SOVIET INTENTIONS WITH RESPECT TO BERLIN (SNIE 11-13-62)

Created: 6/13/1962

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

13 June 2

SPECIAL

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

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P!;ggram

Soviet Intentions With Respect to Berlin

hr DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Concurred In br iht UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD Ai Ind Moled iHDilrxjl2

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The following inielligence organiialiom poilicipoted* in Ihe preporofion ol (his estimate:

Ihe Ceniiol Intelligence Agency ond lhe inielligence ergoniioticns o' the Oepon-menli ol Slate. Defense, the Army, the Navy, ond the Air Force.

Concurring,

of Intelligence and Research, Department ot Slo'c Oireclor. Defense Inielligence Agency

Assistant Chiel ofloi Inielligence, Deportment oly Asiislanl Chiel of Novol Operolion.eparlmenl of lhessistant Chief of Slaft. Intelligence. USAF Direcior lor Inielligence, >oln> StoH Direcior of the National Security Agency

Abstaining!

Ihe Atomic Energy Commission Representative to the USIB, ond the Asslstonl Direcior, Federal Bureau ol Invesilgolion, the subied being oulslde of iheir he isdiction.

SECRET

SPECIAL

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

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Soviet Intentions With Respect to Berlin

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SEQRET

SOVIET INTENTIONS WITH RESPECT TO BERLIN

THE PROBLEM

To estimate probable Soviet intentions over the next few months with respect to Berlin, Germany, and certain related issues.

THE ESTIMATE

L We recently estimated that it was unlikely that the Soviets were resolved to bring the Berlin issueead in some fixed period of time, and that they would probably continue their efiort to obtain concessions throughWe held it likely that the Soviets would noteparate peace treaty In the near future, but we did not exclude this possibility. At the same time, we stated that it was highly unlikely that the Soviets would come toBerlin as an issue to be settledenuine or lasting compromise; they would aim at eventual incorporation of the western sectors of the city into East Germany.1

c believe thai this estimate is still generally valid because we see no evidence that thc Soviets feel able cither to reduce their basic objectives or to abandon negotiations and seek these objectives by unilateral action. Soviet actions and statements in recent months seem to convey an inde-cisivencss about how to proceed further on the Berlin issue. The Soviet leaders apparently sec the alternatives open to them as either unpromising or excessively dangerous. If thc present diplomatic probe is continued, they probably believe, no results satisfactory in the light of their present

orlel Foreignay

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demands are likely to be obtained. If harassment^ in the Berlin area are stepped up, these hold little promise ofesirable effect on the negotiations unless they become so severe that, at the same time, the risksevel which the Soviets would regard as unacceptable. If the long-threatened separate treaty should be signed, it would eitherituation of very high risk or, if the threatened consequences for Western access did not ensue,anifest Soviet backdown. The longer thehas lasted, the more deeply it has engaged Soviet prestige, and Khrushchev's personal prestigeloc leader as well; at the same time, thc Soviets seem to have become more impressed with the dangers of any precipitateaction.

The Soviet failure to opt decisivelyerlin solution, either unilaterally oregotiated agreement, probably derives in part from the Soviet leaders' preoccupation with intra-Bloc relations and with internal problems. The intra-Bloc dispute, especially because of charges by the Chinese and some others of an insufficient militancy on the part of thc Khrushchev leadership, may inhibit any move toward moderation on Berlin. The recent call for sacrifices by thc populace, which the Soviets have justified by the need totrong military posture in the face of alleged US aggressiveness, militates against concessions andabroad. While both these preoccupations presently tend to inhibit any significant moderation of the Soviet position, we doubt that they would be decisive in leading tho Soviets toore aggressive course involving increased risks.

An important factor which we believe contributes to the USSR's hesitancy in pushing its Berlin objectives by precipitate action is that thc Soviet leaders appear now to realize that the shift in the political-military relation of forces in the world has been less significant than they anticipated two or three years ago In the military field in particular, the US acceleration of military1 has clearly impressed them as aof US determination, and has also forced them to con-

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front, the ecouomic implicaLionsew round of arms competition. At the same time, they have had to recognize that the West cannot be persuaded to accept their inflated strategic claims. Perhaps equally important, they haveaware that their real accomplishments in strategic weapons cannot be so readily translated into concessions by the West as they had earlier imagined.

he Soviets' public posture more recently has been marked once againore threatening tone andemphasis on the extreme demand that the departure of Western troops mustart of any settlement. This probably arises from their concern to dispel any notion that thc USSR wouldodus vlvendi based on the status quo. Nevertheless the Soviets almost certainly do not expect the West to accept thc maximum Soviet position as itstands, but apparently believeublic stance is necessary to keep the West under pressure in negotiations. At the same time, they have probably been encouraged, by manifestations of Western disunity over the termsossible settlement, to hopeerious rift in the Western front can still be opened up if the negotiations are continued. Most of all, perhaps, the Soviets wish to keep negotiations going for some time longer simply because il permits them toecision between harsher measures involving considerable risksompromise involving some degree of backdown.

6 While thc Soviets are permitting negotiations to drag on, however, we think the chances are good that thewillew round of Berlin harassments. We have no direct evidence to this effect, nor can we predict what tactics might be employed. But if we are correct inontinuation of inconclusive activity on the diplomatic front, we believe that the Soviets will not wish to allow the entire Berlin situation to remain quiescent. New harassments would, as in the past, be intended primarily to keep pressure on West Berlin morale and on the Western negotiators, rather than to culminatenilateralforced on the West under circumstances of high risk.

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So long as negotiations are not broken off. the Soviets can at any Ume exercise the option of reducing their demands enough to get at least within talking range of the Western position. They might come to feel that if they were willing toontinued Western presence in Berlin they could gather in enough WesternGermans on the access routes, some degree of de facto recognition for Eastpermit them to construe the resulteal change in the situation, and even one which pointed to further and more fundamental changes laler. Totheir demands on the narrower Berlin issues of Western presence and access would also open up possible gains in broader questions relating toNATO-Warsaw Pact nonaggrcssion treaty, the agreement on nondiflusion of nuclear weapons, implicit acceptance of Germany'sfrontiers, and the establishment of all-GermanThe Soviets must realize that to move theto these issues, even if it did not result in agreements to their advantage, would offer fine opportunities forwith Western unity.

the near future at least, we do not think thatare likely to moderate their demands in orderthe negotiations off dead center. However, weare more likely to do this than to resort to majoraction, sucheparate treaty. Most likely ufa continuation for the present of the same rigiditywithout at the same time any serious movethem off. This is our best judgment derivedinterpretation of recent Soviet behavior, rather thansignificant body of intelligence data.

European Integration

increasing concern which the Soviets havethe movement for Western European unity maya factor of greater importance in influencingcourse on the Berlin problem. They mightIf they sharpened the crisis greatly and wonin this way, this woulderiousits allies on the part of West Germany and so set back

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whole process of integration. They might, on the other hand, calculate that to ease their policy greatly on the Berlin and German questions would deprive the Western unity movement ol its urgency, and in particular revive hopes in West Germany that there washance to talk to the Soviets about reunification if the European unity movement went no further. Finally, the Soviets might decide that, insteadadical change of course in either of thesethe best way to adversely affect Western unity would be toompromise on Berlin which the TJS and Britain would be willing to entertain, but which gave serious offense to the Germans. We are uncertain which of these or other possible alternatives the Soviets might choose, but we do believe that concern over the development of unity in Western Europe may sooner or later become an important factor in precipitating some movement in their policy on Berlin.

One reason for the sharpened concern now being shown In Moscow over the Common Market is probably that the further steps being taken in the letter's development have coincidederiod of renewed economic strain in the Bloc. The Common Market presents noteneral political challenge but will also have an economic impact of some importance, since Soviet and more particularlytrade will be adversely affected The Soviets are, of course, aware that the issue of UK membership in the EECrucial turning point. We expect therefore that they will seek means of complicating or delaying thisTo this end they will do what they can to aggravate any division within the EEC and between the EEC and the UK. One line of action could be new pressures andto the UK's partners in the Free Trade Area, especially Austria and Finland.

While the Soviets have limited economic resources to disrupt the EEC, they may feel that they have some potential leverage in the case of West Germany. East Germany has already approached West Germany for long-term credits, and other proffers to West Germany of broader tradein the Bloc may be forthcoming. The Soviets

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may feel that such an economic approach to West Germany would not be effective without political Inducements inand this may lead them tooderation of their policy on Berlin and Germany.

lic most promising field of action for the Bloc,is in the underdeveloped areas, rather than in Europe itself. The Soviets are mounting an extensive campaign to represent the EECew and more tightly coordinated form of colonialism, and they will exploit this theme lnwith their own ofTers of trade and aid to the newly independent states. The Soviets probably hope to mobilize the anxieties of Afro-Asian and Latin American states over the Common Market and toountcrmovement, such as the recent proposalsN-sponsored world trading arrangement. We expect further initiatives along this line, ln which they probably expect Yugoslavia to join. In general, the Soviets will do what they can to maximize the political costs of further progress in consolidating the European community.

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