chapter  IX
13 Pages

The New Technology and the Rise of the Technocrat: Their Effect on Party-Military Relations

ByRoman Kolkowicz

"The history of the modern military establishment," writes Morris Janowitz, "can be described as a struggle between heroic leaders, who embody traditionalism and glory, and military 'managers.'" This conflict between idealism and practical self-interest also affects the Soviet military and its relations with the Party. One of the most remarkable aspects of the military technocrats' position in the Soviet armed forces is their consistent and vehement refusal to become involved in the normal political-educational activities in their units. The initial impact of a changing technology and the modernization of the Soviet armed forces was such as to divide and debilitate the officer corps. Large numbers of traditional commanders were replaced by technical officers, traditional military values came to count for less than technical expertise, and established strategic views yielded to the overriding emphasis of the "progressives" on strategic missile-nuclear weapons and forces.