- Text of a 1983 meeting between General Secretary Andropov and West German politician Hans-Jochen Vogel, in which Andropov warned of nuclear miscalculation, stating “After all, at the button that activates the nuclear weapon could be a drunken American sergeant or a drug addict.”
The obvious reply to that would have been "Comrade, when it comes to drunken troops and nuclear buttons, it's not the Americans I'm worried about".
Of course after Helmut Schmidt, the SPD was pretty much on the anti-Doubletrack-train already anyway. What Vogel would have done in the (unlikely) case he became chancellor in the 1983 snap election provoked by Helmut Kohl in light of favorable poll numbers after the Liberals switched allegiance to CDU/CSU the previous year remains conjecture; actual national responsibilities in office tend to refocus the mind. However, as opposition leader his chief aim was reuniting the SPD after the controversy over the basing of Pershing II, and the party's special convention in November that year pretty unanimously decided to be against, voting thusly in parliament three days later. So Andropov was probably preaching to the choir two months ahead of the election anyway.
Im actually reading a good book about Zuyev, the defector that brought the Mig29 across, and he raised some interesting points about drunkenness. He said that although they did have some amusing drinking games (including one where they all shout polar bear and all had to jump under the table...), he said in his opinion they drank much less than the British and the Americans. He was horrified at stories he heard from the Vietnam war about American pilots getting drunk up to 12 hours before a flight. And he was astounded to hear about British pilots getting drunk every night (as you can see in that Vulcan Video I posted). Apparently the VVS wouldnt allow drinking for 36 hours before a flight. Though he admitted one pilot that wrapped himself around the runway (an ex PVO pilot) was drunk. But it wasnt common according to him.
On the other hand, the VVS wasnt the Soviet Army, which certainly DID have a major problem.
Thats interesting on the West German perspective. At the time it was passed over here in the media, we were largely British centric over the GLCM deployment, so our Media doesnt change very much.