the 1920s and those confronting planners today-to shed light on the possible uses of these earlier writings in contemporary Soviet debates about reasonable sufficiency and defensive defense. Based on a study prepared for the RAND project, Soviet Concepts of War in Europe, supported jointly by Project AIR FORCE and the Arroyo Center, the Note should be of interest to individuals and organizations concerned with the evolution of Soviet military doctrine and its potential implications for Soviet force structure and operations. The blocked quotations throughout have been translated by the author from the original Russian into English.
- Information Science
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics