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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 125: Speech by General Iazov at the Ministers
of Defense Meeting in Bucharest, November 26, 1987
At this Bucharest meeting of Warsaw Pact ministers of defense, Soviet Gen. (soon to be Marshal) Dmitrii Iazov argues against the notion that the Warsaw Pact armies are too large and should be cut back. Instead, he insists NATO's forces are larger and that the East needs to catch up both in terms of size and in terms of technical capa- bilities. He therefore opposes making any change in the kinds of data on Warsaw Pact military strength to be provided to the West, and urges the allies to increase their finan- cial and other contributions to the alliance."…"After the adoption of the Warsaw Treaty member-states' military doctrine, with its defensive character, at the Berlin meeting of the PCC, the doctrine was much discussed among civilians as well as in the military.Opinions were heard, such as that times had changed due to the doctrine and that our armies are too large. This means that pacifism has caught on with a certain part of our population.This opinion is wrong, since the purpose of the armed forces is to guarantee the protection of the state's interests.With regard to questions of combat training, opinions had been voiced that a future war would be a people's war.7 "…"If this is the case, then the state has to do everything to enable the army to prepare the male population for a war.What is the population of the two blocs "…"?
– Warsaw Treaty:ca. 330 million
– NATO:ca. 649 million
Thus, at the beginning of a war, NATO is therefore in a position to draw on forces not smaller, but much larger than those of the Warsaw Treaty.In preparation for a potential war—though it is important to avoid "war"—we need trained forces.There cannot be any reduction of our military. We would not be able to manage maintaining those armies in peace time with small armies, and without public funds.This is the first question we would have to talk about.Second, we constantly have to observe how the adversary is equipped; comparable equipment should be available to us as well. The modern adversary has everything at his disposal that science offers:
explosives of five to six times higher potency
munitions amounting to precision weapons
high-power fuel with new chemical characteristics

7 Army General Iazov is referring to the statements by the Romanian comrades. "Footnote in the original."

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