REACTIONS TO CLOSING OF RADIO FREE EUROPE AMD RADIO LIBERTY (W/ATTACHMENT)

Created: 10/26/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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HZMOftAKDOrl FORi Chairman, aoard of Nattoaal Eetlsutte*

to Cloaint of nadlo Free Europe and Radio Liberty

asouae that tbe paper, subjectabove, will go through another typingoopl* ofAt tha unaould Ilka to suggest one addition and on* chanx*. It tha and of paragraphould like to aae addedi except in tbe United Statee." On pageould augyaat that tha third eenteno* in$ be atrfekan and the following sentance oTihatltctedi oold be con-oerned by the loaa of highly paid Job* sad dollar aarning*.*

Plsaee sendalf towmn copies of tMs paperroc have flniabad.

ffelae

Richard HaljaB Dlractor

ubject paper

cc: D/P

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CENTRAL

CY KATICHAL ESTIMATES

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rEMCRAMXIM FCE THE DIRECTCK

SUBJECT: Reactions to Closing of Radio Free Europe and Radio

Liberty

The two radloe have been Inpcrtast instrusents ofin support of Acerican policy. Tbelr efcandocoent would" not go unnoticed. Reactions in Europe would obviously vary widely onong governments, sectors of opinion, end Listening audiences lo different countries. Elsewhere, tbe step would probably attract little or no interest, except in the United States.

PreBunubly it would be evident that the decision was made because the American governoent was embarrassed by disclosure of its covert support for these operations, and was usable to find another fctrcula for providing such euppcrt. Tbe reaction to this would be puzzle sent, and lt would be the one reaction ccaooc to Interested opinion in both Eastern and Western Europe. Where the fact has not been actually taovc, covert American support has long been assumed in Europe and wqg not considered reprehensible.

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frog automatic downgrading and declassiflcBtioc

The oddity fcr Europeena vculd be that such activity by govemoent should fall afoul of legallstic-pcralistic criticism at all, ond that an Aocrlcac administration could be forced by lt toolicy pursued for nearly two decades. Far frca granting moral credit for tbe move, raoet European oplnioD would see lt aaooevbat quaint approach to International politics.

western Europe

3. The cove vould not occasion any great stir aaong We0torn European governDents and opinion, hovovcr. Some would regret the loss of unique Instruments of communication with Eastern Europe andP, since the programing of these radios, particularly their cocscctarynternal dewlopoeots ic the Com ml at ate, tee, findsarallel In the broadcasting actirity of Western European states. Some would fear that the novo was another aynptooradual procose of American CUsengagCBient fraa Europe. Others, however, would welccoe the developoent because they saw the radios as retaaeots of cold war, anccnlou*ine when East-West relations were throught to be bee axing sore naraal,

I*. The mtter would attract the most notice in West fn-rnony, partly because it Is host to tbe radios, cud partly because tbe

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political Implications would seen the most significant there. Genraa officials end Informed opinion would have mixed feelings. The chronic suspicion of some sort of Soviet-American deal would be stimulated, as well as fears that withdrawal of the American presence from Europe had advanced another step. On the other band, it would be recognized that at some stage, especially If the new German effort to normalize relations with Eastern Europe and the USSR should move ahead, the continued presence of RFE ond RL could be an embarrassment. On balance, the Germane would probably conclude that they should accept tbe American decision without official demur.

5- The other host countries, Spain and Portugal, would similarly have mixed reactions. While they thiols- of the radios as "antl-Cocrcrunlst" enterprises which they should support, this feeling Is offsetesire to manifest independence from the US, They would, however, be concerned by the loss of highly paid Jobs end dollar earnings. Termination of the radios would have no lasting consequences for relations with these two countries.

6. There is one special group of people in Western Europe which would deeply regret the disappearance of the two institutions.

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faare especially RFE, These are Journallots, scholars, and certain govemaent officialsrofessional interest la deveiopoents In Eastern Europe and the USSR. Such people welccoe tbe broadcast effort to convey information and critical ccrarent to the nations under Coczsunlst rule, considering that this effortart in tha political struggles which say bring evolutionary change to these societies. Further, the publications and research saterlala of the two establlshoeots and tbe point of contact they provide with Eastern Europeans have been of great value to such persons. In turn, their Influence through the press of Western Europe helpe to taalxxtaln an infcreed opinion there. By those professionally cencerned with Eastern Europe, knowledge of that area and conmnml-cation links with lt are regarded as algnificont for change In tho Cocriunlet states and fcr the future of East-West relations.

Eastern Europe

7. Without doubt every government in Eastern Europe would welcooe the deejlse of RFE, Mast of these govTzmncats do not soke an issue of Its existence on the diploeatic plane, and one, Buoanla, Is even scvoewhat cooperative because lt hopea through RFE to propagate its variant views aroong the other Ccranunlst states*

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3ut all these regimes remain ccozitted to totalitarian control and regard the Intrusion of inforootlon and critical conoent from outside sourceshreat. They have reason to fear, especially at tines of Internal crisis or vben international developnwnts stimulate antlreglxue or anti-Soviet sentiments, that RFEhe control they seek to exercise through their own propaganda.

8. Oppositions exist in all the Eastern European etatco, even within the regimes. They aim at extending the process of internal liberalization and the assertion of national Independence. Independent sources of infetrmation about developmonte within their own countries end on the international scene are vital to such groups. RF3 has evidentlyrincipal source and ban thus contributed to the political struggles within these countries in ways of interest to American policy.umber of occasions HPS has been used by opposition groups to bring tbelr views to public notice in their own countries. For such groups, tbe loes of RFB wouldiscouraging setback. They would have littlefor the coneiderationa which led the American government to withdraw its support from the broadcasts. They would probablyoss of interest by American policy in that area.

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9, The Soviet government would accept the terolnatlati of RFE and RL with pleasure, not only for political reasons but also because itaoming operation against RL considerably more costly than RL is to the US. The Soviets would probably be somewhat surprised also, especially since they have themselves within the last few years begun broadcasts (Radio Peace and Progress) which purport to be free of government control. In the present frosty climate of Soviet-American relatione, however, Moscow could scarcely be expected to regard the moveriendly gesture which It should reciprocate. More likely it would regard the developmentuccess to which Soviet propaganda hod The Issues of principle which concern the American

two radio* would be seen as ludicrous.

10. The number of Soviet citizens who regard Radio Libertyource of unbiased information Is unknown. Unlike many

and significance in the USSR that it has In moet of Eastern Europe. There is evidence, however, that ot ooncntB of international crisis.

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when the regime takes particularly op pre solve measures. Radio Liberty and other external media of ccnnunicatlon play an Important role In limiting the effectiveness of the Soviet jnrcrpaganda apparatus. In the OSSR, writers and cither Intellectuals are tho groups Dost concerned to check the excesses of arbitrary Party control and to enlarge the area of freedom. Such groups would regard the termination of Radio liberty, one of the sources on which they rely for Information and contact with the Heart,oss to their cause. To them, too, the reasons for the move would be InccBprehensible.

FOR THE BOARD OF NATIONAL ESTIMATES).

L-

SHERMANirrran

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CENTRAL

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CF NATIONAL EOTIMATES

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WLMOUNDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR

SUBJECT: Reactions to Closing of Radio Free Europe and Radio

Liberty

1. Tbe two radios have been ispcrtaat instruments ofin support of American policy. Their abandonment would not go unnoticed. Reactions In Europe would obviously vary widely

among governments, sectors of opinion, and listening audiences la'.-

different countries. Elsewhere, the step would probably attract little or no Interest,

2. Preoimiobly it would be evident that tho decision was ra.de because tbe American government was embarrassed by disclosure of its covert support far these operations, and was unable to find another formula for providing such support. The reaction to this would be puzzlement, and lt would be the one reaction cocnton to interested opinion in both Eastern and Western Europe. Wbero tha fact has not been actually known, covert American support haa long been assumed in Europe and was net considered reprehensible.

GHOUP 1

fron automatic downgrading and declassification

The oddity Tar Europeans would be that aucb activity by government should fall afoul of lsgalietlc-aoralistic crltlciso at ell, and that an American administration could be forced by it toolicy pursued for ccarly two decades. Par from granting; moral credit for the cove, most European opinion would see it asomewhat quaint approach to International politics*

Western Europe

3- The move would not occasion any great stir among Western European governments end opinion, however. Some would regret tbe loss of unique instruments of communication with Eastern Europe and the USSR, since the programming of these radios, particularly their commentary on Internal developments in the Ccczcunlat states, finds no parallel in the broadcasting; activity of Western European states. Some would fear that the move was another symptomradual process of American disengagecent frca Europe. Others, however, would welcome the development because they saw the radios as remnants of cold war, anomalousime when Eaat-Ueet relatione were tbrought to be becoming more normal.

U. The matter would attract the most notice in West Germany, partly because it Is host to tbe radios, and partly because the

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German officials and laforrad opinion would hove nixed feelings.

Tbe chronic suspicion of some sort of Soviet-American deal would

be stimulated, aa well as fears that withdrawal of the American presence from Europe had advanced another step, Co tbe other hand, it would be recognized that at some stage, especially if the new German effort to normalize relations with Eastern Europe and the USSR 6hould move ahead, the continued presence of RFE and RL could be an eobarrassaeat. Co balance, the Germans would probably conclude that they should accept the American decision without -official demur.

other hoot countries, Spain and Portugal,have mixed reactions. While they think of the"amtl-Communist" enterprises which they should support,is offsetesire to manifest Independence from It Is alao offset by an intention to acquire for theirthe facilities located on their territories. Term!nationradios would have no lasting consequences for relationstwo countries.

is one special group of people in Western Europe

which would deeply regret the disappearance of tbe two institutions

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more especially RFE. These are Journalists, scholars, and certain government officialsrofessional interest in developments in Eastern Europe and the USSR. Such people welccae the broadcast effort to convey infcrriiticn and critical cornsent to tbe nations under Ccxarunlet rule, considering that this effortart in the political struggles which cay bring evolutionary change to these societies. Further, the publications and research materials of the two establishments and tbe point of contact tfcey provide with Eastern Europeans have been of great value to such persona. In turn, their influence through tbe press of Western Europe helps to maintain en lnforned opinion there. By those professionally concerned with Eastern Europe knowledge of that area andlinks with it are regarded as significant for change in the Corraimist states and for the future of East-West relatione.

Eastern Europe

Without doubt every government In Eastern Europe would welcome the demise of RFE. Most of these governments do not make an issue of its existence on tbe diplomatic plane, and one, Rumania, is even somewhat cooperative because lt hopes through RFE to propagate Its variant views smccg tbe other Communist states.

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But all these regimes remain comitted to totalitarian control and regard the intrusion of infcrmatloo and critical consent free outside sourceshreat. They have reason to fear, especially at times of internal crisis or vbeo international developments stimulate antiregime or anti-Soviet sentiments, that RFE limits the control they seek to exercise through their own propaganda.

6. Oppositions exist in all tbe Eastern European states, even within tbe regimes. They airs at extend 1ng tbe process of internal liberalization and tbe assertion of national independence. Independent sources of information about developments within their own countries and on the International eceoe are vital to such groups. RFE has evidentlyrincipal source and baa thus contributed to tbe political struggles within these countries In ways of Interest to American policy.umber of occasions RFE has been used by opposition groups to bring their views to public notice In their own countries. For such groups, the loss of RFE wouldiscouraging setback. They would have littlefor tbe considerations which led tbe American goverrnerrt to withdraw its support from the broadcasts. They would probablyoss of interest by American policy in that area.

costly than RL is to tbe US. The Soviets would probably be somewhat surprised also, especially since tbey have themselves within the last few years begun broadcasts (Radio Peace and Progress) which purport to be free of government control. In the present frosty climate of Soviet-American relatione, however, Wdscov could scarcely be expected to regard the moveriendly gesture which lt should reciprocate. More likely It would regard the developmentuccess to which Soviet propaganda had Tbe issues of principle which concern the American government and public In connection with covert support of the two radios would be seen as ludicrous.

10. The number of Soviet citizens who regard Radio Libertyource of unbiased Information is unknown. Unlike many Eastern Europeans, the Soviet people do not regard the Communist regime as alien, and political opposition does not have the scope and significance in the USSR that it has in moat of Eastern Europe. There is evidence, however, that at moments of international crisis.

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or when the regime takes particularly oppressive measures. Radio

Liberty and other external media of co-nunication, play an important role in limiting the effectiveness of the Soviet propaganda apparatus* In tbe USSR, writers and other intellectuals are the groups oost concerned to check the excesses of arbitrary Party control end to enlarge the area of freedom. Such groups would regard the termination of Radio Liberty, one of the sources on which they rely for information and contact with the Vest,oss to their cause. To them, too, the reasons for the move would be incomprehensible*

PCS TEE BOARD CP NATIOtAL SSTIHATES:

ABBOT SMITH Acting Director National Estimates

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