No. 618

Under Secretary’s Meetings, lot 53D250, Documents

Paper Prepared in the Department of State1


Emergency Plan for Psychological Offensive (USSR)

Attached are the basic papers for a planned psychological offensive against the Soviet regime which have been prepared by an Ad Hoc Working Group formed by the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs as Director of IFIO. This plan is founded on two assumptions:

That the reluctance of the peoples of the USSR to suffer another war is a deterrent on the aggressive ambitions of the Bolshevik dictatorship.
That it is within the capabilities of the United States at the present time, and in spite of severe limitations on means of approach to these peoples, to increase the force of this deterrent.

The plan is within the framework of existing U.S. policy vis-à-vis the USSR. Without waiting for possible future changes in policy, [Page 1233] the intention in this plan is to extract the maximum benefit from the existing situation.

The plan is intended to sharpen and systematize the entire psychological approach to the USSR. Planning has been done in close consultation with the Voice of America, the principal agency capable of putting it into overt execution.

It is intended that henceforth the Voice of America shall program its output to the USSR generally within the framework of the objectives and tasks set forth herein. Lists of suggested themes are appended to the appropriate tasks. The lists are not exhaustive, and the suggested themes are not designed as text for quotation in output; they are designed only as hints for profitable lines of thought to be followed in output, on the basis of adequate research and in appropriate context.

Occasions will arise when, in its reportorial role, the Voice of America will have to carry program material which does not contribute to the objectives and themes specified in the plans. In such cases these extraneous themes should be subordinated to the main effort. It is understood that this will require a serious revision in the current working procedure of the Voice of America.

Such a plan as this cannot depend on the efforts of the Voice of America alone. Extensive organization of research will be required. In addition, there should be wide distribution within the government of the basic papers in the plan so that this approach to the USSR gets into the stream of official and semi-official public statements and thus facilitates the work of the Voice of America.


Paper Prepared in the Department of State2


Psychological Offensive Vis-à-vis the USSR Objective, Tasks and Themes

U.S. psychological approaches to the USSR should be directed, in general, toward the creation of future beneficial relations between [Page 1234] the two nations. The present situation, however, calls for emergency efforts to stimulate all psychological factors within the USSR which may act as a deterrent upon the aggressive policies of its rulers. For this purpose, therefore, all appropriate psychological pressure shall be exerted to deter further aggression on the part of the Soviet Union by:

Emphasizing to Soviet rulers and peoples the reckless nature of Soviet policy and its consequences.
Establishing a reservoir of good will between the peoples of the USSR and those of the free world.
Widening the schism which exists between the Soviet peoples and their rulers.

Necessarily implicit throughout these objectives, tasks and themes is the suggestion to the Soviet peoples that an alternative to the present regime can exist. It is not the policy of the U.S. to advocate such an alternative. Consequently no such suggestion should be made on any specific issue (collectivization, democratic elections, etc.) without special policy guidance. In all our output however, it should be implicit that the eventual solution lies in a reassertion of the human values which are the heritage of the Russian people, and which Stalinism has repudiated.

In Support of Objective I: Emphasizing to Soviet rulers and peoples the reckless nature of Soviet policy and its consequences.

Tasks 1 and 2.

To establish the vast potential strength of the free world, moral as well as material, in the minds of the people of the USSR.
To make clear free world strength is based on the determination and association of free men to defend their homes and way of life against aggressors.

Suggested Themes:

  • (a) The peoples of the free world regard Soviet aggression as an attempt to enslave them and will resist such aggression by force of arms.
  • (b) The attempts of all tyrants to conquer the world have always failed; future attempts will also inevitably fail.
  • (c) The free world has spiritual, human and industrial, natural, economic, and technological resources as well as the military potential necessary to defeat any attempt at world conquest and experience and skills in their use.
  • (d) The tremendous potential of the United States which supplied weapons to all nations, especially the USSR, who fought against aggression in World War II is again being marshaled to prevent further aggression.
  • (e) The myth that the USSR won World War II without significant military, economic and industrial help from the West should be destroyed.

Task 3

3. To make clear that such strength is not being created for aggression.

Suggested Themes:

  • (a) There were no annexations of territory by the free world as a result of World War II. On the contrary, many nations have won their independence (India, Philippines, etc.) through peaceful development and political negotiations. (Caution: Do not confuse annexation with the trusteeships and temporary occupations which have followed World War II.)
  • (b) The U.S. has no desire to possess nor control any Russian (or Soviet) lands whatever.
  • (c) In contrast to the Soviet Union, armies were disbanded in the free world at the end of World War II. The free world has started to rearm only as a result of the repeated demonstrations of hostile intent and aggressive design on the part of the Soviet government.
  • (d) The free world desires only peaceful and friendly relations with all nations and will go to war only to protect its people, territory, and way of life from aggression.

Task 4.

4. To establish the reckless and aggressive nature of Soviet policy and to establish the inevitable disaster for the people of the USSR inherent in their rulers’ quest for world domination.

Suggested Themes:

  • (a) Soviet ideology as taught by Stalin calls for an aggressive struggle by the USSR against the so-called bourgeois states using armed force if necessary.
  • (b) Any quest for world dominion leads to war.
  • (c) Stalin’s speech of 1946 and “The History of CPSU (b)” and Stalin’s “Problems of Leninism” all portray a philosophy which permits of no compromise and calls for the destruction of all other systems of government, even though they may have been created by and are defended by the people governed.
  • (d) Statements of possibility of peaceful co-existence have been made only for the purpose of deceiving Soviet and other peoples and for tactical advantage as taught by basic communist doctrine. Emphasize that they have never appeared as a basic communist tenet.
  • (e) The free world recognizes the communist “peace” campaign as a travesty when sponsored by a regime which aids and abets aggression [Page 1236] openly. It is intended to exploit the people’s desire for peace in the selfish interests of the Stalin clique.
  • (f) This “peace” campaign is specifically designed to distort the motives of nations resisting communist aggression; it is a device to immobilize the free world’s resistance to Soviet aggression, direct or indirect.

. . . . . . .

  1. The source text does not bear the names of drafting officers but does indicate that this paper was cleared by the following bureaus and offices of the Department of State: P, S/P, EUR, G, PRS, P/POL, and EE. This paper was circulated at the Under Secretary’s meeting as document UM D–138, March 23; see the record of the Under Secretary’s meeting, Document 620.
  2. There is no indication on the source text regarding drafting responsibility or clearance of this paper. The paper printed here is composed of several separate sections or papers. Only the first section dealing with “Objective I” is printed. The source text indicates that a first draft was prepared on January 4, and was followed by revisions on January 19, February 2, and March 3.