COMMUNIST COURSES OF ACTION IN ASIA THROUGH MID-1955 (NIE 10-2-54)

Created: 3/15/1954

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NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

COMMUNIST COURSES OF ACTION IN ASIA THROUGH

HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM ^ ^ RELEASE IN FULL

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AUlh: Kit ro-2

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in[*Hiflence Advisory Commttttehis ettxmat* The FBI abitalned, thebeing outside of Its jurisdiction.

The following member organiaxlions of the Intelligence Advisory Committee participated wtth the CentralAgency in the preparation of this estimate: The intelligence organisations of the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and The Joint Staff.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

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his estimate was disseminated by tbe Central Intelligence Agency. This copy Ls for tbe information and use ol the recipient Indicated on the front cover and ofunder his Jurisdictioneed to know basis. Additional essential dissemination may be authorized by the following officials within their respective departments:

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COMMUNIST COURSES OF ACTION IN ASIA THROUGH

THE PROBLEM

To estimate probable Communist courses of action in Asia' through

CONCLUSIONS

Wc believe that the USSR andChina will remain closely allied at least during the period of thisand that their cooperation inCommunist objectives In Asia will not be materially reduced by frictions or conflicting interests.

The USSR and Chinese Communists almost certainly estimate that during the period of this estimate they areto obtain an Asian settlement on their terms, but that the presentin Asia fosters tensions, both within the Western alliance and between non-Communist Asian countries and the West, which can be exploited toadvantage. Thc Communistswill not make any major concessions in the interest of relieving international tension in Asia, but will attempt tofree world countries, particularly Asian neutrals, with their willingness to negotiate.

Thc Communists will probably not initiate new local aggressions in Asia with identifiable Soviet, Chinese Com-

' "iJapan, Taiwan. Ibe Philippines. Indonesia. Certon. and all orAsia east of (but not Including) Iran and Afghanistan.

munist, or North Korean armed forces. However, they will continue where they feel it expedient tc support Indigenous Communist insurrections, and to exploit any opportunities which arise to weaken Western strength and to extendpower and influence in Asia, taking advantage of the extremevulnerabilities of this area to Communist pressuresumber of respects.

In Korea, we believe that thewill: (a) refrain from renewing hostilities, but will be militarily preparedesumption of hostilities; (b) refuse to accept any settlement which cithercontinued Communist control of North Korea or precludes hope ofCommunist control of all Korea; (c) take steps to rehabilitate Northand to strengthen its military and economic power; and (d) attempt to weaken the ROK by infiltration and

We believe that during the period of this estimate Communist strategy in In- ochina will be designed^ extendinh military and political power, to destroy Fiance's will to continueand ultimately to gain control of all

Indochina. The Viet Minh will probably press its war effort and will continue its tactics ol infiltration and subversion. Communist China will almost certainly maintain and may increase its material, training, and advisory support of the Viet Minh. The Communists will almostcontinue during this period to raise the prospectegotiatedof the Indochina war, and to hint at the possibility of an early cease fire. Such tactics will be pursued primarily for their psychological effect upon the French and the non-Communist Indo-chinese. The Communists almostwill not negotiate any settlement or agree to any cease fire which does not offer them excellent prospects (orof Indochina. Finally, wethat, so long as the Indochina war retains essentially its present character.

Chinese Communist combat forces will not overtly intervene in Indochina, and that identifiable Chinese Communist "volunteers" will not be engaged on ascale during the period of this estimate.

lsewhere in Asia, in those countries of Asia where major Communist armed forces are not openly committed.policy will continue to combine soft and hard tactics, The Communists will profess and in some instancesa policy of expanding existing trade relations with the countries of this area in an effort to make them moredisposed toward tho Communist world. The Communists will continue their efforts to enhance Communist China's prestige in Asia, and will alsoto build up the strength ofCommunist parties in the area.

DISCUSSION

FACTORS INFLUENCING COMMUNIS! COURSES Of ACTION IN ASIA

Tlie chief factors which shape Communist policy In Asia appear to be: (a) the nature of the relationship between the USSR and the other Communist regimes and parties In Asia, particularly Communist China;bjectives in Asia; (c) Chinesestrength; (d) vulnerabilities of the non-Communist countries of Asia; and (c) the Communist estimate of US intentions in Asia.

Communist relationships. The USSR does not appear to exercise over the variousparties and regimes in Asia thecontrol that it docs over the European Communist parties and Satellites

The rde of Communist China in DieCommunist movement is markedly different from that of any olher Communist country. Communist China acknowledges the

USSR as the leader of the world Communist movement and appears generally responsive to the Soviet Union's strategic and doctrinal guidance, but it is more an ally than aof the USSR. It possesses some capability for Independent action and probably exerts an important influence upon the shaping ofpolicy in the Far East. In addition, the prestige accorded Mao Tse-tung by the USSRommunist theoretician in his own light goes far beyond that accorded any other contemporary non-Soviet Communist.

lthough there is little specific evidence, we believe that Communist China is presently beingigher, though still not equal, status within the Sino-SovietThe USSR has recently gone further than ever in pushing ConTinunist China's claim lo an acknowledged position Inaffairs Also, the Soviet Union has given evidenceillingness lo have Com-

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China assume greater responsibilities In furthering Communist Interests in Asia.

la little Information about theand direction of Communist activitiesThe main outlines of CommunistAsia are probably Jointly determinedand Peiping, with the Sovietbeing the dominant one.the USSR appears to treat Peipingend is probably reluctant tostrongly held Chinese convictions.China appears to have anrole In thc execution ofIn North Korea and Indochina.in Asia, the administration ofactivities does not appear to follow apattern. The activities ofappear to be directed throughbut for the most part eitheror Peiping. Moreover, thethe separate parties do not alwaysbe coordinated with each other, andbeen factionalism and dissidence atthe parties.

objectives in Asia. TheCommunist China appear to havecommon obJecUves in Asia:

a. As part of the general objective ofthe world Communist movement, to reduce and eventually eliminate Western power and influence from Asia, and to expand Communist power and influence;

o increase the CTommunist military potential in Asia;

c. To Increase the Communist Blocpoteniial by developing Uie economies of Communist China and North Korea, and

d To prevent the resurgence of an armed and hostile Japan.

addition, the USSR andprobably have individual ambitions

a Thc USSR probablyo sup. plant Western power and influence in Asia with Soviet power andoand extend control over Communistithin Ihese limits, to increase Chinese Communist military and economic

strength;o extend and intensify Soviet control over Communist movements elsewhere ln Asia; and

ommunist China probablyo consolidate its revolution andtrong industrial baseodern militaryand for thb purpose to obtain greater Sovieto thwart any attempts of Uie USSR to interfere inChina's internalo minimize Soviet influence in the Chinese bordero increase Chinese Communist Influence over Communist movements In the Faro gain an acknowledged andpositionorld power and as the leader of Asia.

respective ambitions of the USSRChina are In some casesand constitute potenUal sources ofbetween Uie two powers. However,that throughout Uie period ofUie cohesive forces in Uiewill be far greater thanforces. The USSRommon Ideology. Bothregard the US as the chief obstacleobjeciives in Asia, and believe thatare threatened by US policyin the Pacific. Moreover, eachat the present time from listhe other. Communist ChinaSoviet political, military,support and assistance. Theinaluable allynot only military strength andin depth in Uie Far East, but also afurther advancing Communist aims Moreover. Uie alliance wllhenables the USSR to useolitical and psychologicalgreat value in dividing and confusingworld.

Wc believe that lhc USSR and Communist China will remain closely allied al leastlhe period of this estimate, and that their cooperation in furthering Communistin Asia will not be mataMally reduced by frictions or conflicting interests

Chinese Communist Strength. Allhough the Peiping regime has apparently lost much

of Its initial popular support, it exercises firm control over the territory which it administers. Barring Communist China's involvementull-scale war, there Is little likelihood oi this control being threatened or shaken byforces within the period of this estimate. The regime has made considerable progress In economic rehabilitation and development. It nowarge military establishment which, by Asian standards at least. Is modern and formidable.

owever, Communist China stillrolonged period of building up its military and economic strength before it achieves the posilion Its leaders desire. Communist China's military capabilities continue to be limited by: (a) almost total dependence upon the USSR for aircraft and heavy military equipment; (b) deficiencies in training,and logistics, particularly with respect to ils naval and air forces; and (c) little or no experience in ceriain important aspects of military operations, including tactical airhigh altitude bombing, amphibiousand submarine and antisubmarine warfare. Moreover, the period of relatively rapid economic recovery and development in Communist China appears lo be cominglose, and future gains will probably beslower. The Peiping regime hasthe original scope of its ambitious Five-Year economic plan, apparently becauseChina's leaders havelearer and more Hober appreciation of the many obstacles to be overcome In attempting thc rapid industrialization of Communist China. In addiUon. ihe level of Soviet economic assistance is apparenUy not so high as Peiping originally anticipated.

espite these limiting factors, Communist China's military strength and effectiveness are far greater than those of anyslate in Asia, and Communist China's capabilities lo wage political warfare in Asia and to support "national liberation"in that area arc substantial.we believe that these limiting factors are sufficient to impose caution upon the Communists, particularly in considering courses of action which might involve them in military conflict with the US and its allies.

ulnerabilities of the non-Communist countries of Asia. Except In Indochina, lhe non-Communlst governments ln Asia are not seriously threatened at the present lime by Communist Insurrection, even thoughguerrilla forces remain In Burma, Malaya, and the Philippines. Localparties do notorious threat to thc position of the respective governments, although In Indonesia Communist strength and Influence are likely to increase as long as the present Communist supportedcontinues in office In most of Asia the politically influential groups are slowlyan increased awareness of Communist designs and policies.

owever, the effective resistance of the majority of the countries of this area topressures ls to an almost criticaldependent on continued Weslernand assistance. Non-Communist Asia Is extremely vulnerable to Communist pressuresumber of respects. The relativeweakness of these countries makes most of them apprehensive of antagonizingChina. Throughout the area,nationalist and anti-Western sentimentseceptiveness to Communist Political immaturity and seriouscleavages have resulted In domestic instability in such countries as Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, andesser extent Burma. There are economic difficulties throughout the area which are susceptible of Communist exploitation and within each of these countries arc Communist organizations bent on the country's subversion. Inwithin the states of Southeast Asia the significant number of Chinese residents, many of whom are loyal to the "homeland,"to offer an important target forexploitation.

he Communist estimate of US intentions in Asia. From the Communist viewpoint, the chief factor In estimating non-Communist policy in Asia Is the probable role of the US. The Communists almost certainly believe lhat the US wishes to see Communism eliminated from Asia and is determined to opposeCommunist expansion in Asia. They

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also estimate that the US Intends toore active part in an attempt to overthrow Asian Communist regimes. The Communists might base these estimates on: the presence of'US forces and bases in Korea, Japan, the Byukyus, and the Philippines; US public declarations with respect to Chineseaggression against Indochina or renewed Communist aggression In. Korea; US defense treaties with the ROK, Japan, and theUS military and diplomatic support of the Chinese Nationalist Government onUS military assistance to Indochina; and US efforts generally to increase the strength of the non-Communlst Asian states. However, the Communists probably further estimate that the US Is reluctant to become more deeply engaged militarily in Asia. The Communists might base this estimate on: the fact that .the US did not expand the Korean war and accepted ah armistice in Korea; the announced intention of the US toortion of its strength from Asia as partew global strategy; and the apparent desire of thc US to avoid further aggravatingdifferences with its allies over Asian policy.

e believe that the USSR andChina have probably concluded on the basis of thc above that: (a) militaryagainst Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, or the ROK by Chinese Communist forces would almost certainly bring US actions against thc Chinese mainland, possiblyattacks with nuclear weapons; (b) Chinese Communist military aggression against Indochina would probably result in such US action; (c) Chinese Communistaggression elsewhere in Asia would at least risk such US action; and (d) the US is not likely, unprovoked, lo attack the Chinese mainland. The USSR and Communist China cannot disregard the possibility that the US might commit US forces in Indochina toa decisive French defeat. Lastly, the USSR and Communist China have probably concluded that the US win find It difficult in many instances to bring effectiveto bear against Communist subversion in Asia, and that they thereforearge area of maneuver open lo them in Asia in

which lo pursue courses of action which will provoke neither unacceptable nor effective counteraction.

et effect of factors influencingCourses of Action in Asia* We believe that the net efTcct of all the factors considered In thc preceding paragraphs will impelrulers lo seek to attain theirin Asia through courses of action which will not: (a) place heavy strain at this time upon the relationships among theregimes; (b) subject Communist China to severe economic strains; (c) inhibitopportunities to exploitAsian vulnerabilities; or (d> involverisk of attacks on the Chinese mainland.

II.OMMUNIST COURSES OF ACTION IN ASIA

General Course*

he USSR and Chinese Communistscertainly estimate that during the period of this estimate they are unlikely to obtain an Asian settlement on their terms, but that lhe present situation in Asia fosters tensions, both within the Western alliance and between non-Communlst Asian countries and the West, which can be exploited toadvantage. They probably believeontinuance of their present policies will in particular give them opportunitiesthc period ol this estimate to enhance thc position of Communist Chinaorld power and to weaken further France's will tothe Indochina war. The Communists probably will not make any major concessions in the interest of relieving Internationalin Asia, but will attempt to impress free world countries, particularly Asian neutrals, with the Communist willingness to negotiate. They will probably noi initiate new localin Asia with Identifiable Soviet.Communist, or North Korean armed forces. However, they will continue where they feel il expedient to encourage and give material support lo indigenous Communist

"Thii paragraph does net consider the effect on Communist courses of action ol possibleestern moves in Asia,

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Insurrections, and to exploit through internal subversion and political, economic, andpressures any opportunities whichto weaken Western strength andort, and to extend Communist power andfluence. in Asia.

Specific Courses of Action

Korea. Wc believe that the generalpolicy during the period of thiswith respect to Korea will be: (a) to refrain from renewing hostilities In Korea, but to be militarily preparedesumption of hostilities; (b) to refuse to accept anyIn Korea which either endangers continued Communist control of North Korea or precludes hope of eventual Communistof all Korea; (c) to rehabilitate North Korea and to strengthen Its military andpower; and <d) to attempt to weaken the ROK by Infiltration and subversion.

In any international discussions of Korea, the Communists will almost certainly not agree to any proposals that would leadnified, truly Independent Korea, even ifThe Communists may advancefor unification, but these proposals will almost certainly be designed to insureCommunist domination of Korea. The Communists will almost certainly continue to call for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Korea. In fact, since the North Korean armed forces are at present in many respects superior to ROK armed forces, the Chinese Communists might it any lime unilaterally withdraw their forces from Korea, as the USSR didn an efiort to place thc US/UN under pressure to do likewise.

Indochina The Communists probably feel that the existence of the war inalthough Involving some risk of US intervention, produces certain immediateand promises successrolonged struggle From the point of view of the USSR, thc war ties up Western militaryand weakens French ability andto parlx-ipatc in Western security measures in Europe. Kioni the point of view of Communist China, the war gives prospect of removing Western power and influence

from Its southern border, and offers hope of extending Chinese Communist Influence over Indochina and Southeast Asia and ofCommunist China with Increased access to the resources of the area. For both the USSR and Communist China, the warontinuing source of exploitable differences within the Western camp.

believe that during the period ofCommunist strategy inbe designed to extend Viet Minhpolitical power, to destroy France'scontinue fighUng. and ultimately toof all Indochina. The Viet Minhpress its war effort and willtactics of infiltration and subversion.China will almost certainlymay increase its material, training,support ol the Viet Minh.will almost certainlythis period lo raise Uie prospect ofsettlement of the Indochinato hint al Uie possibility of an earlySuch tactics will be pursuedtheir psychological effect upon thethe non-Communist Indochlnese. almost certainly will notany settlement or agree to any ceasedoes not offer them excellentdomlnaUon ot Indochina. Finally,that, so long as lhe Indochina waressentially its present character,combat forces will not overtlyln Indochina, and thatCommunist "volunteers" willignificant scale duringof Ihis estimate.

in Asia. In those countrieswhere major Communist armednot openly committed. CommunistconUnue to combine soft and hardpolicy will exploit nationalistsentiments and divisiveexisting within and among thenon-Communist Asia. Theprofess and in some JJylancespolicy ot expanding existing tradelhc countries of Ihis area in an effortthem more favorably disposedCommunist world The Communists will

continue their efTorta lo enhance Communist China's presttee In Asia, and will placeemphasis on attempting to convince non-Communist Asians lhat. because of thepower of Communist China, time Is on the Communist side In Asia. The Communists will also attempt lo build up the strength of indigenous Communist parties in the area. Where these parties are legal, the Communists will attempt, largely through legal andprocedures, lo build up popularfor the parties. However, In certain of Ihese countries, as well as In those in which the parties are Illegal, the Communists will attempt lo strengthen the capabilities of "armed liberation" forces already in being, and to build up underground Communist political and miliiary organitalions.

In India, the Communists probably will continue their efforts, largely through legal and constitutional procedures, to build aopposition against the ruling Congress Party. However, the Communists in India and throughout South Asia may Join in riots and employ olher violent tacticsmall scale, particularly where outbursts of violence have been instigated by non Communist groups The USSR and Communist China will attempt to exploit India's neutralism to advance their foreign policy objectives, and to induce all South Asian stales lo enter inlo closer economic relations with the Communist world. Finally, the Chinese Communists, from their base in Tibet, will probably seek to increase Iheir now limited influence in the border states of Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim and elsewhere along India's borders, and local Communists will try to enlarge their Influence within the Kashmir Government.

Communist strategy loward Japan will probably continue to be based on an effort to delay Japans rearmament and undermine its present pro-Western orientation. Thewill aticinpt to exploit Japan'snationalism and desire loore Independent role In Asia; its shaky economic situation and urgent need for additional markets, lis fear of involvementeneral war; its present reluctance to create andtrong military establishment; and

its irritation arising from lhe continuedof US forces In Japan. The USSR.China, and tho Japanese Communist Party will accordingly hold'out the possibility of negotiations leading to closer relations with the USSR and Communist Chinaeans of resolving economic and security problems facing Japan. The Communists may offer loormal peace settlement, possibly Involving the return of some Japanese Island territories and the conclusion of apact. If they can thereby induce Japan to abandon its mutual securily arrangement with lhe US. The Communist Bloc willcertainly attempt to Increase tradewllh Japan, using lhc establishedof informal negotiations betweengroups, and will strive into play upon already exaggeratedof many Japanese regarding Uie benefits lo be gained from expanded trade with Communist China. The Japaneseprobably will place primary emphasis on efforts to broaden their popular support by exploiting grievances against the US and attacking the domestic and foreign policies oi the Japanese Government Al the same time, the Japanese Communists will continue lotheir covert organizations and may. on occasion, resort lo sabotage and limited acts of violence.

Thc Communists probably believe tha: Iheir long-range prospects in Indonesia are bright. The Indonesian Communists will probably continue to support the presentor, if il falls, to work for theof another government in which iheir influence would be strong. Meanwhile, ihey will try. largely Uirough conslituUonal means, to expand their influence in theand the armed forces, and tothe formationnified and effective opposition. They will probably also attempt to strengthen the capabiliUes of Communist guerrilla forces. In general, however, the Communists will probably seek to avoid aggressive laclics which mightoup by domestic oppositionps

The Communists probably consider their pi os pechailand to be dependent upon their success In Indochina They probably

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continue subversive activities primarily among the Chinese and VietnameseLn Thailand Communist pressures against Thailand will almost certainlyIf the Communists shouldosition of strength in Indochina alongeastern or northeastern borders.

In Burma, thc Communists probably will continue guerrilla warfare against thcwhile at the same time maintaining agitationoalition government.China will probably try to develop and exploit discontent among tribal groupsalong the border, and may Increase its thus far limited support of Communistgroups within Burma. Inthe Communists will seek to aggravate the KMT issue In an effort to Impair both Burma's internal stability and Its relations with Thailand and the US. The Communists will probably make attractive trade offers in an attempt to Increase their influence in Burma.

Communist policies involving Malaya, the Philippines, Taiwan. Hong Kong, and Macau will probably continue for the most part along present lines 'lhc Malayan Communist Party

will probably continue guerrilla warfarebut at thc same time will continue efforts to Increase its popular appeal and to Infiltrate political and labor organizations. It willto exploit anti-Western sentiments,with economic conditions, and antigovernment sentiments. In thethe Communists will probably attempt to conserve their depicted military arm. the HMBhile intensifying propaganda, infiltration, and organizational efforts. They will seek to exploit such antl-US sentiment as exists in the Philippines, and anywhich may arise if President Magsaysay is not able to show progress In his announced social reforms. The Communists willcontinue small-scale raids againstNationalist-held offshore islands, and will probably attempt to Increase their espionage capabilities on Taiwan. However, theCommunist effort against Nationalist China will probably be, by diplomatic and propaganda means, to reduce remainingfor the NaUonallst Government on tht part of non-Commu nisi powers and thus an ultimate disposition of Taiwan acceptable to the Communists.

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