SOVIET CAPABILITIES AND INTENTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE CLANDESTINE INTRODUCTION

Created: 5/17/1960

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NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE NUMBER

SOVIET CAPABILITIES AND INTENTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE CLANDESTINE INTRODUCTION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION INTO THE US

Submitted by the DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE The 'allowing Intelligence organizations participated tn the preparation of this estimate: The Central Intelligence Agency; the intelligence organizations of the Depa-tments of State, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and The Joint Staff; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Concurred In by the UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE HOARD on I?oncurring were the Director of Intelligence and Research, Departmenl ol State; the Assistant Chief of Staff for InteUigence. Departmenl of the Army; the Assistant Chief Of Naval Operations lor InteUigence. Department of the Navy; the Assistant Chief ol Staff. Intelligence, VSAF; the Director for Intelligence. The Jottit Staff; The Atomic Energy Commission Representative to the USIB; the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. Special Operations; and the Director ol the National Security Agency For the position of the Assistant Director, Federal Bureau ol Investigation, see his footnote on page 2.

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National Security Council Department Ol SUtc DeparutMnl or DefCnie-Opcrmttocu Coordinating BoardEnergy Conmlaaton redcral Brnii of InvaiUcaUar,

SOVIET CAPABILITIES AND INTENTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE CLANDESTINE INTRODUCTION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION INTO THE US

THE PROBLEM

To assess Soviet capabilities for the clandestine introduction and delivery of

weapons of mass destruction in the US; and to estimate the likelihood of Soviet resort to this mode of attack.'

CONCLUSIONS

USSR is capable of attackingimportant targets in the US by moans of the clandestine introduction and delivery of nuclear, biological, andweapons of mass destruction.

The USSH would be most unlikely to undertake the delivery of suchubsidiary operationeliberate Soviet initiation of general war. Elsewhere we havethis latter contingency to beduring the next fewven in thatecision to deliver suchwould depend not only on Soviet ability to attack specific targets, but also

' Herein we are7 with theInlroducuOn ol weapons of mass dciUucUon Into the US prior to the open Initiation ofThts estimate does not deal with cither la) surreptitious attacks by military unita such as missile launching submarines, or Ibloperations Initiated alter the outbreak ol war.

f,. Including Uie footnote ol Lhe Aulilanl Chief at SlaH. Intel licence, USAF. thereto.

on the Soviet estimate of the strategic importance of their destruction, the risk of detection prior to delivery of the attack, the possible consequences of suchand the feasibility of destroying the target by other means. No matter Imw slight the risk of detection, we believe that the USSR, considering the consequences of possible detection in forfeiting surprise, compromising the Soviet main cfTort, and possiblyS military reaction disastrous for lhe USSR, would notclandestine attacks in the US with weapons of mass destruction. However, if the USSR regarded such attacks as the only feasible means of achieving adecisive strategic effect, it might accept the risks involved.

o long as Soviet strategic attackremain substantially limited to attack by bombers, clandestine attack will remain the only feasible means ofnuclear weapons in the US with

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no warning; time. In particular,nuclear attack will bo the mostmeans of destroying orsubstantial numbers of SAC aircraft prior to warning. For this purpose, the USSR might accept tlie risks involved.

hen the USSR has acquired aICBM capability, there will be no strategic purpose served by clandestine attack that could not be accomplished by ICBM attack without incurring the risk of detection inherent in clandestineunless the US had meanwhile developed an effective defense against ICBMs, or had at leastapability toubstantial proportion of its land-based retaliatory force prior to the arrival of Soviet ICBMs at target In these eventualities, the USSR might still regard clandestine attack on SAC bases as strategically justifiable. Otherwise, the USSR would almost certainly not undertake the clandestine introduction and delivery of weapons of mass destruc-

tion in the US after it had acquired aICBM capability.'

"Thenuni Director, Federal Bureau of In-vesUgsiUon, believes that this paragraph ihould read aa follows:

the USSR Is capable of attackingIre pot tint laigeli In Uie US by means of the clandestine InboducUon and detonation of nuclear weapons, the US cannot aaTordto jay that Ihr USSR will not exercise this capability. Even though the USSRubstantial ICBM capability.he US had meanwhile developed an effective defense against ICBMs or had at leastapability loub-sUiitlnl ptojiortlon ol lis retaliatory force prior to the arrival of Soviet ICBMs at target, the USSR might atUl regard clamli'sUnc attack on USforces hi alrtttcgleaUy lustiflable. If. at some unspecified time lit the future, Ihe USSR shouldumcienl ICBM capability which would permit It to plan attacks on Westernforces with Uie degree and certainty of success required to Insure that tbe USSR couldeneral war without Itself Incurringdan-age, there would be no strategic purpose served by clandestine attack. Uoweicr. the majority of the US Intelligence Board does not believe the USSR will attempt toufficient ICBM capability prior to,. Vor the present then, Uie USSR has not only the capability of clandestine allaek. particularly with nuclear weapons, but has strategic Justification for employing this type of attack on selected targets uuUI some unspecified lime In the future"

DISCUSSION

clandestine introduction of menInto the US is notatterdifficulty and could notmade so. Mo estimate is available asnumber of persons in the US andcountries who could actually beas technically and psychologicallyOf executing dangerous missions inthe USSR, but the number required foroperations hereinnot be large.

Weapons Suitable for Clandestine Use

The USSR could produce aof nuclear devices suitable for clandes-

tine introduction and delivery. Such devices could range In yield from about one kiloton to about sevenrange oftested Soviet devices. To facilitateintroduction, any device within this range could be designed to break downumber of relatively simple andcomponents. Not much technical skill would be required loow-yield device. When assembled, it would bein the luggage compartment of an automobile Greater skill would be required toigh-yield device and, once assembled, it would be difficult to handle. The sise and weight of any niultimcgaton dc-

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would preclude its usn exceptixed iuslallatlon In the holdhip,ruck-trailer, oruilding.

Hiological. Certain biological warfare agents are peculiarly suited (or clandestine use because they could be produced in the US without great difficulty or risk (obviating any need for their clandestine introduction) and because their actual delivery on target would not be Immediately detected. However, the delayed action of biological agents renders them unsuitable for use in situationsan immediate or precisely timed etlcct.

Chemical warfare agents would be difficult to introduce and deliver insufficient to obtain effectiveon extensive target areas. Moreover, their effective delivery with precise timing would be subject to unpredictable conditions of wind and weather. However, chemical agents could be effectively usedmall scale against personnel in key installupplygcnts ample for this purpose could be clandestinely produced In the US without great difficulty or great risk ofobviating the necessity of clandestine introduction.

General Considerations Affecting Soviet

Important targets in the US arcto clandestine nuclear, biological,attack. Whether the USSRto deliver such attacks atuclear general war would dependon its ability to attack specificalso on the Soviet estimate of theof their destruction, the riskprior to delivery of the attack,consequences of such detection,feasibility of destroying the targetmeans.

US security measures on landfrontiers and at potential targetsthe detectionlandestineprior to final delivery, hut they poseof risk which the USSR cannotIn addition to the specific risk incoses, thereeneral risk of dis-

coveryS penetration of lheapparatus, or through lhe defection of an agent, or by sheer accident. The USSR could never be sure that none of thesewould occur.

he USSR would almost certainlythat the deliverylandestine attack in tlie US with weapons of mass destruction would precipitate general war except that biological agents might be disseminateddetection or possibility of attribution. Wo believe that the USSR would be mostto undertake clandestine nttacks In the US with weapons of mass destruction exceptubsidiary operation in conjunctioneliberate Soviet initiation of general war. Elsewhere we have estimated this latterlo be unlikely during Uie next fewlmost certainly the USSR would not accept lhe risks inherent In maintaining stocks of such materials in the US for useontingency basis. By definition,oviet pre-emptive attack would not allow sufficient time for theand delivery of such weapons.In such circumstances, theof US security precautions would greatly increase the risk that subsidiary clandestine operations would compromise the Soviet main effort,1

o matter how slight the risk ofwe believe that the USSR, considering the consequences of possible detecUon insurprise, compromising the Soviet main effort, and possiblySreaction disastrous for the USSR, would not undertake clandestine attacks In the US with weapons of mass destruction. However, if the USSR regarded such attacks as the only

f NIEncluding the fool not* of the Assistant Chief of 8laH. Intelligence. USAF, thereto.

Soviet mlUUry nieratcre. pre-empUve attack Is defined as an attack with Immediatelyforces designed to seize the strategicfrom an enemy who la himself preparing Imminently to attack. The USBft would not be likely to concludeS altackImminent unless the situation were so tense that the US, on lla part, would be Liking extraordinaryprccauUons.

feasible means ofotentiallystrategic effect, it might accept the risks involved.

Potticulor Forms of Clandestine Allack

JJelow wc evaluate several particular forms of clandestine attackoviet point of view in accordance with the criteria set forth above.

Itiolvgtcal and Chemical. Biological agents arc unsuilcd for use in situationsprecise liming. The use of chemical agents is dependent on unpredictableof wind and weather. Neither of these weapons is well suited for uselandestine attack designed lorecisely timedupon the initial operationsuclear general war. Regarded In the contextassive nuclear attack with consequentsubsidiary clandestine biological and chemical attacks would be redundant.

rVucJecr Detonations rn DiplomaticUnder exiling practices with respect to diplomatic immunity, the USSR would incur no appieciable risk of detection in assembling multlmegalon devices In secure areas In the Soviet Embassy in Washington and the offices of the Soviet UN Delegation In New York, for detonationour. The outstandingof such an attack over attack by bombers would be Its denial of warning time-Considering the minimal risk involved nnd the advantages to be derived from the destruction of Washington and New York withoutthe USSR might undertake such anWith the ndvent of ICBMs, however, the same effect could be accomplished byattack without incurring even the slight riskS search In violation of SovietImmunity.

Nuclear Detonations on Shipboard fn Afa-jor Ports. As compared with bomber attack, the outstanding advantage of the detonation ofegaton nuclear devices on shipboard in major portsour would be the denial of warning time. Existing port security measures would probably deter the use ofships for this purpose, but could not prevent the delivery of such an attack byboats or similar small craft to which nu-

clear weapons had been transferred at mm, Under alert conditions. Ihe additional counter-measures likely to be in effect would probably deter the delivery of such an attack by any means. Wilh the advent o( ICBMs, the same, effect could be accomplished by missile attack without incurring the risk of detectionin clandestine introduction.

landestine Attack on SAC Doses' So long as Soviet strategic attack capabilitiessubstantially limited to attack by bombers, clandestine nuclear attack onSAC liasesour will remain the most reliable means by which the USSR could attempt to destroy or Iminobilixc substantial numbers of SAC aircraft prior to warning. Chemical attack would also be effective for this purpose, but might be regarded as lesson account of uncertainties regarding wind and weather conditionsour. The specific security measures in effect at SAC buses would not preclude the eifect he delivery of such attacks. The general risks involved in undertaking such operations would bebut, if the USSR had alreadyto aeeept the risks inherent In ainitiation of general war, it mightthe risks involved in this form ofattack as warranted by the potentially decisive effect to be achieved, which could be accomplished by no other means. However, when the USSR hasubstantial number of ICBMS. the same effect could be accomplished by ICBM attack withoutany risk of detection prior to launch- -unless the US had meanwhile developed an effective defense against ICBMs, or had at leastapability to launch aproportion ol Its land-basedforce prior to the arrival of Soviet ICBMs at target In these eventualities, the USSR might still regard clandestine attack on SAC bases as strategically Justifiable.

landestine Attack an Hardened Sites.eans of delivering nuclear weapons without providing the warning time derived from the approach of bombers. Uie ICBM will in general supersede clandestine attack. For some time, however, the number of ICBMs required toardened site will he

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excessive. Consequently, consideration must he given lo the feasibility of clandestineon such lurgcls. It appears that aajteration could notuclear

device of sufficient yield near enoughardened site to disable il. Chemical attack against site personnel might be suitable for this purpose.

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