Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 September 2008
A question that haunted critical minds in the West throughout the Cold War was whether the evolution of two opposing military blocs in Europe meant that the blocs, their ideologies and their strategies, were actually mirror images of one another.
1 Lenin, Vladimir Iljich, ‘War and Revolution’ in On War, Army and Science of War (reprint Moscow: Prospekt, 1957), 100.Google Scholar For a development of this hypothesis, see Heuser, Beatrice, Nuclear Mentalities? Strategies and Belief-Systems in Britain, France and the FRG, (London: Macmillan, 1998).Google Scholar
4 Ploetz, Michael, ‘The Second Cold War from an East German perspective’. (Ph.D. dissertation, King's College, University of London, 09 1997).Google Scholar
5 NATO documents (mainly political directives for strategy and force planning) have at the time of writing been declassified up to the late 1950s, and the MC 14 series has been declassified up to 1967. Documentation on WTO military exercises is accessible in the archives of the former GDR Ministry of Defence, now in the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg im Breisgau, and documents on WTO meetings can be found in the Stiftung Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR. But for NATO, exercise plans are not yet in the public domain, and for the WTO, the equivalent of NATO's political directives guiding strategy are not fully accessible.
6 For the different Eastern and Western terminology, see Bluth, Christoph, ‘The evolution of Soviet military doctrine’, Survival, Vol. XXX (1988), 156.Google Scholar WTO planning and exercises did not allow officers from countries other than the USSR to be involved in the formulation of doctrine or grand strategy. Foreign officers on the staff college courses of the Soviet military academies were systematically excluded from any discussion of ‘strategic’ policy, and were only given lectures on ‘strategic-operational’, ‘operational-tactical’, and ‘tactical’ matters (i.e. covering the activities from the front downwards). Documents found in the Strausberg Ministry of Defence of the FRG never give the whole picture of exercise plans based on a scenario of war between the WTO and NATO, as operations against NATO's northern and southern flanks are not shown on maps and are not discussed in exercise descriptions.
7 Buteux, Paul, The Politics of Nuclear Consultation in NATO, 1965–1980 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983)Google Scholar; Heuser, Nuclear Strategies and Forces, ch. 2.
8 NATO, MC 3/2 (28 Nov. 1949), § 2.
10 FRUS 1949 Vol. IV, DC 6/1, 354.
11 NATO MC 3/2, para. 7 f.
12 FRUS 1949 Vol. IV, 352 ff.; NATO MC 14 of 20 March 1950, § 5.e.
13 FRUS 1949 Vol. IV, 352 ff.
14 NATO MC 14, § 7.
15 NATO DC 13, § 6. DC 13 specifically only covered Phase 1.
16 Liddell Hart Military Archive, King's College London (henceforth LHA), Microfilm (henceforth MF) 64, JCS 1920'1; see also Brown, Anthony Cave, ed., Operation World War III: the secret American plan ‘DROPSHOT’ for war with the Soviet Union, 1957 (London: Arms & Armour Press, 1979), 48, 241–6.Google Scholar
17 NSC 40, ‘American objectives vis-à-vis the USSR’, excerpts in Brown, Operation World War III, 12 f.
18 For the effect of the developments of 1949–50 on US strategic planning (in the form of NSC 68) and, in turn, on NATO strategy, leading to the Lisbon force goals, see Heuser, Beatrice, ‘NSC 68 and the Soviet threat: a new perspective on Western threat perception and policy making’, Review of International Studies, Vol. XVII (1991), 17–40.Google Scholar
19 NATO MC 14/1 (FINAL), §§ 14–15.
20 NATO MC 3/5 (FINAL) of 3 Dec. 1952, § 7 f.
21 NATO MC 14/1 (FINAL), § 3.
22 COS(45)402(0), quoted in Lewis, Julian, Changing Direction: British Military Planning for Post-War Strategic Defence, 1942–1947 (London: Sherwood Press, 1988), 187.Google Scholar
23 NATO MC 48 (FINAL), ‘The Most Effective Pattern of NATO Military Strength for the Next Few Years’, of 22 November 1954.
24 NATO MC 48 (FINAL), § 6.
25 NATO MC 48 (FINAL), §§ 5–6.
26 NATO MC 48 (FINAL), § 32.c.
27 This would constitute ‘first strike’, i.e. the large-scale use of nuclear forces to eliminate the enemy's nuclear forces – not to be confused with ‘first use’, which in NATO doctrine (PPGs and GPGs) implies a selective, limited nuclear use, with the predominantly political purpose of signalling resolve, the military impact being of secondary importance, see below. The question is, however, whether the Soviet leadership would have interpreted ‘first use’ by NATO as different from ‘first strike’ – exercise plans suggest otherwise, see again below.
28 NATO MC 48 (FINAL), § 8; NATO MC 14/1 of 26 Sept. 1955 § 38.b.
29 NATO MC 48 (FINAL), § 32.c.
30 NSC 20/4 of November 1948, repeated in Annex to NSC 153/1 of June 1953 and in Annex to NSC 162/2 of October 1953, FRUS 1952–1954 Vol. II 596 f., and NSC 162/2 itself, ibid., 582. US attention in this period was focused very largely also on China, where the debate about occupation as war aim – should a general war result from a widening of the Korean confrontation – ensued between US Joint Chiefs of Staff and the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, see Schmidt, Gustav and Doran, Charles F. eds., Amerikas Option für Deutschland und Japan: Die Position und Rolle Deutschlands und Japans in regionalen und internationalen Strukturen – die 1950er und 1990er Jahre im Vergleich (Bochum: Universitätsverlag Dr N. Brockmeyer, 1995).Google Scholar
31 NATO MC 48/1, ‘The most effective pattern of NATO military strength for the next few years – Report No. 2’ of 26 Sept. 1955, § 22–4, 38.
32 NATO MC 14/2, ‘Overall Strategic Concept for the Defense of the North Atlantic Treaty Area’, 21 Feb. 1957, § 5.g.
33 NATO MC 48/2, § 2.
34 NATO MC 14/2(Revised)(Final Decision), § 5.g.
35 NATO MC 14/2(Revised)(Final Decision), § 25; NATO MC 48/2 (Revised), § 2.
36 NATO MC 14/2(Revised)(Final Decision), §§ 19–20.
37 This rejection had an important economic aspect as well, as the Lisbon Force Goals had proved so expensive that there was a widespread fear among NATO governments that the pursuit of the Lisbon Force Goals would lead to the economic exhaustion of the West, and thus to a communist victory not in a hot war, but in the ‘long haul’ of the Cold War. See Heuser: Nuclear Strategies and Forces, chs. 1 and 2.
38 General Stehlin, Paul, ‘The evolution of Western defense’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. XLII (1963), 80.Google Scholar
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40 FRG Defence Minister Leber, Georg, ‘Erinnernswerte Abschiedsworte’, Europäische Wehrkunde, Vol. XXVII (1978), 176.Google Scholar
41 For the rejection of the Acheson and McNamara proposals for the future development of NATO strategy and the prevalence of European views, see Heuser, , Nuclear Strategies and Forces, ch. 2.Google Scholar
43 PRO, CAB 131/25, D(61)2 of 13 Jan. 1961, Annex A: ‘N.A.T.O. Strategy and Nuclear Weapons’.
44 NATO MC 14/3.
45 Legge, J. Michael, Theater Nuclear Weapons and the NATO Strategy of Flexible Response, RAND Paper R-2964-FF (Santa Monica, CA.: RAND, 04 1983), 17–21.Google Scholar
47 NATO MC 14/3 (Final), § 34.
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49 Der Bundesminister der Verteidigung, Weissbuch 1985 Zur Lage und Entwicklung der Bundeswehr (Bonn, 1985), § 61.
50 General Naumann, Klaus, ‘Defensive Doktrinen und Streitkräftestrukturen’, EA, Vol. XLIV (1989), 669.Google Scholar
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52 NATO MC 14/3.
53 Quoted in Backerra, Manfred, ‘Zur sowjetischen Militärdoktrin’, Beiträge zur Konfliktforschung, Vol. XIII (1983), 49.Google Scholar
54 In Georges Tan Eng Bok, ‘Qui, quoi, où? Les niveaux d'élaboration et d'expression du discours militarie soviétique’, Note SOV/880823 of the Centre de Sociologie de la Défense Nationale, August 1988.
55 MZP, VA-01/39496, 108.
56 Quoted in Backerra, ‘Zur sowjetischen Militärdoktrin’ 48.
57 MZP, VA-Strausberg/29371, Part I, 139.
58 MZP, VA-Strausberg/29371, Part I, passim.
59 MZP, VA-Strausberg/29371, Part I, 207; Part II, 405.
60 YUG-78: see above; BRATSTVO: MZP, VA-Strausberg/29371, Part I, 142; YUG-82: VA-Strausberg/29371, Part II, 30.
61 MZP, VA-Strausberg/32659, 67, spelt here Gorejew.
62 MZP, VA-01/39528, 78.
63 MZP, VA-Strausberg/32657, 54–55, emphasis added.
65 ibid., 62 – and this was also described as a NATO aim in case of limited war (to be fought by NATO with or without nuclear weapons). In unlimited war, NATO would have the aim of achieving ‘the elimination of Socialism as a social system and the undivided rule of capitalism throughout the world’, 63.
66 This term has a curious history. ‘Sufficiency’, first used in relation to nuclear weapons, originated with British worries in the late 1940s about the acquisition of even a small number of nuclear weapons by the Soviets, which British planners even then thought would be enough to offset the larger US arsenal by deterring the USA from using theirs for fear of retaliation. The British concluded from this that only a small arsenal was needed to create effective deterrence. This idea was taken up in the 1970s by US President Richard Nixon in arms control negotiations, and in turn by the peace movements, particularly in West Germany, which injected it into the thinking of Gorbachev through his advisers in the joint strategy seminars conducted in the mid-1990s. It became the leitmotif of arms control negotiations at the end of the Cold War.
69 Quoted in Adragna, Steven P., ‘A New Soviet Military? Doctrine and Strategy‘, Orbis, Vol. XXXIII (1989), 170Google Scholar, emphasis added.
70 Lenin, Vladimir Iljich, Clausewitz' Werk ‘Vom Kriege’: Auszüge und Randglossen. (Berlin: Verlag des Ministeriums für Nationale Verteidigung, 1947)Google Scholar; Lenin, Vladimir Iljich, Über Krieg, Armee und Militärwissenschaft (trans. of V. I. Lenini), o voine, armii i voennoi nauke, (orig. Moscow/Berlin[Ost], 1957)Google Scholar; Verlag des Ministeriums für Nationale Verteidigung (1958) 516–17; see also Kipp, Jacob W., ‘Lenin and Clausewitz: The Militarization of Marxism, 1915–1921’, in Frank, Willard and Gilette, Philip eds., Soviet Military Doctrine from Lenin to Gorbachev, 1915–1991 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 64–78.Google Scholar
71 Clausewitz was disliked by Stalin and dismissed in the 1950s as a bourgeois military theoretician, see e.g. Talenski, N. A., ‘Militärstrategie und Aussenpolitik’ (originally 1958), in DGAP, ed., Strategie und Abrüstungspolitik der Sowjetunion – Ausgewählte sowjetische Studien und Reden (Frankfurt/Main: Metz, 1964), 79.Google Scholar
72 On Clausewitz and Soviet military strategy until 1960, see quoted in Romer, Jean-Christophe, ‘Quand l'armée rouge critiquait Clausewitz’, Stratégique No. 33 (1987).Google Scholar
73 Petersen, Phillip A. and Hines, John G., ‘The conventional offensive in Soviet theater strategy’, Orbis, Vol. XXVII (1983), 696–7.Google Scholar
74 Sokolovskij, V. D. et al. , Military Strategy: Soviet Doctrine and Concepts (New York: Frederick Praeger, 1963), 18.Google Scholar
75 Lange, Peer H., ‘Die sowjetische Militärdoktrin und der Westen’ Europa-Archiv Vol. XXXIX (1984), 181.Google Scholar
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82 General Laurent, Jacques, ed., Doctrine Militaire de l'URSS (Projet, Centre de la Sociologie de la Défense Nationale) (December 1990).Google Scholar
83 Laurent, Doctrine Militaire de l'URSS, 30, my emphasis.
84 See also the first NATO Strategic Concept, Foreign Relations of the United States, Vol. IV Western Europe (US Government Printing Office, Washington, 1975), 353–6.Google Scholar
85 See the US plan ‘DROPSHOT’ of 31 January 1949, King's College London, Liddell Hart Archive, Microfilm of JCS documents No. 64, JCS 1920/1. The plan was originally drawn up in January 1949, i.e. prior to the first explosion by the USSR of an atomic bomb, and not in 1950, as Anthony Cave Brown claims, cf. Brown, Operation World War III, 21.