THE SOVIET ATTITUDE AND TACTICS ON THE BERLIN PROBLEM

Created: 3/22/1960

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THE SOVIET ATTITUDE AND TACTICS

N.iTHE BERLIN; PROBLEM

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rfte foOcatng intelligence organizations participated In (Ac preparation of this estimate: The Central Intelligence Agency and the Intelligence organization* ot the Departments of State, the At my, the Navy, the Air Force, and The Joint Staff.

11ConeurrU In byNITED STATES OTELUGEXCE BO AMD onTarcA JMO. ConeurrfnatAe Director of InteUt-ond -march. Department of State; the Assistant Chief of Staff /or /nfeftfaence. Department o/ (A* Army; IA* Arrbf-ani Chief of Naval Operation* /or Intelligence, Department of the Navy; the Assistant Chltf of Staff. Intelligence. VSAP; the Di/ector for IntelUgence. The Joint Staff: the Assistant to the Secretary of Dtfente, Special Operations; and theof the national Security Agency. The Atomic Energy Commission Arpresentallve to the OStB, and the Assistantfederal Bureau of Investigation, abstatntd, the subject being oniric* of their Jurisdiction.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

bsEMINATION NOTICE :j

THE SOVIET ATTITUDE AND TACTICS ON THE BERLIN PROBLEM

THE PROBLEM

o 'estimate the current Soviet attitude on the Berlin problem and the manner inhich Soviet tactics may develop over the next several months. j

THE ESTIMATE

Current Soviet

To the Berlin lame j i' I

i. The issue of West Berlin probably seems to the Soviets toey one in the May. meeting. Although they hatencted It, at leastormal sense, toother agenda Items of disarmamentpeace treaty for Germany, they probably do not expect any very far-reaching results at this first Summit on these latterhey probably think that therehe Western Powers willome step toward accommodation on theIssue if the Soviet case Is pressed hard

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.heir hopeuccess of some sorterlin in the Summit negotiationsestsenuine confidence ln the strength [of the Soviet position. Khrushchev undoubt-!edly hopes that the Western Powers willisposed to make concessions becauseecognize that the USSR Is capable of andends unilateral actions which, Ifgainst with force, would Involve themreater risks than they are willing to take. 'Apparently contributing also to Sovietenesontinuing belief, which was manl-JTest during the Geneva Foreigneetings, that the Western Powers may not

be able tonited front against Sonet demands, j

this appraisal of thewell as an attempt to buildtrongposition ln advance of thehasoticeable hardening ofpublic statements on the Berlinrecent months. The threat of atreaty with East Oermany hasInsistent and innuendoes about theof this act for the WesternBerlin mare ominous. In thusbuild up pressure Khrushchev hasclose as possible to repudiating hisIssuing an ultimatum withoutdoing so. The Soviets are probablya too obvious and excessive use ofcould have the effect of compromising

.'the move for detente which they claim to want, or possibly even prejudice Westernat the Summit Conference. But their dilemma is that they realize that,pressure at least In the background, the Western Powers have no incentive to consider the Soviet demands on Berlin seriously at all.

ense, we believe, ln whichdo genuinelyetente.respects, Khrushchev's Internalhis plans for competing againstIn uncommitted areas would be

favored by some degree of cold war truce.

the Soviets' understanding of what constitutes detente continues to be de-

j fined ln terms of Western concessions or,hey put lt, "abandonment by the West of cola warhis ls not all hypocrisy: Khrushchev probably really believes thatest should see the Soviet, gains in powereason for finally accepting the statusn Eastern Europe, adjusting tbeituation ln Berlin, and giving at least de facto '. recognition to East Ger-nany. Whilehenev spoke onctober of "mutualhis note has not beennd there Is currently no sign that theIntend to approach the Berlinpirit of what the West wouldutuale do not believe that the Soviets*elaxation of tensions Is urgento exclude tactics of very severe pressurehe West in pursuit of their objectives in Ber-jlin. While the1 language of relaxation and peaceful coexistence is the same as that which has been employed by Soviet policy onccasionsegotiating phase. Itundamentally different motivation.Negotiation Is not now conceived, as aoarlier,actical maneuver to cope with an enemy of superior power, but rather as ato obtain peaceful delivery of theessions which the Soviets consider theirpower entitles them to expect. Thisapplies particularly to the case of West Berlin which the Soviets now see as anWestern position. In this mood,ill not be willing to accept forotal "rebuff to their demands without ano Increase the pressures very substantially.

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Tactics at tbe

hen the Parts meeting opens the Initial

position Is likely toaximumparticipation of the two Germaneace treaty or treaties with them on the basis of the Soviet draft, and the Free Cityfor West Berlin. We do not believe that Khrushchev will allow the Issue of German participation to endanger the conference, and even the Soviet peace treaty draft ls likely to be pushed only pro forma. As for Berlinthe Soviets already are on record as being willing to approach their objectives by stages, or through an Interim agreement limited In time. Therefore, ln nesotiations concerning Berlin, the hard bargaining areas for thewill be: (a) whether In principle the "abnormal" situation ln Berlin should be(this will exclude explicit acceptance of the West's principle that its rights continue until Germany Isnd (b) what first steps should be taken toward altering theupatlon regime" In West Berlin lnew status. Since the Summitwill be of too brief duration to permit any Intricate or prolonged maneuvers ina negotiating position, we expect that these essentials of the Soviet position willfairly promptly,

his approach probably excludes any Soviet designajor tension-producingln the Summit Itself. It means that the Sovleta will not insist upon achieving their full Free City plan at once. We believe that they would be satisfied to obtain undertalfngs which would mark Western consent to beoin changing the situation In West Berlin. The Soviets may even be willing toertain ambiguity about the meaning of the step* taken. They recognize that the ability of the West to maintain Its position inritical degree,elief on the part of the West Berlin population In the will and power of the West to preserve the freedom of the city. If the steps taken were viewed In Berlin as likely to lead ultimately to Westernajor loss of confidence In the Intentions of the Western Powers wouldand could undermine the situationand cause severe economic disruption. Unfavoraole reactions In West Germany also would probably further contribute to theand economic weakening of theIn Berlin. In such an atmosphere, the Soviets would expect to move still more rapidly toward the outcome they seek.onsequently, the steps for which they are most likely to press In order to give the lm* presslon of Western retreat will probablya reduction In Western troop strengths;

removal of West German political andactivities from theormalby the Western Powers of anylink between West Berlin and the Federal Republic; Soviet (and If possible East German) participationupervisoryto control "subversive activities" and otherwise to "reduce tensions" In West Berlin during an Interim phase of limited duration. We are unable to judge whether such steps, or which of them, would constitute the minimum Soviett is possible that the real minimum would be simply an agreement tonegotiations on Berlin with terms of reference which the. Soviets could Interprettep toward an eventual outcome favorable to them.

is possible, but we think unlikely,Soviets would be willing to postponeon the Berlin issue If theywere good prospects for progressIssues. The disarmament field, takenwhole. Is too large and complex and theare too far apart to permit ofSoviets would be likely to call progress.possible that Western concessions onor on partial disarmament steps InIncluding restraints on Westhave the effect of removing thefrom the center of the stage forbeing. However, any postponementBerlin Issue achieved hi this fashionbe of brief duration. Themost likely to lead Khrushchev toBerlin issue In abeyance would befor negotiationsour-poweror an all-German committeeset time limit on the termseacethe "two Germanles."

Soviet Actions Post-Summit

the Summit should result ln aon Berlin, and the Soviets arethat no movement ln thewill be forthcoming, they wouldbroad choices. They could agree tofor extending negotiation atwithout any Western commitmentto agreehange ln theProbably they would think thatthis would be tantamount to calling offpresent at least the campaign on theIssue which began Inhey would probably not expect to be able to maintain sufficient psychological momen. turn or pressure If negotiations could thus appear to be extended Indefinitely.they could proceed to make the separate treaty with East Germany. Their commitment to do this has been so explicit and so often repeated that we think It likely they have already resolved, barring aat the Summit favorable to thedemands, to take the step. Theyhave not yet decided upon the timing or upon what "consequences" they should apply to the Western position ln and access to Berlin.

A separate treaty would probably not be signed Immediately after the Summitecent Interval might also be allowed after the President's visit to the USSR, although an announcement that they were beginningwith interested parties forreaty might come at any time, ev-nafter the Summit. In any case. If no prospectreak In the stalemate appearedew months, lt Is likely that atreaty would actually be signed.

In taking this step, the Soviets would probably not intend Immediately toqueeze on access to Berlin. They might use some technicality to delay transferring access controls for several months. And when the transfer took place, they would probablythe Western Powers to continue to use the access routes under the "agent" theory, although the Soviets would not themselves concede that the East Oermans were present at entry points as their agents. In this new phase their principal lever would be the threat of an unacceptable adm'Jilstratlon of access controls by the East Germans. We believe that even In this phase the Soviets would still seek to achieve their aim of altering the status of Berlin basically through WesternIn negotiations. However, at some point, depending on their Judgment ofIntentions, they might attempt to deny access or to impose conditions which ln the Western view were equivalent to denial of access.

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