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Soviet Military Doctrine

Courtesy Reuters

In the 1970s the Soviet Union won recognition as a full-fledged superpower. By the 1980s, however, some observers revised that judgment, calling it "a one-dimensional superpower," possessing only the military dimension. Whatever the validity of the new assessments of Soviet economic and political power, physical indices alone confirm the cogency of the new view of Soviet military power. No state in the world rivals the U.S.S.R. in its combination of size, sophistication and command and control of military forces.

—Soviet ground forces are composed of more than two hundred divisions, all mechanized, and organized under army, front and high commands in at least five theaters of military operations. They possess more than 53,000 main battle tanks, 48,000 tubes of artillery, mortars and multiple-rocket launchers, 4,600 surface-to-air missiles and 4,500 helicopters.

—The air forces include more than 4,900 tactical aircraft. Air defense forces have an additional 1,760 interceptor aircraft, 9,000 surface-to-air missile launchers, and 10,000 warning

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