In September 1981, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger asked the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to produce an unclassified overview of the Soviet Union’s military strength. The purpose was to provide America's leaders, the national security community, and the public a comprehensive and accurate view of the threat. The result: the first edition of Soviet Military Power. DIA produced more than 250,000 copies, and it soon became an annual publication that was translated into eight languages and distributed around the world. In many cases, this report conveyed the scope and breadth of Soviet military strength to U.S. policymakers and the public for the first time.
In 2017, DIA began to produce a series of unclassified Defense Intelligence overviews of the major foreign military challenges facing the United States. This volume provides details on Iran’s defense and military goals, strategy, plans, and intentions; the organization, structure, and capability of its military supporting those goals; and the enabling infrastructure and industrial base. This product and other reports in the series are intended to inform our public, our leaders, the national security community, and partner nations about the challenges we face in the 21st century.