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response to that perspective will be, I don't feel I have any special insight on that.
Mr. PERLE. A halt in the growth of arms expenditures, while maintaining at a constant level the arms budgets of recent years, would still enable them, would it not, to proceed with substantial procurement of strategic weapons!
Dr. CAMPBELL. Oh, surely, there is a very large volume of resources going into the military program even if it were frozen at that level. I think the difficulty is, that, once you reach a certain point in procurement there is no point in continuing along the same lines. If there is to be further strategic defense expenditure it has to come along some other line. It has to involve development of new weapons systems.
SOVIET WEAPONS RESEARCII, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEPLOYMENT Mr. PERLE. Dr. Wolfe talked about the high proportion of Soviet research and development which has been devoted to military programs. Among the various estimates, ranging from 25 to 75 percent, he thought about two-thirds was a reasonable approximation.
Now, surely this extensive Soviet research and development, whatever the exact percentage, has put the Soviets in a position where programs have been largely developed but not yet deployed. Some current examples are work on the MIRV system, extensive research and development on ABM, the development and testing of a fractional orbital bombardment system, and others.
Now, many people in this country argue that once the military research and development process brings you to the completion of a program so that deployment becomes possible, there are irresistible pressures to actually deploy. When you have a number of systems at the end of the R&D cycle, are there substantial pressures to go ahead and deploy those systems in the Soviet Union ? And, what is the capacity of the Soviet leadership to resist those pressures?
Dr. CAMPBELL. Well, you know this has to be purely speculation, but I would suspect that they have the capability of resisting these pressures if they choose to.
You know there is the one case of Khrushchev's dealing with the battleships. There was something which was at an advanced stage but where the leadership could say “we are going to quit, that is the wrong direction, we are going in a different direction.” I think the leadership can do that in the Soviet Union.
Mr. PERLE. Of course, there now seems to be a reactivated interest in the expansion of the Soviet Navy.
Dr. CAMPBELL. Yes.
Mr. PERLE. Dr. Wolfe, I wonder if you might comment on the uncertainties in our own planning that necessarily result from the Soviets having taken a number of systems to the end of the R&D stage.
Dr. WOLFE. Well, I think if we first take a look at the record of the past we see a mixed picture. There have been various new weapons which the Soviet Union carried along through the development process, partly in connection with this prototype approach that we were discussing earlier, and then did not elect to procure and deploy in substantial numbers. Now most of these were individual aircraft or some other weapon as distinct from a whole systems concept. If
the choice involves, say, a nationwide ABM system, the problem is of a quite different order than deciding on a production run of two or three hundred aircraft of some new type.
The past experience suggests that the Soviets are not tied to going ahead with a particular weapon simply because it has been developed. They have had almost what seems to be a policy of eliminating some developed items in the interests of bringing out the best one.
Now, on the other side of the picture, there also seems to be persistent dedication to programs that have become well established. There has been some difficulty in turning certain programs off in the military field. One of the prime examples of this was the long persistence of large antiaircraft artillery forces in the Soviet establishment through a period of time when they weren't actually very much use against the kind of attack the Soviet Union would have had to cope with. It is hard to explain why, at a time when this was a drain on the Soviet economy, the Soviet Union nevertheless continued to produce AA artillery in very large quantities and to maintain the personnel to fire it and so on.
If someone had been looking for real economy, on a purely rational economic decision-making basis, this would have been one good place to apply it. I suppose there are all sorts of institutional reasons why this wasn't done. At the present time, one must consider the influence of what could be called the Soviet “military-industrial complex." The groups which have a vested interest of one kind or another in the whole process of military R&D, production and deployment, seem to constitute a very persuasive element of the Soviet system.
You mentioned my best guess that about two-thirds of the Soviet R&D efforts goes to defense related purposes. There are also the statements of people like the Soviet economist Aganbegian, who remarked that 40 percent of the Soviet economy is tied up with doing work for military in one way or another. All of this suggests to me that the institutional resistance to turning off programs, once they get developed to the point where they have a life of their own, is pretty great in the Soviet Union. The Soviet leadership itself has a conception of what is good and what is needed for the Soviet Union that seems to put very high value on a strong military-industrial position,
It seems to me, therefore, that that leadership is not in a very good position to turn off programs at will. There is, of course, a different image of the Soviet political leadership, according to which three or four top leaders can simply come to a decision and say: “Look, we will cut this ABM thing out; it is a lot of nonsense. Send the order down to the troops.” There is an image that the Soviet system would work this way and everybody would do it. This is not my image of the way the system is knit together, and I think the Soviet leadership probably has every bit as much trouble, if not more than our own leadership, in resisting the various kinds of pressures within the system.
Mr. Garcia. How much influence do you think the military has on that final decision on whether to deploy a new weapons system?
Dr. WOLFE. I think they probably have considerable influence on the deployment decision. But I think that the Soviet military does have to operate within some sort of parameters that are given to them by the political leadership. I don't think they can just write their own ticket by any means.
THE SOVIET SPACE PROGRAM AND MANPOWER UTILIZATION
Mr. GARCIA, I wonder if the reduced emphasis on the space program in Russia is indicative of failures in their prototypes in the space program or an indication that an increased effort is being put into consumer goods?
Dr. Wolfe. I will answer briefly, I think this is properly in the field of Dr. Campbell.
First, there is the transfer question. I don't think the kinds of resources that are tied up in the space program are readily translatable into consumer benefits.
Mr. Garcia. I was thinking of scientific personnel.
Dr. WOLFE. Right. But the scientific personnel just don't float around loose. They are in one institute or another which has an organizational life, a particular place in the system; somebody controls it, and it has a budget to be justified, and so on. You don't just suddenly switch a whole system like this around 180 degrees and say: "Now start making plastic pocketbooks for the girls on Nevsky Prospect.” It is a great institutional strain to try to re-orient this system. Especially when everybody has to be fitted into a plan in some way, I suppose it is even more complicated.
I think two things have happened with regard to the Soviet space program. The early enthusiasm that accompanied the Soviet firsts in this area has tended to wear off. The United States put the first man on the moon, and so on, so that the Soviet space program no longer has the potential appeal it once had to people in the decisionmaking areas. The second question concerns the very real kinds of problems that both of us have discussed here today. How is the Soviet Union to develop an efficient system for applying the results of technology either in the civilian economy or in space, or for military purposes? Ilow is scientific knowledge, produced by the very bright people whom the Soviet Union has in large quantities, to be translated through development and management into some kind of a going system?
Mr. Garcia. You partially answered the other questions I had in mind in your response to Mr. Perle. However, I wonder if you could describe the system within the Soviet Union in channeling their scientific manpower pool away from the military. Do they have a channel, say, for consumer goods, for housing or whatever?
Dr. WOLFE. Yes. Without getting too involved in the details of organization and let me say there is a lot I don't know about itthere are essentially two broad distinctions to be made as to research personnel. Some of these personnel are in research institutes where basic research is done, which may be academically or otherwise afliliated. Other research personnel are within the ministries which run Soviet industry. The latter personnel represent the developmental side of the Soviet R&D effort, which is supposed to be carried on within the industrial ministries which maintain research and development efforts.
One of the internal Soviet criticisms has been that the industrial or developmental side of the R&D effort has been neglected. This doesn't mean it hasn't got funding, but it hasn't been well organized and it hasn't got talented people. The talented people have all been hired by the cluster of defense-related industries or research institutes
which, I suppose, are able to offer more attractive incentives. I don't know, to be frank, how the promising young student in a Soviet university is earmarked to wind up in one of the higher priority defenserelated industries as against the consumer industry, but the fact of the matter is, this is the way the incentives have worked up to now.
Dr. CAMPBELL. I agree with Dr. Wolfe that the competition is more likely to be between space and military programs than between the space program and consumer uses. So I think there is some evidence that the burden of defense spending can be seen in the slowdown of their space efforts. That would be all I would say.
INTRA-MILITARY BUDGET TRANSFERS
Mr. PERLE. When we talk about the Soviet arms burden, and the disposition of savings that might result from an arms control agreement, there is a tendency to assume that savings on strategic arms would be transferred to the civilian sector.
However, the possibility always exists that transfers from the strategic budget could go to other programs within the military budget.
In this country, by analogy, a number of people are talking of how the Vietnam "peace dividend” might remain within the military budget. So I think it is fair to ask whether there might not be claims on available resources in the Soviet Union within the military itself, for example, the modernization of general purpose forces, or the provision of additional defenses vis-à-vis the Chinese or additional aid to the Arab states in the Middle East conflict or further increments to Soviet naval forces, and so on.
Dr. WOLFE. Well, as I noted in my statement, one of the reasons for some interest in stabilizing the strategic level of arms in the Soviet Union could well be the interest of other defense claimants on resources. I think one has only to look at some of the areas you have mentioned. There has indeed been, for example, an on-going increase in the Soviet Far East military posture since, I suppose one can best date it, from about early 1969 when the Ussuri River clashes took place, although the process was already underway before then. The Soviet Union has sent a lot of military personnel and hardware into the border regions in the Far East, increased the size and numbers of divisions there, the size of the tactical air force that supports them and so on, without having reduced its forces in Europe to do this. Now, in order to sustain this kind of buildup against the Chinese, they have had to mobilize new people and this is an added burden on the Soviet military budget.
The Soviet Union also has been putting quite substantial military resources into the Middle East. This represents another increment in the increased military load which I presume would very easily take up whatever reductions there may be on the strategic side as a result of the SALT talks.
This is essentially a matter of how heavily committed the Soviet Union may become in various parts of the world. It does not, in short, necessarily follow that any of the savings made in the strategic area are going to benefit the Soviet consumer. They may well go into supporting Soviet policy in these other areas.
Mr. PERLE. One of the perplexing questions is why, if the Soviet Union is so acutely aware of the arms burden at this particular moment, they haven't decided to defer their very costly naval expansion program for a few more years. They got along for some time without substantial increases in their naval strength. Now they have chosen to undertake this buildup at a time when it is often suggested the arms burden has become intolerable.
Dr. WOLFE. Well, I suppose again that one has to look at the complex of interests that lie behind the formulation of the Soviet policy.
Clearly the Soviet Union has been getting itself more involved on a global basis for a number of years. I think one can say that Khrushchev led the Soviet Union out of its continental isolation and got it involved on a larger world stage, and this process has been going on ever since.
Although I doubt that the Soviet Union has had a well-meshed and coordinated program for global expansion, the fact that the Soviet Union has become more widely committed has tended to increase the internal leverage of those who speak for the interests of the Soviet Navy and for naval expansion. It is interesting that Soviet admirals have been the most articulate spokesmen for the new view of the last few years that Soviet military power is intended to support the "state interests” of the Soviet Union wherever they may arise around the world. In a, sense, this shift of accent from the revolutionary interests of communism to the state interests of the Soviet Union represents a new note in the Soviet political vocabulary. I suppose it is no accident that Soviet admirals now speak in this idiom, because it is more conducive to the expansion of Soviet naval programs.
At any rate, I don't suppose the Soviet leadership ever posed the question of naval expansion in terms of saying: "We have enormous economic problems; this is no time to start something like this.” Such an approach would be enough to veto practically any new departure in Soviet policy. Although I don't mean to imply that those who advocate new programs can ignore economic considerations, the economic hurdle evidently is not insurmountable, for new programs do get undertaken from time to time.
THE NATURE OF SOVIET TECHNOLOGY
Mr. PERLE. Dr. Campbell, you have talked about the difficulty the Soviets have and recognize in keeping up with sophisticated U.S. technological developments. Now in the military sphere, to some extent, this has resulted in a tendency to develop and employ simpler military systems rather than more sophisticated, complex ones, combined with an effort to substitute quantity for quality. Perhaps the difference between the early Soviet MRV-MIRV development, which is a very simple device, and our own complex MIRV is an example. So might be the enormous size of their missiles. By being larger they are able to compensate for poorer accuracy; and high accuracy is difficult to attain without a considerable degree of sophistication in guidance technology.
I wonder if in your examination of the Soviet space program you found a tendency to substitute simpler technology, but perhaps more of it, for sophisticated technology.