The military doctrine of the Warsaw Treaty Organization was a defensive one, but allowed staging preventive blows. It was a force that always intervened inside its borders, not outside them. At the same time, a direct confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization never existed, general Vitalie Stoian, ex-head of the General Staff of the National Army and ex-commander of the National Army, stated in a public debate hosted by IPN.
According to the general, any alliance abides by the collective defense principle. When the Warsaw Treaty was signed, it was noted that no interference in the internal affairs of the states would be allowed and the independence and sovereignty of each member of the treaty would be respected. In reality, the forced communization of these states, creation of the common defense system and deployment of military forces in the given states practically led to the gaining of full control over them by the USSR.
After World War II, the Soviet military forces deployed in states that were members of the Warsaw Pact were very large. Even if they were later reduced somehow, they remained extensive throughout the period. “In East Germany, for example, there were deployed 380,000 soldiers, four tank units and a unit of another kind. In Hungary, there were deployed 65,000 soldiers, in Poland – 40,000, in Czechoslovakia – 70,000. In total, the Soviet troops alone numbered over 570,000 and up to 2 million soldiers were concentrated together with the states of the Warsaw Pact. This shows that the intention was not to ensure collective defense, but to conduct offensive, pressure missions. But when the uprisings in the states of the Pact started, the military forces of all the member states of the Treaty were used all together,” said general Stoian.
He noted that special intelligence services were created by the Soviets in the states of the Treaty. There was also created a common system for exchanging military information. The allies were outfitted with military equipment according to the standards of the Soviet Union. At a certain moment, assault troops were created, including in the special forces, such as atomic demolition platoons. This showed the goal of the military forces was not to defend the Warsaw Pact, but to conduct offensive operations in Western Europe, in accordance with the decisions of the supreme command of the Soviet Union.
Vitalie Stoian said NATO exists, while the Warsaw Pact does not as the two organizations abided by two different ideologies. The administration of the Soviet Union played a negative role in the dissolution of the Treaty. Inside NATO, any decision is taken by absolute consensus. Inside the Treaty, something like this didn’t exist. That’s why the countries that were members of the Warsaw Pact are now NATO member states as they didn’t want to be invaded by the Soviet Union or by its successor, the Russian Federation.
The public debate entitled “Warsaw Pact: History without propaganda” was the 20th installment of IPN’s project “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes” which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.