NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE
Implicationsutual Reduction of US and Soviet Forces in Europe
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED
OIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTEUIGENCE
In br tht
UNITED STATES INTEUIGENCE BOARD As Indicateduly7
il ' I
II REACTIONS TO NEW PROPOSALS FOR MUTUAL REDUCTIONS
USSR and Eastern Europe
C Diflerences Anting from the Size or Kindi o( Propotod Reductions .
III. THE LONCER TERM IMPLICATIONS
IMPLICATIONSUTUAL REDUCTION OF US AND SOVIET FORCES IN EUROPE
To estimate: (a) Soviet, East European, and West Europeanto proposalseduction of military forces deployed in Germany by both sides, whether by formal agreement or otherwise; and (b) the longer term implications of such reductions if they oc-cuxred.
probably willing toeduction in militaiy forcesthe Soviets would hope to link any agreement touropean settlement. Therefore chances of awould be poor. The Soviets might be willing toWestern reductions by mutual example, but the war inan obstacle to withdrawals even on this basis. Amongobjectives in any withdrawals would be thc reduction ofinfluence in Europe, the isolation and containment of Westand the weakening of the Atlantic Alliance.
reductions were actually made, we do not believe thatlead to major changes in Soviet policy toward Europe.would hope tliat reductions would bring them closer to asecurity settlement based on the existence of two Germancannot be excluded, however, that in some future context thethink it advantageous to returnhreatening posture.
West European governments would accept indesirabilityutback of military strength on both sides ofCurtain in central Europe. All of them would see such steps as
promoting dclcutc. Some would hopehcir own militarymiglit lie cut back. Some, such as the Federal Republic and France, would see such steps as advancing their own particularaspirations. Most o( these countries would see considerable cuts in US nnd Soviet conventional forces in central Europe as compatible with their security provided they felt that such cuts were roughly equivalent on both sides nnd did not signify any weakening of thc US political commitment lo European defense. But they would resist more strongly cuts in Allied nuclear strength in Western Europe.
D. If Europeans came to believe that force cuts had enhanced Soviet relative military strength on the Continent, or signified aUS commitment to European security. Uiey might, over time, be less likely to stand firm against pressures for all-European security arrangements on Soviet terms. ,
olh East and Wert have made proposal* in Ihc past two decades (or the mutual limitation or reduction of miliiary forcesaments in central Europe. Some of these proposals have called for reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons deployed in lhe area, olhers have emphasized lhc 'thinning out" orof conventional forces. Of lhe latter, some have called only for thc rc-du.rhon of foreign Iroops in Germany, while others have also called for limiting Ihc national armed forces of East and West Germany. All Soviet and East European proposals Iiave represented thc officialat least Ihe officialthc originating governments. In the West, while somehave been made by governments, tlse interest manifested in this subject by opposition political parties or influential individuals has often been greater. The various proposals of both East and West have come to naught, however, because Iheir implications for the far broader and more complex issues ofsecurity and thc division of Cermany were unacceptable to one side or thc other.
s part of its diplomatic effort to secure Western acceptance of Ihe pcrma-nent division of Cermany, the USSR has long callededuction of foreign troops stalioned there, somelimes specifying that it would be interested in cutting the present forces there by about one-third. The USSR has also carried out some willidrawals of its own forces, both in Cermany and elsewhere, on variousduring the pastean, and has urged Ihe West to followor fhe past year or so, however, the Soviets have soft pedaled thc idea of force cuts and have urged insteaduropean security conference be held to consider the formal recognition of East Cermany, the acceptance of the present boundaries of both Cermanies, and the denial of nuclear weapons to West Cermany. They have indicated that in the contexturope-wide security settlement the mib'tary confrontation in Cermany could be dismantled, and in particular that the US military presence there should then disappear. These Soviet views were outlined in6 in the Bucharest declaration of the Warsaw Pact
1 Tlie West, for its part, has until recently insisted that any East-Weston force limitations be accompanied by positive progress toward Cerman reunification. Until Kissinger's Grand Coalition came to power inll West German governments had strenuously argued that mutual forcewould lend to perpetuate tlte division of Germany. With varying
' Sincehe USSB has cut its total miliiary strength In East Cermany fromen to slightlyt present. Since that tune, the SovieUtlsiawn all troops fromhe Finnish naval base ol; the I'-miiin- Peninsula,itil
ilcgrcc* of enthusiasm. Germany!IkiciI in (Im pn.tition. The Firncli under dc Caulle have lieen parllculaily thong In (heir support. The UK andul (In; smaller N'ATO countries, while ollielally supporting thc Cermans, have in fact often appeared intoicsloil in ilitcuvting mutual force reductions without insisting on Mimiltancous progress toward reunification. All pastin Bonn have relied heavily on tlie US for assistance in restraining tho Uncivil from Jumping thc traces on this issue. The present Cerman Covcrnment is more flexible in its approach to reunification, but it continues to believe that forcehould not prejudice Co nun sccuiity or prospects for eventual
II. REACTIONSEW PPOPOSALS FOR MUTUAL REDUCTIONS
A. The USSR and Eastern Europe
While Soviet interest and political engagement outside Europe havegreatly since the end of World War II. Moscow stilligh priority to the reduction of American Influence in Europe, the isolation and containment of West Cermany. and tlie weakening or destruction of the Atlantic Alliance. Under the general rubric ofhe USSR has to recent years engaged in protracted diplomatic, propaganda, and political maneuversto convey to Western Europeans the belief that the Soviet have no aggressive designs on them and that military alliances inNATO Inno real utility on tlie European Continent The impact of this line has been promising from the Soviet point of view, and the Soviet leaders evidently now recognize that Iho USSH wouldreat deal to lose and little to gain by switchingarsher policy In Europe
Seen in this light, American withdrawals from Europe might be taken by the Sovietsignal success for their policy, not only for any change io tbc balance of military power which might accrue but abo for the psychological impact on Europeans. Some Europeans would regard US withdrawals as further evidence that tbc threat of Soviet aggression in Europe had declined; Moscow would hope that with this additional sign that danger had receded, the oobcave-ness of the Atlantic Alliance and the special influence which tbe US haswithin it would also further decline. Some Europeans might also coochoV that tbe US guarantee to Europe was weakening which would have similarly positive effects from Moscow's point of view. Ihcre are other, less important factors which might also make the prospect of mutual troop reductions in Cermany attractive to Moscow. The Soviets would almost certainly welcome an opportunity to reduce their military costs in this area, and they might,eriod of time, wish lo achieve more floibflity in tlie structure and cUsposiQon of tlieir mUitary resources.
Whatever gains Moscow might see inductions In Europe, wc do not believe the Soviets would accedeequest for formal negotiations on the matter. They have in fact alreadyack of Interest in suchon any terms which might be acceptable to the West.p
^jAi long as flic war in Vietnam lasts, tlic Soviets II wish to avoid any appearance of collusion with the US on actions which turd be interpictedleadingedeployment of American troops lo Viet-in Instead, we believe the Soviets would respond to new tcouests for mutual withdrawal negotiationsepetition of the demand tlsat such lalks take place only within tbc larger settinguropean settlement
7 There are also other constraints which would make the Soviets reluctant to enterormal agreement on mutual Iroop withdrawals. The new Soviet-US confrontation over the Near East probably reduces Soviet interest lo the subject for the time being, although it is unlikely to do so over thc longer run. In addition, any formal negotiations, even if they eon formed with Soviet desires in perpetuating the division of Gerrnany, would pose eatrcmely difficult problems in such areas as matching the size of cuts on each side, inspection and varifica-tion, and consultations with tho East European allies. On the whole, wc believe that the Soviets would be mote favorably disposed toward force reductions in Europe by mutual example than by formal agreement, but the war io Vietnam wauld present an obstacle to withdrawals even on thb basis.
astern Euiopcan reactions lo Soviet force reductions would varyIn East Cermany, we do not believe the Ulbricht government now depends directly on Soviet forces to maintain internal security. But the East Cermans would demand that withdrawals took placeramework thatguarantees for the sovereignty aad independent existence of their state. To tho extent that Iheir demands were not mot, the East Cerman leaders would be anxious and suspicious; they would take any substantial withdraw.il. to be evidence of the success of Westew initiatives in Eastern Europe, and would feel politically isolated and vulnerable to West German midauves.
he Polish Governmeni would not objecteduction of Soviet troops stationed in Poland, but would be apprehensive about tho bnplicatioiuubstantial cutback of Soviet forces in Cermany. Warsaw would probably seek additional guarantees for its security, perhaps in termsesternon thc Oder'Neisse border, as part of tlie arrangements for reductions. In Czechoslovakia, fearsesurgent Germany would probably also rise following substantial Soviet reductions. But the economic interests of both Poland and Czechoslovakia in tlie West are growing, and these states would find the progression of detente advantageous, provided that their security did not scorn to be threatened by this development. Rumania, of course, benl on nourishing its trade wiih the Wesl, would welcome Iroop withdrawalsositive contribution to detente andignurther loosening ofold on her East European allies. Hungary and Bulgaria would probably also be agreeable to reductions in Germany.
I'. The West European Nations
West European Itopns (or rapid progress in East-West detente have been tomcwhal shaken in recent moollis by (he hardening of Soviet and East European policy towaid Germany. Hut most Wesl Europeans have come increasingly to believe that lhc USSK has no intention of embarking upon military adventures in Europe, and many believe lhat lite expensive military forces stationed in central Europe could be reduced. Moreover, the growing prosperity and self-confidence of West European nations have increasingly led many to chafe at US leadership, and thc Vietnam war has inlensified feelings that European and American iutcrnsls are diverging. Thus, thc general polilical climate is one in which reduction- in forces would meel wiih considerable satisfaction.
Many West Germans believe tbat the already planned redeployment of US and British forces from West Germany will inevitably be followed by larger cuts in the future, and ihey fasor strong efforts to get the USSR to match these redeployments. The British arc taking much tlie same line. The planned American and British redeployment* will certainly strengthen pressures for trimming military commitments in various smaller NATO countries.
West European nations except for France would generally be willing to allow thc US to take the lead in opening discussions with tbe Soviet Union on mutual force reduction proposals. In light of their experience with tbe Non-proliferation Treatyhey would insist that any agreement, formal or informal, be reached only with their full concurrence andesult of detailed consultation. Even so thc process of negotiation would be accompaniedertain amount of grumbling about collusion between the superpowers and US disregard for European, basically German, interests. Such negotiations would probably bc accompaniederies of bilateral contacts between various NATO and Warsaw Pact nations. Direct negotiations between NATO and tbc Warsaw Pact would be extremely unlikely.
IndividualUnited Kingdom. The UK remains tbe most eager of all West European countries to start discussions with the USSR on mutual force cuts, both because of economic pressures and general enthusiasm for detente. Officially, the British Government would probably seek to avoid antagonizing the West Germans, especially while London is trying to gainin thc Common Market. The British would not, however, insist oniard bargain on inspection or matching the size of cuts.
West Cermany. Thc present government hi Bonn would like to sec the planned redeployment of American and British troops from West Cermany matched by Soviet withdrawals from East Germany, and would be hopeful that mutual reductions might advance its own initiatives toward the East.leaders would, however, place great emphasis on assuring that anywere balanced, and they would be inclined to doubt tbat their allies'of balance was as strict as their own. The Germansivelyof the Soviet ability to move forces from the Western USSR back
asi Gennany, and thr-ir ncrvuusnrvt would be intensified if substantial rt> ductiom were madene-la one basis.
IS. Camin political leadedrigl. come lo believe lhal Bonn
should no longer insist on piogress toward reunificationrerequisite for agreements with tlie East on othci iub|ccts. Instead, they favor working to improve relilions with the USSR. Eastern Europe, and even East Cermany (in ways short of formaln llie hope of inducing, over time, less rigid attitudes in the East on reunification. Bonn would hopeeduction of the Soviet mdilary presence would encourage the East Cerman populace to believe that reunification was still possible, and thus would preliably now beto discuss mutual foice culs without demanding immediate, tangible steps toward reunification. Tliere is alto some pressure in Cermany to reduce Bonn's own military establishmenl. snd some Cerman officials would wish to include lhe Federal Republic's Armed Forces in any mutual reductions.
rance. De Caulle would see force reductions in central Europe,of Soviet and US forces, as consistent with his objectives of lessening East-West tensions, roducing American Influence in Western Europe, andSoviet controls in Eastern Europe, The French would probably argue that such cuts vindicated Gaullist theses oo the end ot the cold war in Europe, thc obsolescence of NATO, aod the ultimate creationEuropean"rime French concern would bo to persuade Ihe Germans and the Soviets that in negotiationsuropean settlement, Europe (led by France) ihould be the main Western interlocutor rather than the US. De Caulle would be likely to support and en coinage Cerman suspicions of proposals made either by Britain Ot thc US.
ther NATO Countries. Most of the other NATO nations would support uut.at.ves on mutual cuts which were satisfactory to the US. the UK. and West Cermany.maller neighbors would want any arrangements tocuts in German as well as US and British forces. The Creeks and Turks Id probably be unhappy with any mutual reductions that might be worked
C. Differences Arising from the Size or Kinds of Proposed Reductions
lmost by definition, tbe process of mutual examplerogression from small to larger cuts, with lengthy diplomatic discussions and pauses along (he way to allow all sides to appraise the results of earlier phases. The effect of each round of cuts on the balance of forces would be the subject of careful examination, and decisions to proceed with further cuts would dependinding of reasonable equivalence- Nevertheless, there wouldtrongto believe thai small cuts would lead to larger ones.h part* of Europe tlie reactions wc have described in preceding paragraphs would probably hold in the case of mutual reductions of up to about one-third of current force levels.
We bcliovo, howuvcf, lhat the West European governments except for France would oppose withdrawals larger titan litisapid movement toward successive cul< Tliey would fear that suchight lead to the emasculation ol thc Atlantic Alliance, which they still helicve provides not only thc basic underpinning ol then security butramewotk in wluch West Cermany can be contained. They would also believe tliat large cuts wouldavJefinilion ol NATO's strategic concepts.
One maior question involved in the reaction of European governments would be the disposition made of nuclear-equipped forces nr nuclearurope. Most Wesl European leaders legaid NATO'sactical nuclear weapons as counterbalancing thc Warsaw Pact's superiority olforces in central Europe. If an NPT had been-signed al lhe time cuts were undertaken. Ihey would be barred fromoint nuclear force of their own short ol lull European federation.eduction of nuclearin central Europe would be resisted more strongly ihan cuts offorces. Atminimum, European governments would seek some quid pro quo in tho formreater pledged commitment of US nudear forces in matters of European interest
III. IHE LONGER TERM IMPLICATIONS
s mutual force reductions occurred, governments in both Eastern and Western Europe wouldood deal of thinking about their long-term security and the future power reUbons on the Continent. The postwar policies of all European states have been strongly influenced by the presence of US and Soviet military forces in central Europe. Substantial changes in the size or character of these forces might lead lo changes in the conception of various governments about Ihe commitment and interests of tlie US and USSR in Europe.
Even though mutual cuts were roughly equivalent andubstantial US militaiy presence on thc Continent, Moscow would probably believe that its position in Europe was somewhat hnpioved. In order to accelerate the withdrawal of US forces and retraction of US influence, the Soviets would continuetress Ihc needeductioa of tensions in central Europe and for all-European security arrangements built on the existence of Iwo Cerman states. They would hope that mutual force reductions would both bring them closer to this goal and contribute to lhe further drsmtegrarjoo of NATO.
Soviet relations with Eastern Europe would be essentially unchanged,ubstantial Soviet presence remained in Cermany. Divisivein the once monolithic East Bloc might be increased In some areas, but thc bases of Soviet influence would be largely unaffected. In the northern tier, there might even be pressure for closer collaboration among Poland, Cxecho-slovakia, and the GDR, and between these three nations and thearge withdrawal might strengthen more moderate Communist elements within East Germany.
It is possible, of course, that in some future context tho USSR would returnolicy of throat and inlunidalion in Western Europe. olicy
shifl would dependotois oilier (Inn nnlil-iry force level' ini-trurope, although otR* clement of the equation would be Moscow's ownof tli military strength relative to tbe West, both its strategic posturets the US as weft as the force dispositions in Europe.
C In Western Europe, the long-term implications of force reductions would be determined principally by Europe's own continuing assessment ol llie Soviet threal and thc firmness of the US security guarantee If West Europeansupported the force cuts, and believed thai (be US politicallo Europe remained intact, vuch cuts would not. of ttiemsclvcs, necessarily have adverse effects on US European rdatiom. Tbey would in fact be welcomed by many in Europe as ilrengthening tbe prospects of detente, and lhe US would get some of the credit.
f the political handling of the issue were inept, European governments might come lo believe in time lhat the cuts had enhanced relative Soviet miliiary strength on the Continenl. andeakening of the US commitment lo Europe's security. In this case, they might be less likely to stand firm against pressures for an accommodation with the USSR on Soviet terms. On the other hand, cutbacks which were arrived al after thorough consultation, were carefully timed and were supported by tbe major West European states, would not in themselvesarmful effect on NATOolitico-military alliance. To the extent that reductions of conventional forces appeared to increase the importance, of nuclear weapons lo the defense of Europe, there would be greater pressure than in thc past from Europeans to strengthen consultation In NATO on nuclear matters and lo develop an appropriate strategy in the new military context. The cutbacks might lead to other changes in NATO's military structure, and some governments would wish to cut NATO military forces and defense spending still further. We believe, however,arge-scale uncoordinated snowballing of defense cuts by one NATO country after another could be prevented.
ny progresseduction of NATO and Warsaw Pact forces would lake place in contexthanging political environment both in Europe and in tbc world at Large; indeed, if substantial reductions occurred these would contributeuch changes Thus, the timing and circumstances of individual steps in the process would to some degree affect both the likelihood ofsteps and their final corocqucoces. US-Soviet rdations in (heir broadest sense and the world relations of miliiary power will obviously influence wlvelher and bow much movement takes place, but thc national objectives and particular interests of individual states willajor, andecisive, role. Reduction* In forces, especially If movement is limited and deliberate, may have but few longer term consequences- Oo the other hand, depending upon how reductions interacted with the changing pohbcal environment, theyhanged abnosphereomewhat different structure of power in Europe, Whetherew situation would strengthen or weaken US interests and European security would depend largely upon tbe decisions and events which occurred as the process unfolded.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
oientral fetelfcoence<epyor theand ni c' theand of per tornit iwrnoVt.ona neodto-hnow bows Additional nient.ol dmem.not.oo nay to. authorujed byfollowing olitiali wrihm their (especlive dVpartn-wri:
a. DwKlor af Intelligence and Resooteh. for the Deportment al Stale
b Olreetof, Detente Intelligence Agency, for the Oftke ol Ihe Secretary el
Detente and ibe ofaoniiatiem ol tho Jo.nl Chiefi ol StoBulttoni Chief ol SlafT lor inleltigence. Deportmenl of Iho Army, lor Ihe
Deportment ol the Army
Chief of Naml Operationsor lhe Deportmuni of the
Chief ol Slaff, Intelligence, USAF, for lhe Department ol the Air
I. Direclor of Intelligence, AEC, lor the Atomic Energy Commlulon
Director, FBI, (or the Federal Bureau of Inveiiigai.on
. for the National Security Agency
L Director of Cenlrol Reference, CIA, for ony other Department or Agency
hii document may be retained, or destroyed by burning in oicorcarxa wfch applicable tecurity legi-latiam, or returned to the Central Melugonat Agency by arrangemer- wi'h rho Of&ce of Central Re^renc. OA.
While Hoote National Security Council Depart men! of Stole Department ol Defame Atomic Energy Coovnituon FwoVol Bureau ol Investigation
3 When AWcuemirtatea' crrertoot, tha overseen reopienn may reeein iteriod not Inof one year. Alend oferiod, the document ihould ohtier be destroyed, returned lo theogency. or par. mJuioobo resetted of tho fe-wareSng ogeney to retain It In accordance with1Original document.