Any assessment of the Soviet threat must be based on a triad of evidence: what the Soviet Union says it plans to do in the event of war, i.e., its military doctrine; what the Soviet Union is capable of doing—its evolving force structure; and what the Soviet Union practices—its training and exercises. Because of the nature of the evidence, it is extraordinarily difficult to understand and interpret Soviet intentions, and most analyses tend to concentrate on the easier part of the equation, that is, capabilities. And, after all, this is the element that is most susceptible to arms control—the number and quality of forces on each side. Moreover, intentions can change rapidly, whereas capabilities take time, money, and political will to establish. But it is extremely important to understand intentions, and we need to examine whether there is any fundamental change in Soviet thinking over the circumstances in which military force would be used. This is a matter of judgment and interpretation and is one upon which there is no unanimity among Kremlin watchers as yet, whether in government or in academic circles. This chapter addresses the elements of Soviet force capabilities and doctrine relevant to discussion of conventional arms control in Europe and offers some concluding thoughts on changes under Gorbachev.