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Soviet leadership  understands  that  in  addition  to maintaining  strong  offensive  capabilities,  an  equally strong defensive posture is needed. The Soviet Union maintains  a  massive  arsenal  of  military  weaponry and  a  sizable  number  of  military  personnel  to  use these  weapons.  The  Soviet  preparedness  is  a  threat that should  not  be  taken  lightly.  As  part  of  the  free world, we should learn the capabilities of the Soviets and stay abreast of the changes in their systems and equipment.   For   a   comparison   of   U.S.   and   Soviet military assets, see figure 1-3. SOVIET POLITICAL THREAT The  Soviet  political  threat  lies  in   the   nation’s political  policy   of   spreading   communism   to   Third World countries. While the Soviets maintain a strong influence over Warsaw-Pact nations, they exert even more influence on Third World PLATFORM UNITED STATES RUSSIA ICBMs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,000 1,386 SLBMs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 560 978 STRATEGIC BOMBERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 372 888 STRATEGIC DEFENSE INTERCEPTORS . . . 252 2,250 TACTICAL AIRCRAFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 3,976 5,170 AIRCRAFT CARRIERS . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . .   15     4 PRINCIPAL SURFACE COMBATANTS . . . . . 223 276 OTHER COMBATANT SHIPS . . . . . . . . . . . . .   80 408 AUXILIARIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 311 SUBMARINES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 308 Figure 1-3.—Comparison of United States and Soviet military assets. Figures are approximate, based on information available at the time of writing. 1-15

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