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Soviet Generals, Not Gorbachev, Called Key to Military Plans

November 29, 1987|From Reuters

BONN — The new commander of NATO believes that Soviet generals hold the key to any change in Soviet military strength, whatever Kremlin leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev may promise, a West German newspaper said today.

Welt Am Sonntag quoted Gen. John R. Galvin, supreme commander in Europe of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as saying he sees "no reason for euphoria" in the planned signing of a U.S.-Soviet treaty to scrap medium-range nuclear weapons.

Galvin noted that Gorbachev's speeches have contained various promises.

"But for me, the (Soviet) military is the key to the question of whether the wind has really changed," he said. "And in this respect, we have to note that the expansionist curve of the Soviet armed forces rose steeply in the past five years."

He cited two factors: the Soviet military's doctrine of offense, and its training aimed at large forces winning ground quickly over great distances. "When I consider these two factors, I cannot find anything in them of the message Gorbachev is spreading," he said.

"Whether a reduction of East-West tension really comes to pass will be seen when negotiations on limiting conventional forces take place. . . ."

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