SOVIET BLOC CAPABILITIES, THROUGH MID-1953 (NIE 64) (PART I)

Created: 11/12/1952

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GCCRETDIRECTOR,ONE

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NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

SOVIET BLOC CAPABILITIES, THROUGH

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL

The foUowtng member organisations of the Intelligence Advisory Committee participated irtffi Ihe CentralAgency tn the preparation of this estimate: The Intelligence organizations of the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Joint Staff. An members of the Intelligence AtuUory Committee concurred In UU estimate onctober US?.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

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TABLE OF CONTENTS,PART I)

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THE

Factors Atfectihc Bloc

Bloc Milttajiy

Bloc Military

Elements or Bloc Political Warfare

Bloc Political Warfare

nature of the evidence available for estimates of

bloc armed

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SOVIET BLOC CAPABILITIES, THROUGH

THE PROBLEM

To estimate Soviet Bloc' capabilities for political and military warfare, through

CONCLUSIONS

Bloc continues to possess aquantitative superiority over the Western Powers in forces in being and in conventional ground and air

The Soviet economy is much better prepared now toajor war effort than it was

The principal emphasis of the recent Bloc military program has apparently been upon enlarging the atomicand upon improving Bloc defenses, particularly against air attack. Wethat this emphasis will continue throughout the period of this estimate. We also believe that the Bloc military forces will not increase greatly in size, although they will improve in combat effectiveness.

It is ujilikcly that the USSR will be able to develop and produce aweapon by

Tlie Soviet forces now stationed in Eastern Europe are in an advanced state

' The Soviet Dioc consists or thc USSR, tbean Satellites. Communist China, Outer Mon-Eollft. North Korea, and Viet Mlnh. The Kremlin also controls the InternaUonal Communistout&lCe thc Bloe countries.

of readiness for war and can attack with little or no warning.

We estimate that the Bloc has thc capability to undertake concurrent large-scale operations in continental Europe, the Middle East, and mainland Asia. The Bloc could rapidly reinforce with Chinese Communist and Soviet forces the Communist forces now in Korea, and at the same time undertake an invasion of Japan by Soviet forces.

The USSR has the capability ofsustained air offensives against Uie UK, most of continental Europe, most of the Middle East, and Japan, with the intensity of individual offensives varying according to the number of offensives undertaken simultaneously. It is also capable of undertaking the delivery of its full stockpile of atomic weapons against targets in these areas and against targets In the US and its overseas bases.

The Bloc air defense organization has the capability for vigorous opposition to an air offensive against the principalcenters. However, despite marked improvements in the Bloc air defense syslem (especially In the USSR, Eastern

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Poland, and Manchuria),will remain throughout the period of this estimate.

USSR has the capability tooffensive submarine patrolsoperations along most ofstrategically vital seaUSSR has the capability toshort-haul amphibiousthe seas adjacent to its own coasts.

The' Communists almost certainly will not be capable of overthrowing any non-Communist government cither by constitutional process or by revolution, except possibly in Iran.

Bloc capabilities for political warfare will continue toerious

danger for thc non-Communist world throughout the period of this estimate. The Communist Parties in the non-Communist worldwith an estimated membershipare tightly organized for action and form anetwork under Kremlin direction. Through this organization, thc Kremlin is able to conduct undermining attacks on established regimes, to exploitrivalries, to utilize minority groups and poliUcal factions, and to capitalize on economic, poliUcal, and militaryThe organizationalof thc Parties makes them far more formidable than their numerical size alone Indicates.

DISCUSSION

Affecting Bloc Capabilities

The Soviet regime is securely entrenched in power, and there is no apparent prospect of Its control being threatened or shaken.

Soviet control over the Satellites willcertainly remain virtually complete. It ensures the subservience and reliability of thc governments, and continued economic and military contributions to the USSR from the Satellite area.

The Chinese Communist regime has firm control over mainland China, and there is litUe likelihood of its control beingor shaken by domestic forces within thc period of this estimate. We believe that Communist China accepts Moscow leadership in the International Communist movement but retains some capability for independent actionapability to exert influence upon the shaping of Communist policy in the Far East. The character of thc current Sino-Soviet relationships will probablyrelatively constant throughout the period of this estimate.

The USSR is engagedarge-scaleand development program. Thisboth pure and applied research, with an emphasis upon applied research in fields of military application, especially atomic energy, electronics. Jet aircraft, guidedand submarines. In all of these fields. Soviet scientists and technicians havea high level of proficiency.

The gross naUonal product of the Bloc has been increasing In the past few years. Any calculation of Its magnitude lssubject to considerable error, and no meaningful comparison can be made with prewar years for the Blochole.we estimate that the Bloc's naUonal product1 was roughlyercent higher than

a. The economy of the USSR hadIts prewar level of total producUon8 and had surpassed that level byercente estimate that the Soviet national product Isat an annual rateercent.

o. The combined production of theconstitutes approximately one-quarter of the Bloc's national product. We believe that the Satellite national product has increasedut we are unable to estimate thc amount of. the increase.

c. The national product of Communist China is extremely difficult to estimate, but wc believe that It represents less thanercent of the Bloc total. Communist China'sproduct is probably increasing at an annual rateercent, but its output of capital goods will continue toery small part of the Bloc total.

The output of the Soviet economy docs not approach that of the US economy, nor does the output of the Bloc economyhole compare with that of the NATO states. USSR gross national product1 was about one-quarter that of the US, and thc combined gross national product of the entire Bloc was aboutercent that of the NATO countries.

However, comparisons in terms of total output of all types of goods and services are misleading as indications of relative capacity to produce military equipment in peacetime. The traditional living standards and theprevailing within the Bloc enable the Bloc states touch smallerof total output to civilian consumption, particularly of scarce materials and goods, than is feasible in Western countries.these living standards and controls also enable the Bloc toigher proportion of its military outlay to production of actual military end-Items than is feasible In the West.

Since the end of World War H, the Blochole hasuch largerof its gross national product topurposes than the West- We believe that the USSR now devotes about one-fifth of Its national product to militaryWe estimate that the quantity ofwhich the USSR will devote toproduction2 will equal the amount assigned

The Soviet economy Is much betternow toajor war effort than

It wasnder continued cold war conditions, the Bloc clearly has the capability of expanding Its Industrial base and ofmilitary production. The Soviet economy ls organizediew to possible hostilities in thc near future as well as In thc more remote future. These twocompete to some extent in theof resources.

The Kremlinigh priority upon stockpiling reserves, not only of military end-items but of food, capital equipment, andneeded for maintaining the economy under wartime conditions or other

The Bloc could increase Its exports to thc non-Communist world within the period of this estimate. We estimate thatlight Increase of trade with theworld would constitute an important political warfare weapon.

Bloc Military Strength

Bloc continues to possess aquantitative superiority over thcPowers In forces in being and Inground and air armament. Wethat the Bloc armed forces' now have:

en,re0 Chinese Communist;Korean;iet Minh.complete information on the numberforces and of security forcesby each Bloc state, sec

actual strength ofaircraft. Includingiston medium bombers;strength ofncludinget fighterspiston medium bombers.

total of atubmarines, Includingtypes.

stockpile oftomic weaponsklloton yield). (This estimate applies to

'For comment on Uie nature of the evidence available for estimates of Bloc armed force strength, see note at the end of this estimate.

ot thc date of publication for this report The actual figure may be from half U> twice aa many as this estimate.)

e. Large slocks of conventional weapons and equipment.

c cslimate lhat the Bloc armed forces byill probably have:

en.ill be0 Chineseictmore complete information onof regular forces and ofwhich we estimate will probablyby each Bloc stale, see

authorized strength of overincluding0 Jetmedium piston bombers, and possiblyjet medium bombers.1

total ofajorvesselsubmarines, ofwill be long-range types.

stockpiletomickilo tonThe actualbe from half to twice as many as

t is unlikely that the USSR will be able to develop andhermonuclear weapon by

Thc over-all effectiveness of Bloc ground, naval, and air forces will increase byecause of progressive modernization and standardization of weapons andthe Intensive training program, the growth of the Soviet atomic stockpile, and the increased combat efficiency of thearmies.

The armed forces of the USSR andChina have remained relativelyin size throughout the past two years, while those of the Satellites have grownReceni Bloc military effort hasplaced principal emphasW upon

"The eillmate on Jet medium bomber production Is based upon the Soviet technical capability lo develop and produce auch aircrafto Intelligence available to Indicate thai auchare now in producUon.

enlarging the atomic stockpile and uponBloc defenses, particularly against air attack. The Bloc has also emphasized improvement of the quality of existing unils and developing and marshaling tlie military strength of the Satellites.

he USSRarge air defense system which not only Includes the forces assigned to the Soviet air defense(FVO-Strany) but also has available to It the active air defense resources of the Army, tactical air forces, and Navy notcommitted, as well as thc passiveresources of the police and civilian organizations. The European Satellite and Communist Chinese air defenses add to and are Integrated with the Soviet system. Despite significant improvements In the air defense system, there will probably continue to be Insufficient numbers of trained and experienced pilots and operators, modern radar, heavy AA guns, and fighters designed specifically for all-weather interception to provide defense for all important areas. We estimate that byhe numerical strength of the air defense forces will not change, although the effectiveness of the air defenses will Improve through re-equipment and training.

Bloc Military Capabilities

We estimate that the Bloc has theto undertake concurrent large-scale operations In continental Europe, the Middle East, and mainland Asia. The Bloc could rapidly reinforce with Chinese Communist and Soviet forces thc Communist forces now tn Korea, and at the same time undertake an Invasion of Japan by Soviet forces.

The Soviet forces now stationed InEurope arc in an advanced state offor war and can attack with little or noowever, thc Bloc forces in East-em Europe would almost certainly require substantial reinforcements in Soviet ground and air forces before they could sustainoffensive operations.

The USSR has the capability ofsustained air offensives against Uie UK, most of continental Europe, most of the

Middle East, and Japan, with the Intensity ol individual offensives varying according to the number of offensives undertakenIt is also capable of undertaking the delivery of its full stockpile of atomic weapons against targets in these areas and against targets in the US and its overseas bases.

hc Bloc air defense organization has the capability for vigorous opposition to an air offensive against the principal Soviet centers. However, despite marked Improvements ln the Bloc air defense system (especially in the USSR, Eastern Germany. Poland, anddeficiencies will remain throughout the period of this estimate.

Bloc has the capability toampliibious and airbornein the Baltic and Black Seas, alongcoast of Norway, and in thcJapan Sea, and to launch limitedand airborne operationsAlaska.

Soviet submarine force has theto undertake offensive patrolsoperations along most oi thcvital sea lanes and,to launch guided missileagainst targets on both thePacific seaboards of the US. Theincluding its air arm. has theto lay extensive mine Gelds toSatellite, and Chinese Communistand sea routes, to mine the watersof the Baltic, Black. North, andand to harass sea routes in theseThe Chinese Communist and Northcapabilities ta Korea havesince the beginning ofnegotiations. If the presentoperations continues, we believe thatwill gradually Improve duringof this estimate. Communistin Koreaigh offensiveand are capable of launching awith little warning.'

' For more complete Information on tills subject, see HIE-SS/l: "Communist CapabiliUes and Probable Courses of Action ta Korea" ISO.

ince thc beginning of the Korean war. the Communist Air Force ln China, which Is believed to be made up of ChineseNorth Korean, and Soviet elements, has been built to an Impressive size. The Jet fighter units ln the Korea-Manchuria-North China area are believed to be progressively Improving. However, the capabilities of thc CAF in China are. and will remain during the period of this estimate, largely limited to the air defense of North China, Manchuria, and North Korea under conditions of good visibility and to limited attacks against UN forces in Korea and adjacent waters We believe the CAF in China will continue to expand gradually during the period of this estimate but will remain entirely dependent upon the USSR for aircraft and equipment, spare parts, and technical supervision, and almost entirely dependent upon the USSR for aviation fuels and lubricants. Unless some type of light Jet bombardment aircraft isthe offensive capabilities of this air force will remain extremely limited. from the Manchuria area would be necessary for sustained air operations against Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

uring the period of this estimate,and/or Chinese Communist forces in Asia will almost certainly continue to have tlie capability of conducting the following operations concurrently:

Hong Kong. Macao,Burma, and Thailand if opposedthe forces concurrently in these areas.*

reinforcing with Chineseand Soviet forces thenow in Korea, and at the same timean invasion of Japan by

Western shipping inby submarines and mines and byair attacks and surface raidsbases and shipping in thenorthern Pacific.

on o' Taiwan would almost certainly fallDS naval and air

remain available lo defend Taiwan

CCOHETi

Elements of Bloc Political Warfare Strength

olitical warfare plays an unusuallyrote for Communists, who consider miliiary warfare only an extension of political warfare in their persistent campaign tothc strength of the non-Communist world. Bloc political warfare techniquespolitical and economic pressure,action in the UN and elsewhere,and front activities, the action ofParties and Communist Partytrade unions outside the Bloc,exploitation of subversive andmovements and of civil wars, and-psychological warfare.

principal sources of strengthBloc poliUcal warfare capabilitiesconsist of the Bloc's militarythe size, power, and centralizedof the Bloc; Communist doctrine;Communist international movement.

estimate that there arc nowParty members in theintoational parties.members live within there scattered throughoutworld. These figures dothe membership of the fronttrade unions,hich UieParties Influence ordiscipline and fervor of thc Partiesfar more effective than their size

o serve Uie Interests of the Bloc, the national Communist Parties incountries seek to exploit economic,and nationalist grievances, to Infiltrate government agencies and institutions, toespionage agents and saboteurs, toBloc propaganda, to mobilize mass support for Bloc policies, to create pressure groups to Influence local policy to theof Uie Bloc, and to infiltrate and control trade unions and naUonal laborThey have shown particular skill In creating and controlling front organlzaUons.

Bloc Political Warfare Capabilities

poll Ileal warfare eapabililiestoeriousthe period of this estimate.and their allies will retainto conduct undermining attacksregimes, to exploit nationalto utilize minority groups andparties, and lo capitalize uponpolitical, and military difflculUes.

estimate that during Uie periodestimate Uie Bloc will not have Uieofommunistthrough constitutional process orexcept possibly In Iran.

Throughout Western Europe, theParlies6 have suffered severe losses both in membership and prestige. However, the hard core of Uie Party has been preserved everywhere, and In most countries Uie Party continues to Influence largeof non-Communists.

Thc capability of Western Europeanto conduct strikes for politicalhas been sharply reduced.the Communists retain limited capabul-ties to Interfere with defense producUon.

In the event of general war, UieParties wouldhreat lnEurope, especially in France and Italy, where large Communist Parties andtrade union strength are reinforced by well-trained Communist quasi-militaryCommunist capabilities for espionage, industrial sabotage, terrorism, and attacks against transportation andfacilities and military Installations would be subs

believe that Bloc poliUcalIn thc Middle East and Africalow throughout the period ofexcept In Iran. Thc Bloc haspositive action in this area, and mostexisting Communist Parties haveunderground. However,of the Western positionthe vulnerability of the area towarfare.

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The Bloc agent In Iran, tho Tudeh Party, with on estimated strength0 fellow travellers, hasgreat cohesion and considerablestrength during the recent political crisis. It has achieved some limitedof the.Iranian armed forces and agreater penetration of the bureaucracy. While the odds now are against the Tudeh's gaining control of Iran during the period of this estimate, these odds may shift rapidly, particularly if the National Front is splitesult of thc rivalry among its leaders.

Communism does not nowajor Immediate threat to India, although theCommunist Party and allied parties6 million votesillion) in2 elections. The India Communist Party still has only0 members, but it has small vocal groups in several stateand the national legislature. Wethat there ls very little likelihood that the Indian Cornmunists can make sufficient progress within the period of this estimate seriously to contest the dominant position of the Congress Party. If the Communist Parly should again emphasize the role of violence, its popular support would probably diminish and Lhe government would almost certainly revive its earlier repressive measures.

Although the Japanese Communist Party now has onlyembers (about half of whom aret Is well-organized and well-disciplined, and hascapabilities for espionage andCommunist influence ln Japanese labor organizations, various front organizations.

and among students and the Intellectuals provides the Party with importantfor disseminating propaganda und for exploiting economic unrest and resentment against the US. However, the Party lacks the capability for seizing control of theduring the period of this estimate, and almost certainly will be unableto impair Japanese cooperation with the West

Bloc political warfare capabilities vary throughout Southeast Asia. They areln Indochina. The Viet Minh ls ainstrument of terror and control, and it retains considerable nationalist appeal. The Viet Minh forces, with Communistadvice and military assistance, maintain heavy military pressure upon the French and the Associated States. We believe that the Viet Minh will retain these capabilities throughout the period of this estimate.

We estimate that during the period of this estimate the Communists will not be able toommunist governmentIn Latin America either byprocess or by revolution. Inthe only country in Latin America where Communists have power within the government, they are likely to maintain and may even increase their influence. In all major Latin American countries, thewillubstantial capability for sabotage, for spreading Bloc propaganda, and for stimulating anti-American sentiment in nationalist, Intellectual, and organized labor groups.

NATURE OF THE EVIDENCE AVAILABLE FOR ESTIMATES OF BLOC ARMED STRENGTH

Thc estimates of Bloc armed strength arc based on information available as "

comment on the nature of the evidence available for estimates of Blocstrength:

The estimates of strength of the Soviet and Satellite ground forces are believed to beairly high order of reliability. These estimates are median figures; thc strength of these ground forces varies during thc year as classes are Inducted and discharged. Thc Soviet. Satellite. North Korean, and Viet Minh division figures oreigh order of reliability. Intelligence on thc strength of the ground forces of Communist China Is fragile.

comment on thc nature of thc evidence available for estimates offorce strength:

Estimates of Soviet air strength arc derived from intelligence which isof acceptable reliability, but collection coverage Is Incomplete. (Estimates of over-all size and composition of Soviet Air Forces are derived from identificationndividual units and estimated Table of Organization and Equipment strengthsfor the various types of airurrent estimates of Jet fighter and medium bomber strength are considered reasonably valid. While aircraft count data arc limited, they support an estimate that the current average levels of actual strength for the various types of aircraft amount to the following percentages of authorized TOtrength: for Jetercent; forercent; and for all other types of aircraft.5 percent.

c. ONI comment on the nature of the evidence available for estimates of Bloc naval strength:

Evidence confirming the existence of the major surface vessels is Arm andIdentification of Individual ships as to name and pennant number hasby evidenceumber of sources. Reliable evidence confirmsofercent of the submarines and supports the existence of theEvidence regarding the naval construction program Is considered

J This paperummary estimate. For more detailed Informationloc capabilities, sec the Appendixes, which ore published separately. Forf Contents of Appendixes, see next page.

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TABLE OF4PPENDIXES

APPENDIX A. NON-MILITARY FACTORS AFFECTTNO BLOC CAPABILITIES

I. INTERNAL POLITICAL FACTORS

USSR

European Satellites

China

Relations

II. SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL FACTORS UI. ECONOMIC FACTORS

APPENDIX B. ESTIMATED BLOC MILITARY STRENGTH I. SUMMARY IX BLOC GROUND STRENGTH

Soviet Army

European Strength

Far Eastern Strength

IH. BLOC AIR STRENGTH

Air Forces

Axb Forces

Air Force in China

IV. BLOC NAVAL STRENGTH

Naval Forces

and Chinese Communist Navies

Merchant Marine

V. BLOC DEFENSES

Axr Defense System

Civil Defense

Coastal Defenses

and Chinese Communist TABLES ON BLOC MILITARY STRENGTH

Bloc Military Personnel Strength

Bloc Active Military and Security Personnel

Strength

Strength and Geographic Distribution of Bloc

Ground Forces

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continuod)

D. Estimated Strength and Geographic Distribution or IIloc

Am Forces by Aircraftstimated Strencth or Major Soviet Ar* Components

Bloc Navai. Forces

Composition of Bloc Merchant Elects

APPENDIX C. BLOC POLITICAL WARFARE STRENGTHS AND CAPABILITIES

I. BLOC POLITICAL WARFARE STRENGTHS

Power, and Centralized Leadership

Doctrine

International Organization

II. BLOC POLITICAL WARFARE CAPABILITIES

Europe

East and Africa

Asia

East

America

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