LETTER TO ROBERT C. MCFARLANE FROM JOHN N. MCMAHON RE SOVIET THINKING ON THE PO

Created: 2/3/1984

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APPROVED FOR RELEASE OftTE:1

Mr. Robert C. McFarlane Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

Dear 8ud:

Thank you for the note on our recent paper entitled Soviet

Thinking on the Possibility of Armed Confrontation with tHe

Unitedlso appreciated Jack Matlock's commentary that you forwarded and agree with him that an elaboration of Andropov's style and strategy would have helped. ave attached sone additional comments on Jack's remarks from one of ny senior Soviet analysts.

Yours,

-lohn N. McMahon Acting Director of Central Intelligence

Attachments:

omments

ntelligence Memorandum

3 February

Andropov's Leadership Style and Strategy

We would agree that the coercive measures employed by Stalin to improve the economy probably have some appeal to Andropov. Undoubtedly aware of the tensions that declining economic growth and inefficiency are generating in Soviet society, he seems to haveourse that combines regime firmness toward the population with greater rewards for hard work. It is an overall carrot and stick approach, albeit with the emphasis on the stick during Andropov's first yearffice because of Brezhnev's Inability to wrench productivity from the workplace. Thereo doubt, moreover, that "conservative" elementshe party approve of Andropov's administrative measures (the discipline and anticorrupt!onut many Soviets would argue that these are needed prescriptions. That approval is likely to become more widespread since the measures appear to have contributed to an upturn in industrial productivity

The stereotypical Russian Image of Jews as profiteers may,he present circumstances, cause anti-semitism to rise as part of the campaign for disciplinehe economy. imilar campaign was conducted In. There Is, inotable Increaseovernment-approvedropaganda, which has taken the form of newspaper articles, broadcasts, and the w1 dely-publ id zed (by Soviet standards) activities of the "Anti-Zionist Committee of Soviet

l>ll<?aVlS fill

Citizens." Although the Anti-Zionist Committee has not figured prominentlyhe Soviet media over the past several .months, the Committee, staffed by people of Jewish ancestry, will probably serveouthpiece for regime policy toward Soviet Jews in the future. We are also struck by the harshly antl-semitlc article in Prayda onanuary. Thishe first time in recent memory that ane this has appeareduch an authoritative forum. (See Tab R, our publication on the subject written some years ago, for more background.)

We agree that Russian nationalismore pronounced, but this is not new with Andropov. Emerging demographic trends, which threaten to alter the ethnic balance of the population, the party and the military in favor of non-Russians, have engendered the growth of Russian nationalism since the. In the face of foreign and domestic problems, Russian nationalismlso likely to Increase. It is the traditional refuge of Soviet leadersifficult circumstances. So far, however, recent Soviet leaders. Including Andropov, have not moved away from the calculated blurring of Russian chauvinism and Soviet patriotism, stressing, as Stalin did, the former at the expense of the latter.

Clearly Andropovtake in the "appearance" of bilateral tension as long asppears that the United States is the offending party. This would not he the first time that Soviet leaders have used international tensions to mobilize their population. Nevertheless, thereo necessary connection between whatropaganda strategy. US military threat, danger of war) and actual Soviet foreign policy behavior. Thereo indication, for example, that the propaganda strategyaving an impact on operational foreign policy and,act, there are indications that the Soviets want to curb any further escalationhe spiral of tension. Moreover, we have seen other signs that the Soviets are telling their own people that the International environment is not that sour.

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