EVALUATION OF SOVIET-YUGOSLAV RELATIONS (1950) (ORE 8-50)

Created: 5/11/1950

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FOtt THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR litf ORTS AND. ESTIMATES.

OF SOVIET-YUGOSLAV)

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EVALUATION OF SOVIET-YUGOSLAV)

SUMMARY

failure of past Soviet tactics toward Yugoslavia, demonstrated In the fact that the position of the Tito government has Improved, forces the USSR to revise its estimates as to the vulnerability of the Tito government. Thc USSR has made no appreciable progress toward overthrowing the Tito government, and Its short-term capabilities againstInsofar as they depend on economic, political, diplomatic, and subversive measures (but exclude militaryave beenThe Kremlin must, however, continue to be deeply concerned by thc ideological threat represented by the continuance inof the present Yugoslav Government quite apart from the significant loss of thestrategic, economic, and militaryThe USSR, therefore, win probably not discard Its minimum goal of preventingstabilization, or lis maximum aim ofYugoslaviaatellite state.

Future Soviet tactics against Yugoslavia are likely toharp accentuation of propaganda against the Tascist Titoiplomatic pressures, continuation of theblockade, further attempts atactivity, military maneuvers along the Yugoslav periphery, and the creation of border Incidents.

iJirge-scaic guerrilla warfare againstdoes not appear likelynd if re-

sorted lo. would probably prove Ineffective in unsealing the Tito government. In view of the currently greater likelihood of Western material and moral suppori of Yugoslavia against any Soviet aggression, thc Kremlin will probably not resort to actual invasion

Despite the unpopularity of many aspects of Tito's program, the Tito government will probably be politically, economically, andstronger0 than at any time since the Cominform break, and the Yugoslav Armed Forces are still definitely superior to the combined military forces of thesatellites. Although the Yugoslavhas been forced to reduce many of the goals of its Five Year Plan, production is Improving and generally exceeds prewarThe realization of current Yugoslav goals and the internal stabilization of the country will be significantly Influenced by the extent of Western support. In view of the continued Yugoslav dependence on the West, Tilo will continue to make unobtrusive but concrete efforts to settle outstanding Issues whichthe Improvement of mutual relations. The strides made by the YugoslavIn Its accommodation with the West are expected to strengthen Yugoslavia sufficiently to enable it to resist probable Soviet pressures

Note: The Intelligence oiganlzaUons of Uie Department* of Slate. Army, Navy, and the Air Force have concurred in this leporl. It contains information available to ClA aa of

pril mo.

EVALUATION OF SOVIET-YUGOSLAV)

Tifoiit Yugoslaviahreat to the USSR.

a. Ideological Threat.

Soviet failure to stamp out the Tito heresy9 and the growing consolidation of Tito's position have forced the Kremlin tothc Yugoslav defection, withreference to Its present and future impact on the Soviet power position. Moscow'shas centered primarily on the Ideological threat to Soviet power represented by the "Titoisthe Yugoslav Communistsssence, accused Moscow of deviating from true Communism to RussianThey further charge the Kremlin with promoting its own ends at the expense of the International Communist movement,enial of equality to the non-Russian Communist parties.

Unlike earlier heresies within themovement. Tltolsm Is embodied In anstate guarded by strongsecurity forces. Consequently, anymove against it would not beor easily consummated. TheGovernment, therefore, beforea course of action for which it wouldbear full International responsibility,carefully whether the eradicationat Its source is imperative at anydoes noi appear that therepresented In Tito ism has yetintensity or

The Kremlin, in fact, has had longin dealing with deviationists of all hues and Is fully aware of the dangers inherent In "nationalhile its sovietization of the Satellites has aggravated the problems of nationalism within the Russian orbit,purges have probably strengthened the Kremlin's control of potentialutv.de the sphere of immediate Sovietall Communist parties have been called upon by Moscow to take preventive steps against the spread ofspecially In Western Europe However, so long ascontinues toommunist alter-

native to Kremlin domination, Moscow's claim to ideological supremacy can be challenged. Thc attraction of Independent Communism will probably continue to grow as greater numbers of people become disabused of their illusions regarding the purity of Moscow'sThis Tilolst mfluence, however, Is still confined to intellectual circles and ls as yet barely perceptible among the partyeven though these are intrinsicallyto the Nationalist concept. Moreover, the ranking Communist leaders abroad do not appear lo have lost any of their traditional submisslvrness to Moscow's directives.

While future Soviet tactics towardwill depend largely on the extent to which Ttloism threatens Moscow's control of world Communism, the disproportion between Moscow and Belgrade in resources, prestige, and techniques affords the Kremlin many ways of "containing" thc spread ofonsequently, despite the possibility thatsplinter parties will be founded bywho have lost favor with Moscow or who seek greater independence ot action, the Kremlin's hold on the world Communistwill probably not be gravely weakened

b. Strategic Threat.

The Tito defection has deprived thc Soviet Union of Its strongest bastion in southeastern Europe, one which formerly gave the USSR direct access to the Mediterranean area and servedormidable base for exertingon the Western outposts of Greece, Italy, and Austria. Tlie loss of Yugoslavia has, therefore, reduced Soviet capabilities and weakened the strategic position of the USSR in the Balkans and thc East Mediterranean. So long as Yugoslavia remains beyond Soviet control. Albania Is rendered less secure, while

'Strategic cow (deration*might determine Soviet tacticsbthe USSR were contemplating war with the Went In 1W0 arr not Included in thla aeclton. In view ot other eaUmatea o4 East West drvclopmrnta

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prospectsenewal of the Oreek war are remote. Moreover, the strategicof Yugoslavia, either as an obstacle to Soviet expansion westward or as aWestern base In the Balkans, willIncrease as Yugoslav ties with the West grow stronger.

c. Economic Threat.

The loss to the USSR of the Yugoslavpotentialignificant but not critical economic setback to thearea. Although thc economic blockade of Yugoslavia and the consequent drying up of Yugoslav exports to the Soviet bloc temporarily caused material stringencies in certain lines of Satellite production, this strain has now been alleviated bythrough alternate sources of supply. Recent Satellite trade agreements Indicate that these materials are being, or will be,from non-Communist countries,from South America.

Of considerably greater importance to the Soviet power position is the fact that under the present circumstances, the USSR cannot hope to dominate the Yugoslav economy, with full control over the Yugoslav ports, rivers, railroads, airfields, mining, manufacturing, and agriculture. This has meant for the USSR the loss of an Importantpotential. In the event of war,logistical support could be lost as weU.

2. Soviet Capabilities end Intention*.

Although the Kremlin has progressively isolated Yugoslavia from the orthodoxworld, thc Cominforrn propaganda, subversion, and diplomatic reprisals designed to persuade or coerce the Yugoslavinto repudiating the "Tito clique" have so far failed conspicuously. The majormove against Titond the one most calculated to disrupt Yugoslaviaconsistedtringent tightening of its economic blockade of the countrylite resultant harm to SatelliteThis, too, Yugoslavia Is successfully overcoming. Similarly, Indirect Sovietpressures on Yugoslavia have notthc Yugoslav people but, on thehave proved decisive in focusing world

attention on what had been restricted Initially to an uitra-party controversy. Yugoslavia's election to the UN Security Council despite bitter orbit protests was the climaxear of ineffectual Soviet maneuvering against the Tito government.

a. Available Courses of Action.

The USSR Is now forced to seek other,longer-term methods for eliminating the Tito government. In view of Yugoslavia's current transitional politico-economichowever, the Kremlin has probably not discarded Its hope of fomenting sufficientwithin Yugoslavia to achieve either Its minimum goal of disrupting Yugoslavor Its maximum aim of recapturing Yugoslaviaatellite state.

Thc Kremlin still has available, either singly or In combination, the following courses of action againsto limit Its efforts to the "quarantining" of Tltolsmirulent manifestation of "Western Fascism";

to continue thc present war of nerves;

lo reorganize and Intensify efforts tothe Tito governmento resort to guerrilla warfare basedo Invade Yugoslavia with Soviet or Soviet and Satellite military forces;oolitical settlement with Tito.

fforts to Quarantine Titotsm.

The propaganda device whereby Tito has been quarantinedFascist tool" of the West will be used Increasingly byajor means of sealing off thecountries and world Communistfrom further Titolst influence. Thehas other uses. By repudiating Tito ideologically and by building up thc thesis that Tito Is not and never hasrue Communist, that he has alwaysascist agent, and that he is beyond redemption, the Kremlin may establish the cotollary that il has no lurlhcr immediate responsibility In lheYugoslavia Is to bo treated like any other capital 1st-Imperialist nation. Even alter such treatment, however, Tito could still be eliminated by force on the grounds lhal he represents an aggressiveof Western imperialism. The quar-

ant In ing process can thus serve both as aand an offensive weapon.

onffnuoflon of the War of Nerves. The Kremlin will continue the war of nerves If only for the reason that any relaxation of Soviet pressures on Yugoslavia wouldfacilitate the stabilization of the Tito government. In addition, this form ofprovides thc USSRseful pretext for Its campaign to tighten controls over the Satellites, supposedly Imperiled by Titolst machinations. Iteason forImprovement In Satellite armies and military Installations and supplies an excuse for training maneuvers along Yugoslav Such activities, furthermore,tate of tension, and mayactor contributing to thc continued fcialnte-nancearge standing army. This on the one handizable economic drain on the country and on the other serves as "proof" of Tito's alleged militarism.

It ls possible that the war of nerves may be extended toeverance of Yugoslavia's diplomatic Ues with the Satellites or tosuch measures as prohibiting Yugoslav traffic through Soviet-controlled Intensified Soviet Subversion. Although any underground penetration of Yugoslavia presents exceptional difficulties and hazards, the Kremlin may well believe that the coming months will prove to be an optimum period In which to intensify thc activities of agents already In the country and to introduce new groups of militant On the basis of available evidence, there has so far been little sabotage attempted; subversive activities have been limited orand efforts toomlnform underground in the country have apparently been thwarted by the efficient Yugoslavsystem.

According to numerous reports from thc countries borderingimited traffic In agents across the Yugoslav frontiers has existed for someumber of camps for thc training ot Comlnform partisan specialists have been Identified In Hungary, Rumania. Bulgaria, and Albania. Theof partisans In these camps reportedly averages. while the type of

training which has been giveneriod of months apparently concentrates onsabotage, and propaganda, rather than on guerrilla warfare. As their training is completed, the Kremlin will probably seek to Infiltrate Increasing numbers of the trainees, either singly or In small groups,

The primary purpose of these agents, on the basis of Comlnform directives, would be to gather detailed Information on conditions In Yugoslavia, which the Comlnform admitsrerequisite to an effective propaganda campaign, and which would form thc basis of future Soviet Intelligence estimates. Inthey would seek to reorganize orparty cells favorable to theand opposed to the regime. Theof thesesubversion, fomenting of labor unrest, staging ofspontaneous uprisings, and possibly the assassination of Yugoslavbe made to seem ot native origin and would thus lend substance to Soviet allegations thot the Yugoslav people aretate of rebellion against the "Tttoist police state." Finally, such activities would place Increased material and psychological strains on the Yugoslav state. It Is estimated, howevor. that these efforts at overthrowing the Tito government from within would not meet with any marked success.

To thc above three probable Soviet courses of action should be added three more which may be attempted but are far less likely.

(4) Guerrilla Warfare.

Recourse to guerrilla warfare across the Yugoslav borders, while It might provide the Kremlineans of disrupting theregions and recruiting additionalwould meet with serious difficultiesIt were adequately supported by other forms of pressure. Of itself. It woulddo the Comlnform more harm than good. To be successful, guerrilla forays across the Yugoslav border would require considerable popular support within Yugoslav areas where, according to reports, the Kremlin would have inadequate popular backing. Large-scale guerrilla bands on the previous Oreek pattern would probably be unable to overcome Yugo-

Slav defenses and would afford Ideal targets for counterattacks by the Yugoslav security forces. Moreover. Moscow may estimate that guerrilla warfare against the Tito government would Increase the possibility of Westernaid and political support for Yugoslavia.

If, on the other hand, Moscow couldIn creating sufficient disorder and tension within Yugoslavia through the infiltration of agents, guerrilla activities might proveas part of an attempt to establish awithin thc countryo-calledresistance government.

(S) Military Attack.

umber of Important factors will tend to deter the USSR from resorting to open Invasionhe possibility of direct military action by the USSR cannot be entirely excluded. Because thc Satellite armies alone are as yet Incapable of waging offensive war, any attack short of an Invasion of Yugoslaviainimumdivisions plus overwhelming air and armored support would probably resultrolonged stalemate. Furthermore, since Tito may be expected to offer dcterrnlncdin the Yugoslav mountains, thehas no assurance that it could subdue Yugoslavia before Western aid had time to materialize. In view of official USthat It would regard with concern any attack on Yugoslav Independence, theIs. moreover, unable to assume that armed conflict with Yugoslavia could be localized. Finally, an overt Soviet military move against Yugoslavia would contradict the current Soviet "Peacehich promises toajor propaganda policy of the USSR for some time to come. Unless the Titocould be provoked Into rashaction, the USSR would have greatin justifying aggressive action against Yugoslavia.

(6) Soviet-Yugoslav Reconciliation.

In spite of its differences with thc Kremlin, the Tito government continues toarxist-Leninist line. Moscow could,conceivablyettlement of Its differences with the Titoolution remains theoretically possible, il appears highly improbable for the

Immediate future. To anticipate that the present Yugoslav leaders would willingly face the personal risks Involveddeal" with Moscow, or that the Kremlin will modify Its policy of dictating to Its Satellites, wouldto be unrealistic. Moscow's prestige and power would seem loo deeply Involved for the Kremlin toettlement on any basis except complete capitulation ofito clique."

b. Future Tactics.

In short, Soviet tactics against Yugoslavia0 will probably include sharplypropaganda aimed at fostering Internal discontent, additional diplomatic pressures, continuation of the economic blockade, an organized effort to Infiltrate agents into the country. Increased military maneuvers along the Yugoslav border, repeated borderand, possibly, limited guerrilla warfare but not direct attack.

3. Yugoslav Capabilities.

The Yugoslav Co mm unlit Party, havingsurvived the splitting tactics of the Cominform, Is probably closer-knit In itsto Tito than lt has been at any time since the original Cominform denunciation of the "Titoheesolution constituted an admission of failure by the Kremlin In Its previous effort lo recapture control of the YugoslavParty. Although there Is no figure In Yugoslavia who could rival Tito in prestige, thc Yugoslav Politburo would probably remain in control and continue the presentpolicies even In the event of Tito'sThe probably small number of Yugoslav Communists who might favor ato the Cominform fold arc believed to be largely known to the authorities and kept under close surveillance. Moreover, the strength, loyalty, and effectiveness of the Yugoslav security forces arc estimated to be amply capable of assuring Internal order In the face of any likely intensification ofsubversive activities.

Although the people of Yugoslavia have not modified their basic hostility towardUie internal position of the Tito gov-

ernment has been strengthened by Itsassertion of Yugoslav nationalism. The basically pro-Western sentiments of the Yugoslav people have doubtless beenby growing evidences of closer tiesTito and the West, as well as by the hope that Western Influences will have atoderating effect on Lhe government's Internal policies.

a. Strengthening of Internal Support.

Forced by the Cominform campaign tofor support and loyalty on the Yugoslav peoplehole, the Yugoslav Government ls apparently beginning to attach greaterto the necessity of broadening Its popular support. While no concessions can be expected which would weaken the hold of the Communist dictatorship, or materially affect Its Internal security, the Titohas undertaken to propagate the beliefugoslav "democratic socialism" aswith Soviet "bureaucraticome effort therefore is likely to be made, at least ostensibly, to render more flexible and efficient the regime's bureaucraticof the country. Somewhat greater heed will probably be paid to usefulelements willing to cooperate with the regime. In the event of greatly Intensified Soviet pressure, the Tito government would probably be able touccessful appeal for national unityommon defense of the homeland.

b. Economic Situation.

Currently, It Is apparent that the present emphasis on Industrial development to thedetriment of living standards willAlthough there will probablyradual improvement In the position of the consumer, his status will remain woefully low by Western standards. The Soviet-Satelbte economic boycott has been in effect forear, but in this period Yugoslav production in all major categories has risen.roduction gains were registered innon-ferrous metals, chemicals. Iron, steel, electric power, timber, and freightIn all these, performancesor exceeded those of thc prewar period. Western sources of supply have successfully

replaced the Soviet orbit for all critical Imports and will be better able to supply equipment needed for expansion. Weak spots are evident In the overintenslve utilization of equipment with Inadequate maintenance andthe shortage of Industrial managers, engineers, technicians, and skilled laborers, the high rate of labor turnover and absentee-Ism, the very slow Improvement in livingwliich arc still below prewar levels, and the shortage of foreign exchange. Many of these difficulties, however, will be alleviated by the end of tlie present Five Year Planew equipment and repairs will outweighof existing facilities; the shortage of Industrial managers, engineers,and skilled laborers will be offset by foreign assistance, training, and experience; and the high rate of labor turnover andwill be checked by more stringent government controls similar to those adopted early Thc extent of Improvement in the living standards will depend, for thc most part, on the course of action to be taken by the government.

The foreign exchange shortage hasa critical problem which has beenresolved by Western aid alreadyand would be further alleviated by the granting of assistance currently contemplated. Much of this financial aid Is tied to theof certain specific types of equipment which will increase the future capacity tobut not enough of this equipment will be In operation1 to provide sufficient exports to correct the present import balance. However, if the extensive trade pacts which have been concluded with the West can be put intoubstantial realization of the Yugoslav production goals01 should occur. The objectives of the Five Year Plan as originally outlined, however, will not be achieved on time in their entirety, and in fact many of the goals have already beenYugoslavia's past economicils known natural resources, ond the success thus far evinced In reorientingtrade from Eastern to Western Europe Indicate that the Yugoslav economy may be expected to make further economic

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solution of Yugoslav financial problems, however, depends largely on the properof foreign exchange. Thepolicy of concentrating on Imports of production equipment has resulted inof exchange for purchase of rawand has slowed improvements Inof living. Moreover, undue stress on the Import of capital equipment Items will at least temporarily overtax Yugoslav technicalThese problems must be resolved IfIs ever to stabilize Its foreign exchange position and obtain maximum utilization of the Western aid now being extended.

c. Military Capabilities. Despite the gradual Improvement of thc Satellite armies, Yugoslavia Is militarily stronger than all of its Satellite neighbors combined. Although the USSR in the latter part9 moved andivisions into Hungary and Rumania (making an estimated total of seven Soviet divisions on the Yugoslavito has increased only slightly the total number of men under arms.

The disposition of Yugoslav troops remains generally unchanged, with the mainIn Macedonia. There haslight trend toward decreasing troop strength in northwestern Yugoslavia and In the areas bordering on Hungary and Rumania,the Voivodina Plain. Some preparations have also been noted In improving defenses in the Yugoslav mountains. Evenull-scale Soviet attack could quickly overrun the northern Yugoslav plain and take Belgrade, the Yugoslav Army would be able to offerresistance In the mountainousto the west and southwest. TheAir Force,lanes capable of opposing the neighboring Satellite air forces, probably could not resist Soviet-backedfor any length of time.

The lack of adequate manufacturingfor military equipment within the country wiU result in growing shortages anddeterioration of existing materiel, unless replacements are obtainable from the West. The availability of Westernorm which could be used in moun-

tain fighting, would permit the Yugoslav Army to resist for an extended period.

ugoslav Intentions. a. Relations with the USSR. Yugoslavia's precarious position withto overwhelming Soviet power willtoolicy of restraint toward the Soviet bloc. The past year hasthat the Yugoslav Government is capable of coping with Soviet-Satelliteshort of war,etaliatory basis. Tito, however, will avoid any majorsuch as an overt move against Albania, which might be used by the Kreirilin as afor aggression. Although Yugoslavia isosition to choke off Soviet traffic on thc Danube River, as well as overflights oflo Albania, such steps would beonly as retaliation for prior restrictions by thc Soviet bloc.

If the Yugoslav leaders remain convinced of their growing security, they may beto Intensify their attacks on the Ideological aspects of Moscow's "deviation'* from Communism to Great Russianand imperialism. In those areas where Communismorce over which Moscow's control ls tenuous or Incomplete,will probably increase Its efforts to win support as the exponent of true international Marxism-leninism, and of equal!tarian rather than Moscow-dominated Communism. Tito-ist agents can be expected to attemptln Cominform areas Immediatelyto Yugoslavia. Yugoslav propagandaat the Satellites will continue toYugoslavia's Communist orthodoxy, its unrivalled progress In Uie "building ofnd Its independent positionthe West and the USSR. On the basis of Its own Communist doctrine, Yugoslavia will continue to support tho position of the Communist bloc In the UN whenever suchdoes not clearly conflict with its own

b. Relations with the West.

Yugoslavia's ability to resist any appreciable intensification of Soviet pressures will depend primarily on the continued support of the

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Consequently, the Tito government has undertaken, by gradual steps, to extend Its relations with the West and has already achieved some success In allaying, at least partially, serious Irritants to good relations. This trend has been generally evident Inrelations with Greece, Austria, and Italy, although relations with Italy which had shown signs of Improvement have deterioratedof the Trieste Issue. The Inbredand suspicion toward the West ofYugoslav Communists may undergo some slight modification as relations Improve, but progress In this direction will be slow, If lt occurs at all.

A number of serious obstacles must bebefore further progress can be achieved toward amicable settlement of existingbetween Yugoslavia and the West. Yugoslav leaders will continue to defend with vigor what they consider to be Yugoslavinterest, although they will at tbc same time seek lo avoid alienating Western, and particularly US.imited andImprovement in Yugoslav relations wiih Greece Is probable although an open Yugoslav accord with the Greek Government presents difficulties Similarly, Yugoslav relations with Italy should gradually Improve sinceevelopment Is advantageous to bothThe Trieste Issue, however, willajor stumbling block to any Yugo-slav-Ilalian settlement. In the broader field af International relations, the Yugoslav lead-

ers now place greater emphasis on the UNorld forum In which Yugoslavia can make Its voice heard.

Economic assistance from the West In the form of trade and loan agreements has already aided the Yugoslav Government Inthe detrimental effects of the Sovietboycott. The chief Yugoslav exportsowever, consisting of non-ferrous metals, foodstuffs, and forestry products, did not balance the required Imports of capital equipment, replacement parts, soml-Anished items and raw materials. This has resulted in an exchange deficit which lias been estimated as high as the equivalent0 million, but is probably less. Since the value of Imports plannedill continue to exceed that of exports, continued expansion of the Yugoslav economy now lungesreaton further monetary, technical, andaid from the West.

Thc gap between imports and exports may be closed, however,3 If prevailingprice levels are maintained and imports of machinery, based at least partially on Western loans, are adequate to allowlanned annual expansion of exportableIf fully Implemented, Yugoslavia's economic agreements with the West will make available to Yugoslavia needed equipment,and technical guidance which willconsiderably that which might have been obtained from the Soviet bloc.

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