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The high degree of centralization under the Minister of Defense and the general staff facilitates a quick resolution of the apparently few interservice disputes which arise. A good example is the dismissal in 1955 of Admiral of the Fleet Kuznetsov from his post of commander in chief of naval forces. Apparently Kuznetsov favored an enlargement of the surface fleet, but was opposed by Zhukov and Khrushchev. Since that time the navy has continued to improve its large submarine fleet but has not given comparable emphasis to its relatively small surface and naval air forces.
There is no known instance of a dispute between the army and the air forces, possibly for the reason that within the high command the air forces occupy a subordinate position. However, this does not appear to have affected Soviet decisions on force requirements. Although the maintenance of powerful ground forces has always been fundamental, Soviet aviation, tactical or strategic, aircraft or missile, has not been starved. Relations with the party
In the upper levels of the party the military carries relatively little weight, so that while powerful in his own military domain, Malinovsky's influence outside his own ministry is severely limited.17 With the exception of Zhukov, no professional military man has ever been a full or candidate member of the party presidium. Voroshilov's rank of marshal was political, a reward for his service in the party and his friendship with Stalin rather than for his military service. Of the 123 full members of the Central Committee, only 5 are military men, and the figures for candidate members are 12 out of 115. In the last two decades military representation has been cut back considerably. Military membership in the CPSU Central Committee
1939 1941. 1952 1956.
14.7 22.0 20.0 10.4
Following World War II, Stalin purposely reduced the stature of the victorious marshals. However, during the 3 or 4 years of inner party political struggles between Stalin's death and the ascendancy of Khrushchev, elements of the military became politically involved. As the struggle sharpened, military influence became stronger. Perhaps Zhukov's career best illustrates this phenomenon. In 1955 he was appointed Minister of Defense; in 1956 he was made a candidate member of the Presidium; 18 in mid-1957 a full member. Then with the Presidium once again unified, he was ousted in October 1957. Influence on policy
Since the ouster of Zhukov, the degree of direct military influence on national security decisions is not as apparent. With the military no longer represented in the party presidium, its opinion on top policy matters is only heard when the party leadership specifically asks for it. Furthermore, Khrushchev has his own strong ideas in the military field. It is therefore unlikely that the Soviet military leadership today provides anything more than purely military advice to the political leadership; the issue of war or peace does not lie in its competence. This is not to deny that the military retain a great, if indirect, influence on matters pertaining to the military and strategic strength of the U.S.S.R. Should the regime wish to reduce the armaments load, however, the military could hardly obstruct the decision. In any case, it is doubtful that with the present system of party controls the military could ever become an organized element in opposition.
17 Note also that the party has always been careful to keep the military well penetrated at all levels. At the 19th Party Congress in 1952, Marshal Vasilyevsky claimed that 86.4 percent of all officers were members of either the party or the Komsomol.
14 Even in this period his influence on major policy decisions was far from decisive. He is known to have favored military action against the Gomulka regime in Poland during the "events"
On the other hand, during the past few years the question of military doctrine-how a war will be fought-has largely reverted to the military professionals. This change since the death of Stalin in 1953 is striking. While the old dictator was being canonized as the onl great genius, military science was stagnating. Although the U.S.S.R. developed nuclear weapons, organized and equipped a long-range air force, and made a concentrated start on a missile program, little was done to adjust military doctrine--far less political objectives—to the implications of these new weapons. Judging by the military journals of the day, no one but Stalin had much to say.
Stalin's death opened the way for a spate of provocative articles and speeches, including reprints of the views of U.S. military leaders. Basic principles were examined, including the value of surprise, whether or not the next war will be a long one, etc. Soviet military science now appears to be reasonably pragmatic. Ececution of policy
Whatever weight the Presidium gives to military views, it seems determined to maintain forces sufficient to keep the U.S.S.R. generally secure from Western attack and constitute a constant threat to the free world. Short of major hostilities, however, the Presidium apparently views its armed forces as one of a number of instruments available for the achievement of political objectives. Military gestures are combined with diplomatic to build pressure on hostile or neutralist governments. Finally, within the bloc, the Soviet armed forces remain the ultimate guarantee that the will of Moscow must prevail, as in East Germany in 1953 and Hungary in 1956.
In the Hungarian operation military moves were closely geared to political events. The shortness of reaction time between appearance of a political crisis and the orders to the troops to move suggests almost direct Presidium control. After the Hungarian Government under the leadership of Gero requested the U.S.S.R. for help on October 24, 1956, Soviet troops moved immediately. However, when it became apparent that the Soviet units present were unable to cope with the situation in Budapest, the Presidium decided on October 29 to disengage.
Following a visit by Mikoyan and Suslov to Budapest, the decision was made on October 31 to crush the revolt. Immediately reinforcements were moved in from the U.S.S.R. and the final assault, coordinated with certain political moves, took place on November 4.
Perhaps the last word on the position of the military in the U.S.S.R. was spoken by Khrushchev when he remarked that if the U.S.S.R.'s generals did not accept a political decision they would be replaced. ANNEX: ORGANS AND MEDIA FOR DISSEMINATING
The Soviet regime places great stress on wide dissemination of its decisions and policies aimed at engendering maximum public support. The monopoly which the regime has over all media of mass communication gives it unique opportunity and virtually unlimited resources in this field. It can direct and control the flow of information and at any given moment virtually saturate all public media with whatever subject is considered of greatest importance. Party control and guidance
The party maintains direct or indirect control over all public information and permits no independent commentary or analysis of its decisions and policies. The key agencies in the party's control are the departments of propaganda and agitation in the executive staff of the party secretariat. These departments are charged with general responsibility for molding and mobilizing public opinion. They unify and give central direction to the vast and multiform activities carried on by party, government, and other agencies for informing and influencing Soviet citizens.
Within the framework of the policy decisions adopted by the Presidium, these departments determine both the general line and the specific courses of action for bringing the decisions of the party and government to the public, explaining them, winning popular support for them, and mobilizing the people in order to secure their fulfillment. Not only are these departments the chief channel of communications for the party to the people, they are also the chief instrument through which mass attitudes are conveyed to the leaders.
Despite the range of their responsibilities, however, the departments are not primarily operational agencies; they do no major publishing, nor do they operate the Soviet radio or newspaper networks. They function, instead, as planner, director, and watchdog of these media. At every level of party administration there are propaganda and agitation departments with their own personnel in key positions in all local communications media as well as in important factories and other enterprises. Directives and instructions are sent out from the central department to the local offices and, in return, reports on their fulfillment are funneled back to the center. Vedia of mass communication
The press and radio are the principal media by which decisions of the party and government are publicized throughout the country. Texts of high-level decisions generally appear first on the pages of Pravda and Izvestia, the two largest central newspapers. Pravda, the official organ of the party, tends to emphasize party matters; Izvestia, the chief organ of the Council of Ministers, stresses government affairs. Of the two, Pravda is unquestionably the more authoritative. Pravda, Sovetskaya Rossiya, the newspaper of the party bureau for