Courtesy Reuters

Shifts in Soviet Strategic Thought

The great predicament of the modern world was summed up by the late President Kennedy in one of his last public remarks: "The family of man can survive differences of race and religion . . . it can accept differences in ideology, politics, economics. But it cannot survive, in the form in which we know it, a nuclear war." Widespread appreciation of this fact accounts in part for the growing significance of the strategic dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union, particularly in so far as it represents a means by which the two great nuclear powers may seek to clarify the complexities and mitigate the dangers of their strategic relationship in the nuclear-missile age.

The two sides are not, of course, speaking just to one another or wholly in the interest of better understanding. Each is seeking to advance its policy interests, to enhance its posture of deterrence, to obtain political advantage from its military power or prevent the other from doing so, to impress the authority of its position upon allies and onlookers, and so on. There is at the same time a perceptible desire on both sides to promote better, or at least more precise, communications with respect to military policy, strategy and corollary problems. This in itself may be a small start toward a more fruitful and intelligent strategic discourse between East and West, with the participants talking past each other less and to each other more.

The most notable new expression of Soviet strategic thinking is a revised and slightly expanded edition of the book "Military Strategy," written by a collective team of Soviet military experts headed by Marshal V. D. Sokolovskii. The original edition, published in mid-1962, was described in the Soviet Union as the first comprehensive work on military strategy to appear there in more than three decades. It attracted a good deal of attention abroad, so much so, indeed, that it was brought out in English translation by two different American publishers, not to

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