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1. This copy of this publication is for the information and use of the recipient designated on the front cover and of individuals under the jurisdiction of the recipient's office who require the information for the performance of their official duties. Further dissemination elsewhere in the department to other offices which require the Information for the performance of official duties may be authorized by the following:
a. Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Research and Intelligence, for the Department of State
b. Director of Intelligence, GS, USA, for the Department of the Army
c. Chief, Naval Intelligence, for the Department of the Navy
d. Director of Intelligence, USAF, for the Department of the Air Force
e. Director of Security and Intelligence, AEC, for the Atomic Energy Commission
f. Deputy Director for Intelligence, Joint Staff, for the Joint Staff
g. Assistant Director for Collection and Dissemination, CIA, for any other Department or Agency
2. This copy may be either retained or destroyed by burning in accordance with applicable security regulations, or returned to the Central Intelligence Agency by arrangement with the Office of Collection and Dissemination, CIA.
Office of the President
National Security Council
National Security Resources Board
Department of State
Office of Secretary of Defense
Department of the Army
Department of the Navy
Department of the Air Force
Joint Chiefs of Staff
Atomic Energy Commission
Research and Development Board
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The subject matter of the present estimate has been under consideration since October 1949. At the outset, representatives of all the agencies concerned agreed that, as a basis for estimating the effects of the Soviet possession of the atomic bomb upon the probability of direct Soviet military action, it was essential to re-examine carefully the problem of overall Soviet objectives and intentions. The examination of this problem, as well as of the related problems of the effects of the Soviet atomic bomb upon the probability of war and upon the security of the US, revealed wide differences in attitude and opinion among the intelligence agencies. The examination of these problems also brought to light many operational and policy questions of far-reaching importance that will require some time to resolve and which are in large part beyond the cognizance of the Intelligence agencies.
A CIA draft was submitted to the IAC agencies on 10 February 1950. From the comments made by the IAC agencies on this draft it was apparent that no early agreement could be reached. In view of the time already elapsed and the broader significance of many of the issues that emerged during the study,
CIA considered that it was more important to publish this paper at this time than to attempt the time-consuming, if not impossible, task of obtaining agreement. It considered, furthermore, that it would be more useful to publish a straightforward point of view, accompanied by contrary opinions, than to present a watered-down version.
Insofar as was possible in good conscience, the 10 February CIA draft has been modified in consideration of the comments received from the IAC agencies, particularly to clarify passages regarding which agency comment revealed evident misunderstanding. This revised estimate is now presented with the final comments of the IAC agencies thereon.
The Director of Intelligence, Atomic Energy Commission, has concurred in this estimate. The several dissents of the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force are to be found in Appendixes A, B, C, and D respectively (pp. 29-36). It should be noted that these dissents are on various grounds and that the several departmental agencies disagree among themselves as well as with CIA.
This paper is to be considered as an interim report. The subject is under continuing urgent consideration in an effort to obtain the greatest possible resolution of these differences, and a subsequent report will be published when this has been accomplished.
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ESTIMATE OF THE EFFECTS OF THE SOVIET POSSESSION OF THE ATOMIC BOMB UPON THE SECURITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND UPON THE PROBABILITIES OF DIRECT SOVIET MILITARY ACTION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
A—Soviet Atomic Capabilities
ENCLOSURE B—Soviet Intentions and Objectives, Particularly with Respect to Use of Military Forces
ENCLOSURE C—Effects of the Possession of the Atomic Bomb upon the USSR and Soviet Policy
ENCLOSURE D—Effects Outside the USSR of Soviet Atomic Capabilities
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Note: For the position of the other intelligence agencies with respect to this paper, see "Foreword" on preceding page.
I. Statement of the Problem.
To estimate the effects of the Soviet possession of the atomic bomb upon the security of the United States and upon the probabilities of direct Soviet military action.
1. Soviet atomic capabilities (see Enclosure A).
2. Estimate of basic Soviet intentions and objectives, particularly with respect to the use of military force (see Enclosure B).
3. Effects of the possession of the atomic bomb upon the USSR and its policy (see Enclosure C).
4. Effects outside the USSR of Soviet atomic capabilities (see Enclosure D).
III. Summary and Conclusions.
1. Soviet Atomic Capabilities.
a. It is estimated tentatively that the USSR will probably have a stockpile of 100 atomic bombs, approximately as destructive as the Nagasaki bomb, some time during 1953.
b. On even less certain grounds it is estimated that the USSR will probably have a stockpile of 200 bombs some time between mid-1954 and the end of 1955.
c. The USSR either has or can easily produce enough TU-4's (B-29's) and trained crews willing and able to attempt the delivery against all key US targets any number of atomic bombs the USSR can produce.
d. Preliminary and highly tentative US estimates indicate that an atomic attack of approximately 200 bombs delivered on prescribed targets might prove decisive in knocking the US out of a war. There is at present no reliable estimate of the size of the stockpile required to insure the delivery of 200 bombs on the prescribed targets. (For more detailed analysis, see Enclosure A.)
2. Soviet Intentions and Objectives in Relation to the Probabilities of War.
Before attempting to estimate the effect of the Soviet possession of the atomic bomb upon the probabilities of war, we believe it timely to re-examine basic Soviet objectives in the world situation, as the Kremlin conceives it, and to estimate the means which the Kremlin deems appropriate for their accomplishment, with particular reference to the use of military force. Our conclusions, as they apply to the probabilities of war, apart from any consideration of the atomic bomb, are given below:
a. The basic objective of Soviet foreign policy is clearly the attainment of a Communist world under Soviet domination. In pursuit of this objective, the USSR regards the US as its major opponent and will wage against it a relentless, unceasing struggle in which any weapon or tactic is admissible which promises success in terms of over-all Soviet objectives. Nothing in the subsequent analysis, therefore, should be interpreted to imply that Soviet leaders would not resort to military action at any time they considered it advantageous to do so. The purpose of this analysis is objectively to estimate the methods which Soviet leaders are likely to consider advantageous in terms of their over-all objectives and the circumstances under which they might consider a resort to military action either advantageous or necessary.
b. There would appear to be no firm basis for an assumption that the USSR presently intends deliberately to use military force to attain a Communist world or further to expand Soviet territory if this involves war with a potentially stronger US. An analysis of the Stalinist concepts which motivate Soviet leaders, as opposed to an interpretation of their motives and actions in the light of Western concepts, suggests strongly that the preferred objective of Soviet policy is to achieve a Soviet-dominated Communist world through revolutionary (*) rather than military means. Analysis of Soviet foreign policy likewise indicates that Soviet statesmen are following Stalinist doctrines and tactics in conducting Soviet international relations in the interest of the world revolution.
[* - The term "revolutionary" is used to connote all means short of all-out war involving the US.]
c. Soviet leaders, however, are thoroughly aware of the fact that they are pursuing their revolutionary objectives within the context of a traditional world power conflict. They are responsive in this context to the expansionist aims and the security requirements of the preceding imperial Russian regime. Their estimate of the objectives and behavior of the Western Powers, however, probably is still determined primarily by the Stalinist concept of a capitalist-imperialist world ruled by military force which will eventually be used against the Soviet Union. To ensure the protection of the base of the revolutionary movement in the USSR, therefore, they must maintain invincible military strength and use diplomacy to improve the strategic position of the USSR in relation to the world power situation as well as to further their revolutionary objectives. At the same time they recognize fully the value of the threat of Soviet military power as an adjunct to their revolutionary program.
d. The presently active Soviet threat to US security, therefore, while including the ever-present danger inherent in Soviet military power, appears to be a Soviet intention and determination to hasten, by every means short of war, the economic and political disintegration of the non-Communist world which Soviet leaders firmly believe will inevitably come about according to the Marxist concept of the laws of historical development. In view of the magnitude of the economic, political, and social problems facing the non-Communist world today, it is unlikely that Soviet leaders will lose confidence in the validity of this Marxist concept until the non-Communist world has demonstrated over a considerable period of time that it can reverse the trends of the last forty years and re-establish a stable and self-confident international economic, political, and social order. The first line of US defense in this context, therefore, is the restoration of international stability and the maintenance of a sound internal structure.
e. In terms of this approach to their objectives, the role presently assigned by Soviet leaders to Soviet military power appears to be: (1) defense in the world power situation, accompanied by preparations for the eventuality of war; (2) intimidation in support of their revolutionary program; and (3) where consistent with their objectives, local use against military and economic forces already weakened by Communist subversion but not in aggression that would automatically involve war with the US. Even if the USSR should gain military superiority (i.e., in overall military potential) over the US and its allies, it is estimated that so long as it deems the opportunity to exist it will still prefer to seek its objectives by exploiting measures short of an all-out attack.
f. Although the USSR may hope and intend to pursue its objectives by measures short of war, at least until it has military superiority over the US and its allies, there is nevertheless a continuing danger of war, based upon the following considerations:
(1) The strength of Soviet military forces in being and the aggressive Soviet revolutionary program require that the US maintain a strong military and strategic posture. Were it not for the likelihood of US intervention, the USSR, when the situation was ripe, would probably use its military forces in actual intervention, progressively to support the accession to power of Communist parties in the states directly beyond its area of control. Correspondingly, internal resistance to the rise of Communism in these areas would weaken without the support of a strong US.
(2) The USSR, with its doctrinaire concepts of capitalist behavior and its hyper-sensitiveness over security, may interpret, as potentially aggressive, future steps which the US and the other Western Powers might take to improve their defensive position against the threat inherent in Soviet military power. Similarly, continuing Soviet successes in the "cold war," accompanied by an increasing emphasis on US and Western military preparations, could weir create a situation in which the USSR would estimate that the Western Powers were determined to prevent the future spread of Communism by military action against the USSR. It is always possible, therefore, that the USSR would initiate a war if it should estimate that a Western attack was impending.
(3) The basic Soviet concept of hostility (the "cold war") as the normal relationship between the Soviet Union and the non-Communist states, operating as it does against a background of a power conflict in which each side is armed and suspicious of the aims of the other, creates a situation in which miscalculations or diplomatic impasses might result in war. Furthermore, as the Soviet military potential increases relative to that of the US and its allies, the USSR will probably be willing to take greater risks than before in its exploitation of diplomatic opportunities or revolutionary situations.
(4) If, after gaining military superiority (i.e., in over-all military potential) over the US and its allies, Soviet leaders should lose confidence in the Marxist concept of the inevitable disintegration of the capitalist world and hence in their ability ultimately to attain their objectives by means short of war, the temptation to resort to military action against the US and its allies might well prove irresistible. This conclusion should be qualified in the light of the possibilities inherent in atomic warfare, as discussed in the following section. (For more detailed analysis, see Enclosure B.)
3. Effects of the Soviet Possession of the Atomic Bomb upon the Probabilities of War.
It is not yet possible to estimate with any precision the effects of the Soviet possession of the atomic bomb upon the probability of war. The implications of atomic warfare— either military or psychological—have not yet been fully appraised. In particular we have as yet no clear indications concerning the place of atomic warfare in Soviet military concepts or concerning the effect of US retaliatory capabilities upon any Soviet consideration of a deliberate and unprovoked atomic attack upon the US.
The capabilities of atomic warfare, however, clearly inject a new factor into an appraisal of Soviet intentions which requires the most careful evaluation and which, in any event, has vital implications for US defense planning. Although, in general, it appears unlikely that the possession of the atomic bomb will alter the basic considerations—as outlined above—which underlie Soviet policy, a Soviet capability for effective direct attack upon the continental US must be considered to increase the danger that the USSR might resort to military action to attain its objectives.
The military services have estimated that the destructive effect of atomic attack actually delivered upon selected targets in the US would be as follows:
(a) 10-50 bombs.
1. Would seriously hamper war mobilization and delay overseas shipments of US forces and material.
2. Would delay or reduce materially the scale of the US atomic retaliation.
(b) 50-125 bombs.
1. Would intensify the effects of (a)-1, above, and prevent the immediate launching of an atomic offensive against the USSR.
(c) Up to 200 bombs.
1. Reduce the US capability for an atomic offensive, possibly to a critical degree, and create conditions that might destroy the US capabilities for offensive war.
Atomic attack, therefore, introduces the possibility that the USSR under (a) and (b) above could seriously cripple the US and under (c) might well knock the US out of the war.
If, therefore, the USSR should estimate that it had the capability of making a crippling attack upon the US that would eliminate the US margin of over-all military superiority, the danger that war might develop either from a Soviet estimate that a Western attack was imminent, or from miscalculations or impasses in the normal diplomatic maneuvering within the context of the world power conflict, would be increased.
Similarly, a Soviet estimate that it could deliver a decisive attack that would quickly knock the US out of the war would increase the possibility of a decision deliberately to resort to military action to eliminate the major obstacle to a Communist world. Such a decision, under these circumstances, might conceivably be made prior to a Soviet conviction that the USSR could not ultimately attain its objectives by means short of war. It could certainly be made prior to the attainment of superiority in over-all military potential as compared with the US and its allies.
There is no present means, however, of determining with any accuracy whether the USSR is likely to estimate that it has the capabilities to accomplish the results indicated above. In fact, no realistic US estimate has yet been made of Soviet capabilities to deliver atomic bombs on targets in the US, taking into account Soviet operational factors and US defensive capabilities. In terms of general Soviet objectives and the methods to which the USSR appears to be committed in attaining them, it would appear that Soviet leaders would require a high degree of certainty before deliberately undertaking the risk involved in a direct atomic attack in the face of the substantial US retaliatory capabilities. The following conditions would probably be essential to any such decision:
(a) Virtual certainty of attaining surprise (only in this way could the indicated results be achieved).
(b) Virtual certainty that effective US retaliation could be prevented. (Although the US may appear more vulnerable to atomic attack than the USSR, in terms of large concentrations of population and industry, the Soviet regime itself is probably peculiarly vulnerable to atomic attack. As a dictatorship, all elements of Soviet control are centered in Moscow. Initiative throughout the lower echelons and the provincial officialdom is nonexistent. The destruction of the control center, many of the leaders, and the means of communication might therefore lead to complete disintegration and revolution.)
(c) A more effective means of delivery than the TU-4 (B-29). (If there are doubts about the ability of the B-36 to deliver the atom bomb against the USSR, how much greater the doubts that the Soviet B-29 could deliver it successfully against an effective and alert US defense.)
The greatest danger that the Soviet atomic capability would lead to overt Soviet military action would appear, therefore, to derive from a Soviet estimate that it could launch a successful surprise attack that would seriously cripple or virtually eliminate US retaliatory capabilities. The likelihood that the USSR will reach such an estimate will vary inversely in relation to the effectiveness and alertness of the US defenses against such an attack, and to possible measures taken to make US retaliatory bases and equipment immune to attack.
In terms of the above analysis, present US estimates of destructive effects (given above) of varying numbers of atomic bombs actually delivered on selected targets in the US, combined with US estimates of the Soviet atomic bomb production schedule, can furnish only the roughest guide as to the timetable of theoretical Soviet capabilities.
On this tentative basis it is estimated that beginning shortly after 1 January 1951 the USSR will begin to build up a theoretical capability for launching a progressively crippling attack upon the US.
On the same basis, it is estimated that at some indeterminate time after mid-1954 the USSR will have the theoretical capability of delivering 200 atomic bombs on targets in the US which might well constitute a "decisive" attack, i.e., with respect to the ability of the US to wage offensive warfare.
It appears imperative from the foregoing that an effort be made to determine Soviet capabilities on the most realistic basis, that is, in terms of Soviet operational factors and US defensive capabilities. For if it is determined that an atomic attack could knock the US out of a war, the implication would be that the atomic bomb is, after all, an "absolute weapon." Such a conclusion would have vast implications for US foreign policy and for the composition of the entire US military establishment.
4. Possible Soviet Courses of Action with Respect to Its Atomic Capabilities—Short of Direct Attack.
The precise effects of the Soviet atomic capabilities upon the security of the US will depend in part upon how the USSR chooses to use them. Consideration must be given to several alternative courses of action that are available to the USSR, and to the fact that we have no information on the Soviet evaluation of atomic warfare in terms of the effects upon the USSR of US atomic capabilities.
a. Possession of the atomic bomb has not yet produced any apparent change in Soviet policy or tactics, and probably will not do so at least through 1950. The USSR has merely integrated the "bomb" into its general propaganda and its "peace offensive." It will probably in any event continue to stir up mass opinion in the West against rearmament and against the use of atomic weapons in the event of war. In this way it may hope to create sufficient public pressure on the Western governments to neutralize the US bomb.
b. It would appear that on balance the destruction of existing stockpiles of atomic bombs and the barring of further production would be militarily advantageous to the USSR, except with respect to the possibility of a direct Soviet attack upon the continental US. Soviet considerations of security and national sovereignty probably preclude the possibility of an agreement for the control of atomic energy production that would meet the current requirements of the Western Powers, but the USSR may renew pressure for an international agreement to outlaw the use of the atomic bomb in warfare.
c. While the outlawing of the use of the bomb might be militarily advantageous to the USSR, in terms of operations in Europe or Asia, the USSR may estimate that the political and psychological advantages of retaining the threat of atomic warfare outweigh the military advantages of excluding it. When the USSR acquires what it considers an operational stockpile of bombs, its capabilities for employing threats and intimidation through diplomatic channels in an effort to detach individual states from the Western bloc will be considerably increased. With the exception of the UK, the US, and possibly Japan, however, this increased capability will not result from apprehension on the part of these states that they will be directly attacked with atomic bombs, but rather from the increased Soviet military capabilities vis-a-vis the US and from general apprehension concerning the effects of an atomic war. The USSR could not expect that the threat of direct atomic attack would carry particular weight against those states which estimated that a Soviet attack would bring the US into a war and that under those circumstances their territories would not be of sufficient strategic importance to justify the use against them of the limited Soviet supply of atomic bombs.
(For more detailed analysis, see Enclosure C.)
5. Effects of Soviet Possession of the Atomic Bomb upon the Security of the US.
a. Assuming the continued stockpiling of bombs by the USSR and the US, Soviet atomic capabilities have the following military implications for the security of the US in the event of war.
(1) The continental US will be for the first time liable to devastating attack. This has vital implications for the mobilization of the US war potential.
(2) The Soviet atomic capability would appear to make it imperative not only that US defenses against atomic attack, particularly the requirements for air defense, be greatly strengthened, but that steps be taken to make US retaliatory bases and equipment, in part at least, invulnerable to surprise attack. These measures are clearly essential to the preservation of US retaliatory capabilities which in turn would contribute the greatest deterrent to a Soviet attack.
(3) If it is accepted, on the basis of a realistic estimate, that an atomic attack could knock the US out of a war, the implication would appear to be that the atomic bomb is after all an "absolute weapon." The acceptance of this implication would in turn have vital implications with regard to the composition of the entire US military establishment.
(4) The Soviet military potential is increased.
(5) The loss of the US monopoly of the atomic bomb has reduced the effectiveness both militarily and psychologically of the US commitment to defend the UK and Western Europe.
(6) The US has lost its capability of making a decisive atomic attack upon the war-making potential of the USSR without danger of retaliation in kind.
(7) Soviet possession of the atomic bomb would seriously affect US capabilities for air operations from the UK or other advanced bases and for amphibious operations against the European continent or other areas within range of Soviet attack.
(8) Soviet atomic retaliatory capabilities raise the question as to whether it is militarily desirable for the US to base its strategic plans upon the use of the atomic bomb except in retaliation against a Soviet attack. (In view of the preponderance of its conventional military forces and the damage it would sustain from a US atomic attack, the USSR might consider it advantageous not to use the bomb first and hope thereby to forestall the US use of the bomb.)
(9) If the use of the atomic bomb were eliminated, US strategic concepts for the conduct of a war with the USSR would have to be drastically revised.
(10) Should an international agreement be reached to outlaw the use of the atomic bomb the USSR would be in a better strategic position than the US. We can probably assume that the USSR would not hesitate to violate the agreement in the event of war if it considered it advantageous to do so, while the US would abide by the agreement. Under these circumstances the USSR would have the option of using the bomb or not, according to its strategic plans, and thereby acquire the initiative. If neither side used the bomb, the US would lose its capabilities for immediate effective attack upon the Soviet military potential, and the USSR's relative capabilities would be increased through the preponderance of its conventional military strength.
b. The political and psychological effects on US security of a continuing Soviet atomic capability are estimated as follows:
(1) The possession of the bomb and the resultant increase in Soviet military power will increase somewhat the effectiveness of Soviet subversive activities and propaganda in the "cold war."
(2) Through 1950 at least, Soviet possession of the bomb will not cause any change in the present alignment of the principal nations, or in the support of current US programs to counter Soviet aggression. It will probably result, however, in demands from Western Europe for larger amounts of US equipment and for further US commitments for the active defense of Western Europe.
(3) The UK, because of its extreme vulnerability to atomic attack, may become somewhat cautious about joining with the US in any actions which the UK estimated might provoke the USSR into using armed force against the Western Powers. It will continue through 1950 at least, however, to base its foreign policy on a close US-UK strategic and economic relationship.
(4) The longer-range effects of Soviet atomic capabilities upon the political alignment of the non-Communist states will depend in the first instance upon the extent and soundness of European economic and military recovery and upon the policy and strength of the US. If present efforts to restore the economic and military strength of Western Europe fall short of their goals, there will develop a strong, though not necessarily decisive, movement for accommodation or neutrality. If at the same time, there should be indications of a serious weakening in US strength or in US commitments to resist Soviet aggression, the movement for accommodation or neutrality would probably become decisive.
Assuming that US support of its NAT allies and Japan remains firm and that the economic and military recovery of Europe is accomplished on a firm and stable basis, there will be a strong probability that the non-Soviet states, including the UK and Japan, will remain firm in their alignments with the US if the Soviet Union should threaten atomic warfare when it has attained an operational stockpile of bombs, or if a deterioration in relations between the USSR and the Western Powers suggested that an atomic war was imminent. In the latter circumstances, the UK would be strongly influenced by its appraisal of the issues at stake; it would not be inclined to follow the US unless it considered these issues vital to its security.
In the final analysis, however, the future public appraisal of the significance of the atomic bomb will probably be the determining factor on the will to resist. It is impossible at this time to predict with any assurance what this appraisal will be. In general, three alternative trends appear possible in the interim.
a. Increasing fear of the effects of an atomic struggle may have produced in all countries, but particularly in the UK, US, and Japan, an irresistible, organized popular demand for renewed efforts to bring about an agreement between the US and the USSR for at least the prohibition of the use of atomic weapons. If, under these circumstances, this objective were not attained, it must be considered possible that the UK and Japan, because of their extreme vulnerability, could be detached from the US camp and that the US public might force an accommodation with the USSR.
b. The concept may become generally accepted that the threat of mutual retaliation will preclude the use of the bomb by either side. Under these circumstances the effect of Soviet atomic capabilities would be negligible.
c. The present public attitude of indifference or relative unconcern may continue; or a strong determination to resist, regardless of consequences, may develop. Under either of these circumstances, the countries concerned would probably stand firm in their alignment with the US.
(For more detailed analysis, see Enclosure D.)
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1. Information at hand permits the following highly tentative estimate with respect to Soviet atomic capabilities:
a. The USSR has, or can in reasonable time achieve, production of an atomic bomb approximately as destructive as the Nagasaki bomb; i.e., causing major damage and high rate of casualties within an area of 4-7 square miles (circle with radius of 1.1 to 1.5 miles).
b. The USSR either has or can easily procure enough TU-4's (B-29's) and trained crews willing and able to make one-way flights if necessary to attempt the delivery against any key US targets of any number of atomic bombs the USSR can produce.
c. Atomic bombs could also be delivered in US harbors in Soviet ships prior to an outbreak of hostilities, but the effects of such attacks would be limited in comparison with wide-scale air attacks.
d. The Soviet stockpile of atomic bombs as of various dates is estimated as follows:
(1) Mid-1949 1 (exploded)
(2) Beyond 1953, a well-founded estimate cannot be made, and even for mid-1953 there is a large degree of uncertainty. For planning purposes, however, an estimate for mid-1954 of 120-200 bombs is suggested on the basis that plant capacity may be increased by approximately 50 percent after 1952.
2. An estimate of the number of atomic bombs that the USSR would stockpile before considering it possible to launch attacks of varying degrees of intensity on the US must be very imprecise. Four essential elements of information are largely lacking at present and will remain hard to determine with any certainty:
a. Soviet estimates of the size of an atomic air attack required to accomplish a crippling or decisive attack and of the size of the stockpile the USSR would consider necessary before launching such attacks.
b. Firm US estimates of the character and scope of a "decisive" attack on the US both in terms of:
(1) direct military and industrial damage;
(2) impact on the national will to resist.
c. Estimates of Soviet operational capabilities in terms of atomic sorties, including percentage factors for:
(1) operational losses and malfunctions;
(2) gross aiming errors;
(3) losses due to total US anti-air defense system.
d. The Kremlin's estimate of Soviet capabilities with respect to e above.
3. Without consideration of either Soviet operational factors or US defensive capabilities, the US military services have estimated that the effects of Soviet military application of atomic bombs against the US during the following periods would be:
a. Initial period (target objectives: political and population centers; most important retaliatory targets) when the USSR has the capability of delivering 10 to 50 atomic bombs ON TARGET:
(1) Mobilization for war would be seriously hampered for a considerable period in that the attacks would cause the destruction of the headquarters of the Federal Government, the partial destruction of large cities, and the psychological shock effects of more than one million casualties.
(2) A successful attack on the most important installations of the Strategic Air Command would delay or reduce materially the scale of the planned strategic air offensive.
(3) The neutralization of the key ports in the United States would cause great delay in projecting United States forces and materials overseas.
b. Intermediate period (target objectives: political and population centers; retaliatory targets, including manpower mobilization centers; and selected industrial facilities) when the USSR has the capability of delivering 50 to 125 atomic bombs ON TARGET:
(1) An intensification of the effects of the initial period.
(2) Prevent the IMMEDIATE launching of an atomic offensive against the USSR.
(3) Serious effect on certain vital elements of the war economy.
c. Long-range period (target objectives: political and population centers; retaliatory targets, including manpower and mobilization centers; and industrial complexes) when the USSR has the capability of delivering up to 200 atomic bombs ON TARGET:
(1) Atomic attacks during the long-range period would probably:
(a) Reduce the United States capability for an atomic offensive, possibly to a critical degree.
(b) Delay indefinitely the industrial and military mobilization in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
(c) Reduce over-ail military industrial capacity for production in the United States up to 30-50 percent.
(d) Cause total casualties of more than 10,000,000 people in the United States.
(e) Create conditions which might be decisive as to the ability of the United States to wage offensive war.
4. In terms of the above analysis, present US estimates of destructive effects (given above) of varying numbers of atomic bombs actually delivered on selected targets in the US, combined with US estimates of the Soviet atomic bomb production schedule, can furnish only the roughest guide as to the timetable of theoretical Soviet capabilities.
On this tentative basis it is estimated that beginning shortly after 1 January 1951 the USSR will begin to build up a theoretical capability for launching a progressively crippling attack upon the US.
On the same basis it is estimated that at some indeterminate time after mid-1954 the USSR will have the theoretical capability of delivering 200 atomic bombs on targets in the US which might well constitute a "decisive" attack, i.e., with respect to the ability of the US to wage offensive warfare.
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1. The Problem.
Before attempting to estimate the use which the USSR will make of its capability to wage atomic warfare, we believe it timely to re-examine carefully basic Soviet objectives in the world situation, as the Kremlin conceives it, and to estimate the means which the Kremlin deems appropriate for their accomplishment, with particular reference to the use of military force.
2. Approach to the Problem.
It must be recognized at the outset that there is no factual information on any of the decisions or plans of the Politburo which would permit a definite and authoritative answer with respect to the timing and methods which the USSR will employ in pursuit of its objectives. Lacking such evidence it would be as unjustifiable to assume that the USSR definitely intends to resort to military aggression involving the United States as it would be to assume the contrary. In either case an erroneous assumption could lead to a disastrous mis-direction of US policy.
The essential character of the Soviet threat in the present world situation is clear. The USSR emerged from World War II not only as the seat of Communist ideology which aims to subvert the world, but as the predominant military power on the Eurasian continent. It has avowed its intention to attempt to bring about a Communist world under Soviet domination and to this end .to wage a relentless, unceasing struggle against the US—its major opponent—in which any tactic or weapon is admissible which appears advantageous in terms of over-all Soviet objectives.
The problem, therefore, is to estimate the tactics and weapons which Soviet leaders will deem appropriate to success in this struggle and the factors which are likely to impel them to, or restrain them from, a resort to direct military action.
Fortunately, a basis for estimating the probable behavior of Soviet leaders in pursuit of their objectives does exist in the past conduct of Russian foreign relations and in the known ideological concepts of the present rulers of the USSR. Analysis in these terms reveals that Soviet foreign policy is governed by two distinct but interlocking sets of influences. These are:
a. The power relationship between the Soviet bloc and the West, and the security requirements of the USSR therein.
b. The Communist ideology, which supposedly affords an infallible explanation of the existing world situation, the direction in which it must inevitably develop, and the mission of the USSR in the premises.
3. Impact of Communist Ideology.
An analysis of the behavior and tactics of Soviet leaders in conducting both the foreign relations and the internal affairs of the Soviet state indicates clearly that Marxist ideology, as developed by Lenin and Stalin (hereafter called Communism), is the predominant influence on the pattern of their thought and actions. It is the basis for the Soviet ambition for world domination, as opposed to the less ambitious expansionist aims of Tzarist Russia. It is an essential ingredient in the process by which Soviet leaders define their own objectives, both domestic and foreign, and estimate the objectives of the Western Powers. It provides the framework within which they interpret all developments in the capitalist world and a blueprint of tactics to be used in gaining Soviet objectives. Its basic tenets with respect to the historical development of society are deemed to have the validity of scientific truth. Communist ideology affords, then, a key to past, present, and future Soviet behavior.
Communism holds that all social development is the result of a constant struggle between opposing interests, leading inevitably to the establishment of a Communist society. There can be no peace or mutual tolerance, at least not until this ideal (Communist) society has been achieved. Progress toward this goal is of necessity resisted by the vested interests in the dying (capitalist) social order. Moreover, the exploited masses also cannot be expected to see the light. The goal will be too distant, therefore, if sought by persuasion and democratic processes. Force must be used to overcome the resistance of the capitalists and the inertia of the. masses. Satisfactory progress can be achieved only by violent revolution conducted by the militant minority who do see the vision.
Three conditions are essential, however, to the existence of a "revolutionary situation," i.e., a situation in which the militant Communist minority can hope to succeed in a revolutionary effort: (1) the masses must be disillusioned and disaffected toward the regime; (2) the rulers must be themselves disorganized and unable to operate their former system of control; and (3) a revolutionary minority must be organized and ready to take over by force. A practical corollary to these three conditions would be the unavailability of strong outside aid for the reactionary forces then in control.
The Revolution having occurred in one country (the USSR), that country must expect the undying enmity of the capitalist world. No accommodation is possible except as a tactical maneuver to gain time to develop strength for the continuing struggle. In its own interest as well as that of the world revolution, the USSR must provide a secure base and strong support for the revolution in other countries. In turn, all Communists throughout the world must serve and defend the USSR, since its preservation is essential to the advancement of the world revolution.
Capitalism, however, bears within itself the seeds of its own destruction and will inevitably succumb. Its disintegration will take place through a process of ebb and flow; periods of recuperation and stability will follow periods of weakness. The timetable is wholly flexible. The last stages of capitalism will be marked by increasingly severe depressions (e.g., 1929) and by imperialistic wars in which predatory capitalist states seek survival by preying on others (e.g., 1939). These developments will weaken the capitalist world and create "revolutionary situations" for Communist exploitation. But throughout this period there will be grave danger that capitalist states, perceiving the trend of events, may combine to attack and destroy the USSR in the hope of averting their own inevitable fate.
The basic objective of Soviet foreign policy is thus clearly the attainment of a Communist world under Soviet domination. Communist doctrine suggests equally clearly that, in its design to bring about a Communist world, the primary aggressive instrument of Soviet foreign policy is the international Communist apparatus, acting through subversion and revolution, rather than military conquest by the Soviet armed forces. Neither Lenin nor Stalin has ever questioned the basic Marxist concept that the capitalist world is inevitably doomed to disintegrate. The function of international Communism is to hasten this disintegration and to be prepared to grab the pieces as they fall. The mission of the Soviet Union is to support the revolutionary movement with its diplomacy (backed by Soviet power) and propaganda.
A period of ebb in the tide of revolutionary opportunity would not be likely to cause the USSR to abandon this method, for an ensuing period of flow would be confidently expected. Only if the capitalist world succeeded in demonstrating, over a considerable period of time, that it had reversed the trend of the last forty years, and the Communists, in consequence, lost faith in the verity of their basic doctrine of the inevitability of capitalist disintegration could a radical new departure be expected.
Soviet military power is essentially an adjunct to international Communism in attaining this objective of a Communist world. In terms of Communist doctrine, its primary and overriding function is to guarantee the security of the USSR and the revolutionary movement against anticipated capitalist attack.
Its offensive function appears to be secondary and limited, to be used locally against military and economic forces already weakened by Communist subversion, but not in head-on attack against strength in which the issue might be in doubt. It might be used, for example, in the form of intimidation of the existing government to support the accession to power of a Communist party in a neighboring state by intimidating the existing government. It might even be used to intervene in exploitation of a genuine "revolutionary situation" in a neighboring state when the use of Soviet military power would insure the success of the revolutionary attempt and would not at the same time conflict with over-all Soviet policy or involve the USSR prematurely in military conflict with a stronger adversary. The "revolutionary situations" which Communist doctrine anticipates will result from wars between sovereign. states are those resulting from "imperialist wars" between capitalist states and not from wars in which the USSR itself would willingly participate. Thus, while military action is recognized in Communist doctrine as a means of extending the revolution, its use is strictly circumscribed. Any military venture prejudicial to the basic security of the USSR and the ultimate success of the revolutionary movement is clearly unintended.
Flagrant military aggression against sovereign states, moreover, would not be advantageous to the USSR in terms of its objective of advancing the world revolution. The prerequisite of world revolution is social disintegration. Resistance to foreign aggression which Soviet military action would induce is a unifying force both within and among nations. The world has long known how to combine against a would-be conqueror. However formidable the military strength of the USSR, its unique power lies in its revolutionary doctrine and apparatus. Flagrant resort to military conquest would stultify the revolutionary professions and the anti-imperialist propaganda of the USSR, deprive it of its revolutionary power, and reduce it to the status of just another powerful imperialist aggressor. Whatever its initial success on that basis, the result would not be world revolution, but rather what the USSR most fears;— the combination of the world in arms against it in a war of survival.
However, no Communist—with his concept that the end justifies the means—can have any scruples regarding the use of force, including military aggression, to advance the world revolution. Were the USSR, in the fullness of time, to achieve total military power sufficient to enable it to defy the interventions of the United States, it might be under strong temptation to impose its domination on Eurasia by military force. Even in such a case, however, it would have reason to consider the effect of flagrant military aggression upon its world revolutionary pretensions. Consideration of the question, however, assumes a continuing state of disintegration and impotence in Europe and Asia. The potential strength of Western Europe alone, if realized, is sufficient to preclude an easy Soviet conquest.
Were the USSR to achieve the over-all strength, or an atomic or similar capability, necessary for a decisive direct attack on the United States (one resulting in a quick victory) , it would be under much stronger temptation to resort to military force, for if the USSR could decisively defeat the United States, no power on earth could resist its domination.
4. The Power Relationship between the Soviet Bloc and the West and the Security Requirements of the USSR Therein.
Soviet leaders are rulers of the Soviet state as well as heads of the world Communist revolutionary movement. Even though their basic objective may be to extend Communism by revolutionary methods, they are thoroughly alive to the fact that they are pursuing this objective within the context of an international system in which power has been a decisive factor in national existence. The military strength and the strategic position of the USSR in terms of this world power situation, therefore, must be of vital concern to them in the attainment of their revolutionary objectives.
Soviet leaders in their concern for the security of the USSR as the base of the revolutionary movement, or in the use of their power position to extend either Soviet territory or areas of Communist control, are inevitably responsive to the same geopolitical and power factors that influenced the rulers of the old Russian empire. Similarly, they can hardly escape the influences of the historical experience of the Russian people.
An analysis of Russian history in these terms reveals several characteristics that may be useful in providing a clue to the probable behavior of any rulers of the Russian state, be they Tzarist or Communist, in an international system governed by power politics. These are:
a. The lack of secure frontiers, resulting in an immemorial experience (since the Tartar invasion) of being overrun by more civilized and technologically advanced foreigners, constitutes the basis for a morbid sense of national insecurity and psychological inferiority. (Moscow was occupied by the Poles, 16101713; the Swedes almost occupied it in 1709; the French in 1812; and the Germans made deep inroads in both World Wars.) The conclusions which the Russians have drawn from this experience are that the outside world is hostile, that space is an essential factor in defense, and that Russia can never be secure against invasion as long as a potential invader exists.
b. The corollary to this sense of insecurity has been a driving urge for expansion. The expansionism which resulted in the creation of the pre-World War I Russian empire, however, was characterized to a large degree by caution and opportunism. It succeeded by means of persistent nibbling at the territories of neighboring powers already in the throes of internal disintegration and by following up upon foreign incursions which exhausted the invaders.
c. Despite its generally opportunistic character, Russian expansion affords instances of patent miscalculation, where the resistance encountered proved stronger than was expected, when the worth of allies had been overestimated, or when stronger powers intervened to protect the intended victim. The record also affords instances in which Russia accepted diplomatic defeat rather than face the threatened intervention of major powers.
The whole of this sorry Russian experience was the result of the inherent weaknesses of the Russian state in the international power system. With their accession to power in 1917, the present Communist leaders of the Soviet state fell heirs to the position of their Tsarist predecessors. They were immediately subjected to experiences in the world power situation similar to those which had created the sense of insecurity already inherent in the Russian people: The German occupation of Finland, the Baltic States, White Russia and the Ukraine, and Turkish occupation of the Caucasus, 1918; later, British, French, US, and Japanese armed intervention in the civil war (1918-1922) and the Polish invasion of 1920; and above all, the German onslaught which reached Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, and Grozny in 1941-42. In the context of the international power situation, therefore, the Five Year Plans of the Soviet state appear less as a matter of building socialism in one country than of improving the power position of the USSR, for these Plans are patently less concerned with quickly bringing the blessings of abundance to the Soviet people than with enhancing the war potential of the Soviet state.
Communist doctrine has reinforced this basic sense of insecurity inherent in the experience of the Russian people and in the history of the early years of the present Soviet regime. It provides present Soviet leaders with rigid and well-defined concepts of the pattern of behavior of the Western capitalist states in the imperialistic stage of historical development. These capitalist states, conditioned to a world of power politics, will inevitably fight among themselves for markets and raw materials. They may at any time attack the Soviet Union in an effort to rid themselves of the menace of Communism. If they do not launch the attack at an early stage, they will do so ultimately in a final effort to forestall the inevitable decay of the capitalist system. Soviet leaders, therefore, in terms of their revolutionary ambitions, must build up the military strength and improve the strategic position of the Soviet state in order to protect it in this world of power politics in which the new Communist state has grown up.
Thus, the geopolitical position of the USSR, the historical experience of the Russian people, and the Communist concept of the capitalist threat combine to indoctrinate present Soviet leaders with a basic sense of insecurity in the world power situation and a correlative urge for expansion in search of security. At the same time they are heirs to a tradition of caution and opportunism in power relationships which coincides with the Communist revolutionary injunction to retreat before superior strength, to refrain from striking until a situation is ripe, and to assume no risks that would jeopardize the base of the revolution in the USSR. Against this background, the postwar Soviet emphasis on military strength in being and the actual territorial annexations during World War II cannot in themselves be taken as a certain indication of an intent to employ military aggression on a world-wide scale.
From a strictly power point of view, therefore, the danger of war, as long as the US remains a formidable opponent, would appear to be, not that of a Soviet attack on the United States, but that of a Soviet miscalculation of the cumulative effect of characteristic piecemeal aggressions in Eurasia in provoking a warlike US reaction.
There is obviously no assurance that the rulers of the Soviet Union will act in the future as Russian or Soviet leaders have acted in the past, particularly in view of the greatly enhanced world power position which the USSR has now attained and the postwar power vacuum in Western Europe; yet they cannot quickly or wholly escape the influence of their environment and historical experience. On historical performance the Soviet Union could be expected to take every advantage of the contemporary disintegration of power in Europe and Asia to expand the area of its territorial control in search of further security. Also on past performance, the Soviet state could be expected to go no further in territorial aggrandizement than supposedly could be done without serious risk of provoking US intervention, at least until the USSR had achieved a power parity with the US.
The following analysis of Soviet foreign policy indicates that the enhanced Soviet power position has not yet, at least, induced Soviet leaders to reject the influences of Russian tradition, and the methods and tactics prescribed by Communist ideology as outlined above.
5. The Course of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1945.
Soviet foreign policy since 1917 has conformed to both Russian tradition and Communist ideology. Disastrous defeat in the war with Germany in 1917 created the "revolutionary situation" which enabled the Communist minority to seize power in Russia. In the enthusiasm of that moment there were those who believed that universal revolution was at hand and that the war should be continued, not in cooperation with the capitalist West, but to liberate proletarian brethren in Germany and eventually in the West as well. Lenin brought them back to reality by pointing out that no "revolutionary situation" then existed in Germany. The gist of his doctrine was that for the USSR to make war for the purpose of carrying the revolution to a country in which no "revolutionary situation" already existed would be reprehensible adventurism, for it would jeopardize the achievement of the revolution in the USSR without prospect of gain commensurate with that risk.
The USSR, therefore, accepted the costly Treaty of Brest-Litovsk as the price of a period of release from war in which to consolidate the revolution in one country and gather strength to exploit the "revolutionary situations" expected to develop as the capitalist powers continued to make war against each other. The war did produce "revolutionary situations" in Eastern Europe, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Turkey, but the local Communists proved incapable of seizing and holding power and, except with respect to the Ukraine and the Transcaucasus — former Russian territories — the USSR itself was unable to render effective support to such local Communist revolutionary efforts as did occur.
Thereafter the USSR reconciled itself to a period of stability in the West, and in true Tsarist fashion, redirected its effort to another theater: China. There also a "revolutionary situation" existed, but there also it was not the Communists who emerged as the successful revolutionists.
After the Chinese fiasco in 1927, the USSR devoted itself to internal development and to perfecting the international Communist apparatus in certain expectation of new dangers and new opportunities. The economic collapse of the capitalist world in 1929 was foreseen and a consequent period of imperialist wars anticipated. Fearing that desperate capitalist states would take the occasion to attack and destroy the "Socialist Fatherland," the USSR became an advocate of disarmament, non-aggression pacts, and collective security through the League of Nations.
In the light of Communist ideology, however, the outcome of the Munich crisis, averting war among the capitalist powers, was interpreted as a sure sign of a secret combination against the USSR, or at least of a successful attempt to turn Hitler's aggressive intentions eastward. It became the prime task of Soviet diplomacy to turn the tables on the West; to bring about a war between Germany and the West in which the capitalist powers would destroy each other while the USSR remained aloof, conserving its strength and ready to pick up the pieces. Thus, from the standpoint of security, the function of the 1939 pact with Germany was essentially the same as that of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, although superficially the effects of it were to reverse that document by restoring to the USSR much territory lost in 1918. The basic purpose was to keep the USSR out of the war until the capitalists themselves had created "revolutionary situations" which a stronger USSR could exploit.
This strategy backfired, of course, when the war in the west reached a relatively quick stalemate and the real battle of attrition developed in the East after all. This situation constituted a realization of the fears of the USSR at the time of Munich. Germany and the USSR were in the process of destroying each other, while Great Britain and the United States remained relatively disengaged, building up their strength instead of expending it—the reverse of Soviet expectations in 1939. To any Communist it would be obvious that the Second Front was being deliberately delayed until Germany and the USSR had collapsed from exhaustion, when the United States would move in to take advantage of the "imperialistic opportunities" which would exist in both countries. Thus the clamor for a Second Front had a deeper political as well as an immediate military significance. Even after D-Day, until VE-Day itself, the USSR was fearful lest the Germans succeed in making their peace with the West and combining with it against the USSR. That, in Soviet estimation, would have been the proper course of action for the capitalist world. The corresponding course of action for the USSR—to make a new Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, restoring the fundamental situation to its 1939-1941 status—must have been tempting, but was too risky, for Germany would certainly have used any evidence of Soviet perfidy to further its preferred solution of reconciliation with the West and combination against the USSR.
As the Soviet armies advanced into Europe, the USSR, of course, acted to perpetuate its control over the territories actually occupied and also to exploit or develop the "revolutionary situation" sure to exist, not only in defeated Germany, but also in all the lands which Germany had occupied.
This review of the broad aspects of Soviet policy reveals three cardinal preoccupations:
(1) To keep the USSR free of involvement in imperialist wars among capitalist states.
(2) In particular, to prevent a combination of the capitalist world against the USSR.
(3) To take advantage of "revolutionary situations" resulting from war to extend the area of Soviet control and advance the world revolution.
6. Soviet Postwar Policy.
It has been asserted that only the existence of the US atomic bomb prevented the USSR from carrying out an intention to continue its military advance to the Atlantic in 1945. There can be no doubt that the US atomic bomb had a sobering and deterrent effect on the USSR. There is no reason to suppose, however, that the USSR had any such intention in 1945 or subsequently. The evidence advanced in support of that contention—Soviet interest in hastening US demobilization— is explainable in terms of a well-established Soviet fear of US intentions and an obvious Soviet interest in developing the "revolutionary situation" in Europe by removing the possibility of strong outside support for the governments to be subverted. Even without the atomic bomb, outright Soviet military aggression would have been self-defeating, for it would certainly have brought about re-mobilization and that combination of the capitalist world against the USSR in a war of survival which the USSR chiefly fears. Certainly the burden of proof lies on those who would assert that the Soviet rulers had become so drunk with power as to disregard all the precepts of Russian tradition and Communist doctrine and to substitute a hazardous program of world conquest, unlikely to succeed, for a supposedly infallible program of world revolution.
Actually, Soviet policy since VE-Day is explicable only in terms of Russian tradition and Communist ideology. At the close of the war the USSR enjoyed in the West immense prestige and goodwill. A cooperative policy would have consolidated these advantages, facilitated Communist accession to power in Western Europe by democratic processes, and secured US assistance in the rehabilitation of the Soviet economy (and war potential). But Soviet thought, rigidly predetermined by Communist ideology, could not comprehend the idea of peace and security through mutual tolerance and goodwill.
The alternative prescribed by Communist ideology, however, was not military conquest, but subversion and revolution. Soviet postwar policy was true to its Tsarist precedents and Communist frame of reference: to consolidate the control over Eastern Europe actually existing through the presence of Soviet troops and police (or of Communist revolutionary governments in the cases of Yugoslavia and Albania); to exploit the "revolutionary situation" apparently existing in continental Western Europe and in Greece; to take advantage of its power position to impose its will on Turkey and Iran, as any Tsarist government would have done; and to exploit the "revolutionary situation" existing in eastern and southern Asia. These policies were deemed to cost nothing in terms of Western goodwill, for ideologically no such thing could exist. They would expose the USSR to no risk such as that inherent in direct military aggression. They were the ideologically prescribed courses of action for the estimated situation.
A true "revolutionary situation" did appear to exist in Europe and Asia. The masses were disillusioned and ready to accept a change. The former rulers were discredited and incapable of governing in the old way. No effective outside support seemed available to them after the precipitate demobilization of the United States. Communists were organized and ready to take over. The powerful support of the USSR was at hand.
Yet the revolution failed to come off in Western Europe, and the USSR was checked in the Near East. The United States responded with aid and support, thereby thwarting the development of the revolutionary situation, and took over the former role of Great Britain in Near Eastern power politics. Moreover, with the assurance of US support, there developed a patriotic reaction to the aggressive conduct of the USSR and the subservience of local Communists to Soviet interests.
This situation is one in which both Russian tradition and Communist doctrine counsel patience and restraint, and it appears that the USSR is prepared to accept the status quo for the time being. The USSR can afford to be patient, being firmly convinced that time is on its side, that the conflicting interests of the capitalist powers will prevent any truly dangerous development, and that the eventual economic collapse of the capitalist world will present new revolutionary opportunities.
Meanwhile, the revolution has succeeded in Asia to the extent that it has been able to identify itself with the dominant political force in that region, a nationalistic reaction against Western imperialism. In the Philippines, India, and latterly Indonesia, where nationalism has been satisfied in cooperation with the West, Communism has not prevailed. Nevertheless, Communism has prevailed in China; the outcome in Southeast Asia remains in doubt, and the USSR has no reason to be dissatisfied with the situation and prospects.
In Eastern Europe, with the exception of Finland and Yugoslavia, the USSR has established a degree of control comparable to that which it exercises over its constituent republics. It is significant that, although the USSR could have imposed its will on these countries in the role of a military conqueror, it deemed it preferable to do so ostensibly through the processes of internal revolution. In the case of Finland, where these processes could not be made to work, the USSR has refrained from military coercion, although it could have exercised that power with impunity (but not without discrediting its revolutionary pretensions before the world).
The defection of Yugoslavia Is a matter of gravest concern to the USSR, not merely because of the loss of Yugoslavia itself or even because of the bad example set in Eastern Europe, but because ultimately it threatens Soviet control of the revolutionary potential of Communism everywhere outside of the area of Soviet territorial domination. It is consequently a matter of primary importance that Tito be overthrown and a Stalinist orientation restored in Yugoslavia. Yet, even in so urgent a matter as this, the USSR is proceeding on a basis of conspiracy and apparently internal revolution rather than by direct military aggression.
Over and above the Soviet policy with respect to particular situations, the general Soviet policy in the postwar world appears to be to apply, in international relations, the proved techniques of internal revolution and the "class struggle." Thus the USSR has injected into its diplomatic relationships with the Western Powers the language, tactics, and propaganda of the revolutionist. But this conduct, so foreign to traditional diplomatic practice, does not in itself imply an intent of the Soviet state to launch a military attack upon the governments which it is trying to subvert. By analogy to a "revolutionary situation" in one country, the global effort of the USSR is to:
(1) Sow disillusionment and disaffection among the masses throughout the capitalist world.
(2) Promote antagonisms among capitalist states, deprive them of effective means of mutual support, and, in particular, to discredit the leadership of the United States in international affairs and disrupt the means whereby it exerts its influence.
(3) Provide revolutionary organization and leadership prepared to act wherever "revolutionary situations" develop.
The conclusion to be derived from this consideration of Soviet postwar policy is that the altered power position of the USSR in the postwar world has not caused the Soviet rulers to deviate from the course prescribed by Russian tradition and Communist doctrine. Their objective is still a Communist world order under their own domination. Their preferred method of attaining it is still internal revolution as "revolutionary situations" develop.
The Communist foundations of the modern Soviet state, the revolutionary character and background of its leaders (military men are definitely subordinated) and the peculiar features of its diplomacy and propaganda suggest strongly that the preferred objective of Soviet policy is to achieve through the instrument of international Communism, supported by Soviet diplomacy and propaganda, a Communist world under Soviet leadership, rather than to conquer the world by military force. In terms of basic Marxist concepts of historical evolution, developed by Lenin and Stalin into an operating and tactical procedure as well, the USSR is using international Communism, supported by the threat of Soviet power, to speed up the inevitable historical development by which the capitalist world, according to doctrine, will collapse as a result of its inherent contradictions.
Actual Soviet policy, however, in working toward this objective, will obviously reflect a synthesis of Marxist and traditional power considerations. Soviet leaders recognize that they are pursuing their objectives of a world Communist revolution within the context of a traditional power rivalry in a world in which power has not become polarized. They expect the capitalist states to be fully prepared to use military force either to support their "imperialistic aims" or in a final attempt to stave off collapse. Military power and strategic considerations are, therefore, essential concomitants of their revolutionary approach. They recognize fully both the value of a strong military force in being as an adjunct to then-revolutionary operations and the necessity of being prepared to defend the USSR and its revolutionary gains against capitalist attack. In pursuing their revolutionary objectives, therefore, they keep clearly in mind at the same time the strategic position of the USSR in relation to a possible armed conflict, and view changes in the strategic position of their adversaries, particularly the US, in similar terms.
Thus, the military strength of the Soviet Union appears to be presently committed basically for the defense of the revolutionary base in the USSR and for the support of the world revolution only insofar as such support does not involve the USSR In a war that would endanger its security or conflict with its revolutionary pretensions. Only if the USSR should gain military superiority (i.e., in over-all military potential) over the US and its allies, and at the same time should lose confidence in the Marxist concept of the inevitable disintegration of the capitalist world and hence in its ability ultimately to attain its objectives by revolutionary methods, are Soviet leaders likely deliberately to resort to direct military action against the US and its allies. This latter conclusion should be qualified in the light of the possibilities inherent in atomic warfare, as discussed elsewhere in the paper.
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1. Effect upon the Attitudes of Soviet Leaders and Population.
a. Possession of the atomic bomb has probably reduced somewhat the so-called "fear" and "inferiority" complex of Soviet leaders. They have now eliminated, or are in a position to eliminate, a major element of weakness in their international power position. At the same time they may have some apprehension that the US will launch a preventive war before they can build up an adequate stockpile of atomic bombs. There is no reasonable basis for estimating at this time, however, whether the possession of the bomb will tend to make Soviet leaders more reasonable or more intransigent. It seems probable that, as the USSR acquires a stockpile of bombs, it may be willing to assume greater risks in its diplomatic disputes with the Western Powers.
Although the Soviet Union has played down the importance of the atomic bomb in its domestic propaganda, the announcement that the USSR now has the bomb should have a reassuring effect upon the apprehensions of the Soviet population concerning a new war.
2. Effect upon the Soviet Approach to the Control of Atomic Energy.
a. Does the USSR genuinely desire to eliminate the atomic bomb as a weapon of war? While no positive answer can be given to this question, and many arguments can be advanced pro and con, it would at least appear that, on balance, the destruction of existing stockpiles of bombs and the prohibition of further production would be militarily advantageous to the USSR, except with respect to the possibility of a direct attack upon the continental US.
(1) The elimination of the bomb would leave Soviet ground strength supreme on the Eurasian continent. Soviet military capabilities would, therefore, be relatively increased; and at the same time the USSR could launch a war in Europe or Asia without danger of an atomic attack upon its industrial resources.
(2) The elimination of the bomb would deprive the US of its sole means of a possibly decisive attack upon the Soviet Union. It would correspondingly reduce the confidence of Western Europe in the value of US support.
b. However, even if the USSR appraises the situation in these terms, it seems highly improbable that it will be willing to accept international ownership and control of atomic energy production or an unrestricted system of international inspection as long as its concepts of security and sovereignty remain as they are today. It might be willing, however, to reach an agreement which did not provide for international ownership and control but which included the limited inspection program outlined in present Soviet atomic proposals.
c. The Soviet Union, however, may well renew pressure for an international agreement to outlaw the use of the atomic bomb.
(1) Regardless of how it appraises the effect of the possible use of the bomb upon its power position, it might regard an agreement to outlaw the bomb as advantageous. The Soviet Union would remain free to build up its stockpile at any rate considered desirable and would obtain protection against a US atomic attack in the meantime. If it correctly estimates US public opinion, it will probably consider that the US will live up to the agreement in the event war breaks out and that the US will, therefore, lose the initiative. The USSR, on the other hand, could, in the event of war, either abide by the agreement and capitalize upon its predominant ground strength in confidence that the US would not use the atomic bomb, or, if it desired, could violate the agreement and launch a surprise attack, thereby gaining the initiative. In the last analysis, however, compliance with the requirements of an agreement of this kind, as in the case of poison gas in the last war, would probably depend upon an appraisal of the value of the attack as compared with the losses from retaliation.
(2) The Soviet Union, purely for propaganda purposes, might also make the proposal to outlaw the use of the bomb in anticipation that the Western Powers would turn it down. A Soviet estimate of such a reaction might be based upon two factors: (1) the consistent refusal of the Western Powers in the UN to agree to any Soviet proposals on control of atomic energy; and (2) a possible conviction that the US was basing its military strategy so firmly upon the use of the atomic bomb as to be unwilling to outlaw it. A refusal of the Western Powers to agree to a Soviet proposal to outlaw the bomb would give the Soviet Union a telling point in its "peace" campaign and would tend to confirm the USSR in the belief that the US actually planned offensive atomic warfare.
3. Probable Effect upon Soviet Policy under a Condition of "Cold War."
a. The announcement that the USSR possessed the atomic bomb has not yet produced any apparent change in Soviet policy or tactics. The USSR has merely integrated the fact of its possession of the bomb into its general propaganda and its "peace offensive." Soviet propaganda has emphasized that Soviet possession of the bomb is an important factor in the preservation of peace. It ends the period of US "atomic diplomacy" and spoils the plans of the Western aggressors to launch an atomic war. The point is also stressed that the USSR will concentrate on the development of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
b. It is estimated that the USSR wilt not significantly alter its policy or tactics, as a result of its acquisition of the atomic bomb, before the end of 1950 at the earliest. However, assuming that there is no agreement either to outlaw or eliminate the bomb, Soviet capabilities for the cold war will be enhanced.
The USSR can use its possession of the bomb to develop a number of threatening propaganda lines within the context of its peace offensive. "Peace Congresses" and Communist-front organizations such as the World Federation of Trade Unions, the World Federation of Democratic Youth, and the various Soviet friendship societies as well as direct Soviet propaganda can now play on the following promising themes in an effort to detach non-Communist countries from their alliance to the US, to bring pressure on the Western powers to accept Soviet proposals for the control of atomic energy, or to neutralize the US bomb by creating mass pressures against its use in the event of war:
(1) The USSR is now capable of retaliating in kind against Western atomic aggressors. Therefore, those who lend themselves to the aggressive plans of the US are dragging their people to atomic destruction.
(2) The horrors of atomic war require that all peoples support the Soviet proposals to abolish the atomic bomb and destroy all existing stockpiles.
(3) Soviet possession of the atomic bomb has greatly strengthened the peace front in relation to the Western aggressors.
(4) US support of Western Europe has now lost its value. Soviet possession of the atomic bomb and the proximity of Western European countries to the USSR suggest the advisability of more friendly relations with the USSR.
(5) US plans to use the UK (and other British territories) as bases for atomic warfare will "force" the USSR to consider the British Isles a primary target in the event the Western aggressors start a war. This would mean that the UK would be quickly wiped out.
(6) The US no longer has an A-bomb monopoly. Therefore, its war-mongering leaders must change their foreign policy which has been based on this monopoly.
c. When the USSR acquires what it considers an operational stockpile of bombs, its capabilities for employing threats and intimidation through diplomatic channels in an effort to detach individual states from the Western bloc will be considerably increased. With the exception of the UK, the US, and possibly Japan, however, this increased capability will not result from apprehension on the part of these states that they will be directly attacked by atomic bombs, but rather from the increased Soviet military capabilities vis-a-vis the US and from general apprehension concerning the effects of an atomic war. The USSR could not expect that the threat of direct atomic attack would carry particular weight against those states which estimated that a Soviet attack would bring the US into a war and that under those circumstances their territories would not be of sufficient strategic importance to justify the use against them of the limited Soviet supply of atomic bombs.
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Except with respect to the US, the UK, and possibly Japan, the significance of the atomic bomb as a factor in determining the alignment of nations in the East-West struggle and the will to resist Soviet aggression lies primarily in its potential enhancement of Soviet military power vis-a-vis the US rather than in serious apprehension on the part of these nations that it will be used against them. The USSR would not use the bomb, it is believed, in any localized war, and in the event of war with the US, it would reserve the bomb for the main strategic targets in the UK, the US, and possibly Japan.
2. Effects through 1950.
a. The reaction of the outside world to Soviet possession of the atomic bomb has been generally calm. It appears unlikely that this new Soviet military capability will of itself bring about changes in the international policies or attitudes of any principal nation at least through 1950.
b. The current US programs to counter Soviet aggression will continue to receive local support.
c. The loss of the US atomic monopoly— which had been regarded as in itself a deterrent to any Soviet military move—will accelerate the efforts of the North Atlantic Treaty countries to build up the Western European defense system. Increasing realization of the importance of building up the conventional military strength of Western Europe will probably lead to demands for larger amounts of US equipment and for further US commitments for the active defense of Western Europe. It may also lead, either within this period or subsequently, to an agreement for at least limited restoration of German military power and the inclusion of Western Germany, along with Spain, in the NAT.
d. In the UK there will be no significant pressure during this period for a reorientation of British foreign policy and no weakening of support for continued reliance on a close US-UK strategic and economic relationship. However, reflective British opinion is showing increasing concern with the implications of the Soviet possession of the bomb, and the UK's greater vulnerability will become a more important consideration in British military and civilian thinking. This may lead to a more persistent demand than elsewhere for a "compromise solution" on atomic control acceptable to the USSR and to a reluctance to accept any US proposal which the UK may think could provoke the USSR into using armed force against the Western Powers.
e. In the other areas of the world only the Japanese feel themselves directly threatened by the Soviet possession of the atomic bomb. They have a peculiarly strong desire for the achievement of some effective international control of atomic weapons. If a peace treaty is negotiated during this period, the absence of an international atomic agreement will probably make the Japanese more insistent in their demands for permission to rearm and for firm assurances of US military and economic support. Similarly, if the Japanese fail to obtain these assurances, or lack confidence in their effectiveness, the resultant tendency toward neutrality or alignment with Communist Asia and the USSR would be increased. Elsewhere, the atomic bomb will be effective primarily as a factor of over-all Soviet power and as an element in increasing somewhat the effectiveness of Soviet propaganda.
f. There will be increasing pressure for establishment of effective atomic control from both within and without the UN, but, except for the outside operations of Communist-front organizations and some intellectuals, the USSR will be under greater pressure to modify its position than will the US.
g. The non-Communist majority throughout the satellite states of Eastern Europe will be discouraged, because they will probably assume that the loss of the US atomic monopoly and the corresponding increase in the Soviet military potential reduce the chances of a Western attack upon the USSR in which they have placed their primary hope of liberation.
h. Moscow's control over its satellites will be somewhat strengthened, but it will secure no real advantage in its campaign to regain domination over Yugoslavia. World Communists will be encouraged and will be more strident in their propaganda. They will not, however, obtain an appreciable increase in their popular support.
(i) In areas where there is already a leaning toward neutrality, there will be an increase in this tendency.
3. Period 1950-56—as the USSR Approaches an Operational Stockpile.
The longer-range effects of the addition of the atomic bomb to Soviet military capabilities will depend in large measure upon the extent and soundness of European economic and military recovery and upon the policy and strength of the US.
If present efforts to restore the economic and military strength of Western Europe fall short of their goals, there will develop a strong, though not necessarily decisive, movement for accommodation or neutrality. If at the same time, there are indications of a serious weakening in US strength or in its commitments to resist Soviet aggression, the movement for accommodation or neutrality would probably become decisive.
Assuming that US support of its NAT allies and Japan remains firm and that the economic and military recovery of Europe is accomplished on a firm and stable basis, there will be a strong probability that the non-Soviet states, including the UK and Japan, will remain firm in their alignments with the US if the Soviet Union should threaten atomic warfare when it has attained an operational stockpile of bombs, or if a deterioration in relations between the USSR and the Western Powers suggested that an atomic war was imminent. In the latter circumstances, the UK would be strongly influenced by its appraisal of the issues at stake; it would not be inclined to follow the US unless it considered these issues vital to its security. In the final analysis, however, the future public appraisal of the significance of the atomic bomb will probably be the determining factor in the will to resist. It is impossible at this time to predict with any assurance what this appraisal will be. In general, three alternative trends appear possible of development in the interim:
a. Increasing fear of the effects of an atomic struggle may have produced in all countries, but particularly in the UK, US, and Japan, an irresistible, organized popular demand for renewed efforts to bring about an agreement between the US and the USSR for at least the prohibition of the use of atomic weapons. If under these circumstances this objective were not attained, it must be considered possible that the UK and Japan, because of their extreme vulnerability, could be detached from the US camp and that the US public might force an accommodation with the USSR.
b. The concept may become generally accepted that the threat of mutual retaliation will preclude the use of the bomb by either side. Under these circumstances the effects of Soviet atomic capabilities would be negligible.
c. The present public attitude of indifference or relative unconcern may continue; or a strong determination to resist regardless of consequences may develop. Under either of these circumstances, the countries concerned would probably stand firm in their alignment with the US.
The Intelligence Organization of the Department of State dissents from the subject paper.
The subject paper indicates that, except under extreme—and apparently unlikely— circumstances, the USSR will not deliberately employ military force in its struggle against the US.
We do not possess evidence which suggests that the USSR is now planning to launch a military attack on the US. Neither do we possess evidence, or have reason to believe, that at any given date the USSR will with certainty decide to launch a military assault on the US.
We do not consider, however, that lack of evidence of a Soviet intention to use military force on the US can be taken as evidence of the absence of such a Soviet intention.
The subject paper states that "the burden of proof" of a Soviet intention to resort to world military conquest "lies on those who would assert" that this is the Soviet intention.
We believe that this statement reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem which faces us at the present time. It is accepted by all intelligence agencies of the government that the Soviet Union's basic objective is to establish a Communist world under Soviet domination. It is also accepted that Soviet leaders will employ any methods and tactics which in their mind offer promise of success.
Prior to the Soviet development of an atomic weapon it was generally agreed that an early Soviet military attack on the West was unlikely, if not precluded, because of the preponderance of strength which its economic potential and its atomic monopoly gave the West. With Soviet possession of an atomic weapon this particular assumption obviously is subject to reconsideration.
In the interest of the national security, therefore, we are faced with the necessity of answering the question: Is there evidence on the basis of which it can be assumed that Soviet leaders will not resort to military action against the US now that they possess an atomic weapon?
The subject paper recognizes many aspects of the crucially important potential of the A-bomb in expanding Soviet capabilities, but it fails to bring into focus the problem of whether or not this development will have a decisive effect on Soviet policy and intentions. While it recognizes numerous conditioning factors, it takes the position that the USSR is still unlikely to employ military force in its struggle with the West. This position is based upon arguments to the effect that a) Communist ideology rigidly prescribes reliance upon the international Communist apparatus rather than upon employment of Soviet armed forces for the attainment of a Communist world dominated by the USSR, and b) Russian imperial history reveals that Russian expansionism has traditionally been cautious and has not been pursued at the risk of a military clash with a "major" power.
Considering the import to US defense and foreign policy of an assurance that the USSR is not likely to resort to military action, we consider these arguments undependable.
The first argument is in direct contradiction to earlier assertion in the CIA paper that the USSR in pursuit of its objective "will wage a relentless, unceasing struggle [against the US] in which any weapon or tactic is admissible which promises success in terms of overall Soviet objectives" and that nothing in the paper "should be interpreted to imply that Soviet leaders would not resort to military action at any time they considered it advantageous to do so." Furthermore, this emphasis upon revolutionary policy not only rests upon a doubtful interpretation of the extremely complex question of the role of the USSR as the "first socialist state" in effecting world revolution, but also assumes a rigidity in tactics—in the means to be employed in reaching a fixed objective—comparable to the firmness with which that objective itself is held, an assumption which is demonstrably false.
The second argument, that a resort to military action by the USSR is precluded by the fact that Russia since time immemorial has been cautious in its foreign policy, is based upon a misreading of the actual historical facts. Russian history is characterized by neither recklessness nor caution in foreign affairs, but a mixture of recklessness and caution, depending upon the circumstances existing at a given time and on the makeup of the rulers in power. Russian rulers can no more be generally dubbed "cautious" than can the rulers of Prussia. Moreover, it is questionable that the pattern of Russian history under the Tsars is in itself a safe guide by which to predict the actions of Soviet leaders.
The danger of accepting these arguments as a basis for assuming the line of action which Soviet leaders will follow is illustrated by the subject paper itself. At a time when all evidence indicates increasingly militant activity on the part of the USSR in virtually all areas of the world, the paper asserts that "[the existing] situation is one in which both Russian tradition and Communist doctrine counsel patience and restraint, and it appears that the USSR is prepared to accept the status quo for the time being. The USSR can afford to be patient, being firmly convinced that time is on its side, that the conflicting interests of the capitalist powers will prevent any truly dangerous development, and that the eventual economic collapse of the capitalist world will present new revolutionary opportunities."
The Intelligence Organization of the Department of State has reached the following conclusions as to Soviet intentions regarding the deliberate use of military force in the Soviet struggle against the non-Communist world.
1. There is at present no evidence which indicates a Soviet determination at any given time to employ military force against the non-Communist world.
2. The Soviet Union is, however, engaged in what is considers to be a life-and-death struggle with the non-Communist world. In this struggle Soviet leaders can be expected to employ any weapon or tactic which promises success.
3. The only sound test by which to judge Soviet intentions to resort to military action is, therefore, the pragmatic test of whether or not such action would, at a given moment, appear advantageous to the Soviet Union.
4. Prior to Soviet development of an atomic weapon, all evidence indicated that the preponderance of strength enjoyed by the US in consequence of its over-all economic superiority and its atomic monopoly made unlikely a Soviet estimate that it would be to the advantage of the USSR to resort to military action.
5. Soviet development of an atomic weapon may have decisively changed this situation, particularly if surprise employment of the weapon could sharply reduce retaliatory action or make it impossible.
The subject report does not effectively deal with this possibility of a change. We feel that the report confuses the issues on Soviet motives and leaves unclear the new balance of factors which will probably determine the Soviet estimate of the advantage the USSR could gain through a deliberate employment of military forces.
1. The Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, dissents with the subject paper. It is recommended that this paper be withdrawn and JIC 502 be substituted therefor as a basis for resolving differences in attitude and opinion. The differences of opinion are considered to be so divergent that it is impractical to consider resolving them on the basis of the present paper.
2. This dissent is based on the following:
a. The threat of Soviet aggression is minimized to the point where dissemination of the paper and its use for planning purposes could seriously affect the security of the United States. A major portion of the paper is devoted to developing the thesis that it is unjustifiable to assume that the U.S.S.R. definitely intends to resort to military aggression involving the United States. This portion of the paper is unrealistic and not germane to the problem.
The conclusions as they apply to the probabilities of war are developed apart from any consideration of the atomic bomb (p. 3, III, 2, last sentence) in spite of the fact that the statement of the problem (p. 3, I) requires such consideration.
b. The second major difference of opinion is the manner in which the subject matter contained in the enclosure is presented. Refinements of logic and multiplicity of alternatives make the paper extremely difficult to understand. As a study, it fails to reach clear-cut conclusions.
1. The Office of Naval Intelligence dissents from ORE 9149.
2 The discussion (enclosures A through D) is generally in accordance with ONI's views, but it is not considered that the Summary and Conclusions are properly drawn from the enclosures. The following comments are therefore directed primarily toward the Summary and Conclusions:
(a) There is no integrated analysis of what the effects of Soviet possession of atomic weapons will be. Instead, there is an examination based on several mutually exclusive hypotheses. From these hypotheses one may choose estimates which range from no change in Soviet policy to basic and alarming changes in that policy.
(b) It is noted that one argument in ORE 91-49 rests on extremely hypothetical speculations as to "what might happen" if the Soviet leaders abandoned their Marxist view of the eventual collapse of capitalism and imperialism. There is at present no indication that the Soviets are losing confidence in their Marxist philosophy and, furthermore, there is no basis on which to predict what their policies might be should they abandon that philosophy.
(c) The hypothesis that a major war may result from miscalculation is considered, in the light of recent events, to be unrealistic. If either the U.S. or the USSR should let an incident or diplomatic impasse develop into a war, it is considered that such a war, as well as the incident or the impasse, would result from a plan, not from a blunder.
(d) In many instances ORE 91-49 exceeds the bounds of intelligence and draws inferences and conclusions of an operational and planning nature.
1. The following comment concentrates on the one point which the D/I, USAF, considers of such overriding importance as to make the CIA estimate, ORE 91-49, dangerous as an intelligence basis for national policy.
2. The Director of Intelligence, USAF, believes the primary reason why the Kremlin has not resorted to military action against the United States to date is the fact that the Kremlin has believed, and still continues to believe, it is operating from an inferior power position. ORE 91-49, therefore, failed to point out the full and true character of the Soviet threat. Unless the full and true character of this threat is pointed out, Soviet total relative power may be permitted to grow to the point where the U.S. can no longer cope with it successfully.
3. Subject paper states that (a) the USSR regards the U.S. as its main opponent; (b) it will wage against the U.S. a relentless, unceasing struggle in which any weapon or tactic is admissible; and (c) that nothing in the paper should be construed as implying that "the Soviet leaders would not resort to military action at any time they considered it advantageous to do so." While these statements, in the opinion of the D/I are correct as far as they go, the rest of the subject paper actually weakens and contradicts this original position.
4. The paper completely misses the interrelationship between war and revolution. It does not realize, as the Soviets do, that a great power such as the U.S. cannot be overthrown by revolution alone but that revolution can be the result only of a preceding war. It therefore overlooks the fact that Soviet policy aims above all at preparing for the show-down war against the United States. Therefore the first line of U.S. defense is not, as the paper suggests, the "restoration of international stability and the maintenance of a sound internal structure" but is to recognize that we are at war right now, and that an all-out national effort designed to maintain permanent military and political superiority over the Soviet Union, is required.
5. The paper begs the issue under discussion when it states that there appears "to be no firm basis for an assumption that the USSR presently intends deliberately to use military force ... if this involves war with a potentially stronger U.S." Actually, there is a very firm basis for the assumption that they would do no such thing, simply because an aggressor has never resorted to war if he were sure that he would lose. The problem at issue is (a) whether the acquisition of an atomic capability has provided the Soviet Union for the first time in history with a clear-cut capability that would enable them to win the war against the U.S.; and (b) whether, under conditions of atomic warfare, the lack of instantly available American military power vitiates the importance of the great American war potential. Another no less important problem would be to determine how the Soviets will integrate the atomic bomb into their traditional strategy and tactics. To this problem ORE 91-49 does not address itself.
6. The D/I, USAF, sets forth the following for the record:
a. Communist thinking, from Marx to Stalin, clearly recognizes the inter-relationship between war and revolution, and, specifically, the fact that no major revolution is feasible without war.
b. The Soviets are clearly on record that (1) they consider the Soviet Union as an operational base and (2) they consider the Red Army as the main weapon of the proletariat. The Soviets know that they have never expanded beyond their frontiers without the use of military means, i.e., all the territories taken by them were taken by the Red Army or a satellite force (Tito, Mao).
c. In "Problems of Leninism", Stalin stated clearly that capitalism can be overthrown only by violence, and ultimately only by war. Actually the theory that capitalism will fall of its own weight has never been Stalin's idea, and there Is much evidence that he has opposed this concept as ideological "deviation-ism".
d. The Soviets made a major contribution to the outbreak of World War II. They did nothing to prevent that war, and everything to make it a reality.
e. There are numerous recent statements by Soviet authorities to the effect that World War I produced Communism in Russia; that World War II produced Communism in Eastern Europe and China; and that World War III will see the victory of Communism throughout the world.
f. There is ample reason to believe that the Kremlin regards its growing atomic capability to be the major force which will eventually place them in position to liquidate the center of hard-core opposition—the United States— utilizing all means at their disposal, including military action.