CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL
THE CURRENT SITUATION IN GREECE
this 6ocux*nt hat been
for release through
HISTORICAL RCnEH PRCGBAM
ctober mT th. Central intoUigenca Xgency.
theATiON IK greece
Importance of grkecf.
Greece Is the last Balkan state resisting Soviet domination. Should the USSR obtain control of Greece directly or through the satellites, the USSR would: (a) complete Its domination of the Balkans; (b) be able to extend and consolidate theIn the Aegean which control of Macedonia and Thrace would give the Soviet Union; (c) secure Salonika, historical southern terminus of the land route from the Danubian Basin; and (d)trategic position in the Eastern Mediterranean, thereby outflanking Turkey and the Dardanelles, threatening the Suez, and endangering the politics of the Near East.
In recognition of these facts the Greek-Turkish aid bill was formulated. The extension of aid to Greece and Turkey was the first clear announcement to the world at large that the United States intended to help and support those countries which resisted Soviet encroachment The continued ability of Greece to resist with US aid will therefore be closely watched by both the Eastern and Western blocs and will have an important influence on the future lucccss of US foreign policy In Europe and the Near East
While Orecce has had many forms of government, the great majority of the Greeks have remained highly individualistic andtrong sense of political freedom. Today among the leaders of both the Right and the Left theretrong tendency, born of fear, towards extreme politics. Were Greeceuarantee of national independence, the vast center elements In thc country would again be able to assert their democratic principles and would be able to give constructive support to thc Western democracies and the United Nations.
Militarily Oreece could not withstand an attackajor power or by aof thc Balkan satellites. Its independence and the continued security of its Important strategic points can at the moment be guaranteed only by the United Slates.
In the over-all strategic plans for the Nearop priority objective of the USSR Is to take control of Greece, through thc Balkan satellites, thc Greekor both. Should complete realization of the objective fail. Yugoslavia may attempt to detach Greek or "Aegean" Macedonia for incorporation, olong with Yugoslav Macedonia,tateederated Yugoslavia Detachment of Macedonia would be accompanied by detachment of Thrace by Bulgaria.
To accomplish Its ends in Greece, the USSR will continue to: (a) disseminate propaganda to discredit the Greek Government; (b) attempt to block every effort of the UN to solve thc Greek problem; (c) attempt, through guerrilla sabotage and des-
Nole: This paper has been coordinated Willi lhe inlelligonce orfianizalion* ol Uie Departments of State. Army. Navy, and Air Force*
traction, to cripple the Greek national economy and nullify the American Aid Program; and (d) furnish clandestine aid to the guerrillas through the satellites. The USSR may even extend recognition to the "democratic" army and eventually to the "free" Greek government in opposition to the Athens government
The extent to which Greece can counter the tactics of the satellites and the USSR depends most Immediately on the ability of the army to subdue the guerrillaa During the winter, the creationroadly representative and sincere government in Athens could have done much to stop the internecine strife; now. however, thesituation has so deteriorated and the Communists have become so determined that,ajority coalition Populist-1Jberal government has beenurely political solution of Greece's troubles Is not probable.
So long as the war continues, with the wholesale destruction and paralyzing fear which It creates, there can be no real social and economic9 million of0 million appropriated by the US to aid Greece was earmarked for military purposes; it has now become necessary to transfer nine million dollars for military needs from the funds allotted to economic reconstruction.
With increased US equipment and more vigorous leadership, the army should be able to subdue the local Greek guerrillas. However, army leadership is still inadequate for the task at hand, and the guerrillas arc receiving aid in men and material on an increasing scale from the satellites. Under these circumstances, the Greek Army, as presently constituted and employed, cannot accomplish Its mission and the Greek people, weary, terrorized, and without effective leadership, can do little to help
Thus, the future of Greece rests with the USSR and the US. It is not likely that the USSR and the satellites wdl relax their tremendous pressure on Greece, or that the American Aid Program will have sufficiently revived the morale and economy of the country by8 for Greece to stand alone. If the Greek Government cooperates honestly and energetically, the Program may keep Greece afloat until that time provided the USSR and its satellites do not overtly intervene, for some time thereafter theof Greece as an independent country will depend on how much and what kind of aid is forthcoming from the US.
3. political SrruATroN.
Chronic political instability in Greece lias, since liberation, been aggravated by widespread Communist activities. Moreover, even in the face of national disaster, many politicians in Athens have refused to surrender their personal and party interests for the common good. It Is doubtful whether the present government,oalition of the two largest parties, has the full confidenceajority of the people. Without firm US guidance, the conflict of ideas and of personalities within the cabinet may make the government ineffectual.
While the government operatesiberal and enlightened constitution, chaotic conditions and terror have resulted in many extreme measures andin the administration Thus, whileong time the Communist Party and press were allowed legal operation, the government has Jailed or exiled hundreds of non-Communists simply because they were members of the political opposition.
The seditious Communist press has now been closed down. Political Injustices against tbc non-Communist opposition continue, thoughapidly decreasing scale.
6 the people rallied behind the Rightist Populist (Royalist) Party out of fear of the Communists. Continued blunders by the reactionaries, however, sliook the people's belief in the Rightists' ability to cope with the Communist problem. American representatives in Oreece, recognizing this situation, were from time to time able to bringroadening of the government. No really effective coalition has yet been formed, however. The Centrists, who normally represent the predominantsentiment of the country, have been politically frustrated through aof external pressures; consequently, despite the fact that the present government is headediberal prime minister, the tenacious, perennial politicians of the Right stillontrolling voice.
Most non-Communist leaders agree that the chief task of the government Is to eliminate the Communist threat, but many take violent issue over the method by which the guerrillas can be defeated and the country set on Uie road to economic recovery. Most politicians, realizing the vital necessity of American aid to Greece, accede to US suggestions concerning recovery; others still attempt to exploit the situation and the American Aid Program for their own political ends.
The large majority of Greek people are democratic and pro-Anglo-American; they fear the USSR and hale the Greek Communists who haveuthlessof terror in the countryside. Given assurance of hope and stability through American aid. the people should eventually be able lo reaffirm their democraticgiven continued fear and hopelessness, they will succumb, however unwillingly, to the persistent pressure of the determined, militant Communists. 4. Economic Situation.
Oreece has alwaysoor nation with one of the lowest standards of living in Europe World War II, enemy occupation, and continuing guerrilla strife have further damaged Greece's chronically precarious economy, and sincearelevel has been maintained only through foreign relief shipments. Natural resources and industry are under-developed, and agricultural method* are antiquated. Food and consumer goods arc scarce, prices are high, the currency is Inflated,is widespread, and business morale is low.arge-scaleof transportation and port facilities is beginning, roads and railroads continue lo suffer damage from guerrilla action.
While lhe Greek economy is primarily agricultural, onlyer cent of the land is arable, and the soil is suited mainly Tor specialty crops which arc oxported to pay for Imports of basic foodstuffs. An infant light industry normally supplieser cent of the country's manufactured consumers goods but is dependent on imports for most raw materials, machinery, and fuel. Extensive mineral depositsaluable source of potential wealth, but mining methods are inefficient and processing facilitiesA flourishing merchant marine currently contributes liltle to the Greek economy because of the practice of registering ships In foreign countries and Investing earnings abroad. Inadequate transportation hampers internal communications and distribution of foodstuffs. Ihc rivers ol Greeceotential power supply, but
their development would require large capital Investmentonsiderable period of time.
Funds for military supplies and for reconstruction have been obtained from foreign sources. The American Aid Program, which has undertaken to meet needs for the period7 throughepends for its success in restoringstability on carefully planned control of all Important phases of Greek economic Ufc andpeedy restoration of internal military security by the Greek Army.
So far, failure of the army has not only delayed recovery but has alsoransfer of money allotted for reconstruction to military needs. Furthermore, the damage to this year's promising grain crop caused by drought and guerrilla action has also necessitated transfer of funds from reconstruction to relief.
While at the present time Greek economic survival is completely dependent on direct US aid (and Is likely to continue so regardless of the Marshallt is probable that continued civil war will prevent national reconstruction within the time limit of the American Aid Program.
5. Foreign Affairs
Greek foreign policy, beginning shortly after liberation, has of necessityefensive policy against the expansionism of the Balkan satellites and the USSR With the increase of Greek Internal disordershe satellites (which havesought an outlet to the Aegean) adopted an offensive policy toward Greece. The press and radio In these countries and in the USSR repeatedly attacked the Greek Government, and finally Tito boldly announced that Yugoslavs "could not remain indifferent" to the fate of their brothers in "Aegeany the endhe satellites, although following the outward forms of normal diplomatic relations with the Greek Government, were blatantly aiding the Greek insurgents materially as well as morally.
Greece has traditionally depended on Great Britain as the great sea power in the Mediterranean to maintain its independence and to bolster its economy with national loans and capital investments. With the retrenchment of the British in the Near East, however, the US has assumed major commitments in Greece. The Greeks have thereby become economically dependent on the US. to which they have long been orientediolent Soviet propaganda program against US intervention in Greek affairs does not widely affect US-Greek relations, and so long as the Soviet threat exists, Greece will cooperate with and follow the lead of the US. 6. Military Situation.
The effective reconstruction of Greece depends Immediately on the ability of the army to eliminate the guerrilla forces. Yet after seven months of the anti-guerrilla campaign which started in April, the guerrillas are numerically stronger than ever before and the situation has reached what might beeteriorating stalemate
Al the beginning7 the resurgent guerrillas, by forcing the villagers to flee to large towns, by destroying villages, and by cutting lines of communications, were paralyzing national recovery. An under-trained army was therefore forced to begin operations against the bands, winch were receiving concrete support from the satellites In the form of men and materiel. Tho strategy planned by the General Staff was to
clear individual areas of guerrillas and then lo seal the northern border of Greece to prevent rc-inllltration from thc satellite countries. Tactically It was planned for field units lo surround single areas, thereby preventing escape to other areas, and then to crush the trapped guerrillas. In both strategy and tactics the army has failed. Some of this failure lies with thc armydefensive rather than an offensive spirit, bad timing, the use of field methods In mountain warfare; but the chief causes of failure have been inadequate troops, terrain which favors highly mobile bands not committed to defend given points, and, in the border areas, the ability of the guerrillas to slip to safety in thc satellite countries.
Untilhe guerrillas contented themselves with evasive action, but since then there have been occasions on which they have attempted to stand and defend certain areas, probablyest of the feasibility offree" government should one be established on Greek soil.
The guerrillas numberell over half of them are forced recruits, but they are effectively held by threat of death or of reprisals to their families. The hard core of the guerrillas, probably abouter cent, are determined, are effectively led by officers thoroughly familiar with the local terrain, and are encouraged,nd aided by the satellites. Their principle of operation Is one of destruction and terror to produce the greatest amount of chaos possible.
Operating against the guerrillas is an army. temporarily increased0 recruits inducted to permit the releaseimilar number of veterans. The efficiency of the army high command is decreased by involvement in politics. The lower echelons are affected by lack of training and initiative, and by over-dispersion which prevents the marshallingufficient concentrated striking force. The army initiallyemporary advantage over the guerrillas by virtue of air support. This advantage has now been greatly reduced by increasingly effective air defense on thc part of the guerrillas and by pilot fatigue and low morale In thc air force. The UK's decision to withdraw its remaining troops from Greece before the end7 will have an adverse effect on Greek morale, for although the troops have not participated in the guerrilla fighting, their presence has been reassuring to the Greek Army and the government.
The military stalemate might be broken in several ways:hakcup in the General Staff" which, coupled with US aid In material and US advice In tactics, may enable the army to assume an effective offensive; <b> more overt aid by thc satellites In the form of heavier weapons and of international brigades which at the most would defeat the army and at the least would force Greek morale and economy to apoint; (c) overt participation by actual satellite units which would result In defeat of the army and loss of northern Greece. The last of these possibilities Is not likely at this time, the Kremlin appears satisfied with the present disruptive effort In Greece and probably does not need to risk further world censure. Most probably thestalemate will continue; if so. the American Aid Program will be rendered ineffective, and no appreciable recovery will have been accomplished byhen the program expires.
ctober, the Prime Minister approved certain changes In thc General BlalT the effect of which cannotbe determined.