PROBABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN SOVIET -SATELLITE RELATIONS (SNIE 12-3-56)

Created: 11/27/1956

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SPECIAL

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE NUME-ER

PROBABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN SOVIET-SATELLITE RELATIONS

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL

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DIRECTOR Ol CRN! KM. IhTKl.UOFNCK

The. following mtelltge-ce orggnisutions participated in lhc preparation of thu e'linate: Tlie Central Intelligence Agency one" ike intelligence cgamzetious of thef Slate, tlie Army, the Naty. the Air Force, ami The loi'i! Staff.

Concurred Iii by the INTELLIGENCE ADVISORV COMMITTEE

onovember lilSC Count ring icere thcf StaU: the Amstent Clue;intelligence. Depi stnient of thefie DirectorIntelUgenet; Ihc Director or fnteiUgitiCe USAF:Deputy Director for Inielligence. Thu Joint Staff.FnriypmtDlrecUrr. Ffil--al Bureau afutsiitt.ui

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PROBABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN SOVIET-SATELLITE RELATIONS

'THE PROBLEM

To examine the implications of current developments in Poland and Hungary for Soviet policy and future relations with ihe Eastern European Satellites.

CONCLUSIONS

developments in Poland and Hungary have brought to theasic problem of Soviet leadershipthat of revising its syslem of control over the Satellites. Wc believe that thc Soviet leadership is subject to contradictory pressures on this problem, and is still undecided as to thc best solution. Wc cannot predict with confidence what course will be adopted.

Given the vita! character of thcinvolved, the Soviet leaders will not seriously consider abdicating their dominant position in Eastern Europe. At thc other end of theull-blown return to the extremes of Stalinist rule Is highly unlikely. Thus, the major courses from which the Soviet leaders will have lo choose are likely to be the following:etermined policy of firm Soviet repression, but attempting to avoid thc extremes of Stalinism;ystematic redefinition ofrelations based on lesser controls and anticipatory concessions to nationalist sentiment: (C) continuation of the pres-

ent course of expediency, involving shifts between conciliation and repression.

onsiderable lime at least, the Soviet leaders will probably continue with Course C, which is essentially aof clear decision. It is possible that at any time the situation in Poland,hange in thc Soviet leadership, will leadirm adoption of Course A. Wchowever, that in thc long run the forces at work, both within and without the Soviet empire, will probably cause the Soviet leaders to accepts the basic pattern for their relations with the Satelliteegardless of which alternative is chosen, thc USSR is not likely to be able to create regimes wliich arc politically stable and economically productive and at the same time subject to close Soviet control.

'The Special Assistant, Intcllltfence,State, and the Deputy Director lorThe Joint Start, consider that thereevidence available at preient toUie csUmate that 'in the lone run.at work both within and without thcempire- will cause the USSR to followof voluntarily tooaenlnc IU controlSatellites and using Polandodelother East European

DISCUSSION

The current crisis In Soviet relations with Poland and Hungaryanifestation of the basic problem which hu plagued the Soviet leaders since the death of Stalin. They have sought, by repudiating the extremes ofand relaxing terroristic controls, to gain popular support and to stimulate party cadres and populations to work more productively. At the same tune, they have sought to Insure that this process would not lead toand unacceptable demands for reform. It was easier to satisfy both of thesegoals in the USSR than in the Satellites, where Communist authority was less securely established and where, particularly inand Poland, Communist leaders had to contend with traditions ofise in popular expectations,among the youth.

Soviet leaders evidently failed to recognize the strength of anti-Soviet feeling within some of the Satellite Communist parties. They do not seem to have foreseen that the reduction of terror and the rehabilitation of Tito would not only stimulate In Ira parly criticism but would also Involveand lead to the expression of anti-Soviet and anti-Communist sentiments. Thisledreakdown of party unity inand Poland and an acceleration of Lhc reform movementoint where Soviet interests were endangered, acutely so ln Hungary.

IMMEDIATE PROBLEMS Hungary

G. By the beginning of November, the USSR faced inirect choice between wholesale repression and thc emergence of an anti-Soviet, anti -Communist state. The latter would have seriously weakened the Soviet strategic position in Eastern Europje. damaged thc prestige of the world Communistand created an unacceptable precedent for other Satellites. Under these circum-

stances, we believe that the diversion provided by the attack on Egypt, while convenient, did not affect the character or the timing- of the Soviet resort to military repression In Hungary.

In the immediate future, the USSR will face the bitter hostility of the Hungarian people and the probability of considerablewithin Hungary. Thc depletedparty will almost certainly have to rely heavily on direct Soviet support lor the formidable tasks of restoring order andreconstruction. This will, in-tum, prevent the claims to independence of. any Hungarian government from being accepted by thc populace.

Once open resistance in Hungary isthe USSR will seek toegime which docs not depend obviously on direct Soviet military support. It maythat the emergence ofegime will be facilitated by:tate of physical and psychological exhaustion among(b) disillusionment because support from the West or thc UN did not measure up to Hungarian hopes, and (c) economic and limited poliUcal concessions, and the inlro-duclion of more acceptable personalities into the government.

However, for some time to come thc USSR Is likely to feel that local Communist-forces are so weak and unreliableoosening of thc Soviet hold wouldewattempt to leave the Bloc. Thehas proven long-lived and determined. Evidence of substantial deportations to the USSR points to the growing likelihood Uiat emergency military measures may have to be supplemented by more permanent and far-reaching repressive measures if the authorityuppet government is to be established in Hungary. At present, there is no Arm basis for estimating the prospects for continued effective resistance in Hungary. We believe that thc USSR will not succeed during Uie next few months inocal

Communist authority able to govern without the presence of Soviet forces in substantially larger numbers than before the outbreak.

the USSR should conclude that Itto And any body of Indigenousable both to establish effectivethe Hungarian people and toSoviet requirements. It mightto administer the country for aperiod by military occupation.situation wouldlearthe whole policy of relaxation in thewouldatent threat to theIn Poland, and wouldBloc's international position.

Poland

Poland avoided the fate of Hungary in October because the regime's reform elements were stronger and acted before pressures got out of hand. All the Interested parties,he USSR, the restive population, and factions within Uie Polish Communist party, were able to accept Gomulka and his program. To the Soviet Union, Gomulkahanceviolence of preserving Itsajor voice in Polish foreign policy, and maintaining in Poland the basic features of "socialism"one-party ruleationalized economy. From the people he was able to gain credence for his promises of internal reformreater degree offor Poland. To the Polish party, he offered Its only means of reducingregaining some measure of efficientand authority, and running its own affairs with increased freedom from direct Soviet dominaUon.

Despite Gomulka's considerable Initial prestige, there are important elements ofIn this compromise. In internalthere are already signs that his regime has come into conflict with disgruntledand peasants and particularly withand intellectuals. Recent eventsmanyemoval of Soviet influence. Improved living standards, greater freedom, and broader contact with the Westwhich seem almost certain to be

disappointed. Economic problems are acute and anti-Soviet feelings arc high.

The USSRumber of reasons to be suspicious of Polish prospects. The Soviet leaders have probably reconciled themselves only with great difficulty to such measures as Uie removal of Rokossovsky and Ills colleagues, Polish feelers for Western credits. Uie retreat from collectivization, and Uie exposure ofeconomic failures. In addition, they must be deeply concerned over the present unruliness of Uie Polish party and population, as expressed, for example, in Uie continued Independent line of the Polish press and radio, spontaneous de-collecUvlzation, and Uieof organizations outside effective Communist discipline. Polish divergence from the USSRN vote and signs that the Poles are associating themselves with Tito's campaign against "Stalinism" must extend this concern. Although substantialwas apparenUy reached in Uie recent -Moscow talks, the USSR might decide, if the disturbing trends within Poland are not more effectively checked, Uiat Gomulka lacks either the wiU or the capability to impose Uiediscipline within thc party and Uie country.

It appears clear from Uie Hungarian example that Uie USSR would intervenetohange in Poland'sorientation, and at least in part for that reason, the Poles arc unlikely to demandhange In the near future. It is not clear what steps short of this might induce the USSR to intervene forcibly lh Poland. Movements of Soviet forces have had the effect of threatening such interventionthe past month Because of Poland's strategic importance. Uie USSR wouldIntervene with force in Poland before deterioraUon went as far as It did In Hungary.

thc Soviet leaders do not Interveneor by threat of force, they will atto work gradually within theto restore the influence ofto be more reliable from thcof view. They nre almost certainlythat thc Gomulkaegree of nalional independence

unacceptable to them They probably believe that, over the long run. the present andfuture developments In Poland will give rise to serious dangers to Soviet control in other Satellites. For example, widespread dc-collectlvization In Poland would be seen by them as detrimental to approved policies In thc other Satellites.

OTHER SATELLITES

The same basic tension between Soviet requirements and popular demands is present in the other Eastern European Satellites, though in varying and presently less ncute forms. Divisions within the other Satellite Communist parties have not developed to the same degree, nor were there good candidates in these parties for the role of Gomulka. Moreover, some of the other Satellilesarge and vigorous Intelligentsia having traditional links with tlie West.omparable body of students and writers did show some restiveness last May, traditions of greater caution andwith the existing power seem to have prevailed.

Nevertheless, within all these Satellites (and particularly in Rumania) anti-Soviet feeling has almost certainly been Increased In thc wake of the Hungarian repression. Thc harshness of Soviet repression and lack of Western military support for thcwill discourage armed rebellion, but will probably not prevent anti-Soviet agitation and vigorous expressions of discontent. Much will depend on whether Moscowlear line of direction, since thc preservation of Communist party unity and discipline is the first requirement for the stability of these regimes. One important obstacle to extensive further reforms will be the apprehensions of mast present Satellite party leaders that such reforms would undermine their own political positions.

EFFECTS ON SOVIET POUCY FOR THE SATELLITES

revising foreign and internalIhr post-Stalin period, the Sovietnot to have had any clear picture of

what thc effects would be ln theapparently feltcries ofand cautious accommodations tocould be undertaken withoutvital Soviet interests orwhich wouldifficult reappraisalrelations has, however,been necessitated by the seriousto Soviet prestige in Hungary andcontinued difficulties in evolving aand workable formula for bothHungary. The chances forin Soviet policy, leadership, ormarkedly Increased in view of thethat are almost certainly nowin the

n the one hand, evenu In Hungary have almost certainly led many Stalin-installed leaders in the other Satellites to urge Moscow toarder line.ine of policy almost certainly has strong advocates in the Sovlet'party. Support for thU view within the Soviet leadership itself can be inferred not only fromnown opposition to the rehabilitation of Tito, but also from Pravda's denunciation of thc Polish reform movement at the moment of Gomulka'slo power, and from the publication of an antl-Titoist Albanian speech tn Pravda on the eve of the Gomulka visit to Moscow.

n the other hand, an appreciable number of Communist leaders, including someof the Soviet leadership, probablythat the recent difficulties In Poland and Hungary were basically thc result not of flic new Soviet policies in the post-Stalin period but rather of hesitancy in movinglearly defined new form of association with the Satellites which would be less degrading to them. This line has been expoundedby Tito and the Poles, and appears to have received some support from the Chinese Communists. Moreover, although thc desire for greater liberalization on the part of the Satellite populations and the support which they receive from the leaders of manyslatesess direct, form Of pressure on the Soviet leadership, Soviet

foreign policy may be obliged to take more account of these factors in the present world situation.

Alternative Courses

Despite these contradictory pressures, there will almost certainlyonsensus among the Soviet leaders that vital Soviet interests demand preservation of Sovietin the Satellite area. They willcertainly continue to believe that the USSR's military security requires the forward deployment of Soviet forces there, secure lines of communication to these forces, andof the area for Sovicl air defense. Loss of control over Uie Satellites might find West-em power,evived Germany,against Uie Sovietefection of the area from the "socialist camp" would also be seenajor setback to Uiecause world wide, and would seriously compromise the effectiveness of Sovietpolicy in Asia and Uie Middle Eastlosses wouldactor of considerable, though not critical Importance.

Given Uie vital character of Uie interests involved. Uie Soviet leaders will not seriously consider abdicating their dominant posiUon in Eastern Europe. Al thc other end of theull-blown return to the extremes of Stalinist rule Is highly unlikely. Thus, thc major courses of action from which the Soviet leaders will have to choose In dealing with their current difficulties are likely to be lhc following:

etermined policy of firm Sovietbut altempttng to avoid the extremes of Stalinism.olicy would probably involve strengthening the position of theleaders most subservient torcew on further concessions toindependence, and attempting either to Intimidate Gomulka into modifying hisor to overthrow his regime in Poland. This policy would require increasedon either the Soviet military or the secret police, while at lhe same time il would Increase latent resistance; it would impede any increase in SalelUte productive efforts.

would weaken the Soviet campaign to Increase pollUcal and economic influence outside the Bloc, and might leadenewed break with Tito. It mighl require changes In Uie Sovicl leadership.

deliberate and systematicof Soviet-Satellite relations based oncontrols and anticipatory concessionssentiment.olicyacceptance of Gomulka's Poland asfor other Satellites; extensivethe leadership of othery&lcmaUc effort graduallySoviet-Satellite relations onof economic Interdependence,Identification, and commoninterests.olicy ofeven If gradual and long-term in focusweaken Uie position ofwho arc loyal Ui Moscow andwould probably encourageelements to over-reach the bounds

* which the USSR can tolerate; and might create conditions under which some of the Satelliles would eventually attempt tothemselves from lhe Bloc.

of the present courseinvolving shifts betweenand repression.ourse,beolicy ofdecisions, would seek to stabilize thcin thc Satellites, concedinglimits to pressures for changebecome dominant within abut reserving the power andintervene forcibly if theof any Eastern European statein doubt.ourse wouldlocal variants within the SatelliteIt would probably not solve theof reconciling Soviet controldevelopment of stable and producUvein the Satellite area.

asically. Sovicl policy during Uie past few months appears lo have followed the third course of maintaining an uneasy balanceconciliation and repression. Thiscould continue indefinitely. On Uie olher hand. Uie recent agreement with Gomulka.

aod preo tbc promises made by the Kadar regime in Hungary, indicate that there must be tendencies within the Soviet leadership to moveystematic policy of concession

However, it is not certain that thcargumentsolicy of conciliation will prevail over deep-seated tendencies in certain Soviet party and military leaders to fall back on measures of repression whenwith adversity. Western pressures on the USSR in the wake of thc Hungarianand Tito's public attempts to influence Soviet policy mayolicy ofpsychologically difficult for the Soviet leadership.

We believe that for the present the Soviet leaders are unable or unwilling tolear option forystematic polky of repression (Course A) or ofherefore, they are most likely to continue an indecisive courset is possible at any time that theIn Polandhange within the Soviet leadership would lead to the adoption of Course A. In the long run, the forces at work both within and without the Soviet empire will probably cause the Soviet leaderss the basic pattern for their relations with thc Satelliteven in this case, the USSR will, when it thinks necessary, insistoice in policy-making commensurate with Its relative military and economic strength within the Bloc.

egardless of which alternative is chosen, the USSR will almost certainly continue to offer various economic inducements to thc Satellites, and will attempt to strengthen Sloe economic ties. There is also likely to belntrabloc consultationide range of policy matters. However, any one of the alternative Soviet policies will be confronted with serious practicalolicy of conciliation will be handicapped in mostby the difficulty of keeping reformprescribedrogram ot repression through puppet regimes will incur some of the disadvantages of Stalinism and will be faced In many areas with the acute problem of finding enough reliable and efficientparty administrators to conductolicy of continuedbetween the two will suffer theof each and will encourage and exacerbate Intra-Communist friction. Thus over the long run. whatever path is chosen by the_USSR in dealing with its Satellites, it is not likely to be able to create regimes which are stable and productive and at the same time subject to close Soviet control.

"The Special Assistant, Intelligence. Department of State, and the Deputy Director for IntelU-Ecncc. Thc Joint Staff, consider that there Is insufficient evidence available at present tothe estimate that "In the lone run, thc forces at work both within and without theempire" will cause thc USSR toolicy of voluntarily loosening Its control over the Satellites and using Polandodel for the other East European Satellites

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