Khrushchev and the Arms Race: Soviet Interests in Arms Control and Disarmament, 1954-1964

By Lincoln P. Bloomfield; Walter C. Clemens Jr. et al. | Go to book overview

6
Strategic Doctrine and the Status of Forces

Continued evolution, in the years 1957-1962, in Moscow's view of the strategic situation and its implications for Soviet policy had the effect of furthering some of the developments in the Soviet approach to arms control noted in 1954-1956. But there were constants as well that may go far toward explaining the persistency of some features of Soviet arms control policy.

In the 1957-1962 period Moscow seemed neither to have feared a surprise attack from the West nor to have planned one itself, despite comments from both sides about pre-emption. The Soviet leadership evidently continued to calculate that an atmosphere of détente would help to lower the danger of a nuclear strike from the West. Since general war was not a prominent short-term expectation, medium-range planning could emphasize the political effects of the Soviet military posture rather than actual fighting capacity. Prototype rather than mass-produced weapons systems might to some extent be relied on, and a minimum deterrent could suffice.

-90-

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