SOME IMPLICATIONS OF A SYSTEM OF ARMAMENTS INSPECTION (SNIE 11-11-55)

Created: 8/30/1955

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NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE5

SOME IMPLICATIONSYSTEM OF INTERNATIONAL ARMAMENTS INSPECTION

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SOME IMPLICATIONSYSTEM OF INTERNATIONAL ARMAMENTS INSPECTION

THE PROBLEM

To estimate: (a) whether the Soviet rulers could maintain their present degree of control over their people if they should permit international inspectors offacilities and installations to have free access and movement within tlie USSR, and whether they would believe that they could maintain such control; (b) ifinspectors arc granted free access and movement within the USSH, and communication among themselves and to the exterior without any interference, to what degree such inspection would give assurance against the launching of anuclear attack by the USSR against tlie US; and (c) in general terms, the ability of the USSR lo evade arms limitations.

SCOPE

In the absence of details regarding llur terms of the assumed disarmamentand the nature of the inspection system, this estimate can be no morereliminary survey of the questions posed. It docs not attempt lo deal with actual Soviet intentions in the sphere of disarmament, or the probable Soviet attitudeany particular proposals for inspection or disarmament. This estimate is limited to an examination ofew implications of an assumed Soviet acceptance ofarms inspection.

CONCLUSIONS

We believe that an Internationalinspection system would present no dangers to the Soviet system which could not be overcome by techniques of control. We believe that the Soviot leaders would probnbly reach the same conclusion, but that their decision toor reject an international inspection agreement would be based for the most part on other grounds. (Para. 9)

he USSR could have concealed, or might accumulate by clandestinethe numbers and types of nuclear weapons requiredeasible attack on the US. Therefore, Internationalof nuclear weapons and fissionable materials alone could not provideagainst the possibility of surprise attack. If extensive preparations of the means of delivery were necessary before

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a large-scale surprise nuclear attack on the US, they would almostbe recognized by the inspectors. However, the ability of Inspectors to give warning would be reduced not onlyigh degree of Soviet readiness at the time inspection was initiated, but alsoeduction in the preparations required for an attack resulting from developments in weapons technology, delivery means, training, or logistic procedures.

he Soviet loaders mightisarmament or inspection agreement

through resort to legal subterfuge,obstructionism, use ofin countries not subject lo inspection, and other forms of deception. In theof detailed information about the proposed arms limitations and inspection provisions it la Impossible to foresee all the stratagems the Soviet leaders might be able to employ. Past experiencehowever, lhat they are capable of great ingenuity in escaping the spirit and letter of agreements they have ostensibly accepted,

DISCUSSION

EFFECTST liK NATIONAL INSPECTION UPON IHE INTERN Al POUTICAl AUTHOKITY OF THE SOVIfcT REGIME

4 Any international armaments inspection system acceptable to the US would require the USSR to wake major changes In Ms internal security practices, and wouldarked modi (lea Lion of the fundamentalpolicy ol secrecy. There would have to be substantial numbers of inspectors, free to travel about the country as necessary within the agreed scope of their duties, to conduct physical Inspections of plants and military Installations, lo communicate abroad without interference, and probably lo audit certain records of government ministries andenter pi Lses They would piesumably not have the right to information other than that related to armaments, but In view of the high degree of Integration and great complexity of modern Industry their operations would almost certainly impingearge part of mdusliinl activity. They would inevilably gain much information beyond the strict scope of their mission. In short, thewouldonsiderable body of foreign personnel, exempt In many Important respects from the control of the Soviet state. Their freedom would be much greater than

that presently accorded the diplomatic corps in the USSK and would be without precedent in any sovereign country.

he impact ofystem upon the population and official personnel ol the USSR would probably not be as direct and constant as these broad rights of movement andsuggest It can he assumed lhat Soviet authorities would piovldc some sort of escort and surveillance on almost all occasions when actual physical Inspection was undertaken, and citizens could probably be Insulated from direct contact with the Inspection agents to the extent that the Soviet government deemed necessary. While the .presence of Inspection teams within the country would be evident to the population, inspectors would probably not have occasion or opportunity to establishretailonsliips with ordinary citizens, and might not even be able to convert* withexcept In the presence of "liaison"

fi. Tlie knowledge that an Internationalsystem was in operation, and theol Ha functioning would, of course, have an Impact upon the population. In trie ease of the USSR, this would haveimplications hearing directly uponof the outside world which the So-

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government has heretofore presented toeople. It would be somewhat moreto maintain the proposition that the USSR was confrontedostile capitalist encirclement if the capitalist representatives were, by Soviet government consent, admitted to the secrets of the Soviet militaryThe admission of large numbers of Soviet inspectors to the US. and the reports and gossip which they would spread on their return, would probably add to ibis difficulty. Propaganda based on the purported dangers of hostile foreign penetration would almost certainly be less clfcetlvc.

However, the internal political authority of the Soviet regime docs not depend upon the willingness of the people to accept the propa-gmuia with which the regime Justifies Its policies. Acceptance by the Soviet people of their government rests on many factors,social Inertia, national loyally, fear, ignorance of the outside world, and the self-interest of many groups. Maintenance of tlie authority of the regime rests on its ability to manipulate these factors and to bring police power lo bear where and when needed. We think that none of these factors would be seriously affected by Soviet acceptance ofInspection. The regime's police power would not be reduced by the physical presence of foreign inspectors in tho USSR.

Attitudes among the general population, however, aienipartnnt for stability In the USSR as attitudes among the elite groups of the aimed forces, and of the party and government bureaucracies. The degree of ideological enthusiasm among members of these groups probably varies widely, from cynicism to fanaticism. Nevertheless, most of these people desire social and political stability. The fact that they have beensuccessful meani that they havea vested Interest in the preservation of the system within which their success was achieved. Hence, although the members of these groups would probably be exposed to considerable contact with foreign Inspectors, we believe thai Ihey would prove relatively impervious lo disturbing influences which might be exerted through such contacts.

n the basis of Uic foregoing, wc believe that International inspection In Uself would present considerable but not insurmountable political control problems to the Soviet leaders. There appear to be no dangers lo Uie stability of the Soviel regime arising out of suchwhich could not be overcome byof control. We believe that the Soviet leaders would probably reach Uie samebut that their decision to accept or reject an international lnspccUon agreement would be based for the most part onrounds than that of Internal political control.

II. ADEQUACY OF AN INTERNATIONAL

ARMAMENTS INSPECTION SYSTEM TO PREVENT SOVIET SURPRISE NUCLEAR ATTACK

o provide assurance against surpriseattack by the USSR, internationalwould have to achieve,inimum, one or the following objectives:

a. To account for Soviet nuclear weapons and current produclion. and lo maintain such surveillance over themurprise attack on the US would be Infcasiblc.

o account for Soviet weapons delivery vehicles and current production, and to main-Iain such surveillance over the meansurprise attack on the US would be Infcasible.

In the following paragraphs wo examineeneraly whether Uiese ta*ks could beby international inspection,that Inspection agents would employ presenUy known techniques of investigation.

Nuclear Weapons Control

II, To establish surveillance over Sovietweapons, all stockpiles of fissionable materials existing al the Inecpuon of Uiesystem would have to be identified, beginning presumably with an exchange of inventoryonfident determination of the accuracy of Uie Soviet inventory could not lie made, however,cu use of the uncertainty in US estimates of Soviet production andof nuclear materials. Physicalof Ihe production of fissionable matc-

rials, together with an audit of the records of such production, wouldefinement of these estimates but still would not afford an incontrovertible determination of cumulative Soviet production. Consequently, it must be assumed that the USSR could have, at theof international inspection, annumber of concealed nuclear weapons or nuclear components. Weapons assemblies without nuclear components and weapons-grade fissionable materials could also be

In addilion, In the period after inspection hail begun, some fissionable materials could secretly be diverted from permitted nonmili-tary production. Preparation of fissionable components for weapons from these materials, under dispersed clandestine conditions, would be difficult to accomplish without leaving traces. Nevertheless, over an extended period, and carried outoderate scale wilh due precautions, undetected production would be possible. This production, apart from any weapons or components not included in the original declaration, might eventuallyonsiderable stockpile of weapons notsubject lo international inspection.

While the clandestine accumulation ofweapons is thus feasible under ansystem, it is highly unlikely that the USSR would develop and produce radically improved nuclear weapons, or weaponsield greatly in excess of thoseestingince the occurrenceuclear detonation can easily be detected at great distances. It is almost certain that the USSR could not conductrogram without detection.

The chances arc slight that concealed stockpiles of nuclear weapons would beby subsequent inspection. Presently known techniques do not permit the detection ofmaterials at any great distance. Moreover, nuclear weapons can be stored for long periods, the only components requiring replaccmpnt being units not specifically iden-

USSHforegoest II through successful espionage it should acquire adequate dataossibly more advanced weaponby another nation.

Unable asompounds. Security and maintenance activities nssocrluted with storage sites might alert inspection agents, bul the vast area of the USSH would almost certainly provide adequate cover against detectionby accident

the USSR could have concealed,accumulate by clandestinenumbers and types ofeasible surprise attack onWc cannot foresee Just how manythe Soviet leaders would considerfor this purpose. Their estimate ofwould depend on manyamong which would probably beof the magnitude of the USand oilier strengths which would haveneutralized in older to accomplishHowever, it would bethe US to be certain Lhat the USSR didthe required stock of nucleara small secret Soviet stockpilethe USSR military advantage if thestockpile andeanssubject to international Inspectmust conclude, therefore, thatinspection of nuclear weapons andmaterials production alone couldassurance against the possibilityattack.

Control of Weapons Delivery Vehicles

Aircraft. Uncertainty as lo theof data, which makes absolute control of nuclear production virtually impossible, would not necessarily apply in the case of weapons delivery vehicles. The number of aircraft, for example, required at the present time torippling blow to Uie US would be difficult to conceal from Inspection agents. The task fur inspection would be to exercise such surveillance as to preclude theand mountingurprise attack. Whether this task could be performed would depend, in the first plncc, upon the levels and dispositions of Soviet forces existing when the inspection system went Into operation.

The USSR might conceivably complete preparations for altack before the Inspection system had been installed. Thus, the inspce-

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lion agents would be onfrontii al lhe outMtilitary usiahlisJuneiit hilly capable of initialing large-scale attack without further noticeable pii.-pnral.on. Under theseintci national ins;ieclioii might provide warning of attack, though the warning might be little earlier than the actual launching of the attack itself. Under mctl conditions, training activities would tend to lie largelyfromor attack, logistic movements and aircraft deployment which might otherwise alert insj*-ctlun agents of impending attack would lltiu be deprived of theirpecific Indtcntors ofintent.

If, however, the USSR had not prepared its foices for attack prior to the Initiation of inspection, enrly warning of Soviet prepaia-lionajor attack could probably beby an inspection system. Under present conditions, tlie USSR would almost certainly have to undertake certain detectableactivities In order tourprise nuclear altack on the USagnitudetorippling blow. Preparations for handling aircraft at staging ureas andbases, and tlie logistic, deployment, and communications activities which would bein such an attack would almostattract the attention of inspection agents before the attack could be launched.

The ability of International inspection to provide warning of preparations for attack would thus depend upon the length of timethe moment at which preparations for attack became recognizable as such, and the moment at which the attack was launched. This length of tunc might be reduced.eries of gradual and almostchanges in training and logisticwhich could bring lhe Soviet air establishmenteady status without such hasty or massive movements as would beto alarm inspection agents. Moreover. It would be possible to employ ostensibly non-military aircraft as delivery vehicles. Thus, the capability of the USSR toudden attack might be steadily improved, and the ability of inspectors to delect anattack correspondingly diminished. The

length of time between detectable preparation and launching might also be reduced by ilc-velopnieiils in weapons technology anddesign. Such developments mightreduce the nurnbwri ofeasibly surprise altack on the US, and thus Increase the difficulty ofpreparations for such an attack.such Improvements might permit" the circumvention of logistic and advance base limitations, and enable the USSR to launch sudden attack* from interior base* We must emphasise, therefore, that our estimate in paragraphight be invalidated by majorn the chili niter, quality, or training of the Soviet air establishment as wc presently estimate iL

uided Missiles. The limited experience available on the technology of sloiagc andpreparation of long-range guided mis-Biles permitsery tentative estimate of the ability of nn inspection system lodeat wilh these weapons. We believe that long-range guided in Leslies produced prior to inspection probably could be concealed, but that thenecessary to prepare them for usecould be detectedomprehensive and well-directed inspection system. Theproduction of long-range guidedparticularly the ICUM, after theof Inspection, would prolwbly bebecause of the extreme complexity and huge size of the undertakings required for such projects. On the other hand,problems Inherent in Uic ICBM could probably be solved under the guise ofIn outer space exploration. It is conceivableew such missiles could also be produced and made ready for use under this cover. Shorter-range guided missiles, suitable for launching from aircraft, surface ships, or submarines might be available for use against the US. Preparations for attack by suchwould probably be no more and no less detectable than preparations for altack by the vehicle carrying the missile.

hips and Submarines. Surface ships and submarines could be employed to deliver

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attacks by mine or torpedo; merchant vessels could carry concealed nuclear weapons for detonation in US ports. It would not he necessary to modify the design of ships for these purposes, and inspecting agents could therefore learn of preparations for such forms of attack only by detecting the loading ofweapons aboard ship. We believe that such loading could be accomplished without detection. While the production ofdesigned to carry guided missileswould almost certainly be detected by inspectors, it is probablemallof submarines could be clandestinely adapted for the firing of guided missilesexternally.

THER POSSIBILITIES FOR SOVIET EVASION

In the foregoing section wc have discussed Soviet opportunities for evasion arising mainly from the technical characteristics of nuclear production and weapons delivery methods. In addition, the Soviet leaders could seek to evade the limitations of an inspection system through resort to legal subterfuge,obstructionism, and other forms ofIn the absence of detailedabout the proposed arms limitations and inspection provisions it is impossible toall the stratagems the Soviet leaders might be able to employ. Past experience indicates, however, that they are capable of greatin escaping the spirit and Ic.IUj of agreements they have ostensibly accepted.

In Korea and Indochina, while accepting the principle of international inspection, the Communists have in practice frustrated its effective application, at times by openlyagreed obligations, at other limes byinsisting upon minutiae of legality.obstructionism has often been employed by the Communistsonvenient device for nullifying rights and privileges which could not otherwise gracefully be with-

drawn. The myriad petty annoyances which the Soviet leaders have in the past employed to obstruct travel In the USSR suggest some of the difficulties that could be thrown in the way of inspection agent*,

There are many ways In which the USSR might evade arms limitations. For example, the USSR might, while ostensibly reducing its military personnel strength, modifyprocedures and logistic administration inay as to nullify In large measure the effect ofeduction The reduction of units to cadre strength and the civillanlsing of support functions couldajor means of achieving this deception. Included in the activities that could readily be accomplished by civilian personnel would be Ihe operation of depots, hospitals, motor and rail transport, the maintenance of equipment, and engineer, signal, nirfleld and naval construction. In addition^ training activities could bein part to scmlmllilary organizations such as DOSAAF.

Another possible avenue of evasion for the USSR might be the utOIwllun of the facilities of countries not subject to Inspection. It might be possible for the USSR to conduct research secretlyeapons system up to the point of prototype construction, and then utilize foreign facilities and personnel for later Stages of testing and development Thefacilities nnd abundance of highly skilled scientific and technical manpowerfor such an undertaking would make the problem of secrecy difficult in any of the European satellites. Tlie USSR might,move undetected the necessary facilities and personnel into tho Interior of Communist China or covertly transfermall-scale nuclear capability, comprising stockpile,means, and personnel. The former would be costly nnd tlme-consunilng, thecould be accomplished with much less difficulty.

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