Tbe Director of Central Intelligence
Main Soviet Objectives for the Moscow Ministerial
CPSU Central Committee plenumebruary will be contentious and probably resulturther radicalization of reformolstering of Gorbachev's position in the party. Even if In the unlikely event that il resultedtandoff on reform, the plenum probably will notirect effect on the Soviet negotiating position at the ministerial.
- Because of the growing sense of crisis in the country as well as the unraveling of Moscow's East European empire, the Soviets have an even greater desire for arms control agreementsuccessful summit in Washington in June.
To clear the last hurdles on the wayTART treaty, the Soviets are likely to compromise on ALCMs and be willing in the end to defer SLCMs and the relationship of tbe ABM treatyTART agreement to future talks.
Moscow will be eagerajor breakthrough on CFE, seeing thai treatySCE summit0 as the best means for managing the rapid pace of change in Central Europe. While welcoming President Bush's lower manpower ceiling, the Soviets probably will want the ceiling to cover the entire CFE forward region.
The Soviets will elicit US views on the unification of Germany and are likely tooint US-Soviet statement that welcomes eventual unification but reiterates Four Power rights toay in how and when It is done.
This Executive Brief reflects the view of Ihe Intelligence Community expressedeleconference held ont was drafted by the National Intelligence Officer for the USSR and coordinated within the Community.
Since Malta, the Soviet domestic crisis has deepened and the de-Communization of Eastern Europe accelerated. The Gorbachev leadership now has even more reason to seek agreements with Washington that will reduce the defense burden on the Soviet economy and allow for managed, rather than destabilizing, change in the European security order. Further concrete progress in the USSR's relationship with the United States would also giveelcome boostime when his domestic policies are coming under increasingly sharp criticism from both the left and the right
JTie Plenum's Impact
With the turmoil in the country mtensifying, Gorbachev is under pressure to show he can deal with the crisis. Continued temporizing in the face of the fast-moving domestic scene would erode his authority. His plan to use the plenum to make new radical moves evidently encountered opposition in the Politburo and led to the postponementebruary.
Even so, we believe that Gorbachev intends to propose changes in the party that would eventually lead to:
Direct election to party posts and abolition of the nomeklatum system, which would facilitate the ouster of many entrenched hardliners at lower levels.
A major loosening of "democratic centralism" permitting criticism of party decisions after they arc approved and perhaps an indication of willingness to drop the constitutional guarantee of the party's leading role.
Federalization of the partyeans of convincing the non-Russian parties not to break away from the CPSU.
Movement in this direction, as well as the continuing crises in the Baltic and the Caucasus, is certain to produce heated debate and increased tensions at the plenum. Although the outcome remains uncertain, the weight of evidence leads us to believe that
Gorbachev will probably make major progress on bis program, and he might even oust party traditionalists, such as Ligachev and Zaykov, and move up the timetable for the party congress now set for October.
Reporting indicates that such changes in the leadership may be in tbe offing, although Gorbachev's opponents will attempt toounterattack.
The unusual removal of six regional party chiefs in the last two weeks suggests that Gorbachev's efforts to activate the party's grass roots is finally paying dividends.
Although less likely, the outcome could be more balanced, with advances on reform combinedlenum statement on the need for more order and discipline in society to mollify traditionalists. This could take the formall for the Supreme Soviet toestrictive press law and limit criticism of the armed forces. Although such steps would limit Gorbachev's gains, they would not likelv be enough to derail his push for more radical policies.
We judge the potentialajor setback to Gorbachev at thestalemate on the major fssues-to be low. His hardline critics have not shown the ability to do anything beyond complaining about his policies. And rumors about bis abandoning nis party post seem unfounded. He still acts ana speaks as if he believes that the party is esssential to the success of perestroyka. If he manages to oust prominent traditionalists in the next few months, Gorbachev may expand the powers of the presidency and attempt to govern the country solely from that post; but he probably would not do this until after the October party congress.
As long as Gorbachevajor setback at the plenum, which we believe he will, the results are not likely to have much direct impact on his negotiating posture. We know of no significant opposition within the leadership to Gorbachev's positions on the major arms control agreements he hopes to conclude with the United States at the June summit and with the Westhole bv (he end
Moscow wants to nail down START and CFE agreements this year totable framework for the rapidly changing East-West security relationship and to get Western concessionsumber of Soviet force reductions and withdrawals that the Kremlin perceives are either necessary or inevitable. Accordingly, arms control will be the Soviets' main focus at the ministerial-rivalled only by the Interrelated Issue or German unification.
Gorbachev and Shevardnadze, in our view, are ready to deal on the START issues tbe US has singled out for resolution at thenon-deployed missiles, and telemetry encryption. Of these, the Soviets regard ALCMs as the most important.
They see no insurmountable obstacles on
probably canrade-off or even propose, as some Soviets have suggested, compromise solutions on range limits and bomber counting rules.
Moscow considers the issues ofs and the linkage of the ABM treatyTART agreement more difficult to resolve.
If ihey cannot get US acceptance of verifiable binding limits on SLCMs in talks parallel with START, they may propose an agreement to address SLCMs in START II or in naval arms control talks. Less likely, they might offeroosen Soviet requirements for intrusive verification in return for US acceptance of binding limits.
They will push again for language specifyingiolation or abrogation of the ARM treaty is grounds for withdrawal from START and for US acceptance of the narrow interpretation of the ABM treaty. They probably will not, however, let these issues get in the way of nailingTART agreement.
Beyond these matters, Shevardnadze and Gorbachev will be eager toommitment from the Bush administration to move quickly to START II negotiations onces signed.
CFE and the German Question
The primary goal of Gorbachev and Shevardnadze here will be to obtain US understanding of the need to move rapidly to preserve both stabilityontinuing role for the superpowers in Central Europe.
TheyFE treaty before the USSR is compelled by events in Eastern Europe to remove its forces unilaterally.
Tbey will push hardS commitmentSCE summit this year that encompasses the signingFE agreement and discussion of the new European order.
Rapid movementnified Germanyriving factor behind the Kremlin's current stance both on CFE and the need for an early CSCE summit. Gorbachev and his allies now recognize that unification is inevitable,older strategy to give them some influence on the process.
The Soviets are actively considering various routesnified Germany. They are likely to raise specific ideas at the ministerial, possibly using East German Premier Modrow's plan-presumably influenced by Gorbachev during their talks earlier thisoint of departure.
Tbey probably willoint US-Soviet statement that welcomes eventual unification but emphasizes Four Power rights toay in how it is done.
Bui their thinking is in flux, and wcnot know whether they will, in the end, insistnified Germany cannot be pah of NATO.
On the specificsFE treaty, the Soviets, while applauding President Bush's new
ceilingor US aad Soviel forces in the Ccrural zone, will seek clarification and may propose thai the ceiling encompass the enure CFE forward area. Even if they cannot achieve that, thereood chance they will accept the lower ceiling when the US side formally presents it in Vienna.
They arc ready, moreover, to concede thai only US and Soviel stationed forces need be limitedFE treaty.
The pressure toreaty once the manpower issue is resolved might spur Soviet concessions on the other issues blocking signature-especially aircraft.
Other Arms Control Matters
Beyond START and CFE, tbe Soviets are likely to press at the ministerial for closure on jnjClcaiIdling and chemical weaprms agreements. They will ask for US reaffirmationommitment to step-by-step negotiations of nuclear testing limits. They have also indicated that tbey intend toepackaging of their arms control and confidence building measures for the Asja_-
Shevardnadze will chide us on Panama but not dwell on it He will encourage us to accept the results of the likely Sandinista victory in this month's election in Nicaragua andirect dialogue with tbe Sandinistas.
The Foreign Minister will want to explore US views on the prospects for tlie Baker Plan on'-Israeli [Kactprocsss. He will reiterate his call for US acceptanceore direct PLO role in talks with Israelor Moscow at the tabic. At tbe same he will encourage us also toeparate trackreparatory conference of UN Security Council members.
Shevardnadze probably will be evasive on the specific conditions for Soviet reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Israel.
recent contretemps over settlement of Soviet Jews on the West Bank gives him further reason for caution.
lie spells it out, however, we believe that the Soviets are now ready to resume relations once Israel begins talksalestinian delegation accepted by the PLO and agreesoviet role in the process.
On Iran-Iraq. Moscow will argue that the talks between Tehran and Baghdad it proposes to host will support, not circumvent, the LIN process.
On Afghanistan. Shevardnadze is likely to beistening mode. Events on the ground in Afghanistan put Moscow under no pressure to fall off its key negotiating positions.
Tbe Soviets are prepared to be flexible on the process ofolitical settlement
But they are not ready, in our view, to sign onirst-stage shura inside Afghanistan that excludes the PDPA.
They will accept NajibuIIah's demise in the free playettlement process but notrearranged requirementOriginal document.