implications for the free world and the communist bloc of growing nuclear capabilities
To estimate the effects of increasing capabilities for nuclear warfare on public attitudes and behavior and on national policies in the Communist Bloc and the Free World.
impressive developments inweapons delivery systems over the past year or so have not produced basic changes in popular attitudes In the non-Communist world. These attitudestoixture of apathy and fatalistic resignation, fear of theof nuclear war, and, particularly in Western Europe, acceptance of nuclear weapons as essential to defense andstatus and prestige. In the main, peoples and governments appear to beradual and steady adjustment to the threats inherent in the existence of nuclear weapons and we believe that future developments are not likely toany sudden or marked changes in present attitudes and policies.
It is possible, however, that theof nuclear explosives with ballistic missiles will produce fundamental shifts
In these attitudes and official policies. Such changes could come with little warning in the midstrisis situation which served to crystallize the ferment, fears, or newly formulated concepts of the age.
pposition to the testing of nuclear weapons continues strong throughout the world, especially in Japan, India, and in parts of Western Europe. But in most Western countries this opposition isto the view that nuclearare essential to defense andest ban should be made effective by measures of inspection and control. There is great Interest in disarmament, including various propositionseans of reducingand the dangers of war. By-and-large, the public demands caution ininvolving the risk of great power
and there is considerable support for UN intervention to observe, control, and police areas in which therehreat to the peace.)
Most non-Communist governments display similar attitudes of caution and concern over the nuclear situation. In Asia and the Middle East the nuclearcontinues to reinforce neutralist sentiments which derive from cultural and other factors. The Westerngovernments are highly sensitive to popular pressures for measures to reduce the dangers of war, and they consider it necessary, and even desirable to explore possibilities for negotiations with the USSR. )
Nevertheless, Soviet pressures and advances in weapons technology have not caused these governments, and otters in the Free World depending on the US deterrent, to alter their posture or alignment. Many governments,those of the NATO powers, are able to lead the public to accept thethat participation in an alliance whose strategy rests on the maintenanceuclear deterrent is the bestof security. )
The rapid pace of technologicalwill create serious problems for the US and the world. There may be doubts as to who has the lead in modern weapons, and it may become increasingly difficult to convince the peoples andof Western Europeand other parts of the worldthat the deterrent is in fact effective. Fearsurprise or "pre-emptive" Soviet attack may grow In those nations which depend upon the
US for protection, fears may also increase as to whether the US remains willing to risk general nuclear war in order totheir vital interests. In view of the foregoing, certain nations might lean toward neutralism in an effort to gain security through accommodation.)
A period of rapid change in weapons development and of uncertainty as to the relative balance of military power could put an increasing premium on striking the first blow. As the time periodfor preparationevastating attack dirrunishes, the problem ofthe Intent of the other sideparticularly during periods of crisis when precautionary military activities had been initiated by both sidesbecome even more critical. Thegreater certainty of retaliationfrom the development of mobilesystems or hardened sites would strengthen the operation of theon either side. Even so, either side might decide that the deterrent effect of the other side's strength or posture was outweighed by the necessity to launch the first strike as the best hope for )
Barring an effective disarmament agreement, there will probably be aspread of nuclear capabilities to some additional countries. Nevertheless, we do not foresee any early lessening of the present strong political and psychological restraints on their use.
' For reicrraUoni of the Assistant Cblei of fllatr for Intelligence. Department of the Army, and the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations forDepartment of the Navy, regarding this conclusion, see footnote to paragraph St.
destructive power of nuclearlong been in the publicthe advances in deliveryby the satellites and by thetest programs appear to the world asa new dimension In the threatIs widely held that the time Ishand when hasty action, perhaps asaulty estimate of the Intentionsopposing side, can unleash awith high-yield weapons deliveredmissiles. The world was notSputnik and the compound reactionshock, and apprehension wasThe reassessment of nationaloff by this evidence of Sovietcapability is still In progress.
withear'sSputnik it can be said that nosudden changes in attitudes oras yet occurredesult of theof growing nuclearIn fact, the evidence availablepeoples and governments aresteady In their reactions toadvances in the nuclear weapons field.there appears toreaterfatalismreater realizationare no quick and easy solutions,It is necessary to work within theof familiar institutions and methodscasing of the nuclear threat.
REACTIONS AND ATTITUDES
A. The Non-Communist World
Is considerable unanimity inon several general propositionsto the implications of growingFor example, the popularthe non-Communist world Is that theof nuclear weapons involves somerisk to the human race; the generalaround the world now is thathostilities between the two greatwould almost certainly mean nuclear war; and practically all people believe that anuclear war wouldisaster toDespite this unanimity on certainpropositions, the revulsion againstweapons isynamic force of even strength throughout the world and there are widely differing views as between regions and even within many Individual countries with respect to the measures necessary or passible to deal with the problems of the nuclear age.
Broadly speaking, however. It Is possible to distinguish between two major trends In popular attitudes toward nuclear weapons. In the Western world andew nations In Asia the dominant trend is toward reluctant acceptance of the fact that nuclear weapons arc necessary for the common defense. In much of Asia and the Middle East thetrend among those who hold any opinions on nuclear weapons is to emphasize the dangers inherent in their existence and to press for their control or outlawingparticular regard to the complicated problems of Free World defense and security.
In Western Europo and the Americas there continues to be some opposition to the testing of nuclear weapons on the ground that itanger to human life.this concern has not producedand strong pressures for an Immediate and unconditional ban on tests. This may be due in part to apathy, but It alsoairly widespread acceptance amongpeople of the view that some risks In testing are essential to Western defense and of the propositionermanent test ban should be made effective by measures ofand control.
Attitudes towards other aspects of theweapons control problem follow apattern in the West. There Is greatIn disarmament, including propositions for "nuclear free zones" and disengagement schemes. There la hope that sincere and pro-
negotiations might bear fruit,the danger of war and the economic burdens of defense. Even in Western Europe important voices demand that the terms for safeguards be scaled down, and some risks and possible loss of military advantage be accepted so that the circle might be broken and real progress made toward controls and disarmament. Nevertheless, Soviet proposals are generally viewed with skepticism andand there are no strong pressures for large-scale concession* merely to reach
Barring an effective disarmamentthe Western public generally sees no alternativeefense strategy basedon the nuclear deterrent. Initially, at least, the public in Western Europe believeduclear defense strategyeans of holding down the economic andcosts that would otherwise have beenIn maintaining large and readyforces. With the Soviet advances In nuclear weapons capabilities has come recognition that the West must not lagin weapons technology if the deterrent Is to remain effective.
Fears that the US might withdraw from Europe at some future date or proveto risk war in defense of WesternInterests also have been elementspublic opinion In favor of nationalfor the development of nuclearNational pride and the desire to gain great power status and to exert greateron US policy have been ImportantIn France and the UK tending tobasic fears of the weapons.
The launching ofccasioned considerable soul searching In the West. There were fears that the USSR had moved ahead of the US in nuclear deliveryand In this situation neutralism, and even pacifism gained some ground in WesternBut confidence In the deterrent strength of the West has been somewhat restored by post Sputnik progress in US missileFor the most part, the public in the NATO area and in other countries relying on the US deterrent believe that It Is stilland that alliance or alignment remains the best guarantee of their security.
hroughout much of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia the people generally lack knowledge concerning nuclear weapons and perceive only dimly theirMany of these peoples are fearful of the consequences of nuclear war, concerned over the effects of testing, in favor of nuclear disarmament, and opposed to any stationing of nuclear weapons In their countries.
Id. But for the most part they are not faced with concrete Issues and tend to be apathetic toward tho more general problems. They tend to feel that the nuclear problem Isin the great power struggle over which they have no control, or they are so deeply Involved in struggles for independence orthat they have little time to reflect on world problems. People In these areas tend to accept and follow, usually passively, the positions taken by their leaders.
Informed circles in Latin America have evidenced deep concern over the dangers of nuclear war, and there is much Interest throughout the area in disarmamentwhile desiring that the TJSore flexible position on disarmament, aof the informed persons in Latin America generally recognize the importance to their own security of the US deterrent. Even in Mexico, where one of the highest levels of radioactivity in the world has aroused popular concern, there is no great pressureuspension of tests.
In the Arab world and much ofAsia, informed circles emphasize theof the nuclear situation, without much regard for the problems of defense in the non-Communist world. They see this situation as part of the great power struggle which could get out of hand with the small nations as probable victims. They hope, by remaining neutral, to escape this threat and theyto exert pressures on the great powers to accept controls on testing and nuclear weapons. Their views on the merits of any proposition tend to be colored by adistrust of the West, and they are fre-
more Inclined lo accept the seemingly reasonable Soviet proposals than those of the West.
India and Japan remain exceptional cases in Asia In the depth of popular concern over the nuclear situation. While the masses in India have only the vaguest notion ofmatters. Nehru's warnings have made some Impression. The Japanese, the onlyto haveuclear attack, have developed what amountsational phobia regarding the use or testing of nuclearIn Japan no one can escape the deluge of comment and exhortation on the subject, at times Including daily radio bulletins on the fallout-count Opposition to testing is vocal and insistent in both countries and there Is relatively little concern, except in limited circles in Japan,est ban or otherbo backed with adequate safeguards. Neither the Indian nor tho Japanese public want their countries to have anything to do with nuclear weapons, although there mayoftening in the Japanese attitude in the future as Japanotential toits own weapons, or if there arethat Communist China possessesweapons. The peoples of both nations would view the use of nuclear weapons in almost any circumstances as an unmitigated disaster.
Nevertheless, even In India and Japan, the public hasit more discerning in its evaluation of Bloc propaganda onIssues over the past year. SovietIn weapons technology haveobering effect, and the more truculent tone of Soviet and Chinese Communistsome of it directed at these two countrieshas reminded Japan, and to some extent India, that their security is bound up with the fate of the non-Communist world and with the US deterrent At the same time there Is evidence that the press and informed circles recognize that Soviet propaganda on test bans and disarmament does not always correspond to Soviet actions. Theretrong reaction in both countries to the USSR's resumption of testshe rimes of tndta stated that the USSR prefers
"paper agreement and declarationsby actualities" and complained that Khrushchev is more interested In strikingposes than In getting on with thetask of genuine disarmament.these trendsore discerning view of the Soviet position have not resulted In greater support for the Western position; the US and West are still criticized for what Is generally believed to be excessive rigidity and caution In insisting on inspection and controls.
In all regions of the non-Communist world, the fears with respect to the nuclear situation show most clearly during periods of high tension and crises. There Isvery little confidence that any but the smallest wars would be fought withoutweapons and little faith that such wars could be contained- Strong pressures are exerted against any nationocal situation where Its actions could eventually involve other friends orThere Is considerable support for UN Intervention to observe, control, and police areas In which therehreat to the peace.
In popular thinking about local warsattention has been given to the possible Implications of small (under one KT)weapons. The prevailing view appears to be that there is little difference between large and small weapons in terms of theInvolved In limiting tho conflict or in the nondeslrablllty of their use. The public is generally not impressed bybetween "clean" and "dirty" weapons.
Not all believe that small wars Involving nuclear weapons would lead inevitably to big wars. There Is, formall but vocal group In the UK which has advanced the thesis that the balance of nuclear power among the great powers would serve tocaution In any local conflict Involving great power Interests, whether or not nuclear weapons were used. According to this theory, both sides would appreciate that the costs of total satisfaction in the local conflict might be the progressive raising of the ante to the general war level. Given this appreciation, there wouldacit understanding to
objectives and to restrain the tests of arms and wills to the local area, as In tbe Korean War.
It should be said that theregroups In the world, perhapsin India, who believe thatof deterrence and the piling upcan have only one endA small group in the UKsuch views has been activelyan old ideal, pacifism, updated forage. This group advocates thescrapping of all Westerndepending on moral strengthand overcome Soviet militaryIts materialistic philosophy. Topacifism has relatively fewand has not caught the Imaginationto the extent that It did In the
B. The Sino-Bloc Bloc
There Is little positive Informationwith respect to popular attitudes within the Sino-Soviet Bloc We believe that theon the mainland of China know little mere than they are told by the regime aboutweapons. If this is true, only Informed and sophisticated circles would have aunderstanding of the power of nuclear weapons and of the West, both of which have been derided as "Paperhile theCommunist leaders have reportedlyin private the possibility0 casualties on the mainland in the event of nuclear warfare, they have publiclythat the Socialist bloc would triumph and that the cause of world communism would be advanced If the Imperialists shoulduclear war. In any event, theappears capable of limiting theof any fears concerning nuclear war that may exist.
The experience of numerous observers in the USSR indicates that there is widespread concern over the chances of war. However, the people appear largely convinced that their government is working sincerely for peace and disarmament.
III. EFFECTS ON GOVERNMENT POLICIES
A. Tho Non-Communist World
The development of nuclear capabilities haservasive Influence on thepolicies of practically all nations; on some nations the Influence has been profound. Even those governments in areas far removed from the likely centers of possiblo nuclear conflict are sensitive to the dangers andworld-wide consequences of nuclear war. The existence of nuclear weapons and the pressure of public opinion have served to make most governments more cautious In theof national interests; the dangers ofwar have given spur to efforts tovarious agreements with the Bloc totensions and the dangers of war; andweapons developments have brought forth Important changes in defense policies.
Nevertheless, It Is difficult to Isolate and weigh precisely the Influence of the nuclear weapons situation, even In the case ofpolicy. National policies reflect the working of other important factorsbasic incompatibility of Communist and Free World objectives, the reduced power position of Western Europe as compared with tho US and the USSR, the dependence of much of the non-Communist world on the US for strategic security, and the continuing search of the peoples and governments in the formerareasolution to insecurity, want, and the problems of modernising their societies.
To date European governments havethe theory that allied forces must be prepared to maintain and use nuclearas an essential support on which they depend in meeting Soviet pressures.Norway and Denmark have declined to accept IRBM sites on their territories, they have Joined all the other NATO nations In affirming the strategic necessityuclear defense system. In Italy agreements toIRBMs were in process of completion when the Fanfanl government fell. In France negotiations towards this end were stalled by nationalist trends In French policy which
been intensified by de Gaulle's advent lo power and not by any basic opposition on the part of the government to nuclearEven West Germany, which has been subjectroad range of Soviet threats, including total devastation If It were tonuclear weapons on Its territory, hasin principle the equipping of the Bundeswehr with tactical nuclear weapons. Significantly, however, most of theInvolved have proceeded with the utmost delicacy, and have attempted where possible to minimize publicity or publicof the IRBM question.
Soviet technological advances have not frightened the Western allies into isolation from the US because by-and-large theytheir ultimate dependence on USBut there has been increased concern on the part of some Europeans for theof their own local interestsof their role In the over-all Westernsystem.
The UK has pushed ahead with itsof developing some deterrent nuclear forces of Its own and France is seeking to join the "nuclearhile there has been some criticism from the British labor Party over what Is described as excessivein the nuclear field, this has caused no fundamental turning away from the principal strategy of nuclear deterrence. Recentdefense ministry thinking may Indicate, however, that the government Is increasingly concerned that there may be Insufficientcapabilities for limited warThere appears toendency In official circles to divide military problems into those which deal with nuclear armament, and those, usually pertaining to traditionalInterests outside the NATO area, which do not.
Although the NATO governments aretotrong and unified defense (at least to the extent that thecosts are politically feasible) mostsensitive to popular pressures forcontrols, for disarmament, and forIn the defense of national Interests.
While generally able to lead public opinion on Issues considered vital, Europeanfind it necessary, and even desirable, to explore possibilities for negotlotions with the USSR, to examine all Soviet proposals, and to choose carefully the propitious political moment for announcing the adoption of any policy which might be attacked asto an increase in international tensions.
Moreover, the European governments themselves are extremely sensitive to theof war and are little Inclined to support military actions, or otherwise to take aposition in situations which do nottheir vital interests. At the same time, they are more than ever concerned that their advice and counsel be heard by the US. so that actions will not be carried outhaving ultimate consequences for all. Particularly In France, therereater voice In Western policy.
The Canadian Government also fullythe implications of reliance on nuclear weapons and of alliance with the US.Canada desires that the UN bereater role and Increased capabilitiesediator and policeman in local disputes, and that disarmament negotiations be pursued more vigorously. Canada has beensensitive to unilateral UK actions during the Sues crisis and to US actions In theStraits.
It is particularly difficult to assess the Impact of the nuclear weapons situation on the Arab states of the Middle East and North Africa. While fear of Involvement in nuclear war hasactor in Arab attitudesWestern bases, especially in Morocco, .these attitudes are primarily motivated by Arab nationalism and local politicalNasser may believeucloar stalemate exists which provides him greater opportunity to maneuver between East and West and greater latitude In subverting the Arab world. But he is probably also concerned over the prospect of the Middle East being turneduclear battleground through miscalculation on his own part or by the West or the USSR. Moreover, his initiative, or lack thereof, In most situations is almost certainly
ost of otherwhich outweigh thoughts about nuclear weapons.
evelopments hi nuclear capabilities over the past year served to convince the Indian Government even more of the basic wisdom of Its neutralist foreign policy, which derives from historical, cultural, and religiousas well as from an obsession with the consequences of nuclear war. The people provide strong support for the official view that pacts and alliances increase tensions and that the nuclear armaments race onlyreater catastrophy at some future time when heightened tensionsatalmay result in general war. The government's concern that disarmament be tackledriority world problem has been intensified by the advent of ICBMs. While recognizing that practical security problems are Involved In the disarmament Issue, the Indian Government exerts every effort toboth the US and USSR to makeand concessions that might lead In time to substantial disarmament agreements.
he Japanese Government continues to rely on US deterrent power for security.in Soviet nuclear capabilities have not weakened its determination to remain allied with the US. At the same time, the strong popular revulsion to nuclear weapons and awareness of Japan's vulnerability toattack have impelled the government to take measures to minimize the risks ofinvolvement In nuclear warfare. In pursuit of this objective the governmentthe introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan and seeks revision of theSecurity Treaty to giveeto over the operational use of US bases. We believe that the Japanese Government would consent to the use of US bases In Japan for the launching of air attacks, nuclear or otherwise, against targets on the mainland of Asia only If Japanese leaders were convinced that Japan itself were directly threatened.1
'For fuller treatment see, -Probable Developments in Japan's
B. The Sino-Soviet Bloc
Soviet thinking and foreign and military policy have been strongly influencedrowing appreciation of the power of nuclear weapons. The Soviet leaders have made strong efforts toubstantia! nuclear capability of their own, but they haveto maintain androad range of nonnuclear capabilities.1
They have also tried to reduce theand political usefulness of US nuclear capabilities by attempting to make USbases untenable and by Increasing the Inhibitions attached to any use of nuclear weapons. Recognizing the world-wide fear of nuclear war, the USSR has sought to garb Itself with slogans ofo adoptand simplified positions onand to emphasize the dangers that go with any association with the US defense effort
The development of nuclear weapons and their potential for devastation inajor role in6 revision In Communist doctrine, which now holds that military conflict with the capitalist states Is no longer "fatallyhiswas part and parcelew emphasis on political means of struggle which became Increasingly evident after the death of Stalin.
The USSR's activities in its struggle with the West continue to be manifest principally tn the political and economic realms. The Image of military strength resulting from Soviet advances ts, however, an integral part of the setting in which the USSR pursues this struggle. Moscow evidently regards lis real and presumed military strength as aasset in political warfare. Sovietprobably estimate that if theyeneral war at present, even with surprise nuclear attacks, the USSR would sufferdamage from US nuclear retaliation. On the other hand, they are probablythat their own nuclear capabilities, even though not as great as those of the US.
uner discussion of Soviet strategy seo7 of. "Main Trends in Soviet Capabilities and3
grown to the point where theyowerful deterrent to the US. It Isprobable that in the Soviet view both sides are now militarily deterred frominitiating an all-out nuclear war or from reacting to any crisisanner which would gravely riskar. unless vital national interests at home or abroad were considered to be in jeopardy. However, we believe the Soviet leaders do not exclude the possibility of nuclear war resulting fromor miscalculation.
While we believe that the Soviet leudcrs do not at present Intend to pursue theirby employing their own forces, they will recognize, particularly in consequence of the policies they are pursuing toetraction of Western power by political rrieans, that situations might arise In which the use of force would seem essential to one side or the other. In such situations the Soviets would prefer to provide logistic and other support for local operations in which only non-Soviet forces participated directly. Their objectives in such operations would be limited, and they would seek to avoid direct Soviet involvement, to limit tho geographic area of engagement, and to prevent the use of nuclear weapons by either side.
Soviet planners probably consider,that such limitations might be Impossible in some Instances, and that encounterstheir own and Western forces mightIn this event, they would prefer tothe amount of force employed in such situations in order to limit the scale ofand the degree of their own Involvement as much as possible. For example, they would almost certainly wish to avoid the use ofweapons. In deciding whether totheir own forces in any particular local situation the Soviets would have to balance the risk ofrain ofpossibly leading to general war, against the stakes Involved in the area of local conflict. They probably believe that the West's military posture and doctrine rest increasingly upon the use of nuclear weapons, even In limited wars. But they probably also view their own nuclear deterrent capabilities as alreadyraised the threshold at which the West would react inanner. Thus, they probably believe that the opportunities for pressures against Western positions and for bluff have been enhanced.
Chinese Communist leadersthe first to proclaim thatthe strategic balance of powerin favor of the Bloc and theyore assertive policy toalleged shift. Moreover, theirline has beenuclear waronly the final defeat ofwe believe that Chineseconduct in the Taiwan Straitsevidence that they are sensitive to thepower of the US.
iv. probable trends in attitudes and policies
Barring an effective disarmamentthe people and governments of the world will almost certainly be confrontedontinued growth in nuclear weaponsTechnological advances willurther diversification of weapons types and some reduction in the costs of production of certain nuclear weapon systems. In thisthere will probablyradual spread of nuclear capabilities to "fourth countries."
The continuation of the nuclearrace and the development of nuclear capabilities by "fourth countries" willfresh outbursts of concern throughout the world. There will almost certainly be. from time to time, renewed andessation of nuclear tests and for measures to control the deployment and use ot nuclear weapons. But the dominant trend in public attitudes will probably be one of apathy or resigned acceptance of the existence and development of nuclearIn the main, peoples andare conditioned to living with the threat inherent hi the existence of modem nuclear weapons, and we believe that future developments in the nuclear weaponsare not likely to produce any sudden or marked changes in present attitudes orover the next few years.
Nevertheless, the development ol nuclear weapon systems of Increasing range,and sophistication will continue tostrongly the conduct of foreignThere will probablyendency to caution, and if possible to compromise. Inwhich might Involve the interests of the great powers and precipitate nuclear war. Neutralism may become Increasingly attractiveeans of escapingfor and involvement In the great power struggle between the US and the Sino-Soviet Bloc, although the extent to which this will occur will dependumber ofdevelopments.
Developments in US policies and nuclear capabilities will have great effects on the policies of both those nations committed to the West and the countries which already are neutralist. The entire non-Communist world will watch closely for any sign that the US deterrent Is becoming less effective because of technological factors or that US determination to stand beside the exposed and threatened areas of the world IsIf members of the Western Alliance came to believe that the US was usingadvances to reduce its military presence overseas it would becomedifficult to convince the peoples and governments of Western Europe and Asia that the US remained willing to defend their interests. In thisurtherof the present trendard line in Soviet policy leading to increased fears of the chances of general war might cause some members of the Western Alliance to weaken their commitments to the Alliance.tn those countries which might haveodest nuclear deterrent of their own, there mightisposition to flirt with the idea of neutrality. Certain nations around the periphery of the Bloc might lean toward the Bloc In an effort to gain security throughelief In the West that the US had fallen behind could contribute to neutralist trends and greatly complicate the problem ofrm united front against Soviet probes and pressures.
f US technological advances and policies lead the Free World to remain confident that the US will defend local Interests againstaggression, Soviet efforts to exploit their own growing capabilities could have theeffect. Soviet probes and pressures could continue, as in the past, to serve tothe people of Western Europe thatunless supportedormidablenuclear capability, offered nofrom Soviet pressuresorkable substitute for commonimilarmight develop In Japan, which has generally reacted stoutly to Russian threats. Indian leaders at the national level areshowing increasing concern over the external and internal Communist threat They probably see in recent criticism of their policies in the Communist press indications of less sympathetic and cordial stateWe believe that privately, at least, they mayess critical attitude toward Western defense measures and might show greater understanding for Westernof Soviet behavior- Similarwill probably develop to tbe UAR if the USSR continues to countenance, if notto support, serious subversive efforts in Syria and Iraq.
t the same time, the development of offensive and defensive weapon systems will complicate the problem of assessing thebalance of military power and theof deterrent forces at any givenIt Is possible that one side or the other will believe Itself toemporary and substantial military advantage when it does not, or will believe that it is substantiallywhen It Is not. Such beliefs couldrofound influence on the conduct ofpolicies and on tho world situation. The complexities of this situation and the many unknown factors involved will make for continuing and growing uncertainties.
eriod of rapid change in weaponsand of uncertanty as to thebalance of military power could put an increasing premium on striking the first blow. As the time period required for preparationevastating attack diminishes, the prob-
of interpreting the intent of the other sideparUcularly during periods of crisis when precautionary military activities had beenby both sideswill become even more critical. The relatively greater certainty of retaliation resulting from the development of mobile missile systems or hardened sites would strengthen the operation of theon both sides. Even so, either side might decide that the deterrent effect of the other side's strength or posture wasby the necessity to launch the first strike as the best hope for survival1
5S. We are unable to reach any confident judgments on the probable reactions ofand governments in the event general war between the US and the USSR appeared imminent. Under some contingencies, there would be no time for public opinion to operate; the actions of the governments would depend on quick judgments.
Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of tho Array, and the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Intelligence,of the Navy, would prefer that this paragraph be deleted but would accept itsIf the fell owing language were added:
"In any case, we do not believe that theleaders are content with the status quo, either In tho military or political field. They will almost certainly push ahead In their efforts tolear military superiority over the US. But despite further improvement In Soviet capabilities over the next five years, we believe It unlikely that the USSR will become confident that It can attack the US without receivingdamage in return. This Judgmentthe maintenance and Improvement of US armed strength and the absence of anSoviet technologicalofmilitary significance."
The Director of Intelligence and Research,of State, would recommend Inclusion of this additional language In the body of the estimate without qualification.
ituationore gradual buildup of tensions, Soviet threats might Induceanxiety and consternation. Unless confidence In the ultimate effectiveness of the Western deterrent could be maintained, the USSR might be able to induce several of the less resolute governments In Western Europe, the Middle East, and Asia to proclaim their neutrality and to deny the US access to bases or military facilities in their territories. Fundamental changes in popular attitudes and official policies could come with little warning in the midstrisis situation. Such changes might also come aboutesult of unexpected demonstrations of the effect of an important technological
Although some additional nations will probably obtain nuclear weapons In one way or another, there will almost certainlyto be strong moral and politicalon their use. Indications are that the people of Western Europe would approve their use In the defense of vital interests, particularly to defend against local orCommunist attacks in the European area. But we believe that fears of theof nuclear war are so deep andthat no European government would actually accede to the use of nuclearin local conflicts anywhere until effortsegotiated settlement had clearly failedritical blow to Western securityI mm in en: or had actually been struck.
It Is possible, however, that development of extremely low-yield weapons might bring, inubstantial shift In publicso that use of such weapons would be viewed as proper in local conflicts. But we 'do not foresee an early lessening of theand psychological restraints on the use of nuclear weapons,Original document.