NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL
PROBABLE SHORT-TERM COMMUNIST CAPABILITIES AND INTENTIONS REGARDING BERLIN
Submitted by the
DIRECTOR OP CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
The following intelligence organizations participated tn the preparation of this estimate: The Centre! Intelligence Agency and the intelligence organisations of thc Departments of State, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, end The Joint Staff. Concurred in by the INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE onebruaryoncurring were the Special Assistant, InteUigence, Department of State; thc Assistant Chief of Staff. Intelligence, Department of the Army; tM Director OJ Naval Intelligence; the Director of Intelligence. VSAF; and the Deputy Director for Intelligence. The Joint Staff. The Atomic Energy Commission Representative ta the IAC and the Assistant Director. Federal Bureau of Investigation, abstained, the subicct being outside of their jurisdiction.
COPT NO. SSISTANT DIRECTOR,ONE
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DISTRmtrnON; White Bouse
National Security Council Department of Bute Department of Drfem* Operations CoordlnsUrg Board Alorale Rnersr CommUiloc redtnJ Doruu of
ill in.REVIEW PROGRAM of
PROBABLE SHORT-TERM COMMUNIST CAPABILITIES AND INTENTIONS REGARDING BERLIN
To estimate short-term Communist capabilities and intentions regarding Berli
recent Communist statements and actions affecting Berlin carry an implicit challenge to the Four Power status of the city, we believe that the USSR will not now attempt to force the Western Powers out of Berlin. TheSoviet objective is probably limited to bringing about recognition of the East German regime. (Paras.)
In seeking to achieve this objective, the USSR canide range of actions designed to force West Germany and the Western Powers to deal with the East German regime. These actions could include East Germanof Allied rights of occupation and access, obstruction of the movement of Allied and German persons and goods, and interference in the civil order of the Western sectors. (Paras.
Since the Soviet leaders probablythat severe pressure in Berlin would frustrate their present objectives both in Germany and in the world politicalgenerally, we believe that they will exercise care toajor crisis.
We believe the USSR may attempt to transfer conlrol functions over Allied civilian activities to East Germanbut will retain control over matters directly concerned with thc military occupation status of Berlin and Allied military access thereto.)
he danger of serious incidents in Berlin will remain, however, particularly if the Soviet leaders come to estimate that the present political and military risks of aggressive action in Berlin have been reducederious deterioration in Western strength and
' The Director ofSAF. believe* ihathould read as foUowa:
Tlie danger of serious Incidents In Berlin will remain however. Extensive Soviet strengths will De retained In Uie area which could be used easily for harsh actions againit Uieposition In Berlin. The USSR might risknh. action at any Lime, particularly If there were an obvious serious deterioration of Western political and psychologies: strrneths In Europeommitment of Weslern strengths elsewhere lhat Soviet leaders might hope to divert.
PRESENT SITUATION 1
evelopments in Soviet-East Germanand recent incidents in Berlin raise the possibilityenewed Communist effort to change the status quo ln Berlin. Inby the Soviet East German treaty ofnd its associatedthc USSR has laid the groundwork for transferring to the East German regime authority over the Soviet sector of Berlin and over access to thc city. The USSR Is thusosition to disavow both Its obligations under the Four Power agreements and its responsibility for acts which the East German regime might take. Although the Soviet-East German agreementsoviet effort toew legal situation, the actual situation in Berlin remains essentially unchanged, with rights of Allied occupation being observed and with access to Berlin being handled much as before.
progressive application ofof thc Soviet-East Germancould be used by the USSR toon the other occupying PowersGermany to deal directly with theregime. If In theseWestern Powers refuse to deal withGerman regime, the difficulty oftheir position in Berlin could
li. COMMUNIST CAPABILITIES WITH RESPECT TO BERUN
The Communists have extensiveto bring pressure on the Westornin Berlin byariety ofeconomic, administrative, andmeans.
Communist armed lorces far outnumber those of the West in thc Berlin area and the Communists could seize the Western sectors at any time The three Western Powers have in Berlinoken force of approximately
detailed information on the preseni situation in Berlin ace Appendix.
ombat troops.0 man West Berlin police force is only lightly armed. As against this, the USSR has two regiments permanently stationed on the outskirts of Berlin, and major elements of three Soviet mechanized armiesew hours' march of the city. In addition, there ls an East German mechanized division in thevicinity, as well asecurity iroops.
West Berlin is also economically vulnerable to Communist harassment.iles inside East Germany and largelyfrom surrounding Communist territory. West Berlin depends for ils economic survival upon regular movements of goods to and from Westirtually all of these goods arc carried by road. rail, and water transport Communist capabilities to harass or interdict these facilities range all the way from minor administrative harassment tootal land blockade. As examples of intermediate steps to serve particular purposes, thccould block ihe shipment of certain West Berlin exports in order to reduce West German confidence in the ability of Berlin's industry to maintain deliveries, or couldin varying degrees with West Berlin's postal and telecommunications facilities.
Thc Communists could interfere with Western air movements to and from West Berlin by: (a) direct attack upon Western aircraft, and (b) measures short of such attack. In the latterrincipal Communist effort would probably be directed toward jamming of Allied communications. Such jamming of Western radar and radio would, especially under night and adverse weather conditions, make corridor air traffic hazardous and impair Western ability toair lifthe Berlin area.
The Communists could also exploit tho physical arrangements within the city to harass the Western Powers, to complicate
' Weilstockpiles of food and fuel are now sufficient to sustain the cltjr lorear
functioning of civil government in the Western sectors, and to confront the Western Powers with serious political problems. The East Germans could take advantage of Lhe relatively free access to the Western sectors to incite mass demonstrations, to create public disorders, and toeeling ofthrough such actions as sabotage or kidnapping. As part ofar of nerves oreans of testing Weslernthe East Germans could infiltrate armed groups into thc West Berlin area. Thecould also interfere with the few utilities which still serve both parts of the city. By severing the two city-wide transport systems and by imposing tight controls along the border between East and West Berlin, the Communists could substantially reduce the number of East German refugees able to reach West Berlin, and Increase the isolation of the Western sectors.
III. SOVIET OBJECTIVES ANO PROBABLE COURSES OF ACTION
The long-range Soviet objective is toestern withdrawal from Berlin. Thc Western presence in Berlin ls clearlywith the consolidation ofcontrol over East Germany and threatens the prestige and security of the Eastregime, Also West Berlin is anbase for Western intelligence activities. Moreover, the Soviet leaders probablythatithdrawal would notably decrease West German morale and would aid in the attainment of Communist objectives with respect to West Germany.
However, we believe that there arelimitations on the price the Soviet leaders would pay for control over all Berlin. They almost certainly do not now regard theof the Western Powers from Berlin as warranting tho risk of general war or of undermining their present pose of peaceful Intent throughout the world.
Moreover, the USSR almost certainlythat forceful measures against the Western position in Berlin would adversely affect the achievement of short-term Soviet objectives for Germanyhole. Over thc
past year, the USSR has establishedrelations with West Germany and has attempted to place the German questionthe framework of intra-GcrmauFor the present, Soviet policy appears based on the premiseivided Germany, and aims at achieving internationalfor the East German regime. The Soviet leaders appear to believe that this aim can be furthered by creating situations which would cause the West German government to deal directly with thc East German regime.
We believe that current Communist moves in Berlin are intended to reinforce thisline of policy. Communist slaterncnls and actions in the Berlin area stronglythat the present Soviet Intent is to induce the West German government to negotiate directly with East Germany on thc ministerial level and thus toorm of de facto recognition.
In their efforts to use the Berlin situationeans of gaining recogniUon for the East German regime, the Soviet leaders will probably be influenced by these
Communists will probably wishslowly and cautiously, recognizingsudden or dramatic move would increaseofotentiallyreaction and of underminingSoviet campaign to increase thebetween East and West Germany.
USSR will probably not wish toopenly the quadripartiteBerlin. It will probably wish toof communication with theopen if only toegal basisin disputes which il wouldthe East German regime not handle.
stringent restrictionsBerlin would reduce the Row ofthe effectiveness of Westernoperations, and create economic aspoUtical problems, it would also havefor the Communists. Suchwould obstruct East Germany'sof increasing its contacts with WestMoreover, the possibility ofcountermeasures which would aggra-
vate East German economic difficulties would exist. Including denial ot transportation routes through Westestembargo on Interzonal shipments, and perhaps even stiffened Western trade controls
we believe lhat the abovewill actrake on Communisttn Berlin, the danger of seriousremain, particularly If the Sovietto estimate that the presentmilitary risks of aggressive actionhave been reducederiousin Western strength and
IV. PROBABLE SPECIFIC MEASURES
As indicated in the preceding section, we believe that thcwill not now attempt to force the Western Powers out of Berlin. However, West Berlin's isolated positionery wide range of actions at theof the Communists in seeking to reach the more limited objectives they now have, and it is likelyariety of pressures will be generally maintained and from time to time increased. Tlie nature and extent of Western responses to these pressures will in turn Influence the further development of Communist activityis Berlin.
Wc believe lhat thc USSR will attempt to transfer to East Germany more and more
- The Director of Intelligence. USAF, bclicTcs that paragraphhould readfollows:
The danger ot serious incidents in Berlin will remain howrwr Extensive Soviet strengths will be retained In the area which could be used easily tor harsh actions acainst tne West-em poation in Berlin. The USSK might risk sucb harsh action at any Ume. particularly If there were an obvious serious deterioration of Western political and payeholoeval strengths In Europeommitment of Western strengths elsewhere that Soviet leaders might hope to divert.
authority over West German and Alliedaccess to Berlin and over East Berlin iU self. We believe that the Communists may attempt to distinguish between Alliedand Allied civilian activities, and to transfer control functions over the latter to East German authorities. They may. forrefuse to permit Allied civilians toto and from Berlin by road or rail solely on Allied movement orders and require them to possess East German authorization as well. If the USSR Is successful in transferring to the East German regime control functions over Allied civilian activities, it might beto attempt more extensiveof Allied rights.
However, the USSR Is unlikely lothe Four Power agreementsBerlin. In particular, we believe that the USSR will retain control over mattersconcerned with the military occupation status of Berlin and Allied military access thereto.
The strongest and most direct pressures will probably be brought to bear upon the West Germans and West Berliners. Thewill probably continue to harass and delay West German truck trafficariety of unpechments. Similar tactics willbe applied to rail and bargebetween West Germany and Berlin. The people and authorities ln West Berlin will probably also be subjected to various acts of intimidation and embarrassment. Such measures would be intended not only lomorale in West Berlin, but to bring pressure upon the West Germans toettlement with thc East German regime. The East Germans will probably also impose tighter restrictions on passage between the Eastern and Western sectors of Berlin in an attempt to reduce thc flow of refugees,this border will probably not beclosed.
PRESENT SITUATION IN BERLIN
Western Position. The Western Powersthat all of Berlin is legally still under Four Power occupation and that the USSR is responsible for the maintenance of adequate communications between West Berlin and West Germany to meet both thc needs of the population and the Allied garrisons in the city. They hold, further, that their right to be in Berlin and the right of unrestricted access for their forces are inseparable.
The Western position is basedomplex of wartime and postwar agreements. These include:
agreements of the EuropeanCornmission in the fallhe occupation status of Berlin;
letters which President TrumanMinister Churchill exchangedStalin ln5 regardingof American, British, andInto their respective zones ofand sectors in Berlin with provisionto Berlin by rail, road, and airand British forces;
implementing agreements ofBritish, and Soviet militaryinstablishing three airone approach by rail, and one by road;
agreements on Berlin accessthe Allied Control Council formalizingagreements; and
Soviet-Western agreements9 whereby the blockade oflifted by restoring thc status quo asnd the USSR assumedfor the "normal functioning andof rail, water, and roadWest Berlin and Westgranting of sovereignty to Westhas not altered the special status of
West Berlin or thc international legalwith regard to access to Berlin. Matters pertaining to Berlineserved power retained by thc US, the UK, and Prance ln the treaty granting West Germany sovereignty. Soviet Position. The legal structure on which the Western position is based has been seriously challenged only once by thc USSR. In8 the Soviet government asserted that the Western Powers had forfeited their right to be in Berlin becausead violated the major Four Power agreements onand thus voided the basic agreements on Berlin since these were an inseparable part of the over-all arrangements for Germany. After the lifting of the blockade andof the status quo the issue remaineduntil5reaty granting East Germany full sovereignty was concluded between thc Soviel and Eastgovernments.
An accompanying exchange of letters between East German Foreign Minister Bolz and Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Zorin provided that:
o. East Germany should carry outand control duties along its borders on thc demarcation line between Eastand the Federal Republic, along the periphery of Greater Berlin, and within Berlin;
Germany should exerciseover road, rail, and waterbetween the Federal RepublicBerlin, and should settle allwith the West Germanthey involved West Germancitizens of foreign states, with thetroops and materiel of the Western
over Allied militaryWest Berlin and the Federal Republic
thc established air and land routes should be retained by the USSR "temporarily, until an appropriate agreement Is concluded."
Although the Soviet-Eastoviet effort toew legal situation, since the transfer oflo East Germany contravenes the obligation assumed by the USSR tn9 as well as several Allied Control Councilon Berlin access, the actual situation remains essentially much as it was beforehe East Germanhave in practice long exercised control over German traffic moving by rail, road, and water between West Berlin and WestMoreover, in actual practice Uieauthorities continue to control Allied civilian as well as military traffic.
The current Soviet position on tne Four Power status of Berlin is not completely clear. The USSR vested East Germany with control"within Berlin" in the Bolx-ZorlnSoviet reprcscntaUves ln Oermany have recently asserted that East German law Is applicable In East Berlin; and East German propaganda has accused the Western Powers of destroying Uie Four Power status of thc city. Nevertheless, East Berlin has not been formally integrated into East Germany. In fact, the special status is still being observed
The principal vulnerability of West Berlin and Allied personnel In Berlin lo Communist pressure stems from the fact that all goods and jwrsons moving between West Berlin nnd West Germany must cross atiles ofCommuntsl-controlled territory. Moreover, all movement must take place on certainroutes At present, traffic Is moving over all the designated routes withoutrestrlcUons: postal, radio, andas well are not being subjected to interference.
Road There arc four roads which arebeing used for highway traffic between West Berlin and West Germany:Brrlin-Helmstedt, Berlin-Gera-War tha, and llerlin-Hof. 4 these roads carried
ercent of thc total freight tonnage moving Into West Berlin andercent of thetonnage.
The most important of these highways Is the Bcrlin-Helmstedt Autobahn. This road not only carries the major part of the freight and vehicular traffic but is also the only highway Allied personnel can use without obtaining prior Soviet permission.
Allied use of the Autobahn derives from the decision of thc American, British, and Soviet commands in5 to make this road available to the American and British forces. The Soviet commitment to maintain West German road access to Berlin does not specify particular highway routes.
Rait. Transportation by rail between West Berlin and West Germany4 accounted forercent of the Inbound andercent of the outbound freight tonnage. All Allied freight and passenger trains as well as all Inbound German freight trains and some German passenger trains use the Berlin-Helnistedt rail line. The use of this line was established by the5 agreement and subsequently In the Allied Control Council. Additional rail lines arc available forfreight and German passenger traffic to and from West Berlin through direct agreement between the East and Westrailroad authorities. Thc East German Reiciisbahn owns the rail facilities in the Soviet zone and Berlin, and all rolling slock transiting Uie Soviet zone is hauled by East German locomolives.
waterways. Berlin ls at the hub of ancanal and river network. Twenty-three percent of all inbound andercent of all outbound freight tonnage was moved by barge
In1 the Soviet and Britishagreed on control arrangements for interzonal barge traffic. This agreement was renewed annually until the end4 when the Sovicl authorities permitted it to lapse and referred the matter to the East Germans. Nevertheless, Uie validity of the barge permits issued on the basis ot the1 agreement continued to be recognized; in fact, the Soviet authorities continued to discharge their tunc-
under the terms of the expiredIn5 the Soviet authorities notified the British Uiat thenceforth the East Germans would exercise control functions. The British in5 transferred their control functions to thc West GermanWhile applications for new bargepending at thc time were returned, the validity of existent permits continues tounchallenged.
Air. All Allied planes use three corridors ln flying Into and out of West Berlin: Berlin-Hamburg, Berlin-Hannover, and Berlin-Frankfurt. These corridors were established by the American, British, and Soviet military commands in5 and subsequently confirmed in thc Allied Control Council. Inuadripartite Berlin Air Safety Center was established in West Berlin. Its principal function Is to acthannel for communicating Western flight plans to the Soviet authorities.
Air access to Berlin Is ol particularbecause it is the only means ofwhich can be used by persons who are politically endangered, such as East Ger-
man refugees. Also, It enables the transport of goods out of West Berlin which thewil) not allow to be shipped by surface transportation. Air movement is probably anchored more firmly In quadripartiteon Berlin access than the other forms of transport. It has in the past been subjectinimum of Soviet Interference.
The West Berlin economy and population are not dependent to any Urge extent on the surrounding Communist-controlled territory. Within Berlin only the subway and thesystem still operateity-wide basis and with regard to olher utilities only the disposal of West Berlin's sewage depends on East Berlin's cooperation.
Practically all movement by West Berliners into the adjacent Soviet zone is blocked. Inlracity movement, however, is still relatively unobstructed although all crossing points on the sector boundary between East and West Berlin have from time lo time been either partially or completely closed by lhe East German authorities.Original document.