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Soviet Forces and Capabilities for Strategic Nuclear Conflict through the Late 1999

By Central Intelegence Agent

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Book Id: WPLBN0000704875
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 862.20 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2006

Title: Soviet Forces and Capabilities for Strategic Nuclear Conflict through the Late 1999  
Author: Central Intelegence Agent
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, CIA research reports, National security.
Collections: CIA Documents Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Central Intelegence Agent


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Agent, C. I. (n.d.). Soviet Forces and Capabilities for Strategic Nuclear Conflict through the Late 1999. Retrieved from

Excerpt: Key Judgments We have prepared this year's Estimate against the backdrop of considerable ferment in the national security arena in the Soviet Union that could over time result in a change in the Soviets' military outlook. Gorbachev has shown himself willing and able to challenge long-cherished precepts in this as in other policy areas. The evidence presented in this Estimate indicates, however, that, in terms of what the Soviets spend, what they procure, how their strategic forces are deployed, how they plan, and how they exercise, the basic elements of Soviet defense policy and practice thus far have not been changed by Gorbachev's reform campaign- Given the turmoil that Gorbachev has set in motion over many of these issues, Soviet strategic goals and priorities over the long term have become more difficult for us to predict, and a major change toward a Iess threatening nuclear doctrine and strategic force structure could occur. However, we believe it is prudent to adopt a wait-and-see attitude toward the prospects for longer term change in the Soviets' fundamental approach to war. Many key doctrinal issues are far from settled among the Soviets themselves. Furthermore, if we are witnessing a transition in Soviet military thinking, substantial tangible evidence of any change in some areas may not be immediately forthcoming.-) Ongoing development and deployment efforts indicate that all elements of Soviet intercontinental nuclear forces will be extensively modernized between now and the late 1990s. The Soviets will move from a force that has primarily consisted of fixed, silo-based ICBMs to one in which mobile platforms constitute well over half the deployed forces: ICBMs. In 1988 the Soviets began to deploy two new silo-based ICBMs that will be increasingly more vulnerable as US countersilo capabilities improve, but will enhance the Soviets' capabilities for prompt attack on hard and soft targets. The Soviets also began to deploy their first railmobile ICBM, and continued deploying road-mobile ICBMs, which will significantly improve Soviet force survivability


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