Author(s): Todor Tagarev
In 1999–2000, I taught the first defense planning course at the “G.S. Rakovski” Defense and Staff College in Sofia, Bulgaria. All students were senior officers—mostly full colonels—and yet the course had to begin with a thorough explanation of what “defense planning” is and how it differs from and relates to “operational planning.” At the time, references to “planning” in regard to the military almost exclusively addressed the intended use of available forces, or what was known as “strategic and operational planning.” That is hardly surprising, because—unlike in NATO—defense policy-making and planning in the Warsaw Pact were fully centralized. The capitals, with the exception of Moscow, had either no or very limited knowledge and experience in defense policy and planning.