Created: 9/1/1989

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National Intelligence Council


The Post-CFE Environment in Europe





The Post-CFE Environment in Europe

Information available as9 was used in the preparation of this Memorandum, which was prepared by the National Intelligence Officers for General Purpose Forces. USSR, and Europe.

Key Judgments

The era following the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Talks willransitional period in Europe, marked by thc rccvaluation andof longstanding economic, political, and military relationships between and within the existing alliances.

Thc overall threat to NATO will diminishost-CFE environment, andrecipitous decline in NATO, thc currently unfavorable balance of forces will be largely eliminated. Remaining Warsaw Pact forces will need even longer and more massive mobilization to be able to carry out deep strategic operations in Central Europe.

West European publics and leaders alreadyeduced military threat from the Warsaw Pact and will expect continued attempts by the Soviet Union and its East European allies to focus on political and economic relationships with thc West, reduce thc size of their military forces, and shift resources from defense to civil production.

Continued US leadership of NATO will be challenged by the emergencetronger Eurocentric approach emphasizing lhe importance of political and economic over miliiary matters as West European concerns about the Warsaw Pact threat diminish, and domestic pressures for reallocating defense budgets to civilian needs, such as thc environment, and emphasist-Wcst cooperation rather than confrontation

There will be an increased prospect of instability in some East European countries if their economies fail to improvelikely prospect if they arc unable lo profitably exploit their greater access to the West.



Community analysts believe thai lhc noi(hc Convenlional Force* in Europe (CFE) I'll',likely sec long-esuMulied military, poliiical, ond economic relationships between and among European nations and their superpowerreevaluated and redefined. CFE ii an important elcmenlarger process of enhanced Westeconomic inlegraiion. tbc assertion of iodepcndenl European political interests, and the poliiical and economic reforms and reallocations under way in Eastern Europe and thc Soviet Union. Excepting upheaval in Eastern Europe, Community analysts foresee more direct policy concerns for (lie Uniled Stales emerging from thc changes in Weslern Europe lhan from those in cither Eastern Europe or thc Soviet Union.

Post-CI-i: Warsaw Pact military forces will bewithout significant, cosily, and lime-consuming mobilization, of carrying oat tbc deep strategicin Central Europe thai have been characteristic of Soviel miliiary planning for several decades Both the East and thc West will be forced to revise iheii views of war in Europe; current Soviet militatyand restructuring probably reflect the early stages ofevaluation process. Although Soviet strategy and doctrine are clearly changing in reaction to new poliiical instructions and economicIheir final shape is not yet discernible Never-iheiciv Soviet military obseenves againsi NATO wouW be likely to be much more limited, rttlacint those of ihc traditional Theater Strategic Operation, which projects Soviet miliiary operations throughout Western Europe.

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Posl-CFE Sovietbe on average better equipped, depending oo the Soviet's willingness to reinvest potential savings into theSome analysts believe that through thisand restructuring the Soviet's readinessis likely to improve. Despite potential improvements, however, the overall military threat to NATO will diminish, and, unless there is adecline in NATO forces, tbe currentlybalance of forces would be largely eliminated. Under the Warsaw Pact'sFE agreement would force the Pact to give up nearly half of its reinforcement capability in the Atlantic-to-the-Urals zone: NATO's reinforcement capability, however, would be significantly less affected. Further, lhc Soviet Union will not likely be able to regenerate rapidly the force structure required for deep offensive operations. Strategic surprise in Europe, therefore, will be even less likely, although tactical surprise would remain possible, for example, to obtain limited objectives.

Overall, (here willontinued shift in Soviet emphasis away from military power and towardand economic interaction with the West. Through CFE, Gorbachev apparently intends lo validate thc basic assumption of his "new" foreign policy line: thai national security will no longei be founded primarily on military strength butroader basedof diplomacy, negotiation, economic power, and military strength

On the NATO side, political and budgetarytogether with perceptionseduced Soviel Ihreal will resullecreasing commitment b> European nations lo the maintenance of largeforces, leading lo continued force reduction, beyond those agreed lo at Ihc CFE Talks. Depending on where such additional cuts were taken, and (tow txi they went in relation to Pact forces, such reduction*

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probably fotcc major changes in NATO's defense strategy.FE agreement would contribute to the political momentum toward denuclearization in Europe and lead lo changes in Alliance nuclear use policies. In general, lhc post' CFE ailualion will be dynamic as both miliiary alliances develop new objectives and strategics and design and field forces to implement them.

ent-CFE Europe, the Soviet Union's dominant role in most of Eastern Europe will declinennd depend primarily on formal adherence to the Warsaw Pact and economic tics. East European countries will also become increasingly Independent Thb could weaken lhe military rationale for the Warsaw Pact and precipitate increased Eastpressure lo rcoricni thc Pact towaid moreolilical alliance,

Moscow's East European allies, lading strong Bloc identity, will probably prefer to establish individual bilateral relations with West European nations With Sovicl military presence and political influence in Eastern Europe reduced, lhc reliability of thc political underpinnings of the current miliiary and economic relationships such as Ihe Warsaw Paci and CEMA will be called into Question Traditional national animosities and his lexical grievances among tbe East Europeanrecmcrging as lheBloc identityworsen in thc post-CFE eiu. If miliiary drawdowns through CFElooto mounting internal and external pressures forcould lead to social and political unrest in one or more of thc East European regimes and rcsuliegime crackdown that could siall East-West relations.

In contrast, events wiihin thc Europeanarket integration andprogress toward European politicalbolstering and broadening lhe Westsense of common purpose and community. As West Euioocan countries move away fromS-led Atlantic Alliance andore intta European perspective, tbcy will become increasingly parochial in their securily concerns and lessoS view They may aiirmpi inCommon European House" butll lo EC

rather than Soviet or US specifications. EC member states' vested interests in an economically strong, politically cohesive EC would prevent lhc admission of any current CEMA state during the next decade. The Council of Europe is lhe more likely venue for nans-European policy dialogue and cooperation.

CFE will urengihcn widely held perceplions among Wesi Europeansiminished threat. InFE agreement, there will be an increased number of poliiically powerful voices in Ihe Won calling into question thc need for military alliances But as loag as thereubstantial even iboughmilitary presence in Europe, however, thc broad foundations of NATO willremain intact. Even in countries where anti-nuclear sentiments and pro-aims-control views arc strongest, the majority of the public today still lavors membership in NATO.

On lite economic side, CFE will contributeore positive environment for Easl-Wesl trade, although the continued presence of cumbersome bureaucracies and trade barriers will hinder prospects forincreased trade The East Europeans areto expand economic relationships, singly and iniih ihc European Community They are unlikely, however, either io increase irade rapidly orake advantage of technology transfer lo offset adverse economic conditions Some analysis feel thai the West European nalions arc already beginning 10

del ermine what ihey could do lo improve Ihe Fail European economies and would continue to do mi. Mint believe, however, that the EC nations, iliouch convcioui of East European need for economic assis-taocc and outside investment, now appear unwilling and unable lo provide investment or economicin large enough quantities to achieve long-term fundamental changes in tbc economic relationship. Despite some inicresi on the part of the Westmost believe thai they arc unlikely to make lhc massive investment needed to assist East European economics. Individual East European nations will also have to contend with thc unified decision apparatus represented by thc EC with ao counterpart economic coalilion to represent iheir imeresis. Indeed, CEMA wil) become increasingly inellcctive in the projected environment, as individual East European cation* seek to expand their own relations based on economic needs and potential.

Thc likely clTccts of CFE on the Sovielconomy are less clear. CFE eould have enormous implications over time for the Soviet economy, pariic-ularl) in trims of reduced resourcesroduction. Because Ihc Soviel Union spends more lhan three times more on convenlional forces than it does on strategic ofTcnsivc nuclearra accord offers the potential for much greaici resource savings and industrial reorientation than lhe INF and START agrecmenls combined Savings can be realised in procurement, force structure, operations and maintenance cipendriures, andFE agrcerneni could allow tbc Soviets to save upillion rubles per year, or

aboul IS percent of total investment and operating expenditures. To put such savings into perspective, thc amount is almost equal lo Soviet investment in lhe

critical machine-building sector and over half thc

amount invested in housing.

Al thc same lime, problems in the Soviet economy and lhe requirements of future forces will probably prevent the Soviets from lealiring tho full economic benefit! of CFE. There is considerable doubl about tbc ability of the Sovieis to effectively redistribute resources from defense to civilian uses. Factors inhib jiing conversion include reluctance to reorientresearch and development programs; difficulties in transferring skilled workers from miliiary Indus tries and absorbing released military manpower into lhe already inefficient and underemployed Soviet industrial labor pool, and thc technical problems involved io converting specialized industrial processes Moroover. an unknown perccritsge of these savinji. in thc early yeais, would have to be spent onand restructuring stemming from shifts in Soviet strategy and weapons requirements. For example, some Soviet officials have staled ihat. in keeping wiih the new defensive doctrine, greater emphasis will hc plated on "defensive" weapons Other modernization and potential increases in thc costs of maintaining residual forces ai higher levels ofthc Soviets do soalso cut into the projected savings.

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