BERLIN ACCESS AND SOVIET INTENTIONS*

Created: 10/17/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

PEILASE OAK HUG MM

3

SUBJECT: Berlin Access and Soviet

Immediate Soviet Objectives

Tbe precise origins of last weex's incidents remain obscure, but we believe thats difficulties probably did aot arisere-tlncd Soviet attempt toerious new challenge to Allied access to Berlin. Once tbe issue was joined, however, the Soviets proved willing to carry it tolengths. Ihe level at which Soviet tactics were determined at various stages remains unclear for tbe present, but lt isertain that Hoacov Itself became involved in the decision to detain Convoyhe second time at Bsbe 1bberg.

Whatever the precise explanation of this episode, however the subsequent detentionritish convoy and recent statements of local Soviet military authorities Indicate that the USSR does

* This memorandum has been prepared by representatives of CIA

DIA, and State/INR.

S*BkV<4

Relation to General Soviet Policy

k. How does this course of action on the autobahn relate to the broader framework of Soviet foreign policy? Have tbe Soviets concluded that tactics of detente no longer serve their purposes and should give wayarsher general line?

In analyzing the phase of Soviet policy set in motion by the test ban, we have noted that Soviet objectives concerning Berlin remained unchanged but that the USSR probably saw little promise In on early resumption of serious pressures. We concluded that the USSR looked upon an atmosphere of relaxed tensions as providing, inter alia, opportunities for moving toward these objectives ln other ways. From subsequent talks with the US, however, the Soviets have probably concluded that the Western side is interpreting detente to mean that the Berlin question has lost all urgency and that the USSR will content Itself with the status quo indefinitely. The autobahn incidents are thus designed to correct this Interpretation and at the same time to demonstrate to the West that the USSR is not so weak, nor so bent uponat any price, that it fears to disrupt the atmospherics of amiability.

We do not believe, however, that the decision reflected ln the challenge to the British convoyomprehensive

wheat. This, plus the circumstances suggesting thats initial difficulties nay not have been carefully devised toajor scenario, raise the possibility of some disagreement within the Soviet hierarchy.

8. There is considerable evidence of policy contention within the Soviet regime lost winter and spring,ide range of issues. This evidence leads us to believe that the decision to embarkeriod of relaxed tensionsifficult one to reach and was accepted In varying degrees by different elements of the Soviet leadership. Tactics which blur theof full hostility toward toe West arc usually disquieting to many Soviet politicians. One source of disunity must be military displeasure over signs that Khrushchev intends to use detenteustification for raising civil priorities at the expense of defense. We have no evidence, however, which would enable us to judge how important diverging interests of this kind might be ln the Berlin question, or even whether they figure at all In current Soviet behavior.

Original document.

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