The Military Burden and Arms Control
The questions surrounding the economic dimensions of the Soviet military effort, the trends in such measures, and their economic and political significance, are among the most difficult that can be addressed to the Soviet economy. This chapter focuses on the state of the art in Soviet military expenditure estimation, proceeds to relative measures of military effort or its economic shares of the economy, to the burden or drag that it has on the economy both objectively and subjectively perceived, and finally examines some of the reciprocal implications among military effort levels, economic concerns, and arms control. The extremely limited information published by the Soviet Union explicitly on military-economic matters consists almost literally of one word and one number in the annual budget. The military part of the economy was thought to be much more efficient, because it had higher priorities for high quality inputs of labor and materials, more effective organization, stricter quality controls, etc.