A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 83: Soviet Statement at the Chiefs of General Staff
Meeting in Sofia, June 12–14, 1978

As part of the continuing effort to establish a war time chain of authority and proce- dures within the Warsaw Pact, Soviet Gen. S.F. Romanov tries to explain to his coun- terparts why a statute on these matters is needed. His statement starts with a repetition of the standard Soviet view that a future war will be a decisive confrontation between the two systems, that it will most likely be fought with all available weapons and that the goal of the Warsaw Pact side will be complete victory. (By this time NATO had already abandoned that goal in favor of terminating war as quickly and advantageously as possible.) Among other points, Romanov emphasizes the importance of centraliz- ing command in one person—naturally a Soviet officer—who would have the right to issue binding orders. The responsibility of national military commands, he says, is to fulfill operational tasks, secure materiel and provide technical support. As a sign of Moscow's eagerness to satisfy the interests of loyal allies, the Soviets incorporated numerous changes into the final text. The Poles alone reportedly presented as many as 60 amendments for consideration.

"…"

In conformity with the resolution of the Political Consultative Committee, the Committee of the Ministers of Defense of the member-states of the Warsaw Treaty decided in December 1977 "…" to work out draft principles for the Unified Armed Forces of the member-states of the Warsaw Treaty and for their unified command (in war time).

"…"

A comprehensive analysis of the problems of common defense "…" leads to the conclusion that a future war, if unleashed by an imperialist aggressor, becomes a pivotal conflict between the classes of the two opposing social systems, the capitalist and the socialist one.

"…"

Most likely, the full arsenal of available means of destruction will be used in such a war.

"…"

In the course of a modern strategic operation, it is possible to successfully counter an aggression by the enemy, to annihilate his main units on the territory of the entire theater of war, while delivering strikes on a wide front, conducting combat operations with all modern components of the armed forces, aggregating efforts concerning goal, place, and time, ensuring their steadfast leadership, and maintaining continuous cooperation. The use of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons can be the main instrument to annihilate the enemy.

-415-

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