ational liiiclfiEcncc Estimate
Soviet Strategic and Political Objectives in Arms Control5
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED
SOVIET STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL OBJECTIVES IN ARMS CONTROL5
The full intofihtieing publuheif sewnteiV wilt) regular diiliiUilion
THIS ESTIMATE IS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE.
THE NATIONAL FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BOARD CONCURS, EXCEPT AS NOTED IN THE TEXT.
The following intelligence organizations participated in tho preparation of the Estimate:
The Ceni-ol Intcfligcnce Agency, thentelligence Agency, the Notional Security Agency, ond Ihe inlcl&oenee orgonfcotion ol lhe Dcpo-imeol of Stole.
The Anincni Chid of Sioff lot InlelSoence. Depo.lnvenf of the Army The Director of Novel Intelligence, Oepodmenl of the Novy The AHlllcnt Chief ol Sloft, Intelligence. Deportment of the Air Force The OirectOf of Intelligence, HeodquorlCfi. Mceir* Cccpi
This Estimate examines lhe Suvicl approach lo lhe arms control process through lhe endnless otherwise indicated, its judgments arc not intended lo extend beyond that period. It does notloetailed preview of Soviet negotiating tactics or possible bargaining packages Rather, il considers both the broad outlines of Soviet strategy within the negotiations and the political and propaganda campaign whereby the Soviets will attempt both toUS negotiating positions and to achieve iheir goals withoul having Io make significant concessions in lhe talks. It also considers how lheview lhe relationship between their arms control goals and olher objectives worldwide.
Thf USSR's primary objective in tlie renewed amis control procrss is loituation in which sustained US military programs undercut Soviet strategic advantages achieved through past and current force modernirations, and possibly give critical new advantages to the United States innd beyond The Soviels want to protect and, ifsticngthen their own strategic force capabilities while trying to constrain US and NATO force modernizationabove all, the Slralegic Defense Initiative (SDI)
The Soviets will probe for opportunities lo accomplish this in the ncgolialions themselves, and they hojie lo increase and exploil political opposition to US programs in the United States and Western Europe. Their efforts will be directed toward getting the Uniied States lo cancel lefty US slrategic weapons programs, and toward dividing lhe European NATO nations from lhe United States and ervcouraging them to put pressure on the United Stales on strategic issues.
We expect thatS the thrust of Soviet activities will focus on public diplomacy. Nevertheless, we believe thai the Soviels' failure lo date to block NATO INF deployments and their apparenl respect for the USbility to defend its major weapons programs In Congress will have tempered the Soviels' expectations as lo theof their public relations efforts Wc should, therefore, not belikely next year Irian thisthe Soviels were lo make some changes in their inilial negotiating positions at Cenevn. particularly as modest demonstrations of flexibility could enhance the impact of their propaganda efforts. US positions in the talks will of course also affect Soviet strategy.
Moscow's arms conlrol campaign will be concurrently aimed atide range of collaicral objectives, such asood of detente in Western Europe aimed at securing economic benefits, reassuring Essl European allies, complicating Chinese efforts to derive diplomatic leverage from US-Soviet differences, and encouragingtolerance of the Soviet role in the Middle East. South Asia, andAmerica,
strategy and lactics in arms control negotiations over the year will be >hapcd by:
ealistic appraisal lhat the (break posed by the development and deployment of US systems are not immediate.
- The more favorable prospects for minr. poliiical means rather Mian negotiated agrocmciils Io limit that evolution.
-The expectation that political and strategic benefits will be icalizcd as Soviet strategic progiams now under development become operational.
The Soviets are unlikely toajor threat to their strategic position stemming from new US systems coming on line during the timemine ol thts Estimate. They also understand that;
omprehensive US ballistic missile defense system lies well in tlie future.
-Deploymentumber of major new offensive systems (including MXJ is not in the immediate offing, and that in some cases deployment remains clouded by political debate.
Thus, lhe Soviets are unlikely toeed to quicklyajor agreement in lhe Geneva negotiations, although nervousnessossible US technological breakthrough in ballistic missile defense conceivably persuades them that they do not have forever to attain constraints on US programs The difficuii.es of economic and mililary Planninguture made more uncertain and challenging by US military programs, especially SDI. weigh on lhe minds of Soviel leaders,enod of manifold economic problems, they would prefer an environment in which they can set their own pace of forcewhich existing Soviet programs indicate will be vigorous In any case, rather than additionally having to hedge against new US eapabili-lics We believe, however, lhat this consideration will not prompt any sigruhcant concession from the Soviets during the period of this Esliinate.
Initially, Moscow probably intends Io hold firm at Geneva on its present positions while pressing the Ui.iied Slates lo make concessions that will allow for "realt is likely that initially the Soviets will seek in the talks
On space and defensive weapons.ban or moratorium on space-Used and anlisalellite weapons and hold the prospect of any stgmficantffensive systems hoslage to this demand.
On intermediate range nuclearoratorium onINF deployments and compensation for British and French systems.
On strategic nuclearS commitment Io continued observance ofnd II restraints In addition, the Soviels
SOVM ICBM, orWand ,hCy|ft*Is anned a,nddeploy-
hen snaffens.vc force, in return for USnause boy probably arc norconvinced ihal SDI isor pol-lically viable andbe very reluctant ,o
'Cfen under pressure al home and from US All.es lo engage seriously In arms
0io,.ion from segments of .he American public and in lheOM .here are conflicts over .hem within lhe administration .self
non ,od Ub'iC Bnd"><
g lts iUa( prQgrams of mal;inK concewionj control .ssucsMoscow's having to offer any ouid pro Quoeek lo counter the administrates argumentefense programs enhances armsspec.s. and to
rjlt,hatthese iiragiains wiU
clear tl>eIo progresshe talkseven to other favorable shifts
B7?ni?,tSrcs* ,KF ^ovmct. and West European al arge lhat US policies recklessly ihreaten world peace and
Ih.ough diverse diplomatic channelsarge propaganda and dis^rmniior, network-probably including forgeries TpS
pnosi.ion parhes. place before European businessmen ihe incentive of greater
arc very likely lo stick lo the broad ouilliic depicted above for at least the fiist si* months of tlie renewed Geneva negotiations and probably longer
General Secielaiy Gorbachev's accession lo power will nottransform Soviel arms control policies, although lie is likely to use any flare for personal diplomacy in an attempt to increase the political pressure on lhe United Stales for concessions. More significant for Soviet arms control behavior, though, will be the power structure in the ruling oligarchy in terms of its stability, its cohcMvcness, and the strength of Gorbachev's aulhorily. Soviet hints of "new lines" on arms control and East-West relations may emerge during the next few months- They could be genuine probes for areas of agreement, but ihey are more likely in lhe near term lo represent tactical efforts to play on disagreements in (he West.Original document.