Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, National Security Affairs, Volume II, Part 2
Eisenhower Library, White House Office records, “Project ‘Clean Up’”
Report to the President by the President’s Committee on International Information Activities
[Here follow a table of contents and a list of appendices, of which all but Appendix II are printed.]
Letter of Transmittal
June 30, 1953.
Dear Mr. President: We submit herewith the report of the President’s Committee on International Information Activities.
On January 24, 1953, you directed us “to make a survey and evaluation of the international information policies and activities of the Executive Branch of the Government and of policies and activities related thereto, with particular reference to the international relations and the national security of this country.” This directive in the form of a letter to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council is attached to the report as Appendix I. You also directed that the Committee’s final report and recommendations be in your hands not later than June 30, 1953.
In directing us to prepare this report, you indicated that it should be made in the light of the general capabilities and intentions of the Soviet system and of the United States and its allies. In Part I of the report, therefore, we have considered the nature of the conflict with the Soviet system, the Soviet drive for world domination [Page 1796] and the United States program for world order. We have not attempted to reach independent judgments on many of the matters discussed in this Part, believing them to be beyond both our assignment and our competence. In respect to them, we have relied on expert testimony and on relevant official documents.
In the light of the relative capabilities and the conflicting objectives of the free coalition led by the United States and the imposed coalition dominated by Soviet Russia, we have surveyed and evaluated the international information policies and activities and related policies and activities of the United States. They include overt and covert information activities, overt and covert economic and political activities, and clandestine military or quasi-military operations. We have studied this complex of activities in the world conflict in Part II.
We do not believe that the terms “cold war” and “psychological warfare,” which are so frequently used, contribute to a clear understanding of the world struggle. The phrase “cold war” is an inaccurate description of the present conflict. Moreover, when used by officials of the United States Government it is helpful to Soviet propaganda. There seems to be particular confusion in regard to “psychological warfare” and “psychological activities.” We have found that psychological activity is not a field of endeavor separable from the main body of diplomatic, economic, and military measures by which the United States seeks to achieve its national objectives. It is an ingredient of such measures.
The Committee held its first meeting on January 30, 1953. At this and subsequent meetings the Committee and its staff have interviewed over 250 witnesses, including many representatives of government departments and agencies. Numerous individuals and organizations have submitted written suggestions.
We have received the complete cooperation of all government departments and agencies concerned with the Committee’s work. They have complied fully with our requests for written material and have made their officials available for questioning. We have also benefited from consultation with Members of Congress, particularly the Senate Subcommittee for Overseas Information Programs of the United States. Its staff studies and report make a most important contribution on the subject of overt information activities considered in Chapter Five of our report.
The Committee has received most valuable assistance from Abbott Washburn, its Executive Secretary, from Robert Blum, Director of the Staff, and from the members of the staff, whose names appear in Appendix V and who were assigned to us in large part from various government departments and agencies.[Page 1797]
In preparing our report we have been inspired by your conviction that a “unified and dynamic effort” in the field covered by the report “is essential to the security of the United States and of the other peoples in the community of free nations.”
The Nature of the Conflict
The policies of the United States are based on the assumption that the purpose of the Soviet rulers is world domination. There are various theories concerning the reasons behind this purpose. One theory points to the ideology of world communist revolution as the principal reason. Another stresses the ambitions and belief in a world mission long held by the Great Russians. A third emphasizes the view that the Soviet rulers feel a basic insecurity so long as any power center remains outside their control and therefore regard any such center as a threat which they must strive to remove.
All these factors may play a part in motivating the Soviet drive for world domination. Whatever their relative importance, it is necessary to base American policy on the premise that the drive exists and will continue until the free world has induced (1) a substantial [Page 1798] reduction in Soviet capabilities, at least relatively, or (2) a basic change in the objectives of the Soviet rulers.
The Soviet rulers are employing and almost certainly intend to rely heavily on political warfare techniques in carrying out their drive. In present circumstances they prefer the process of encroachment to the risks of total war. Because the United States is the major center of power in the free world and is therefore the principal obstacle in the path of the Soviet drive, the isolation of the United States as a preliminary to its destruction or domination is a major goal of Soviet policy.
The purposes of the United States in its actions abroad spring from two basic concerns: first, for the physical security of the United States; second, for the development of a world environment favorable to the survival and flourishing of free institutions. The United States must, therefore, adopt not only those policies necessary to its military security but also those essential to the creation of world conditions consistent with the maintenance of these free institutions.
National security can ultimately be assured only in conjunction with strong and resolute allies throughout the world. A world order of free and peaceful nations has become a general objective of United States policy. The Soviet drive for world domination blocks progress toward such a world order and consequently the relative reduction of Soviet capabilities to the point where they are inadequate to sustain this drive is probably a necessary step in the pursuit of the general objective.
The nature of the conflict lies in this fundamental clash, and the conflict will continue until one side or the other drops behind in the development of capabilities or loses its will to continue the struggle. This view is widely held, but there has not always been a full recognition of the measure of the task imposed upon the United States, and there are important differences of opinion as to the policies by which United States objectives can best be pursued.
The Relationship Between Objectives, Capabilities and Policies
The general objectives of the United States—such as national security and a just and peaceful world order—do not change. They can be defined only in general terms, and can never be wholly attained, once and for all. They can only be approached. The measure of progress toward them is the accomplishment of subsidiary, specific goals. These specific goals of national action abroad—such as a certain level of forces for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or the destruction of communist influence in the French labor unions, or an increase in agricultural production in Pakistan—should be defined in as precise political, diplomatic, economic, military [Page 1799] or psychological terms as possible. They may be regarded as points which must be reached on the way to the ultimate objective. They should be consistent not only with the ultimate objective but also with capabilities.
The Government has often failed to define its specific goals clearly and precisely, and this failure has been an important obstacle to progress. There has been a tendency, as in the case of NATO force levels, to set specific goals which exceeded United States and allied capabilities and this has led, through the creation of unrealistic expectations, to an unwarranted sense of failure. In the field of political warfare the announcement of unrealizable goals and the arousing of excessive hopes in the satellite countries or elsewhere, may have serious adverse consequences for the world position of the United States.
The policies by which the United States pursues its goals should be harmonious not only with its general objectives but also with its capabilities. In practice, failure to understand this principle is a source of controversy and misunderstanding. Some witnesses who have appeared before the Committee have revealed in their testimony that they had failed to take adequate account of the capability factor by advocating courses of action which exceed the present capabilities of the United States and its allies. The United States will be judged not only by the things it is able to do and does, but also by the gap between these and its announced policies. The distinction should be clearly made between policies and objectives with respect to which the United States commits itself to act and those ends to which we, as a nation, aspire but regarding which the Government is not committed to take action. In the conduct of political warfare it is important that the United States avoid confusion between its specific policy objectives and its aspirations.
The Committee has not attempted to determine what capabilities the United States and its allies need to have in order to assure their security, make progress toward a peaceful world order, and bring about a substantial relative reduction in Soviet capabilities or a basic change in Soviet objectives. Clearly the answer depends largely on the capabilities of the Soviet system. The estimation of relative capabilities is a difficult task, but it is an essential step in determining what additional efforts are required and what specific goals are both desirable and feasible. The Committee recognizes the steady improvement of national intelligence estimates under the direction of CIA. However, these intelligence estimates must be continually and carefully matched against United States and allied capabilities and defensive plans, to produce realistic “net” estimates of the capabilities of the Soviet system. The current appraisal* [Page 1800] of the vulnerability of the United States to Soviet air attack is an important advance, but so far as can be ascertained it is the first net estimate of relative military capabilities which has been available to the National Security Council as a basis for its policy recommendations. We recommend that the necessary measures be taken to provide net estimates of political, economic and military capabilities.
In the absence of a satisfactory net estimate, it is our general impression, based on the available intelligence estimates, (1) that the ability of the Soviet Union to wage general war is improving and (2) that the Soviet rulers will probably not deliberately initiate or provoke general war in the near future, but will continue courses of action which involve an appreciable danger that general war might result. A recent estimate states that if the Kremlin believes “the security of the USSR is jeopardized by a Western action, it will probably resort to such counteractions as it considers necessary, even though it recognizes that these counteractions involve grave risk of global war.”† According to the same source “it is impossible to estimate the view of the rulers of the USSR concerning the outcome of a global war during the period of this estimate.” It is our belief that the Soviet rulers will strive to avoid general war, primarily because of fear that their regime could not be maintained in power after a devastating atomic attack and because the opportunities for expansion by political warfare still seem good. We believe, therefore, that provided the United States and its allies maintain a strong military position, general war can be avoided and that the greatest danger of Soviet expansion lies in political warfare and local communist armed action.
The power relationship between the Soviet system and the free nations is such that the Soviet rulers will be most reluctant to run deliberately a grave risk of general war. However, we agree with the estimate that “the USSR will continue its efforts to undermine and destroy the non-communist world by political warfare.”‡ In the [Page 1801] circumstances, the United States must intensify its effort to achieve a greater measure of strength and unity in the free world. The United States and its allies need sufficient military strength and unity of purpose to make the Soviet rulers unwilling to pursue courses of action involving appreciable danger of general war and to induce the Soviet Union to live up to its obligations under the Charter of the United Nations.
A basic feature of the conflict—one that underlies and largely determines the conduct of the struggle—is that it is a conflict between coalitions, the one an imposed coalition dominated by the Kremlin, the other a voluntary coalition led by the United States. It is of transcendent importance that the American people understand this and also corollary fact that the security of the United States cannot be achieved in isolation.§ Several important countries in the free world are as yet uncommitted; and as neither the Soviet Union nor the United States can alone gain the power position required to make significant progress toward its objectives, the conflict will probably be most intense in the areas which lie between these two poles of great power. The Kremlin will intensify its efforts to isolate the United States and to promote dissension within and between members of the free coalition and also attempt to exploit the weaknesses and gain control of other non-communist countries. In order to make the free world invulnerable to such efforts, and to reduce and retract Soviet power and influence, the United States must seek to strengthen the existing coalition, to win new allies and to find and exploit weaknesses in the Soviet system.
The Soviet Drive for World Dominiation
An understanding of the main elements of Soviet strength and weakness and of the main lines of Soviet attack is basic to the improvement of the United States organization for and conduct of the conflict with the Soviet system.
The key to Soviet strength is the tightly organized political system which permits the effective manipulation of Soviet resources in pursuit of the basic objective of world domination. It presents the classic advantages of a tyrannical system: the ability to conduct its affairs with a minimum regard for public opinion, the lack of moral constraint in its choice of means to implement its [Page 1802] policies, the power to speak with one voice in its public declarations while following contradictory courses of action.
The Soviet Union has additional advantages deriving from its geographical situation and resources, its system of government, and its internal policies. It has great maneuverability; it can advance, hold, or draw back as circumstances dictate. It is able to devise a strategic plan, keep it secret, and adhere to it, at the same time springing tactical surprises and taking tactical advantage of any opportunities which arise. A free society, which needs wide understanding and support for its policies, cannot match it in these respects.
The economic structure of the country, and in large measure of the satellites as well, is so centralized that the government can determine with great precision the proportion of the gross national product which is to be devoted to military requirements and capital investment. The degree of internal control which the regime possesses is so great that it is able effectively to isolate its populations from all but the most limited contact with the outside world. The whole system is tightly controlled by a single political party which brooks no opposition and in which absolute power rests in the hands of one man surrounded by a small group at the top. Unless conflicts arise within the group, the prospects for weakening the system from within are remote. A significant element of strength which derives from the nature of the system is that the Soviet rulers have the ability to employ the satellites for aggressive purposes with minimum involvement of the power and prestige of the Soviet Union.
The ability of these rulers to control the Soviet economy, together with the fact that the economies of the free nations tend to be highly responsive to the state of international relations, is a factor of Soviet strength. To the extent that the Soviet rulers can alternately provoke the free nations to undertake large preparedness programs and induce them to relax these preparations, they can introduce a major unstabilizing factor into the economies of the free nations while maintaining the Soviet economy on substantially a war footing.
The Soviet system is rapidly expanding its economic base. In 1952 its gross national product was about one-third that of the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In the same year, the gross national product of the system was more than one-third above pre-war, and by 1957 it is estimated that it will be from 90 to 100 per cent above pre-war. This is a very rapid rate of economic growth, and unless there is a drastic change in Western [Page 1803] economic progress, the rate will almost certainly remain higher than that of the United States or any other great power, except possibly West Germany. If this rate of increase continues, the Soviet system could eventually overtake the Western states, but probably not within a generation. During the next few years the absolute increase in production in the NATO states may continue to be greater than the increase in the Soviet system.
The Soviet Union has been diverting a much larger proportion of its total output to military purposes and to expansion of industrial facilities than has any Western state; nevertheless, the output of Soviet consumer goods will probably increase by one-fourth to one-third by 1957. Soviet industrial production will probably expand by 40 to 50 per cent during the next four years; although this rate is more than twice that of the United States, the Soviet base is so much smaller that the United States will retain a substantial margin of superiority.
With the growth of its industrial potential the Soviet Union will be better prepared in three or four years to survive an atomic attack or to support a major war effort along conventional lines than it is now. If general war is avoided, the major significance of its rate of economic growth will lie in the strengthening of Soviet political warfare capabilities. A steady improvement in living standards would have important political consequences in the free world. The rate of economic growth of the satellites and Communist China, though it will be slower than that of the Soviet Union, will probably be comparable.║
The military strength of the Soviet system and the ability of its rulers to threaten the use of military force to achieve their objectives are potent factors in its political warfare capabilities.
The Soviet system now has a significant quantitative superiority over the Western Powers in standing and reserve forces and in conventional ground and air armament. The size of the standing forces, including those of Communist China, will probably not be appreciably increased by 1957 above the present level of about 9 million men. The estimated present strength of the system’s air forces is about 21,500 aircraft, including 8,600 jet fighters; by 1957, the total will probably be 26,000 aircraft, including 10,000 jet fighters. The number of long-range submarines will probably increase by 1957 from 106 to 175. The cumulative Soviet stockpile of atomic [Page 1804] weapons (30 to 100 kiloton yield) is estimated to be 120 in mid–1953 and is tentatively projected to be 500 in mid–1957, by which time the Soviet Union will also have more and better long-range bomber aircraft. The estimates of the atomic stockpile may be too high or too low, but there will probably be not less than 80 weapons in mid–1953 and not more than 1,000 in mid–1957. The over-all effectiveness of the ground, naval and air forces of the system will almost certainly continue to improve during the intervening period.
Soviet scientific and technical capabilities have increased rapidly since World War II, and the Soviet Union will doubtless continue to devote a higher proportion of these capabilities to military purposes than the West. The Committee believes that the estimates of Soviet atomic capabilities are of special significance in light of the vulnerability of the United States to attack, as shown in the report of Project East River.3
The security arrangements in the Soviet system constitute an essential strength on the one hand and evidence of great weakness on the other. They provide the force required to protect the position of the party leadership and they are also a measure of the regime’s fear of the latent strength of opposition and resistance in the population.
A totalitarian state can permit no internal opposition and requires a reliable instrumentality of repression to enforce its will. A powerful and ubiquitous secret police provides such an instrumentality. Under the present regime the internal security forces perform a variety of functions. Their foremost responsibility is to ensure the personal safety of the men in the Kremlin. They are expected to deal ruthlessly with all forms of opposition to the regime; in the past they were successful to the point where public expression of disagreement with government policies had almost disappeared. Recent outbreaks in Czechoslovakia and East Germany show, however, that all resistance has not yet been suppressed.
Another function of the internal security forces is to maintain the degree of control over the satellites which Moscow desires. In the governments established in eastern Europe after the war, which were usually labeled “governments of national unity” and were actually coalitions, the Kremlin always made certain that the Minister of Interior was a communist, thereby ensuring control of the police. From this vantage point, Russian advisers, usually themselves members of the Soviet MVD, were introduced into key [Page 1805] positions in the satellite regimes until full Moscow control could be established and maintained.
Finally, the internal security forces are charged with the task of maintaining the inviolability of the Soviet frontiers. A similar function is performed by the police organizations in each of the satellites. The resulting “Iron Curtain” is so impenetrable that residents of the countries of the Soviet system are effectively cut off from any type of contact with the outside world. Contact within the system itself is not appreciably easier. Travel between the Soviet Union and its satellites is virtually non-existent except on official business, while within the individual countries internal passport controls, assignment to places of work and limited transportation facilities make movement extremely difficult.
Although security arrangements of the magnitude needed for these operations require forces numbering approximately one million men in the Soviet Union alone and constitute a substantial drain on manpower resources throughout the Soviet system, they are obviously considered essential by the party leadership for the maintenance of their power. As long as they preserve their present level of effectiveness, they will constitute a formidable obstacle to any efforts to penetrate the system and establish contact with its people.
Political Warfare Capabilities¶
The Soviet system has impressive political warfare capabilities for use against the free world. On the assumption that the Soviet rulers will seek to accomplish their objectives by means short of general war, the problem of countering their efforts and of developing an appropriate counteroffensive becomes of decisive importance.
A major weapon in the Soviet drive for world domination is the communist apparatus in the free world. The main instruments are the foreign communist parties. These are the central mechanisms for controlling and coordinating other activities, such as the operations of “front” organizations, the infiltration and manipulation of non-communist organizations, the penetration of governments, and the preparation of secret groups for violent action. Wherever possible, the communist parties also attempt to advance their purposes by participation in political activities as legal parties. This line was strongly emphasized by Stalin in his concluding speech to the 19th Communist Party Congress in October, 1952.
The membership of the foreign communist parties reached a peak of about six million in 1948 and has since steadily declined to [Page 1806] about three and one half million. This trend was reversed in recent elections in France and Italy. Membership in any event is not an accurate indication of the threat posed by these parties. The communists have proved that numbers are less important than discipline, direction and the penetration and control of key points.
A second weapon of major importance in the drive for world domination is the communist ideology. This ideology—despite all the evidence of the realities of life in the Soviet system—still has a significant appeal to many people outside the system. Most of the recruits are people who believe that they are underprivileged, discriminated against and exploited, and whose religious faith or loyalty to existing institutions has been weakened or broken. The ideology also attracts many opportunists who believe that the expansion of communism cannot be stopped and that power and position will be the rewards of those who assist the expansion. The importance of its intellectual and national appeal, especially in Asia and Africa, should not be underestimated. In part, this appeal derives from the association of the colonial heritage with capitalist exploitation. It also derives from the desire for economic development and the belief that communism has made possible the Soviet Union’s rapid economic growth.
The foreign communist parties have sought, often with much success, to identify themselves, according to local conditions, as the working class party, the anti-imperialistic party or the anti-discrimination party. The Soviet Union has moved to exploit discontent through its foreign communist apparatus. Its readiness to create conditions of anarchy as a preliminary to seizing power is in itself an important advantage in the conflict.
The Foreign Communist Apparatus
At this stage of the conflict the most vulnerable point in the world communist movement is its apparatus in the free world. In fighting this apparatus the policies and programs of the United States are of primary importance. These include programs of economic and military assistance, cooperation for mutual security, support of the United Nations, resistance to communist aggression in Korea, support of resistance by others in Indochina and Malaya and support of the European Defense Community and the Schuman Plan. These policies and programs have been and can be effectively supplemented by political warfare operations. By helping to expose the true nature of communist activities, by penetrating, undermining and dividing the foreign apparatus and by hampering its access to funds, the basic weakness of the apparatus can be exploited: [Page 1807] that it is subservient to the Kremlin and employed as an instrument of conquest and domination. The decline of communist party strength in Western Europe, the Philippines and in other countries indicates what can be accomplished by a combination of constructive policies and political warfare.
The Communist Record
The gap between communist ideology and Soviet practice is also a source of weakness. An important task of political warfare is to call attention to this gap and to make more and more apparent, especially to the largely uncommitted peoples of free Asia, that the Soviet Union is an aggressive power seeking to dominate them, and that its system, far from being superior, cannot stand free and open comparison with other societies.
The failure of communist regimes to live up to their promises is a major weakness which should be exploited by United States political warfare. The failure to produce the extra bowl of rice, or to carry through a satisfactory land reform program, or to meet the many specific desires and remedy the many specific grievances of the subject peoples is highly important material for political warfare, not only within the communist countries but also in the free nations in which communism is making headway.
Probably the most serious internal weakness lies in the basic character of a totalitarian society. Because this form of social organization involves the concentration of power in the hands of one man, it tends to be inflexible in the execution of his orders and dependent on his personal capabilities. The Soviet system produced striking successes under Stalin; it may be far weaker under his successor or successors.
There may now be a genuine effort to govern by committee. Should it succeed, this would itself be indicative of a highly significant change in the Soviet system. It is more likely that at present there is an uneasy balance of power at the top level of the regime and that a struggle for power will go on, even if it results in some weakening of Soviet power, until Malenkov or someone else has established a dominant position. This struggle will be waged in an atmosphere of suspicion and rivalry.
The present Soviet regime may desire a period of relaxation of international tensions while it consolidates its position.** A relaxation [Page 1808] of tensions may also represent only a shift in Soviet policy along the lines indicated by Stalin as the best means of weakening and breaking up the free world coalition.
The relationship between the Soviet regime and the satellites and Communist China is another source of weakness. Soviet exploitation has created resentments among the captive peoples. Satellite rulers maintain themselves in power only by force and are dependent on the support of the Kremlin. A struggle for power in the Kremlin may make it difficult for the Soviet regime to act promptly and decisively toward the satellites and there may be corresponding struggles within these countries. As a result, opportunities may arise for satellites to break away from the Kremlin, though this would seem unlikely before an internal Kremlin conflict had reached an advanced stage.
Communist China appears to have more the position of ally than satellite.‡‡ The alliance has probably been advantageous to each partner. There are deep and historic conflicts of interest, however, which might in time lead to open rivalry. The Soviet rulers will attempt to gain domination over Communist China because of concern over its present capabilities for independent action. The Chinese Communist regime is almost certain to resist Soviet efforts to reduce it politically and economically to satellite status; moreover, Mao Tse-tung may now regard himself as the independent leader of the communist movement in Asia and may be reluctant to take directions from the new Soviet rulers.
Despite these latent sources of conflict, the Chinese Communists probably attach great importance to maintaining the Sino-Soviet alliance and may be willing to make some sacrifices to accommodate their aspirations to Soviet policies. There is small likelihood that a split will develop between them in the near future. It also seems unlikely that the regime can be overthrown from within by popular resistance, even with such covert support as might be provided. …
The attitude of the Russian and satellite peoples toward their rulers is another major weakness, especially in times of crisis. Millions of Soviet citizens were ready, for example, to regard the Germans as liberators in World War II. The suppression of religion is an important source of discontent, especially in the satellite countries. The large-scale use of terror and of slave labor is also a divisive force within the Soviet system. There may not be opportunities to exploit this situation within the Soviet system by means short of war so long as the present rulers hold the loyalty of the internal security and armed forces. However, the attitude of the regime [Page 1809] toward religion and the use of terror and of slave labor are elements of weakness which can be used to discredit the Soviet system in many countries in the free world.
Finally, although the Soviet system is developing its economic base rapidly, it is still far inferior in this field to the free nations. It is known that Stalin attached great importance to the economic disparity between the United States and the Soviet Union, regarding it as a factor of perhaps decisive importance. The new regime probably shares this view and clearly intends to maintain the rate of economic growth. The Western Powers have been trying to slow down the increase in Soviet military potential by restrictions on trade. New opportunities to build up these pressures may arise, but it is doubtful whether additional restrictions could materially reduce the rate of Soviet economic growth. Efforts to intensify these restrictions may well be resisted by allied countries who regard them as harmful to their own economic interests.
The Soviet economy is already severely strained by the present demands upon it and has much smaller margins within which it could expand its military strength than the Western Powers. It also has the weaknesses inherent in a totally planned economy. Although such an economy can achieve a high rate of growth, it lacks the flexibility, resilience, and initiative of a free economy.
main lines of soviet effort‡‡
Within the System
Within the Soviet system there will continue to be great emphasis upon the expansion of productive capacity, especially in those industries basic to industrial growth and to military production; upon the enlargement of the atomic stockpile and the improvement of means of delivery; upon the strengthening of Soviet defenses, particularly against air attack; upon the integration of the European satellites and the strengthening of their internal security. The regime’s principal preoccupation, however, is likely to be the problem of the succession to Stalin. An intense struggle for power is possible. The United States and its allies should exploit this situation, particularly by confronting the regime with difficult policy choices.
Outside the System
The Soviet rulers will certainly continue their effort to undermine and destroy the non-communist world by political warfare. They may be prepared to bring about some relaxation of international [Page 1810] tensions. They probably will make no major concessions such as the reduction or withdrawal of Soviet power and influence from areas where it is now established. In fact, a state of international tension and of hostility toward the outside world is probably necessary to justify the imposition of the totalitarian police system on the Soviet people. The regime will be unable to live in genuine peace with the free nations so long as it must maintain such controls over its own people.
Although it is of course impossible to foresee clearly how and where the Soviet rulers will move and although it is likely that they will be able to spring surprises in the future as in the past, it seems probable that their objectives will remain constant. Sharp changes in the tactics used in pursuit of Soviet objectives may occur, some of which may pose new and difficult problems for the United States. The following principal lines of Soviet action are based on the best available government estimates, however, and it is believed that they will not be substantially modified.
With the exceptions of Southeast Asia and Iran, world conditions are not now favorable for successful communist armed revolts; and there appear to be no significant areas which the communists can hope to bring into the system by armed aggression without incurring serious risk of general war. The Kremlin may be expected to rely upon other methods. Foreign communist parties will seek to exploit neutralist, nationalist, racial and anti-American sentiments and to stimulate demands for more extensive East-West trade.
In Western Europe, the principal lines of Soviet attack will be designed to prevent or delay Western European unification and rearmament, to use economic pressures and inducements and other political means to gain control of Germany and to divide the United States and its NATO allies. The several communist parties in Western Europe will be used to further all of these purposes. The present political strength of these parties, however, indicates that in the immediate future their capabilities to achieve their objectives will be limited.
In Asia, the principal lines of communist attack will be designed to strengthen communist organizations, to weaken Asian ties with the West and to exploit Asian neutralism and anti-colonialism; to use the Viet Minh to expel the French from Indochina, but without that direct support or participation which would risk a wide extension of the war; to use economic pressures and inducements and other means of political warfare to increase communist influence in Japan; to achieve a truce without major concessions in Korea and to use a post-truce political conference to make progress toward the foregoing objectives. During the last year, however, an [Page 1811] increasing awareness of the communist threat has been shown by Asian leaders, especially in India.
Throughout the Middle East and Africa, the Kremlin is likely to conduct an increasingly active political warfare campaign, the first goal being a Tudeh victory in Iran. Up to now, however, the communist parties in the area have been able to conclude working arrangements with nationalist forces in no country except possibly Iran.
In Latin America, the Kremlin will give the major part of its attention to building up and strengthening its organization and to fomenting hatred of the United States as a means of weakening the inter-American system.
In summary, we expect an intensification of Soviet political warfare during the period immediately ahead. We believe, however, that the Kremlin will avoid initiatives involving serious risk of general war, especially since it may hope to make additional gains by political warfare methods without such risk.
The United States Program for World Order
Only the collective strength and determination of the free world, under United States leadership, can eventually overcome the challenge we have just described. Only if the free world gains and maintains a power position which the Soviet Union cannot safely challenge would it be possible to bring pressures on the Soviet system which would lead to a reduction and retraction of its power and influence and eventually to a change in the nature of the Soviet system. To do this successfully, however, it will be necessary for the United States and its allies not only to agree on general objectives but also to develop and carry out common policies consistent with these objectives. In the past there has often been a discrepancy between the actions necessary to accomplish agreed objectives and the specific courses of action undertaken.
Political warfare is an instrument of national policy by which pressures can be applied. Its employment should always be adjusted to the needs of foreign policy. The best way of affecting Soviet behavior is to confront the Kremlin with difficult choices on matters of great importance. Political warfare should be designed to bring pressure on the regime to choose a course favorable to United States interests by demonstrating in appropriate ways the advantages of such a decision to the Soviet regime and the disadvantages of a different one.
This principle—demonstrating to others their self-interest in decisions which the United States wishes them to make—is generally [Page 1812] applicable in political warfare. Decisions are made only in situations where there is a choice, and the aim is to present alternatives, both to allies and enemies, in such a way that the one favorable to United States interests seems desirable in terms of the self-interest of those who have the power of decision.
On the basis of the analysis presented in Chapters One and Two, the United States and allied and friendly nations face the prospect of a protracted conflict with the Soviet system. The United States cannot at present reasonably anticipate the collapse or drastic alteration of that system from either internal or external causes. The policies of the United States should be planned to maximize the chance of collapse, but it cannot be safely assumed that this result can be produced for many years even by the best efforts of the free nations. The United States must place its chief reliance on strengthening the free world, while maintaining pressures on the Soviet system.
In considering the conduct of national security policies and the role and contribution of political warfare, the Committee has examined the program for world order within which political warfare plays its part. This program is not a detailed blueprint, but a set of policies which, although the ultimate objective is constant, must be adapted to changes in the international situation. We recognize that these policies are now being reviewed and revised. The essential objectives, however, will not be changed. In this chapter consideration is given first to the elements of free world strength which should be developed and to the elements of weakness to be overcome. The second part of the chapter presents an outline of the major courses of action by which the United States is seeking to build that position of strength in the free world which is the necessary basis for weakening the Soviet system and for progress toward a peaceful world order.
strengths and weaknesses
The economic strength of the free nations is one of their most important assets in the conflict with the Soviet system. At present, the ratio of the gross national product of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries to that of the Soviet system is about three to one. On the basis of the principal indices to economic strength, such as the production of steel, aluminum, coal, oil and electric power, the number of skilled workers, transportation, agricultural production, and so forth, the comparisons are also favorable to the West.§§ In the event of atomic attack, these margins of superiority [Page 1813] could be of great importance, for there would be undestroyed facilities║║ which, with proper planning and preparation, could be reorganized to meet wartime needs. The Soviet Union does not have such an economic cushion, although it is believed to have large stockpiles of essential military items.
The strength of the American system of free enterprise has been proven in peace and war. Its flexibility, initiative and resilience are qualities which a totally planned economy cannot match. Among the free nations, however, the economic vitality of the United States is so great and taken so for granted that complacency over its strength is a real danger. The rate of economic growth of the Soviet system is not fully appreciated. The ability of its rulers arbitrarily to allocate its resources for military and related purposes, moreover, is not matched in peacetime by a comparable willingness of the free nations to use their superior resources to similar effect.
The free world can maintain its present economic advantage only if the magnitude of the Soviet effort is realized and determined steps are taken to remedy the economic weaknesses of the free world. The United States has not yet successfully adjusted to its position as a large and growing creditor, with the result that the rest of the free world experiences a chronic dollar shortage. Western Europe, on the other hand, has had great difficulty in adjusting to its position as a debtor on international account. Its principal problem is the unsatisfactorily slow rate of economic growth. This problem makes it difficult for these countries to deal with inflationary pressures, military requirements, various social and economic rigidities and demands for improved living standards. The older industrial countries, particularly Germany and Japan, face increasingly difficult problems of markets and sources of supply. This latter fact, to which Stalin drew attention in his address to the 19th Party Congress, has great political significance.
The underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa and (to a lesser extent) Latin America are in political ferment which is, in part, economic in origin. These countries need capital and technical assistance to develop their natural resources. Communism will continue to gain ground in these countries unless the peoples learn that free institutions enable them to achieve more rapid economic improvement. These difficulties could be overcome to the mutual advantage of all. The United States needs the sources of raw materials which can be built up in the underdeveloped countries. In the process these countries will be enabled to buy industrial and other products from Western Europe and Japan which need growing [Page 1814] markets for their output. Attention to this problem is one of the most urgent tasks in a constructive program for world order.
Although the combined military strength of all free nations is essential to progress toward the principal objectives of the free world, United States military strength is the vital factor. It is the indispensable underpinning of the whole free world position. At present, the United States has approximately 3,600,000 men under arms of whom about one-half are in the Army and Marine Corps, nearly one-quarter in the Navy and a little more than one-quarter in the Air Force. About one-third of its ready military strength is deployed in the Far East; about one-fourth in Western Europe; most of the rest is stationed in the Western Hemisphere. There are nine United States divisions in Korea and Japan and large supporting air forces in the Japan–Ryukyu–Korea area. The 7th Fleet is on duty in Far Eastern waters. There are six United States divisions in Europe supported by powerful air and naval forces. The 6th Fleet is on duty in the Mediterranean, but there are no United States military forces east of Suez.¶¶
It is recognized that the ability of the United States to deter local aggression will continue to depend upon a position of general strength plus readiness to counter local aggression by the rapid deployment of forces to the scene of the trouble and the potential aggressor’s awareness thereof. Although there has been a rapid and continuing build-up of United States military strength since 1950, the weight of military commitments, particularly in Korea, has created a situation in which it is estimated that the United States “general military reserve is at present so small that the use of any part of it would require its immediate reconstitution either by further mobilization or by the redeployment of existing forces now committed elsewhere…. This involves acute risks in the cold war.”*[Page 1815]
It is also recognized that the ability of the United States to deter general war will continue to depend in substantial measure upon the acknowledged capability of the United States to deliver an effective atomic offensive against the USSR under all foreseeable conditions. In this regard, the United States is greatly increasing its own atomic strength and its development of the thermonuclear weapon will further increase this power: “There is every indication that the free world’s present lead in numbers and power of atomic and thermonuclear weapons will be increased and that the U.S. will continue to possess substantially greater variety and flexibility of means in the delivery of such weapons. By 1954–55, the air force as a whole and the naval air arm will be substantially modernized, and with improvements in electronics equipment our air penetration capabilities should be enhanced.”†
The same sources warn, however, that although “U. S. offensive striking power is now substantial and is improving … some doubt exists whether it is improving relative to the strengthened Soviet defenses and to the increasing Soviet capability to damage bases in the continental United States and U.S. bases overseas by surprise atomic attacks. This doubt leads to the finding that the present strength and readiness of (U.S.) offensive striking power would involve acute risks for the United States in the first critical stages of a general war.” There is, in fact, reliable evidence that the vulnerability of the United States to atomic attack is increasing as the Soviet power to attack increases without offsetting additions to United States air and civil defenses.‡
As for the military position of the rest of the free world, the Committee notes the estimate that “no one of the three major areas outside the Western Hemisphere has yet achieved adequate security against the several threats posed by the Soviet system.”§ Substantial progress however, has been made in European rearmament, although significant deficiencies exist in the effectiveness of many NATO units. Under presently funded programs, some seven or eight billion dollars worth of military end items should be delivered to Europe by 1955. This should result in further progress in [Page 1816] the development of effective forces, although Western Europe will probably not by 1955 have reached a security position which would be adequate to assure its defense against a determined Soviet attack.
In the Far East, the United States military aim is to make the off-shore island chain secure at minimum cost and to resist communist aggression on the mainland of Asia. The South Korean army has now been raised to 16 active divisions and a further build-up is planned. The United States is continuing to assist in developing the military capabilities of the Chinese Nationalists, but Formosa could not now be defended against a determined Chinese Communist attack without substantial United States participation. The United States is giving further impetus to the development of Vietnamese forces, but it is doubtful whether Indochina could be defended against a large-scale Chinese Communist attack unless several Western divisions were securely placed in the area prior to the attack.
Potentially, Japan can again be a major military factor in the Far East. With United States assistance, the Japanese have planned a 10-division ground force and a small air force, but for many internal reasons, including the explicit prohibition against rearmament in the Japanese constitution, the development of these forces will probably be slow. In general, the strength of local and Western forces in the Far East, with the exception of Korea, is not in proportion to the dimensions of the military threat. There is very little local or Western military strength in the Middle East.
We recognize that these estimates are not wholly up-to-date, that they are not based on a thorough net estimate and that ways may be found to use the military strength of the free nations more effectively. Relative military capabilities are, however, a most important factor in calculating the risks involved in political warfare offensives against the Soviet system and in determining the degree of risk which the United States can prudently accept. The immediate problem is the prevention of further Soviet territorial expansion, particularly in the Middle East and Southeast Asia where there is serious danger of continued deterioration of the free world’s position. This danger derives in part from the military weakness of the free nations in these areas.
There is today a degree of cooperation among the free nations which is altogether unprecedented except in time of general war. This cooperation finds its expression in the United Nations, in NATO, in the Inter-American system, in the Pacific pacts, and in various economic programs. Nevertheless, the economic strains, the [Page 1817] burden of military requirements and the long-continued political tensions between the Soviet system and the free nations and between the free nations themselves, are producing an unhealthy political climate in the free world. The conflicts of interest are manifest in the French reluctance to grant Western Germany a position of equality, the Arab-Israeli tensions, the Anglo-Egyptian difficulties, and the deteriorating relationships between the United Kingdom and France on the one hand, and their dependencies or former dependencies in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa on the other hand. In general, the free nations, because they are free, are necessarily more open to communist penetration and subversion than the Soviet system is to Western political warfare.║
courses of action
The objectives of the United States were discussed in Chapter One and can be summarized as: (1) the security of the United States; (2) a peaceful world order of free nations and (3) a substantial relative reduction of Soviet capabilities or a basic change in Soviet objectives. The possibility of war involving large numbers of atomic bombs has become so appalling that the importance of avoiding it imposes drastic limitations on the policies by which the United States seeks to make progress toward these objectives. The United States will fight a general war if this becomes essential to the survival of the United States and the free world. But recognizing as the President has said, that the only way to win a third World War is to avoid it, the United States will attempt to conduct itself so that general war can be avoided while it moves toward its objectives.
Further expansion of the Soviet system would risk the creation of a situation in which no adequate free coalition could be assembled. Therefore, the first task of United States policy is to prevent such expansion. This will involve continuous efforts to strengthen the military power, political unity, and the economies of the free nations. Only the ability to accomplish this will provide the basis for efforts to bring about the retraction and reduction of Soviet power and influence and eventually a change in the nature of the Soviet system.
At present, the United States and its allies may not have the capability to prevent by local action the further expansion of the Soviet system at various points which are under attack or threatened, notably in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The United [Page 1818] States and other free nations may, therefore, find themselves dependent on the threat of general war to deter Soviet expansion into such areas.
If the United States is to retain the freedom of action necessary to meet and counter Soviet threats and to make progress toward its own objectives, it must possess, in conjunction with its allies (1) the military strength required to win local conflicts and (2) the military strength necessary to prevail in the event of general war. These two essential capabilities are closely related. The willingness to commit military force to local conflicts will depend in large measure upon United States readiness for general war. Without reasonable assurance of the capability to cope with the consequences of general war, including attacks on the United States, the concern of the American people for their own security will limit the risks which the United States is willing to accept. The desire of America’s allies to limit their risks is already discernible. In light of the growing Soviet atomic capability, therefore, the development of more effective air and civil defenses at least for the continental United States may become a precondition to continuing freedom of action.
In recognition of these basic facts the United States has undertaken large programs of military assistance to other countries, is strengthening its alliances with other free nations and is developing its own military strength. Military programs, however, are not only very expensive but are, by themselves, inadequate. It has become increasingly clear that the vulnerability of a country to direct or indirect aggression and its ability to resist them are closely related to its underlying political, social, and economic health. For this reason, the United States is seeking, by a wide variety of cooperative measures, to help the free world gain not only military strength but also moral, political and economic strength. In places like Berlin, Korea, and other areas where direct comparison of conditions under free government and communist control can be readily made, it is especially important that the United States seek to assure that the comparison is favorable to the free way of life by providing economic assistance and by otherwise strengthening morale in the free area.
Support of the United Nations
One of the ways of describing the basic objectives of the United States is to say that it desires an international order conforming to the spirit and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations. It is, therefore, a major United States goal to strengthen the United Nations. It is the policy of the United States to cooperate with other members of the United Nations and through the United Nations to [Page 1819] resist aggression, settle international disputes by peaceful means, work for the improvement of social and economic conditions, promote cultural interchange and international understanding, and meet the aspirations of dependent peoples for control of their own affairs.
Much has been said about the advantages which accrue to the Soviet rulers because they have an ideology that is alleged to be universally valid. The free nations have no such doctrine, for diversity, not only in customs and practices but in the deepest interpretations of life, is the essence of freedom. The Charter of the United Nations represents a very wide area of agreement on the proper conduct of international relations. The universal appeal of the Charter and the self-interest of all free peoples in a world conforming to its spirit could be a powerful unifying force among free nations.
The United States should, therefore, continue to support the United Nations, honor fully its obligations under the Charter and call attention to the persistent failure of the Soviet rulers to honor theirs. It should seek to persuade colonial or dependent peoples that the United States supports their desire to have growing control over their own affairs in accordance with the Charter.
The Western European policies of the United States are designed to assist in accomplishing the following major goals:
- The political, economic and military unification of the Western European countries and the linking of a unified Western Europe with the United Kingdom (and thus with the British Commonwealth) and with the United States in an effective coalition.
- The realization by the Western European countries of their full potentialities, including maximum military and economic strength.
- The recognition by the Western European countries of the need for, and their full cooperation in working toward, a substantial relative reduction of Soviet capabilities or a basic change in Soviet objectives.
- The development of stable and mutually satisfactory patterns of cooperation, including common effort in resisting direct and indirect communist aggression, between the Western European countries and their present or former dependencies overseas.
- The restoration and renewal, in these and other ways, of the vitality, self-respect, and confidence which once characterized Western Europe.
There are serious obstacles to the accomplishment of these goals: Franco-German rivalries and suspicions; the relations of France and the United Kingdom to their dependencies and former dependencies, especially those in the Middle East, South and Southeast [Page 1820] Asia, and Africa; the slow rate of economic growth in Western Europe; the problem of adequate markets and sources of supply in the free world, particularly for Germany; the pressure of population in Italy; communist strength, especially in France and Italy, and so on. Difficult as these problems are, the Western European countries can deal with them if they can generate the will and confidence to tackle them vigorously.
The governments and peoples of Western Europe are proud of their heritage and of their contribution to Western civilization; they resent the shift of power westward to the United States and eastward to the Soviet Union. They fear war because of their exposed and weak position and their concern over atomic attack. They are envious of the material richness of the United States and feel overwhelmed by the burdens of defense which they think it is pressing on them. They dislike the “cold war” and many of them think that it could be settled if the United States would take a less rigid position toward the Soviet Union.
To attain its goals in Western Europe the United States must gain support for its policies, instill confidence in its leadership, encourage a sense of shared responsibility and equal participation in decisions and actions, and develop an understanding of the Soviet threat; it must also expose the unwillingness of the Soviet Union to reach a settlement genuinely consistent with the security of Western Europe.
The Middle East, South Asia and Africa
There is a widespread opinion that further deterioration in these areas is likely. It has been estimated that, with respect to the Middle East and Africa, Soviet political warfare is the main external threat, and that an armed attack, which could only be made by Soviet forces, is unlikely except as a subsidiary action in the event of general war. These areas are all in ferment, striving to break away from ancient patterns and to develop new political, social and economic institutions. They are areas in which there are great animosities—between Arab and Jew, between Hindu and Moslem, between white and colored, between present or former colonial powers and present or former dependencies. These areas of economic and strategic value in which any Soviet expansion would have dangerous consequences are particularly vulnerable to Soviet political warfare.
The immediate tasks are to prevent Soviet gains, particularly in Iran, to bring about a satisfactory adjustment of the Anglo-Egyptian dispute, to reduce Arab-Israeli tensions, and to bring about a better understanding between India and the West. Beyond this, there are important long-range tasks, such as assisting economic [Page 1821] development, encouraging political stability and developing adequate defense arrangements.
It will be necessary for some time to work with the groups now in power in much of the Middle East and with the colonial authorities in much of Africa. New groups, however, are gaining power or will in time win power and the United States must be prepared to work with and encourage these new elements. It would be tragic if pseudo-revolutionary communism were to gain ground in this area by capturing the new independence movements and appearing as the spokesman of social and economic reform. So far as possible, the United States should be a champion and defender of the genuine independence movements.
The situation in Latin America has some similarity to that in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. There are also important differences, including the fact that the United States has a dominating position in the area.
Since the end of the second World War, a number of factors have contributed to a deterioration in relations between the United States and the Latin American nations. The amount of aid given to Latin American nations has been minute in comparison with that extended to other parts of the world. Strong movements for the nationalization of resources have appeared in several countries where American companies have played a leading role in development projects. In Guatemala a pro-communist government has emerged. In Argentina a violently anti-American government is seeking with at least covert communist support to create a Latin American bloc based on enmity to the United States.
Against these difficulties, the Organization of American States has strengthened the general political framework for inter-American relationships. Latin American nations also support the United Nations, where they can speak with a relatively equal voice. American policy should emphasize support for the principles of individual freedom and national independence and work to overcome the conditions of economic backwardness and political instability which may make the area a fertile ground for communist penetration and agitation.
The Far East
The United States has made progress in developing a collective security system in the Far East. The treaties with Japan, the Philippines, and Australia and New Zealand provide the organizational framework for this system, and are supplemented by the arrangements with the Chinese Nationalist Government. Once Japan overcomes its constitutional obstacles, the development of its defensive [Page 1822] strength can proceed and Japan will become a significant factor in the Far Eastern balance of power.
For the time being, the main efforts of the United States are concentrated on resistance to communist aggression in Korea and Indochina and on strengthening the defenses of the offshore island chain. The United States is transferring as much of the defensive burden to the Far Eastern states as possible by assisting allied and friendly states to develop military strength. In time it should be possible to build up substantial local forces in this vital area. It is also United States policy to assist the free Asian countries in economic development and in the expansion of their trade with each other.
Although there are many favorable factors, the intelligence estimates foresee the likelihood of a further deterioration in the Far East, especially in Southeast Asia. There are two main threats: armed communist action in Indochina, Malaya, and Korea and communist political warfare in other countries.
All of the countries of the Far East have serious economic problems. In Korea, this problem might become so acute as to interfere with the effort to build up the Korean armed forces. The communist rebellions in Indochina and Malaya have badly hurt the economies of these potentially rich countries. Japan must find larger markets and sources of supply in the Far East and elsewhere in the free world in order to support an expanding population. There are nevertheless great opportunities for economic cooperation among the countries of the Far East if political barriers can be lowered.
Difficult problems of policy lie ahead. Differences over Far Eastern policy are an important factor in the relations of the United States with its European allies. There are also obstacles to political and military cooperation between the Western European countries and many Asian countries, as is illustrated by the problem of Indochina. Following a Korean truce, many of these problems will come to a head in a post-armistice political conference. Effective political influence will be difficult or impossible to exert until the United States has been able to formulate clear policies on many important issues.
If these immediate problems can be dealt with, there should be significant opportunities to develop strength in the Far East. There, as in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, where there are also young nations seeking to develop their institutions and strengthen their independence, the United States should be a champion and defender of genuine independence movements and in general a progressive influence. These countries have gained their independence largely as a result of the influence of the [Page 1823] United States on world affairs and many of them look largely to the United States for the external support necessary to maintain their freedom. For these reasons the United States must work out stable patterns of cooperation with them.
The United States program, as developed and modified by the President and the National Security Council, is designed to build growing strength and cohesion in the free world, so that the free nations will have the unity of purpose and action, backed by power, to create a world order of free and peaceful nations. The ultimate objective of the United States program is the eventual inclusion of the countries now comprising the Soviet system in such a world order.
The execution of American policies demands a constant awareness of one easily ignored fact: the actions of the Soviet and Chinese Communist regimes are partially determined by what the United States does. United States policy is part of the environment in which these regimes live and operate. Whether or not a regime emerges in Moscow prepared to negotiate a serious settlement with the West; whether or not Mao Tse-tung splits from Moscow; and whether or not the satellites regain their independence will be determined in part by the alternatives held out by American policy. Political warfare designed to diminish communist capabilities must constantly bear in mind this intimate connection between United States actions and the choices open to Moscow and Peking.
The United States must have a base of national security to practice political warfare successfully. Unless United States and allied military strength, defensive and offensive, is sufficient to make general war unacceptable to the Soviet rulers, and unless the United States can maintain its political alliances effectively, it will not have this secure base. This is not merely a military task, but also a task of diplomatic, economic and moral leadership addressed to the problems of the coalition as they are, not as the United States might wish them to be.
If the United States can succeed in maintaining a secure base and denying the Soviet system the alternative of cheap success by aggression or subversion, then we believe that political warfare holds great promise of success in forcing a reduction and retraction of Soviet power and a change in the nature of the Soviet system.
Operations Against the Soviet System
The various operations discussed in this Chapter are intended to contribute primarily to a reduction of Soviet capabilities and a retraction [Page 1824] of Soviet power.¶ Very little progress has been made in this direction, and although research may develop new and more effective techniques, these operations must be considered unsuccessful to date. It may reasonably be asked whether these operations serve a useful purpose, whether they may be conducted more effectively with a view to making a greater contribution toward the achievement of national objectives, or whether they should be modified or abandoned. Each operation is examined with these considerations in mind.
Because of the diversity of operations directed against the Soviet system, it is not easy to present them as components in a coordinated effort to accomplish the national objectives of the United States. Lack of effective coordination partly explains the failure to make progress. Instances have been cited, for example, in which different information agencies of the American Government have extended support to the same foreign group, thereby resulting in waste of government funds, confusion of purpose, and, where some portion of the support was covert, increased risk of exposure. The Committee hopes that its recommendations on questions of organization (Chapter Seven) will help to remedy these defects.
. . . . . . .
Voice of America
Because of the variety of conditions existing in various parts of the Soviet system, it would be misleading to discuss the question of radio broadcasting to the area as a whole. For the purposes of this report the system is divided into three parts: the Soviet Union, the eastern European satellites, and Communist China. The amounts budgeted for broadcasting to these three areas for the fiscal year 1953 are, respectively: $6,554,000; $4,132,000; and $2,455,000; or a total of $13,141,000. This represents 63 per cent of the total budgeted cost of VOA operations; the balance is allocated for broadcasting to the free world.
1. The Soviet Union
In its most recent policy guidance the International Information Administration (IIA) sets forth the following objectives for VOA broadcasts to the Soviet Union:
“Objectives: 1) Emphasizing to Soviet rulers and peoples the reckless nature of Soviet policy and its consequences; 2) establishing a reservoir of good will between the peoples of the USSR and those of the free world; 3) making the Soviet people conscious of and intensifying the conflicts and divergencies of interest which exist between them and their rulers; 4) providing the people of the Soviet [Page 1825] Union with accurate and full information of news and conditions in the United States and the free world.”
These objectives represent the latest in a series of efforts to sharpen the tone of VOA’s Russian-language broadcasts and to use VOA as an instrument of psychological warfare against the Soviet regime. When broadcasts to the Soviet Union were begun in 1947, emphasis was almost exclusively on the fourth objective stated above, that is, to provide the Soviet people with accurate news reports concerning the United States and the free world. This original concept has been gradually abandoned as international tensions have mounted, but serious doubt remains whether the more aggressive line now taken in Russian-language broadcasts is effective with Soviet listeners.
One of the handicaps under which Russian-language broadcasts have labored from the outset is the difficulty of devising any practical method of measuring audience reactions. The programs themselves have been subject to several limiting factors. Principal among these are the scarcity of short-wave receivers, the personal risk incurred by listeners to VOA programs, and the physical difficulty of reception as a result of the intensive jamming operations conducted by the Soviet Government (although new technical developments may permit this problem to be overcome).
In addition to these limiting factors, broadcasting to the Soviet Union also involves the delicate political question of the non-Russian peoples of the Soviet Union. VOA broadcasts not only in Russian but also in a number of minority languages. In theory these broadcasts present the same type of material carried on the Russian-language broadcasts and are not intended to encourage separatist tendencies. In practice the mere existence of programs in these languages emanating from an official United States station is frequently interpreted by Soviet propaganda and by Russians in the Soviet Union to mean that this Government favors a policy of dismemberment. Furthermore, the content of programs in these obscure languages is difficult to control. Finally, the problem of measuring audience reaction which exists in the case of the Russian-language programs is compounded to the point where little or nothing in the way of evaluation data is available for the minority language programs.
In view of the limitations on effective broadcasting to the peoples of the Soviet Union and the inadequate data on audience reaction, a serious doubt arises whether the United States Government should continue to devote resources on the present scale to this operation—namely, almost one-third of the total VOA budget. The [Page 1826] Committee believes that if its recommendations are approved, this proportion would automatically decline.
Even if a clear signal could be delivered to the Soviet listener, it is difficult to envisage any positive results which could now be achieved by provocative propaganda, and the risk of losing the audience would be ever present. It is believed, therefore, that VOA output to the Soviet Union should be modified in the following ways:**
- The basis for VOA output to the Soviet Union should be objective, factual news reporting. It is as a source of truth and information about world events that VOA has value for the Soviet listener. If a Soviet citizen listens to VOA outside the scope of his official duties, he must be presumed to do so in a serious effort to obtain news and information not otherwise available to him. Selection and treatment of news should be designed to present a full exposition of United States actions and policies, especially as they affect the Soviet Union.
- While straight news should comprise the bulk of VOA output, it should be supplemented by commentaries serving to interpret news events and to provide fuller explanations of United States actions and policies than would be apparent from the news reports themselves.
- Although objectivity should be paramount, VOA output should be forceful and direct both in tone and content. As official relations with the Soviet Government are on a plain-speaking basis the same should be true of the United States informational approach to the Soviet people.
- VOA should stress directness in its approach, but should avoid a propagandist note. The fact that it is the official voice of the United States Government argues for restraint and dignity in its tone. All material intended for purposes of political warfare against the Soviet regime should be diverted to Radio Liberation or other non-official stations.
- While programs of the type suggested above might be broadcast in one or two of the principal minority languages, it is felt that American objectives will not be furthered by expanding this program and it is suggested that serious consideration be given to reducing the number currently in use.
In the event of war, radio will be a political warfare weapon of major importance, especially in the initial phase. It is essential, therefore, that the facilities and personnel available to the United States not be reduced to the point where it would be difficult or impossible to respond to the exigencies of a war situation.‡‡
2. The Eastern European Satellites[Page 1827]
The objectives of VOA in eastern Europe as set forth in IIA guidance are the following:
“Objectives: 1. To maintain hope and prevent demoralization under the weight of Soviet oppression by (a) providing continuing evidence of United States and free world concern for their fate; (b) emphasizing growing western strength; (c) reiterating our faith in their eventual liberation; (d) expressing our belief that the Soviet-dominated order will not meet the test of history.
“2. To resist the inroads of Sovietization, particularly of satellite youth, by articulating the national and religious traditions of the area, and educating them concerning the meaning of free institutions.
“3. To provide reliable, objective and relatively full coverage of developments in the United States and the free world, and accurate commentary on communist activities in the satellites.”
The situation in the eastern European satellites with respect to radio broadcasting differs in many respects from that in the Soviet Union itself. The populations of these countries have been subjected to the communist system for a relatively short time and retain vivid memories of a different kind of life. Most of the countries, especially Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Rumania, still have a strong western orientation. Radio receivers are much more generally available to the population than in the Soviet Union. Furthermore, the relative proximity to relay stations on the Soviet periphery makes it possible to deliver a medium-wave signal which is fairly good in spite of jamming operations.
Because of the greater number of refugees from most of the satellite countries than from the Soviet Union and the greater ease of communication, it is also possible to form a more accurate impression of the effectiveness of VOA broadcasts directed to this area. VOA programs are widely heard and news transmitted through this channel is passed on to a much larger audience by word of mouth. It appears that VOA is having a considerable measure of success in accomplishing its objectives in this part of the world. It is therefore believed that no major modifications of VOA programs to the eastern European satellites are required.
Three recommendations are made for guidance in future operations:
- A clear line of demarcation should be drawn between the legitimate spheres of VOA and RFE. The former speaks with the authority of the United States Government; the latter purports to be the voice of the freedom forces of the respective target countries. VOA should accordingly confine itself to the type of program for which the United States Government is prepared to accept responsibility, and all material not included in that category should be handled by RFE.
- Should the Soviet Union pursue a policy of moderation toward the West, it may be expected that the satellites will follow suit. In this event VOA will be obliged to revise the nature of its broadcasts, and an additional responsibility will consequently be placed on RFE.
- The effectiveness of VOA programs to the satellites can be greatly increased if guidance is received from the American missions in these countries. Although the size of mission staffs is sharply restricted by the satellite governments, probably no staff member can make a greater contribution than a competent officer who will provide the responsible VOA desk with up-to-the-minute information on local developments and suggest themes which would be most effective with the audience in his particular country. Such an officer should be assigned to the mission staff in each satellite country. VOA broadcasts have attained their highest effectiveness in countries where the Chief of Mission has devoted some of his time to providing advice and guidance.
3. Communist China
Radio listening facilities in Communist China are extremely limited and broadcasting is an inadequate medium for reaching the people of this area under present conditions. VOA claims to have an audience comprising government officials and local leaders, businessmen, teachers and students, and is presently engaged in increasing its transmitting facilities to the mainland of China. Meanwhile, as the result of a survey conducted by CIA of radio listening within Communist China, Radio Free Asia has decided that results do not justify broadcasting to this area and has discontinued its programs to the mainland. There are obvious advantages in maintaining a channel to the Government and influential circles in Communist China, and pending more complete evaluation we believe that present transmission facilities are adequate for this purpose.
As in the case of the Soviet Union, broadcasts to Communist China over VOA facilities should consist of factual news reporting supplemented by commentaries serving to interpret the news and to provide fuller explanations of our actions and policies than would be apparent from the news broadcasts themselves.
RIAS—(Radio in the American Sector of Berlin)
This station is operated under the direct supervision of the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany. Appropriations for operating costs for fiscal year 1953 were $866,000, which permitted a staff of eight American citizens and 648 Germans.
Berlin provides the most direct confrontation of Soviet and Western power and has become a symbol of Western resistance to Soviet imperialism. RIAS has made an important contribution in impressing on the population of eastern Germany the determination of the [Page 1829] West and in sustaining their hopes for eventual liberation from the Soviet Union.
By virtue of its strategic position in Berlin, RIAS has unrivaled facilities for the collection of information concerning developments in eastern Germany. It has built up a large and devoted following among the German population in the Soviet Zone, and is generally believed to be accepted by many of its German listeners as a bona fide German station. Until recently it has been able to blanket the Soviet Zone with its program, but jamming operations initiated in 1952 have now been stepped up to the point where the audible range of the RIAS signal is limited to the City of Berlin and the Province of Brandenburg. An effort should be made to strengthen the signal in order to overcome jamming.
In view of the reputation of RIAS as a German station, the question has arisen whether it should not be turned over to the German authorities for operation. There are several factors militating against such a step at this time. Both the Bonn Government and the municipal authorities in West Berlin agree that RIAS performs a useful function, but feel that they would not be able to underwrite the cost of operation. This attitude may change after Germany regains her sovereignty. The participation by the United States in the operation of the station is a factor contributing to the maintenance of morale of West Berliners. A further consideration is the fact that as long as the United States is directly involved, the station is in a much stronger position to withstand Soviet pressures. The Committee accordingly recommends that the United States continue to operate RIAS and that the present type of program be maintained without substantial modification.
The situation of RIAS is unrivaled for broadcasting to Soviet occupation forces in eastern Germany. The suggestion that it also be utilized for Russian-language broadcasts directed to the audience has been resisted by the authorities in Berlin on the ground that it would compromise the reputation of the station as a true German voice. The Committee does not find this argument compelling. By accepting the argument the United States has deprived itself of one of the most effective media at its disposal for communication to Soviet occupation troops. We believe that Russian-language programs could be broadcast by RIAS without materially diminishing the impact on its east German audience, and it is recommended that such broadcasts be given serious consideration.
The American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, Inc.
The Committee was founded in 1951 for the purpose of attempting to utilize the forces of the Soviet emigration against the Soviet regime. The Committee is under CIA sponsorship and guidance, [Page 1830] and has not attempted to raise funds publicly, which would assist in providing plausible cover for its activities. Policy has been determined in close coordination with the Department of State.
The American Committee has assumed that the most effective propaganda against the Soviet regime can be conducted by former Soviet nationals speaking in the name of a united emigration. Proceeding on this assumption, a great deal of time and effort has been expended in attempting to bring together in one political center the diverse political groups existing in the emigration, which themselves have no leader of recognized stature.
The difficulties in the way of accomplishing this aim are twofold: first, the extreme hostility existing between Great Russian groups and those composed of the various non-Russian peoples of the Soviet Union; and second, basic political differences between Marxist and non-Marxist elements in the emigration, regardless of nationality. After long and arduous negotiations, agreement was finally reached in October, 1952, for the formation of a coordinating center composed of four Great Russian and five nationality groups. The entire right wing of the Great Russian emigration and such important minority groups as the Ukrainians and Belorussians have thus far held aloof.
It is the declared purpose of the American Committee to proceed with propaganda activities utilizing the present coordinating center, and to attempt gradually to broaden the base of the center by the inclusion of additional groups as circumstances permit. Activities of the center include Radio Liberation, a Russian-language station which went on the air from Munich on March 1, 1953, broadcasting initially to Soviet occupation forces in Germany and Austria, and a Russian Institute intended to utilize the knowledge and skills present in the emigration for research on the Soviet Union. A newspaper, addressed primarily to the Soviet emigration and published in the name of the coordinating center, is planned.
In the fiscal year 1953 $———‡‡ was allotted for support of this project. Of this figure $———was for Radio Liberation and $———for the conduct of the other activities of the Committee. Ninety-six Americans and 218 aliens were employed.
The results to date have not been noteworthy. Undoubtedly more rapid progress could have been made if the idea of a political center had been abandoned and activities on the RFE pattern begun without regard to political considerations. From the outset [Page 1831] there have been many advocates of such a course who argued that the whole history of the Russian emigration since 1917 has demonstrated the futility of attempting to persuade its diffuse elements to coalesce in a common undertaking. The prevailing view, however, has been that the psychological impact of a united voice of the Soviet emigration would so much outweigh that of a station under transparent foreign control that the time and effort expended on the formation of a coordinating center were justified.
In a situation short of war the project can probably make its greatest contribution by de-emphasizing its political activities and devoting its major effort to the improvement of broadcasts from Radio Liberation. This station should use Soviet émigrés in an effort to weaken the Soviet regime and should concentrate on the Soviet military, government officials, and other groups in the population which harbor major grievances against the regime. Present plans call for the provision of new transmitting facilities in Spain. It is important that these or other facilities be developed in order to enable Radio Liberation to reach a wide audience within the Soviet Union.
Pending a final determination of its effectiveness, we believe that the activities of the American Committee should be continued. Because results can be expected in the immediate future only from broadcasting, however, it is recommended that major attention should be concentrated on Radio Liberation. Expenditures on the coordinating center can be reduced but should be maintained at a level adequate to keep the organization in being, without active efforts to broaden the base of the center. If through the efforts of the present membership of the center additional émigré groups can be persuaded to participate, such moves should receive the encouragement and support of the Committee.
National Committee for a Free Europe
The National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE) was created by CIA in 1949 with the following purposes:
- to create an institution in which the émigrés from the satellite nations could find employment which would utilize their skills and, at the same time, document for the world at large the actions of the satellite governments and Soviet Russia;
- to utilize the political figures of such emigrations as rallying points and as symbols of unified opposition to communism in this country and abroad;
- to relieve the Department of State of the need to deal with émigré political leaders whom they could not endorse as “Governments in Exile” at a time when the United States officially recognized the satellite governments; and
- generally to “aid the non-fascist, non-communist leaders in their peaceful efforts to prepare the way toward the restoration in [Page 1832] Eastern Europe of the social, political, and religious liberties, in which they and we believe.”
The activities of NCFE fall into six categories: the organization and support of refugee political groups; Radio Free Europe (RFE), which broadcasts from Munich and Portugal to the eastern European satellites; research projects on eastern Europe; the Free University in Exile located at Strasbourg; the compilation of an information digest of current developments behind the Iron Curtain; and assistance to refugees from the satellites now residing in western Europe.
In the fiscal year 1953 $———was allotted for the support of these activities. Most of this support was furnished by CIA. Of this amount $———was allocated to RFE, $———to the Free University in Exile, and $———to the support of the other activities conducted by NCFE. The following personnel are engaged in these operations: RFE: 252 Americans and 1,526 aliens; Free University in Exile: 8 Americans and 45 aliens; other activities: 183 Americans and 345 aliens.
The bulk of available evidence indicates that RFE is widely heard, particularly in its three primary target areas, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland, and that its programs are well received by its audience. There is less agreement on the effectiveness of other NCFE activities. Efforts to form national councils composed of political leaders from the various emigrations have largely been frustrated by the bickerings and jealousies common to émigré politicians. The Free University in Exile, which was established to train refugee students for future leadership in their own countries after liberation, has found it difficult to provide proper motivation and the whole project is currently under re-examination. The research and news-gathering activities provide material for broadcasting operations and are also a source of information regarding developments behind the Iron Curtain. Aid to satellite refugees in western Europe, which is designed to supplement the activities of regular relief agencies by assisting refugees to adapt to their new environment while preserving their national consciousness and national culture, is a program now in its initial phases.
In the original plan the various national councils were to be responsible for broadcasts over RFE facilities to their respective countries. Since the complexities and rivalries of émigré politics made the organization of national councils difficult, it was decided to set up RFE on a non-political basis. Emigré staffs were hired for competence rather than political affiliation and programs to various countries are now id entified as the Voice of Free Czechoslovakia, Poland, and so on. Although this reason for the national councils [Page 1833] no longer exists, they do have potential value in exile relations. If the émigré leaders are prepared to create national councils of their own volition, NCFE should assist them to engage in such propaganda activities as they may be qualified to conduct. Primary attention, however, should be given to the broadcasting phase of NCFE activities. The Committee recommends that the rest of these activities be reviewed by CIA to determine whether they should be continued or modified.
As in the case of the Russian emigration, support operations which enable refugees from the satellites to live decently either in the United States or in western Europe have a certain long-term value even though their short-range advantages are not apparent. These individuals might constitute a useful cadre in the event of hostilities in eastern Europe and the research work they do may prove of value, both now and in the future, if suitable arrangements can be made for better distribution of the results to appropriate agencies.
Certain specific problems arise in connection with NCFE activities, particularly RFE. There is first the question of cover. It has been suggested that, because the present cover has worn thin, RFE’s official connections be freely admitted. Such a course, however, would vitiate the principal reason for the existence of RFE as a separate organization. So long as its government connections are not officially admitted it can broadcast programs and take positions for which the United States would not desire to accept responsibility. The Committee believes that the present cover is adequate for this purpose.
A second problem is the question of relations with the West German Government. RFE’s European headquarters and several of its transmitting facilities are located in West Germany. By the very nature of its activities it is inevitable that there should be conflict between the interests of RFE and those of the large number of ethnic Germans who have been displaced from their homes in eastern Europe. These German refugees are critical of some of the eastern Europeans employed on RFE and frequently disagree with the political solutions which are advocated or implied with respect to the future organization of this area. They constitute a compact political pressure group in western Germany and are in a position to influence the attitude of the Bonn Government. This will be a continuing problem and may be expected to become more acute as Germany moves toward full sovereignty. It is therefore imperative that every effort be made by RFE to work out and maintain the best possible relations with the Bonn Government.
. . . . . . .[Page 1834]
Committee for Free Asia
Although the Committee for Free Asia (CFA) is usually considered to be similar to NCFE in organization and functions, and although the two organizations have joined in the Crusade for Freedom in appealing for public support, CFA differs from NCFE in that its activities are directed primarily to the free countries of Asia rather than behind the Iron Curtain. In its work in these countries CFA operates on the concept that a private organization, particularly in Asia, can accomplish results which an official agency by its very nature cannot. It presupposes that the more it obscures its American label the more effective it will be. It seeks to foster among Asian peoples a sense of their importance as individuals, to develop in Asia a community of interest in resisting communism, and to encourage and promote native leadership of activities which will strengthen freedom. In working toward these objectives CFA encourages individuals and groups to act in their own right as Asians, in Asian self-interest, for Asian objectives.
In May, 1951, Radio Free Asia (RFA) went on the air short-wave over leased facilities in three Chinese dialects and English. Surveys revealed that on the Chinese mainland the audience was restricted to government officials and others specifically authorized to listen to short-wave broadcasts.§§ Because of this situation RFA concentrated on the overseas Chinese audience in Southeast Asia. This audience was not thought to justify the expense of the program and it was recently decided to discontinue RFA entirely. The amount allocated for the operation of RFA in the fiscal year 1953 was $———.
The other activities of CFA, which are directed almost entirely toward the free countries of Southeast Asia and Japan, are discussed in Chapter Five.
. . . . . . .
economic denial program
Another phase of operations against the Soviet system is the economic denial program by which the volume of strategic materials exported to the Soviet system from the free world has been substantially reduced.
In order to limit the war potential of the Soviet system and to increase its economic difficulties, the United States has for the past several years been engaged in an extensive program “to prevent the flow to countries supporting the communist imperialist aggression of those materials, goods, funds, and services which would [Page 1835] serve materially to aid their ability to carry on such aggression.”║║ Under this program, there has been a complete embargo on arms, ammunition, implements of war, and atomic energy materials. There has also been an embargo—with certain exceptions—on industrial and transportation materials of primary strategic significance. Additional items are added to the embargo list as agreement is achieved among the free nations.¶¶
It is believed that the Soviet military build-up has been slowed by the denial program. A recent analysis* of the economic consequences of a complete severance of East-West trade concluded that the amount of commerce still carried on between the Soviet system and the West is so small in relation to the total productive capability of either side that its severance could not have a significant effect on the general level of economic activity of either the system or the West. This estimate also concludes that, with the possible exception of natural rubber and electronic tubes and components, the Soviet system would be capable of replacing, within about four years, all goods presently imported from the West.
The Committee understands that the Planning Board of NSC has been directed to review the entire denial program and submit recommendations to the Council in the near future. In the light of this current NSC review, the Committee has not attempted to arrive at independent conclusions concerning the strategic importance of the program or its potential contribution to the United States effort against the Soviet system.
. . . . . . .
Propaganda and Information Activities in the Free World
This Chapter is devoted to a review of the information and propaganda activities conducted by four government agencies: The Departments of State and of Defense, the Mutual Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency. We discuss the mission of the propaganda and information programs, note the size and distribution of the effort, make a general appraisal of the program and finally a more detailed appraisal of the various media.[Page 1836]
mission of propaganda and information
There is a wide difference of opinion concerning the role of propaganda and its inherent limitations. The most enthusiastic advocates of propaganda consider it to be a weapon in its own right—to have the capability, if skillfully employed, of changing the opinions of foreign peoples and influencing the actions of foreign governments. The Committee believes, however, that propaganda cannot be expected to be the determining factor in deciding major issues. The United States is judged less by what it says through official information outlets than by the actions and attitudes of the Government in international affairs and the actions and attitudes of its citizens and officials, abroad and at home. American policies, both foreign and domestic, may guarantee the security or set the standard of living of entire nations. Extreme statements made by Americans, often for domestic effect, are prominently displayed abroad and can create serious doubt as to the maturity, stability, and constancy of purpose of the United States.
Propaganda is most effective when used as an auxiliary to create a climate of opinion in which national policy objectives can be most readily accomplished. It must perform the function of informing foreign peoples of the nature of American objectives and of seeking to arouse in them an understanding and a sympathy for the kind of world order which the United States and other free nations seek to achieve. To be effective, it must be dependable, convincing, and truthful. In particular situations propaganda, overt or covert, may play a role of decisive importance in the attainment of specific goals, but too much or too blatant propaganda can be harmful.
One of the principal handicaps under which United States information and propaganda activities have suffered is confusion regarding their mission. This has been particularly true of the foreign information service of the Department of State known as the International Information Administration (IIA). Upon the abolition of the Office of War Information (OWI) in 1945, its functions were transferred to the Department of State, which was directed to provide foreign peoples with a “full and fair picture” of American life and of the aims and policies of the United States Government. The Smith–Mundt Act (Public Law 402) in 1948 established, in addition, an educational exchange service and emphasized the need to increase mutual understanding by the dissemination abroad of information about the United States. In 1950 a “Campaign of Truth” was launched by the President in an effort to counter hostile Soviet propaganda. After the outbreak of the Korean War, NSC 684 set [Page 1837] the propaganda objective of deriving “the maximum psychological effect from the political, diplomatic, economic and military measures undertaken by the United States and its allies.” In 1951, the primary mission of the information service was defined as deterring the Soviet war effort.† To facilitate the attainment of this objective five tasks were assigned to IIA which have been reaffirmed in subsequent NSC documents:
- To increase psychological deterrents to communist aggression.
- To intensify, particularly in Western Europe, the growth of confidence in the free world’s ability to stop communist aggression.
- To combat neutralism, particularly in Asia.
- To maintain hope of liberation among the peoples behind the Iron Curtain.
- To maintain, particularly in Latin America, a recognition of the mutual interdependence of this area and the United States.
In Germany, in addition to IIA activities, an extensive and in large measure independent information program has been conducted since the end of the war, first under the Department of Defense and subsequently, since 1949, under State Department direction (HICOG). In 1951 the Department of State declared that the objective of the HICOG information program was “to serve as an instrument of the occupation,” and that its “normal function” was the “full and fair projection of the United States.”‡ The mission was changed in 1953 to that of “affecting the attitudes and actions of the German people” and assuring the “acceptance of our objective.”§
The aims of the other agencies engaged in information work have been more precise and constant. MSA has been charged with persuading Europeans to increase their productivity, to develop their economic and military strength, and to integrate their economies. The objectives of CIA covert propaganda in the free world are to combat communist subversion, counter neutralism, and generally promote United States and Western concepts and interests. The mission of the Department of Defense information activities in the free world is to furnish information to troops stationed overseas [Page 1838] and to encourage friendlier relations between the troops and foreign populations.
There is still no unanimity of opinion regarding the over-all mission of the United States information agencies. Some consider the mission to be the dissemination of truth, particularly about the United States; some emphasize the importance of winning friends for the United States; and others view the information services as a weapon against communism. These differing points of view have emerged in the prolonged public debate on the mission of the information program and have contributed to the uncertainty and confusion among information personnel which has proven such a serious handicap to the development of a coordinated and purposeful program.
The dissemination of truth is not enough. Friendship for the United States is neither a prerequisite to nor a guarantee of action in the interest of the United States. Anti-communist propaganda may antagonize more foreigners than it convinces. While all of these elements have a legitimate place in an information program, the Committee believes that any program supported by government funds can only be justified to the extent that it assists in the achievement of national objectives.
The primary purpose of the information program should be to persuade foreign peoples that it lies in their own interest to take actions which are also consistent with the national objectives of the United States. The goal should be to harmonize wherever possible the personal and national self-interest of foreigners with the national objectives of the United States.
It must be the concern of the United States to find out what other peoples want, to relate their wants to those of this country and to explain these common goals in ways that will cause others to join with the United States in their achievement.
This goal can be achieved only on the basis of clear and consistent statements of the American position on major issues. Too often the United States speaks with a multitude of voices. Conflicting interpretations of national objectives are a serious handicap to successful persuasion in foreign countries.
size and distribution of the information and propaganda activities
Because of the complexity of departmental budgets and the transfer of appropriated funds within agencies, the total cost of propaganda and information activities in the free world can be stated only in general terms. A figure of … for operating the program in fiscal year 1953 appears to be a reasonable approximation. This is divided among the principal agencies as follows:[Page 1839]
Mutual Security Agency—$50,000,000¶
. . . . . . .
The share of the Department of State for activities in the free world is allocated among three organizations:
International Information Administration (IIA)—$82,000,000║
High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG)—$30,000,000‡‡
Technical Cooperation Administration (TCA)—$11,000,000
Thus, while IIA is the largest agency in the information field, it expends only 40 per cent of the total amount appropriated for propaganda and information activities in the free world.
In geographical terms … or two-thirds of the annual total is spent in Western Europe …
In terms of personnel, both American and alien, IIA has the largest staff, with more than 9,000 employees. HICOG now has 4,000 employees compared to its earlier maximum of 7,000. The MSA information staff is 700. IIA has the heaviest concentration in the United States, one-third of its personnel being stationed here in comparison with only five per cent of the MSA information staff. IIA also relies to a greater degree on American personnel, one-half of its staff being citizens. The comparable figures are 20 per cent for MSA and 10 per cent for HICOG.
appraisal of propaganda and information programs
Any appraisal must take into account the principal characteristics of Soviet and American propaganda. These derive chiefly from differences in governmental structure and philosophy and from the wide divergence in national objectives.
For the last 30 years the Soviet propaganda program has been large and centrally directed. From the time they seized power, the Bolsheviks have given high priority to propaganda, both internal and external. As a result of this long experience, the Soviet Union possesses a large group of propagandists which is continually replenished by new and well-trained recruits. They are inhibited neither by the need to tell the truth nor by public opinion at home. In [Page 1840] addition, the Soviet propaganda machine has an effective apparatus abroad in the foreign communist parties, which contribute their own funds and labor.
The United States also has advantages. Its people share fundamental beliefs and basic values with millions of the men and women the United States is attempting to win to its side: belief in God, belief in individual and national freedom and the right to ownership of property, belief in a peaceful world and in the common humanity of men and nations compromising their differences and cooperating in the United Nations. Sharing such beliefs, the United States has partners and allies abroad, not subservient satellites held by force.
The military strength of the United States, its economic system, its standard of living, its technical development and productive capacity are appropriate subjects of information programs as showing the capability both to resist aggression and to give powerful assistance in the creation of a peaceful world order. Of fundamental importance, however, the program should speak in terms of the deeper spiritual values uniting this nation with the rest of the world.
The national information program has suffered from the lack of effective central direction. In spite of the establishment of the Psychological Strategy Board, coordination has been lacking and the various agencies concerned have largely gone their separate ways. Opportunities have been missed to take the offensive in global propaganda campaigns. Too often, the program has been merely defensive. Lack of coordination has resulted in the haphazard projection of too many and too diffuse propaganda themes. No single set of ideas has been registered abroad through effective repetition. This is in sharp contrast to the technique of the Soviets, who have consistently hammered home a few carefully selected central themes: land reform, peace, anti-imperialism, youth. The headquarters staffs of all agencies engaged in information work should concentrate more on the conception, planning and coordination of global campaigns and less on detailed control and execution of day-to-day operations.
Another serious problem has been confusion regarding the guidance provided by the information agencies in Washington to their staffs in the field. Each has issued detailed guidances to its own field staffs, usually after some coordination by the interdepartmental Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee (POC). The agency primarily concerned, IIA, in order to meet media deadlines, has often issued its information guidances before political guidances [Page 1841] were prepared in the Department of State. Such guidances have not always been in agreement.
The Committee believes that, although guidance on specific or local objectives of information activities may often be required from Washington, such guidance should generally be confined to global or regional themes. When United States policy and objectives have been explained to the field, information officials abroad should be permitted discretion in adapting their information activities to particular local situations.
Adaptation to Local Conditions
One aspect of IIA activity which has been repeatedly criticized is the mass preparation and distribution of material. Frequently, there has been insufficient concentration on particular targets and programs have not been best calculated to achieve the desired result. Much of the material prepared in the United States is of little use for any foreign audience. This criticism applies with particular force to short-wave broadcasts by the Voice of America to the free world and to publications prepared in the United States. Insofar as possible, information material should be prepared abroad to meet local needs.
More decentralization of tactical control of the information program to the country level and the local preparation of more material should permit a substantial reduction in the information staffs located within the United States. This is particularly true of IIA.
Audiences often do not believe information provided by any foreigner and are particularly quick to take offense at advice and exhortation received from abroad. They are likely not only to reject such an approach but to complain of interference in their internal affairs. Not all of the free world is prepared to view its problems in the context of a struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. The note of self-praise and the emphasis on material achievements by the United States frequently creates envy and antagonism.
As a general rule, information and propaganda should only be attributed to the United States when such attribution is an asset. A much greater percentage of the information program should be unattributed.
Attribution to the United States can be prevented not only by avoiding the use of specific labels, but also by the utilization abroad of personnel other than American in the preparation and dissemination of material. In certain countries the large number of Americans engaged in information activities is a handicap rather than an asset to effective work. Competent and experienced local [Page 1842] employees are usually far more familiar than Americans with conditions and personalities in their own country. They are in much better position to establish the type of personal contacts through which unattributed propaganda can be disseminated. In countries where there are large concentrations of Americans engaged in information activities, their number should be substantially curtailed and they should be replaced where necessary by qualified local employes.
Another method of avoiding official attribution in propaganda is the utilization of the numerous private American organizations active abroad. This very substantial asset has been insufficiently exploited by Government information agencies. While only a few companies, such as the wire services, are directly engaged in the dissemination of information, many participate in activities which are important to the local population. American business firms often comprise a significant segment of a foreign country’s industry. American universities and foundations have a long and impressive record in the exchange of students and encouragement of scientific research. American missionaries, particularly in Asia and Africa, have brought spiritual guidance and material assistance. In recent years, American labor groups have established direct relations with foreign trade unions. Far greater efforts should be made to utilize private American organizations for the advancement of United States objectives. The gain in dissemination and credibility through the use of such channels will more than offset the loss by the Government of some control over content.
Although the United States is a leading member of the United Nations and an active participant in numerous other international organizations, its propaganda appeals to the rest of the free world have been largely couched in strictly American terms. There has been reluctance on the part of the United States to participate in coordinated international information efforts lest the content of its propaganda be controlled by its foreign partners. The United States, however, is associated with numerous nations of the free world in various joint endeavors, all of which are primarily intended to strengthen the free world against the Soviet Union. The partners of the United States should be able to make a substantial contribution to the achievement of American propaganda objectives, and increased emphasis should be placed on this form of international cooperation.
Control at the Country Level
While maximum decentralization of information activities is required to provide meaningful and purposeful programs suited to the requirements of local audiences, effective centralized control is [Page 1843] needed in each country. In some countries the various United States agencies engaged in information work have conducted their programs independently of one another. In other countries, an effective and coordinated information program has been worked out under the direction of the Chief of Mission and a country team composed of the senior representative of each agency.
. . . . . . .
Continuity and Flexibility
An effective foreign information program can only be achieved and maintained if firm executive and congressional support is accorded to ensure permanency of organization, consistency in appropriations, and flexibility in management.
Lack of agreement regarding the information program has resulted in frequent and often drastic changes in organization. Since 1945 the major information effort has been vested successively in an independent agency (OWI), in the Department of State under the direction of an Assistant Secretary, and in a semi-autonomous organization under an administrator reporting to the Secretary of State. Under the reorganization plan now under consideration, the information program would again be placed in a separate agency combining the functions of IIA with the information activities of MSA and TCA. Irrespective of the merits of the various organizational arrangements, these frequent changes have resulted in great uncertainty, impaired the continuity of policies and programs, hurt morale and hamstrung effective management. The Committee’s views on organization of the information activities are stated in Chapter Seven, pages 99–102.
Both the executive and the legislative branches of the government have lacked any firm conviction with respect to the nature and extent of the program, with the result that appropriations have fluctuated irregularly from year to year and continuity of effort has been impaired. MSA’s information program has undergone rapid expansion and contraction. IIA’s annual budget has varied irregularly between $20,000,000 and $120,000,000. Fluctuations of this magnitude have made efficient management almost impossible.
While the adoption of the recommendations in this report would result in less spending in some portions of the program, particularly within the United States, spending might be increased in other sections. The Committee, therefore, recommends that appropriations not be drastically reduced until the new principles and procedures have been tried.
Lack of flexibility in budgetary and personnel matters has handicapped IIA and made management even more difficult. The information [Page 1844] program requires more flexibility to permit decentralization as well as rapid concentration on targets of opportunity. Flexibility is also essential for the successful utilization of unattributed propaganda due to the diversity of channels and techniques.
Another disability under which the information program has labored has been a lack of understanding of its purpose on the part of the American people and of official American representatives abroad. While the latter difficulty is gradually being overcome through association and cooperation in the field, the role of the information program remains something of a mystery to the American public. The degree of misunderstanding of the purposes of the program is revealed in current investigations. This misunderstanding results in part from the provision of the Smith–Mundt Act (PL 402) which enjoins IIA from informing the American people of the nature of its activities. The Committee supports the recommendation of the United States Advisory Commission on Information in its Seventh Semi-Annual Report to Congress, January 1953, that IIA be authorized to release domestically, without request, information concerning the program.
The information program of the United States, both in the free world and behind the Iron Curtain, has been severely handicapped by certain current security policies and practices. This has affected the information program in three distinct ways. First, it has interfered with the recruitment of qualified personnel and contributed to the prevailing low state of morale among information personnel. Second, it has hampered the implementation of certain phases of the program such as resettlement of Iron Curtain refugees, exchange of persons, and selection of books for overseas libraries. Finally, the administration of the security program in the United States has had unfavorable repercussions abroad, particularly among our Western European allies, which cut directly across the objectives of the information program. Although the security program and immigration regulations are not within the jurisdiction of the Committee, we wish to point out the damage to the information and propaganda program which has resulted from certain aspects of each.
current activities of the information and propaganda services
For the sake of convenience, the following five sections follow the media breakdown employed by IIA. Although this organization is not used by other agencies with information programs, their activities are also discussed under the appropriate headings.[Page 1845]
Three agencies, the Departments of State and Defense and CIA, own radio broadcasting facilities. All United States agencies with information programs make some use of local stations in foreign countries. The Voice of America (VOA), part of IIA, provides the most extensive radio coverage and is the most controversial portion of the IIA program. VOA operates about 70 transmitters, most of which are short-wave, and has some 2,000 employees, three-quarters of whom are Americans. The VOA effort is concentrated on countries behind the Iron Curtain, only $9,000,000 of its total operating budget of $22,000,000 being spent on broadcasting to the free world. At the peak of the Campaign of Truth, it broadcast in 46 different languages. Since funds to complete its transmitter network have not been appropriated, it has not been able to provide an adequate signal in many areas. VOA is attempting increasingly to utilize local stations for radio broadcasts, some of which are not attributed to the United States.
The Department of Defense also operates extensive radio facilities in the free world. The Armed Forces Network (AFN) has 70 stations, mostly medium-wave. There are 22 in the Far East and 13 in Europe. The remainder are chiefly in United States possessions. The annual cost of operations in foreign countries is roughly $4,300,000. Although AFN broadcasts only in English and aims its programs at American troops, it reaches a large foreign audience. A Swiss radio magazine declared in 1953: “The Armed Forces Radio Service programs are in much larger measure than the Voice a reflection of American life because they represent Americans speaking to Americans, which requires no special slant.”
. . . . . . .
There are three methods for transmitting radio programs. Each has its advantages and disadvantages for disseminating propaganda and information.
1. Short-wave transmitters controlled by the United States.
Short-wave is the only type of radio broadcasting which provides intercontinental coverage and permits the transmitters to be located in territory which is firmly controlled by the United States although it may be a great distance from the audience. The United States can, therefore, control the program content without interference by the foreign government, except for jamming. Short-wave radio is the only available method of providing information to most of the Soviet Union and to other unfriendly countries remote from the point of transmission.
Programming is done far from the audience, however, which poses serious problems in adapting programs to suit foreign interests and attitudes. The size of the audience for short-wave programs is limited by the fact that special receiving equipment is [Page 1846] necessary which is beyond the means of most people in foreign countries.
2. Medium-wave transmitters controlled by the United States.
The range of medium-wave radio is relatively limited and transmitters must therefore be located closer to the audience. Medium-wave is the normal channel for radio broadcasting and is heard on standard receivers. Consequently, it reaches a much larger audience within a given area than does short-wave. Since most governments will not permit the operation of foreign transmitters on their territory, the areas where United States medium-wave transmitters may be located are restricted. American relay and medium-wave facilities abroad are now largely concentrated in Germany and Austria by virtue of the privileged position resulting from the occupation. This is a situation which may not long continue. Whereas short-wave programs are fully under control of the United States, programs broadcast on medium-wave must be careful to avoid offense to the government on whose territory the transmitter is located.
. . . . . . .
The Soviet Union relies more heavily on short-wave radio than does the United States. Due to a more favorable geographic location, the Soviet Union is able to provide a strong signal with fewer and less powerful transmitters. Soviet short-wave broadcasting concentrates on Asia. Moscow is on the air approximately twice as much as the United States in about the same number of languages. Roughly the same ratio applies if the total short-wave radio output of the Soviet Union and its satellites is compared to that of the free world. Such large use of short-wave radio may be for purposes of frequency denial.
Local radio programs on medium-wave always far exceed those from foreign sources. In most countries, medium-wave programs originating in foreign countries of the free world are more numerous than those from communist countries. France, for example, has 500 hours a week of locally originated programs and 200 hours from other non-communist countries. There are less than 40 hours from behind the Iron Curtain.
. . . . . . .
The Committee recommends that the continuance of short-wave programs to the free world be reviewed on a country basis in consultation with the Ambassadors concerned, to determine the areas in which there is some expectation of accomplishing propaganda objectives through the use of this medium. We recommend that short-wave broadcasts be discontinued to those areas where such an expectation cannot be demonstrated, …
Attributed American broadcasts, particularly those of VOA, should concentrate on objective, factual news reporting. Selection and treatment of news should seek to present a full exposition of United States actions and policies, especially as they affect the [Page 1847] target country. While a tone of exhortation and abuse should generally be avoided, VOA should not be precluded from making dignified, forceful, and factual refutations of Soviet accusations. Satire and humor may also have their place. Music, entertainment, and such other miscellaneous program material as may be considered necessary by United States chiefs of mission to maintain audience interest in individual target countries may properly be used.
. . . . . . .
We recommend that consideration be given to changing the name “Voice of America,” since the name is associated both in the United States and in many foreign countries with programs which have been widely criticized and discredited.
Exchange of Persons
Nineteen different Federal agencies‡‡ are engaged in the exchange of persons with free world countries for various types of training. There are four major programs, each designed to meet a different need, which altogether annually bring about 18,000 foreign nationals to the United States and send 2,000 Americans overseas. The total cost, exclusive of the large military exchange program, is about $60,000,000.
Annually, IIA and HICOG together spend about $22,000,000 to bring in 7,000 foreign nationals and to send some 1,600 American citizens abroad. Half of the exchanges are students, the remainder adult specialists. German and Austrian citizens predominate because $6,000,000 of the total annual appropriation is earmarked for these countries by Congress.
With a view to increasing productivity in backward countries, TCA spends in the order of $10,000,000 per year to provide technical training in the United States for approximately 1,000 foreign government employees, most of whom are roughly equivalent in rank to a county agent.
Roughly $25,000,000 annually is currently being spent by MSA to train 4,000 foreign specialists and 400 workers in the United States in order to increase foreign industrial productivity. Some 700 United States technicians are sent abroad annually to train and teach in Europe and the Far East.[Page 1848]
The Department of Defense brings to the United States each year roughly 6,000 foreign nationals. Ninety per cent of these exchangees receive low echelon military training. One hundred fifty senior officers and 100 newspaper editors and other leaders receive special training or are taken on tours of the military establishments. While the Defense program is intended primarily to increase military preparedness in the free world, it has the by-product of increasing firsthand knowledge of the United States.
CIA and other Federal agencies have exchange programs of limited scope for special purposes.
In addition to the programs financed by the Government, there are numerous exchanges arranged by foreign governments and by private groups, both American and foreign. The aggregate of these may well be greater than the Federal program.
Exchanges play a major role in the Soviet effort to influence foreign peoples in the Soviet interest. It is estimated that 45,000 persons are brought to the Soviet Union annually from the free world for training, not only in propaganda but in many forms of political action and clandestine operations. This large group is augmented by others, especially from backward areas, who are brought to the Soviet Union for technical training or merely on good will visits. This form of activity has been successfully developed by Moscow to provide skilled local communist leaders in foreign countries and to win friends and sympathizers for the Soviet Union.
… The Committee agrees with the policy of not exposing exchangees to open propaganda indoctrination. It further believes that all agencies concerned should exercise great care in placing and looking after exchangees. Cases have been reported where the attitude of the local American community was so hostile as to jeopardize any beneficial effects which might have been anticipated from the exchange.
There has been difference of opinion among administrators of the exchange program concerning the criteria for selection of candidates, particularly the relative importance of short and long-term objectives, and whether candidates should be chosen primarily for their academic or technical ability rather than for their potential usefulness to the United States. The Committee considers that the long-term exchanges, particularly of students, have been worthwhile and should be continued, but we also believe that more use should be made of exchanges to influence the attitudes of important local individuals. The Chief of Mission should supervise exchanges of a short-range political character conducted by United States agencies within his country.[Page 1849]
Press and Publications
The United States is carrying on a large program utilizing press, pamphlets and miscellaneous printed propaganda.…
The Wireless File is prepared and distributed by IIA to provide American missions throughout the world with a fast news service. In many countries it is in competition with the commercial wire services, but provides more complete texts of official statements. There has been considerable criticism of this activity. The Committee recommends that it be reviewed and continued only to those countries where Chiefs of Mission have expressed a desire for its retention.
Dozens of magazines and hundreds of pamphlets are produced by IIA. Volume is in the tens of millions of copies and until recently has been constantly growing. Much of the output is still labeled American; most of it is prepared outside the country in which it is distributed, largely in the United States. The sheer volume of material bearing the American label is harmful, and the Washington services have largely failed to produce the type of publication required to meet the specific problems of the field.
. . . . . . .
The Soviet Union makes extensive use of publications for foreign propaganda purposes; its effort in this field considerably exceeds that of the United States. Furthermore, through local communist parties and front groups the Soviet Union controls many newspapers and magazines and is able to carry on large-scale leaflet and poster campaigns. In most areas, however, local non-communist publications far overshadow all foreign efforts.
Publications are one of the most important propaganda weapons, but they can be used to much better advantage than in the past in advancing national objectives. IIA should carefully review its program and decentralize wherever possible, so that material can be prepared which is more responsive to local needs. The programs of all agencies should also be reviewed to determine whether publication activities have been too highly concentrated in Western Europe with a resultant loss of opportunities in the remainder of the free world.
Films are used by all overseas information agencies of the Government, although the dollar volume is less than for any medium except libraries. It probably is less than $20,000,000 per year.
Overt documentary films comprise the bulk of IIA output, although IIA has also financed a few excellent unattributed films. Most IIA films are exhibited not through commercial outlets but in [Page 1850] United States Information Centers and by means of mobile units….
Soviet-produced motion pictures have little propaganda effect in the free world. Communists, however, have been successful in infiltrating local film industries—both in the United States and throughout the rest of the free world. By this tactic they have been able to influence a large number of commercial films.
. . . . . . .
Libraries and Information Centers
For over ten years, the United States Government has operated or participated in information centers overseas at a cost of about $6,000,000 annually. IIA, which is now the principal Government agency participating in this activity, maintains approximately 250 information centers, some of which are operated in conjunction with the host country. The information centers contain sizeable libraries, consisting primarily of the works of American authors, and engage in a wide range of community activities. In most foreign countries access to indigenous libraries is on a very restricted basis. By making their books available to the general public the libraries in United States overseas information centers have made American authors accessible to a wide foreign readership, thus making a valuable contribution to the information program.
A book translation program is supported by IIA to supplement the output of commercial publishers. IIA has recently taken over from MSA the administration of a $10,000,000 revolving fund which was established to stimulate the commercial export of American titles by guaranteeing that publishers will be able to recover the proceeds of their foreign sales in countries restricting foreign exchange transactions. The operations of the fund have materially augmented the sale of American books, and it should be increased to permit larger exports.
. . . . . . .
The communist book program is large and extends to many countries. Although the Soviet Union operates only a few reading rooms in foreign countries, it assures a wide circulation for communist authors by selling books at prices well below cost, conducting large-scale translation programs and subsidizing local book stores. In most areas of the free world the communist effort exceeds that of the official American program, and in some areas surpasses the combined official and commercial American volume.
Libraries, information centers, and books are an essential part of the United States information effort. Cheap communist books must be prevented from dominating local markets by making available equally inexpensive non-communist books. The Government should cooperate with private industry and be prepared to subsidize exports [Page 1851] where necessary. While the Government should guard against distributing or aiding in the distribution of subversive books, it should not hesitate to facilitate the distribution of books which contain justified criticism of one phase or another of American life.
Use of television is expanding rapidly outside the United States and offers a new propaganda medium of potential effectiveness which Government information agencies have thus far hardly attempted to utilize. Outside the United States, television networks exist in over 20 countries of the free world, with a total of about 3,000,000 sets. Twenty additional countries are expected to enter the television field by 1956. The Soviet Union is steadily expanding its television facilities, and Soviet programs can be received in parts of Western Europe along the periphery of the Soviet orbit.
. . . . . . .
- The Committee believes that the primary and over-riding purpose of the information program should be to persuade foreign peoples that it lies in their own interest to take actions which are also consistent with the national objectives of the United States. The goal should be to harmonize wherever possible the personal and national self-interest of foreigners with the national objectives of the United States.
- A continuing, coordinated effort should be made to inform the world clearly of the American position on major issues.
- The headquarters staffs of all agencies engaged in information work should concentrate more on the conception, planning and coordination of global propaganda campaigns and less on detailed control and execution of day-to-day operations.
- Although guidance on specific or local objectives of information activities may often be required from Washington, such guidance should generally be confined to global or regional themes. When United States policy and objectives have been explained to the field, information officials abroad should be permitted discretion in adapting their information activities to their local situations.
- Insofar as possible, information and propaganda material should be prepared abroad to meet local needs.
- The number of operating information personnel in the United States, particularly within IIA, should be substantially reduced.
- Propaganda or information should be attributed to the United States only when such attribution is an asset. A much greater percentage of the information program should be unattributed.
- In order to be less obtrusive, there should be a substantial reduction in American information personnel overseas in countries where they are heavily concentrated. They should be replaced where necessary by qualified local nationals.
- Far greater effort should be made to utilize private American organizations for the advancement of United States objectives. The gain in dissemination and credibility through the use of such channels will more than offset the loss by the Government of some control over content.
- Both international organizations and allied governments should be able to make a substantial contribution to American propaganda objectives. Increased emphasis should be placed on this form of international cooperation.
- More effective tactical control of the information and propaganda program of the various United States agencies is needed at the country level. This can best be accomplished by the Chief of Mission with the advice of a country team composed of the senior representatives of each agency operating information programs.
- . . . . . . .
- An effective foreign information program can only be achieved if it receives firm support to ensure permanency of organization, consistency in appropriations and flexibility in management. The Committee recommends that firm executive and congressional support be extended in order to stabilize the organization and size of the information program. Regulations should be amended where possible to permit greater flexibility in the allocation of funds and recruitment of personnel.
- Appropriations for the information program should not be drastically reduced until the new procedures recommended have been tried.
- Public understanding and support of the program is vital. The Committee supports the recommendation made by the United States Advisory Commission on Information in its Seventh Semi-Annual Report to Congress, January 1953, that IIA be authorized to release domestically, without request, information concerning its programs.
- Consideration should be given to reducing, where possible, the adverse propaganda effects of certain security and immigration regulations.
- (a) Short-wave radio programs to the free world should be continued only to those areas where the Chief of Mission expresses a desire for retention.…
- (b) Broadcasts attributed to the United States Government should concentrate on objective factual news reporting and seek to present a full exposition of United States actions and policies.
- . . . . . . .
- (d) Consideration should be given to changing the name “Voice of America.”
- (a) Exchange of persons, particularly students, for long term cultural purposes is worthwhile and should be continued.
- (b) More use should be made of the medium of exchange of persons in influencing the attitude of important local individuals.
- Publications can be used to much better advantage. IIA should carefully review its program and decentralize wherever possible so that material will be more responsive to local needs. The programs of all agencies should be reviewed.
- . . . . . . .
- (a) The Information Centers fill a cultural need and should be continued.
- (b) The Government should cooperate with the commercial publishing industry and subsidize its exports when necessary to combat the flood of inexpensive communist books in the free world.
- (c) While the Government must not aid in the distribution of subversive books, it should not hesitate to facilitate the distribution of books which contain justified criticism of one phase or another of American life.
- . . . . . . .
Organization for a More Unified Effort
The Need for More Effective Coordination
There is need for a better integrated direction of the program of the United States in the world struggle so that the “unified and dynamic” effort called for by the President will be made. We believe that there exists a serious gap between the formulation of general objectives and the detailed actions required to give effect to them. This gap can, in our opinion, be filled by the creation, within the National Security Council structure, of a group capable of assuring the coordinated execution of national security policies.
The National Security Council having recommended a policy and the President having approved it, continuing executive responsibility should be delegated to an operations coordinating body which would: [Page 1854]
- coordinate the development by the departments and agencies of detailed operational plans to carry out the approved policy;
- assure the timely and coordinated carrying out of such plans;
- initiate new proposals for action within the framework of national security policies in response to opportunity and other changes in the situation;
- assure that each project or action is so executed as to make its full contribution to the particular “climate of opinion” which the United States is seeking to achieve in the world.
The Psychological Strategy Board does not fill the need which we have described. We believe that the present conception of the Psychological Strategy Board is unsound.5 The Psychological Strategy Board is charged with planning, coordination, and evaluation of “psychological operations,” a term which is nowhere adequately defined. We find that while the Psychological Strategy Board has concentrated heavily on planning it has possessed neither sufficient power to exercise effective coordination nor the techniques adequate to produce meaningful evaluations. Even the planning function has been carried on in the midst of ambiguity and serious interdepartmental controversy.
The directive which created the Psychological Strategy Board assumes that in addition to national objectives formulated by the National Security Council, there are such things as “over-all national psychological objectives”; PSB is indeed charged with the formulation and promulgation of these. The PSB directive also speaks of “psychological policies” and the Board has been working to develop “a strategic concept for psychological operations.” We believe these phrases indicate a basic misconception, for we find that the “psychological” aspect of policy is not separable from policy, but is inherent in every diplomatic, economic or military action. There is a “psychological” implication in every act, but this does not have life apart from the act. Although there may be distinct psychological plans and specific psychological activities directed toward national objectives, there are no “national psychological objectives” separate and distinct from national objectives. There is no “strategic concept for psychological operations” separate and distinct from a strategic concept for gaining national aims without war. When PSB has developed, for example, a “regional psychological plan,” it has really formulated a plan for the achievement of national aims involving the use of propaganda, diplomacy, economic pressure and military strength in various combinations. It is this fact which has caused so much controversy between PSB and the established planning agencies within the State Department.[Page 1855]
For these reasons, we believe that the Psychological Strategy Board was improperly conceived and that it has not, under its charter, been able to contribute materially to the national effort. We accordingly recommend that it be abolished.
We have also studied the changes in the composition and functions of the NSC staff, as approved by the President on March 17, 1953.6 In our view, these provide for more systematic and detailed policy planning and contribute as well to the achievement of coordinated execution of policy in the following respects:
- the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs is provided with a staff which shall make an “independent analysis and review” of each policy paper emanating from the Planning Board in order to determine (among other things) that “the conclusions reached are meaningful as operational guidances”; and
- after a national security policy has been approved by the President and “assigned among cabinet members for performance”, the Special Assistant has the task of bringing to the President’s attention “situations where progress is delayed, with recommendations for action.”
These changes are useful, but do not by themselves accomplish a fully coordinated execution of policy, nor were they intended to do so. The appointment by the President of a Special Assistant with particular responsibility in regard to “cold war” activities constitutes a further recognition of the need for better coordination. There remains, however, a need for a central operations coordinating body within the NSC structure.
Operations Coordinating Board
We therefore recommend that the President establish, within the NSC structure, an Operations Coordinating Board to provide for the coordinated execution of approved national security policies—specifically to carry out the functions listed on the first page of this chapter and such other functions as the NSC may from time to time prescribe.
Coordination of departmental execution of national security policies would be the principal task of the Operations Coordinating Board. Detailed operational planning for the activities to be carried out pursuant to approved policies would continue to be done by the departments. The distinctive role of the Operations Coordinating Board would be to assign detailed planning responsibilities to departments, to examine the resulting plans for adequacy, consistency with policy and with each other, and then to coordinate and follow up the execution of such plans, seeking in the process to [Page 1856] achieve the maximum advantage for the United States. This would require a shift to the Board of the “follow-up” responsibility now vested in the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. The Board would also make progress reports to the NSC from time to time.
We recommend that the members of the Operations Coordinating Board should be:
- The Under Secretary of State;
- The Deputy Secretary of Defense;
- The Deputy Director for Mutual Security;§§
- The Director of CIA; and
- The Special Assistant to the President (for “cold war planning”).
The Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs should have the right to attend meetings of the Board. The head of the foreign information program should act as an advisor to the Board and should be invited to attend those meetings of the Board at which the subjects under discussion relate to his function. In addition, appropriate members of other departments and agencies should be invited to attend those meetings of the Board at which the subjects under discussion bear directly upon the responsibilities of those departments and agencies.
The Operations Coordinating Board cannot be effective without continuing and vigorous leadership and without its own staff. In order to ensure such leadership, we make the following recommendations:
- The Under Secretary of State should be Chairman of the Board. He should be the presiding officer at meetings of the Board.
- A person appointed by the President should be the principal
executive officer of the Board. He should serve full-time in
this capacity. He should attend all meetings of the Board, but
should not be a member thereof. His duties should include among
- determining the agenda for, and presenting material for discussion at, Board meetings, subject to the approval of the Chairman;
- supervising the work of the staff of the Board;
- maintaining the flow of work through the Board, the standards of presentation, and the quality of the staff work;
- insuring, in the name of the Board, that its decisions are put into effect;
- in the event of lack of progress in carrying out a responsibility that has been assigned to the Board, bringing the matter to the attention of the National Security Council, after consultation with the Board, with recommendations for appropriate action;
- preparing for the Board’s consideration reports to the National Security Council;
- maintaining liaison with the Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs in order to insure coordination of the Board’s work with the activities of the National Security Council.
- The principal executive officer should be assisted by a staff responsible to him which should have such duties as he may assign and the Board approve. The staff should include persons qualified in the political, economic and military matters considered by the Board and persons competent to advise on the psychological implications of the problems before the Board.
In order to provide continuity and independence, a substantial part of the staff should be permanent employees of the Board. The balance should comprise persons on assignment from departments and agencies. Each department should make internal arrangements for the continuous handling of Board matters.
The Board would replace the PSB as the agency responsible for assuring coordination between the foreign information program and covert activities. With respect to the latter, NSC 10/27 states that the Director of Central Intelligence shall receive policy guidance from the Secretaries of State and Defense. The present Consultants Group was established to provide a channel for such guidance. We believe that the general coordinating and review functions of the Operations Coordinating Board would render it logical to abolish the Consultants Group and make its function a responsibility of the Operations Coordinating Board and the OCB staff. For the same reason, we think it would be appropriate to rescind paragraphs 2 and 3 of NSC 10/58 which relate to PSB responsibilities for the review of covert programs.
The Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee (POC) was created pursuant to NSC 59/19 to provide a mechanism through which the State Department could coordinate the overt foreign information program. We believe there is a manifest need for this coordinating function, but recommend the POC be abolished and its function be made a responsibility of the Operations Coordinating Board and the OCB staff.[Page 1858]
Coordination in the Field
Coordination in the field is essential to the effective carrying out of the plans developed at home. If lines of authority for United States representatives in a foreign country are confused, if these representatives speak with conflicting voices, then the impression created will not inspire confidence and the United States will dissipate its efforts.
We have based our consideration of coordination in the field on the assumption that there will continue to be a separation of authority for foreign activities in Washington. This means that the authority of a chief of mission in the field will continue to be qualified by the fact that his economic, military, and intelligence officers, who are nominal subordinates, have direct communication with Washington through separate channels of command. The proposed setting up of the foreign information program outside the State Department would create still another separate channel of communication.
This difficulty was one of the major factors that led us to consideration of the proposal to create a federal structure under the Secretary of State comprising three operating departments headed respectively by a Secretary of Foreign Political Affairs, a Secretary of Foreign Economic Affairs and a Secretary of Foreign Information. The Secretary of State (and his Under Secretary) would have the power of direction over the three departments, although a broad delegation of operational responsibility would be implicit. This arrangement would lend itself well to projection into the field. The Ambassador would report through the Secretary of State and would, therefore, represent not only the embassy staff, but the economic and public affairs interests as well. He could have three ministers under him, each corresponding to one of the functions grouped under the Secretary of State. While we recognize that it may not be feasible in present circumstances, such an arrangement would, in our opinion, greatly improve the coherence of the national performance in overseas areas. We therefore urge that it be given continuing study and consideration.
Since, for the present, however, a continued separation of authority in Washington is the realistic premise, it is of particular importance to establish the Ambassador as the principal field authority. This is provided for in the President’s message to Congress, June 1, 1953, accompanying Reorganization Plans Numbers 7 and 8, and in the President’s letter of the same date to the heads of all executive departments and the Director for Mutual Security.10[Page 1859]
From the information we have received, it appears that the “country team” idea has worked best in those countries where the United States has had an Ambassador who regarded his post as one of action, rather than merely of observation. We believe there are important implications in this for the kind of men selected as United States mission chiefs in countries whose proper orientation is crucial to success in the present conflict. The increasing intensity of the world struggle, particularly the fact that it has blurred the previously clear dividing line between peace and war, is a compelling reality to which the United States has not yet fully responded organizationally. The control of United States policy has been rendered very much more difficult by the active participation (and therefore the necessary coordination) of a large number of separately administered governmental agencies which either had not previously existed at all, or had not previously exerted any influence on foreign relations. In each country of major importance, this new condition has imposed different and heavier responsibilities on the United States chief of mission. To be successful he has had to add executive functions to his traditional tasks of observation, negotiation and communication. We believe that these broad new tasks are not passing obligations, but will last for many years. Accordingly, more emphasis should be given to breadth, force and executive competence in the selection of United States mission chiefs, although we do not mean to imply that these qualities are in any way substitutes for political training and acumen. The ideal Ambassador would possess all of these qualities.
In a number of countries where United States armed forces are stationed, it is important that the military commander be a member of the country team. In such places as Japan and Germany, his role will be of major importance. The degree to which American military personnel harmonize their activities with local civilian life will have great effect on the political mission of the Embassy. In the next section, we discuss the conditions which we believe must be established to bring about a more systematic military participation in the effort to achieve political objectives.
Political Implications of Military Activities
The activities of the Defense Department are a major factor in the success or failure of the national effort in the political struggle with the USSR. They have a marked impact upon foreign attitudes and actions. A million and a half Americans are serving overseas in military uniform and coming into daily contact with foreign peoples. Additionally, the reality of United States military power—whether it is an adequate deterrent; whether it is a source of reassurance or anxiety to friendly nations; the way in which United [Page 1860] States leadership is exercised in the several military coalitions now formed; the way in which such military assistance programs as offshore procurement are administered—all of these affect the success of United States policies.
The contribution of the armed forces to political warfare has been limited by the lack of definition of the military role by higher authority, and by an inadequate understanding on the part of military authorities that they and their commands are full participants in the political aspects of the present struggle and must conduct themselves accordingly. Military commanders and planners tend to regard the allocation of military resources to current political operations as an unauthorized diversion from tasks for which the armed forces are explicitly responsible. They naturally resist efforts to utilize these resources in ways which might be disadvantageous in the event of war, because the primary military task is preparation for hostilities.
The activities of military forces abroad must, however, be conducted in such a manner as to enhance the prestige of the United States, produce maximum support for its policies and minimize the unfavorable aspects of the presence of its military forces. Good troop behavior is essential. Troop maneuvers, fleet visits and flyovers can be helpful if skillfully timed. Military transport and similar resources can be used to assist in solving problems of the local communities in which United States troops are stationed—to transport school children or to repair roads which have been damaged by American military activity. United States military authorities have not always used these resources with political imagination. They have been slow, for example, to use the off-shore procurement program as an effective anti-communist weapon in Western Europe, which it could undoubtedly become if managed with flexibility and imagination. They have argued that their aim is only to obtain military equipment which meets their specifications and that they cannot impose the burden of political judgments upon relatively low-ranking procurement officers in the field. In part, this attitude reflects the rigidity of military procurement regulations, but it also illustrates the failure to recognize and determine the full part that should be played by the military services in supporting United States political objectives.
The employment of military resources for political effect in the present situation of tension and partial war is essential; and success in this endeavor requires an understanding by military commanders of the contribution which military forces can make to the achievement of political objectives. We believe such understanding can be improved by a more precise definition of the military role. Fuller participation of United States military commanders abroad [Page 1861] in the “country teams” headed by the American Ambassador would also help.
The armed forces have developed for use in wartime certain specialized assets, such as Radio Broadcast and Leaflet Companies and Air Resupply and Communications Wings, which might further assist in the conduct of current political activities. The fuller utilization of such assets should receive continuing attention.
We recommend that the Operations Coordinating Board, in its plans for the implementation of national policies, ensure that military activities make their full contribution to the attainment of political objectives.
. . . . . . .
The Foreign Information Program
In Chapter Five of this report, we have examined the information program. In this section we discuss our views on the proper location of the foreign information program within the government. We have already communicated to the President, by letter dated May 2, 1953, our views on this subject (see Appendix III). Three distinct proposals have been considered by us, and we have summarized them below, together with our principal reasons for accepting or rejecting them.
1. The separation of IIA from State and its establishment as an independent agency under the NSC. This agency would also assume the information activities of MSA and TCA.
This proposal involves the claims that the propaganda function, like the military and economic, is sufficiently different from diplomacy to warrant separate administration; that propaganda should serve national policy, which is made by the member departments of NSC rather than the State Department; and that any information program operated by the State Department will tend to be timid and unimaginative because diplomacy operates primarily through contact between governments, whereas propaganda must involve large-scale operations directed at whole peoples.
We believe this proposal is based upon a misconception of propaganda and greatly exaggerates its role in the national effort. Overt propaganda conducted by a free society is necessarily based upon policy and has no life apart from it. While it is true that national security policy is formulated by the member departments comprising the NSC, rather than by State alone, the fact remains that State is primarily responsible for carrying out those policies to which information activities can be of assistance. Moreover, the NSC is not organized to provide day-to-day policy guidance. To create an independent agency to conduct propaganda and related activities, even if some provision were made for policy guidance [Page 1862] from the State Department, would be to risk the emergence of contradictory interpretations of foreign policy. Moreover, it would strongly imply the belief that propaganda is a separate element of policy, rather than a subsidiary instrument thereof.
The nature of the propaganda problem requires close and frequent interchange between policy people and operators during the development of a program, and this is difficult when the policymakers and the propagandists are separated by jurisdictional boundaries. We fear that if IIA were independent, the level of liaison with State would be so high as to leave a number of significant issues of policy to be dealt with by IIA as “operations.”
An argument for this proposal to which we attach more weight involves the claim that effective management of IIA is impossible so long as it remains within the State Department. This claim is based upon an antagonism on the part of some political officers in the State Department toward the entire information effort and personnel engaged in it. There is also some evidence of the use of IIA funds for general State Department purposes and a refusal to yield the promised autonomy to the Administrator of IIA in the matters of recruiting, assigning, and managing IIA personnel. There is little doubt in our minds that the information program has been administered under great difficulties and we agree that these must, insofar as possible, be removed. However, we are not convinced that a remedy lies in separating IIA from the State Department and re-creating it as an independent agency. The weakness and vulnerability of new, untried government agencies is attested by long experience; the history of OWI is instructive and discouraging on this point. Moreover, we believe that understanding between IIA and the regular political officers of the State Department has been steadily improving and that it is entirely possible to provide the IIA with sufficient administrative flexibility within the State Department to permit effective management.
2. Retention in State of most of the educational exchange programs and establishment in an independent agency of all “fast media” (radio, press, movies) together with responsibility for the interchange of books and periodicals and aid to libraries and information centers.
It is the widely held view that the State Department is handling the educational exchange programs very well and that they should accordingly continue to be the responsibility of that Department. The proponents of this proposal accept this view. They argue, however, that those elements of the information program which have a day-to-day impact abroad should be placed in an independent agency. We have rejected this proposal for substantially the same reasons as we rejected the first proposal above—because propaganda [Page 1863] should be a servant of policy and should therefore be clearly subject to policy guidance. The “fast media” are precisely the tools which the State Department needs to explain and exploit policy on a day-to-day basis. The library and information center programs are not, of course, propaganda and therefore this line of argument does not apply directly to them. But we would doubt the wisdom of placing segments of the information program under separate administration.
3. Retention of IIA in State, but with higher rank for the Administrator and with effective provision for autonomy in the selection, assignment and management of personnel and in the control of IIA appropriations.
It is our conclusion that this proposal embodies a sound approach to the problem of locating and properly organizing the foreign information program. This arrangement facilitates policy guidance and provides the necessary unity of program through the inclusion of all media within a single administration.
In our opinion, the most satisfactory arrangement would be to retain within the Department of State those functions now assigned to the IIA and to combine with them the information activities heretofore conducted by MSA and TCA. Under such an arrangement the Committee would favor higher rank (equivalent to that of Under Secretary) for the Administrator of the information agency and provision for autonomy in the selection, assignment and management of personnel and in the control of its own appropriations.
In the interest of the closest possible integration of foreign information activities with the development of foreign policy, the Committee believes that the program should be left within the Department of State. We recognize, however, that there are strong arguments in favor of taking the information program out of the State Department. Inasmuch as the Department itself is reluctant at this time to exercise the operating functions involved and a reorganization plan has been sent to Congress, the Committee does not make any recommendation on this point.║║[Page 1864]
While we have not been able to give close attention to the problem of personnel, it is clear that no organizational arrangements for a more unified effort will be effective unless the agencies concerned are manned by capable and dedicated people. This problem should be recognized as crucial to the achievement of the national objectives. The wise and successful conduct of United States external policies is dependent upon expanding the numbers of trained people in the field of national security affairs and making more effective use of them.
The personnel problem of the government in this field is largely one of leadership and continuity, the need being to produce a clear understanding of the national policies and an individual determination to support them. If the proper motivation is provided through the example of leadership, we believe the Government will not want for able and dedicated people to work for the realization of United States objectives abroad.
More specifically, better efficiency and morale in the ranks of the public service will, in our view, depend upon new efforts to:
- Improve training programs for those entering into the field of national security affairs so as to provide not only greater technical competence and language and area knowledge but also a broader understanding of the significance of their own assignments.
- Broaden and strengthen the concept of career service so that well-motivated personnel, having received specialized training and experience, can be retained in government service. This requires, among other things, the protection of individuals from unjustified attack.
- The Psychological Strategy Board should be abolished.
- The President should establish, within the National Security Council structure, an Operations Coordinating Board to provide for the coordinated execution of approved national security policies.
- The Consultants Group, established under NSC 10/2, should be abolished and its functions assumed by the OCB and the OCB staff.
- The Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee (POC) should be abolished and its functions assumed by the OCB and the OCB staff.
- Every effort should be made to strengthen the position of the Chief of Mission as the principal United States authority in overseas posts.
- The Operations Coordinating Board should ensure that military activities make their full contribution to the attainment of political objectives.
- . . . . . . .
- Inasmuch as a reorganization plan with respect to foreign information activities has been submitted to Congress for consideration, the Committee makes no recommendation on this point.
- New efforts should be made to improve personnel training programs in the field of national security affairs and to broaden and strengthen the concept of career service.
Informing the American Public
In Part I of this report we have attempted to analyze the nature of the conflict with the Soviet system, the Soviet drive for world domination, and the United States program for world order. We have emphasized the fact that the conflict is a struggle between coalitions, one an imposed coalition dominated by the Kremlin and the other a free coalition led by the United States. We believe that the United States must base its policies on the assumption that the purpose of the Soviet rulers is world domination and that this purpose will constitute the fundamental motivation of all its actions. The basic objectives of the United States program for world order are (1) to assure the security of the United States, (2) to attain a reduction or retraction of Soviet power or a fundamental change in Soviet objectives, and (3) to achieve a peaceful world composed of free nations.
The drive and resources which the Government can put behind this program depends upon the national will. The national will consists of the composite thought of the American people. They do not yet grasp the import of the President’s recent words that we live in an age, not an instant, of peril. They do not fully understand the dangers that confront them, and the power of the enemy, the difficulty of reducing that power, and the probable duration of the conflict.
It is the belief of the Committee that a greater degree of candor toward the American people is necessary.
The American public needs information concerning the rapid growth of the Soviet atomic capability. This development brings the communities of the United States into the front lines; it places in doubt the claim that quantitative atomic superiority is a conclusive deterrent to attack; it threatens to limit the ability of the nation to maintain its full freedom to act vigorously against the enemy overseas. In formulating public statements on this matter, consideration would have to be given to their impact upon other nations of the free world, particularly in Europe. This presents a delicate problem, but a balance can be struck between providing the American people with information that will permit them to [Page 1866] grasp one of the basic realities of their world, and driving more vulnerable and therefore nervous allies into neutralism. Such information is the vital prerequisite to public support for the development of countermeasures to this threat, a matter with which the Government must be increasingly concerned.
The public needs to be informed of the steady growth of the Soviet economy and the corollary fact that the rate of its growth is much more rapid than that of the United States and the NATO allies. Authoritative discussion of these trends would help to make clear the magnitude of the effort required on the part of the United States. It should tend also to spur increased productivity both here and in Western Europe.
There is confusion in the nation regarding the ways in which the United States can most wisely meet the communist threat. Methods of fighting communism at home and abroad are advocated, and in some cases practiced, which are poorly adapted to the true nature of the threat. They risk doing more harm than good. The concepts that have been urged throughout this report—that it is not enough just to be anti-communist, that the United States must appeal to foreign nations in terms of their own self-interest, that alliances with other nations of the free world are critical to the survival of the United States—are not fully understood by the American public. As a result, the effectiveness of national policies and programs is reduced.
There is need for authoritative information concerning the Government’s position with respect to the Department of State and the foreign information program. The Committee, during the five months of its existence, has seen the Department of State and the foreign information program harassed and assaulted by criticism, much of which is inaccurate, unfair and destructive. As a result, the morale of the Department has been lowered and the information program has been seriously weakened. The American people should know what the Administration’s position is with respect to such criticism and what its policy is with respect to the future of the program.
In order to obtain the common understanding between the people and the Government which is so important, it is also desirable that there be less confusion among the voices that speak for the Government on matters of foreign policy and national security. It should be possible to achieve a greater unity of expression, at least within the Executive Branch of the Government, so that the public does not receive a picture of conflicting claims and contradictory interpretations of important policy matters. Information and guidance can, of course, come most authoritatively from the President himself.[Page 1867]
In order to accomplish these results, it is important that security regulations not be allowed to restrict the flow of information except in those cases where the need for security is clearly demonstrable. The Committee is aware that this problem has been of concern for a long time. It is sufficiently important to national policy to warrant continued study at the highest levels of Government.
Only a clear and consistent exposition of the United States program can produce that measure of public understanding and support which will constitute the great moral foundation required for the effective conduct of external relations.
The President to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Lay)
Dear Mr. Lay: I have today established a Committee, to be known as the President’s Committee on International Information Activities.
I have authorized and directed it to make a survey and evaluation of the international information policies and activities of the Executive Branch of the Government and of policies and activities related thereto with particular reference to the international relations and the national security of this country. It shall make recommendations to me for such legislative, administrative, or other action, respecting the said policies and activities as in its opinion may be desirable.
It has long been my conviction that a unified and dynamic effort in this field is essential to the security of the United States and of the other peoples in the community of free nations.
The Committee’s final report and recommendations are to be in my hands not later than June 30, 1953, and the Committee will cease to operate thirty days after submitting its final report.
All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government are authorized and directed, as a matter of common concern, to cooperate with the Committee in its work and to furnish the Committee with such assistance not inconsistent with law as it may require in the performance of its functions. The establishment of this Committee and the scope of its inquiry were discussed at the Cabinet meeting Friday morning11 and received full and complete support.[Page 1868]
I am today appointing the following members of the Committee:
- William H. Jackson, Chairman
- Robert Cutler, Administrative Assistant to the President
- C.D. Jackson, representing the Secretary of State
- Sigurd Larmon, representing the Director for Mutual Security
- Gordon Gray
- Barklie McKee Henry
- John C. Hughes
Abbott Washburn has been designated as Executive Secretary of the Committee.
The appointments of C.D. Jackson and Sigurd Larmon were respectively made after consultation with, and at the designation of, Mr. John Foster Dulles and Mr. Harold E. Stassen. A designee to represent the Secretary of Defense will be named to the Committee before the end of the month.¶¶
The Committee will have its offices at 901 Sixteenth Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C.
The President’s Committee on International Information Activities to the President
Dear Mr. President: Your Committee on International Information Activities has given a good deal of thought to the organization of the Government’s foreign information activities. This subject will be discussed in detail in the Committee’s report. However, in view of the recommendations for the reorganization of the International Information Administration which have been placed before you by the Rockefeller Committee12 and the proposals for the implementation of these recommendations which are now being prepared in the Bureau of the Budget, the Committee desires to submit certain recommendations to you at this time.
In determining the most satisfactory organization of international information activities, the Committee has attempted to define the mission and to agree on principles under which these activities [Page 1869] can be most effectively operated. The Committee has reached the following conclusions:
- Propaganda should be a flexible instrument of policy. It is a basic misconception to regard it as an independent instrument separate from policy.
- The cold war cannot be won by words alone. What we do will continue to be vastly more important than what we say.
- The principal objective of our information activities is to increase support abroad for those policies and programs which we consider necessary to pursue in the national interest and to persuade foreign governments and peoples that such U.S. policies and programs are also in their interest. While friendship for the United States may be a useful means of persuasion, it is not in itself a necessary objective of our propaganda efforts.
Regardless of organizational arrangements, the Committee believes that the following operating principles would further the attainment of our objectives:
- The presence abroad of large numbers of Americans in government employ tends to impair the effect of our foreign information programs. Every effort should be made, therefore, to reduce the size of American establishments abroad to that necessary for the efficient conduct of the business of this Government in foreign countries.
- Evidence presented to the Committee indicates that the effectiveness of U.S. information programs in foreign countries is enhanced by the employment of local personnel. For this reason, as well as in the interest of a general reduction in American personnel abroad, American information staffs should be composed of local employees insofar as possible.
- People resent and reject advice or criticism from foreigners. The United States foreign information media should accordingly avoid undue use of exhortation. In particular, the acknowledged U.S. broadcasts should be restricted to news, official pronouncements and the entertainment programs essential for the maintenance of audiences.
- New impetus should be given to the trend toward decentralization of authority and responsibility. While the need for a central nucleus of media services in Washington is recognized, the conduct and initiation of information programs should as far as possible occur at the country level under the guidance of the Ambassador. The delegation of increased initiative to the field should permit a considerable reduction of information personnel in the United States.
The Committee has considered a variety of proposals for the organization of the international information activities of the Government. It has concluded that the most satisfactory arrangement would be to retain within the Department of State those functions now assigned to the International Information Administration and to combine with them the information activities heretofore conducted [Page 1870] by MSA and TCA. Under such an arrangement the Committee would favor higher rank for the Administrator of the information agency and provision for autonomy in the selection, assignment and management of personnel and in the control of its own appropriations.
In reaching this conclusion, the Committee has been guided by its conviction that information activities conducted by a free society are necessarily based upon foreign policy and have no life apart from it. The Department of State is primarily responsible for the development of such policies. In the Committee’s judgment the creation of an independent agency to conduct foreign information activities, even if provision were made for policy guidance from the Department of State, would risk the emergence of contradictory interpretations of foreign policies. The nature of the problem requires close and frequent interchange during the development of the programs between those responsible for the formulation and conduct of policy and those responsible for its interpretation and projection to foreign audiences. The Committee feels that this problem, which has presented difficulties even while IIA has been within the Department of State, would be further complicated by placing responsibility for the conduct of foreign information activities on an independent agency.
In the interests of the closest possible integration of foreign information activities with the development of foreign policy the Committee would, therefore, prefer to leave the program within the Department of State. The Committee recognizes, however, that there are strong arguments in favor of taking the information program out of the State Department. Inasmuch as the Department itself is reluctant to exercise the operating functions involved, the Committee therefore does not oppose the recommendations submitted by the Rockefeller Committee.
The Committee wishes however to submit certain comments with respect to the proposed reorganization plan based on the recommendations of the Rockefeller Committee. The Committee concurs in the importance of providing the Director of the new agency on a current basis with full guidance concerning the foreign policy of the United States. It questions, however, the desirability of assigning to the Secretary of State responsibility for the preparation of program material to be utilized on the information media. In the view of the Committee any official statements regarding the position of the United States emanating from the Secretary of State will in the very nature of things be utilized by U.S. information media. It is the conviction of the Committee that program responsibility should rest exclusively with the information agency subject to foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. Accordingly, [Page 1871] we recommend that Sec. 202 (b) (2) of the proposed reorganization plan be deleted.
The role of an independent information agency in the conduct of the whole information effort of the U.S. Government and the content of U.S. information programs will be dealt with at greater length in the Committee’s final report.
. . . . . . .
propaganda and information activities in the free world
- The Committee believes that the primary and over-riding purpose of the information program should be to persuade foreign peoples that it lies in their own interests to take action consistent with the national objectives of the United States. The goal should be to harmonize wherever possible the personal and national self-interest of foreigners with the national objectives of the United States. (page 58)
- A continuing and coordinated effort should be made to inform the world clearly of the American position on major issues. (page 58)
- The headquarters staffs of all agencies engaged in information work should concentrate on the conception, planning and coordination of global propaganda campaigns and less on detailed control and execution of day-to-day operations, (page 60)
- Although guidance on specific or local objectives of information activities may often be required from Washington, such guidance should generally be confined to global or regional themes. When United States policy has been explained to the field, information officials abroad should be permitted discretion in adapting it to their local situations, (page 60)
- Insofar as possible, information and propaganda material should be prepared locally to meet local needs, (page 61)
- The number of operating information personnel located in the United States, particularly within IIA, should be substantially reduced. (page 61)
- Propaganda or information should be attributed to the United States only when such attribution is an asset. A much greater percentage of the information program should be unattributed. (page 61)
- In order to be less obtrusive, there should be a substantial reduction in American personnel overseas in countries where they are heavily concentrated. They should be replaced where necessary by qualified local nationals. (page 62)
- . . . . . . .
- More effective tactical control of the information and propaganda program of the various United States agencies is needed at the country level. This can best be accomplished by the Chief of Mission with the advice of a “country team” composed of the senior representatives of each agency operating information programs. (page 63)
- More coordination of all types of unattributed propaganda is necessary to prevent both waste and compromise of the covert portion. Covert propaganda should be centralized in CIA. The responsibility and authority for such coordination should be placed in the Chief of Mission, (page 63)
- An effective foreign information program can only be achieved if it receives firm support to ensure permanency of organization, consistency in appropriations and flexibility in management. The Committee recommends that firm executive and congressional support be extended, in order to stabilize the organization and size of the information programs. Regulations should be amended where possible to permit greater flexibility in the allocation of funds and personnel. (page 63)
- Appropriations for the information program should not be drastically reduced until the new procedures recommended have been tried. (page 64)
- Public understanding and support of the program is vital. The Committee supports the recommendation made by the United States Advisory Commission on Information in its Seventh Semi-Annual Report to Congress, January 1953, that IIA be authorized to release domestically, without request, information concerning its program. (page 64)
- Consideration should be given to reducing, where possible, the adverse propaganda effects of certain security and immigration regulations. (page 65)
- (a) Short-wave radio programs to the free world should be continued only to those areas where the Chief of Mission expresses a desire for retention….
- (b) Broadcasts attributed to the United States Government should concentrate on objective factual news reporting. Selection and treatment of news should seek to present a full exposition of United States actions and policies. (page 68)
- . . . . . . .
- (d) Consideration should be given to changing the name “Voice of America”. (page 69)
- (a) Exchange of persons, particularly students, for long term cultural purposes is worthwhile and should be continued. (page 70)
- (b) More use should be made of the medium of exchange of persons in influencing the attitude of important local individuals. (page 70)
- Publications can be used to much better advantage. IIA should carefully review its program and decentralize wherever possible so that material will be more responsive to local needs. The programs of all agencies should be reviewed. (page 72)
- . . . . . . .
- (a) The Information Centers fill a cultural need and should be continued. (page 74)
- (b) The Government should cooperate with the commercial publishing industry and subsidize its efforts when necessary to combat the flood of inexpensive communist books in the free world. (page 74)
- (c) While the Government must not aid in the distribution of subversive books, it should not hesitate to facilitate the distribution of books which contain justified criticism of one phase or another of American life, (page 74)
- . . . . . . .
organization for a more unified effort
- The Psychological Strategy Board should be abolished. (page 90)
- The President should establish, within the National Security Council structure, an Operations Coordinating Board to provide for the coordinated execution of approved national security policies. (page 91)
- The Consultants Group, established under NSC 10/2, should be abolished and its functions assumed by the OCB and the OCB staff. (page 93)
- The Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee (POC) should be abolished and its functions assumed by the OCB and the OCB staff. (page 93)
- Every effort should be made to strengthen the position of the Chief of Mission as the principal United States authority in overseas posts. (page 94)
- The Operations Coordinating Board should ensure that military activities make their full contribution to the attainment of political objectives. (page 97)
- . . . . . . .
- Inasmuch as a reorganization plan with respect to foreign information activities has been submitted to Congress for consideration, the Committee makes no recommendation on this point. (page 101)
- New efforts should be made to improve personnel training programs in the field of national security affairs and to broaden and strengthen the concept of career services. (page 102)
The President’s Committee on International Information Activities
|Executive Secretary||Director of Staff|
(Mutual Security Agency)
(Central Intelligence Agency)
(Central Intelligence Agency)
(Central Intelligence Agency)
(Office of Defense Mobilization)
(Department of Defense)
(Department of Defense)
(Central Intelligence Agency)
|Ellis L. Phillips, Jr.|
(Central Intelligence Agency)
(Department of State)
(Central Intelligence Agency)
(Department of State)
- William H. Jackson, a New York investment banker, had served with Army Intelligence during World War II. He participated in the preparation of the Dulles–Jackson–Correa Report of Jan. 1, 1949, and in 1950–1951 had been Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. Robert Cutler was Administrative Assistant to the President from January to March 1953, and thereafter Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Gordon Gray, President of the University of North Carolina, had served as Secretary of the Army, 1949–1950, Special Assistant to the President, 1950, and Director of the Psychological Strategy Board, 1951. Barklie McKee Henry was a New York banker associated with a number of foundations. John C. Hughes, a manufacturing executive, became U.S. Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council on June 12, 1953. C. D. Jackson was Special Assistant to the President. Roger M. Kyes was Deputy Secretary of Defense. Sigurd S. Larmon, an advertising executive, was a member of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Information.↩
- NSC 140/1. [Footnote in the source text. For text of NSC 140/1, see p. 328.]↩
- NIE–64, Part II, paragraph 2. Its political warfare techniques include “political and economic pressure, diplomatic action in the UN and elsewhere, propaganda and front activities, the action of communist parties and communist-party-controlled trade unions outside the Bloc, sabotage, exploitation of subversive and revolutionary movements and of civil wars, and psychological warfare.” Because it is not subject to the pressure of public opinion and can control the flow of information to the subject peoples, the Soviet system has a freer hand in political warfare than have free societies. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) 64, Part II. This estimate dealt with “Probable Soviet Bloc Courses of Action through Mid–1953” and was published several months prior to Stalin’s death. However, the main lines of Soviet action are not likely to change substantially, despite tactical shifts. [Footnote in the source text. NIE–64 is not printed.]↩
- See Chapter Eight. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- The material in this section on Soviet Strengths is largely drawn from corresponding sections of NIE–65, dated June 16, 1953. [Footnote in the source text. NIE–65, “Soviet Bloc Capabilities Through 1957,” is scheduled for publication in volume VIII.]↩
- For information on Project East River, see footnote 2, p. 20.↩
- For a more complete description of the political warfare capabilities of the Soviet system, see NIE–65. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- Both Lenin and Stalin, at times when they were preoccupied with the problems of consolidating their internal positions, appeased the Soviet people by various political and economic measures and also attempted to improve their relations with the outside world. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- See NIE–65. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- In this section the Committee has relied heavily on NIE–64, Part II. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- See Chapter Two, pages 7 and 8. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- For a more complete consideration of this subject, see NSC 140/1. [Footnote in the source text. For text of NSC 140/1, May 18, see p. 328.]↩
- NSC 141. This paper was prepared in January 1953 by the Secretaries of State and Defense and the Director for Mutual Security of the last Administration. It has been considered by the NSC, but not approved by the NSC or the President. The data cited refer only to the United States and do not include other free world strength and are therefore not comparable with the data in Chapter Two for the Soviet system as a whole. Although the free nations may approach approximate military equality in numerical terms with the Soviet system, this comparison is misleading because the forces of the free nations are scattered and not subject to central control and because there is inadequate strength in certain vital areas adjoining the Soviet system. [Footnote in the source text. For extracts from NSC 141, “Reexamination of United States Programs for National Security”, Jan. 19, 1953, see p. 209.]↩
- NSC 141. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- NSC 141; Project East River; the report on Armaments and National Policy by the State Department’s Panel of Consultants on Disarmament (Oppenheimer Committee); and the report to the Secretary of Defense by the Ad Hoc Study Group on Continental Defense (the Kelly Report). [Footnote in the source text. For the report of the Panel of Consultants, see p. 1056. For documentation on continental defense, see pp. 1 ff.]↩
- NSC 141; see also NSC 135/2. [Footnote in the source text. NSC 135/2, Sept. 16, 1952, was amended and adopted on Sept. 25. For text of NSC 135/3, “Reappraisal of United States Objectives and Strategy for National Security”, the report in its approved form, see p. 142.]↩
- NSC 141; see also NSC 135/2. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- The political strengths and weaknesses of the free world are discussed more fully below in describing courses of action with respect to individual areas. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- See Chapter One, page 5 and Chapter Three, page 17. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- See Chapter Five for recommendations on VOA broadcasts to the free world. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- Figures in this and subsequent chapters have been omitted at the request of the Director of Central Intelligence in all copies of this report except the President’s copy, Number 1. The figures will be furnished by the Director of Central Intelligence if required. [Footnote in the source text. “President’s copy, Number 1” has not been found.]↩
- See page 37 above. [Footnote in the source text. For the passage under reference, see p. 1828.]↩
- Letter from the President to the Secretary of State dated December 28, 1950, reproduced in NSC 104 dated February 12, 1951, pp. 1–2. [Footnote in the source text. For NSC 104, “U.S. Policies and Programs in the Economic Field Which May Affect the War Potential of the Soviet Bloc,” see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. i, p. 1023.]↩
- Second Report to Congress, January 1953, by the Battle Act Administrator, pp. 3–5. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- NIE–59. [Footnote in the source text. For text, see vol. i, Part 2, p. 949.]↩
- For text of NSC 68, “U.S. Objectives and Programs for National Security”, Apr. 14, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. i, p. 234.↩
- NSC 114/2. Annex 5. [Footnote in the source text. NSC 114/2, “United States Programs for National Security”, Oct. 12, 1951, is printed in part in Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. i, p. 182. NSC 114/2, Annex 5, “The Information Program”, same date, is also printed ibid., p. 942.]↩
- Statement of Policy Concerning the Revision of the Public Affairs Program for Germany and the Conclusion of a Cultural Treaty,” July 25, 1951. [Footnote in the source text. The statement of policy under reference is not printed.]↩
- Public Affairs Plan for Germany, January 1953. [Footnote in the source text. The plan under reference is not printed.]↩
- An additional $14,000,000 is allotted for propaganda behind the Curtain. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- One-half of this amount is for the productivity and technical assistance exchange program. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- This is not a budgetary figure, but is a rough approximation of the cost of activities related to propaganda in the free world. So many activities of this department have propaganda overtones that it is impossible to determine an accurate figure. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- An additional $14,000,000 is allotted for propaganda behind the Curtain. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- Funds for information activities in Germany are appropriated separately from IIA. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- Four agencies conduct exchange programs of some magnitude. They are: IIA (State), TCA (State), MSA and Defense. Smaller programs are conducted by five agencies: CIA, Atomic Energy Commission, National Institutes of Health (Department of Health, Welfare and Education), National Science Foundation, Maritime Commission (Commerce). Ten additional agencies cooperate in the carrying out of primary exchange programs on a paid basis. They are: Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, Health, Welfare and Education, Interior, Housing and Home Finance, Federal Communications Commission, General Services Administration, Bureau of the Budget and Veterans’ Administration. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- For text of the Presidential Directive of Apr. 4, 1951, establishing the Board, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. i, p. 58.↩
- See the letter from President Eisenhower to Robert Cutler, Administrative Assistant to the President, Mar. 17, p. 257.↩
- Until he designates his general deputy to serve on the Board, the Director for Mutual Security should represent his agency. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- NSC 10/2, “Covert Operations in the Interest of National Security”, is not printed. (S/S–NSC files, lot 63 D 351, NSC 10 Series)↩
- NSC 10/5, Oct. 23, 1951, is not printed. (S/S–NSC files, lot 63 D 351, NSC 10 Series)↩
- NSC 59/1, “The Foreign Information Program and Psychological Warfare Planning”, Mar. 9, 1950, is not printed. (S/S–NSC files, lot 63 D 351, NSC 59 Series)↩
- See the editorial note, p. 1709.↩
- In considering this subject, the Committee had before it the several staff studies and the Report of the Subcommittee on Overseas Information Programs of the United States of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (Hickenlooper Committee); the memorandum of recommendations of the President’s Advisory Committee on Government Organization dated April 7, 1953 (Rockefeller Report); and the Seventh Semiannual Report to Congress of the United States Advisory Commission on Information dated January 1953 (Mark May Report). [Footnote in the source text. For information regarding Congressional interest in the overseas information program during 1953, see the second editorial note, p. 1672. That portion of the Rockefeller Report dealing with foreign affairs organization is printed on p. 1691.]↩
- Jan. 23.↩
- On February 19, 1953, the President appointed Roger M. Kyes, Deputy Secretary of Defense, a member of the Committee upon the designation of Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- See the memorandum for the President by the President’s Committee on Government Organization, Apr. 7, p. 1691.↩