THE postulates of a study of the defense of Western Europe can be stated briefly.
We can assume in the first place that the Soviet Union strives to spread Communism throughout the world and to dominate the world. It is true that very little of the doctrine of Marx and Engels is left in present-day Soviet Russia, and that a state based on Stalinist dictatorship and state capitalism can hardly be said to seek to advance Communist ideology. But the fact remains that Soviet Russia strives to spread Stalin's version of it, and that the series of actions which express and promote that political aim show that she seeks to control the rest of the world.
A second assumption is that the rulers in the Kremlin will employ every means they consider expedient to attain their goal and that, should it be necessary, they will employ the means of war.
Another assumption is that, in the present world situation, an open resort to armed force by the Soviet Union will launch the Third World War. Despite the immense masses of population in Russia, her satellite countries and her Chinese ally, their military potential is and will remain considerably below the potential of their opponents. The conclusion must be that as long as the Soviet dictators base their decisions on reason they will not openly resort to war unless--an important qualification--they see an opportunity of changing the present unfavorable ratio between their resources and those of their enemies by gaining some quick successes in a surprise offensive.
It must not be forgotten that for some time the Soviet Union has maintained in readiness great land forces supported by strong air forces, thereby creating the possibility of a surprise attack and initial success. These land and air forces are so grouped as to be capable of aggression in several directions, as well as of general defense. A large part of the Russian industry has been dispersed so as to enable it to supply
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