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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • October 11, 1986

    Soviet-American High Level Meeting, Reykjavik, 11-12 October 1986, Record of Conversations in the Working Group on Military Issues

    Record of conversation between US official, Paul Nitze, and USSR Chief of General Staff Sergey Akhromeev. The two discuss the minutiae of nuclear disarmament, particularly the relative disarmament value of each part of the triad (nuclear-equipped bombers/ICBMs/submarine-launched missiles).

  • November 13, 1986

    Politburo on Afghanistan

    The Politburo discuss the need for Soviet troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, the best way to do that, and set up a time table to withdraw troops.

  • April 14, 1988

    Lecture by Sergei Akhromeyev, 'The Current State of Soviet Military Doctrine'

    This is a transcript of a lecture delivered by Sergei Akhromeyev, the Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces, to the Polish General Staff about Soviet military doctrine in early 1988. The document defines what the Soviets meant by military doctrine, differentiating between the doctrine of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact by stressing the former’s wider range objectives, especially concerning the use of strategic nuclear weapons. In addition, it identifies contemporary issues facing Soviet doctrine and analyzes topics such as nuclear non-proliferation, reduction of nuclear stockpiles and refutes the idea that nuclear weapons should be used in a counter-offensive operation. It stresses the importance of defense, negating offensive military preparedness in lieu of purely defensive Warsaw Pact capabilities (albeit altogether sufficient to successfully deter a NATO attack from the West). It also discusses the results of the March 2-3 1988 NATO talks and concludes that the West is not willing to stop the arms race and is increasing its offensive capabilities. The Warsaw Pact’s response should include increased military research, better vigilance to capture signals of a possible attack and more tactical and technical training for the military command. It asserts that even though a war is less likely than in the past, quoting Gorbachev, “the nature of capitalism itself can be the cause of war.”

  • May 11, 1989

    Soviet Record of Conversation between M.S. Gorbachev and US Secretary of State J. Baker

    Gorbachev and Baker discuss cuts in tactical nuclear weapons.