YUGOSLAVIA AFTER TITO (NIE 15-73)

Created: 7/5/1973

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

NATIONAL

INTELLIGENCE

ESTIMATE

Yugoslavia after Tito

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL

3 H5

THIS ESTIMATE IS SUBMITTED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AND CONCURRED IN BY THE UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD.

The following inielligence organizations participated in Ihe preparation of Ihe estimatei

The Central Intelligence. Agency and tho intelligence organizations of theo( Stole and Defame, thc USA. tho ASC. ond lhe Treosury.

Concurring*

Tho Deputy Director of Central Intelligence

The Direcior of Intelligence and Research, Depariment of Stole The Director, Defense Intelligence Agency The Director, Natioaol Security Agency

The An iieneral Manager for National Security, Atomic Energy Commission The Special Assistant lo the Secretary ol ihe Treasury

Abstaining.-

The Assislonl Director, Federol Bureau of Investigotion, the subject being outside of his jurisdiction.

SEOtTiT

UGOSLAVIA AFTER TITO

CONTENTS

Page

1

THE ESTIMATE

INSIDE

The Current Domestic2

The Period of Succession

THE WORLD WITHOUT: THE4

Basic Soviet Considerations

Post-Tito Soviet6

PROSPECTS AND6

The Likely Course in

Some Contingencies and Possible Soviet 7

The Interests of thc United Stales and Western 9

SEflrTET

SEflRET

YUGOSLAVIA AFTER TITO

PRECIS

Yugoslaviaivided and deeply troubled laud and may become even more so when the aged and ailing Tito departs thc scene. But this Estimate concludes that, even without Tito, the odds favor the survival of thc Yugoslav federationybrid. non-Soviet form of socialism. Impressive efforts arc now being made to arrange an orderly succession to Tito, to build up Stane Dolanc as thc heir apparent, and to transform (he declining Yugoslav communist party into an effective national force.

The odds do not favor direct Soviet intervention in post-TitoMoscow lacks significant assets within Yugoslav society,that strong pressures against Belgrade are likely only to drive it westwards, and does not conceive of the resloration of Sovietover Yugoslaviaital interest Even in the event of serious disruptions in Yugoslavia,least so long as its policy of detente in thebe mote likely to try to quarantine the trouble than tobecome direclly involved in it. Finally, the costs and risks for the Sovietsilitary campaign against Yugoslavia would be high and thc stakes simply incommensurate.

These judgments cannot be made without qualifications, however, because thc chances of post-Tito turmoil and the danger of subsequent Soviet intervention are not insignificant. No one knows what this peculiar Balkan state wil! look like once the unifying force of Tito's dominating presence has disappeared, and no one can predict the precise circumstances which might push or pull the Soviets into direct involvement. But Western reactions to the threat of that involvement would have much to do with whether or not it was carried out and, indeed, with the future course of Soviet-Western relations in general.

SEflRET

THE ESTIMATE

"Yugoslaveffort to maintain nationaland umly and to develop asocialistscarcelyviewed as an assured success. Thereflaws and faults in Yugoslavin Tito's grand design for it And itbecome dear that Titoill from now on be able toi diminished role in Ihe nation'sWhether the "Yugoslav Faperiment"withoutindeed,state can surviveealAnd this question faces not onlybut other powers as well, the USconspicuously among them.

INSIDE YUGOSLAVIA

The Current Domestic Scene

ethnic terrain of Yugoslavia isvaried and complex in Europe.are. in fact. Yugoslavs first: they

'TKos priiMry medical problem is a chrortc.

lei and cardiovascular athnotctaroui anoctitcd snth high blood pressure There i> iivldanrw lhat brief episodes ol ncsilc cionary insufficiency are precipitated by transient Initeai* ol hli already elevated blood pres-mre and result in runneitive heart failureieriwl ol marked reduction In physical competence.

are Serbs or Croats or Montenegrins and only secondarilyAntagonisms between these diverse nationalities hai'e persisted for centuries and even nosv underlie most of thc country's political and social problems andew of the economic ones as well.

or roughlyears, the Titoist notion of how best lo deal with the forces of divisive nationalism and with Ihe regional urges for greater independence svas. in effect, tothem Emphasis was oneconomic, even to some extent military. The Communist Party (the League of Communists ofsought only diffidently to lead and became largely provincial in outlook, more often than not representing the republics in Belgrade rather than vice versa. At the same time, federal governmental structures retreated from active participation in many areas of national life, their political and economic powers either withering away or passing on to republican or regional governments, economic enterprises, and svorkcr organizations.

ugoslavia'* total population o( aboutillion, aboutercent are Serb.ercent Croat,ercent Bosnianercentenenlri per writ Albanian,er-cunlierccni Hungarian, and the remainder miscellaneous.

SEMET

decline of Yugoslav federal power no doubl did help to appease certain na-lionalist appetites. But for most ol this period, the principal national cement (other than Tito* own authority) was the elemental fear of Yugoslavs everywhere that they and their individual republics and their countryhole were menacedostile outside power, thc USSR. But by mid orittersossible post-Czechoslovakinvasion of Yugoslavia had faded and fears of general Soviet intentions had receded. This recession, comingime when the power of central party and state officials was at its nadir, allowed nationalists in Croatia to win wide support and in1 to provoke thc worst crisis of its kind in the postwar era. The subsequent inability ofin both Zagreb and Belgrade to con-trpKdemonstrations and to impose discipline within ruling circles caught Tito and the top leadership almost completely off guard. The crisis was overcome only through (foraunctionaries werethe direct personal intervention of Tito himself.

This crisisurning point in Yugoslav domestic affairs. It began thcperiod ol retrenchment, intended In the main to curtail the aulonomy of therepublics, to reassert the authority of the central organs ofY, and to do all this while the great national father figure, Tito. Is still ultimately in command. Tito does not plan to abandon the fundamentals of the Yugoslav course: "pluralistic" socialism,national non-alignment, and nationalBut he now feels thattrong, (ciuvigoratcd national party can carry on in histhc Titoist tradition, guard Yugoslav independence, and prevent federal disintegration.

of course faces more problemsconflicts iu the body politic.economy is still in trouble.1is limning at aboutercent thisimports are still outraclng expoits.enterprises are still grosslyby Westernuchstabilization progiam introducedhas already stimulatedand is bogging down.republics arc still backwardmore prosperous northerners stillto help them out. And thc ratein thehigh, despite theemigration of Yugoslav workers toEurope. (Remittances from thesebecome crucial to the balanceajor share of theYugoslavia's trade with the West andto meet repayments on an externaltotaling6 billion.)

The Period of Succession

thc crisis in Croatia, Tito'sfor the succession seemed in somemore rilual than reality. Thcin his program included aof his Own enormous personal powerbodies composed of importantleaders and Ihe division ofvarious party, centralprovincial, and economicEmphasis was in large partmechanical devices intended to preventaccumulation of power by oneone region.

er capita gross national product (GNP) mi ma reel ai0 inugoslavia lias one uf llie least developedar with Cieeee, less than that ofnd about one-half that of Italy. The perI' in Slmenia. (be richest republic, is abouttinsel higher than that in theprovince ol Kosovo, the most backward

SEjfRET

risis, however. Tilo liasore political and less mc-clianicd approach. Purges have in Tilo's viewemove from power the worsl of Ihe lepubhcan nationalists and LCY liberals (The latter have alsoeakening of centralurther efforts have been mademprove thc organization and functioning of party and slate organs, with an eye tounwieldy structures. An energeticis underway al all levels to reassert the paily's dominance over olher elements in(including the military) and iti control user all questions of national policy Perhaps most important, one man. Stane Dolanc has emerged in recent months as lhe number two party leader and as the most likely loTito in thc number one spol. Dolanc noi only enjoys Tilo's confidence, hc holds close lies wiih the military and wiih military coiinlerintelllgencc. apparently does notany patticular antipathies within the LCY; and.lovene, is/aoi rthnicallyto the other nationalities

Il is possible of course that the recent changes and modifications In Yugoslavarrangements have come loo late. The IXY is not likely again to become lhe kind of dedicated, disciplined, unifying force it once was. Il will almost certainly not be able (or eager) toonventionally dictatorial communist role, in part because the concepts and practices of the whole Titoist political and economic system would have to be destroyedthu dead bodies of other important elements in Yugoslav society. The LCY will thus have to continue to accommodate itself to ihe often divisive pressuresluralist society. But thc party seems to be the only all national institution, other than the army, which Is even potentially capable of binding tho state together at home and enablinglo carryigorously independent

policy abroad. And it can and probably will come toore effective role than it lias in ihe recent past.

THE WORLD WITHOUT: THE USSR

Basic Soviet Considerations

Soviet-Yugoslav relations haveyclical course since the death ol Stalinhe quality of the relationshipin the main on Moscow's willingness to accept Yugoslav independence or, conversely, its willingness to direaten that independence (as, for example, implicitly, in ils actionsin Easternhe most recent low point was reached in thcfter the USSR's invasion of Czechoslovakia.have been on thc mend for thc past two years or so, however, largely as aof Brezhnev's decision ino go to Yugoslavia, there to praise Tito, lo endorse Yugoslav sovereignty, and to offer the couniry generous new amounts of economic assistance.*

Thc Brezhnev leadership seems to have been generally pleased by developments in Yugoslavia over the past year or so,thc crackdown on liberals, the reasserlton of party power, and the decline in anti-Soviet propaganda. It also seems to have concluded lhat, il Ihe USSH is to beood posilion to influence thc course of events inafter Tilo goes, then it must seek to establish cordial relations during the period preceding his departure. This approach is of course wholly consistent with, andart of. Ihe USSK's larger policy of detente in Europe and toward the US. At the very least, thc requirements of Ihisa general lack of tension on therestraint in the Soviet stance

"The Cicdil actually extended0 million, little ol which has it yet been drawn (partly because of Soviet-YukosIj" dun fire* menu concerning terms).

SEafRE

SEQRET

Yugoslavia. And so long as Moscow's desire for detenteil is likely lo do for qulle some limni .im an Indiiect beneficiary of it.

till, thereariety of reasons why Moscow would welcome Yugoslavia'sinlo the Soviet Bloc. Tito's break with the ComlnformR is stillwithin the Soviet (lonununist Partyainful Ideological and political shock. Should post-Tito Yugoslavia re-embrace the USSR, the Soviets would see their view of the 'socialist world- at reaffirmed They would also see the Soviet position in Eastern Europe as strengthened, (especially inhe Soviet strategic posture (particularlyis Italy and lhc Mediterranean) as improved, and their long and frustrating quarrelajor heretic as having ended in triumph.

ut If there Hie reasons why the SovieU might wish for Yugoslavia's reincorporation, there are also many constraints on ihetr will-iugness and ability to bring it about.

happens inside Yugoslavia and what Yugoslavia does for itsell internationally are no longer (as they are. lor evample. in the case of Czechoslovakia) vital concerns of the USSR There thus are major sell imposed restrictions on Ihe risks tbc USSR would be svilling to run and the costs it would be ready to pay.

political means available tc the So-siets to furthei their objectives are in any case limited. Soviet influence insideis not substantial (and may be less than that of the US and the West Europeanoscow does not soein to possess anyassets wilhln the Yugoslav establish-

'See. Tht Soviet Approach li>ECRET, para-gnplil 11

menl and cannot count on any substantial body of opinion peculiarly sympathetic- to Ihe USSR or to the Soviet variety of communism

onlyercent of Yugoslavia's total trade is with the Soviet Union (and lesshud svith CEMAhe USSR could exert someignificant market fot Yugoslav goodsajor source of industrial credits for the more backward Yugoslavimpoitant i! the West were to turn Ils back on Yugoslaviaost-Tito balance ofcrouch. The Soviets are, in addition. Ihc major outside supplier of military hard-ware to the Yugoslav armed forces. Belgrade, however, is trying to diversify its sources of supply, and Soviet economic or military lev. erage would in any case almost certainly prove to be ineffectiveme of Soviet-Yugoslav tension, especially in viewrobable Western willingness to help out duringeriod.

Soviets could of couise applypressure against Yugoslavia, but the chances of backfire ia this event would be Considerable The Yugoslavs would jlnvntunite in resisting such pressures, andwould, as before, turn to the West for political support and material aid. If the Soviets actually invaded Yugnslas-iu, they would have lo allow for thc probability of Itiff initial resistance by the Yugoslav Army and prolonged opposition by sizable foices of well-armed irregulars (animated by thc tradibons of partisan warfare during World War II) Moscow would thus need to build anforce of someivisions (orask which wouldubstantialwithin tberawdown of units opposite NATO, or both.

if Soviet military operations against Yugoslavia proceeded successfully, andWestern militaiy reactions, an invasion

SEORET

Yugoslavia would severely,ide variety uf Sovietetscwherc It would reverse tbein US Soviet relations, hurt ibe Soviet Image in the Third World, andloser US-Chinese alignment

it would Instantly jeopardize, perhaps destroy, Moscow's large investment in its current policies inits desire for esptmded trade relations and imports of technology, and its efforts tothe US presence- Wesl European hopes that tlie USSR wasesponsible power suivived the invasion of Oechoslo-vakia, but in that case the Soviet campaign was rapidly executed and bloodless, andwas acting within its own sphere ofAn invasion of Yugoslavia would not be quick, would be bloody, and would take Soviet troops beyond the boundaries of So-victiicd Euiope.

Post-Tito Soviet Policies

any Important assets withinand as uncertain as any otherabout the probable course ofTitos departure, Moscow is initiallyto react to specific events than toin them. But Moscow will seek ascan toestward shift inpost-Tito posture and, ii possible,movement in the opposite direction.

Soviet leaders might beadd to any confusion in Belgrade in thea fluid or deteriorating politicalwork to Iheir advantage And Iheyencourage separatist forcesrepublics for the same reason Subibtybas not worked in their favorpast, and their prospects forwithin the country woulda period of relative instability.

1G. Nevertheless, there would befor thc Soviets if confusion in Belgrade became turmoil, and separatism elsewhere in Yugoslavia became thc order of the day.would See dangers in either eventuality: in thc firstrift toward anarchy in Belgrade would eliminate or reduce the power of Ihe central authorities and organs which thc Soviets believe might someday prove susceptible to their influence, and might, in addition, eventually lead to aby the essentially anti-Soviet military; ui the second because thc dismemberment of Yugoslavia along ethnic lines, aside from Iwiin ideologically repugnant to the Soviets, would preclude the eventual reincorporation of Yugoslavia, qua Yugoslavia, into the Bloc-Both possibilities would, moreover, increase Ihe chances ol civilrospect that would lorce the Soviet leadership to choose between staying out (and missing whateverfor advancing its interests theoffered) or intervening (and running Ihe lisks and incurring the costs lhat this would necessarilyhoice could prove to be unsettling within the Soviel Politburo itself.

that the Yugoslav regimegenerally effective and carries onless in Ihe Titoisl tradition, Moscow istoenerally amiable faceYugoslavia, offering economicmilitary aid, and generalat least nominally without strings.the approach which seems to holdpromise of adding to Sovietinfluence in Belgrade and the onethe least danger of propellingIhe West.

PROSPECTS AND CONTINGENCIES The Likely Course in Yugoslavia

a little more lime forarrangements to take hold, it now

SECRET

SE/RET

s the immediate poal-Tilu

period, though troubled, will be fairly orderly. Member*ollective of top party leaders, probably fuisctioning under Dolanc as Secre-taiy of the Executive Bureau (in elfect. thcill initially prefer to face post Tito uncertainties together. Top statennd the federal bureaucracy will no doubt feel much the same way; they will.not in any case beosition to challenge the party authoittles. Thc major republicanof whom seem now to repre-sent mutuant nationalityalso serve in central bodies; this will at leastime help to constrain those among them who might be inclined to strike off ontangents. Disaffected parlythose who were purged in the nation-wide wake of thc Croatian crisis and those who seek an ever-expand ingof nationalprobably not be able to combine into an effective opposition force for quite some time alter Tito's de-par tuic, if at all*

ll things considered, the oilds would seem lo be that the Yugoslavs, left to their own devices, will also be able over the longer term to persist with one form or another of self-managed muddling through. The Titolstor so years of Yugoslav survival in the face ofold war. andwill no doubttrong source ofpride Thc single decentralizedeconomy, with all its problems, willtoreater return than theand divided alternatives and thus will

"Other porwttul appositionnjarrnlsti. Maoists militant Undentsariousare MitNero* capable oe concerted action TKmiab the* can bey appeal* to reomal rutwfuJiun,

and could beto protest!he eventi(*i( dJtxnrties. tbe proplr at bier do

no* otherwlar appear to be supporters of alternatives

to Ihe present system.

be seen to provide the citizenry. Ihe polits-ci.mi. and even many of the regionalisistake in federal survival. Finally, the concern that small individual successor states of the Yugoslav union could not by themselves be either prosperous or secure will continue to persuade many Yugoslavs that the unified state, in one form or another, should be preserved.

lie Yugoslav National Army is andeterrentational collapse. It is generally appreciated In Yugoslavia that, in the event that conflicts threatened to erupt into civil war or to move the country into anaichy. ihe military might step in to assert al least temporary control. The Army wasune, and may still prove to be, the only all-nalional institutional force effectivelyon tbe domestic scene. Though not without its osm problems, the Army seemshole to be loyal to Tito, his system, and his concept of national integrity. It has, in fact, demonstrated this on more than onemost recently during the Croatian crisists loyalties after Tito is gone are hkely to be to those whotrong, cohesive Yugoslavia.

Somo Contineencles and Possible Soviet Reactions

till, there can be no assurance tbat the actors in Belgrade will, over time, pull together and essentially in the same direction; that, even if they do, thoy will be able to pull the republics along behind them; or that the central authorities, as represented principally by party functionaries, will be effective at provincial and local leveU and within indi-vidual economic enterprises. There Is thethat Belgrade's authority, even if never directly challenged, might simply be ignored. There thusariety of conceivablewhich could take place within Yugoslavia and which would have important

SECRET

/

SE/tET

ions foi Soviet (and Western) policies as wv'1 Twoarein broad outline to represent plausible possibilities, but which do not seek to cover all or even most conceivableare examined below;

Contingencyisirttzjatlic. Yueo-tlavta. In this instance, werowth of nationality conflicts andeak central regime. Therereakdown in many areas of federalandivided leadership in Belgrade,eneral move away fromintegrity on all fronts. Many of thc functions of the center are assumed by the republics, which pursue their own economic policies and even begin to act in the area of foreign and defense policies. Mostofterms of implications for theis an irregular drift westwards, reflecting popular preferences, the inability of federal authorities to arrestrift, and the increasing decentralization of the economy.

In these circumstances, the Soviets would be likely to shift their policies away from cordiality andtbe groundsaltering regime in Belgrade svould beto respond appropriately even if it were inclined to dobackuch more austere, if not openly unfriendly,Efforts would be made at the same time to meddle in and to exploit Yugoslavia's interna] difficulties, to cultivate elements in the republics and dissidents of one stripe or another, lo intensify gray and blackand to stir up Yugoslavia's lingering territorial, ideological, and poliiicalwild Western countries, lt could bo thai the USSH would find itself gradually drawn into more and more direct invoK-emcnt in thc affairsart or all of the weakening or disintegrating federation

itinlr.grated Yugodavia. In this ease, it is supposed that some or all of thr- republics in effect accede. Some^ Croatia) turn to the West for help, otliers remain non-aligned. Remnants of thu federal government and tlie majority of high military officers hope to restore the federation, by force if riecessaiy, and are lacked by somegovernmentsivil war threatens, and thc Western-oriented republics appeal for aid (torn the US and NATO. The Soviets aie asked to provide open and direct military and political supjiort by, say. the Serbs.

Reactions in Moscow toituation svould hc mixed and the subject of serious debate. Some leaders would argue that thc situation offered theoldento reassert its control over much of Yugoslavia andailure to act svould be tantamount to handling atart of the country over to the imperialists. Others,would be apprehensive about theeventual involvement of the Soviet Armyalkan civil war, would want toweigh thc riskonfrontation with the West, and would advocate talks with the US and other Western countries. Especially in siesv of recent agreements with the US. lhe majority of the Soviet leadership would probably favor cautionolicy designed essentiallyuarantine Ihc trouble, at leastime But the leadership's ultimatewould rest In large part on (a) the then-pteviiling climate of relations between East and West in Europe, (b) the Sovielof likely poliUcal and military reactions in lhe West; and (c) the state of unrest, if any. in Eastern Europe-ecision to intervene would be most likely if (a) Soviet policies of detente had already been(b) the West did not appear ready lo respond forcefully; andooked as if the Yugoslav disruptions might unsettle matters elsesvhcre In Eastern Europe.

SECRET

SEwET

Interests of Iho Uniied Stales and Western Europe

Over the years. NATO members have in one way or another invested heavily in Yugoslavia, and it has become almost an article ol faith in the West lhat the balance in Europe would be significantly altered Ifwere to readliere to the Soviet Bloc It is recognized in Moscow that for this reason, among others, direct Soviet intervention in Yugoslavia would be viewed in Ihe Westatter of grave concern.'

It is generally agreed that while not ideal, Belgrade's position and policies areto Western interests. And most West European states would regard aSoviet invasion of Yugoslavia as hating important implications for lhcir own security. They would not view an actual invasion, as they did the Soviet move into Czeclwslovnkia,

* NATO haio warned. The Comniunli)ue at* th* NATOMeeting ofhc Soviet UwaMoa of Cat men to-rged USSB lo "re'iatn from using lorce andin lhe iflinn ol othersserted that NATO members could not remain imlfffeient to "any development which endangers their security,-and uarnrd that "any Soviet intervention d'trrtl* ot induced) aOeetma; rJreatep* orthenldan inters:rlU withxmwouencei. Il was dear atthai llie US mid other*addresaiiiK thr problem olanno in Europe, and that they wereabout (he future uturity of Yugoslavia,thers.

as an unfortunate but essentially defensive move by Moscow to protect existing interests within then the contrary, ihey would see in it an unnecessary and provocativemove into non-Bloc territory,in the main lo expand Soviet power rather than preserve it. And it would signal for most Westerners the end of thc USSR's pollens of detente in Europehole. None of this, however, would be likely to persuade the European NATO members that anresponse could be made to tho Soviet threat without full participation by the US. They thus would be inclined, among other things, lo see in the Sovietest of the US commitment to European security.

n order tohreatenedinvasion, NATO (or the US andmembers of NATO, if there were no decisions by the alliance asould have to issue serious warning! and be prepared to back them up. It could, for example, make clear thjt it would provide direct militaryto Yugoslavia in the event of Sovietintervention, and it could begin tomoves to carry this out. If. in thisthe US and the major West European stales logether declared their vital concern for the integrity and independence ofthe Soviets would probably conclude that there was little that they couldin Yugoslavia which would bewith the risk

4

Secret^

Sg/ret

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA