Created: 8/1/1962

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2 {Supersedes

Soviet Intentions With Respect to Berlin



Concurred in by Ihe UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD As indicated2





Soviet Intentions With Respect to Berlin


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To estimate probable Soviet intentions over the next few months with respect to the Berlin and German questions.


has probably concluded thatas they have been proceeding since last fall, offeroferlin agreement on terms favorableUSSR. He probably believes that to continue thelonger without any demonstrable gains would givethat the USSR feared to make good on itsto solve the Berlin problem with or withoutPowers. At present, therefore, the USSR isconsidering new decisions on its tactics for theof the Berlin crisis.


the present point the Soviets could proceedof three general lines. First, if they concluded thatof forward action were too high, they could holdin check and continue negotiationselativelyperhaps in some new forum. Second, they couldat once on the long-threatened course of atreaty. Third, they could seek to change thesurrounding further negotiations by raisingand pressuresuch higher level, reservingeparate treaty and its precise terms untilwhether these harsher tactics produced


Stalemate. The Soviets have not closedto further Lalks. and wc cannot exclude tliethey will simply allow the present stalematedLo continue without an appreciable increase inthe deliberate manner in which they have sharpenedin recent weeks, and the line taken in theLalks, indicate lhat the Soviets are unlikely toalternative. Their hard stance, both in public andhasillingness to raise tensionsnowoint of deadlock has been reached.

Separate Treaty. To proceed forthwitheparate treaty presents the same problems it always has for theleaders. Wc believe that the Soviets continue tothe risks involved in giving the East Germans control over allied access and then requiring the Western Powers to deal with those authorities. At tlie same time, however, the Soviets have intentionally given the peace treaty anas an end in itself, and have thereby increased thelr commitment to lake this step. Wc have no evidence that Khrushchev has yetecision to carry through with his threat toreaty. But we believe that it is possible that the Soviets may at any time set on foot the procedures involved in signing the separate treaty.

essures. On the whole, however, we believe it is somewhat more likely lhat the Soviets will instead first resort to sharply heightened pressures, in one more eiTort to extract concessions from the West. In doing this they would defereriod, probably relativelyecision on the treaty and its precise terms. The Soviets are probablythat no important change in the Western position can be obtained without greatly increased pressures, probably in lhe form of harassmenls to impair allied access or unilateral encroachments on Western rights. In thc latter category they might, for example, close oh1 East Berlin to Western military traffic, withdraw from thc Berlin Air Safety Cenler, or associate the East Germans more actively with theof access controls. Such steps could beby propaganda intended to create an atmosphere of imminent showdown. This line of action would be intended

not only to probe Western reaction and convey the Soviets' determination to settle Berlin on their own terms, but also to accomplish gradually some of the final objectiveseace treaty by liquidating certain aspects of four-power

n pursuing this line of increased pressures the primary Soviet aim would still be to extract concessions from the West. Khrushchev would be preparederiod of very high tensions, but would still be careful to maintain contacts with the US. Thc Soviets might at this stage make at least ostensible adjustments toward moderating their negotiating position. An additional possibility, which the Soviets have already hinted at, would be to involve thc UN in this phase, hoping to capitalize on worldwide concern over growing East-West tensions. They might believe, for example,N majority could be woncompromise" which wouldWestern occupation rights with some form of UN role, limited in duration, based on Warsaw Pact and neutral forces as well as Western troops. Moreover, they might expect that if the UN was seized with the crisis, thc West could befrom reacting too sharplyeparate treaty.

Soviet leaders probably have some doubts thatpressures will bring about important changesWestern attitude. Moreover, they recognize that atalong this road the risks might becomethey probably believe that certainlimited unilateral steps which would heightencan be controlled. And they probablysuch measures are preferable at this time to theof appearing to acquiesce in further Western stalling,at onceeparate treaty withouttested Western resistance to particular kinds of


any event, we believe that during the next fewSoviets will hold the door open to furtheronly toegree of control over the situation. If

they intensify pressure, they would see continued talks as the means to collect any concessions, or at least to assess the impact of their actions. They would wish, for example, to -discover what modalities of control by East Germany would be tolerated by the Western Powers. Even if they proceedeparate treaty, they would hold out the possibility of negotiations should the West decide to change its positionhowdown approached. Or, if the Soviets should decide to allow tensions to subside at some point, they wouldfurther talks as necessary to cover their retreat.

If, as seemsriod of sharper action isthe Soviets will be reassessing their position and tactics continuously over the next few months. Although much would depend upon cireumstances at the time, if the Soviets pursued such tacticseriod without significant success, they would then be more likely to move ahead andeparate treaty than to accept once again the loss ofinvolvedetreat before Western firmness.

Should the Soviets decide to proceedeparate treaty, this course would still be subject to reappraisal at each stage in the process. They would still seek to gain last minute concessions, and would manipulate the variousforonference,reaty, andit inay as tohange of course if they perceived an important shift in Western attitudes.

U. In any case, we do not believe that the Soviets are likely to abandon the caution which has characterized theirto situationsirect East-WestThey almost certainly recognize that the balance of military power has undergone no cliange which would justify this. In undertaking unilateral encroachments or atreaty they would seek to minimize thc risks. Thus they might finally decide that an abbreviated treaty, which altered the conditions of access but stopped shortomplete or immediate turnover of controls to the East Germans, wouldufficient advance, at least for thc time being.

Original document.

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