MAIN TRENDS IN SOVIET CAPABILITIES AND POLICIES, 1957-1962 (SUMMARY ONLY) (NIE

Created: 11/12/1957

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

25

351

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

NUMBER

(supersede, CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM

RELEASE IN FULL

MAIN TRENDS IN SOVIET CAPABILITES AND

SUMMARY

{The complete text of Hits estimate has been published srparcitfly..

Svbmirird br the DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL IVTTXI.1GCNCK

TA* toOoirtna InleUigentx organuattoni pot tic. pa ua in the preparation oJ thu estimate Tht Centre', Inttlltgenec Agency and the intelligence n< pan imf the Departments of Stale, the Army, the h'avy, thc Atr Perce. The Joint Staff, and the Atomic energy Commlmon

Concurred In by tht

I'llli""1 AUViSOltV COMMITTEE

an tzoncurring were The Director ofand Research. Department ot State; the Assistant Chief of Staff. InteUigence, Department af the Army; the Director of Navat Intelligence, Ihe Aislitanl Ch,ef of Staff. Intelligence. USAF; the Deputy Director tor Intelligence. The Joint Staff, and the Atom* tnergy Com minion ReJJUCwrta-tnte to tie IAC. The Assl.tanl Director, Federal Bareo* ot Investigation, abstained,ct be.ng outsideis

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGKNCY DISSEMINATION NOTICE

estimate was disseminated by thc Central Intelligence Agency. Thislor the information and use of the recipient indicated on the front cover and ofunder his jurisdictioneed to know ba3ls. Additional essentialbe authorized by the following officials within their respective departments;

of Inielligence and Research, for the Department of State

Chief of Staff, Intelligence, for the Department of thc Army

of Naval intelligence, for tho Department of the Navy

of Intelligence, USAF, for Uie Depariment of the Air Force

Direcior for Intelligence, Joint Staff, for the Joint Staff

of Intelligence, AEC, for the Atomic Energy Commission

Director, FBI, for the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Director for Central Reference, CIA, for any other Department

This copy may be retained, or destroyed by burning in accordance withsecurity regulations, or returned to the Central Intelligence Agency bywith uie Office of Central Reference, CIA.

When an estimate is disseminated overseas, thc overseas recipients may retain Iteriod not in excess of one year. At Uie end of this period, the estimate should eiUier be destroyed, returned to the forwarding agency, or permission should be requested of the torwarding agency to retain it in accordance with2

title of this esUmate, when used separately irom the text, should be classified:

IHSTRIBUTTON: White House

National Security Council Department of State Department ol De Ionic Operations Coordinating Hoard AUimic EDCfBy Coininiaslon Federal Bureau of InvestigaUon

II l

MAIN TRENDS IN SOVIET CAPABILITIES AND

THE PROBLEM

To review significant developments affecting the USSR's internal politicalrelations with Bloc states, economic situation, military programs, and foreign policy, and to estimate probable Soviet courses of action

SUMMARY ESTIMATE

the Soviet internal scene andexternal policy continue to bemarked by change and innovation.of Khrushchev hasthe flexibility andof the post-Stalin leaders'their major problems. But none ofin Soviet policy suggestsin basic aims or In thean irreconcilable conflict betweenand non-Communistthe Soviet leaders display aof confidence, buttressed by theirpolitical and technologicalthe prospects for ultimate victoryside.

Trends in Sovlot Foreign Policy

respect of the Soviet leadersnuclear power will continue andunlikely to initiate general war orcourses of action which, ingravely risk general war,next five years. At the samethey are probably confidentown growing nuclear capabilities,

added to their great conventional strength, are increasingly deterring the US and its allies from courses of action gravely risking general war.esult the USSR probably regards itself as progressively achieving greater freedom of maneuver in local situations.' The

"Th* Assistant Chief of SUIT, Intelligence, USAF. does noi agree with Lhc estimate that lheare likely to feel tbat they arc achieving greater freedom of maneuverlhat they will regard the US as IncreaMngly Inhibited bj grow-InR Soviet strengths.

The US has ahcapt been cautious of riskingwar. This is certainly evident to ihoRut alio evident to them are examples sueh aa Berlin, Korea. Taiwan, and Syria which underline US firmnesslear challenge is presented.

Thc Assistant Chief of staff, intelligence, USAF. has found no specific evidence oi indicators from which the Soviets could(he opinion lhat US caution will increase as soviet nucleargrow. Inonvincing case could be made for increasing Soricf caution, based on fear that the west would feel compelled to exercise iu superior military capabilities before the Soviets might reverse the relative military advantage.

It appears to the Assistant Chief of Stan".USAF, -hat mcreasirto Soviet boldness Footnote continued on following page

mrt

2

posture during the Suez and Syrian crises convinces us that the use of threats willasic element in Soviet policy. At times the Soviet leaders will probably bring the threat ofmilitary strength into the open by menacing words or harsh diplomaticMoreover, the USSR might go considerably further In certainby supporting indigenous Communist or other forces in localaction, or even sending Sovietjudging that grave risk ofwar would not result. Thus the risks of general war arising throughmay increase.

ut in general the Soviet leaders will probably continue to prefer non-military means of achieving their objectives. They

during Ihr next five years will bp unlikely unless the Soviets attain cicar military superiority, or unless the Soviets hare reason to eipect aor irtesolutenesa In US policy. Thc first condition is not believed attainable; the second Is not believed demonstrable. Thc Assistant Chtei of Starr. Intelligence. USAF. believesthathould lead as follows: The respect of Uie Soviet leaders for USpower will continue and they are unllkcy to initiate general war or to pursue courses of action which in their Judgment, gravely risk general war over Ihe next live years. Al the tame time, however, they probably regard their own growing nuclear capabilities, added to their Ureal convenUonal strength, as enforcingon the Western powers. The USSR's posture during the Suez and Syrian crises convinces us that thc use ot threats willasic element In Soviet policy. A| times the Soviet leaders will probably bring the threat of Com-rr.unlM military strength Into Uie open bywcrrX.harsh diplomatic exchanges, byIndigenous Communist fortes, or even sendingudging that grave risk of general war would not result. The Sovieis must recognlv, however, that tho possibilities uf miscalculation in crisis situations are such lhal general war might nevertheless tccur. and Uiat preparedness for Itherefore easenUal. VYc remain convinced that lhc USSR will not desire to let any crisis develop lo lhc point of seriously risking general war."

probably regard thc present worldas ripe to develop further in their favor through continuation of suchWhile determined to build up their armed strength against any eventuality, the present leaders have probably decidedontinuation of "peacefulwill best assure against the risks of nuclear conflict and at the same time offer far-reaching opportunities to weaken and divide the Western powers and to promote Soviet Influence in the key underdeveloped areas of the world.

Almost certainly the Soviet leadersfurther crises as the interests of the two great power groupings clash in the Middle East and elsewhere. They willtrong line in such crises. Yet we believe that in general they will continue to emphasize such tactics as high-level goodwill visits, broadened contacts,of cultural and other exchanges, expanded foreign trade, long-term credits and technical assistance, and arms aid. Their aim will be to cause furtherof the lines between the Communist and non-Communist worlds and toandetraction ofespecially US, strength from around the periphery of the Bloc.

The Soviets will almost certainlytheir efforts to woo thecountries, particularly in Asia and Africa, in order to estrange them from the West ond to lay the groundwork for growing Soviet influence. Thc USSR has the economic resources forexpanding its "trade and aid"while its extensive stocks ofarms will permit it to capitalize further on the desires of manycountries tois Iheir neighbors.

3

USSR clearly regards the chiel immediate opportunities for expanding its influence to lie In the Middle East It is shrewdly supporting Arab nationalism against the West and thereby attempting to avoid the appearance of seeking undue political influence of its own. It is also conscious of the extent to which vital Western interests are involved in the area, and of the risks which would ariseirect test of strength between the great powers themselves. Nevertheless, its longer run aims are to eliminatemilitary power and political influence from the area, toosition from which to control Middle East oil. and ultimately to dominate the area.

During the next few years the chief Soviet objective in Western Europe will be to weaken and divide the NATOand above all loithdrawal of CS military strength. To this end the USSR will continue to promote some form of European security treaty to replace both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. But the USSR will almost certainly remain adamant on German reunification on any terms except its own, however much this may limit its maneuverability in Western Europe.

eans of forwarding theircoexistence policy and of advancing their efforts to neutralize US nuclear striking power, the Soviets will seek on the whole to give the appearance of aand constructive attitude onThey probably desire some form of simple, "first-stage" agreement with minimum Inspection and control but we remain convinced that they will reject comprehensive Inspection and controls.

Trends in Soviet Relations with Other Communist Slates

The USSR's reluctant acceptanceegree of Polish autonomy and ofspecial position, as well as its recognition of Communist Chlna'sstature and role within the Bloc, indicates ubelief that some greater flexibility ln Soviet relations with other Communist states ls both necessary and dcsiruhle in order lo preserve and strengthen the Bloc. However, mindful of last year'sin Poland and Hungary, the USSR now seems determined to go slow in any further evolution of its relationships with the European Satellites, and above all to avoid any repetition of the Hungarian or even Polish experiences It would almost certainly revert to repressive policies in event of serious threats to its position in Eastern Europe. Barring suchwc think thc USSR willautious policy of economic aid,to national peculiarities, andhere and thereomewhat greater degree of Satellite autonomy.

Tlie strong identity of interest among the various Bloc regimes, theirupon Soviet aid and support, and the USSR's overwhelming military power will tend to maintain the essentialof the Bloc over at least thc next five years. But the underlying forcesby developments since Stalin's death will persist, creating furtherwithin the Satellites. Additional changes in intra-Bloc relations are likely.

Internol Developments

I! Two of the major problems posed by Stalin's death havo persisted: who is to rule, and how is the ruling to bc done. While Stalin's successors agreed on fun-

damenlat objectivesmaintenance of Party dictatorship, continued military buildup, and rapid economic growththey differed as to the policies best suited to pursue these aims in the conditions of the USSR today. These differences in turn complicated the problem of who was to rule, rendering the leadership unstable.

ow, after four years of uneasy collective leadership, Khrushchev has emerged as dominant. Although he still lacks the degree of power achieved by Stalin through the use of police terror, he has disposed of his major rivals and asserted Party mastery over the economic bureaucracy and the military. These developments have probably enhanced the stability of the Soviet leadership, though this leadership will be subject to continuing strain over the next several years as difficult policy problems arise. We think that only the most severecould threaten the presentarrangements, but, considering the magnitude of the problems which the regime faces, and the risks of failure in the bold programs which Khrushchev has undertaken, issues of such gravity could arise. In such an event Khrushchev would probably move toward absolute rule. If necessary attempting to reinstl-tute terror for this purpose. Butelements among the elite groups would be alert to and wouldevelopment, particularlyecourse to terror were involved.

s to the question of how to rule, the present leadership has shown awareness of the need to overcome the alienation of the Soviet population which has been caused by fear and deprivation andin apathy. Instead of ause of terror, which in the end

might not spare the leaders themselves, another approach was felt to bein order to keep the society cohesive and responsive to central direction. Inhift in emphasis to tlie use ol incentives and the encouragement ofseemed to give promise ofSoviet strength, particularly in the economic field.

his approach has been extensively applied to the Sovieteries of administrative reforms has sought to make better use of specialist knowledge, local talent, and individual initiative. The latest and largest of theseadical reorganization of industry which seeks to transfer to officials on the spot morein the detailed execution of national policy. The incentive programin agriculture, aims not only at stimulating higher labor productivity but also at Increasing popular support for the Khrushchev regime. The highlyhousing and agricultural programs wilt probably be successful enough toa gain of perhaps as much as one-fifth in per capita consumption over the next five years.

he achievement ofain would probably produce some increase Insupport,onsumption program of this size will compete more sharply than heretofore with requirements for industrial investment and defense This competition has already been partlyfor the abandonment of the Sixth Five-Yearn favoreven-year plan. The issue of competing priorities, however, has not been finally settled by thts action and is certain to arise again.

ost of the changes which havebear the stamp of Khrushchev;

8

his self-confidence and flexibility, the outlook is for further experimentation so long as he remains in power. By and large, we believe that his policies will be successful in generating more positive support among the population and inurther substantial growth in over-all Soviet power over the next five years. But hla changes have created tensions and forces In Soviet society, the ultimate impact of which is difficult to foresee. The policyautiousapplied in thc intellectual field, for example, has had disagreeablefor the regime. Wider contacts with foreign countries have opened the USSR to disturbing Influences. Youthful nonconformity is an Increasing problem,umber of critical writers are spreadingmall but increasing circle oflimate ofand ol impatience with the pace of officialhe regime has made little progress in ita counterattack upon these forces

Moreover. Khrushchev's expansion of the Party's role as the chief instrument for managing the reform processeavy load upon it. With theof the secret police, the Partyhas assumed new responsibilities for Insuring polltlcul conformity; with the abolition of most economic ministries it nowuch lurgcr role in carrying out centrally determined economicIf the Party proves inadequate to these tasks, thc prospects for success of the regime's ambitious economic and poliUcal programs will be greatly

The role of the parly becomes even more critical when viewederspective extending beyond tlie period of this esti-

mate. For the next five years at least, the regime's totalitarian controls over the Soviet people almost certainly will not be seriously compromised. But over the longer runar from certain that the Soviet citizen can be educatedigher level, urged to exercise his own initiative, given increasing opportunity forwith other countries, andtoignificant improvement in his living standard, and at the same time submit without question to awhich incessnntly proclaims, and frequently exercises, the right to make all important decisions for him,of his personal desires Eventually it may turn out lhat the benevolent totalitarianism which Stalin's successors seek to achieve is an imjiossibleand that thc forces released in the search for it will require theto revert to earlier patterns ofor to permit an evolution in some new direction. Even the latter changes would no: necessarily alter the basic threatynamic USSR poses to thc Free World

Trends in the Growth of Soviot Power

Notwithstanding thc many problems confronting the Soviet leaders, wea further rapid growth In the chief physical elements of Soviet power over the next five years. Particularly notable will be the continued rapid expansion of the Soviet economy, further scientific and technical advanceside variety of fields,ontinued buildup andol the USSR's already massive military strength.

Economic Growth. Soviet economic growth over the next five years willto be faster than that of the US,

6

somewhat slower than during the Fifth Five-Year, chiefly because of some redirection of investmenteclining rate of growth In the labor force. We estimate the average growth ln Soviet GNP as around six percent annually during the next Ave years. In doibw terms Soviet GNP would rise from aboutercent of US GNP6 to aboutercentowever,Soviet defense expenditures, interms, are already about equal to those of the US.

Scientific and Technical Progress. The rapid expansion of the USSR'sand scientific capabilities, critical to the growth of Soviet industrial andpower, will also continue. Although total Soviet scientific capabilities may not equal those of the US. the USSR has been able to make comparable achievements and to forge ahead in certain areas of critical military and industrialby concentrating its efforts in these fields. The number of university level graduates employed In scientific and technical fields already exceeds that in the US, and probably will be aboutercent greater than that in the US

Military Strength. Of outstanding significance has been tlic USSR's progress in the development o! advanced weapons and delivery systems.

a. The USSR isariety of improved nuclear weapons, particularly those employing thermonuclearits present stockpile could include weapons with yields ranging fromT up into the megaton range.he most powerful Soviet bombs could probably yield up toT, but missile warheads would still have yields

considerably less than this. We alsoa substantial Soviet program for expanding fissionable materialsbut the availability of suchwill continue2 toimiting factor on the size of manyas well as nonmilitary programs.

b. The USSR has probably tested an ICBM vehicle and we now tentatively estimate that it couldewrototype ICBMs available foruse9 or possibly even earlier, depending upon Soviet requirements for accuracy andhe USSR could now have available ballisticwith maximum ranges,m;8 it could probably also begin to have0 nm IRBM.

eanwhile, the USSR will probably continue toalanced andstructure of strong naval, air, and ground forces, supplementing these with new weapons. Nevertheless, thestrength of the Soviet forcesto have been reduced considerably from Korean War peaks, and somereductions and streamlining are likely, though notubstantial degree.

g. We estimate that the Soviet long-range bomber force has grown toombers at present, though ita larger number of jet medium bombers and fewer heavy bombers than we had previously estimated. While we think that this force will not changein size during the period of this estimate, we believe that i: will be further strengthened by the replacement of obsolete BULL piston medium bombers

estimatefili paragraph most be considered tentative pending rompotton al The Soviei ICHM Program.

with jets, by the Introduction ofheavy bombers, and by furtherof Inflight refueling,any estimate of future strength must be highly tentative, especially for heavy bombers, since Soviet policy in these respects is still shrouded in doubt. Subject to such qualifications, wethat the Soviets may byaveeavy bombers and tankers of jet and turboprop types,ong-range air force totalling something00 bombers. We also estimate that thc number of heavyand tankers will probably remain fairly steadyhile the total long-range bomber strength willdecline slightly.'

urther strengthening of Soviet air defenses will occuresult of improved fighterigher proportion

'The Assistant Chlel ot 8UO. Intelligence. USAF,lhal Ihr USSR would regardstoore substantialattack capability, providing for greater strategic flexibility and it much larger capability fororce which would provide thereater chance ol success tn general warwhile they are working toan additional nuclear delivery capability with newsystems. Including long-range missiles tt* therefor* fceUeees that the SOT-WO heavy aircraft estimated above would all be bombers ind lhat by mM-lHI there willdditional Urcran as tankers in operaUonal units.

The Asitstanl Chirl of Start. Ir>telUgence. Dc partment of the Army, and the Deputy Director for Intelligence, The Joint Start, believe, on the other hand, Hint Ihe number of heavy bomber/ tanker aircraft and the total number of long-range aircraft are boih rnore likely tothe lower than the higher figures given above See iheir footnote on page 33

of Improved all-weather fighters, better radar and communications equipment, and widespread employment cf improved surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.

Soviet ground forces havereorganized andimprovements in firepowerare likely duringand doctrine are beingmodern warfare, nuclear as wellWe still estimate aboutdivisions, but their actualvary from somewhat in excesspercent of war strength to as lowpercent. Increasing attention isto airborne andwhose capabilities

Soviets arc engaged in annaval program, especially incategory. Therehift to new designsmay be in progress.force is estimated atncludingof modern design Wc estimatesubmarine force will approximatebyho firstpropulsion reactor could nowand byheprobably produceewsubmarines couldln operation; and byayotal ofn allof submarines equippedmissile armament.

a*

tot arena.

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA