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tory No. 2 with the right of coupling to fast, passenger and other trains by requests of Cde. Zernov; the allotment duration should be agreed upon by Cde. Zernov.
27. That the USSR Ministry of Forest Industry (Mr. Saltykov) be obligated to fill the order for furniture at the expense of the market fund for the First Main Directorate of the USSR Council of Ministers by the specification and distribution list of Cde. Zernov P.M. in quarters II and III, 1946, the sum total amounting to 800 thousand rubles, including 400 thousand rubles for individual suites, with delivery amount being 100 thousand rubles in the 2nd quarter and 700 thousand rubles in the 3d quarter.
28. That for the workers of Design Bureau No. 11 and Building No. 880 the dwelling space occupied by them and their families by the time of their going to work at Building No. 880 and KB-11 of USSR Academy of Sciences Laboratory No. 2 be reserved for them.
29. That the USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade (Cde. Mikoyan) be obligated to search for the possibility to deliver one precision drilling machine No. 3 or No. 4 (for KB11), irrespective of its primary purpose, as a part of previous orders to the First Main Directorate of the USSR Council of Ministers in 1946.
KHRUSHCHEV'S 1960 TROOP Politburo) proposing the radical and
would become visible to the world the by Vladislav M. Zubok following month. At the time, the So
viet leader was riding a crest of domesOn 12 January 1960, the First Sec- tic and international authority achieved retary of the Central Committee of the as a result of his widely-hailed trip to Communist Party of the Soviet Union the United States and summit with U.S. and Chairman of the USSR Council of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Ministers, Nikita S. Khrushchev, an- September 1959. Even a testy meeting nounced the most radical reduction in with Mao Zedong and the leadership of the level of Soviet military troops since the Chinese Communist Party in 1924: the army was to be reduced by Beijing in early October, which indione-third in three years; several cated a wider than ever split between branches of military aviation and navy the leaderships of the two communist were to be drastically cut or even alto giants, could not dampen Khrushchev's gether abolished; and instead, the stra- optimism and desire to capitalize on tegic missile forces were to become the what he saw as his political momentum. backbone of the armed forces.
The disarmament initiative was a Analysts and scholars have long hallmark's of Khrushchev authority: as agreed that, unlike previous cuts de- the unchallenged leader of the CPSU signed to impress the West with the (since his victory over the "anti-party" Soviets’ "peace-loving” nature, this faction in June 1957), he was determove was principally Khrushchev's mined to redefine in breathtaking fashradical attempt to replace the conception the parameters of Soviet security of a huge land army, which was in the doctrine and military make-up. foundation of the Soviet military build- The memorandum, found the up, with a technological force to ensure supplementary file to the December means of “retaliation.” At the core of 1959 CC CPSU Plenum, is clearly a this idea was Khrushchev's desire to draft, bearing all the traces of improvisave resources for large-scale social and sation; probably Khrushchev dictated economic programs. But only recently the text during a holiday on the Black have documents emerged to show how Sea; some corrections and insertions are this remarkable initiative was born. typed into it, and the phraseology in the
In autumn 1995, the Moscow Russian original is often awkward and archive containing the post-1952 unpolished, replete with colloquial records of the CC CPSU, the Storage “Khrushchevisms.” What is unusual is Center for Contemporary Documenta- the absence of a “final” version, which tion (TsKhSD), released transcripts of apparently did not exist, perhaps beCCCPSU Plenums for the period 1941- cause Khrushchev did not want bureau1966 as well as supplementary mate- cratic agencies, including the Ministry rial, often analogous to "special files" of Defense and the KGB, to elaborate (osobaya papki], batches of highly im- or modify his arguments. He must have portant secret documents describing the intended to keep it as it was: exclusively rationale and preparations for crucial his personal initiative. Was this a case Politburo decisions. (CC CPSU Ple- of the late authoritarian Khrushchev nums and related materials for the pe- paying lip service to “party democracy," riod 1967-1991 have also reportedly but actually taking no heed of his colbeen declassified by the Russian declas- leagues and party-state structures? sification commission, but as of late Rather, in this case the authoritarianism 1996 they had not yet been opened for was enlightened: Khrushchev knew that scholarly research at TsKhSD.) his proposal had to be imposed from the
One document discovered in this top and passed quickly, otherwise it newly-available collection at TsKhSD, would be resisted and bog down. and printed below, was Khrushchev's The documents reproduced below secret memorandum of 8 December illuminate the process by which 1959 to the CC CPSU Presidium (i.e., Khrushchev's proposal became official
Stamp: I. Stalin, Chairman of USSR
Council of Ministers.
(Source: APRF, F. 3, Op. 47, D. 29, Ll. 169178.]
[* Annex 4 of the USSR Council of Ministers Resolution of 21 June 1946 is not printed due to space limitations, but is available from CWIHP—ed.)
1 The full text of the State Defense Committee
Soviet policy. On 14 December 1959, the Cold War would be decided by the two years"). This perception, incidensix days after his memorandum was outcome of economic competition be- tally, was disastrously unrealistic and drafted, it was approved by the Pre- tween the United States and Soviet contradicted Khrushchev's avowed sidium; four days later, on December Union. With the great optimism char- concern with the future of demobilized 18, a conference of the military elite acteristic of the times, he explained to officers. What also catches the eye is convened to work out practical mea- the Politburo members that if the West Khrushchev's groping for a way to sures to implement the proposal; and did not reciprocate to Soviet cuts, so marry somehow the idea of rapid deeight days after that, on December 26, much worse for it, since the burden of ployment with territorial forces, but the Plenum rubber-stamped it. Despite military budgets would drag its econo- without creating what one might call Khrushchev’s strong position, he could mies down. And the romantic today a “rapid deployment force.” He not help worrying about the political Khrushchev firmly believed that once was careful to avoid the worrisome fallout of such a radical revamping, “workers, but also peasants, petit bour- prospect of entrusting the country's sewhich constituted a de facto replacing geois elements,” saw the USSR's de- curity to an elite highly mobile force, a of the Soviet military machine; hence termination to disarm, they would shed potential carrier of “Bonapartism.” the memorandum's rather long and (for their anti-Soviet fears and move “to The great disarmament initiative Khrushchev) elaborate argument. It is neutral positions, and then would de- was as bold as it was ill-conceived: It interesting that Khrushchev regarded velop sympathies toward our country.” was not part of comprehensive military his initiative as a direct follow-up to his Thus, Khrushchev repeated the disar- reform. Khrushchev sacrificed quality proposal on General and Complete Dis- mament dictum of the Soviet diplomacy for quantity, eager to ram down the armament which he made to the U.N. of the 1920s and early 1930s, but, un- throat of the reluctant military his enGeneral Assembly on 18 September like his predecessors, did not intend to thusiasm for strategic missiles and de1959. He presented his initiative to his use it merely as a smoke-screen for termination to have a “no-frills” land colleagues as a means to boost the level Soviet build-up, but, on the contrary, as army. There is still no available record of discussion at the specially-appointed a rationale for a unilateral build-down. of the conference with top military ofUnited Nations “Committee of Ten” The point where Khrushchev's ficials on December 18; but the signs countries, set up to study disarmament imagination reached record-breaking of sharp disagreement and even protest questions, which was scheduled to start heights was in plotting an army of the were visible. Around that time its deliberations in February 1960. future. On one hand he was primarily Khrushchev and Defense Minister The memorandum
reveals moved by his conviction that the con- Rodion Malinovsky authorized a disKhrushchev as a convert of the nuclear struction of communism would require cussion in the new top secret publicarevolution; he was convinced that no maximum military demobilization. He tion Military Thought on a new milipower could threaten a Soviet Union was attracted by the reforms of the tary doctrine, with obvious intention to armed with nuclear missiles. In the 1920s carried out by Mikhail Frunze, let off steam. The amount of steam was same breath the Soviet leader poses as when more of the Red Army conscripts to be great indeed: in the period of sevan exuberant romantic and bluffer, this would be trained not in "the cadre eral months after Khrushchev's antime not before the outside world, but army" but in territorial militia forma- nouncement of the cuts, 250,000 Soviet in front of his own, much less informed tions; this, in his mind, could keep officers were forced into premature recolleagues. Most important, he boldly young manpower in local economies tirement, many without adequate combut falsely claims that “we are in an instead of diverting it to unproductive pensation, housing, or retraining. (For excellent position with regard to) mis- military drills. He even spoke of keep- more on the tensions between sile-building" and that the USSR has ing officers simultaneously in military Khrushchev and the Soviet military already set in motion assembly lines schools and industrial jobs!
caused by such actions, see the forthcapable of serial production of “an as- On the other hand, Khrushchev had coming CWIHP Working Paper by sortment of rockets to serve any mili- no patience with or respect for the pro- Matthew A. Evangelista.) tary purpose.” In fact, as was known to fessional military. He lacked experience The military were not the only the tiny group of military and missile with military reform, but specifics did group “ambushed" by Khrushchev's designers who reported directly to not bother him. Like many crucial turns initiative. So were the party and state Khrushchev as the head of the Defense in Soviet foreign policy in 1958-62, this elites, many of whom later recalled this Council, the production of interconti- disarmament initiative sprung full- episode as “a hare-brained scheme” of nental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) had blown from his mind. This is made clear Nikita Sergeevich. Also Khrushchev did not yet begun and there were only four by his own admission that he still not bother to ask for advice from other unwieldy R-7s on a launching pad near needed to discuss the proposal with the members of the Warsaw Treaty OrgaPlesetsk in northern Russia. The first Defense Ministry and General Staff, nization: even the leadership of the test of the next-generation ICBM of the including how deep the proposed cuts GDR, the strategically vital country Yangel firm was still nine months away. should be (“perhaps a million or a mil- whose existence totally depended on the
At the core of Khrushchev's rea- lion and half") and how quickly they support of Soviet troops, was caught by soning was his belief that from then on should be carried out (“no more than surprise by Khrushchev's disarmament move and East German leader Walter [and] our proposal in the United Nations and when we start discussing it, - we will Ulbricht had to ask Soviet representa- Organization on general disarmament was repeat - therefore I do not enumerate (them) tives what its implications would be for well received in the world and cannot be in the note, but I can lay out in more detail, the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. simply rejected and neglected even by the when we begin discussion.
A resurgence of tensions with the reactionary circles of various countries. We now have a broad range of rockets West would doom Khrushchev's dalli- Even those who do not want a reduction of and in such quantity that can virtually shatance with disarmament. Perhaps sur- tension, much less disarmament, even they ter the world. One may ask - shall we have prisingly, his proposals outlived the cannot oppose [it] openly in view of such a this terrible armament - atomic, rocket arflare-up with the Eisenhower Adminis- mood of broad circles of the public and de- mament, and shall we have such a big army, tration surrounding the Soviet downing sire for detente and reduction of armaments; which we have [today]? This does not make of an U.S. U-2 spy plane and the col- they would probably use procrastination to sense. Our assumption is that we do not seek lapse of the East-West summit in Paris find some arguments in order to turn this war and we do not prepare for offensive in May 1960. But they fell victim to an down, or in order to delay or disrupt deci- (war), but we prepare defense. If one acanother Khrushchev initiative: his de- sion-making on our proposals.
cepts this assumption, as we do, our army termination to change the status of West I believe that we today should take should be capable of defending the country, Berlin and achieve a German settlement advantage of this opportunity [konyunktura), of repelling enemies that might try to attack favorable to the Kremlin through an which we created in our favor, not to feel our Motherland or our allies, when we have ultimatum to the West. The renewal of satisfied by our conquests, which we won, these powerful armaments, such as rockets. the Berlin Crisis in June 1961 (after by positive recognition and our sound in- But that is what they are for. What country Khrushchev told President John F. ternational position, and our leading role and or group of countries in Europe would dare Kennedy in Vienna that Moscow in- initiative, which we retain consistently for to attack us, when we can virtually erase tended to sign within six months a treaty several years.
these countries from the face of the Earth with East Germany, thereby blocking I would think that we should now un- by our atomic and hydrogen weapons and Western access to West Berlin) led to a dertake a further reduction of armaments in by launching our rockets to every point of spiral of mutual hostility and our country, even without conditions of reci
the globe? mobilizational measures in Washington procity on the part of other states, and a con- Therefore, if we now fail to take steps and Moscow. On July 25, Kennedy an- siderable reduction of personnel of the toward reduction of armed forces, and transnounced a call-up of U.S. reservists in armed forces. I think that one could cut by fer this all, as it is already the case, for decihis response to Khrushchev's belliger- perhaps a million or a million and half - one sion-making in the Committee of Ten, while ence. The next month the Soviet Chair- still must discuss it, study it with the Minis- having advantageous and active positions on man made it clear that the reductions try of Defense. I believe that such a consid- our side, that would mean reducing our posof Soviet army would be “suspended.” erable reduction would not undermine our sibilities. Because our proposals would then That ended his quixotic disarmament defense capabilities. Yet, if one comes for- be transferred to the labyrinths of the Cominitiative, and, for almost three decades, ward with such a decision and implements mittee, there will be much talk, speeches, the chance, however ephemeral, for the it - this would have a large positive influ- and
pompous verbiage, exercises in glorifiUSSR to leave behind the mammoth ence on the international situation and our cation, and this would scale down our iniland army it had inherited from the Sec- prestige would grow enormously in the eyes tiative in this question. ond World War.
of all nations. This would be an irresistible If we, for instance, pass now a deci
blow at the enemies of peace, and war-mon- sion to cut our armed forces by a million or Document 1: Khrushchev Memo to CC gers, and advocates of the Cold War. a million and a half, and would put forth CPSU Presidium, 8 December 1959 Why do I believe today that this would appropriate arguments, it would be a con
be feasible and not dangerous? My decision siderable step forward. I believe that the P. 2909
is based, first, on the fact that we have now conditions are quite ripe for us to speak
reached a good position in the development about it. Indeed, we already spoke about it: TO MEMBERS OF THE
of the economy of the Soviet Union; sec- in my report, that I made, and in our other CC CPSU PRESIDIUM
ond, we are in an excellent position with declarations. We have already said many TO ALTERNATE MEMBERS OF THE [regard to] missile-building; indeed, we times that our ideological debates with capiCC CPSU PRESIDIUM
have an assortment of rockets to serve any talism will be resolved not through war, but
military purpose, from long-range to close- through economic competition. Therefore I would like to express some thoughts combat range, “ground-to-ground” rockets our proposals and measures on further reon our further steps in the struggle for re- as well as "air-to-ground" and "air-to-air” duction of our armed forces would allow us duction of international tension and on the ones, atomic submarines and so on, and also to further pressure our opponents - the imresolution of the issues of reduction of ar- in terms of the (explosive) yield we have a perialist countries. Some comrades might maments and of disarmament.
good variety. Besides, we worked out object that we would cut armaments, while The Soviet Union today has seized [naladili] the serial production of these rock
enemy would not. But it is debatable if good positions on the international arena. ets. I will not enumerate in this note all these the enemy would be doing the right thing. The trip to the United States of America rockets - those who are in charge, they know, If we cut and say that we cut because our
hydrogen and rocket armament enable us to maintain defense capabilities at the necessary level, because we do not want war, therefore we want to cut the army, because we do not get ready for attack, the Soviet Union has never sought conquests, nor have socialist countries - then why we need such a huge army? To maintain this huge army would mean to reduce our economic potential. We have a chance to reduce the army. And if our enemies do not follow our example - one should not consider it as if it would cause us some damage. On the contrary, the countries which would maintain big armies, in the situation which emerges in socialist countries (i.e., their economic potential and, more importantly, powerful thermonuclear and rocket armament in their possession), these armies would, so to say, be sucking from their budgets, depleting national economies, and if one takes this in the light of struggle between communism and capitalism, they [i.e., the imperialist countries) would to a certain extent be our "ally,” since they would devour their budgets, reduce the economic development of these countries, thereby contributing to the increasing advantages of our system.
I gave much thought to this issue, and decided before my arrival to Moscow to send such a note, so that the members and alternate members of the CC Presidium could read it, and, when I arrive, discuss it. If the comrades agree with me, then one could adopt necessary proposals. In my opinion, one could do the following: to convene a session of the Supreme Soviet, for instance, the session could be convened at the end of January or in February (one should select a time, but not delay) before the Committee of Ten starts, which is convened for February to discuss our proposals. So we should convene a session of the Supreme Soviet before this Committee starts its work, to approve a rapporteur, to report to the Supreme Soviet, to summon arguments and to take the decision, to accept an appeal that would say that, regardless of the reaction of other countries to our appeal, whether they would follow our example or not, we would abide by the decision of the Supreme Soviet.
I am confident that this would be a very powerful, fantastic (potryasaiuxchii) step. Moreover, this step would not in any way cause damage to our defenses, but would give us major political, moral, and economic
advantages. Therefore, if we fail to do this, people in the army, one should accommothen speaking in economic terms, it would date them: officers, military officials (solmean failing to make a full use of the pow- diers are easy to accommodate), so that they erful capital our socialist policy and our so- would be all set and accommodated. And cialist economy have accumulated. For our then we would see in which direction it goes, economy is prospering, developing fast. Our because we are not cutting at once: it would science has advanced to such an extent that take a year, year and a half, two (but no more it has given us advantages in creating means than two years). It would be logical. If we to defend our country. And there are not only introduced a proposal at the session of the discoveries of science, but skillfully imple- [U.N.) General Assembly about general and mented scientific discoveries for practical complete disarmament in 4 years, then a needs.
partial, unilateral disarmament we might I think that it would not make sense carry out within two years or less. This now to have atomic and hydrogen bombs, would also be logical and convincing. And rockets, and to maintain at the same time a besides, it would not be dangerous. large army.
Presenting for deliberation of the PreIn addition, one should keep in mind sidium these proposals that I have thorthat since we possess modern armaments of oughly thought through, I hope that we will the strongest kind, against which so far there discuss them well at the Presidium and will is no defense, and [since] we maintain the weigh all arguments for and against. Perlargest army in the world, this indeed scares haps I cannot foresee everything. But it our enemies, and it scares even honest seems to me that these proposals of mine, if people among those who otherwise would we implement them, would not cause any welcome a fair disarmament, but who are damage to our country and would not afraid that perhaps this is just our tactical threaten our defense capabilities vis-a-vis move. Their argument is the following: the the enemy forces, but would rather enhance Soviet Union introduced a proposal for a our international prestige and strengthen our new reduction of armed forces, but does not
country. make these reductions within its own terri- I have some details in these proposals, tory. This might scare off some honest but I do not outline them in the note. When people, among those who seek disarmament; we begin discussing them, I will explain my and the reactionary forces, who resist the arguments in more detail than [I do) in this reduction of international tension, these ag- note. For instance, while reducing armed gressive and militarist forces would of forces, at a certain time, to a certain degree, course use it for their ends.
perhaps one should move to a territorial sysIf, however, we carry out a further re- tem (militia formations). In other words, duction of our armed forces, then such a step there would be regiments and divisions built would encourage those forces in bourgeois on a territorial principle (with citizens recountries, those liberal bourgeois, capital- cruited to serve in them without leaving their ist circles who seek to improve the interna- industries). Of course, one should have an tional situation, to live by the principles of appropriate cadre of officers for such regipeaceful coexistence. This would ments and units, armament must be stored strengthen them and weaken the arguments somewhere in warehouses. We must have of aggressive, militarist circles, who take transport aviation, because in case of emeradvantage of our might and intimidate other gency one must transfer these regiments countries.
quickly from one place to another. For inHow we could do it and all the details stance, if one has to transfer several divi- for this one should already exchange opin- sions to Germany, we must do it practically ions; we will give instructions to the Minis- in a few days. Armament for these territoter of Defense, to the General Staff so that rial divisions must be stored in a suitably they prepare (a proposal) in a concrete way. reasonable variety near the sites of deploy
Such a reduction, such a reduction ment of these formations. And these divi(considerable) would be better extended sions, for instance from Moscow, Leningrad, over a year, year and half, or two. Thus dur- Kiev, Kharkov, would get together right ing this time we would take a decision, away, on alert, to a gathering point, would would gradually start to reduce the army, board planes and leave. because, while cutting such a number of And there are other considerations we
people for military schools who will work, military councils of military districts for dis-
SECRETARY OF CC
These are the questions that I would Document 3: CC CPSU Plenum
Proletarians of all countries, unite! N. KHRUSHCHEV
Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
CENTRAL COMMITTEE 8 December 1959
Top Secret Document 2: CC CPSU Presidium # Pl. 15
Special Dossier decision, 14 December 1959
Excerpt from protocol no. 15 of meeting
About the measures of the Soviet Govern
ment aimed at the reduction of international #P253/P
Top Secret tension.
should take into account so that the defense capabilities of our country would not diminish, but increase. The burden of maintaining armies would be smaller, and the political position domestically, as well as internationally, would grow stronger, since we would free the resources that are sapped by the maintenance of a huge army and armament. And we would conquer even more (ground) in our favorable position in the international arena in the struggle for peace, the prestige of our country would grow even further. And all this would promote our Marxist-Leninist ideas, our teaching, our struggle for peace, because not only workers, but also peasants, petit bourgeois elements would become more sympathetic to us with every new year. Their sympathies would grow. They would move first from fear to neutral positions, and then would develop sympathies toward our country. This I take to be natural, and we should work to achieve it.
When I am saying that one perhaps should have not only a cadre army, but also in part territorial, militia forces, in doing so we essentially, to some extent, repeat what Lenin did after the October (1917) revolution, but in a different situation and somewhat in another way, since back then we had no other option, we had no army; and today we have both resources and armaments, we have an army. And we cannot be left without an army and we do not want to be. But we should build this army in such a way, that it would be reasonable, without excessive frills (bez izlishestv), so that it would be combat-ready and meet the needs of national defense.
Of course, we would have to revise the system of military schools: their profile and number. Perhaps, if we switch to a new system, we should also establish such military schools where officers would be trained without leaving their jobs in industries. This is also of great importance.
All these measures will undoubtedly take the burden off the national budget. We have big opportunities for implementation of the proposals I have outlined on a unilateral reduction of our armed forces.
A couple of words about our military schools. When we created our multiple military schools, we did not have a sufficient number of trained people in our country. Today all young people have education, and therefore it is possible to enlist enough
To com. Khrushchev.
To approve the measures aimed at the
reduction of international tension, outlined Excerpt from protocol no. 253 of meeting in the note of com. Khrushchev N.S. of of the CC Presidium of 14 December 1959 "December 1959 and in his report to the CC
SECRETARY OF CC
4 nk 1. To approve the proposals laid out in the note of com. Khrushchev N.S. to the CC (Source: Center for the Storage of ContemPresidium about the unilateral implementa- porary Documentation (TsKhSD), f. 2, op. tion by the Soviet Union of measures di- 1, d. 416, Il. 1-11; translation by Vladislav rected at the reduction of international ten- M. Zubok (National Security Archive).] sion.
The question about the unilateral Vladislav M. Zubok, a research fellow implementation of measures directed at the at the National Security Archive, is coreduction of international tension, should be author (with Constantine V. Pleshakov) put on the agenda of a session of the Su- of Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From preme Soviet of the USSR.
Stalin to Khrushchev (Cambridge, MA: 2. To commission the Ministry of De- Harvard University Press, 1996) and a fense (com. (Rodion) Malinovsky) to intro- frequent contributor to the CWIHP duce concrete proposals on this issue for Bulletin. deliberation of the CC CPSU, while taking into account the exchange of opinions that took place at the meeting of the CC Presidium.
3. To convene in the CC CPSU on 18 December this year a conference of commanders, chiefs of staffs, and members of