The Dynamics of Party-Military Relations
The weapons, equipment, and dynamics of modern warfare are radically different from those of the past. Among the many difficulties that attend an investigation of the role of the Soviet military, the primary one is that of recognizing and defining the military's separate institutional identity: its interests, policies, objectives, and values. The Communist Party denies the military such a distinct identity through all available media it seeks constantly to reinforce an image of the military as a fully integrated part of the totalitarian system. The factor that helps to shape life in the Soviet Union more than any other is the Communist Party's dominant position within the state. Ever since the Revolution, the Communist Party has relied on a professional standing army for the defense of the socialist state. The measures by which the Party deals with the military range from the positive, through the "prophylactic", to the negative.