chapter  V
71 Pages

The Dialogue on Professional Autonomy: Military Independence vs. Political Integration

ByRoman Kolkowicz

This chapter examines the tensions and conflicts that have afflicted the relations between the military and the Party during the post-Stalin period, particularly those conflicts arising from the military's efforts to assert its claim to professional autonomy and the Party's constant attempts to deprive the military of the full exercise of that prerogative. After the death of Stalin, the complex political power system, formerly held together by the dictator as if by a linchpin, became factionalized. Several men with diverse sources of political power entered into a tense, unstable coalition, a leadership which, from the start, promised to be short-lived. A Soviet assessment of the post-war Stalin period describes the growing contradiction between the technological revolution and the persistent conservatism in Soviet military thinking and planning: major changes took place in the organization of the Soviet army and in the weapons and the combat equipment supplied to it.