127. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Lay) to the National Security Council1


  • Status of United States Programs for National Security as of June 30, 1952


NSC 1352
Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary same subject, dated August 19, 19523

The following sensitive portions of two of the status reports attached to the reference memorandum of August 19 on the subject,4 are transmitted herewith for the information of the statutory members of the National Security Council as part of NSC 135:

Annex D to No. 6, The National Psychological Program, entitled “Summary of a Report from the Central Intelligence Agency”.

Annex E to No. 6, The National Psychological Program, entitled “Planning Activities of the Psychological Strategy Board Through June 30, 1952”.

Paragraph IX, 5 of No. 7, The Foreign Intelligence Program.

It is requested that special security precautions be observed in handling the enclosures and that access thereto be limited to a need-to-know basis.

James S. Lay, Jr.
[Page 315]

Enclosure 1

Annex D to No. 6, “The National Psychological Program” of NSC 1355


There has been some progress in achieving the national objectives set forth in NSC 10/2 and 10/5.6 This progress, however, has been slow and in most areas severely restricted, partly by the limited nature of available resources and capabilities, but even more by time limitations. It takes a long time to develop the apparatus and the trained personnel for covert activities and the development of concepts and doctrine of the kind discussed in this report. The United States has been engaged in covert activities for too brief a period, and therefore present developments fall far short of ultimate potential.


In France and Italy, CIA reports that Soviet power and influence apparently are being contained. Increased and more effective covert psychological operations in Western Europe may account for the increasingly violent and indiscriminate nature of the Soviet and indigenous Communist propaganda barrage against the anti-Communist organizations in that area.

[2 paragraphs (22 lines) not declassified]

In Eastern Europe, Soviet power and influence have not been reduced to any measurable extent. However, U.S. capabilities for future covert operations have increased, [less than 1 line not declassified]. Recent covert operations have revealed that the Communist authorities do not have complete control of the situation in these countries, and that the area can be successfully penetrated. Thanks to much valuable experience gained in the techniques of covert psychological warfare and political action in Eastern Europe, CIA now possesses capabilities for influencing large segments of labor, youth, refugees, persecutees, women, religious groups, and political parties.

[Page 316]

In the satellite countries of Southeastern Europe, CIA capabilities for psychological operations have increased considerably, though Soviet power and influence have not been reduced in the area.

The power and influence of the Kremlin within the USSR has not been affected by U.S. covert activities, and short-term possibilities in this direction are so slight as to be insignificant. CIA’s effort in this area is now being focused on progressively developing capabilities for long-term exploitation.

Pointing out that present policy provides for U.S. support of anti-regime resistance of the Great Russians, CIA sees a definite need for resolving the policy question of the extent to which it will be permitted to support clandestinely and exploit operationally any group or individual actively interested in the destruction of the Bolshevik regime.

Middle East

A decline in U.S. capabilities throughout most of the Middle East is noted, though this is felt to be only temporary. To some extent, the decrease in U.S. covert capabilities in the Middle East is attributed to the policy conflict arising out of U.S. support for the maintenance of France’s position in North Africa, which has psychological repercussions throughout the African, Arab, and Asian worlds. Similarly, an impediment to U.S. capabilities in the area is found in the disparity of our attitudes toward Israel and the Arab States despite a stated policy of impartiality.

In the particularly important field of the Moslem world, some progress has been achieved along the following lines:

In utilizing nationalist forces for our own purposes, by endeavoring to direct them away from their more destructive tendencies and into channels which will be relatively compatible with U.S. interests; namely, to endeavor to turn the force of nationalism against the Communists, to direct it against political corruption, to focus it upon demands for social reform and economic progress;
In stimulating an increased awareness among the religious hierarchy of the threat of international Communism;
In increasing the degree of understanding of the status of Moslems living inside the Soviet orbit; and
In laying the groundwork for further expanded activities along similar lines. Progress will continue to be slow in this field because of the most delicate and dangerous aspect of Near Eastern affairs from the point of view of foreign intervention.

Far East

Support of the Chinese Nationalist Government on Formosa is described as the most significant program now being undertaken by CIA in the Far East, where the Agency is also actively supporting the military [Page 317]authorities in Korea and laying the groundwork for penetration of Manchuria and North China.

While, on balance, the U.S. has achieved some psychological gains in the overt field (Treaty of Peace with Japan, Pacific Military Alliances, etc.), Soviet power has not been measurably reduced in the Far Eastern areas under its dominance, and progress toward our objectives in the field of covert activities has been negligible, [less than 1 line not declassified]. There, CIA’s activities directed toward discrediting Soviet Russia, Communist China, the [less than 1 line not declassified], and Communism in general, are having some success.


CIA regards coordinating machinery between civilian and military authorities in the field of psychological warfare as inadequate in certain respects. A coordinating mechanism (CCRAK) was set up, for example, but failed to include the operations of USIE services in Korea. Close cooperation with the military exists in the field on intelligence and tactical psychological warfare measures. However, a completely effective coordination of two major strategic plans with respect to Korea has not been realized with respect to coordination of command and logistical support, but steps are being taken to remedy this situation. These are expected to result in some modifications of CIA’s responsibilities to ensure that CIA does not commit itself to actions which are beyond its present or anticipated capabilities.

Latin America

Despite evidence that the Soviet Union is now placing greater emphasis on its covert mechanisms in Latin America, U.S. covert capabilities there have substantially increased during the past year through the expansion of personnel and facilities. Such expansion, it is planned, may increasingly turn toward the formation or support of indigenous, nationalistic, free-enterprise groups or political parties. Some substantial results in combating pro-Communist and anti-American influences have been achieved through covert means [less than 1 line not declassified]. It is to be noted that Latin America is an area unique for the United States, because of the overt Good Neighbor and non-intervention policies of long standing, and the powerful reasons necessitating those overt policies. The security of covert operations and the further development of policy and management systems which protect such security both in Washington and in the field are of peculiar importance for this area. Therefore, CIA capabilities have been developed to be operative only under special conditions.


In Africa a beginning has been made in laying the groundwork for future activities to check Communist efforts to get control over the [Page 318]colored races; but this work has so far been purely preparatory and no progress toward actual achievement in that field is recorded.


In general, CIA emphasizes the importance of setting up increased capabilities, particularly in the form of thoroughly-trained American and indigenous personnel and long-term cover mechanisms. An apparent need exists for establishing at all possible points radio broadcast facilities capable of reaching the USSR.

CIA’s capabilities need to be reinforced for building up an apparatus capable of long-term exploitation against the Chinese Communist regime. For the shorter terms CIA has had only very limited success in the penetration either of Communist China or the USSR itself.

CIA points up the vital importance of VOA as constituting at present the only effective means the U.S. possesses for conducting psychological operations within the confines of the USSR. Covert penetration has been carried out primarily for the purpose of procuring intelligence, and because of the rigid controls impeding the movement of agents inside that country, no psychological warfare under present conditions can be undertaken in the USSR by any other medium except radio.

Through its covert channels CIA has discovered that VOA broadcasts have been audible in the USSR throughout 1950 and 1951. Although Soviet jamming has considerably reduced the audibility of these broadcasts, nevertheless information [1½ lines not declassified] indicates that considerable segments of the Soviet peoples continue to listen to VOA broadcasts despite technical difficulties and personal risk. Some of these refugees have criticised the VOA broadcasts for not being sufficiently forceful and for devoting a considerable portion of the programs to irrelevant matters not bearing directly on the current East-West struggle. Furthermore, ethnic groups such as the Ukrainians have complained that the broadcasts are not sufficiently representative of the desires and aspirations of the minority groups within the USSR. But when all this is said, the fact remains that information obtained by CIA indicates that the VOA broadcasts do play an important role in reminding the peoples of the Soviet Union that there is an alternative way of life, and in providing them with hope of ultimate liberation.

[1 paragraph (5 lines) not declassified]

In Western Europe especially, there was marked progress in CIA’s efforts to work through various anti-Communist groups—both urban and rural. At the same time, there have as yet been no very tangible results from attempts to penetrate indigenous Communist parties. On the other hand, efforts to combat Communist influence in the labor unions, [1 line not declassified] have met with considerable success, [less than 1 line not declassified], [Page 319]and the view is expressed that capabilities in this direction should be increased.

Enclosure 2

Annex E to No. 6, “The National Psychological Program” of NSC 1357


1. Plans Completed and Being Executed

A. Psychological Operations Plan for the Reduction of Communist Power in France. (PSB D–14/c).

This plan and the corresponding one for Italy (Paragraph 1B) were developed by the same PSB planning panel and actions under both plans are being coordinated by the same group. Both plans resulted from extensive inquiry during the summer and fall of 1951, as a result of which the Board concluded that the French and Italian Communist apparati, the two most powerful in Western Europe, constituted a serious threat to American foreign policy and to NATO plans for defense of Western Europe. In consequence, the Board prescribed specific courses of action for reduction of Communist power in both France and Italy.

Upon approval of both plans on February 21, 1952, a Washington interdepartmental coordinating committee was established under the chairmanship of a member of the PSB staff, and comparable panels were established in Paris and Rome. These groups are in communication with each other with respect to implementation of the plans.

Analysis of the Communist position in both France and Italy resulted in the conclusion that in both countries the primary sources of Communist power was in their organized control over trade unions. Therefore, the main emphasis in both plans is devoted to reduction of Communist power over trade unions and the encouragement of the free trade union movement. The most important actions that can be taken in both countries are for the government to give positive support to the democratic unions in their struggle against Communist [Page 320]domination of organized labor, to stop subsidizing and to stop dealing with the Communist unions, and to work towards a more equitable share of the national income for labor.

With regard to the French plan, progress toward achieving the major objectives appears hopeful under the present Pinay Government. Unlike its predecessors, the Pinay Government has demonstrated far more courage and affirmative leadership, and on its own initiative, has been moving vigorously against the Communists within the last two months. However, this is no guarantee of stability. The government has given us assurances that it will continue this campaign and that it intends to take specific action to reduce Communist power in the trade union field. While making known to the government our continuing interest in this problem, we have withheld more affirmative participation and are watching the French initiative with hope in its promise for the future.

B. Psychological Operations Plan for the Reduction of Communist Power in Italy. (PSB D–15/b).

As stated in connection with the similar plan for reduction of Communist power in France reported in the previous paragraph, this plan was approved by the Board on February 21, 1952. Development of the plan, which was in conjunction with the development of the French plan, is reported on in the previous paragraph.

With regard to progress concerning the achievement of the objectives of the Italian plan, since September 1951 we have made high level representations expressing our concern over the continued strength of Communist power in Italy. The DeGasperi Government has repeatedly assured us that it intends to take vigorous measures to reduce the strength and influence of the Communist movement. Up to the May 1952 elections, the government had done very little along these lines and, particularly, had not moved against the main sources of Communist power in the trade union field.

The local elections throughout Italy in 1951 and 1952 indicated no diminution and perhaps a slight increase of electoral support for the Communist-left socialist bloc. Since the 1948 national elections, when this bloc polled 31.4%, it has for the first time made substantial inroads into the agricultural South. In contrast to this, the electoral support for the four democratic center parties was substantially reduced compared to 1948 due to a sharp fall off in support for the Christian-Democrat Party, while the extreme right received a sharp increase in support.

Since the May elections we have received renewed and more positive assurances that the government means to move against the Communists and there have been indications of formal action. The government will put its main reliance on new legislation. The situation [Page 321]now appears more promising and hopeful than it has been for a long time, but we are awaiting positive results. Since the Communists appear to be avoiding the provocation of the Italian Government, we are hopeful that the latter will take positive action on its own initiative.

C. Psychological Operations Plan for Soviet Orbit Escapees—Phase “A” (PSB D–18a).

This plan, approved by PSB December 20, 1951, includes programs to care for and resettle current escapees, and envisages maximum possible utilization of escapees [less than 1 line not declassified] under Public Law 51 (Lodge Amendment), which permits recruitment of escapees into the U.S. Armed Forces. (For discussion of Phase “B” see paragraph 3A below.)

On April 7, pursuant to approval by the President, $4.3 million dollars were made available by the Director of Mutual Security to the Department of State, which had been given responsibility for the program.

The time since funds were made available has been used to build the organization and staff for the continuing administration of the program; and to identify and care for the most urgent immediate needs of escapees.

Organization. Small staffs are being established and activities have begun in each of the countries which border the iron curtain. A regional office in HICOG and a policy and coordination unit in the Department of State have been established.

Resettlement and Supplemental Care. A general contract was signed on June 16, 1952, with the Provisional Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe (PICMME, an international body organized in November, 1951) for the overseas transport of up to 14,000 escapees during one year at an estimated rate of $100 per capita. The number thus far moved under the program is negligible, but it is anticipated that a scheduled flow may be attained in August.

Projects have been authorized to care for urgent immediate needs of escapees resident in Greece, Germany, Austria, Turkey and Italy, needs such as food, clothing, shoes, repair and decontamination of barracks, and medical treatment. In every country of operation the immediate needs of the escapees are being met.

Propaganda Utilization. No general propaganda utilization of the plans and activities of the escapee program is now contemplated by State Department. Newsworthy projects and assistance to key individuals will be used in media reaching iron curtain areas when appropriate. When the program has greater accomplishments to point to, the State Department plans more general treatment. Similar policies govern domestic information activity.

[Page 322]

Funds. Of the initial authorization of $4,300,000, an estimated $1,500,000 was obligated during the fiscal year 1952. An additional $1,460,500 is being requested to cover an increase in the estimated number of escapees already requiring assistance.

Accomplishment of Other Purposes. As requested under this phase of the plan, the Department of Defense has somewhat liberalized the conditions under which escapees may be recruited under the authorization of the Lodge Amendment. Of 5194 applications, 3916 have been rejected, 295 have been accepted (262 on active duty), and 982 are being processed.

[1 paragraph (2 lines) not declassified]

D. Public Statements with Respect to Certain Weapons. (PSB D–17d)

In February 1952, following a series of conflicting statements by public officials as to atomic and related developments, the PSB approved and forwarded to the Executive Secretary, NSC, recommendations for a guidance to appropriate agencies on public statements with respect to certain weapons. On May 9, 1952, a memorandum on this subject was issued by the President, setting forth the criteria recommended by the PSB and directing compliance therewith.8 At present the PSB staff is reviewing the action which has been taken by the agencies and the effect of the application of the criteria.

2. Plans Completed But Not Yet Being Executed—Stand-By Plans

A. Psychological Operations Plan Incident to Korean Cease-Fire Negotiations (PSB D–7c).

This plan was approved by the Psychological Strategy Board on October 25, 1951. It is designed to establish special psychological objectives to be implemented toward our allies as well as our adversaries, with respect to the Korean conflict. Some of the desired courses of action are at present in effect, but the majority of the recommended actions are directly related to the progress made in connection with the cease-fire. The operational planning is substantially complete. An alert network has been established among the affected agencies so that the appropriate action can be put into effect without delay as developments make this necessary.

[Page 323]

B. Emergency Plan for Breakoff of Korean Armistice Negotiations (PSB J–19d).

This plan was approved by the Psychological Strategy Board on September 18, 1951. It endeavors to establish for governmental departments and agencies engaged in psychological operations courses of action for application in preparation for, and in the event of, a breakdown in the Korean armistice negotiations. The operational planning is substantially complete. The receipt of certain assurances from the Far Eastern Command with respect to logistical support is necessary in order that the affected agencies can establish the appropriate contingent plan without delay, should developments make this necessary.

C. Plan for Conducting Psychological Operations During General Hostilities (PSB D–8b).

This plan was approved by the Board on February 21, 1952 and submitted to the National Security Council as NSC 127. (As amended and approved by the NSC and approved by the President, this was circulated as NSC 127/1.)9 This plan was designed in order that the proper agencies would be able to conduct psychological operations in pursuance of prescribed national objectives during general hostilities. This plan shall be executed upon Presidential proclamation in the event of war or at such time as the President may direct.

D. National Overt Propaganda Policy Guidance for General War (PSB D–11/b).

This plan was approved by the Board on November 15, 1951. It sets forth the objectives which will govern the national overt propaganda effort in a general war forced upon the United States by the USSR or any of its satellites. The objectives and tasks which should be followed by the United States with respect to the world as a whole, the USSR and its satellites, our allies and friends, and neutral nations are set forth. This guidance has been distributed to the various departments and agencies for their use. The Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee (POC) has established an X-Day Committee which is concerned with the inter-departmental coordination of policies and operations in the event of war. This guidance is being used in the implementation of their planning.

[Page 324]

3. Plans Authorized and in Process of Development

A. Psychological Operations Plan for Soviet Orbit Escapees—Phase “B” (PSB D–18a/1).

This project is concerned with the stimulation of defection and examination of the psychological and subsidiary military advantages which would result from the proper utilization of these escapees. Phase “A”, concerned with the care, resettlement, and possible utilization of current escapees, is reported on in Paragraph 1C of this paper.

B. Inventory of Instrumentalities for Countering Soviet Orbit Blackmail Tactics (PSB D–19/1).

The Board has had prepared an “Inventory of Cold War Weapons”, consisting of a list of certain agencies and instrumentalities (some of which are of a novel character). The Board has further directed study toward the feasibility of harassment and retaliation against the Soviets by use of appropriate instrumentalities.

C. Psychological Operations Plan Prescribing Specific Courses of Action with Respect to Germany (PSB D–21a).

This plan is designed to prescribe certain courses of action with respect to: (a) the integration of Western Germany into Western Europe, (b) the reduction of Soviet capabilities in Eastern Germany, (c) the achievement of German unity, and (d) the role of a unified Germany in the unification of Europe.

D. Psychological Strategy Planning for the Middle East (PSB D–22).

This plan is to devise by means of coordinated psychological operations a national psychological plan, taking into account both long-range and short-range considerations, in order to overcome or prevent instability within this area which would threaten Western interests. It seeks to prevent the extension of Soviet influence and at the same time to strengthen Western influence and to establish within the community of nations a new relationship with the states of the area that recognizes their desire to achieve status and respects their sovereign equality.

E. Psychological Strategy Planning for Southeast Asia (PSB D–23).

This plan is designed to assist by means of coordinated psychological operations in preventing the free countries of Southeast Asia from passing into the Communist orbit and in developing in these countries the will and ability to resist Communism from within and without, and to contribute to the strengthening of the free world.

[Page 325]

F. Psychological Operations Plan for the Exploitation of Stalin’s Passing from Power (PSB D–24).

This plan is designed to study the actions the United States should take to develop the maximum psychological results at the time of Stalin’s death.

G. Preliminary Analysis of the Communist B.W. Propaganda Campaign (PSB D–25).

This study concerns itself with the psychological problems which the current “Hate America” Communist propaganda campaign have presented.

H. Statement of U.S. Aims in the Cold War (“Princeton Statement”—PSB D–26).

This paper was designed to devise the maximum psychological effect which could be achieved by a statement of high U.S. or foreign officials relative to the liberation of peoples now under Soviet Communist control.

I. Psychological Strategy Plan for the Pro-U.S. Orientation of Japan (PSB D–27).

This plan is designed to develop a psychological strategy for coordinated psychological operations to strengthen Japan and other noncommunist powers in Asia. It would promote Japan’s economic and military capacity to contribute to collective security, assure Japan’s continuing commitment to close association and joint action with the U.S. and would assist in restoring Japan to a position of strength in a cooperative endeavor to secure the non-communist nations of Asia from Communist subversion or attack.

J. Psychological Strategy for Economic Security Vis-à-vis the Soviet Orbit (PSB D–28).

This plan is designed to prepare national psychological strategy and specific courses of action with respect to the psychological aspects of U.S. economic security programs concerned with the Soviet orbit by increasing the degree of acceptance in the Free World of U.S. economic security objectives vis-à-vis the Soviet orbit. It also seeks to weaken Soviet control over the orbit countries by capitalizing on and obstructing Soviet economic exploitation of captive Europe and China through psychological operations.

[Page 326]

Enclosure 3

Paragraph IX, 5 (page 8) of No. 7, “The Foreign Intelligence Program” of NSC 13510


U.S. espionage and counterespionage activities outside the Continental limits of the U.S., with certain exceptions, are conducted by CIA. Through these activities, including the operation of secret agents, [1½ lines not declassified] CIA has collected significant amounts of valuable intelligence from areas outside the USSR and the Soviet Orbit. A number of high quality, secret sources have been developed in selected areas, capable of producing important clandestine intelligence, often with strategic implications.

Although substantial progress has been made, CIA has not yet achieved a satisfactory collection of intelligence on and from the USSR and the satellites. The tremendously effective State Security apparatus of the USSR and the Soviet Orbit make this primary target extremely difficult to attack. Intensive efforts have been expended in an attempt to develop within the USSR and the satellite countries a secure clandestine intelligence apparatus capable of supporting and providing communications for agent operations. The collection of intelligence from these areas is increasing.

The reduction of available overt intelligence sources by Soviet and satellite security precautions imposes upon CIA a responsibility for the collection of intelligence through espionage and counterespionage to a degree unparalleled in the past. In view of this and since available espionage and counterespionage facilities are not sufficient to fulfill present intelligence requirements, a mechanism for assigning over-all priorities to intelligence requirements levied on CIA by the various U.S. intelligence agencies has been established through the Interagency Priorities Committee, a subcommittee of the Intelligence Advisory Committee. In general terms, the topmost priority within this framework is being afforded to Soviet and satellite intentions and capabilities.

Substantial progress has been made in organizing stay-behind agents in areas likely to be overrun in the event of further hostilities. In the face of known Soviet occupation and control techniques, the [Page 327]durability of such stay-behind nets and their ability to function for an appreciable period of time after the outbreak of hostilities have not been firmly established. The effective establishment of stay-behind and other war planning operations is conditioned upon over-all war planning by Defense agencies which is on a continuing basis.

Counterespionage operations abroad gradually have been built up and concentrated against the Soviet and satellite intelligence services. They are becoming increasingly effective.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/P–NSC Files: Lot 64 D 563, NSC 135. Top Secret; Security Information; Eyes Only.
  2. Regarding NSC 135, “Status of U.S. Programs for National Security as of June 30, 1952,” see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 1, pp. 56 57.
  3. Not printed. (National Archives, RG 59, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 135 Series)
  4. The PSB status report, PSB D–30, is printed as Document 125.
  5. Top Secret; Eyes Only. This is Annex D to PSB D–30 ( Document 125).
  6. For NSC 10/2, see Foreign Relations, 1945–1950, Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment, Document 292 For NSC 10/5, see Document 90.
  7. Top Secret; Security Information; Eyes Only. This is Annex E to PSB D–30 ( Document 125).
  8. NSC Action No. 622; NSC 126; and memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, subject, “Public Statements with Respect to Certain American Weapons”, dated March 28, 1952. [Footnote in the original. For NSC 126, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 2, pp. 869 872.]
  9. See Document 123.
  10. Top Secret; Security Information; Eyes Only. For a summary of Report No. 7 of NSC 135, see Document 128.