What It Means

A book authored in 1982 by the then Chief of the Soviet General Staff, Marshal Ogarkov, entitled Always in Readiness to Defend the Homeland, is also not fiction.

Ogarkov stated:

… The task of achieving continuous preparedness for the immediate mobilization deployment of troops and na­val forces, prompt and expeditious shifting of the Armed Forces and the entire national economy from a peacetime to war footing, is assuming particular national impor­tance. The question of prompt expeditious shifting of Armed Forces and the entire national economy to a war footing and their mobilization deployment in a short period of time is much more critical today."

To which the Marshall added a uniquely Soviet view of negotiations with the West:

"We should accompany our [negotiating] steps with maximum military preparedness."

These ominous directives are consistent with the long-standing Soviet belief that military supremacy is indispensable to eventual Communist global dominance. As Soviet Marshal V. D. Sokolovsky stated sixteen years ago in the base-line doctrinal work, Soviet Military Strategy:

"The creation and constant maintenance of quantitative and qualitative superiority over the enemy in the nuclear means of armed conflict … is the most important problem of building modern armed forces."

But today, the problem for America is not just that the Soviets have now achieved their objective of strategic supremacy but that they are evidencing an ever-growing propensity to employ strategic supremacy to assert their will.

All of the foregoing Soviet activities, considered together, are fully consistent with Marshal Ogarkov's call for Soviet national mobilization on a wartime basis. These activities are also ominously consistent with an intention to use new military power for secret political intimidation as well as with the oft-repeated Russian subterfuge, a prime feature of Russian history, in which the olive branch of peace is offered publicly to induce a potential victim population to demand its own disarmament.

The picture is too unmistakable to misperceive. The USSR has done all those things that it needs to do in order to be in a position to mobilize swiftly and with surprise its entire strategic potential for the initiation of war. That central fact alone is far more threatening than any single component part, but of the component parts, the potential for nuclear blackmail is the most immediately dangerous to American national independence.

To understand completely how the Soviets are using their awesome military potential for political intimidation, we must recognize that, unlike American forces, Soviet forces are equipped, trained, deployed, and exercised in such a way that they can be used massively and simultaneously on many fronts and at any force level in first strike attack with very little or no warning. The significance of this new Soviet posture of high readiness for surprise action, the keystone of Soviet military doctrine, is that Americans are already gradually beginning to behave in ways affected by Soviet desires and some degree of Soviet control.

Other Extracts from Soviet Military Supremacy