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Soviet Union

Laws of Armed Conflict

Soviet military scientists studied and defined objective laws of armed conflict that focused on the military struggle. These laws represented the professional military consensus on the best methods of waging combat in order to achieve victory on the battlefield. Although Soviet military theorists maintained that the laws of armed conflict "express the internal, essential, necessary, stable relationships between the phenomena manifested in the course of an armed conflict," the laws were far from immutable. They retained their validity until Soviet military thinkers discovered other laws that provided better solutions to the same problems. Thus the laws of armed conflict defined in the l970s that relied on massive strikes with nuclear weapons for the solution of most military tasks appeared outdated in the l980s, when the Soviet military was emphasizing conventional options.

Two laws of armed conflict, however, purportedly remained unaffected by technological change. They were the law of dependence of the forms of armed combat on the material basis of the battle and operation, i.e., on people and equipment, and the law stating that the side with the greater combat power will always be favored in any battle or operation.

Data as of May 1989