Created: 3/19/1957

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible







Submitted bp Ihe


The following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of this estimate: The Central intelligence Agency and the tntelttaencc organizations Of the Departments of State, the Army, the Now. the Air Force. The Joint Staff, and the Atomic Energy Commission.

Concurred in by the INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE onarchoncurring mere the Special Assistant,Department Of Slate; the Assistant Chief Of Staff, intelligence. Department of the Army; the Director of Naval Intelligence; the Director of Intelligence, USAF; the Deputy Director for Intelligence. The Joint Staff; and the Atomic Energy Commission Representative to the IAC. TheDirector. Federal Bureau of Investigation, abstained, the subfeet being outside of his jurisdiction



estimate was disseminated by the Central Intelligence Agency. Thisfor the Information and use of the recipient indicated on the front cotct and ofunder his Jurisdictioneed to know basis. Additional essentialbe authorized by the following officials within their respective departments:

Assistant to the Secretary for Intelligence, for the Department

Chief of Staff, Intelligence, for the Department of theDirector of Naval Intelligence, for the Department of the Navy

of Intelligence, USAF, for the Department of the Air Force

Director for Intelligence, Joint Staff, for the Joint Staff

of Inteliigence, AEC, for the Atomic Energy Gmunisskm

S- Assistant Director. FBI, for the Federal Bureau of Investigation

h. Assistant Director for Central Reference. CIA, for any other Department or Agency

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

When an estimate is disseminated overseas, the overseas recipients may retain iteriod not in excess of one year. At the end of this period, the estimate should either be destroyed, returned to the forwarding agency, or permission should be requested of the forwarding agency to retain It in accordance with2

title of this estimate, when used separately from the text, should be classified:


WARNINO Tab material* cai^ahu toXormaUon" the National Defens>>lQf. the' United Statu within tberhc espionage laws,ndSw. tbe trani-nusslonjjr'fifelatlon of which tntaj manner Je-afi unautnorued person U


NaUooaJ Security council Department of State Department of Operations Coordinating Board Atomic 'e.nt'cj Commission Federal Bureau of InvesUgaUoo



To estimate the world reactionajor US shelter program phased over an eight-year period and costingillion.


US Government wouldtrong information program thata national effort of this magnitude. In particular, it would:

intensive and extended publicity to the implications of nuclearhuman survival; and

clear that there is sufficient risk of nuclear war to warrant the

the same time, the US Government would make strong efforts tomisunderstand ing or alarm, and particularly to minimize adverseby assurances that the program did not indicate any significant changeforeign, defense, or aid policies, or any change ih the US view of thewar.


General Reactions, World reaction to the postulated program would depend to adegree upon the world situationat the time the program was subjected lo Congressional and public consideration and upon the nature of the public debate which look place. Tlie entire subject of nuclearis technically complex andcharged; the debate would be reported throughout the world, and many of theand discussions would beand distorted, in some rases deliberately.

The US program would be quickly andexploited by Communist andpropaganda.

eactions would vary considerablythe world. Of all countries, Japan is most sensitive to developments respecting nuclear weapons, and would be most alarmed hyof the US program and by the publicity which would almost certainly accompany it. The peoples of Western Europe, conscious as Ihey are of involvement in the East-West

struggle and awareonsiderable degree of the nuclear threat, would also be greatly On the other hand, countries such as those in the Southern Hemisphere, farfrom die probable areas of nuclear warfare, would be far less interested. Other nations in which the population Is only dimly conscious of the Implications of nuclearwould also be largely unaffected. Theparagraphs. Insofar as they describe reactionseneral way, must therefore be read with these distinctions in mind.eactions would also vary over time. As described below, we believe that tlie initial impact of the shelter program would be great throughout many areas of the world. With each annual Congressional presentation there would be some revival of the matter. once the program was established and its Implications understood and digested, it would tend to recede into the background of interest. Moreover, It is to be expected that during the-next eight yours many disclosures of the nature of nuclear warfare will be made, and many developments will affect popular Ideas of the likelihood of general war. Thus some of the reactions described below might occur in any case, thoughifferentfrom that indicated by the proposed

4 Reaction among the Major US Allies. The Initial presentationrogram of thisand magnitude, however qualified by the Administration, would almost certainlyood deal of alarm and confusion among the general public in allied countries. Some influential groups would Interpret theas indicating that tho US had lost faith in its alliances, intended lo cut itsand was preparing to retire into America" Others, particularly those inclined to antl-Americanlsm, would allege that the US. despite its protestations of peace, had concluded howdown with the USSH was unavoidable. Many would demand that Iheir own governmentsor responding program. There would probably be demands for more progress on disarmament and possibly for immediately outlawingweapons Extremists would claim lhat Ihe US shelter program furnished evidence

for the contentions they had long beenthat US bases should not be allowed on their national territory, that NATOailure, that governments allied to Uie US should renounce the alliance and make the best terms possible with Uie USSR.

ome of these views would Initially be held to greater or less degree in all alliedwho would ask themselves why the US should allocate to shelters such substantial additional resources, which could have been used for other defense purposes. They would (ear that the shelter program might be partroader decision for American withdrawal, and that the US had lost some of itsthat general war could be prevented through the deterrent power of its force In being. They would express these concerns to Uie US Government he US gives the assurances described in AasumpUonc do not believe that they would be stampeded by these anxieties or by initial popular While elements of doubt wouldpersist and lead them to scrutinize other American actions with unusual care, governments, as well as influential elements of Ihe public, would probably come tothat Ihe shelter program, taken by Itself,efensive measure and did notIndicate any basic change In US foreign policy or substantially affect the likelihood of general war. However, they would be exposed to strong popular demands for shelterin their own countries. They would be likely lo request US aid for carrying out such programs, and if aid were not forthcoming, they might divert resources from other defense expenditures for use on shelters, withjeopardy to the NATO defense effort and its political unity.

6 Tlie program would probably have an effect on NATO relationships, particularly if it wereme when there weredifficult and divisive issues before the community. In such circumstances, theof the shelter program would tend to intensify already existing difficulties

snt on. Uie Initial popularwould almost certainly diminish, and the more emotional manifestations would lend lo

disappear. Some people might find reassurance in considering that if tlie US thoughthelter program worthwhile, then theof survival In nuclear war might not be as dark as they had previously supposed. Some mighl even estimate lhat the USmilitary position had been strengthened. Any initial feeling that the program made Lhe US free toore risky policy, would give wayealization that even theof the program would still leave the US exposed to vast destruction and danger, and would not put it in any position to engage in provocative actions against the USSRthis tendency to see the programormal light. It must be recognised that the USSR and the Communists generally, as well as other anti-American elements, wouldto make capital of the subject in their propaganda.

If. despite the assurances given by the US Government, the Implementation of theprogram were accompanied by significant reductions in US foreign economic andprograms or commitments, alliedwould be substantially more serious. In these circumstances the program wouldbe viewed as foreshadowing aD8 withdrawal. Strong impetus would then be given lo third-force and neutralist tendencies in Europe, lo reconsideration of existing treaty commitments to the US. and to accommodation by some countries with the USSResult of these generalUS base arrangements might beallied defense expenditures reduced, and the US diplomatic position seriously unpaired.

Reaction In Neutral Countries- Among the neutrals, particularly outsideS decision tohelter program would almost certainly reinforce the desire to remain neutral. In India, for example.

ecision wouldtrongfor Justifying the role India has been playing. Among the more sophisticated of the underdeveloped countries, andthose which have hoped for US aid inthere would be fear thai aprogram of the projected magnitude would in effect preclude the kind and scale of US economic aid for which they had hoped. In the larger number of countries which arcand outside the main stream of International politics, there wouldeinforced desire to remainthey would feel thai it hadeven more desirable to keep out of the quarrels of the great powers.

Soviet Reaction. The Soviet leaders would vigorouslyS shelter program In their continuing propaganda theme that the US was preparingew war, and they would utilize It in connection with other themes directed towards US allies us well as in neutral states.

InitiationS shelter program would not In Itself lead the Soviet leaders tothai the US now believed war to be inevitable, nor would itritical factor -in their estimate of US intentions They might believeompleted US shelter program would somewhat reduce theupon US action which are now exerted by Soviet capabilities. Thus,helter program would help to keep alive their anxieties over US intentions, and they might become particularly concerned if other US military expenditures or military preparations were toimultaneous and rapid Increase Even in this case, tliey would not rely solely upon these moves as indicators of US Intentions, but would weigh all the factors In the US military and politicaland In its. world position.


Soviet construction of air raid sheltersin thes andajor national program during the Korean War. Sincet has been standardto build cellar shelters in most state-owned housing. This program probably now affords shelter to about one-sixth of the urban population, and this ratio will probably rise to about one-third by the endn addition, there are shelters in factories and public buildings, but no reliable estimate of their capacity is available.

lthough existing shelters were evidently not originally designed for protection from high-yield nuclear weapons, they wouldstill provide considerable protection. There are Indications that the newershelters are of heavieriew to keeping pace with weapons yields. So far as is known, there has been no construction of largeshelters separated from buildings. The Moscow and Leningrad subways areintended for use as shelters, however.

Original document.

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