The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Smith ) to the Secretary of State

top secret

No. 315

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a report entitled “Soviet Intentions” which has been, prepared by the Joint Intelligence Committee with the assistance of specialists in the various sections of the Embassy, including consultation with the Military, Naval and Air Attachés, who concur in its findings.

As will be noted, the question which the Committee set out to answer was whether, from the Kremlin’s point of view and taking into consideration all the factors affecting the present international situation, the Soviet Union would resort to military action in the immediate future in support of its objectives of Communist expansion. The conclusions of the report attempt not only to answer this Question, but also to stipulate those conditions under which the Soviet Government might undertake military action and those under which it might defer such action to pursue another course.

It is recognized that the data available to the Embassy are limited and that in Washington it may be possible to supplement the material which is presented here, particularly with regard to those political, economic and military resources outside the Soviet Union which would be available to it for the furtherance of its objectives.1

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Respectfully yours,

W. B. Smith
  1. The views and materials contained in this despatch were considered in the preparation by the Policy Planning Staff of its report no. 33 dated June 23, 1948, entitled “Factors Affecting the Nature of the U.S. Defense Arrangements in the Light of Soviet Policies.” This report is printed as NSC document 20/2, August 25, 1948, p. 615. The Embassy in the Soviet union at the end of the year reflected upon some of the events and factors which had transpired after the preparation of despatch 315, and made a review of its original estimates in telegram 3008 from Moscow on December 23, 1948; see vol. iv, p. 943.