PROBABLE SOVIET POSITION AT A CONFERENCE ON ANTARCTICA (SNIE 11-7-59)

Created: 6/30/1959

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SNIE09

SPECIAL

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE NUMBER

PROBABLE SOVIET POSITIONONFERENCE ON ANTARCTICA

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM

IN FULL

DIRECTOR OP CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Tht foOorotng intelligence organisations participated in tht preparation of thU estlmatt: Tht Central Inlelllgenct Aoency and the intelligence organisations ol the Departments of State, tht Army, the Navy, the Air rarct. The Joint Staff the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Department of Defense.

Concurred In by the

UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD

Ccmcvrtng totrt Tht Director of /lOrtH-

st Rt",ZC.KAssistant Chief

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approved for relcfseCc-.tral Intelligence Agancy.

the HISTORICAL RSVZBI PROGRAM offo/ 07

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MRP

PROBABLE SOVIET POSITIONONFERENCE ON

ANTARCTICA

THE -

To estimate Soviet objectives and the Soviet position on certain issuesonference on Antarctica.

ASSUMPTIONS

conference of states having anln Antarctica (Argentina,New Zealand, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States) will be held in the near future for the purpose ofreaty for Antarctica.

Participation in the conference will be limited to the foregoingtates.

The Soviet Union will participate in the conference.

The US position at the conference will be developed in accordance with the following basic policy objectives for

Orderly progresseaceful solution of the problem of Antarctica which would:

a. Prevent thc use of Antarctica for military purposes;

for freedom of scientificthroughout Antarctica byorganizations, and governmentscountries under established

freedom of access toby citizens of all countriesuniform rules;

uniform andrules applicable to all countriesnationals for any possibleof economic resources in the future;

general, provide for anadministration of Antarcticadirectly concerned, on abasis for all countries,peaceful purposes only;

f. Provide such relationship orwith the UN as would advance the preceding objectives.

CONCLUSIONS

believe that the chief presentin Antarctica is the conduct of anprogram of scientific research astheir expanding study of the earth asThey would gam basicdeluding knowledge ofand also would gain prestigeachievement. This InterestSoviets to regard as their main objective

t in Antarctica the preservation of freedom of action to conduct scientific researchthe area. Other objectives may emerge as. the now obscure potentialities of theare clarified.

Wc believe that the USSR will agreereaty providing for prevention of the use of Antarctica for military purposes, and for freedom of access and of scienlificfor all. We believe that thereaty which will formalize their right to carry out activities in the area will bring them to accept the US proposalrovision permitting the use of militaryand resources for peaceful purposes.)

We believe lhat the USSR will concurnilateral right of Inspection by observers of all parties to thc treaty, in order to ensure that the Antarctic is not used for militaryIt has already indicated Its agreement in principle lorovision. Thc Soviets would probably not favor the establishmentormal International organisation to carry out the inspection aspects of treatyIf the Soviets did agree to such an organization, thoy would seek to restrictits scope and functions and insisteto right In its votes on substantiveIn general, moreover, thc Soviets will wish to holdinimum internationallo administer the provisions of the proposed treaty.

The Soviet Union will continue to refuse to recognize claims of territorial sovereignty ln the Antarctic. We believe that thc Soviets will accept the proposed provision that the

treaty would Involve neither renunciation nor recognition of any existing claims, and wouldreeze on future claims for theof the treaty. It is probable that the Soviets will insist on some form of accession which would admit,inimum, countries such as Poland, which are not IncludedIn the treaty conference, but which have an ostensible claim for participation.

I. SOVIET INTERESTS AND OBJECTIVES IN ANTARCTICA

We believe that the chief Soviet interest in Antarctica Is thc conduct of an extensiveof scientific research from which not only to gain basic scientific knowledge,knowledge of military value, bul also to gain prestige from scientific achievement. This interest leads the Soviets to regard as their main objective In Antarctica theof freedom of action to conductresearch throughout the area.it should be borne in mind that the full potentialities of the Antarctic Continent remain obscure and that Soviet objectives ln the area may change In the future.

The Russiansong tradition ofIn the earth sciences..and in cold weather problems. Their programs Include study of the earthhole, requiringover as wide an area as possible and for protracted periods. Their antarctic activities appear to be an extension,arge one, of previous fields of activity, and supplement their arctic research.responsibility for both arctic andresearch has recenUy been merged in the USSRingle research institute. Wc believe the Soviol scientific research of recent years will be continued. ThisIncludes meteorology and weather(and possiblytudies of the ionosphere, the upper air. cosmic rays,oma pietism, earth currents and seismology, biology, geology and mineral exploration, mapping and hydrographic charting, and

navigation and oceanographlc studies. Tlic Soviets have monitored their satellites from the area, but reports that they contemplated launching satellites from both polar areas have not been confirmed. The Antarcticcertain advantages In connection with anticipated space experimentshe Van Allen radiation beltthinnest over the polar areas, and the frequent presence of high altitudephenomena might tend to mask high altitude nuclear teats. In general, however, thc evidence available, Including analysis of Soviet activities in the past year, does not suggest new fields of Interest. While many fields of investigation provide information of military significance, they are also ofnonmilitary importance.

We believe that the desire to preserveaccess to the Antarctic as well as the prestige value of being recognizedeader ln Antarctic research will Impel the Soviets to seek full participation In any politicalrelating to the area. They will almost certainly make an appearance of championing peaceful uses of the area and free access to all. both In order to safeguard their rights to unhampered activity and to gain propaganda dividends from this standreaty legitimizing the Soviet presence in the Antarctic would presumably preclude any Western Hemisphere signatory from charging that such presencehreat to security under thc Rio Treaty.

We have no evidence that the Soviet Union now regards the area as significant Tor overt military activities. The Soviets, in preliminary discussions, have favored treaty prohibition of military forces and activities, probably ln order loose of Soviet peaccfulness as well as lo eliminate the possibility of Western use of military force in the area. In regard to possible futurepotentialities, they evidently consider that the logistical difficulties which they would face in explolUng any militarywould be so much greater than those of nearer Free World countries that they favor the prohibition of military activities.

Tho political interests of the USSR would be served by any arrangement whichpast and future Soviet activities in Lhc various areas claimed by other countries. The Soviets have even said they wouldto regard present and future sclenUfic activities as not contributing to possibleclaims of sovereignty. The Sovietsconsider that acceptingrovision in the treaty would not prejudice theirshould the treaty later becomeThey could then make claims on the basish century Russian explorations and their activities of recent years, and even during thc treaty period. But for'thcfuture, and especially If an international agreement freezing claims but grantingshould be reached, the Soviets probably do not see an advantage to making tcrriiori.il claims.

Aside from whaling operaUons towaters, the scale of which the Soviets are increasing, they have no known economicin the area. They probably believe lhal their right to participate in theof auch mineral or other economicas the future may reveal would best be protected by assurances of free access to the whole of the Antarctic.

The Soviets have shown their interest in having other Communist countries participate to Antarctic activities; Bloc scientists have been stationed at Soviet bases. Jnhe Soviets officially turned over one of their bases to Poland. The Soviets will probably seek to obtain International acceptance of Polandull participant In Antarctic matters and to have thc area generally open to activities of Bloc countries.

II. GENERAL SOVIET ATTITUDESREATY CONFERENCE

the light of the foregoing summaryinterests and objecUves, we believeUSSR will agreereaty providingo( the use of Antarctica forpurposes, and for freedom of accessscientific invesligaUons for all. Wclhe Soviets, as Indeed they have Indl-

4

would accept all the objectives stated inf the Assumptions lor this Estimate.

In recent discussions with the US. the Soviets have indicated they were ready to put aside what would appear to be strongand negotiating positions if this would lead to early conclusionreaty. If In their judgment the prospectsreaty diminish, or if provisions were proposed which threatened serious restrictions on theirthe Soviets would probably resort to propaganda pressures ln negotiation, and lt necessary refuse to sign the treaty. Mostissues concerning treaty provisions now principally involve differences among the Western participants, so that thc Sovietsbelieve they will nnd opportunities to support other powers who would bear the brunt of arguing for those points favored by the Soviets,

enera] principle, the Soviets will probablyinimum of provisionsthose ensuring freedom of access,of the use of Antarctica for military purposes, and the stimulation of scientificThey willinimum offunctions and administrativein any international "regime" of theand will probably prefer to leave all scientific planning, coordination andfor the exchange of information and persons to the Special Committee on Antarctic Researchhe International scientific organization which has handled these matters since the end of the IGY.

It is likely that the Soviets will propose broadening the trealy conference to include Poland and perhaps other powers. However, they will probably not insist upon admission and will save their strongest stand for the question of subsequent accession to the treaty. The main objective of this move would be not only to increase Bloc participation in treaty matters, but also to secure the participation of countries not nowtake Inand which would be likely to support Soviet positions.

III. SOVIET POSITIONS ON KEY PROVISIONSREATY

Peaceful Purposes. TheSoviets will almost certainly continue to support theobjectives of permitting all to engage in scientific activities and other peacefuleverywhere in the Antarctic, and the prevention of the use of Antarctica forpurposes.

Nonmilitarization and Neutralization. The Soviets have indicated their agreement to the principle of nonmilitarization, and have moreover proposed an elaborationrohibiting weapons testing, militaryand establishment of militaryUntil recently they have sought to extend this position to the prohibition of use of military personnel and equipment for peaceful purposes (staff, logistical support,n view of the fact that the US scientific effort in the Antarctic, as well as that of some other Western countries, has been dependent upon such use of military men and equipment, and thc Soviet one has not, the Soviets may seek to press their pose of peacefulness by refusing to agree to aof thc treaty expressly allowing such peaceful uses of military assets. The Soviets have, however, recently Indicated officially (though not publicly) that they will nottorovision. While the Soviets may initially propose, for propagandathe barring of the use of militarywe believe that the Soviet desire for

a treaty which will assure freedom of access and activity in the area will tn the end bring them torovision permitting the use of such resources.

and Controls. Theagreed in principle to the use ofensure that thc provisions prohibitingactivities are being respected. Indiscussions they have said thatthe US proposalnilateralinspection by all parties, rather lhanproposal for dispatch of observers byinspection organization.and observation would, ln thebe authorized only to ensure lhat no

prohibited military activities were beingIn.

of Scientific Access. Theprobably hold to theirrovision guaranteeing Ireedomresearch at any place inthe citizens and organizations of allIf any other conferenceseek to limit this freedom thestrongly oppose any explicit orso as not to constrain theirof action.

Exploitation. Theprobably press for unhamperedeconomic purposes, and would notdiscriminatory limitations on suchThis problem does not appeararise.

Claims The Soviet Union will refuse to recognize claims of territorial sovereignty in the Antarctic. Until recently, Soviethave strongly opposed any reference to claims in the proposed treaty. They now have expressed agreementrovisiondeclaring that the treaty wouldneither renunciation nor recognition of any existing claims, andreeze on future claims for the duration of thc treaty. We believe that the Soviets will conUnue to hold this new position, and that If pressed by other participants toward some degree of recognition of claims they would refuse.

Zone of Application. The Soviels have, after long opposition, agreed to the generally accepted proposal to define the zone ofof the treaty as the area southouth latitude. The Soviets have noithemselves on the question ofof the high seas lying within thatoint of dispute among other participants. On the basis of their whaling interests, we believe the Soviets would agree to exclusion of the high seas.

nternational Administration. The Soviets wUlertainly favor holdinginimum international machinery tothe provisions of the proposed treaty. In particular, they would oppose the creation of an International regime ofignatories If substantive decisions could be made on othernanimous basis. In view of the strong opposition of some West-em countries to any such organizaUon. it is highly unlikely that any real International authority would be established by the If an international organization were proposed to conduct observation andof the fulfillment of provisions on nonmUitarlzation. the Soviets would Insistody with clearly defined and limited competence, and upon unanimous vote in any substantive or Interpretive decisions. The Soviets probably would not oppose looseof any treaty organization wluispecialized agencies of the UN. The Soviets oppose any provision requiringof all disputes to the International Court of Justice.

ccessions. The Soviet position has been that all countries should be permitted toto lhe treaty, since It oilers free access for peaceful purposes to all. Other Interested countries are divided on this issue, withclaimant countries strongly opposed to accessions of other than theountries now preparing for the treaty conference. The Soviets have recently indicated-that there might be some readiness on their part toperhaps by providingorm of association short of lhat of the originalor by providing accessions limited to members of the UN and Its specialized agenciespecific interest inIt Is probable that the Soviets willon some accession clause which would admit,inimum, countries such as Polandlausible claim for

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