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State Department expert on Soviet military affairs Raymond Garthoff gives the names of the present members of what may be the highest body dealing specifically with military and defense matters, the Supreme Defense Council. The membership includes General Secretary Brezhnev (Chairman), Prime Minister Aleksei N. Kosygin, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Presidium Nikolai V. Podgorny, Party Secretary Dmitri E. Ustinov (candidate member of the Politburo), and Minister of Defense Andrei A. Grechko. All except Ustinov are full members of the Politburo. Others are called upon to attend meetings on occasion. The Council apparently does not have the formal powers of the U.S. National Security Council but seems to consist of the inner Politburo group of men who handle defense questions. As a member of the Politburo KGB Chief Uri Andropov would presumably also exercise consider able influence on Politburo decisions regarding nuclear questions because of the role of KGB troops in nuclear affairs (see below).

In view of the scanty information about this subject, a brief summary of the roles of various branches of the Soviet governmental and military establishment in the management of nuclear matters, as far as this is known to specialists in Soviet military affairs, may be pertinent.

The Ministry of Medium Machine Building, one of the eight defense-related ministries subordinate to the Council of Ministers, “is believed to be the administrator of the Soviet atomic energy program." 6

According to Col. William F. Scott, an American specialist in Soviet military affairs, special troops of the KGB (Troops of the Committee of State Security) "guard and control the Soviet stockpiles of nuclear weapons. KGB troops also provide high-level communications between the Party leadership and the military forces, as well as certain communications within the Ministry of Defense” although the KGB is not part of Marshal Grechko's Ministry of Defense. "Hence, when one considers the release of nuclear weapons to Soviet aerospace forces, as well as other aspects of command and control, the KGB troops are a significant factor.” ? Since the Ministry of Medium Machine Building is also described as "custodian of the country's nuclear weapons stockpiles," 8 the roles of the Ministry and the KGB are not clear. The Ministry may stockpile weapons it produces under the custody and, possibly, the control of the KGB, or the Ministry may have full custody until the weapons are turned over to the military (as is the case with the Energy Research and Development Agency in the United States).

Created in 1959, the Strategic Rocket Forces constitute the main Soviet nuclear force. Assigned land-based missiles with ranges greater than 1,000 kilometers, this command consists of approximately 350,000 men, the elite of the Soviet Armed Forces. "Security with respect to the Strategic Rocket Forces is so tight that even the identification of its personnel is kept secret, except for a few members of the senior staff." ° Personnel do not wear identifying uniforms. The commander in chief of this group, V. F. Tolubko, appears to enjoy greater prestige than his counterparts in the other four services.

Garthoff, Raymond L. Salt and the Soviet Military. Problems of Communism. January-February 1975. P. 29.

Gallagher, Matthew P. and Karl F. Spielman, Jr. Soviet Decisionmaking for Defense: A Critique of U.S. Perspectives on the Arms Race. New York, Praeger, 1972. P. 20.

7 Scott, William F. Soviet Aerospace Forces and Doctrine. Air Force Magazine. March 1975. P. 33. 8 Gallagher, op. cit. P. 20.

Scott, op. cit. P. 35.

In conclusion, a brief summation of Soviet views about nuclear strategy may provide some idea of the context in which a Soviet command to use weapons might be issued.

A recent book by well known American specialists in Soviet affairs which deals with the role of nuclear weapons in current Soviet strategy comments on Soviet views about a conventional war between the United States and the U.S.S.R. After stating that the Soviets consider that such a war would "most likely escalate into general war,” the book goes on to say:

While the Soviets require their armed forces to be flexible in the use of either category of weapons (conventional or nuclear), they also argue that in view of the unlimited aims of both sides in a confrontation, the war is likely to lead to the use of all weapons. The Soviet view is reflected, for example, in the following statement by Grechko:

"At the present stage the armed forces must be capable under any conditions to frustrate a surprise attack by the aggressor with the use of nuclear as well as conventional weapons and with rapid, devastating blows to destroy his main missilenuclear weapons and troop formations, thereby assuring favorable conditions for the further conduct and victorious outcome of the war.

APPENDIX A Organization charts of the Politburo and the Secretariat of the CPSŮ Central Committee and of the Soviet Ministry of Defense and the Military Council of Command and Staff of the Strategic Rocket Forces follow:

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Yurty Vladimirovich Andropov
Leonid it'ich Ireshner
Andrey Antonovich Grechke
Viktor Vasilyevich Griechen
Andrey Andreyevich Gromyko
Andrey Povlovich Kirilenko
Aleksey Nikolayevich Karro
Fedor Dovydovich Kulakor

(Chairman, USSR Committee for State Security (KGS))
(General Secretary. CPSU Central Committee)
(USSR Minister of Datense)
(First Secretary, Moscow City Party Committee)
(USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs)
(Secretary. CPSU Central Committee)
(Chairmon, USSR Council of Ministeri)
(Secretary, CPSU Cantral Committee)

Dinmukhamed Akhmedovich Kunayo
Kirit Trotimovich Maruro
Arvid Yanovich Polshe
Nikolay Viktorovich Podgorny
Dmitriy Stepanovich Polyanskiy
Vladimir Vasilyevich Shcharbeitskly
Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov

(First Secretary. Central Committee. CP of Kazakhstan)
(First Deputy Chairman, USSR Council of Ministers)
(Chairmon. Party Control Committee
(Choirmon Presidium, USSR Supreme Soviet)
(USSR Minister of Agriculture
(First Secretory. Central Committee, CP of the Ukraine)
(Secretary. CPSU Central Committee)


Petr Nilovich Demicher
Petr Mironovich Masheros
Boris Nikolayevich Ponomar
Sharof Rashidovich Rashidor

USSR Minister of Culture
(First Secretary, Central Committee, O of Belorussia)
(Chiet, International Department. CPSU Central Committee)
(First Secretary, Central Committee, CP of Uzbekistan)

Grigoriy Vasilyevich Romanov
Mikhail Sergeyevich Solamente
Dmitriy Fedorovich Ustinov

(First Secretory. Leningrad Oblast Party Committee)
(Chormon, RSFSR Council of Ministers)
(Secretary. CPSU Central Committee)


leonid Brezhnov


Vladimir Ivanovich Dolgih
Ivan Vasilyevich Kapitonov
Konstantin Fedorovich Katushes
Andrey Pavlovich Kirilenko

(Chiet, Organizational Party Work Dept, CPSU Central Committer)

Fedor Davydovich Kulakov
Boris Nikolayevich Ponomarev
Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov
Dmitriy Fedorovich Ustinov

(Member, Politburo, CPSU Central Committee)
(Chiet, Internahonol Dept. CPSU Central Committee
(Member, Politburo. CPSU Central Committee
(Candidate Member, Politburo, CPSU Central Committee)

(Mamber, Politburo, CPSU Central Committee)


Mikhail Trifonovich lovchuk

Georgiy Sergeyevich Pavlov


Iron Dmitriyevich Serbin


Ivan Vasilyevich Kapitonov


Arvid Yonovich Pet she


Yevgeniy Mikhaylovich Chakharin

Nikolay Ivanovich Savinkin

Konstantin Ustinovich Chernando



Anatoliy Grigor'yevich WOW

Fedor Davydovich Kulakov



Fedor Danilovich Ayahenke

Boris Nikolayevich Ponomor


Sergey Pavlovich Trapeznikov

Viktor Mikhaylovich Bushwyer




Yokov Ivanovich Kabkow

Ivan Dmitryev

Fedo - Mocholin


Kirsi Stepanuwan Simonov

Vasiliy Filimonovich Showro

Vaulty Semenovich Frolov

AICR) 75 10
Supercedes ACR) 74-39

June, 1975

Officials in the departments of the CPSU Central Committee's dinistra
tive apparatus are not necessarily members of the Central Committee The
Central Commutee itself not shown on this chart, conginted of 241 members
and 155 candidates following elections at the 24th Party Congress in
April 1971

565974 75

10 Goure, Leon, Foy D. Kohler, and Mose L. Harvey. The Role of Nuclear Forces in Current Soviet Strategy. Monograph in International Affairs, Center for Advanced International Studies. University of Miami. 1974. P. 103.

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NOTE. - Information on organization of the Soviet Armed Forces is considered classified by the Soviet government; hence official organization charts are not available. The charts that follow have been constructed by Harriet Fast Scott from information found in current Soviet military journals, newspapers, and books on military affairs. The functional responsibilities of some deputy commanders are uncertain, and in a few cases, the name or rank of an incumbent has been deduced from a number of related but nonspecific sources. Command and staff positions and the name or rank of incumbents that have not been definitely established are indicated by asterisks. – The Editors, Air Force Magazine, March 1975 "Soviet Aerospace Forces and Doctrine" by Col. William F. Scott, USAF (Ret.).



The armed forces of the People's Republic of China are controlled by the Communist Party of China, and the state constitution designates the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Party as the commander of the armed forces. Mao Tse-tung holds this position, and it is likely that a decision regarding the use of nuclear weapons would be made by Mao and the other members of the Politburo who constitute the inner decisionmaking group of the Party and the state. Many major decisions in recent years have been collective decisions because of the several centers of power (including the armed forces) represented on the Politburo. Though Mao has been the arbiter between the various factions, his age (81) and his frail health both point toward more reliance or a collective decision. If circumstances prevent a quick decision by the entire Politburo, it seems probable that alternative arrangements have been made for a decision by the Politburo's Standing Committee or through some alternate headquarters.

We do not know whether China has deployed tactical nuclear weapons, but there have been indications that the Chinese are developing such weapons, and their use would be compatible with present Chinese military capabilities and with what is known of China's military strategy. While we do not have information on the command and control arrangements for tactical nuclear weapons, control of such weapons—if they have been developed—is probably held tightly by the central leadership in Peking. It is reasonable to expect, however, that authority to use such weapons in exceptional circumstances under carefully prescribed regulations may have been delegated to military leaders.

COMMAND AND CONTROL The focus of power in China is in the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo and its Standing Committee. This central party leadership appears to have effective control over the state, party and military bureaucracies that implement decisions. But this leadership, as reflected in the Politburo, represents central and regional party and military groupings, the civilian bureaucracy and the mass organizations. It is divided along ideological lines into radical and moderate factions, with the strength of various groups, and even their identification, difficult to assess. Both the party and state constitutions name the Communist Party as the leader of the armed forces, with the party leader as the commander of those forces. The present constitutions reflect the power situation as it existed when they were written, but the Chinese political system has not remained static, with the relative strength of groups changing considerably in the past decade.

* Prepared by M. T. Haggard, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Foreign Affairs Division, Sept. 19, 1975.

There were two new party constitutions in the 1969–73 period and a new state constitution in 1974, all reflecting, after the fact, major changes in the power structure. The present transitional period may be smooth, without major violence, but there could be vast changes in the leadership, which could take place with little or no reference to the existing constitutions. This, in turn, could result in new constitutions framed to suit the needs of the new leadership.? If such changes follow the pattern of previous ones in China, the dust will all be settled before reliable knowledge of them reaches outside China.

The central figure in the decisionmaking process has been Mao Tse-tung, who is considered the top ranking member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and is Chairman of the Central Committee. The latter position, under the state constitution, also makes him commander of the armed forces. Mao is not involved in day-to-day operations of the party or the government, and his activities are considerably reduced because of his age and health, but he still is a factor in important domestic and foreign policy decisions. Premier Chou En-lai continues to be the central figure in the operation of the party and government systems, but he has been hospitalized for most of the past 15 months. The most active party-government figure is Deputy Premier Teng Hsiao-ping, who himself is over 70 years of age and who was rehabilitated in 1973 after being purged during the Cultural Revolution. Teng has also been named chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in a move apparently aimed at giving the central party leadership tighter control of the armed forces.

Real direction of military affairs and policies in China has come from the Military Commission (formerly the Military Affairs Committee) of the Central Committee of the CCP. The Military Commission is, in the party bureaucracy, responsible to the Politburo and its standing committee. However, for long periods it has had a semiautonomous or even autonomous role in the determination of military policy. As noted, the Politburo and its standing committee would make final decisions on the use of nuclear weapons, but this authority might be shared with the Military Commission, and there is considerable overlapping between the groups. The membership and organization of the Commission is only partially known, and for considerable periods of time its membership and activities have been concealed or unpublicized. The Commission has been under the control of Mao Tsetung as official or unofficial chairman, with Lin Piao second to Mao on the Commission during the 1959–71 period. Most of the other leading members have been from the senior military elite, with Wang


1 Towsend, James R. Politics in China. Boston: Little. Brown and Co., 1974. Pp. 288-292. There was a wide split in the Politburo during the early part of the Cultural Revolution, resulting in the decline of Politburo authority. These divisions have been reduced, but not eliminated by a series of purges.

3 The willingness of Mao to carry the struggle outside the established institutional framework-the Party and Government structure-and do so successfully illustrates the need to be cautious in using the existing constitutions, particularly after they have been in existence a few years, to determine which individuals or groups are making strategic/foreign policy/domestic policy decisions.

3 In Chinese usage, the PLA is equivalent to military forces, since the PLA includes ground, air, naval and missile forces.

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