Beginning in the 1920s, the Soviet Union became obsessed with centralized planning of its economy and industrial development. Twelve such plans were adopted by the USSR during its history. While economists differ, it is largely agreed that these plans caused more dislocation within the Soviet economy than they resolved.
Time: Early War
Removed after event: No
One of two excellent Early War US events for the USSR, the other being Duck and Cover. By playing it on your last Action Round, you can discard the one remaining card in your hand, which, conveniently, happens to be a scoring card for a region that you don’t want to score. This is the only way for the USSR to get rid of a scoring card without playing it.
Even if you aren’t using Five Year Plan to discard scoring cards, its discard can be timed to mitigate the effect of a low-Op US event. For instance, OAS Founded is a hugely problematic card for the USSR because you only have 1 Op to deal with the 2 US influence it places. But by playing Five Year Plan when you only have OAS Founded left, you are now able to respond with 3 Ops instead of just 1. Similar tricks can be performed with most of the other annoying US 1 Op cards (e.g., Sadat Expels Soviets, Truman Doctrine, etc.).
On the other hand, Five Year Plan can be a serious liability in a hand of DEFCON suicide cards. Either you risk playing it early on (hoping the US doesn’t draw one of the suicide cards), or you’re forced to treat it as yet another unplayable card in your hand.
Almost always played for operations. Occasionally played for the event: one possibility is that you know that the USSR is trying to hold a DEFCON suicide card, and by cutting their handsize (perhaps in conjunction with other handsize-reducers like Grain Sales to Soviets), you can force them to play it and lose. If you’re able to hold onto the China Card and play several discarders against your opponent, you might be able to force a DEFCON victory. Alternatively, if you’re desperate, you might play it in hopes of drawing an otherwise game-ending card like Wargames or an unfavorable scoring card. In the Early War, with excellent card knowledge, you may be able to force out De-Stalinization or Decolonization if you are fortunate. The event is also more attractive while under Red Scare/Purge, since it slows the USSR down at the cost of only 2 Ops.
Otherwise, you should always play this for operations. 3 Ops is quite valuable in the Early War for the US, and moreover, playing Five Year Plan risks drawing Duck and Cover and losing the game by thermonuclear war.