USE OF PROPAGANDA BALLOONS

Created: 6/30/1950

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

prepare an estimate "enbracang all el^nrifinantifaotcra with regard to the use of aerologioal balloons at thes present time or in the very near future for reaching the Soviet Union with Information from nations of the free

This memorandum is limitediscussion of the'fcOlmrlng phases of the problem: ffect en the people of the the Satellites;fficlaij Soviet reacUon.'

1. alloon-distributed propaganda campaign directed against the USSRSatellites might eitherite* (in which case theoriginpropaganda would bo disclosed) or "black" (in which case theappear to be of internal origin, there boing no indication as toin which it entered

ioignithafcjiW people or the USSR would be confused; rumors would circulate nr>ddjbe great curiosity,eairo to obtainovernment attempt;ta control thoituation repressive: measures^ internal hostility and diesm;ositate -incre^ed police aQtlozj, vWnis.2to erfec^ynnees of -the1 rnrcpagarkla. e^onp;cwevQr'i:-iteJii_n'roda^ere :leas;em<aent^thaatn the dUeo. Cfei iloaflotsM particularly affoottvo in areas of Xatent^ssohni the Baltio States, the Caucasus,

d 'be* technically if alloon to fall earn) would

hot been Departments of

A "white" propaganda1 campaign would lack the asset of Oonfnsdon and uncertainty and would also lead bp more iinnedlate'and:fleyere'#c^ In either case, .of .coarse, the. cafcpoJ&vwrAtUi nucce only tothat ths propaganda itself had'been

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on the Eastern Europcah aatelllte populations of adirected at the USSR, the Satellites, or both could bebe entirely positive, no matter whether the propaganda campaigntho "black" or "white" variety.

Specifically, tho instituting ofanpaign addressed to tho satellite populations would probably have the effect of raising the sagging spirits ofmani ets and counteracting to sone extent the fooling of helplessness and of despair which has resulted fron tho gradual eliadnationstern diplomatic missions and the isolation from all Western contacts. In addition, it might stimulate dissension in Ccominist ranks.

to official Soviet reaction torogram, it is estimatedcampaign, at least in its initial stages, would be ignoredinternal propaganda. Rather than give additional publicity toincident to publication in tho official press, and to admitmight be looked uponoss of face (namely, theto prevent publication of thehe governmentbe reluctant to acknowledge their existence. Skillfulthe use cf innuendo rather than directs wellprinting- and make-up of the leaflets might result in thethis stage, simply because it might be very difficult for theidentify any of the material as coming from sources outside the USER.'

Eventually, however, the Soviet Government could be expected to publicise the material as coming from the West (probably would single out tho US) and might accuse the Western Powers of violating tho borders of the USSR. An official protest to ,the US Government or to the UN night follow. After this stags had been reached, Soviet propaganda would probably accuse the West of interfering in internal Soviet matters, and would, for national and Intornatlonalite the leaflet campaign as further evidence of Western aggression, arrests and prosecution of Soviet nationals carrying the leaflets or apreading knowledge of their contents would be publicized domestically.

The Soviet home audience further might be told that the West not only had spread leaflots in the USSR, but also various bacteriological warfare and Incendiary devices. Any animal or crop pestilence, widespread forest or steppe fires, or even epidenics of infeotious diseases among themight then be blamed onst.

Although it is possible that the Soviet Government might deem itever to acknowledge the existence of the balloon campaign, this would be unlikely, particularly if leaflet coverage were sufficient toeriousnroblea for the authorities. Although the Soviet propaganda reaction might be violent, it is believed that the execution of anconducted balloon canpaign would resultet gain for the West.

Original document.

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