Created: 1/11/1973

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The Soviet Approach to Force Reductions in Europe



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Mtr CMidI klcil-gnn- Aoaiicy ond lh* iil^hoxiH Mgani^arkm. nit Sid- oiid Dcrcnia th* Iraomry. andNSA.


Ihpul* DirocHr olIr.Xlii^M

lh* Uirachu ol 'iiialliiMM* od Beitoich, Depaivnem ot Slolr

ihi Cinrdai. InlnllnjBPC* Aoonry the Oinuor, Nolor^nty

lh* 3'toor. Dithion el IrrtrriielionolAtlovi.ncray Comi* dioi

the bfwint Aniuoni lo ih* Sainton/ ol the TrccAvry AbilOinirigi


The AllliraiU Director, ladfral Bureau ol lm*ilioal Jn. iheeing svliidr of hi* juhid<idMi.









The Elements of Detente 4

The Role of the Soviet Military Presence in Eastern Europe 6


ON 7

Principal Arguments For 7

Principal Arguments 9

How the Arguments Seem to Net 10

Tlie USSR's Stated10


In the Preliminary Talb on MBFR11

In the Actual 13




The Area of Reductions

The Conditions for

Types of Forces and Method of


Verification and Inspection

Other Issues

A Preference for the Sknv, the Small, the





This Estimate is concerned with the Soviet position on Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) int is not concerned with US-NATO positions as such, which, in fact, are slill in the process of formulation. But the former cannot be considered without reference to the latter about which, therefore, certain suppositions mustbe made. While there is no intention in this paper to suggest the desirability of the US' adopting this or that position, an examination of Soviet views and attitudes incvitablv suggests certain inferences about the likely Soviet receptivity to various US positions.

Principal judgments are set forth in the last three sections of the paper:

On The General Soviet Negotiating PostureSection IV,

On The Stance of The East EuropeansSection V,n Possible Soviet Position. On Particular IssuesSection VI,

puge IS.

Although MBPH ii uted ttiiourhuut In irfrt.ii^;it* mUjovl ofrxlurtiom. it iliouU If Lent In nund thaiUS NATO tnmiiolod,ot arrrptcd by Uat USSH





or the better part ofears the USSR has sought to establish its right to be involved in and consulted about problems of security In Europeuropean security conference (CSCE) has beenby the USSR, which first proposedonferenceseful vehicle for advancing this aim. Tlie USSR, and other Warsaw Pact stales have also, over the years, poured out many words about the desirability of European disarmament, including force inductions. Moscow's satisfaction over the near certaintyecurity conlercnce will soon lake place is clear enough (though the preparatory talks in Helsinki have not been going entirely as the Russians would haveut how enthusiastic Ihe Russians arc about actually entering negotiations on

force reductions, now that (he opportunity to do so is also ut hand, is more obscure.

eginning4 when, at the Big Four Foreign Ministers Conference, Molotov called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Germany, the USSR and its alliesroduced an array of proposab concerning armaments aod force levels in Europe,in both scope and plausibility. Proposals on force levers have called in some cases for the freezing of forces, in others forcomplete and partial, the latter frequentlyeduction by one-third of all foreign fen cm in the two parts of Germany. Such overtures have sometimes been made in conned inn wilh advocacyecurity conference, and sometimes made scp3iately. They )uvo sometimes been part of sweeping disarmament ulieines appealing for complete dissolution of llie opposingpacts and elimination nf foreign bases.



wlititcvei their oilier aspects, nil of them hnvu'l to West Germany and the US military presence there.

3 These vairons Soviet ptopusab were largely pnip . bul not entirety so.o irflcctrd certain fundamental Soviet isolilical and military concerns, not least tin-question of West Geimany'sestern defense ainuij',ements. The USSR in fact tool some Iiiuiled steps which altered the military mUi ill ion In Europe by withdrawing its forces from Austria5 and Romania inS and by cairyingmall unilateralm tail4 Only in the Ccinvau ease wasuggestionutual induction angle. (There wete somethat the Russians, nt least, svanleil to trout thin stepS leduetion which toot place at roughly the same timease of reduction by mutualven then the Soviets had their own military reasons for doing what they did. By and large, the USSR's approach to disarmament inndas in the same vein as the rest uf its posture toward Europe which con-centialed heavily on condemning the US' European role and West Germans such. Soviet proposals were part of the tactical play of the Cold War in Europe; in this setting and by their nature Uiey stood little chance of being taken up liy the West.

ew phase opened8 with NATO's announcer, tent at its ministerialin Juno of that year of its readiness to negotiate mutual and balanced forcein Europehis plainly caused difficulties foi Moscow. Nearly two years passed before lhe Warsaw Pact stales officially acknowledged the NATOy ihcn. Moscow was already in the midstajor effort touropean securityand NATO had indicated that It in tended to link the convening nlon-feicnce with ihsi'ivvion of force reductions.

The Warsaw Pact's responseving that lhe icdurlion uf "foreign armedn the mi inn* of Ihe EMopean states" could lie conudurd in "an all-European ve-eiiiity commission to be set up byi ,in> other forum acocptalite to interestedjtler, in the sjiringriv.hiicv began to stale Ihe Easternnunc positively. Ath Paity Congic andubsequent speech, tlie Soviel party chief said that the lime was ripe fori-i' forcendtcatiiig that these should apply firsto Centra) Europeeal with both armed foices and arrnatnenU Brehinev did not further elahoialc on the Soviet position, but he did call on the Wni in enter into negotiations.

he hesitancy with which the USSIl initially fleeted the Western piopnsabf tm be accounted lorumber of ways.probably saw no reason lo negotiate tlie reduction of US forces in Europeime when the US Government seemed to be under growing domestic pressure to reduceIt may have feared having to face chaigrs thai it was making it possible foi Ihe US to shift additional forces to Vietnam. Un-ceilainty over the implications of Ihe Western demand foi "balance" in any reductinus gave Moscow further leason to move cautiously And ne-nt..tting terms apart,8 and the inootlo following, when the USSR was in Criehoskwakia and ciUblnhio* aGroup of Forces there,ar-ticulaily inopportune time (torn Moscow's point of view for the opening of an East-Wesl dialogue on forcefor raising any quotUuns about the future disposition of Soviet fores in Central Europe

ft By the time that Brezhnev made1 some of these Soviet concernsased At this juncture, moreover,. %ul the1 US Soviet agiec-mont affecting llie scope of SALT ncgotu-


tuuis, prospects had opened up for progress

'I"' Svivn-l III

Sliatogic weapons. The interval31 had. in any ease, given Moscow time toactical response tu the NATO utiiiahvc- This period had. nt the same time, seen an acceleration of the process of change in Europe winch shaipcned the USSR's interest inore active lole in West Europe-iii polities and seemed to improve Moscow's elumeS of gaining wider access to Western Europe's economic and lechtiical resources. Moscow thereforeuropean Security conference more than ever, and by continuingold out against MIH'R it would have hurt its chances ofone.1


V.R is scon by Moscoway oluropean security conference, the latter is itselfart of the USSIt's European policyhole, in which detente has become the principal motif. The chief features of this policy, as pursued withvigor by the Soviets for the past three years or so, have been discussed extensively in previousut they arc briefly

' IIuric jip rieuh'lcu tome ol tho most important eo-niJe rations behind Moscow's shiftnreapproach to MBFlt. Yet Ihe particular limine of Brcrhriov'i enunciation of the newstance is also worth noting. He spake up on the eve of the vote in the US Semite On the Mantiifld Amendment, thui contiibuli'ije to Uio defeatotion which <xmld have absolved ihe USSH from the need to neeoliatc (or Ihe reduction it the US military presence in Knropc. Ithiii Mnwosv had alreadynilicK! Amendment vrould be defeated. Or it mayiliat Soviet k'iidenliip had, by thit time, comet wouldmore lo gain from noftiiiAiiug for ihi: wirhdinu/al of UShan ft inn unilaiCnil US leduelis'iis.

'See. lor example,. "The USSR andevoe inaiod 'HiECRET.

cm mined again here leu then lelevancc to the Soviet approach lo MflFH.

Ihe blements of Detente

etente is first of all seen by Moscoweans ol winning West European and US recognition of Soviet hegemony inurope and thus further securing this zone nf control. Efforts to gain internationalof Bast Germany and to renderthe division between East and West Ccrmany serve the same aim. West Germany's treaties with the USSR. Poland, and East Germany have given the Russians some of what they need in this regard,SCE could go further in filling the gap left by the absenceost-World War II peaceeyond getting the Westccept what Moscow icleis to as the 'existinghe Russians sececurityperhaps also in negotiations onvehicle for carrying themuller iole in the politicshanging Western Europe.

he USSR's detente policies aim at giving it greater influence over trends in Western Europe, both those which, if continued, could produce unwelcome results for the Russians and those that are developing favorably from the Russian point of view The process of West European economic integration is troublesome for the USSR. This is parllythe European Community (EC) might make it more difficult fo: the USSH tothe kind of fuller trade and economic ties it wants with the West European slates. Moscow docs not necessarily believe that the Community will soon evolveohesive West European political and militarybut it probably docs believe lhat the elaboration of Community lies will render its member states, Wcs' 'Cemiany inless susceptible lo Soviet influence. While Moscow has chosen not toead-on slrugglc with the EC, it will do what

impede theodpieverveiar as jmsvilile lhe op|Hii liuuly

^laterally with tlie Wevlin mminw and mallei*evidently believe that theseliellei served tutcutore relaxed view nfIntentions and nunc to envisagethat withail ici pa lionwithoutiable securityboth parti of Europe can

hile Moscow rnn foresee develop-mcnlv within Western Europe which might go against its interests, it also seeslor itself in Ihe changing US-West European lelationshfp. The long-standing goal ol weakening NATO andeduc-lion of the US' presence and infiuonce in Europe must now seem more realizable than Isefoie Tliis perception has sharpened the USSR's interest in projecting itself onto ttjc scene in Western Europeay which will enable it to play on these favorable tendencies. No doubt the present Soviet leaders understand lhal achievement of such aims as the dissolution of NATO and the complete withdrawal of US forces fromlies far over (he Itorizon In lhe mean-lime, however, they recognize that Iheof "Atlanticism" has wcakened and that many West Europeans have qualms about the long-term future of the Western Alliance as the central clement in theirTbe Soviets also perceive that Ihe US" "special relationship" wilh Western Europe isven though the Soviets are far fiom substituting their own iuflueuee foi that of the US among the West Euiopeans. the latter are more and more inclined to fashion their political and economic relations

' Kinfullerpoint.IK 20

l'lulilcnis in US-Wral fanpMal.ilol


with the USSR in their own ways. In thesehe USSR has reason to expect that tlie Wist Euiopeam will be mac jungly attentive to its views on Euiopoan questions, melodiug lliose pertaining to European

II. For tactical reasons alone lit* USSR would he disposed to avoid loo active an assertion of its European pretensions Blatant efforts loedge between the US and its European allies oi excessive zeal in pressing foi the withdrawal of lhe IIS "iili-tary presence could damage Soviet policyboth Western Europe and the US For all the importance that Europe occupies in Soviet thinking. Moscow has at least as great an interest in "normalization" of Soviet-Amcticnii relations and ino coin-pclitivo relationshipess dangerous plane. This is first of all because of lhe higher degree of safety in the stiatcgic-uuclcar lelatioaihip which continuing "nor rrulixation- would provide. But Moscow also hopes to lieucfit econurnieatly Moscow'swith Chinaurther powerful impetus in lhe same direction. Thus, there are good reasons for the USSH lo refrain from pressing loo hard on vital US Interests in Europe at this stage

he Soviet leadership's understanding of what tt meant by detente in Europe and what will ensue from it is clearly dissimilar to the view widely held in the Westhostility tn the notion ofmanifest in its harpingron the dangers of "ideologicalone measure of the limits which it planes on- detente now under way in Europeot in Ihe Soviet view (as it it in the view of someust stage tn anprncess leadingundamental rcc-onciliatiuii lietwcon East and West inMoscow's pursuit of detente docs stem, Imwuvcr. from its belief that lensinii In Eu

in both tin militarynl tie.iltIs.iii;ii miw Iti domestic anil iiiluiiitnnial iiitcnsK

the RcJc ol ihe Soviel Malory Presence in Losfern Luropc

y and large, ill jsscmncal ol the pioces* of change undo way in Eitropc iti-cliiies Mmcow loltitude in appioachmgiimm rthtim; In Europe's political and military security Theseand conceim, however, will nn doubt continue to count for Inn with Moscow than lhe considerations which have caused it lo maintain large foroes in CciiImI Europe throughoul the postwai jienod. This presence has fulfilled three principal military andfunctions' (a) to provideefensive and offensive capability against NATO forces; (b) to preserve Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe; aod (e) lo give theosition of mihtaiy strength which is translatable into political influence with the West European states and with the US.

he USSR (like Tsanst Russia) has always been an important land power and has alwaysajor part of its forces oriented westward. Afler World War II, the USSR had good reasons for maintainingforces on its western fiontier and within lhe borderi of lis allied slates in Eastern Europe. By its recognized capability to seize Western Europe, the Soviel Army in the early postwar periodeterrent against use by the US of Its superior strategic power. The Soviet leaders no ilonht also felt militarily threatened by NATO from time to time, especially during, when NATO had high force goah and when the US wasuclear capabdily in Europe. Accordingly, tliey developed their ground forces and associated arms on Iheoftrong and readydesigned to blunt any

NATO atUtaV anil to rmhloSSR then to scl/j; tin: illill.ilivr

AkUmgli Snvie!at this lint! have nn ihmliT iluiiiiirJfclar-ytn lie reflected in tin-uforce* in the fotwjid1 lhe pn*wn(f these forics is both toefense of tliel the terrilnrics of the other Warsawtale* agmml attack from lhe West and In bring Inavorable conclusion any military conflicts which may occur. Soviet forces in East Germany are positioneil so that ihty would be able to absorb tlie initial shockATO attack, and to provide cover for inobiliibon and reinforcement. The structure ofoiccs abo givesapability for conducting ORvMSivc opriatioiii in various eontin?encies: to1ounterattack,re-emptive attack against NATO forces in West (Jermany.

The positioning of Soviel forces at the same limeefinfle relationship to the USSR's political requirements in Eastern Europe- Chief among these is Iheof loyal Communist regimes. With its military presence the USSR demonstrates its commitment to the defense of these regimes against external and internal adversaries, while helping to discourage either tlieof Eastern Europe or their governments from aspiring lo independence. For these purposes, the Soviet military presence in East (Germany is of particular importance. Soviet troops stationed there have been used to help deal with threats lo Soviet politicalof Easternmost recently in Cz<YaHostovakis

Finally, the USSR's military presence is useful for Its political-psychological impact on the Western states. Its forces need not behreatening postuie in order tothe message lo the West lhat die USSR


e Healed wilh respect anil that the attitude it adopt*ritical factor in Gu-lopuan socio ily At (lie sameigh level of ilonventional forces, like

ill strength ill I'. iv. in ii 'imi-.v'.'.

1 element in the USSR's image of i'selfuperpower and gives theclf-oorifidcncc which would be lacking if it fell itselfosition of military inferiority

is NATO.


wilhin llie framework ofaims and in If tests in Europe. Eastthe prospect of negoliiiionimuses mixed feelings inDetente itself, even within (heUSSR seeks to impose on il.auly intricate pattern ofinteractions in which Moscow seesfor the stability of its position InThe Soviets might fear Ihalin MBFR negotiations would carryinlo unknown territory than theygo. It is piobably tins suit ofhas prompted Soviet leaders to sayoccasions thai they believe thatpose "com piepioblcms. Overall,ol Soviel lie ha viol to dateallctors arc beingin Moscow and that Ihe Sovietsto operate wilh much caution

Principal Arguments for

iimlirr ofmight cauic die Soviets to> need not lakeamaging to theirin fact, could give the USSRThis wouldesult, fornegotiations cnnli ilulled sir.nilie-antly lo ex-

pansion of the dctcnlr spirit and (lie kind of atmosphere in Europe which the USSR is tiying lo create More patliiularly. by show ing itself ready lo discuss vi-iiously the actual problems of Europe seciuily. Moscow viands lo strengthen its credentials as apartner in all-European undertakings.

Moscow piobably also supposes that MBFR willreater problems of coordination and cohesion lor the Western Alliance than for its own In large part, this is because of the* anxieties many West Euro-(icans experience about the s'alidity lor the future of Ihe US nuclear guarantee, anxieties which have been made more acute by Ihe dramatic corifirrnation through SALT that the US and USSR areosition of mutual deterrence. The Sovietsaware lhat such fears would be accentuated if the Westbecame convinced that the US was prepared to reduce its forces in Europewithout oblaiiung an adequatereduction from the USSR. But even if the US made it clear that it was aimingimited and controlled svithdrawaJ, there would still remain, within the contextegotiating process, ample grounds foramong the Western Powers over (be scope and terms of an agreement. These would be fed by West European suspicions that the US gives higher prionty to obtainm; relief from its military burdens than lo Europe's security and thai the USroclivity for superpower bilateralism which is insensitive lo West European interests.

Il can be assumed thai the Russians have considered whether they might bylo negotiations lie dome, theigger favor than iheinselves Wo do not know

the Soviets think it bkefy thatpressures in tho US for early reductions will persist and even grow, or arc. instead, allowing for the possibilityoy might be contained. They ui-i'.lit suppose Ihal they

coiikl al least hold out in negotiations against the kind of agreement which hclin the US with this problem. But Ihe Soviet* uevctthr. lew mn the risk in engaging in negotiations that they might, contrary to their intentions, enable the US to pace its wilhdiasvals ami thus actually help the US lo put its inllftiiy presence in Europeirmer lounilatiuu.

other respects, however, tlx-would be running little political orrisk in agreeingimitedits forces The effects oftep onsecurity of the East Europeanbe nunixnized. since stationedare more than sufficient forthu security function. And II may behas become somewhat leuIhb scoreesult ol theEast Germany's international positionin the normalization" ofand is prepared to lay greaternon-military means of control in

progress in detente, whichWest Ccrinany's de /aerothe division of Ceimany and itsof Poland's svcslemSoviets can also afford to take aview of the purported militarythe West They have, in any case,this threat as declirUrig. Il is trueSoviet conception of the rniiSHWtt ofin Central Europe and of thefor accomplishing them has beensince the: Soviet forcesEurope, except for those inhave been maintained nearlevel since then. if tlw USSRexpect that .NATO's strength was likelyas Western governmentsthe influence of MBFR negotiations,svays to reduce their militaiy budgets

they might conclude lhat their military mis

Europe could be accomplished

by smaller foices.

oviet leaders have cilcd their desire to leiluce militaiy coslseason for their in-loresl in MB Fit. Civen the present needs or Ihe Soviet economy, particularly those arising from difficulties in agricullure and the nerd to raise tlie output of-consumer goods, there may he some truth in theseut in Ihe Soviet Armed Forces wlneb made pos-siblr the diversion of scarce material andresources to other purposes would doubtless help the Soviet Cosernmrnt toimc of Ihese needs Present lorce require meots for Ihe Smo-Soviet border, aad those tint might be anticipated for Ihe future,further reason foi Sovietil Fit. Hut on present evidence we do not beheve that cither of these factors is bkety loital bearing on Soviel decisions with respect to MBFR

nless its withdrawals from Eastern Europe wen-ubstantial scale anda large proportion of the withdrawn forces were demobilized, the USSH would probably stand to gain little economically. There would quite obviously be no savings al all foret lost in economicit wasutter of transferring forces from Eastern Europe to 'he Sino-Sosiet border. If forces were, on the Other hand, moved from Eastern Europe to lite western USSR. Moscow might save something liut this might not be much.from what is known about the arrange-inenls the USSR has with tlie East Europeans for paying for the costs of stalioned Soviethe cost to the Soviets of maintaining forces in Eastern Europe isreat deal more than would be the cost of keeping the same loiccs in the western USSR, And though

lliere ishiovietil pay

nleill* With L'itltl l'"lllil|H'lil countries, tins

does mili toserious problem"

Principal Arguments Against

2G. Wlule ieductions might lo llic Soviets on some grounds, (here arc other compiling reasons why they would nol Especially mill icgard tu any substantial re-ductions. questions would ansc about lot the , (or Soviet military deployments m Europe It might be further argwed in Moscow that withtaWislimciit of strategic parity conventional (enccs have gained in i ina Mihtary planners might also take the view that, since Soviet military doctrine now alkiws that at least ihe early stagestar in Europe might be fought by conventional means, the need to maintain the offensive capabilities of Soviet theater forces is all the greater. The Soviets would see dill unities in providing for rapid reinforcement in any war situation -orthey would regard these as especially great in the latter case. There could, finally, be olifectioiis toituation inreater role might have to be assigned to East European forces of questionable rdiabdity.

ho prospect ol large mutual with-drawab would raise an additional set offor theubstantial reduction of US forces in Europe would have appeal for them on both political and nulitaxy

'The USSIt rrimburm. al learl luiliiuV. thaw Warsaw Tact munliie* wliriaationed fences fni the tomlxli inquired to tupum! them

maintenance, etc.).

Isolation .iiu! luunly of illuitlicilo the USSH. Titeri! It evidence, lunwrvet. lhat ihe So-

SIMM' offsettingfrom th?

I-Julv in (In form ol livurablcI" .uljit.liuciiU iii llie lernttIc.nI lind-

giuumLs. But the Sovirts have also eaprcsscd feariccipitato eliange in the European military situation could liave destabilizing effects. They mightUngcr. for Instance, ibathange would shock the West Europeans into moving more firmly in the di rectkm of aduevmg politn-al unity and eraser military cooperation Tlieic would, of course, be particular eoneeiti in Moscow to limit the giuwtli of1 power ine Russians would, moreover, be concernedarge withdrawal of their forces. If thiselaxation ol the Soviet hold in Eastern Europe, would have an unsettling political effect there; they would also be ap-pn^vertsive about the risk of unpairing their ability to intervene quickly and decisively in tlie event they coitfidared their control in tlie ansa th-eatened.

roposals called for sizeable mutual cuts which were larger for Warsaw Pact forces than for NATO's would be even less attractive for the Soviets. Soviet strategists would almost certainly perceive them asstep In the direction ofa diffeient military balance in Europe for the present one. with which they have no reason to be greatly dissatisfied. Anobjection would be that it would give theay of rcdiscing its forces without greatly troubling tin Weal Europeans and thus ofotential source of friction in US-West European relation!.

he instincts of thn present leadership would probably incline it lo shy awayomplicated agreement, even if there were not other obtectkms. Although the initiative in policy, puuculaily European policy, has seemed latcry to rest increasinglyiicv personally, in important areas of policy there continues toarge element ol euusenSut-making and balancing of bureau emtio interests. Inontest, tltc nego-


tiatkm of migreementomplcr. kind could cicatu even greater difficulliu* ol internal dceilion-making Mian id

artly because ol the KSpaienccs of World War II and lingering distrust ul lhehe issue uf force reductions will have emotional overtones lor many Russians. Tlie strong ground forces orientahon of the Soviet military high command and its tend ency to hold lo traditional views regarding force requirements in Central Europeurther brake on Soviet actions. In any case, the political leadership will be concerned that any MIlFlt agiecmcnt meet its test of 'equal security" and imply no adverse allegation of tlie military balance. This would be especially important in obtaining the assent of Party cotiservatives as well as military leaden On these grounds, piuposalsiling large nr asymmetrical cuts wouid he haid to sell. Thccu same elemenls would no doubt also be highly sensitive on tbe issue of on-site inspection The leadership's bureaucratic habits willit to take sentiments of this kind into account.

How lhe Arguments Seem to Net Out

aken togctltcr these considerationsthat Moscow can envisage aa MtU'K negotiation,ertain shape and outcome, born which it could obtain political advan tages witliout suffering any loss in security. It would, however, valueegotiation less for what it might yield by Itself than fur what it might do to complement other aims ami undertakings. Where the correfatioo of NATO and Warsaw Pact force was con corned, the USSR would want the agreement to gu no further than to insure thai, in the wnids of one Soviet writer, "the general balance lhat has emerged would be mam tamedowereyond this point -and if ituestion of large reduc-Ihmu or of complicated fuimulas concerning

thef forces ami the method ofinterest in working for an early MBFR agi cement would, inure likely than not. shaipry dimmish

The USSR's Staled Position

nr the public record. Soviet (mainly Brezhnev) liavc stated the USSR's pos.tion on MBFR only to the extent necessary to make ilv interest in negotiations seem plausible Tint position is that diseus-*aun of force icductinni should focus first on Central Europe, that reductions might include stationed and indigcnmii forces, ami that they might applyoth troops ami armaments. Various Soviet officials speaking privatelymall number of commentators writing in the Soviet press liavc spelled out tlie Soviet position inittle moie detail. Certain ol tlie USSR's altitudes have also heen revealedin in diplomatic behavior. Together, these point toward what some of the ricmcms in the USSR's initial approach to MBFK and its opening bargaining position will be.

t is reasonably clear on this basis that the Soviets think it likely that negotiations will, in lact, take place and that theprocess will be protracted. Although, as noled, they have stipulated thai iodigenons (ones can be the subjeet ol negotiation, they would prefer that foreign forces be tbe first subject of discussion and that, of these, US and Soviet forces be addressed first. Tlie Soviets have not specified what they consider to be covered by the term Central Europe. This they evidently upeet to be workedn early stage in the negotiations thetnselves. Enuugh has been said lo indicate, however,he Russians aie not likely tous effott lo have Ihe area of reductions enrfined to tlie two Cermanys as was theroposals put forward by them tn nuttericy. of course, insist on lhe eaclusion of lhe western USSR from the rorluctions

area, Inil Ihry give every sign of beingincluded,

and possiblys wellave iKtf inprcaaly iejected Romanian pailKI pation, Imt it is clear lliat tliey would like to keep floin.inia out ot Ihe negotiations, or. nt least, so arrange matteis that tlie Romanian role is nieiely nominal

uch lhe fullest exposition of Soviet thinking on MBFR has come from one Yuryemlwr of the Institute for the Study of Ihe World Economy andRelations in Moscow, which may have, some official role in Soviet MBFR studies At any rate. Kostko is knowledgeable on MBFR and evidently speaks wilh the ol higher authority. He hasair ol ni ticks on MBFR lor his institutes journal in recent mouths and has discussed theat some length with Western diplomats in Moscow lake every other Soviet who has spoken to the point. Koslko insists that the USSR will not accept asynstnctnml reduc lions. He contends that the military balance in Central Europe is not one-tided in favor of the USSR. He maintains thai theof forces in Central Europe should not, in any case, be considered apart from thei oil of SATO and Warsaw Pact forces world wxle. And he alleges that, in view of US air transport capabilities and the fact that the USSR is obliged toarge part ol its armed forces in Soviet aieas far removed fiom Central Europe, the USSR does noteographical advantage and thb should notactor la MBFR.Kostko argues that Pact advantages in some form elements are offset by NATO ad vantages in olheis, such as nvfnlloti andnuclear weapons Kostko. however, sees little early promiseixed-packageto the problem of equivalence, since "at present tliere arc no objective coefficients for comparing different tyiie* ofhe

line of argument taken by Kostko seems, in other words, to aim al an initialhich the two sides would make toughly equal cuts in roughly lhe same force


he Soviets ate undoubtedlynil liar with at least that much of tbe work on MBFR problems withins publicptobnbly more. Some aspects ul various NATO model-building studies are known to them and tlvere is reason to think thai tliey are also aware of certain of the negotiating options being discussed ui NATO. But beyond the fact, revealed by the said Kostko, lhat Use Soviets liavc themselves done some work on reduction models, some of which cover nuclear weapons, we do not know boss- far ktoscow lias gone in actuallymnfor issues vhkh may arise inThe Soviets have, for example, given little or no indication, publicly or privately, of what their approach will be to the qiicstion of the phasing of reductions or on verification and control, which have been elements in NATO's publicly stated criteria0 While some ol the Soviet reticence is no doubt deliberate, il can also be inferred that the Soviets have not followed ihe same pace or the same route as NATO in their preparatory work. It is quite certain, in any case, lhat discussions On MBFB between Moscow and its Warsawkes have so fai been largely rudimentary. The tempo of consultations seems now. however, la beup.


In Iho Preliminary Talks on MBFR

ven if lhe Soviets were not somewhat behind in clarifying their thinking andun MBFB. they would want to sec the substantive content ol Ihe forthcoming pre-

hinmaiy (tills heldinimum, in mdcr to I'lulili: thcin In edge up In the jiii:ii'i.iliiHi ralhct linn inotiiigof at This. .r,w >lk-cnsi ul Mlil'H (nils, aning olmight ho particularly ioiunieiilent foi the Hiissuits in view of theii MmttgSCE bunched. If. foe example, lhe opening up ofeieatod time was ii gap between the WwitWA and Eastern attitudes tuwjuls it mighl well do. thric could be wrav trlh-iliug among the Westctn counliio .ihout CSCE. Many of them would want CSCE louller discussion of concieli' Mcmitt issues

fits they are seeking tluough CSCE. there would be greaterinoug die Western countries to maintain tbe "linkage" between MBFB and CSCE which Moscow would still like to break.

lthough the Soviets want liveiitalki to be confined niamK to questions of procedures and agenda for trie formalthese quesiions will themselves raise certain Issues of substance The Westernlo Hungary to participate in these talks already poses somethingroblem for the Soviets: whether by agreeing hi this now they wdi be helping the Western nde toarger area for Pactossible course lor the Russians is lo go along wilh having Hungary present, svhile making it clear thai the principle itself should be negotiated subsequently Another issue which is hkch/ to come upiscussion is how the negotiations will be formallyThe Soviets can be counted un lo aigoe vigorously that when Ihe Western side releri to "balanced" reductions it meansreductions, that this prejudges theof the negotiation, and that use of the lerni is therefore unaece|Mablc. Since the US

has already indicated lhat it i> willingore neutral dcicnpiion il nxesv.iry ami since tliewould pmlnhlv In- un. willing tocIneak ikmn- lhr> issue, tike Scnictsood ihof winning tlieir po'nl.

ast-West differences over the fornm-lit ion of an agenda may, howcvei. produce sonic heasv going The Soviets will want this to be as general and non-uHiuiiittal as possible Tlie agenda which manv Of the Western Allies want to put frmvuid entailscategories for negotiation: (I) die geo-graplue area to beliaung (of negotiation* and of any reductiniueneral principles underlying MBFR,constraintsdvance notdieation of movement of foices, limitation on theii liie, andhe duration of tiieii stayonstraint*orces and sire and method of reduction,erification.

ach of these items has some potential for difficulty with the Soviets. Tlie question is. of course, a particularly sensitive one with them. They are hardly Ilkery to take the position that il it not. inegitimate subject for discussion in the negotiations, but they may oppose having II treatedcparate item The item on constraints will be at least at delicate for the Soviets. The position that some on tbe Western side want locould be taken up In negotiations apart fiom and even in advance ofcontrary to the tag-establishedposition that reductions must come fust. This coniideration aside, the Soviets would rcCOfnbM that the introduction of constraints proposals into the MBFR context could open up tho Issue of their freedom of militaryIn Eastern Europe.

here will thus be ample grounds for contention between East and West in thetalks. The way it comes out will



depend, On the one hand, on how hard the NATO Allies press Iheir points and. on the other, on how far ihe Soviets in the face ol Western pressure believe they can carry their resistance without undermining their objectives in CSCE. We think it likely that both sides will want to Find ways to prevent their differences from leadingtalemate al such an early juncture. On the question of constraints, for example, the Allies might agree to an agenda item formulateday which would tend to disguise the issue; the Russians might, in effect, agree lo postpone ihe debate to Use negotiations proper.

In the Actual Negotiations

Assuming iho initial taR's arc limited largely to procedure and produce agreement to proceed, the first phase of the negotiations would be largely exploratory in nature- This would involve the exchange ofby the two sides concerning theprinciples and objectives which each believed the negotiations should serve. The aim would be to enable each side to size up the other's intentions and seriousness. This might be followed by further efforts towhether the premises for an agreement existed before real engagement on MBFR issues and options began.

The Soviets have frequently indicated that theyong process of negotia-ii'.:u. and they havereference for proceeding by small steps. They probably expect MBFR negotiations to movelower pace than SALT has, if only because of their multilateral character and the greater intricacy of their political ramifications. Tlie problem of establishing the comparability of the forces lo bedifficnll in MBFR thanurther complication. Bul, beyond thesethe Soviets mayood deal

less urgency about achieving progress in MIIFR than in SALT simply because theimpact of technological advances on the US-SovicI military balance seems less in this case than in that.

or purposes of establishing an initial bargaining position andeans ofthe Western side to makelater on, the Soviets might, once the feeling-out phase had ended, come foiwaid with proposals which would go svcll beyond svliat iltcy want or expect in an agreement They might, for example, indicate that they would be willing to0 percenton both sides and Uiat it would be appropriate to include nuclear forces among tltose to be considered for reductionfo; some kind of tactical maneuver such as this, we would, nonetheless, expect the Russians lo look to the US and its allies to take the lead in negotiations. They would, in effect, treat the Western side as the de-mandcur with respect to MBFR and place on it the obligation of presenting its consld-eralions and options for them to respond to.

l least in the early phases ofwc would not expect the Soviets tosuch an attitude as would raise doubts about the seriousness of their interestuccessful outcome. They might, therefore, check Iheir inclination to score propaganda points. This docs not mean, however, that they would give up the tactical advantages which would accrue if they could provoke disunity among the Western Allies. They will almost certainly make efforts atpecial superpower dialogue. The USSR would do this anyway outelief that ceriainusiness can best bebetween the principal parties involved, itself and the US. but it would also lookhe chance of causing mischief between the US and its allies. There are some withinresentment of any hint of super-


[MHvcf bitatcialitmihink the US might In; too ready, becauseomestic

MBFR iln- anxietiesropcaiikcxpciiencc svlienevci tlicrebnui negotiation* af lectiog US nuileai lime* in


hile, as might be cjpocted. the USSR's East European allies have beendiffident about making their views on MBFR public, enough is known about these to suggest that tlielt perspectives arc not in all eases identical with the USSR's NW do the East Europeansroup sec the issues in exactly the same light. Hut, the Romanian position excepted, the divergence within the Warsaw Pact appears, al this stage in ihe development of its position, to be relatively slight and not such as would create serious problems of coordination for the Soviets in negotiations.his the case with those East European states which seem most likely to be seated at the negotiations.

he Romanians seem intent onfull participation and If present would almost certainly make trouble for thein many ways. They could be expected to argue, among other things, forreater number of small states in thethus reducing iho effects of intra-Bloc discipline, and for extensive measures of the sort which would constiain the USSR from applying military pressures on Romania Bul for Ihese very reasons, ihe Soviets, with general support from tlie other, more discreet East Europeans, will want to keep the Ro-

manians on th"s here they will be able tonureepunning eiimmciitaiy on (Ik play ol the gamr

he Eiist European slatesikely to Iki repcesriiled al ueguti ilious (East Gci-many.nd lltmgniy) have hithi-llii fullnwetl the SiWiel leadt Fit and will |iiu)ublycontent to con-Ionic Ino. There vnm In lie no great enthusiasm among ibein In- MBFR. bul few seia-us in'.mints seems likely tnnre activee olhets. Warsaw hasbeen iinne interested in unclear arms contrul llun In IroopEast Germany lias from lime lo lime in the past shown signs of iiervousness over Ihe prospect of loree reductions. Crechoslo-sakia siiiuM ohviously llkioviet forces un its tcrritoiy withdrawn, bul the Gteelii seem hardly likely to prists the Soviets on the matter. Hungary would evidently like loole in any aspect of European detente and Budapest svould probably like to see Soviet foices on its territory reduced The Easlhave, by andieatci interest than the Soviets now do in an agreement cm-biaeing indigenous as well as foreign forces because this would enable them lo make some cuts of their own Some of these Eastwould also lie glad to see theof the kinds of collateral constraints which would limit the rixrverncnt of Soviet forces on their territories- It seems doubtful,that they would be willing to assert themselves or take Issue with the Russians on this question during negotiations. Another issue which could produce diverge nee between Moscow and the smaller states might be the matter of verification arrangements. The USSR is marc likely lo agiee lo impection in Eastern Europe than in the USSR and this could cause resentment in one or anotheriopean stale.


i-nsioViing in the I'llwhai theiin Ihe

utlating position mightvc tikev likely, in view ol whal was said inbove, thai these wouldccc by piece by way of comment on the options presented lay the West The details of Ihe latter are. as indicated, not yet fiuil. Imt enough is knownk-in hi suggest the kinds of Issue* the Russians will have In deal wilh.

The Area of Rcdueiions 49 If Ihe Russians have not alreadyllic point, Ibc question of tlie icduc-tlons area would liave la bely oil In ihe negotiations. We believe that, if the Russians were going to balk at acceptance of the so called NATO guidelines area (the two Germanys. Poland. Czechoslovakia, and the Benelux countries)eginning. Ihey would alieady have gis'en some indication to litis; effect. The main issue could lltercforc become whether tho USSR will agree lo the addition of Hungary There is some chance thai Moscow will bold out on thiseluctant to enlarge ihearea on the Pad side. The Soviets may believe ihey could Insist on the exclusion of Hungary unless NATO offered some quid pro quo Alternatively. Ihey might argue lhat Hungary could belace at the negotiations but that its eventual inciusioo in the reductions area would be conditional on Ihr precise nature of whatever agieeinrnt is reached. From tho Soviet point of view, its paiticipation might be seen as analogous lo that of the NATO flank states

nother and quite different issue could arise. The USSR might be reluctant to settleefinition of Iho reductions area which

svuuld al Ihe outset evelndc NATO aircraft beyond it from consider.itton at some stage In any case, iheild almostresist eieliimi of Soviet In filmy ined net unih constraints area

The Conditions for Reductions

he Soviets can be counted nit lo insist horn Ihe it.nlymmetrical icdiictions are nuniM-gutiahle. The issue is hound to arisein com section ssith (Inr-oasion of general primiiilct. 'I lie tsvo sides would no doubt readilyhat tlie results ol Iheshould assure "undiminished security- for both. It svill be immediately appoint, how. ever, thai tho implications of the term are quite dlffeient for each. For the West, it means lhat sonic was must lie found lo offset what is> theraphicaI advantage, utheiwiie Ihe West's security wjfl have been weakened. Authoritative Soviets,Kosygm, have on the oihci hand,the term as meaning thai there should be no change in the relative strength of the i" Onti il Europe

he common ceiling approach lowhich fcrces on both sides would be leduced to an identical specifiedencounter the same Sovietsince this would, in fact, also involveductions Titeru is only one known case inoviet has riot,rejected the idea of asymmetry out of hand

that it might be possible topolitical decision" on equal percentage reductions "which could be spelled out by experl* in a

way which, while defined as equal, might in fact be considered by the US as appropriatelynigmatic as it is, this remark seems to refer at mostosmetic effect. One possibility, for example, mighteduction of three Soviet motorized rifle divisions vs. two US mechanized divisions: asymmetrical


as lu number of unit* lull approximately equal as lo numlw.i of men. Other possibilities

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hiumber ut ir.nimsymmetry There ison equality ofn allwilh the Weal. Beyond this, (troughobviously appreciate (hat (heol the situation favots them everthey may question whclhei thisitself would give lhe Warsaw Pactadvantage ovei NATOof the pirscnl balai of forcesEurope is piobably considerablyfrom the assessment rvmunotilythe West. To suptxxt its objectionsmrnetrical reductions in Europe,take die position that the balance inEurope is governedholefactors, Ihe exact weight of whichreadily established. The Soviets willother tilings, NATO's capabilitiesand apply lhe forces availableworld-wide. And for purposes oftbe balance they would almostthat French forces in German)to be taken into account Moreover,would, we believe, give greaterthan NATO does to Westcapability. The Sovietstake exception lo some of thecertain elemenls in Ihe data base onWestern side's proposals were predicated,

Types of Forces ond Method of Reduction

considering ihe types ol forcesto withdrawal lhe Sovietpresumably be lhat reductionslorces be made on the basis offront line units {battalions,this, rather than reductionsot through lhe paring of non-

divisional support units. This method would-iv- the advantage ol hiving. the basic forcend icadim-vs letch which tlie Itnsaians liasv dsowii great tehac-lanceaU. Itin- further virtue, fiom the Soviet point nf view, of reducing lhe problem ofinn and inspcriou We mc less sure lhat the Russians ale icady lo confront the qu-itioni whuh air force rroucfaims would pose There would be concern lesl such icductiom sen ously affect Pact capabilities to cairy out war-luiie .ilr missions. Current Soviet aircraft, be cause of eertain of then operational charac-leiivlieselatively short radius, limited loiter lime, and restricted boinb-canyingequire forward basing to achieve maiimum effectiveness At tlie same lime, theuldeduction <il NATO's nuclnar capabilities and would, llierofore, like to sec high-performance US aircraft wilh drawn. Moreover, lhe Sovietshe ease of aircraft withdrawals as in the case of withdrawn ground forces, have anover the US in terms of return times.

he Soviets liavc. as noted, accepted the principle that reductions can apply to indigenous as well at stationed force* This position makes MBFR more palatable not only to some of the NATO countries hut also to some of Moscow's allien. But it is fairly dear that tlie Soviets are chiefly interested in an agreement which would cover, first of all, US and Soviet forces. Neither would they have any reason to object in principle to the proposition that reductions should be phased in scope and liming, though this wouldnegotiation of tlie kind of extensive end complex agreement that the Soviets would argue hns somewhere in lhe future. And, sooner rather than laler. the Russians mighl raise questions about just what kind ufthe Western sideind.


iic Soviets would probably not reject tn principle flieixed-package re dmtions involving tlte trade-off of one force element against amitlier. One suggestionl"

mightrior political iletiiion on percent age magnitude ot reductions while leaving it to expert! to flesh outoviet tact is In response to proposab for mixed package trades.the Soviets have indicated their ap-pieciatiou of the extreme difficulty ofequivalence between disparate force elements. Moscow probably does not see much prospect for agreement on mixed packages, particularly complicated ones, at least in the early Stages of negotiation

Collateral Constraints

t mightistake to assume that, limply because the Soviets have always been tepid about arms control measures, they would refuse to accept collateral constraints in MBFR. Indeed, Moscow might have some of its own to propose, such as restrictions onnear frontiers or prohibition ofents of nuclear weapons The Soviets would probably recognize, in addition, that an un-fortheccning position in this area of ncgotia lions would not go down well with tlie West Europeans, most of whom attach greatto it.

evertheless, the Soviets will resist Western efforts to introduce extensiveconstraints. The Soviel military would no doubt obpect to such constraints as an infringement on their freedom of action in deploying and naming (heir forces. Morethe Soviet leaders would beto accept limitations which would im pair their ability to move military forces freely and rapidly into Eastern Europe in times of emergency. In addition, the Soviets would fa oil likelihood lake the position (hat such con-

straints as might he agreed to would lieonly in the reductions areain no case being extended lo the westernthat tons (deration of constraintsomplicated kind would have lo be put offater stageotiat ion i

Verification andhere is little reason to suppose iImI the Soviets have relaxed thrir longstanding antipathyhe kinds of vcrilicalioii measures which are by their lights intrusive and which they allege would create open season forTho altitude is shared by their East European allies. Almost certainly, tlie Warsaw Pact side will argue strongly that theof verification and inspection should bo met lo thoil possihle by "na tional means" II the Soviets thought anagreement was nvailahUi we think it possible, however, that they would make some concessions with regard to inspection arrange ments. by. say, granting lhe Western Military Liaison Missions (MLMs) in East Carmany ami Western military attaches in Poland and Ciechoslovakia somewhat greater latitude. Bul the East German Covemment wouldcertainly resist any effort lo give the MLMs. which they have long objected to as vestiges of the occupationroad new role and function.

Other Issues

here ii reason to believe that thewould for now prefer lo keep Ihe issue of US forward-based systems In the SALT forum, il only because they might expect it to be more effectively addressed there than in MBFR negotiations. Nevertheless, it can be expected dial they will raise the nuclearBFR. partly in order lo play on West Etiiupcan anxieties and perhaps alsoevice for cooling the West's interest inscope of negotiations beyond ximple icductions


Asome other issues which miglil Ihe Soviel pointview might lie tinhe USSH would lesivi proposals lo per-nthe followingimited andhinning-out of units on the Western equal percentage reduction of stationed

thus remaining free to keep them in

. ir tn .

hand them, or do some comhinatiou ofMoscow would probablyiM n en:

with them as they withdrew, and the Soviet:-might resist suggestions that the West be permittedre-posiliOri the equipment of withdiawn units in the reductions area The Soviet Union's allies would be unwilling to destroy equipment of reduced indigenous forces but might accept some constraints on its disposition.

A Preference for the Slow, Ihe Small, the Simple

t should be clear from the foregoing that, in our view, the outcome the Soviets would prefer to move toward, at least at the end of the first stage of negotiations, is one which would have Ihe virtue of providing both equality and simplicity. Given the total political and military framework, including relevant domestic considerations, the Soviel leaders would be unUkcly to opt for anor far-reachingn the order of five percent of US and Soviet ground forces or perhaps of NATO and Warsaw Pact ground forces) might suit them bestirsthey have probably concluded, however, that clearly token cuts would not be acceptable to cither the US or its negotiating partners. Tills being SO. the next best Outcome from

*e Unci case, tbc Soviet* woulit welce-ni--having US forces taVo mueli Or all of tin- NATO cut; il itase of all, the reduction of US forces eould amount toeiitrnl.

laleral constraints and sviihc.itiou pinvisions

GJ. The Soviets sunn tn IxJicve. lightly or wrongly, that the MS would be content with, tuel obliged t"ist stage tgiccmcnl of Ibis genual ualuir Wc do not know wlialhey nuke for ihe existence of sentunenls wilhui NATOa more elaborate agreement on quiteterms or for the impart these might have on the Western negotiating position But they do evidently have reason to suppose lhat an agreement acceptable lo litem isor tliat. faili-tj* this, they canlausible enough negotiating record so that they can escape responsibility for the failure of negotiations.

he Soviets would probably be willing to see some further piecemeal agreements emerge from any follow-on negotiations How fai they would be prepared to go in time might dependarge extent on whether they fell increased confidence In the strength of their political position in Eastern Europe. The progress of SALT would alio be anfactor at some point, we liebeve. the Soviets will want either through SALT or MBFR. and possibly both, to obtainfrom the US respecting its nuclear forces ba Europe.

nless ihe USSR's European policyharp turn away from its present course, the Soviets would in all likelihood want the negotiating process to continue, in any case, because they would see advantages simply in being present inonim. This might be so even if, as piesenlly seems tlie



they have no particularly well-thought-out long-term disarmament objectives and might sec some danger in involvingin an intricate* web of negotiations. They would certainly icclcon that, in the event negotiations were very protracted and

were bringing no substantial results, theon Ihe US lo carry out unilateralwould mount. In such circumstanecs, they might even try lo prime the pump by carrying out small unilateral reductions of Ihcir own.




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