SOVIET INTENTIONS IN BERLIN INCIDENT

Created: 10/11/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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IDTELLIGEXC X{ AGENCY

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OFFICE OF MTTCHAL ESTE^ES

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MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR

SUBJECT; Soviet Intentions la Berlin Incident

motives in the current incident along thehighly puzzling. It cokes little sense in the contextSoviet policy coves airedelaxation of tensions;almost no Dense In view of Soviet interests Inlarge purchases of grain. Putting pressure on such ansensitive Western position as access to Berlinthat Khrushchev has sought to accomplish by signing the We would not exclude,bs^the real origineries of local blunders or risunde reof Convey Eo.at Babelsberg, however, suggestsSoviets are now acting deliberately and In full awareness

of American unwillingness to comply with Soviet demands for dismounting.

the simplest answer Is tbat_the Soviets are

erlin incident vnleh focuses on the question of access

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and indirectly on the question of Western forces. The Soviet leaders might hove conelud.id, in light of the conversation between Secretary Rusk and GrcmykOj. that the US has no serious interest In discussing the Berlin problem. harp reminder of Allied

vulnerability by steppias on the Berlin "corns" would be intended . jm

to gore rate pressure for am American promise to take up the access

aid troop questions. Under this interpretation, the

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would close cut the current incident on tbe understanding

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the broad prcbleus would be negotiated, perhaps vlth

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in Washington, 'ihey might even cloae it out without any

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understanding, hoping that tbe US had gotten tbe point that serious talks must begin.

3. Thisisks' gambit, and the Soviets certainly must

recognize the potential dangers and tbe threat to other

Moreover, it learticularly premising move, since

Soviets can scarcely believe that the US is prepared at this juncture ^

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to make any serious concessions on Berlin. It is possible,that Soviet motives ore more obscure and complicated, even

unrelated to tbe Berlin access question. For. example, it

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be that the Soviet military has staged the incidenteans

pressure on the political leaders, because of discontent

the preaent direction of Soviet policies. Or lt could be that the Soviets beoe felt the need toough position because of intra-Bloc politics, particularly in view of the Chinese charges that recent 3ovlet policyetrayal of the East German regime.

ft. We believe that, whatever their precise alms, the Soviets will probably close out_to Incident before tbe danger of escalation Increases muchhey are likely to indicate their readiness to talk about the question of access procedures and release the convoy. We think the chances ore good that the Soviets will not allow the situation to develop to tbe point where an American military probe is launched on to the autobahn.

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5. Nevertheless, because Soviet Intentions are sotbe timing so apparently unsuitable we would not excludeto let the crisis develop momentum and drag ontime. The Soviets could plan toumber offor lmedlato compliance before freeing tbe convoy. Soviets have mlscalculated their wayerious

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other factorsinternal politics and Bloc relationscould Intervene to make Soviet coves more unpredictable and core risky. If the Incident Is not closed cutay or so, we would conclude that the Soviets are seeking to humiliate the liS aad cake some Important gains In Berlin.

6. SlDce there is do clear explanation for the Soviet move.

v* feel obliged to consider yet another possibility relating to Cuba. The USSR is under considerable pressure to relieve Castro of tbe haraeeaents presently being directed against bin, yet It finds Itself powerless to take any direct local action to thia end. It say be that th* autobahn Incident is designed to renind the OS of its vulnerability in Berlineons of dissuading It free pursuing on active anti-Castro course. If this Is the USSR's intention, we would expect scce Soviet hints designed to get this across to Washington, but we are not aware that any Soviet official ba* suggested this connection.

POR THE BOARD OF NATICHAL ESTIMATES

Assistant Director National Estimates

Original document.

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