CURRENT SOVIET TACTICS ON BERLIN (SNIE 11-15-62)

Created: 9/13/1962

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Current Soviet Tactics on Berlin

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Current Soviet Tactics on Berlin

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CURRENT SOVIET TACTICS ON BERLIN

CONCLUSION

Thc SovieU havepause" in the negotiations over Berlin, thus marking the endhase which began with the ltu.sk-Gromyko talks last fall. At thc same time, they appear to have ruledeparate treaty in the next few months, and indicated that they envisage an eventual resumption of negotiations. However, it is likely that Khru-shchcv will continue to make various unilateral moves in order bo accomplish piecemeal and de facto some of the changes which would floweace treaty.

SECRET

DISCUSSION

Soviet pronouncementonfirms the endhase inon the Berlin problem which began with the Rusk-Gromyko meetings In the falln acknowledging that these talks have failed the Soviets did not renounce further negotiations; they apparently envisage aof contacts with the US later this fall. For the time being, however, the Soviets have almost certainly concluded that continuation of negotiations In the manner of the last year holds little promise of success. At the same time, the Soviets have not chosen, as they previously threatened, toeparate treaty. Theofeptember appears to ruleeparate treaty ln the next few months. It ls probable that their appraisal of theat this time, perhaps associated with the increase of tensions over Cuba, has led the Soviets to conclude once againeparate treaty whichirect challenge to the Western presence in and access to Berlin Is tooourse.

The deferraleace treaty, however, need not Inhibit the Soviets from takingaction locally to advance their objectives. They have already taken one such step in abolishing their commandant's office inand replacing lt with an East German authority. This step not only does away with one of the most Important symbols of Four-Power responsibility for the whole of Berlin, but it also opensariety of possibilities for further encroachments, of which two seem especially significant.

local Actions

a logical next step would be forGerman commandant to impose newon Allied access to East Berlin,that the Soviet departure had altered the

basis of entry rights. The Soviets almostbelieve that they can poseay which will not provoke the Allies to use force to maintain access. Thus, this move would be designed to force the Allies either to acknowledge East Germanin some fashion, an Important victory in itself, or to give up the right of access to the eastern half of the city.

The Soviets would closely observe theof this maneuver In order to judge how far they could safely go in involving East Germany ln controls on allied access to West Berlin. For example. If thc West acquiesced in new documentary procedures at the sector border, or accepted East German escorts for its trips into East Berlin, the Soviets would be encouraged to believe that similar measures on the autobahn would not be very risky. They might conclude that they could begin to Involve East German authorities In Soviet controls over access to West Berlin evena treaty.

Second, thc Soviets already are taking steps which seem designed to create de facto what they have long demanded of the Allies,ew status for West Berlin alone, guaranteed by Soviet as well as Western forces, to replace the occupation arrangements. They evidently Intend to maintain and even Intensify their activities in West Berlin and have threatened to retaliate against Allied ground access to the city if the Westwith or denies Soviet access to West Berlin. They probably expect that, since the West wishes the Soviets to remain In theAir Safety Center, they can alter the access procedures to and within the city without being thrown out of West Berlin. And If the West does take such action, the Soviets have laid the groundwork for retaliating on the

SEQRET

To the degree that the Soviets are successful In maintaining their presence in West Berlin, while transferring to East Germany their responsibilities hi East Berlin, they will haveajor advance.

otent maneuver, not onlyIt advances Soviet objectivesWestern Powers, but because It alsoimportant effect on Berlin morale.are especially sensitive to anythat the USSR Isoicepart of the city. The Sovietsigh state of Berlin moralevital Ingredient In the Western positioneconomic viability of the city.

Genotol Soviel Tactics

thc next few months thckeepingumber offurtherK debate,meeting with Presidentunilateral encroachments in Westthis suggests that they are stillassessing Western positions andnot firmly committed to any fixedwe think it likely thatcontinue to make various unilateralorder to accomplish piecemeal and deof thc changes which would flowseparate treaty. In this tacticalthe signingeace treaty mightthc end of the process and merelyor it might come at somebutanner which would notmajor showdown. As we havethe Soviets will hold open theot negotiation at all stages.they conclude at some point thathas become willing to entertainconcessions, their own statednegotiations or participation inprobably will be largely pro formanot reflect any serious expectationsort of mutually tolerablebe achieved In this way.

The UN

The Soviets have recently encouraged rumors that they will raise the Berlin Issue this fall at the Oeneral Assembly. Ii they do so. It seems certain that thoy will not simply turn the entire question over to the UN for whatever solution It can devise.they will be seeking certain political results, and the manner In which they present the Issue will depend upon their objectives.

If the Soviets arc primarily Interested In further negotiations, they would use the UN mainlyeans of generating wideramong the neutrals for WesternIn addition to arguing the merits of their case, they would probably urge the UN to take some role In Berlin along the lines of various Soviet proposals for an end to the occupation status. They would almostanticipate thatN debate would prompt neutrals toeeting between Khrushchev and President Kennedyemporary maintenance of the status quo while the parties negotiated. Ii the Soviets proceed In this general manner, therefore, we would conclude that they were prepared toreatyonger time and tonegotiations, possibly under some UN mandate.

If, however, the Soviets intend to rely principally on additional unilateral measures, and perhaps ultimatelyeparate treaty, then any resort to the UN would be Intended mainly to inhibit thc West from sharp and possibly dangerous reactions- In this case, they would probably make some definite movesreaty before raising thein the General Assembly. By proceeding In this fashion, they would hope to focuson the "threat to peace" represented by Western Insistence that the Allies wouldno diminution of their rights.

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