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The Northern Tier Non-Soviet Warsaw Pact:  An Assessment
AUTHOR Major Ole Martin Hojem, Norwegian Army
CSC 1990
SUBJECT AREA Intelligence
                        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
TITLE:   The Northern Tier Non-Soviet Warsaw Pact:  An Assessment
AUTHOR:  Major Ole Martin Hojem, Norwegian Army
DESCRIPTION OF  TASK:   Conduct an  evaluation of the  non-Soviet
military forces in  the Northern Tier of  the Warsaw Pact.   What
role would  they play in  an open  conflict between NATO  and the
Warsaw Pact and how do the forces fit into the Warsaw Pact/Soviet
command system.  Discuss  further whether there can be  reason to
question the reliability of these forces in a European conflict.
SUMMARY:   The three northern tier  non-Soviet Warsaw Pact (NSWP)
nations  are East  Germany,  Poland, and  Czechoslovakia.   Their
unique backgrounds  and characteristics, not  easily discerned in
the glare  of the their larger partner,  tend to color the nature
of their membership.   Their differing  developmental experiences
reflect political and economic processes in the East Bloc,  still
incomplete, which have influenced the development of the alliance
     The  birth  of the  Warsaw Pact  (WP)  in 1955  formalized a
series of  bilateral relationships  between the Soviet  Union and
the nations  it had  "liberated"  as World  War  II ended.    The
admittance of  rearmed  West  Germany to  NATO  that  same  year,
however, so  concerned the  Soviets that  they felt  compelled to
strengthen their  western defenses by erecting  an alliance under
their  own  control.   Since  that  time,  the  WP structure  has
undergone many changes, some enhancing Soviet control. others the
result of vigorous  NSWP lobbying.  Throughout,  the Soviets have
been  careful to  limit  their allies   capacity for  independent
military action, for the degree of trust is not very high.
     The  issue of NSWP reliability is naturally of great concern
to  the  Soviet Union,  for  the WP  is,  at its  basic  level, a
collection of ethnic groups with  varying degrees of fondness for
each other, and the Russians are not highly regarded.  The Pact's
Main  Political Directorate  has  the primary  responsibility for
ensuring that the "bottom line" remains favorable for the USSR.
     In  the  context of  an  offensive  against NATO,  the  East
Germans  were  thought  to   be  both  competent  and  reasonably
reliable,  perhaps  helped  by  the  eighteen  Russian  divisions
stationed  there.   But  growing  contact  with  West German  has
probably changed that.  Poland's Solidarity problem is quiet, but
festering,  so today East Germany  and Poland could  be graded as
equal and the  Soviet armies  could very easily  end up  fighting
their  way across  Poland and  East Germany  enroute to  Bonn and
Paris.  Czechoslovakia is  undoubtedly, still suffering, from the
1968 Soviet invasion.
     Today's picture looks very different from  that of only nine
months ago, so the future picture could also look very different.
The  success  or failure  of  perestroika  and  glasnost will  be
THESIS:   As a member of an alliance, the purpose of which is not
so much to defend themselves as it is to defend the Soviet Union,
the  Non-Soviet  Warsaw  Pact  states   approach  their  alliance
responsibility with varying degrees of enthusiasm and confidence.
     A.  East Germany
     B.  Poland
     C.  Czechoslovakia
     A.  Definition and Components
     B.  Political Framework
     C.  Reliability Enhancing Measures
     A.  East Germany
     B.  Poland
     C.  Czechoslovakia
     Since its  creation nearly thirty-five  years ago,  the
Warsaw  Pact (Pact or WP) has been the subject of exhaustive
research,  conducted by  dedicated political  scientists who
have  attempted to decipher its  true form and  purpose as a
means of predicting its  future behavior.  The task  has not
been easy,  for behind  the Warsaw Pact's  obscuring curtain
the dimly  perceived movements of the  various actors reveal
an  unfolding   drama  centering  on   power,  rivalry,  and
survival. It is a play with a constantly changing script.
     Too often, it is the star of the  play who receives the
researcher's  attention  and   the  supporting  players  are
ignored.    While the  Warsaw Pact  in its  organization and
doctrine  is a reflection of the wishes of the Soviet Union,
the other members bring to  the alliance their own strengths
and weaknesses.  They  are very different political, social,
and    economic    organisms    whose   uniqueness    defies
     This paper  will examine  the northern  tier Non-Soviet
Warsaw Pact (NSWP) countries  and their  relationship to the
Pact.  The study  will examine the Pact's purpose,  history,
and structure  to provide  the necessary framework  and will
affects pact  membership.   The paper will  discuss possible
employment   scenarios,  will  discuss   the  "bottom  line"
question  of  reliability,  as   affected  by  internal  and
external factors, and will conclude by offering views of the
future  -- what the next act may bring.
Purpose and Historical Background
     "The contracting parties..mindful..of the situation
     created in Europe by the ratification of the Paris
     Agreements, which envisage the formation of a new
     military alignment in the shape of a `Western Euro-
     pean Union', with the participation of a remilitarized
     Western  Germany  and  its  integration  in  the  North
     Atlantic bloc, which increases the danger of another
     war and constitutes a threat to the national security
     of peaceable states..have decided to conclude the
     present Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual
     The above quote from the preamble of the Warsaw  Treaty
indicates  that  at  least  from the  Soviet  view,  the  WP
organization  was established purely as a  response  to what
the  Soviet's viewed as aggressive behavior by the West.  It
has, after all, been  termed "the first multinational treaty
in human history aimed entirely at strengthening peace."2
     It is  generally accepted,  however, that the  Pact was
not  merely a response to NATO,  but a response to the entry
of a  re-armed West Germany into that  organization in 1955.
The Federal Republic's entry was  a disturbing event for the
Soviets who saw that  action as a potential threat  to their
post-war efforts to mold the nations  of Eastern Europe into
a  protective  buffer  zone along  their  vulnerable western
frontier.   The unopposed presence of  a strong, democratic,
capitalist state, already proven to be a military threat  to
the Soviet Union, could easily cause that buffer to erode if
left  unchallenged.  The Soviet Union  needed to construct a
network of interlocking  relationships, joining the  destiny
of Eastern Europe to its own.
     The early  development of the  WP reflects some  of its
originator's uncertainty as to the organization's true role.
The  period 1955  to  1960 was  characterized by  apparently
contradictory  trends.   On  one hand,  a  measure of  force
modernization did  occur as  MIG-17 aircraft and  T-54 tanks
were introduced into the East  European forces, but that was
not  followed  up  by  the kind  of  comprehensive  exercise
program  required  to  form  a  cohesive  military  alliance
period.   The  Soviet's primary  concern was  to devote  the
greater    effort    to    increasing   the    technological
sophistication of the  East European forces in recognition of
NATO's advantage in that area.
     (illegible text).... considerably  more  emphasis on the 
development  of   the  WP   institutions.     The   Pact  was
increasingly  used as  a forum for the  advancement of Soviet
political  programs  pertaining to issues outside  as well as
within Pact boundaries.   The organization designed for this
purpose, the  Political Consultative Committee (PCC) saw far
more activity than during its  early period and its meetings
were often the  scene of political  debates as various  Pact
members, particularly  the  Rumanians, attempted  to  define
their intra-Pact relationships.
     The renewal  of the Treaty  of Friendship, Cooperation,
and Mutual Assistance took place  on April 26, 1985,  marked
by the signing of  the Protocol of Prolongation.   Extending
the Treaty another twenty years, with an additional ten year
automatic  extension,   was  not  as  easy   as  the  Soviet
leadership would have preferred  it to have been.   The NSWP
members made it plain that they wanted a larger role  in the
decision making process.
     Due to  the  uncertainties  of  the  Pact's  historical
development and future course, it is difficult to arrive at
a description  which accurately  portrays the nature  of the
organization.  It is perhaps right to say that it is:
          "Primarily composed of armies of communist
          status whose physical  locus in Eastern
          Europe, whose deployment as a froce in
          action has only taken place in intra-systemic
          conflict, and whose development and deploy-
          ment has been generally in accordance with
          the desires of the major actor of the alliance,
          the Soviet Union."3
     The  WP  has gone  through  the  kinds of  evolutionary
changes   common  to   all   organizations,  responding   to
membership  desires   and  new  circumstances.     With  few
exceptions, these changes have tended to focus on the nearly
adversarial  nature of the  relationship between  the Soviet
Union and its erstwhile allies.
     The PCC is the  highest policy-making body and provides
overall  direction.   Composed  of the  member nations'  top
political leadership, the PCC  allows the Pact to coordinate
foreign policy planning and,  for the Soviets, constitutes a
platform  from which  to  enunciate allied  support and,  at
times, arms control initiatives. (Appendix D)
     The  WP's top military body is the joint command of the
WP Forces, its highest  positions occupied by Soviet general
officers.    The NSWP  countries  are  represented by  their
deputy ministers  of  national defense.   The  staff of  the
Joint  Armed Forces, next in the hierarchy, is thought to be
the  Pact's first permanent joint  staff.  As  such, it adds
continuity  and therefore  increases the  Pact's warfighting
     Most observers tend to agree, however, that many of the
structural changes  that have  occurred are  as a  result of
actions  taken by  the  NSWP members  to enlarge  their role
within the alliance.  Romania has been  in the forefront  of
the  agitation  and  receives  informal  support  from other
members who  cannot display such  vociferousness themselves.
Such activities have increased  in the atmosphere of greater
economic independence promised by perestroika.
The Member Nations
     The  NSWP  countries  bring  to  the alliance  uniquely
different capabilities, backgrounds,  and problem areas, all
of which must be  examined in light of  their impact on  the
whole organization.  This assessment will cover the Northern
Tier countries of East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.
East Germany
               "Its normal now to talk with one
               another, to be a German from one
               side or the other of the border and
               yet feel a member of the German nation."4
     The eastern half of the divided German nation continues
to  defy analysis  and  prediction, a  schizoid enigma  with
conflicting loyalties.  Its  people are justifiably proud of
having the highest living standard of the East Bloc nations,
yet they envy those who live on the other side of the inner-
German border.   It has, until  today, been a key  member of
the WP and its military reflects that fact.
     The  Soviets  wasted  little  time  after  the  war  in
remolding the East German military.  Disarmed  by the treaty
provisions  and  purged by  Stalin,  the military  virtually
disappeared, to be replaced by a  police force which quickly
grew  to  resemble   a  modern  army.    The   official  re-
stablishment of the East German   military, now known as the
Nationale Yolksarmee  (NYA), occurred  in January 1956;   it
was, however,  a well-equipped fighting  force long  before
     The NVA is considered  by most observers to be  "at the
top of  the  WP league,"5  and on  a par  with the  eighteen
divisions of the Western  Group of Forces Germany.   It is a
highly  trained, well-equipped  army without  a nation,  and
because of that lack of legitimacy, the NVA has developed an
unusually close relationship with the Soviet Union.  Indeed,
it may have the unique distinction of being the only army in
the world constitutionally linked to the military of another
state.  According to its constitution, the German Democratic
Republic is "...forever irrevocably allied with the Union of
Soviet Socialist  Republics."6  So what has  happened and the
speculation about  the future  must be very  frustrating and
demoralizing for the NVA.
     The NVA is a multi-service organization,  consisting of
ground,  air, and  naval components  and is  supplemented by
various  para-military  organizations.    The  ground  force
component's 120,000  soldiers are divided between two corps-
sized army  groups, each consisting of  three divisions, two
motorized and one tank  (Appendix A).  The Air  Force (which
includes  air  defense units)  has  air  defense and  ground
support  roles.  All the aircraft operated by the 37,000 man
force  are Soviet made and the air defense system is tightly
interwoven into that of  the Soviet Union.   The Navy has  a
strength  of 15,000 and  is primarily  a coastal  force with
the  wartime  mission  of  protecting the  Baltic  Coast  in
conjunction with Polish  and Soviet  vessels.   The WP  role
envisioned for the NVA was as a part of  the strategic first
echelon in an attack into West Germany.
           "The commitment of Polish military
           professionals to their WP mission, and
           the corresponding design of Polish
           forces     to     serve    it,     is    generally
     For   a non-front  line, NSWP  state, Poland  occupies a
particularly  crucial  role  in Soviet  strategic  thinking.
Poland's eight east  west rail  lines will be  vital  to  the
support of WP advances into NATO territory and there is some
concern  that those  lines  would require  protection  from,
rather than by, Polish forces.
     Perhaps  in  the  recognition  of  Poland's  proud  yet
potentially  dangerous military tradition,  the Soviet Union
quickly  and firmly  put its  stamp on  the Polish  military
establishment it was  rebuilding after World  War II.   Some
Polish forces  had  been fighting  under Russian  leadership
since 1943 and the Polish first army provided the foundation
for  what was  to become  the Polish  People's Army.     The
obligatory period  of post-war Stalinization brought with it
the imposition of the commissar system which, at its height,
saw the appointment of a Soviet General as Poland's minister
of Defense and Commander-in-Chief of its armed forces.
     The worker's riots in 1956  marked the beginning of the
re-professionalization of the  Army following their  refusal
to fire on  their fellow citizehs.   This was  an act  which
clearly  signified to  the  civilian  authorities  that  the
military  could  no  longer  be  expected  to  serve  as  an
instrument of  domestic repression.   The  opportunity again
presented  itself in  1970 during  the riots in  Gdansk, and
again  the  military  leaders  resisted  successfully.   The
military's   desire   for   political  non-involvement   was
emphasized in General Jaruzilski's statement during the 1976
Warsaw riots that "Polish  soldiers will not fire on  Polish
     The  Polish Army  was  designed for  a "massive,  rapid
offensive  into NATO  territory."9   Its  ground forces,  at
230,000  are by far the largest amount in the NSWP countries
(Appendix  B).   The Polish  Navy, the  largest of  the NSWP
states,   has  been  designed to  provide a  limited coastal
defense  force.     Its  mission  would  be  to  support  WP
operations  in the  Baltic by  performing  mine-sweeping and
escort duties.  The Navy's 1,000 man Marine force gives it a
minor  amphibious capability.   The  Polish Air  Force, with
92,000  personnel, is also the largest of the NSWP elements.
Its  air  defense assets,  like  those  of its  allies,  are
incorporated  into the  Soviet  system, which  would provide
command and control functions dur,ing wartime.
     The  manner in  which  these forces  could be  employed
against   NATO   is  largely   determined   by  geographical 
considerations.   Due to  Poland's distance from  the likely
battle area,  it is improbable  that Polish forces  would be
used  in  a  first  echelon  role.    Whatever  scenario  is
envisioned, one could easily imagine a requirement to employ
some portion of  the Polish forces in the role  of rear area
security.    There is  a  credible  partisan threat  against
Soviet lines  of communication  and their situation  will be
worsened  by  an  effective application  of  NATO  Follow-on
Forces attack doctrine.
     It  is  Czechoslovakia's  misfortune  to  be  stretched
across  central Europe, anchored to  the Soviet Union on one
end and  to West Germany on  the other.    As a  land bridge
between  the two opposing alliances, and as a member of one,
Czechoslovakia has found itself under a wary Soviet gaze for
much  of its  brief national  history.   The events  of 1968
continue  to reverberate through  the national structure and
the pressure of glasnost and perestroika are adding unneeded
aftershocks to  a system already strained  from twenty years
of anti-reformist  failure.   The military was  particularly
hard hit by  the "assistance"  rendered by the  WP in  1968.
The  military's  near disintegration,  considered  the most
important development in post war Czechoslovakia's military
(missing text (page 12))
beginning  of the  end of  Alexander Dubcek's  experiment in
socialism with  a human face.  The  memorandum proposed three
possible  choices  for   the  country's  national  security:
Continued membership in the WP,  to  be re-examined after ten
or fifteen years;  collective security without the USSR;  or
neutrality, secured  by self defense.   The principal thrust
of  the  memorandum was  to  guarantee  Soviet interests  in
central Europe without  the presence of Soviet  forces as in
the case of Finland,  but the message was too  heretical and
served only to confirm the worst Soviet suspicions about the
Dubcek regime's willingness to  discuss alternatives to  the
existing system.   The invasion  followed in August  and the
Gottwald Academy was dissolved in 1969.
     The military establishment now found in Czechoslovakia,
as  modified by  Dubcek's  successor Gustav  Husak, has  not
regained  its former  size,  cohesion, or  quality.   Recent
equipment improvements have helped  bring some areas back to
normal NSWP  levels, however.   Numbering 145,000  the CPA's
ground component is  second in size only to Poland (Appendix
C).   The Air Force is  also among the largest  in the Pact,
reflecting the  important role  its air defense  assets must
play in the Soviet system.
     Training  and personnel  quality are  potential problem
areas.  As is the case  with their other  NSWP comrades, the
CPA  forces  receive training  closely  patterned after  the
Soviets which translates into a fair amount of realism and a
heavy dose of political indoctrination.
     The  events   of  1968  caused,  not   surprisingly,  a
reevaluation of the  role the  CPA would play  in a  WP/NATO
conflict.   Pre-1968 strategy had apparently  called for the
CPA  to provide two, first echelon armies for a Czech front,
supported by second echelon forces formed by remaining Czech
divisions  and  units  from the  USSR's  Carpathian Military
District.    Now,  however, the  most  likely  use  would be
against US and West German forces in Bavaria in an effort to
prevent their northward move  to slow the main attack.   One
writer has put it  more bluntly, saying that the  CPA "would
be used not as a component  of the first echelon, but simply
as  cannon  fodder  in  tackling, American  and  West  German
formations."12   Some support for this  view can be inferred
from  the  rather low  levels  of equipment  which  could be
needed by a firstechelon attacker.   Artillery holdings are
sixty percent of Soviet doctrinal norms.
           "...Poland's volatile sociopolitical
           conditions and economic malaise, East
           Germany's anti-war sentiment and German
           identity, Romania's non-participation in
           joint maneuvers, the genuine lack of
           military preparedness in Hungary and
           Bulgaria, and an overarching
           anti-Russian sentiment common to most
           of Eastern Europe."13
     The life of a  Soviet strategic planner is not  an easy
one and the above list of problems forms a major part of the
reason  why.  The issue of reliability represents the bottom
line of  any alliance  system.   If the  day comes  when the
alliance is to be  tested in combat, will it  hold together?
Can  its members all be counted on to perform their assigned
tasks  so  that  there  individual efforts  will   cause the  
alliance's  effort  to be successful?  These are the kinds of
questions the answers to  which can only be guessed  at, for
it  is hoped  that  the true  answer  will never  be  known.
Nonetheless,  it  is  important  to know  as  accurately  as
possible what tide answers might be.
     Warsaw Pact forces can  potentially be employed in four
different  modes:  internal  offensive, internal  defensive,
external defensive, and external offensive.  The focus of
this  study will  be only on  the last, as that  is the one
which most concerns NATO.
Definition and Components
     There  are several  aspects of  NSWP reliability  which
must be  examined before proceeding  further.  First,  it is
necessary to  define the concept itself  and its components.
Second,  the political framework  affecting the  increase or
decrease in  reliability must be  examined.  Third,  some of
the measures  taken to  ensure reliability require  a closer
     Analysts   generally  agree   that   the  question   of
reliability covers two main  areas:  The reliability  of the
regime  itself and  the reliability  of the  military forces
under the control of that government.  Regime reliability is
a   function  of   the   political,  economic,   and  social
environment in which it operates-  In this case, that refers
not  only  to  domestic  considerations,  but  also  to  the
relationships within  the Pact,  with the Soviet  Union, and
with the  West.  Regarding the  military forces, reliability
pertains to the conviction  by the political leadership that
the armed forces  will carry out  the instructions given  to
pertains  to the conviction  by the political leadership that
the armed forces  will carry out  the instructions given  to
them as affected by  the willingness of significant segments
of those forces to carry out those orders.
     One  way of  viewing reliability  is to look  at people
rather than governments, believing that ethnic roots are far
deeper than  those  put  down  by  political  systems.    If
traditional enemies  were considered the  relationship would
be as follows:
			Nation			Traditional
		East Germany		Poles, Russians, Hungarians
		Poland 			Germans, Russians, Czechs
		Czechoslovakia		Germans, Russians, Poles,
		Hungary			Rumanians, Russians, Czechs
		Romania				Hungarians, Russians,
		Bulgaria			Yugoslavians, Greeks, Turks,
     The  traditional enmity  felt  by one  WP ally  towards
another is  particularly troubling to the  Soviets, who made
nearly  everyone's  hit list,  and  who  must overcome  this
problem in all Pact  activities.  Of course a  similar chart
could be drawn up for NATO but it would be far shorter.
(missing text (page 18))
the East European countries  involved would have to identify
their own national interests  closely with the Soviet Union.
     Ironically,  the new policies' success could also bring
trouble  to the  alliance.   Increased  standards of  living
would  result in  less willingness  to  risk the  status quo
through rash military action;  similarly, increased exposure
to the West should reduce the desire to take such action.
Reliability Enhancing Measures
     The WP  has  developed  several  measures  designed  to
combat  threats to alliance  cohesion.  A  lack of political
legitimacy  has required   the  imposition  of an  artificial
structure to support adherence to Pact policy and doctrine.
     Because   the  development  of  an  independent military
capability  among  the  NSWP  states  would   threaten  Pact
reliability, Pact doctrine has been formulated in such a way
as  to decrease the likelihood  of such a  development.  The
NSWP  forces  lack  many   of  the  elements  necessary  for
independent operations such as  complete air defense systems
and adequate logistic capabilities.  Further,  the exclusive 
use of Soviet  weapons, whether  produced in the   USSR or a
NSWP country,  ensures the continued reliance  on the Soviet
Union  for  many end  items and  spare  parts.   Tactical or
operational doctrine is taught at the higher  levels only in
the  Soviet Union,  ensuring educational dependency  and the
development  of a  Soviet-dominated officer  corp.   Such an
agreement also effectively limits the opportunity to develop
a   heretical  territorial   defense  doctrine   similar  to
     The   Warsaw  Pacts   exercise  program   provides  an
effective means for reinforcing reliability.  In addition to
the normal  training benefits  derived  from exercising,  WP
joint  maneuvers   require  NSWP  troop  leaders  to  become
accustomed to  working for  Soviet commanders  while testing
plans developed largely by Soviet staffs.
Member State Reliability
           "There might well be just too many problems
           within the Soviet military for an invasion
           of Western Europe to succeed.  By the fourth
           day Pact troops might begin to desert and
           sabotage the Soviet invasion.  Near the end
           of the first week, a few NATO units could
           and up pushing through Eastern Europe and
           into parts of the Soviet Union."16
     It is difficult to  say, however, how the NSWP  members
may  respond  when  NATO  forces begin  to  bomb  airfields,
bridges, troop concentrations,  supply areas,  communication
centers,  and industrial  areas  in their  home territories.
The effect may be heightened by fornal and informal contacts
by NATO offering reduced  damage in exchange for  pledges of
neutrality.   Current Soviet  doctrine emphasizing  the need
for  a  quick,  far  reaching  strike  into  NATO  territory
indicates  a desire  to  avoid  giving  its allies  time  to
East Germany
     The German  Democratic Republic (GDR) is  thought to be
one  of the most reliable NSWP members, although a good deal
of credit for  that has to go to the  eighteen full strength
divisions  of the Group of Soviet Forces, Germany (GSFG), on
its soil, almost twice as  many Soviet units as the  rest of
Eastern  Europe combined.   Integration  of the  East German
Army into  the GSFG is illustrated by  the oath taken by NVA
soldiers, who  pledge to always be  ready, side-by-side with
the  Soviet Army and the armies of their socialist allies to
protect socialism against all enemies.
     The "German question"  has always  troubled the  Soviet
planners who realize that a WP attack would  not pit the NVA
against  a  traditional  enemy,  but  against   friends  and
relatives.  Currently the consensus is that  the East German
military is  essentially incapable of any action.  Morale is
low  and  discipline  is  gone.    Soldiers  have  quit  and
emigrated to West Germany.   Recently, one battalion refused
to take part in a training exercise with Soviet troops.
     The   future  of   the   NVA  is   uncertain.     Since
reunification with West Germany is now certain, the role and
structure  of the  military  will undergo  radical  changes.
Integration of the armed  forces will not be easy  given the
differences in equipment and training.
     The  victory  of  the  "conservative"  faction  in  the
election  of  18  March  1990  will  likely  result  in  the
acceleration of reunification.   What the election will mean
for  the structure of the military in the interim remains to
be  seen.   However, small groups  known as  "block parties"
have been formed  to discuss the possibilities  of change in
the  GDR.   These  groups have  a  high percentage  of party
membership  and East German opposition remains more repressed
than similar movements in the WP.
     Too much has happened to allow Poland  to be considered
a reliable participant  in a  WP offensive action.   As  the
threat from West Germany recedes, identification with Soviet
goals has declined significantly.  This is particularly true
in  the   case  of  the   Polish  military  who,   as  their
professionalism increases, have less desire to be associated
with the  Soviet military.   Instead  of standing  guard for
peace  in  fraternal  alliance  with the  Soviet  army,  the
soldiers  prefer  to stand  guard  for  the sovereignty  and
independence of the Polish  nation, its security, and peace.
Polish  authorities have  told Moscow  that Poland  will not 
participate  in upgrading  WP forces,  but their  efforts to
negotiate  cutbacks  of  Soviet  troops  have  met  with  no
     In 1968,  the Soviet invasion  struck a severe  blow to
Chechoslovakia'a   military   leaving   the   Czech   army's
reliability doubtful at best.   In an effort to  repair some
of the  damage, Soviet political officers  worked with their
Czech counterparts in trying to prevent a deformation of the
concept  of the  "probable enemy"  but the  identity  of the
probable  enemy is still not clear.  Soviet troops have been
stationed in  Czechoslovakia since  the  `68 crackdown,  but
will be  withdrawn by  June of  1991 at the  request of  the
Czech government.  In addition, the CPA is in the process of
restructuring its  forces due, in  part, to a  commitment to
reduce troop and equipment strength by 1991.
      Many weapon systems, including tanks and  ground combat
vehicles  have been  removed  from active  status either  by
being placed in storage or retired.
      It is  probable that troops will  remain deployed along
the western border although  the number will be lessened  to
create a "zone  of confidence" between  NATO and the  Warsaw
     During the East-West seminar on military doctrine  held
in Vienna  in January  1990, Geheral  N. Chervov,  the chief
arms control expert on the Soviet General Staff, stated that
there will be  a major restructuring  of the Eastern  Bloc's
military  command apparatus.   Though he refused  to go into
details, his  statements suggest that  in the future  the WP
would probably be governed by heads of state or governments.
     General Colin Powell, Chairman  of U.S. Joint Chiefs of
Staff, responded that he  believed  "the Warsaw Pact alliance
is   shifting  in   its  character   to   a   more  political
institution,"  but  based upon  discussions with each  of the
WP's military chiefs,  they "seem to making, in  some cases,
unilateral  judgements  with  respect  to  their  production
activities, and their force  structure, but they continue to
say that they are part of an alliance."
     There is, indeed, a  transformation taking place in the
Warsaw Pact.   I believe the threat of deliberate aggression
directed against Europe and its extension to global conflict
is much reduced.  Nevertheless, Soviet capabilities are
still  formidable   and  the  situation  we   face  is  very
unpredictable.   The teeth are still there; whether the jaws
are tired and can still chew is another thing.
     Given the recent sequence  of events in Eastern Europe,
the  Soviets must factor  politital changes there into future
military  planning equations.   I  believe these  changes in
Eastern  Europe reduce  the  Soviet  Union's confidence  and
capacity  to wage coalition  warfare.  If  Moscow judges its
allied forces  to be unreliable, they would likely be forced
now  to adopt a  defensive posture in the  event of a crisis
that could lead to  war.  In light of  these developments, I
believe that the Soviets  would consider large scale theater
operations against NATO with only their own forces as highly
risky, if not  impractical.  Whatever  the Soviets needed  a
year ago to pull off a short warning attack, they would need
twice as much time now.
     The  NSWP  nations are  very  different  collections of
political,  social, and economic  circumstances.   Still, in
the process of defining their national identities, they must
work  within the  constraints associated with  membership in
the Soviet-led alliance.
     As  members of an alliance, the purpose of which is not
so much to  defend themselves as it is to  defend the Soviet
Union,    the   NSWP   states    approach   their   alliance
responsibilities  with  varying  degrees of  enthusiasm  and
competence,  particularly  as  new  governments  in  Berlin,
Warsaw, Prague,  Budapest, and  Sofia look away  from Moscow
and  to   the  West  for  political   support  and  economic
salvation.   Some have  reconciled themselves to  their role
adhering to a  script they  had no part  in writing;  others
have not, choosing instead  to seek out roles in  which they
can improvise.  The result is a military alliance of dubious
value about which it can be  said that, even after more than
thirty years of Moscow supplied training and indoctrination,
the East  European military  is neither completely  loyal to
the USSR nor efficient.
     The success or failure  of the current Soviet political
and economic initiatives, to the extent that they are  truly
substantive, will be decisive for  the success or failure of
the  Warsaw Pact  and for  the fortunes of  the NSWP nations.
Pact   reliability  will   be  improved  only   if  domestic
conditions are also made better and the Soviet Union is able
to  retain   its  leading  role  within   an  atmosphere  of
     The final curtain has not come down so the reviews must
wait.   There is always the chance that the play might close
before the run is over.
1.   The Atlantic Alliance and  the Warsaw Pact.  Brussels: NATO
Information Service. Undated.  pp.  10  -  11.
2.   Lyntov, Ivan.  "The  Alliance For  Peace."  Soviet Military
Review.  No.5, (May 1987). p. 47.
3.   Volgyes, Ivan. "The Warsaw Pact: A Study of Vulnerabilities,
Tension,  and  Reliability." In the  Future of  European Alliance
Systems.   Edited  by  Arlene   Broadhurst.  (Boulder,  Colorado:
Westview Press, 1982). p.  152.
4.    Painton, Frederick.  "The  German  Question." Time.  (Sept.
1987). p. 9.
5.   "The East German Army -- An Integral Part of the Conventional
Threat  to NATO."  International Defense Review.   (4/1987).    p.
6.   Baxter, William P.  "National Security." In  East Germany: A
Country Study.  p. 219. Edited  by Eugene  K. Keefe.  Washington,
D.C. : U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982
7.   Johnson, A. Ross; Dean,  Robert W.; and Alexier, Alexander R.
"The Armies of the  Warsaw Pact Northern Tier."   Survival. (Jul-
Aug 1981).  p. 54.
8.   Ehrenreich,  Frederick.  "National Security."  In Poland:  A
Country Study.  p.  303. Edited by Harold D.  Nelson. Washington,
D.C. : U.S. Government Printing Office.  1983.
9.   Johnson, A. Ross; Dean, Robert W.; and Alexier, Alexander R.
"The Armies of the  Warsaw Pact Northern Tier."   Survival. (Jul-
Aug 1981).  p. 57.
10.  Ibid, p. 56.
11.  Whetten, Lawrence  L.  "The  Warsaw Pact As  An Instrument for
Inducting    Political    and       Military    Integration    and
Interdependence."   In the  Future of European  Alliance  Systems,
Edited by Arlene Broadhurst.  (Boulder, Colorado:  Westview Press,
1980). p. 254.
12.  (illegible text)
13.  Nelson Daniel N. "Moscow's Uncertain Allies."  Armed Froces
Journal International.  (Feb 1987). p. 38.
14.  Hersping,  Dale R.  and Volgyes,  Ivan. " How  Reliable Are
Eastern European Armies?" Survival.  (Sep-Oct  1980).  p. 211.
15.  Kraus, Michael.  "Soviet  Policy  Toward Eastern  Europe."
Current History. Vol. 86, No. 523 (November 1987). p. 391.
16.  Scherer, John L. "Soviet Military Deficiencies: An Update."
Soviet Armed  Forces  Review  Edited  by David  R.  Jones,  (Gulf
Breeze, Florida:  Academic International Press, 1985) p. 397.
Click here to view image
     The Soviet Union stations  18 full-strength ground divisions
in East germany although  this number is scheduled to  be reduced
by 1991.
     Unilateral East  German defense cuts were  announced in late
January 1989, following the Soviet Union's similar annoucement in
December 1988.
     East Germany has  a modern Air  Force consisting of updated
Soviet equipment.  In  August 1988 East Germany became  the first
WP  nation  outside of  the Soviet  Union  to receive  the MIG-29
Fulcrum fighter.
     East  Germany has indicated that some of the announced troop
cuts may  involve the Navy, however,  no reduction schedule  has
been confirmed.
Click here to view image
     Poland is host to the Soviet Ncrthern Group of Forces.  Both
Polish and Soviet troops and equipment in Poland are scheduled to
undergo major reductions over the next few years.  In early 1989,
Poland introduced a plan for reorganization of  its armed forces.
The  army is  in  the midst  of  the reorganization,  which  will
restructure all three military districts and the Naval Brigade.
     In October 1989   Poland became  the second  NSWP member  to
recieve the modern MIG-29 Fulcrum fighter.
     The  Polish  Navy  provides  a  potent  amphibious  assault
capability  in the Baltic region  as well as  a significant anti-
ship missle attack force.
Click here to view image
     Soviet troops will be withdrawn by 30 June 1991.
     As part  of  a plan  to cut  defense spending  15% by  1992,
Czechoslovakia plans to retire aircraft and reduce the number of MIG-
29s ...(illegible text)
Click here to view image
     The Political Consultative Committee (PCC) has been the
highest  organ of the Warsaw Pact, and consists of the Party
First  or General Secretary or  Head of State  of the member
nations.   It was  supplemented by two  subcommittees -- the
Council  of Foreign  Ministers  and the  Council of  Defense
Ministers.  The PCC  has set general policy and  guidance to
the subcommittees, which formulated policy  between sessions
of the PCC.
     In  January 1990 the Warsaw Pact  disclosed that it was
abandoning  the PCC and replacing  it with a  new group that
would not require  membership in Communist Party.  The final
from the  committee will  take has  not yet  been finalized.
(Notes: Military  Council is  the operational command  of the
field forces during exercises and in wartime).
The  Atlantic  Alliance and  the  Warsaw  Pact.   Brussels:  NATO
Information Service. Undated.
Baxter,  William  P.  "National  Security." In  East  Germany:  A
Country  Study.   pp.  199-242.   Edited  by  Eugene   K.  Keefe.
Washington, D.C. : U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982
Bellamy, Christopher. "What the New Warsaw Pact Military Doctrine
Means  for  the  West." Jane' Defence  Weekly.  (Dec  5, 1987).
p. 1310.
Boll, Michael. "The  Soviet-Bulgarian Alliance: from Subservience
to Partnership."  Parameters. Vol  XIV, No. 4, (Winter  1984). pp.
Chaney, Otto P. Jr.  "The SOviet Threat to Europe:  Prospects for
the 1980's." Parameters.  Vol XIII, No.3,(Sep 1983). pp. 2-22.
"The East German  Army --  An Integral Part  of the  Conventional
Threat to NATO."  International Defense Review.   (4/1987).   pp.
Ehrenreich,  Frederick. "National Security." In Poland: A Country
Study.  pp.289-336. Edited by  Harold D. Nelson. Washington, D.C.
:  U.S. Government Printing Office. 1983.
Emch, Martin. "Is the  West Overestimating Warsaw Pact Strength?"
International Ddfense Review. Vol. 2, (1985). pp. 147-148.
Erickson, John.  "The Warsaw Pact:  From Her to Eternity?" Current
History. Vol. 84, No. 505, (Nov 1987). pp. 357-360, 387.
Eyal, Jonathan.  "Ceaucescu's Armed Froces."   Armed Forces. Vol.
6, No. 3. (March 1987). pp. 114-117
Hersping,  Dale.R.  "  The Soviet  Union  and the  East  European
Militaries: The Diminishing Asset." February 1985.
"The  Warsaw Pact at 25."  Problems of Communism. (Sep-Oct 1980).
pp. 1-15
Hersping, Dale R. and Volgyes, Ivan.  " How Reliable Are Eastern
European Armies?" Survival.  (Sep-Oct 1980),  pp. 208-218.
Johnson, A. Ross; Dean, Robert W.; and Alexier, Alexander R. "The
Armies of  the Warsaw  Pact Northern  Tier."  Survival.  (Jul-Aug
1981).  pp. 174-182.
Kraus, Michael.  "Soviet Policy Toward  Eastern Europe."  Current
History.  Vol. 86, No. 523 (November 1987).  pp. 353-356, 390.
Kusin,  Vladimir. "Gorbachev  and  Eastern  Europe." Problems  of
Communism.  (Jan-Feb 1986). pp. 39-53.
Lebow, Richard N.  In The  Future Of  European Alliance  Systems.
"The  Soviet  Response to  Poland and  the  Future of  the Warsaw
Pact." Edited  by Arlene Broadhurst. (Boulder, Colorado: Westview
Press, 1982).  pp. 185-236.
Lewis, William F. The Warsaw  Pact: Arms, Defense, and  Strategy.
(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982).
Lyntov, Ivan.  "The Alliance For Peace."  Soviet Military Review.
No.5, (May 1987). pp. 47-49.
The Military  Balance 1988-1989.  London:  International Institue
for Strategic Studies.
Nelson  Daniel  N. "Moscow's  Uncertain  Allies."   Armed  Froces
Journal International.  (Feb 1987). pp. 36-38.
Painton,  Frederick. "The German  Question." Time.  (Sept. 1987).
pp. 4-11.
Scherer, John L. "Soviet Military Deficiencies: An Update."
Soviet Armed  Forces  Review  Edited by  David  R.  Jones,  (Gulf
Breeze, Florida:  Academic International Press, 1985)
Staar,  Richard  F.  "The  Warsaw  Treaty Organization."  Current
History. Vol 86, No. 523 (Nov. 1987). pp. 357-36O, 387.
Volgyes,  Ivan.  "Hungary:  Before  the  Storm   Breaks."  Current
History.  Vol. 86, No. 523. (Nov 1987). 373-390.
Volgyes,  Ivan,. "The  Warsaw  Pact: A  Study of  Vulnerabilities,
Tension,   and Reliability."  In the  Future of  European Alliance
Systems.   Edited  by  Arlene   Broadhurst.    (Boulder,  Colorado:
Westview Press, 1982). pp.  147-183.
Whetten,  Lawrence  L.  "The Warsaw  Pact  As  An Instrument  for
Inducting    Political    and     Military    Integration     and
Interdependency."  In  the  Future of European  Alliance Systems.
Edited by Arlene Broadhurst.  (Boulder, Colorado:  Westview Press,
1982). pp. 237-266.

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