IMPLICATIONS OF CURRENT SOVIET CONDUCT (SNIE 11-8-58)

Created: 7/8/1958

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S8 8 Julv

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SPECIAL

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE NUMBER

IMPLICATIONS OF CURRENT SOVIET CONDUCT

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IMPLICATIONS OF CURRENT

THE PROBLEM

To assess the implications of current Soviet conduct relative to Easternand the West.

CONCLUSIONS

believe thc basic motivation behind Moscow's current tough line to be its grave concern over Its power position ln Eastern Europe, where it considers "revisionism" to have developed to dangeroushis concern has led the USSR to attack Tito and to cause thc execution ol Nagyintended, at least ln part, to puton Gomulka. We believe that thowill exert greater efforts to obtaincompliance with Bloc requirements or, falling that, perhaps even to replace him.

We believe that recent Soviet actions do not Indicate that the USSR has abandoned its "peaceful coexistence" line. However, the

USSR probably estimates that Its antl-revl-slonlst moves, particularly the Nagyhave seriously reduced the chances for early East-West negotiations favorable to its Interests. The Soviets will nonethelessto press for negotiations and to seek to place tho onus on the West for delays.

t is possible, however, that theof recent events lies deeper, and these events may reflect differences within thcleadershipegree of Communist Chinese influence. If this is so, it maya new and stiff or policy towards the West as well as the Satellites.

DISCUSSION

The Campaign against Revisionism. Since the7 meetings in Moscow, the Bloc campaign against revisionism has been mounting. But its effectiveness wasso long as two logical steps remained untaken. First, until Tito was denounced and read out of thc socialist world, it was impos-

We employ the term -rerhlonlsm" to embrace deviations from current official Communistwhich appear to the Soviet leadership to threaten Its power and control. Pressures for greater autonomy ln the Kastero Europeanand Tilolsm currently rank high among the sins of revisionism.

sible to demonstrate convincingly that his positions wero impermissibleocialist state. Second, until Nagy had been executed, the attitude of complete Intolerance toward his crimes was compromised. Both these steps were difficult to take, however, if only because of the negative effect they would have on the Soviet stance in foreign policy.restraining factor possibly wasa reluctance on the part ofboth for personal and policy reasons, to admit the failure of his policy ofwith Tito and of his less restrictive policy toward tho Satellites.

l

SEQ7RET

logic of Uie an li-revisionist campaign would appear to call forhird stepthe reduction of Poland lo full subordlnaUon to the USSR. There Is no evidence thathas actually employed Its economic and mUltary weapons against Gomulka, although these factorsontinuing shadow over Soviet-Polish relations. He is obviously placed under great pressure, however, by the actions taken against Tilo and Nagy. Against this pressure, hc retains many of the assets which helped him to power inhe threat of mass resistance by the Polish people under his leadership, and his ability to argue persuasively that only he can prevent popular violence and to warn that violence ln Poland might spread to East Oermany and riskwith the Western powers. Over the lastonths Gomulka has strengthened his position with the Polish military forces and probably counts on their support in any stand he takes with respect to the USSR Moreover, he has moderated many of those aspects of thc Polish internal scene which are offensive lo the USSR, has helped the Soviet Unkm to build and maintain an Image ofand tolerance before thcnations, and has.imited extent, even assisted the anU-rcvisionlst campaign.

Againsi the above must be set the evidence, implicit in recent Soviet actions,reater Soviel determination to meet the dangers of revisionism. In addition, the USSR maythat, with the West preoccupied with the Middle East, the risk of widened conflictfrom direct Soviet intervention in Poland would be lessened.

We Infer from Gomuika's speech ofune that, while he reallr.es he must pull in his horns, he does not regard Soviet-Polishas having reached the stage of anand unuvoidable showdown. He neither succumbed altogether to Soviet pressure nor called for popular support against it.he sharpened his criticism ofbutone of sorrow into the anger shown by all other Bloc statements. He condemned Nagy's behavior, but sUU pictured himeak leader giving

way to pressure rather than as an active and long-time conspirator. Most important, he did not endorse Uie execution, calling ItInternal affair.

We do not believe Uiat the USSR hasecision to subdue Poland at all costs, using whatever means prove necessary. But wereaffirm that "the USSR's reluctantof thc 'new*ppears toong-range adjustment ratheremporaryn view of the intensity of the current Soviet campaign and Oomulka's continued fool-dragging, we believe that thc USSR will make more direct efforts to obtain his compliance or, failing that,even to replace him.

Implications for Soviet Foreign Policy. We believe that recent events do not indicate that the USSR has ceased toonference at the summit or lower level negotiations onin which the Soviet leaders have anAt Uie same Ume, the Soviet leaders may have concluded prior lo undertaking their recent moves that, since the chances of an early summit conference on their terms were waning, they could more easily accept thelosses they would sutler In Internationa! affairs byarder policy in Eastern Europe. In any event, they must recognize lhat adverse reactions in the West to their moves against revisionism may seriouslythe short run chances that negotiations can be conductedasis favorable tointerests. We believe that Uiey areto acceptrice, If necessary, ln dealing with the situation In Eastern Europe, which they consider must always takeover non-Bloc affairs. They probably estimate lhat other powers will not agree to high level negotiations as long as the USSR continues to take strong measures in Eastern Europe. Thc Soviet noteuly and Soviet conduct at Geneva Indicate Uiat the USSR will nonetheless continue to press (or negotiations and to seek to place the onus on the West for further delays.

NIE, "Outlook for stability ln the Eastern Europeanaragraph

4A.

SEOTtET

Other Possible Considerations. While we think that Uie above most satisfactorilyrecent Soviet moves, other factors may also be Involved. For example, wc cannot be certain that Khrushchev's removal ofhas put an end to the view within the Soviet leadership that his peaceful coexistence lineubious tactic which weakens the Internal vitality of Uie Communistand Uiat any but Uie smallest grants of autonomy to Uie satellites are impermissibly dangerous. Persons of this persuasion may feel that, ln view of thc recent gains in Bloc strength and weaknesses In Uie free world, victory is assured If only unity can beThe failure of certain of Khrushchev's policiescourtship of Tito, partial relaxation of controls over Eastern Europe, effort to force the Westummit conference on Soviet termsmay haveesurgence of this view within thc Soviet leadership. If so, it would probably enjoy the support ofregimes In Eastern Europe as well as Uiat of Uie Chinese Communists, whoto be exerting an Increased influence on Bloc policy and toenerally tough line- We think that Khrushchev would take account of such views and, ln order to prevent the formationerious opposiUon group, might take the lead In Implementing them.

ut Uie evidence concerning activities within the Soviet leadership is, as usual,On thc one hand, thc published results of Uie recent CPSU plenumurther step In agricultural reforms associated with Khrushchev and thc reinforcement, via Uieof two new candidate members, of bis posiUon within Uie Presidium. We know of no hardening ln domestic Soviet policy paralleling that in policy toward Uie Satellites. On Uie other hand, there have been reports of alleged policy differences within the Soviet leadership. Moreover, unresolved leadership differences may underlie several recentIn Soviet foreign policy which have no other wholly satisfactory explanation. The Chinese role is obscurer Pclplng has taken an even stronger line against revisionism than has the USSR, and wo think that, if the So-

viet leadership were divided on this Issue. Uie Chinese position might exert considerable weight.

f It is Indeed Uie caseew line Is being pressed upon Khrushchev, then thecourse of Soviet policy becomes even more uncertain. On Its face,ew line couldore extensive shift ln tacticsthc non-Communist world than lhe mere raising of difficulties about thereater and more immediate threat to Gomulka's position than could be staved off by his recent speech. But any lineartial retreat by Klirushchev would be quite unstable, in view of his almost certain subsequent attempts to reassertThus policy mighteries of zlgs and zags flowing from the push and pull of an Internal power struggle.

Alternatively, Khrushchev himself may have initiated Uie current line. He has to be especially concerned to distinguish sharply between his own innovations and those of others which he has labelledhus he may have chosen to altack Tito, execute Nagy. and force concessions fromIn order to establish himself as an anti-revisionist while demonstrating In other fields that only he Is permitted to alterdoctrine. This view is all the moreIf Khrushchev has become personally disenchanted with Tito and Impatient with Gomulka. If lhe initiative is Indeedown. Uie change in line might become as substanUal as ln the preceding paragraph but it would sUll be unstable, II only because of Khrushchev's willingness to change his mind.

We conclude Uiat, at present, the most likely explanation of recent Soviet actions is not Uiat thc USSR has either abandoned its "peaceful coexistence" line or settled ondownfall. Rather Moscow appears to be moving to insure ils posiUon In Eastern Europe. Involving greater pressure uponand is prepared to take Uie consequencesemporary setback in relations with Uie non-Communist world.

SEGdiET

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