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PROBABLE REACTIONS. RECONNAISSANCE SATELLITE PROGRAMS
To estimate Soviet reactions to US launchings of earth satellites with military reconnaissancend other world reactions to these launchings.*
excursion into outer spacenew problems, andewto some old ones. The possibility ofreconnaissance conducted fromvehicles is one of these problems,now coming to the fore because the USurgent requirement for photographicf
"Jreconnaissanco of the Soviet Union and other denied areas.
Soviets are aware ofase and other US airThey have been cognizant ofAmerican interest in reconnaissancesystemsnd have notedUS disclosures of activeleading toward operationalsatellitesew years.realize that satellite systems arein the near term to produce theInformation that can be obtained byHowever, they almost certainlythat satellite reconnaissance haspotential for intelligence collection.
would also apply lo "jwrUcu-U> announce tnat such in reconnaissance as-
'This estimate is concerned primarily with photo-erapntc reconnaissance systems, although under
certain circumstances it
Qiny ii ine US were satellites were cnRaec tlvlty.
ls emphasized Uiat tiiis estimate deals only with Coreiijii reactions to US launchlne otsatellites; It does not consider various other Implications ofrogram.
II. PROBABLE SOVIET COURSES OF ACTION
There Is no doubt that the Soviets do not want the US to orbit military reconnaissance vehicles over the USSR. The Soviet press and radio have already branded as reconnaissance activity the launching of various US weather and communications satellites. Clearly, thc Soviets prize secrecytrategic asset, and want to prevent the US from observing key military and military-industrial installations and preparations. Beyond this, they would regard any publicly avowed US reconnaissance activityhallenge to their prestige.
Notwithstanding these considerations, the" Soviet leaders may not choose toS reconnaissance program. The Soviels liavc made no formal protest about the Tiros weather photographicThey are unlikely to believe thatsatellites offer much threat to their secrecy for the nexl year or so. but during thc period of developmental testing of the Samos they will have to weigh theof permitting the establishmentrecedent for unchallenged reconnaissance Moreover, as capabilities of US reconnaissance vehicles grow they will have to review their policy.
At present and for some time to come, the Soviets are likely to havearginalunder most favorable conditions for interference with US satellites. Evenand tracking in the early orbits of any
satellite will be difficult. Il miglit take two weeks to discover an unannounced vehicleto minimize detection, after which thc track could probably be determinedew days. It will also be quite difficult to Identify the functionew satellite During the period of OS test operations,0he Soviets will probably seek to devise and perfect measures for rapidlyidentifying, and tracking satelliteand means for Jamming or otherwise disrupting the transmission of data from Ihem. They will probably avoid premature disclosure of methods for which the US could develop countermeasures. but they will pre-pare for later actions to destroy or tooperational US reconnaissance In the course of its program to develop an antimissile missile system, the USSR couldimited capability to destroy such vehicles after they haveumber of orbits. This capability might be theoretically achievable about in the, soon afler the presently programmed IntroductionS reconnaissance satellite system. However, thc capabilityystem for destruction of satellites on their first orbit does not appear achievable until the latter part of the decade.
ince the technical-military possibilities for destroying the vehicle or neutralising Its transmission will be limited for some time, the Soviets will probably conclude that only two courses are open to them in the next few years:ampaign of pressure to generatesuppori in the world, particularly through stimulating icnsions,essation of such reconnaissance activity, or (b) not to bring the issueiplomatic climax or even to public view before they could destroy the vehicle The Soviet decision on what to do about US reconnaissance satellites and when to do it will be affected not only by theirabout thc effectiveness of thc program, but even more by the extent and nature of publicity attending the future course of the program.
7 There has alreadyreat deal of un omcial and soinxmVlal publicity about the US satellite program, and
there will probably be more in years to come. However, if the US Government refrained from officially avowing and attempting toeconnaissance program, and perhapslhe launching of new satellites on other grounds such as scientific research, we believe that the chances are better than even that lhe Soviets would not press the issue until they were able either toehicle, or to establish its mission by authoritative US acknowledgment or other convincingt is possible lhat the Soviets would aci early in the US development test program. In order lo agitate the issue and if possible to inhibit US plans, as well as to lay thcfor later direct physical aciion against US reconnaissance vehicles. But we believe that they would probably estimate that all ovnilablc courses ofas well asbe of doubtful effectiveness in compelling the US to ond tlie program, and that there was little advantage In forcing the issue, especially during thephase of the program.
n the other hand, if and when publicity aboul the US reconnaissance operationoint at which the Soviets thought that their prestige was being threatened, we believe that they wouldtrongof protest. They would probablyit necessary to oppose vigorously byand propaganda means any avowed and politically defended US program to penetrate their secrecy, aboul which they aresensitive. Their reaction would not be less vigorous because of uncertainty over the effectiveness ofampaign in getting lhe US tu cease lhe program.
Direclor for intelligence. Thc Joinl staff, considers It unrealistic to suggest thai lhe US refrain fiomrogram thai isovernment activity whose nature, magnitude and even locus is already known to tha world at large Hc would revise this sentence to read: "However, unless the US Government deliberatelyharp Soviet reaction by giving Iheimplications of the program undue stressnibheiiy. we believe lhal the chances are teller lhan even lhal the USSR would not pees* thc issue unUlas able lo destroy orwith Uie effective operation of US re-roiinausance vehicles'*
basis for protests, propaganda, and possible UN action would probably be thc allegedly illegal and hostile nature of theactivities of such satellites, and not Soviet claims to sovereignty in outer space itself. They could Introduce the issue into the UN, either in termsemand on the US to cease, or in termseneral measure to outlaw any military satellite or spaceincluding those for reconnaissance. They would probably aLlempt to raise tensions and to make the issue appear to haveconsequences for world peace.
They will, in any case, probably exert all efforts to neutralize the transmission of data from vehicles which might be providingintelligence. Whenever the USSR doe;apability, it will piobably seek to destroy US reconnaissance satellite vehicles. Such action might be accompanied byto use heightened anxiety over wariplomatic offensive, and also to persuade the world that the USSRuccessful derense against ballistic missiles.
III. NONCOMMUNIST WORLD REACTIONS
World reactions to the US reconnaissance satellite program will vary significantly and will be influenced by the internationalclimate at the time, by the manner in which the US handles thc program, and by the Soviet reaction. Unless the USSR Stirs up the issue, world opinion will probably bc largely indifferent. But if the Sovietsexample by threatening countries which cooperateS "spy"by furnishing facilities for trackingtry to make the issue appear to have dangerous consequences for world peace, the US would have Lo contend with adverse reactions in neutralist countries and among some segments of opinion in Allied countries from those who would view the US action as provocative and risky.
The governments of the principalof the Free World, as well as military, official, and some other segments of opinion in these countries, are well aware of thcfor effective intelligence on the USSR to support the US deterrent posture, and would
not object to the reconnaissance satelliteMany governments would bc favorably impressed by evidence that the US could In (set penetrate Soviet secrecy. Favorablein Allied countries might be enhanced by joint Allied association with the program. Nevertheless, in the event of violent Soviel reaction to the program, Free Worldwould still have to contend withpopular anxiety over heightenedtension. However, most Allied governments would probably support the US program and would endeavor to persuade their people to accept It, and some otherwould also probably acquiesce.'
'The Director (or intelligence. Tho Joint Staff, considers thats written,the unfavorable reaction ofelements in thc Free World. He believes lhat restrained, well timed publicity could stimulate both governmental andS reconnaissance program and that the governments and Informed peoples of the Free World would draw encouragement from Uie knowledge thai the US was able to penetrate Soviet secrecy. This would do much to oflset Uie effects o! ii violent Soviet denouncement. He would, therefore, substitute Uie following for
he governments of the principalol the Free World, as well as military, official, and some other segments of opinion in these countries, are well aware of thetor effective Intelligence on the USSK to maintain Free World security, and would support ihe US reconnaissance satellite program Such support could bc broadened and reinforced and the impact of violent Soviel denouncements and threats reduced by av.er. timed information program.rogram could have some effect In con-vcrUng neutralist opposition to acquiescence. Manyand peoples of thc Free World would be favorably Impressed andby evidence that the US could in tact penetrate Soviet secrecy: by lhc same tokenould be discouragedhey were given reason to believe that tlt^ US was unable to achieve such pene-Iralior- Favorable reactions In Alliedmifcfci. be enchanted by joint Alliedwith the program, thouell not allwould bc overcome. Even In Uie event ofo.icl denouncement and threats, theould have substantialnccipuuicc as well as Uie support ot most Allied govern men is."
S-frC RETOriginal document.