Foreign Relations of the United States, 1955–1957, National Security Policy, Volume XIX
66. National Security Council Report1
BASIC NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
Note by the Executive Secretary to the National Security Council
A. NSC 55012
B. NIE 11–3–55; NIE 11–7–55; NIE 11–13–55;NIE 11–13/1–55; NIE 100–7–55; SNIE 100–8–553
C. NSC 5602
D. Memos for NSC from Acting Executive Secretary, same subject, dated February 13 and 24, 1956
E. Memo for NSC from Acting Executive, subject: “U.S. Policy in the Event of a Renewal of Aggression in Vietnam”, dated September 16, 19554
F. NSC Action No. 15225
The National Security Council, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Special Assistant to the President for Disarmament, the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Mr. Ralph Spear for the Federal Civil Defense Administrator, and the Director, Bureau of the Budget, at the 277th and 278th meetings of the Council on February 27 and March 1, 1956, discussed the subject on the basis of the reference report (NSC 5602) in the light of the recommendations of the NSC Planning Board, transmitted by the reference memorandum of February 13, and the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, transmitted by the reference memorandum of February 24, 1956, The Council adopted the statement of policy contained in NSC 5602, subject to the changes set forth in NSC Action No. 1522–b.[Page 243]
The President has this date approved the statement of policy in NSC 5602, as amended and adopted by the Council and enclosed herewith as NSC 5602/1, and directs its implementation by all appropriate executive departments and agencies of the U.S. Government, with the understanding that final determination on budget requests based thereon will be made by the President after normal budgetary review.
NSC 5602/1 is a substitute for NSC 5501 and is the basic guide in the implementation of all other national security policies, superseding any provisions in such other policies as may be in conflict with it. Progress reports to the National Security Council on other policies should include specific reference to policies which have been modified by NSC 5602/1.
At the time that the Council adopted the enclosed policy it also took the following actions (NSC Actions 1522–c through –h):
- Requested the Department of Defense to make a presentation on the capabilities, with or without nuclear weapons, of the U.S. military forces referred to in paragraph 32 and other appropriate paragraphs of NSC 5501, to deal with local aggression in Vietnam, utilizing as appropriate the study transmitted by the reference memorandum of September 16, 1955.
- Agreed that the Council, after submission to the President of the report on the subject now in preparation by the Chairman, Council on Foreign Economic Policy, should give further consideration to basic U.S. policies with respect to the less developed and uncommitted areas.
- Requested that a presentation to the Council on the problem of technological superiority be made by the Department of Defense, the Office of Defense Mobilization, and the National Science Foundation; with the collaboration of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare on those aspects of the presentation respecting the educational objectives in the United States.
- Agreed that intensive efforts should be continued on all aspects of the problem of devising a safeguarded system of disarmament.
- Requested the Operations Coordinating Board, with the participation of the Department of Justice, to prepare a study of the factors involved in implementing paragraph 35 of NSC 5602, dealing with free world-Communist bloc contacts; and directed the NSC Planning Board to review pertinent policies (particularly NSC 5508/1 and NSC 5427) based upon such an OCB study.
- Noted the President’s request that the Department of Defense and the Office of Defense Mobilization, in consultation with the Bureau of the Budget, prepare for Council consideration a definition of the term “mobilization base”.
[Here follows a two-page table of contents.]
BASIC NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
1. The spiritual, moral and material posture of the United States of America rests upon established principles which have been asserted and defended throughout the history of the Republic. The genius, strength and promise of America are founded in the dedication of its people and government to the dignity, equality and freedom of the human being under God. These concepts and our institutions which nourish and maintain them with justice are the bulwark of our free society and are the basis of the respect and leadership which have been accorded our nation by the peoples of the world. When they are challenged, our response must be resolute and worthy of our heritage. From this premise must derive our national will and the policies which express it. The continuing full exercise of our individual and collective responsibilities is required to realize the basic objective of our national security policies: maintaining the security of the United States and the vitality of its fundamental values and institutions.
Outline of U.S. National Strategy
2. The basic objective of U.S. national security policy is to preserve the security of the United States, and its fundamental values and institutions.
3. The basic threat to U.S. security is posed by the hostile policies and power, including growing nuclear7 power, of the Soviet-Communist bloc, with its Communist ideology and international apparatus.
4. The basic problem confronting the United States is how, without undermining fundamental U.S. values and institutions or seriously weakening the U.S. economy, to meet and ultimately to reduce to acceptable proportions this threat to U.S. security.
5. The United States and its allies have no foreseeable prospect of stopping the growth of Soviet nuclear capabilities and of reducing Soviet armed strength—the core of Communist power—or of significantly reducing other basic Communist military strength, except by mutually acceptable agreements with the Soviets or by large-scale [Page 245]military action. The initiation by the United States of such military action for this purpose is not an acceptable course either to the United States or its major allies.
6. Hence, U.S. policies must be designed (1) to affect the conduct and policies of the Communist regimes, especially those of the USSR, in ways that further U.S. security interests (including safeguarded disarmament); and (2) to foster tendencies that lead them to abandon expansionist policies. In pursuing this general strategy, our effort should be directed to:
- Deterring further Communist aggression, and preventing the occurrence of total war so far as compatible with U.S. security.
- Maintaining and developing in the free world the mutuality of interest and common purpose, the confidence in the United States, and the will, strength and stability necessary to face the Soviet-Communist threat and to provide constructive and attractive alternatives to Communism, which sustain the hope and confidence of the free peoples.
- In addition to a and b above, taking other actions
designed to foster changes in the character and policies of
the Soviet-Communist bloc regimes:
- By influencing them and their peoples toward the choice of those alternative lines of action which, while in their national interests, do not conflict with the security interests of the United States.
- By exploiting differences between such regimes to disrupt the structure of the Soviet-Communist bloc.
- By exploiting vulnerabilities within the bloc countries in ways consistent with this general strategy.
- Destroying or neutralizing the international Communist apparatus in the free world.
7. To carry out effectively this general strategy will require a flexible combination of military, political, economic, psychological, and covert actions which enables the full exercise of U.S. initiative. These actions must be so coordinated as to reinforce one another. Programs for carrying out this general strategy should be developed and conducted as a matter of urgency, with special emphasis in the period before the Soviets achieve nuclear parity.
8. Provided that it is resolutely pursued, this general strategy offers the best hope of bringing about at least a prolonged period of armed truce, and ultimately a peaceful resolution of the Soviet bloc-free world conflict and a peaceful and orderly world environment. Failure resolutely to pursue this general strategy could, within a relatively short span of years, place the United States in great jeopardy.[Page 246]
Elements of National Strategy
I. Military Elements of National Strategy
9. A central aim of U.S. policy must be to deter the Communists from use of their military power, remaining prepared to fight general war should one be forced upon the United States. This stress on deterrence is dictated by the disastrous character of total nuclear war, the possibility of local conflicts developing into total war, and the serious effect of further Communist aggression. Hence the Communist rulers must be convinced that aggression will not serve their interests: that it will not pay.
10. If this purpose is to be achieved, the United States and its allies in the aggregate will have to have, for an indefinite period, military forces with sufficient strength, flexibility and mobility to enable them to deal swiftly and severely with Communist overt aggression in its various forms and to cope successfully with general war should it develop. In addition, the deterrent is much more likely to be effective if the United States and its major allies show that they are united in their determination to use military force against such aggression.
11. It is the policy of the United States to integrate nuclear weapons with other weapons in the arsenal of the United States. Nuclear weapons will be used in general war and in military operations short of general war as authorized by the President. Such authorization as may be given in advance will be determined by the President.
12. To the extent that the military effectiveness of the armed forces will be enhanced by their use, the United States will be prepared to use chemical and bacteriological weapons in general war. The decision as to their use will be made by the President.
13. If time permits and an attack on the United States or U.S. forces is not involved, the United States should consult appropriate allies before any decision to use nuclear, chemical or bacteriological weapons is made by the President.
14. In carrying out the central aim of deterring general war, the United States must develop and maintain as part of its military forces its effective nuclear retaliatory power, and must keep that power secure from neutralization or from a Soviet knockout blow, even by surprise. The United States must also continue accelerated military and non-military programs for continental defense. So long as the Soviets are uncertain of their ability to neutralize the U.S. nuclear retaliatory power, there is little reason to expect them deliberately to [Page 247]initiate general war or actions which they believe would carry appreciable risk of general war, and thereby endanger the regime and the security of the USSR.
15. Within the total U.S. military forces there must be included ready forces which, with such help as may realistically be expected from allied forces, are adequate (a) to present a deterrent to any resort to local aggression, and (b) to defeat or hold, in conjunction with indigenous forces, any such local aggression, pending the application of such additional U.S. and allied power as may be required to suppress quickly the local aggression in a manner and on a scale best calculated to avoid the hostilities broadening into general war. Such ready forces must be sufficiently versatile to use both conventional and nuclear weapons. They must be highly mobile and suitably deployed, recognizing that some degree of maldeployment from the viewpoint of general war must be accepted. Such forces must not become so dependent on tactical nuclear capabilities that any decision to intervene against local aggression would probably be tantamount to a decision to use nuclear weapons. However, these forces must also have a flexible and selective nuclear capability, since the United States will not preclude itself from using nuclear weapons even in a local situation.
16. With the coming of nuclear parity, the ability to apply force selectively and flexibly will become increasingly important in maintaining the morale and will of the free world to resist aggression. The United States and its allies must avoid getting themselves in a position where they must choose between (a) not responding to local aggression and (b) applying force in a way which our own people or our allies would consider entails undue risks of nuclear devastation. The apprehensions of U.S. allies as to using nuclear weapons to counter local aggression can be lessened if the U.S. deterrent force is not solely dependent on such weapons, thus avoiding the question of their use unless and until the deterrent fails. In the event of actual Communist local aggression, the United States should, if necessary, make its own decision as to the use of nuclear weapons. In the last analysis, when confronted by the choice (a) acquiescing in Communist aggression or (b) taking measures risking either general war or loss of allied support, the United States must be prepared to take these risks if necessary for its security.
17. National security policy is predicated upon the support and cooperation of appropriate major allies and certain other free world countries, in furnishing bases for U.S. military power and in providing their share of military forces. It is important for the United States to take the necessary steps to convince its allies, particularly its NATO allies, that U.S. strategy and policy serve their security as well as its own, and that the United States is committed to their defense and [Page 248]possesses the capability to fulfill that commitment. The United States should strengthen as practicable the collective defense system and utilize, where appropriate, the possibilities of collective action through the UN. The United States should provide new weapons (non-nuclear) and advanced technology to allies capable of using them effectively, taking into account the protection of classified data, the essential requirements of U.S. forces, production capabilities and the likely availability of funds. Atomic energy legislation as it relates to weapons should be progressively relaxed to the extent required for the progressive integration of such weapons into NATO defenses, to the extent of enabling selected allies to be able to use them upon the outbreak of war. The United States should continue to provide military and other assistance, including where deemed appropriate new weapons and advanced techology, to dependable allied nations where such assistance is necessary to enable them to make their appropriate contributions to collective military power. Special attention in the technological field should be directed to assisting selected U.S. allies rapidly to develop their own advanced weapons systems, and in other ways significantly to increase utilization of free world scientific and technological resources.
18. The United States and its allies must reject the concept of preventive war or acts intended to provoke war. Hence, the United States should attempt to make clear, by word and conduct, that it is not our intention to provoke war. At the same time the United States and its major allies must make clear their determination to oppose aggression despite risk of general war; and the United States must make clear its determination to prevail if general war eventuates.
19. Dynamic research and development for military application are a necessity for the continued maintenance of an adequate U.S. military posture and effective armed forces. Without increasing effectiveness in the research and development field, U.S. weaponry may in the future fall qualitatively behind that of the USSR with concomitant danger to U.S. security. U.S. research and development must be carried out with full recognition of this potential danger. Moreover, the United States must speed up, by all practicable steps, the means whereby important scientific discoveries can be translated into an appropriate flow of new weapons to the armed forces.
II. Political and Economic Strategy
A. Strengthening the Free World
20. The United States should place more stress than heretofore on building the strength and cohesion of the free world, and take adequate actions for the purpose of (a) creating cohesion within and among all the free nations, remedying their weaknesses, and steadily [Page 249]improving the relative position of the free world; (b) destroying the effectiveness of the Communist apparatus in the free world; and (c) combatting the effects of Soviet bloc diplomatic and economic activities in the free world. Success in these endeavors will depend heavily on the degree to which the United States and its major allies can attain agreement on objectives and actions to achieve them, consistent with basic U.S. objectives.
21. Direct action against the Communist apparatus must rest largely with the local governments concerned, although the United States should be able to help significantly [4 words not declassified]. In countries vulnerable to subversion, the United States should, as one of its objectives, assist in the development of adequate internal security forces. [1 sentence (40 words) not declassified]
22. In combatting Soviet subversive forces and techniques, the United States should develop and employ in a well-coordinated manner [5 words not declassified] political, information, economic and military programs and activities. In particular, the United States should seek to alert countries which become targets of the new Soviet campaign of diplomatic and economic penetration to the dangers of subversion to which this campaign subjects them. [1 sentence (22 words) not declassified]
23. In the face of divisions, fears, and weaknesses, which in many cases the Communists can exploit, the United States must choose between (a) taking timely action to help remedy such conditions, or (b) allowing the situation to deteriorate with the prospect of later trying to prevent Communist gains by more costly and less certain measures, or even military action. The ability of the free world, over the long pull, to meet the challenge and competition of the Communist world will depend in large measure on the capacity to demonstrate progress toward meeting the basic needs and aspirations of its peoples.
24. Two of the basic problems in the economic field are: (a) industrialized areas require further economic growth and expanded trade; and (b) the less developed areas seek to develop and modernize their economies and must also maintain a substantial volume of exports of primary products. It should be within the capacity of the free world, with U.S. initiative and leadership, to turn these two problems into mutually supporting assets for the promotion of appropriate economic strength and growth.
25. A necessary condition for such strength and growth is a high level of international trade within the free world. In order to foster this, the United States should (a) continue to press strongly for a general reduction of barriers to such trade; (b) take the lead by reducing further its own tariffs and other trade restrictions over the next few [Page 250]years, with due regard to national security and total national advantage; and (c) also support sound moves to widen the convertibility of currencies.
26. a. The United States should encourage and support movements toward European unity, especially those leading to supra-national institutions, bearing in mind that the basic initiative must come from the Europeans themselves.
b. The United States may find it expedient to continue economic assistance to certain European countries, such as Spain, Yugoslavia and Turkey, to assist them in achieving stability and growth while maintaining necessary military forces.
27. The dangers to free world stability are particularly acute in the less developed areas, and are enhanced by recent Soviet initiatives. The task of speeding up their economic growth, providing adequate dietary conditions, and promoting stability presents a multitude of problems, political and social as well as economic. For example, it calls for some changes in traditional habits and attitudes and for greatly expanded training in administrative and technical skills. In any case, new capital investment is a prerequisite to growth. Utilization of private investment should be encouraged to the maximum feasible extent. Local capital will have to be supplemented by the provision of capital from abroad. In addition to external public and private investment and IBRD loans, substantial financing from U.S. public funds (including the Export-Import Bank) will be necessary, in some cases over an extended period, to help achieve the economic progress essential to U.S. interests.
28. a. The United States should be prepared to use economic means available to it to promote conditions of sound development in less developed nations where:
- The political and economic situation is important to the security of the United States.
- Such development cannot be financed by local capital or other non-communist foreign assistance.
- Such assistance will be effectively used.
U.S. economic assistance world-wide should be at but not exceed a total level consistent with U.S. security interests.
b. U.S. foreign economic programs should be designed to:
- Achieve our objective of promoting conditions of sound development in less developed nations in order to retain and strengthen them as members of the free world.
- Demonstrate to these nations that they can progress economically without becoming dependent upon the soviet bloc or endangering their independence.
- Counter so far as practicable the apparent attractiveness and damaging effects of the Soviet bloc economic offensive.
c. In order to make the most effective use of economic aid resources and to facilitate planning of longer-term projects and programs necessary for economic development, the Executive Branch should have authority:
- To make commitments extending over a period of years for assistance to such projects and programs.
- To modify existing requirements as to administration and supervision of aid programs and the conditions on which aid may be granted.
- To exercise greater flexibility in planning, timing and administration of economic aid programs.
29. U.S. financial assistance alone cannot produce satisfactory economic growth in less developed areas, and external assistance should be used in a way to promote and not decrease local incentives and self-help. In addition to the provision of financial assistance, the United States should train indigenous leaders, develop skills, and provide competent advisers.
30. U.S. political policies must be adapted to conditions prevailing in each less developed area. The United States should not exert pressure to make active allies of countries not so inclined, but should recognize that the independence of such countries from Communism serves U.S. interests even though they are not aligned with the United States. The United States should provide assistance on the basis of the will and ability of such countries to defend and strengthen their independence, and should take other feasible steps which will strengthen their capacity to do so.
31. The United States cannot afford the loss to Communist extremism of constructive nationalist and reform movements in colonial areas in Asia and Africa. The United States should seek (a) to work with, rather than against, such forces when convinced they are likely to remain powerful and grow in influence; and (b) to prevent the capture of such forces by Communism. Where disputes or tensions involve the relations of a major U.S. ally with a colonial or dependent area, the United States should use its influence in behalf of an orderly evolution of political arrangements toward self-determination and should seek to strengthen the forces of moderation in both the colonial and metropolitan areas.
32. The United States should continue its full support of and active leadership in the United Nations and specialized agencies, and should seek to make maximum use of the UN for the settlement of international disputes and as an instrument of collective security. The UN forum, moreover, can serve and should be used as an effective means to mobilize free world opinion in support of U.S. policies, to expose Soviet propaganda and activities, and to exploit the vulnerabilities of Soviet management of the satellite empire.[Page 252]
33. The United States should actively continue to carry out its programs for the peaceful uses of atomic energy in order to maintain U.S. leadership and initiative in this field.
B. Means of Directly Influencing the Communist bloc
34. a. The primary means for influencing Soviet conduct must be adequate political, military, and economic programs and actions. The USSR and Communist China cannot be expected to revise their methods of operation or their practical goals more conformably to U.S. interest unless further Communist expansion is prevented, present Communist techniques of pressure and inducement are effectively countered, and the relative position of the free world is manifestly improved.
b. The free world has in addition such specific means of influencing Soviet conduct as East-West relations, the negotiating process, and the exploitation of Soviet bloc vulnerabilities. U.S. policies on each of these subjects should be designed to achieve a consistent effect and should be carried out so as to be compatible with basic national security strategy and so as not to weaken the will to resist Communism in the free world.
35. In utilizing East-West relations, negotiations and exploitation of vulnerabilities to influence Soviet conduct, the United States should seek (a) to reduce the likelihood or capability of Soviet aggression or subversive expansion; (b) to give to the Communist regimes a clear conception of the true U.S. and free world purposes, including uncompromising U.S. determination to resist Communist aggressive moves and uphold freedom; (c) to convince the Communist leaders that alternatives exist to their present policies which would be acceptable to the United States and which they might come to consider compatible with their own security interests; (d) to correct the distorted image of the West which has been sedulously cultivated for years inside the USSR; (e) to encourage the Communist regimes to take measures which would make more difficult a reversal of peaceful policy and which might over the long run lead to basic changes in the outlook or character of Communist regimes.
36. In East-West relations the United States should continue to sponsor proposals for a selective expansion of free world-Communist bloc contacts, which are chosen with a view to:
- Maintaining free world initiative and leadership for genuinely reciprocal reductions of the barriers to free communications and peaceful trade;
- Increasing the acquisition of useful intelligence concerning the Communist bloc; and
- Avoiding a net disadvantage to the United States from such contacts;
[Page 253]and which, if accepted, would favor evolution in the Soviet society and economy toward peaceful development, or, if rejected, would expose the persistence of expansionism behind the facade of Soviet tactics and propaganda. In considering proposals for such free world–Communist bloc contacts, the United States should take account of the effect of the U.S. example upon other free nations more vulnerable to Communist penetration.
37. The United States should continue its readiness to negotiate with the USSR whenever it appears that U.S. security interests will be served thereby. Such negotiations have additional importance in maintaining free world initiative and cohesion, and are desirable in order to probe the intentions and expose the meaning of Soviet policies. The United States and its major allies should be prepared to sponsor genuinely reciprocal concessions between the free world and the Communist bloc which would leave unimpaired the net security position of the free world and would contribute to the ultimate peaceful resolution of the Communist threat. The United States should not, however, make concessions in advance of similar action by the Soviets, in the hope of inspiring Soviet concessions. Until the USSR evidences a modification of its basic hostility toward the non-Communist world through concrete actions, agreements should be dependent upon a balance of advantages to the non-Communist world and not upon implied good will or trust in written agreements.
38. The United States in its own interest should, as interrelated parts of its national policy, actively seek a comprehensive, phased and safeguarded international system for the regulation and reduction of armed forces and armaments; concurrently, in related, parallel steps, make intensive efforts to resolve other major international issues; and meanwhile continue the steady development of strength in the United States and in the free world coalition required for U.S. security. As the initial step in this international arms system, the United States should give priority to early agreement on and implementation of (a) such confidence-building measures as the exchange of military blueprints, mutual aerial inspection and establishment of ground control posts at strategic centers; and (b) all such measures of adequately safeguarded disarmament as are now feasible. The acceptability and character of any international system for the regulation and reduction of armed forces and armaments depend primarily on the scope and effectiveness of the safeguards against violations and evasions, and especially the inspection system.
39. In the exploitation of Soviet bloc vulnerabilities, the United States should design its policies and programs (a) to promote evolutionary changes in Soviet policies and conduct in ways that further U.S. and free world security; (b) to weaken the ties which link the [Page 254]USSR and Communist China and bind their satellites; (c) to encourage bureaucratic and popular pressures inside the bloc for greater emphasis by the regimes on their internal problems, and on national interests in the satellites; and (d) to undermine the faith of the Communist ruling classes in their own system and ideology. The effort should be to pose for them the necessity of devoting attention and resources to these needs or facing increased disaffection with the regime or the satellite relationship if these needs are ignored.
40. In applying this strategy to Communist China the United States must take account of non-recognition of the regime, the hostility of the regime, its aggressive policy, and the undesirability of enhancing the power and influence of Communist China relative to free Asian nations. Moreover, the United States should not overlook any possibility, however remote, of fostering among the Chinese people demands for an alternative to the Communist regime. However, the United States should continue its willingness to participate in talks with, or including, Communist China on specific subjects on an ad hoc basis where the general objectives of its political strategy against the Communist bloc would be served thereby.
Foreign Information and Related Programs
41. a. Foreign information, cultural exchange, educational exchange and comparable programs are vital elements in the implementation of U.S. policies. These programs should be materially strengthened. U.S. policies and actions should be presented in a manner which will advance U.S. objectives, and their psychological implication should be carefully considered in advance.
b. In interpreting abroad U.S. policies and actions, the United States should seek to (1) project an image of the United States which reflects the fundamentally peaceful intent of U.S. policies, while making clear our determination to resist aggression; (2) delineate those important aspects of U.S. life, culture and institutions which facilitate understanding of the policies and objectives of the United States; (3) persuade foreign peoples that U.S. objectives will actually aid the achievement of their legitimate national objectives and aspirations; (4) expose Communist aims and actions and adequately counter Soviet propaganda; (5) encourage evolutionary change in the Soviet system, along lines consistent with U.S. security objectives and the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of the USSR; (6) assure the satellite peoples of the continuing interest of the U.S. in the peaceful restoration of their independence and political freedom.[Page 255]
III. Domestic Strength and Other National Security Measures
42. Sound U.S. Economy
- A strong, healthy and expanding U.S. economy is essential to the security and stability of the free world. The level of expenditures for national security programs must take into full account the danger to the United States and its allies resulting from impairment, through inflation or the undermining of incentives, of the basic soundness of the U.S. economy or of the continuing expansion of the U.S. economy under a free enterprise system.
- The Federal Government should continue to make a determined effort to bring its total annual expenditures and its total annual revenues into balance, or into substantial balance; and should maintain over-all credit and fiscal policies designed to assist in stabilizing the economy.
- Nevertheless, the United States must continue to meet the necessary costs of the programs essential for its security.
- All Federal expenditures, especially those not essential for the national security, should be held to a necessary minimum. Every effort should be made to eliminate waste, duplication, and unnecessary overhead in the Federal Government.
- The United States should also seek (1) to maintain a higher and expanding rate of economic activity at relatively stable price levels, and (2) to maximize the economic potential of private enterprise by minimizing governmental controls and regulations and by encouraging private enterprise to develop natural and technological resources (e.g. nuclear power).
43. Internal Security. Internal security measures should be made adequate, by strengthening them as necessary, to meet the threat to U.S. security of covert attack by the Soviet bloc on the United States by means of sabotage, subversion, espionage, and particularly, the clandestine introduction and detonation of nuclear weapons.
44. Civil Defense. An essential ingredient of our domestic strength is an improved and strengthened civil defense program which seeks, by both preventive and ameliorative measures, to minimize damage from nuclear attack, including the effects of increasingly powerful weapons.
45. Support by U.S. Citizens
- No national strategy to meet the Soviet threat can be successful without the support of the American people. During a time of increasing Soviet nuclear power, the determination of U.S. citizens to face the risks involved in carrying out such national strategy will be of increasing importance. Continuing efforts should be made to inform the American people of the demands on their spiritual and material resources [Page 256]necessary to ensure U.S. security by political, military and economic means during a period of armed truce, which may either continue for many years or be broken by an atomic war.
- Eternal vigilance is necessary in carrying out the national strategy, to prevent the intimidation of free criticism. Necessary protective measures should not be used to destroy national unity, which must be based on freedom and not on fear.
46. Mobilization Base
- Inasmuch as no one can foresee with certainty the nature and
extent of future conflicts in which the United States may become
involved, the national mobilization base must be so constituted
as to maintain military readiness to enter combat, ranging from
local to general war, and to provide the capability of meeting
expeditiously the needs of our national effort to bring
hostilities to an early and successful conclusion. Such a
requirement demands a mobilization base:
- Adequate to maintain modern forces in being capable of successfully meeting and delivering the initial nuclear offensives, carrying out the other essential tasks in the early phases of general war, and conducting operations short of general war.
- Adequate, with appropriate war reserves, to support the prosecution of the succeeding phases of general war including support for the forces likely to be involved therein and for minimum essential civilian needs.
- Adequate to provide for prompt replenishment of the general war reserves which might be expended in military operations less than general war.
- The mobilization base should be predicated upon approved war plans.
47. Stockpiling. For planning the stockpile objectives for strategic and critical materials, a period of five years may be used. However, only the stockpile objectives based upon the planning period of three years currently used in Military Mobilization Planning should be completed on a priority basis, the remainder of the five-year objectives to be achieved on a longer and lower priority basis. The stockpiling program should not normally be used to help stabilize international markets for exports of less developed countries; exceptions being made only on a case-by-case basis where there would be a clear net advantage to the United States.
48. Intelligence. The United States should develop and maintain an intelligence system capable of collecting the requisite data on and accurately evaluating:
- Indications of hostile intentions that would give maximum prior warning of possible aggression or subversion in any area of the world.
- The capabilities of foreign countries, friendly and neutral as well as enemy, to undertake military, political, economic and subversive courses of action affecting U.S. security.
- Potential foreign developments having a bearing on U.S. national security.
49. Manpower. The United States should develop an adequate manpower program designed to:
- Expand and improve scientific and technical training.
- Provide an effective military training system based so far as possible on equitable principles.
- Maintain the necessary active military forces with an adequate hard core of career leaders, specialists and the highly trained manpower required for modern war.
- Develop and maintain Ready Reserve forces of appropriate size, screened, suitably organized and trained, and available for immediate mobilization.
- Strike a feasible balance between the needs of an expanding peacetime economy and defense requirements, and develop incentives and improved public attitudes which will improve the ability of the armed forces and essential defense-supporting activities, including research, to obtain, in relation to normal commercial activities, highly trained scientific and technical manpower.
- Provide effective manpower mobilization plans and an appropriate distribution of services and skills thereunder in order to meet the manpower requirements of any type of national emergency.
50. Research and Development. The United States must achieve and maintain a rate of technological advance adequate to serve its over-all national security objectives. To this end there are required:
- Increased awareness throughout the nation of the importance to national security of technological advance and of the need for greater motivations for our youth to pursue scientific careers.
- Strong continuing support by the U.S. Government for basic and applied research, in proper balance.
- Improved methods for the evaluation, collation and dissemination of U.S. and foreign scientific information.
- The fostering of foreign, or cooperative U.S.–foreign, scientific endeavor in friendly countries.
- Facilitation of wider application by industry, within the bounds of security, of the results of governmental research and development including that performed for military purposes.
As research and development is translated into an operational capability with new weapons, there should be an attendant continuing review of the level and composition of forces and of the industrial base required for adequate defense and for successful prosecution of general war.
ESTIMATE OF THE SITUATION
I. Relative Free World and Communist Bloc Capabilities
- U.S. and Soviet Nuclear Capabilities. The United States is now capable of inflicting massive nuclear damage on the USSR, and will acquire by about mid-1956 the capability to mount a decisive nuclear strike against the USSR.8 The United States will have a marked net superiority in nuclear striking power from then until some time in 1958. During that year, and thereafter, the USSR will almost certainly develop and maintain the net capability to strike a crippling9 blow at the United States, but the United States should still be able to inflict equal or greater damage on the USSR, provided that it takes adequate steps to protect and to continue the development of its effective retaliatory power.
- In an attack on the United States, especially a surprise attack, the USSR, at least until it develops a long-range ballistic missile capability, would place chief reliance on nuclear attacks by aircraft. Also, substantial launching of missiles from submarines would be possible, and clandestine methods could be used against specially selected targets. Chemical and biological capabilities would probably be employed as secondary means of attack. In any event, the most probable primary objective of an initial Soviet nuclear strike would be the earliest possible destruction of U.S. and allied nuclear capability, world-wide; but this would almost certainly be combined with attacks on other U.S. and major allied forces and war reserves, and on key production complexes.
- Chances of General War. A situation is approaching in which a total war involving use by both sides of available nuclear weapons could bring about such extensive destruction as to threaten the survival of both Western civilization and the Soviet system. This could well result in a condition of mutual deterrence, in which each side would be strongly inhibited from deliberately initiating general war or taking actions which it regarded as materially increasing the risk of general war. However, general war will remain a possibility if only [Page 259]because of the element of miscalculation by either side. General war would also be a possibility in the event that the USSR, either because of an unexpected technological breakthrough or for other reasons, came to believe that it could destroy the United States without effective retaliation. Moreover, general war might occur as the climax of a series of actions and counteractions which neither side originally intended to lead to general war. In an era of rapid technological change, it is always possible that a condition of nuclear stalemate will prove transitory; much will depend upon which side can acquire or maintain technological superiority.
- U.S. and Soviet Missile Systems.
Relative U.S. and Soviet progress in guided missiles, especially
surface-to-surface, could have a crucial bearing on relative
over-all capabilities, both political and military:
- The Soviets will probably obtain a limited operational capability in an 850-900-mile ballistic missile in the near future; a 1400-mile ballistic missile (with a low-yield warhead) in 1957; and a 1600-mile ballistic missile in 1958, with a high-yield warhead in 1959. Most of our overseas bases are within 1600 miles of the Soviet launching sites. With the accelerated emphasis now being given the U.S. development program, the United States should have a limited operational capability in a 1500-mile ballistic missile (with a high-yield warhead) by early 1959. It is possible that the Soviets could demonstrate a 1400-mile ballistic missile at any time; but the U.S. will not have this capability until 1957 or 1958.
- With intensive effort, which must be assumed, the USSR could have a limited operational capability with an intercontinental ballistic missile with a high-yield nuclear warhead by 1960–61. This weapons system will create a direct and dangerous threat to the continental United States. With the accelerated emphasis given the U.S. ICBM program under current plans, the United States may be able to equal this timetable. There is no available direct defense against the ICBM at this time except a technically feasible detection system. However, studies and proposals suggest that the development of a weapons system with worthwhile defensive capabilities may be possible, if vigorously pursued.
- By 1958, in addition to other short-range missiles: (a) both the United States and the USSR are likely to have operational surface-to-air missiles with nuclear warheads: (b) the United States will have, and the USSR may have, operational air-to-air missiles with nuclear warheads.
- Bloc Military Capabilities. The Communist Bloc will maintain and further develop the effectiveness of its formidable conventional forces. The principal limitations will be logistic problems and deficiencies in specialized experience, training and equipment. Such reductions in force levels as may have been made are likely to be offset by improved combat effectiveness of remaining forces, and Soviet ability [Page 260]to mobilize massive forces rapidly will be unimpaired. The Soviets have stepped up their submarine building program to about 100 vessels a year. Soviet strategic and tactical doctrine and training procedures, moreover, now emphasize the advantage of surprise and provide for the integration of nuclear and chemical weapons in the operations of conventional forces. In the Far East, Communist China is increasing its already formidable military strength, although it remains substantially dependent on the USSR for equipment and logistic support.
- Free World Military Capabilities.
- U.S. During the past year, the U.S. retaliatory striking forces have been improved, both in delivery capabilities and in weapons quality. The U.S. Continental Air Defense System has also been improved. Other U.S. forces have been augmented with improved weapon and missile capabilities, and with modernized equipment. Those committed to NATO and the Far East are in a high state of readiness, with an atomic capability. In some geographical areas, the U.S. response to local aggression by other than air or naval striking forces would be slow and limited, and would in any case require the temporary diversion of forces, transportation, and other resources from planned initial tasks in a general war. The improvement in the capabilities of all U.S. forces is due in the main to the integration of nuclear weapons, in a wide range of yields, into our conventional forces. On the other hand, an increasing dependence on nuclear weapons may impair U.S. ability to intervene against local aggression without the use of such weapons.
- Other Free World. Although in general our Western allies retain a potential for further substantial increases in their military strength, they are coming to consider overt Soviet aggression extremely unlikely, and many of them are beginning to believe that trends in military technology render their existing military programs obsolescent. European NATO force levels will thus probably decline to some extent; West German rearmament is likely to be even slower than now planned. In most of the Middle and Far East, further development of indigenous non-Communist coalition forces will be slow and difficult. The nations of these areas will generally not be able to assume any major share of the financial burden of defense against external attack. However, it may be possible to develop effective internal security forces.
- Communist Capabilities in the United
- The Communists in the United States have recently decided upon bolder and more open solicitation of public support. Emergence of Communist leaders from the underground and increased efforts at infiltration of bona fide political, religious, labor and social groups are taking place. Augmenting this internal threat is the presence of an [Page 261]estimated 20,000 “hard-core” Communists in countries immediately adjacent to our borders. Collection of U.S. strategic data remains an important Soviet-bloc objective.
- The United States remains vulnerable to Soviet-Bloc clandestine nuclear attack, biological warfare, and conventional sabotage, through possible use of diplomatic immunity, low-flying light aircraft, merchant and small vessels, and because of our relatively unguarded coastal and land frontiers and inadequate safeguards at many vital installations and facilities.
- Soviet Political Stability. Over the next several years at least, it seems unlikely that the nature of the Soviet political system will significantly change or the stability of the regime be seriously weakened. Despite the continued existence of major problems, such as those in agriculture and possible future requirements of increases in consumer goods, there seems little likelihood of any early development of internal pressures so great as to compel a basic alteration of Soviet policies. The USSR almost certainly will not abandon its hold over the satellites, nor is it likely that any upsurge of satellite nationalism will seriously shake this hold. A prolonged reduction of tensions would accelerate the already evident decline of popular hope for liberation and hasten the process of adjustment to Communist control in the satellites. However, such a reduction might also eventually tend to alter the nature of Communist control over the satellites, although such a change would not necessarily reduce the effectiveness of such control. An extended period of reduced international tensions and wider East-West contacts would present problems for the Bloc as well as the West. The relaxation of harsh police controls may be difficult to reverse, and the promise of higher standards of living may be difficult to abandon. If a change in Soviet foreign policy required reversion to a policy of sacrifices enforced by drastic controls, internal discontent would result, although it could almost certainly be kept in check. A relaxation of domestic controls and of the atmosphere of hostility in East-West relations could, if continued over the much longer run, combine with other factors ultimately to create pressures for change within the Bloc, provided the free world prevents Communist victories.
- Communist China. Although Communist China faces internal problems much greater than those of the USSR, its control over the people is becoming increasingly firm. Meanwhile, Communist China’s prestige and influence within and outside the Bloc are growing, and the Soviet regime will remain careful to treat it as a partner. Latent conflicts of interest between the two powers may eventually develop, but the tie between the two regimes will probably remain strong at [Page 262]least for some years to come, not only for ideological reasons but also because it furthers the purposes of both nations, and because of the existence of common enemies.
- U.S. and Soviet Economic Growth. During the decade 1951–1960 Soviet industrial production will have grown from roughly one-fifth to approximately two-fifths that of the United States. However, the absolute margin of the U.S. GNP over that of the USSR will be larger at the end of the period than at the beginning. The USSR will certainly continue to devote a much higher proportion of its resources to investment and probably a somewhat larger share to military use than will the United States. The United States, and to a lesser degree the USSR, have the economic capability if necessary to increase their current military efforts. Because of the increasing importance of forces-in-being in an age of nuclear weapons, economic and industrial potential for production after war begins is becoming a less dependable measure of the ability to achieve victory in general nuclear war than in past years. However, economic and industrial potential will continue to be a critical factor in cold war.
- U.S. and Soviet Technological Capacity and Potential. The USSR has been systematically building at an accelerating rate a research and development complex of great effectiveness. It has committed manpower and monetary resources to this complex on a scale that has enabled it to rise from a position of marked inferiority and dangerously to challenge the supremacy of Western technology. The Communist technological threat is an immediate and formidable one in that advanced weapons that appear to match many of the best U.S. weapons are now becoming operational; it is a continuing one in that the Soviets have made remarkable technological progress in the last ten years and are now expanding their scientific and technological resources more rapidly than the United States. Additionally, the Soviets have developed remarkably speedy and efficient procedures for translating research into line production of excellent weapons. The possibility of their surprising the United States with new weapons that will be hard to counter cannot be discounted. Technological superiority rests heavily on the ingenuity and organizing ability of a relatively small body of scientific and engineering talent. The Soviets already equal or surpass U.S. output of scientists and engineers and, more importantly, they surpass the United States in producing teachers of science and engineering, in providing primary and secondary school instruction in these fields, and in inducing talented students to become scientists and engineers. Although they do not yet equal, they are approaching the United States in absolute numbers of scientists and engineers, and are concentrating very effectively their existing scientific engineering and production talent on the problem of military technology. The scientific potential of the U.S. allies can make a major [Page 263]contribution to the technological capabilities of the free world, and if better utilized can do much to meet the Communist technological challenge.
- Free World Economic Prospects. The
state of the U.S. economy is likely to remain the most important
key to the economic well-being of the free world. If high levels
of U.S. economic activity are maintained:
- In Western Europe, the outlook is for continued growth, despite inflationary pressures in some countries and the UK balance of payments difficulties.
- Despite improvements in its balance of payments position in the past year, Japan will face a long-run problem of supporting its growing population with its limited resources and dependence on external trade, especially as U.S. dollar expenditures decline. In order to avoid excessive dependence on trade with the Bloc, Japan must maintain expanding markets with the rest of the world.
- Economic growth among the under-developed areas seems certain to vary widely; continued rather high rates of economic growth may be expected in certain parts of Latin America, while some countries, particularly in Asia and Africa, are apt to lag. There is grave danger that the economies of certain countries with large agricultural surpluses will be increasingly oriented toward the Bloc.
- Effect of Communist Economic Progress on Other Areas. Soviet economic progress, in spite of the fact that Soviet living standards are low compared to those of the United States, will be an impressive example for many peoples with even lower living standards, arid could constitute an important element in spreading Soviet influence, especially in Asia. Communist China’s industrialization is expected to continue at a relatively rapid rate, as compared with that of other Asian countries, and will also exert considerable attractive force on Asian peoples if economic improvement in free Asia is slow or non-existent. The speed of industrialization and of improvement in living standards achieved respectively in India and in Communist China may come to be regarded in some Asian countries as a test of whether totalitarian or non-totalitarian methods are best suited for pursuing their own economic growth. Western failure to respond effectively to the needs of underdeveloped countries for outside aid in their development would, in some cases, also make them increasingly receptive to offers of Bloc aid. Although the USSR and Communist China are economically inferior to the United States and the West, their ability to absorb large amounts of goods in barter from under-developed countries has enabled them to make political gains by economic measures in this area.
- Free World Alliances. The existing structure of U.S. alliances can probably be maintained but might become less effective. There is a growing unwillingness to submerge conflicting national interests and ambitions in the face of a reduced sense of common danger; prospects [Page 264]for significantly more cohesive political groupings have diminished. Since most U.S. allies contemplate the prospective consequences of nuclear war with growing dread, they will be increasingly reluctant to participate in actions which appear to them to involve appreciable risks of war. Thus prospects for maintaining the effectiveness of free world alliances will diminish unless the United States convinces its allies of the mutual benefit of collective effort and collective defense as a deterrent. It seems unlikely, however, that even the advent of nuclear plenty would lead most U.S. allies, especially the major ones, to abandon their alliances with the United States, particularly since they recognize the vital importance of being under the umbrella of U.S. deterrent power. However, in the event of a major crisis involving, in their view, imminent danger of nuclear war, the internal strains which most U.S. allies would experience would make their behavior uncertain and unpredictable.
- Less Developed Countries. Less developed countries will continue to be a major source of weakness in the position of the free world, owing to such factors as political instability, economic backwardness, and extreme nationalism. The dangers of subversion will be great, especially in countries under the shadow of Communist power and subject to direct Communist pressures and intervention. In Southeast Asia the present situation remains precarious despite progress in Vietnam. Even in countries not immediately under Communist military pressures, e.g., India and Pakistan, dominant moderate forces will eventually lose ground if they cannot offer hope of more rapid and substantial material progress than has hitherto been achieved. Failure of the free world to deal more effectively with the problems of less developed areas will thus weaken the free world and benefit international Communism, even in countries where actual Communist takeover is not imminent.
- Colonial Areas. Such colonial areas as still exist will present certain special problems for the free world. Nationalist sentiment is spreading rapidly; colonies and dependent regions not yet heavily affected will become so within a comparatively short period. Increasing conflicts between nationalist movements and colonial powers and between natives and European settlers are thus likely. These conflicts will be difficult to compromise on any lasting basis, and will probably involve spreading violence and a progressive weakening of remaining European rule in Asia and Africa. They will present possibilities for divisions and disputes within the free world, will diminish the usefulness of Western bases, and may offer opportunities for Communist exploitation.
- Uncommitted Countries. The trend toward a greater number of uncommitted nations is likely to continue. A trend toward uncommitted groupings, independent of both the West and the USSR, may also [Page 265]emerge; for example, Afro-Asian ties will assume increasing importance, and India will probably grow in influence and may serve as the focus for a loosely coordinated group of nations. In these uncommitted nations, there will be a continuing contest for influence between the Communist Bloc and the United States and its allies; a large difference in their respective degrees of influence could substantially affect overall relative cold war positions. The dominant purposes of the uncommitted nations will be to maintain their independence and satisfy their economic aspirations. But on many cold war issues their positions tend to parallel those of the Bloc.
- Effect of Bloc Expansion. Notwithstanding the above trend, the boundaries of the Bloc remain generally clear. Any significant extension of explicit Communist control, whether resulting from external aggression or internal subversion, would have most serious consequences which might be out of all proportion to the strategic or economic significance of the territory involved. On the other hand, a contraction of areas presently under Communist control would have a comparably significant effect.
II. Probable Soviet and Chinese Communist Intentions and Strategy
Soviet External Objectives. The USSR has not modified its basic hostility toward the non-Communist world, and especially toward the United States as the power center of that world, or its long-range aim of achieving a Soviet Communist-dominated world and its belief in the ultimate triumph of Communism. The Soviet leaders can be expected to seek constantly, by every means they find advantageous, to extend Communist power and to weaken those forces, especially U.S. power and influence, which they regard as inexorable enemies of their system. However, they will almost certainly avoid pursuing their long-term goals in ways which jeopardize the security of the regime or their control of the Communist Bloc. Soviet objectives can be listed as follows:
- The security of the regime and of the USSR.
- Maintaining the Soviet hold on the European satellites, and keeping China within the Communist Bloc.
- Elimination of U.S. influence and bases from Eurasia, neutralization of U.S. allies, and isolation of the United States.
- Expansion of Soviet Communist power throughout Eurasia.
- Elimination of the United States as a competing power center.
- The spread of Communism throughout the world.
These Soviet objectives are unchanged. However, some Soviet diplomatic successes, increased striking power, and increased confidence that the United States excludes general war as a means of [Page 266]settling international disputes, have probably given the Soviet leaders more confidence in the security of their regime and the solidity of the Sino-Soviet Bloc.
- Chinese Communist External Objectives and Policy. Communist China’s external objectives are (a) the security of the regime, which the Chinese Communists consider impaired by the continued existence of a U.S. supported Nationalist Government on Taiwan; (b) the expansion of Chinese Communist power to the point where Communist China is the dominant power in Asia and U.S. influence is excluded from the Far East. Communist China’s pursuit of these objectives will be generally coordinated with the Soviet Union, but will reflect a difference of emphasis arising from its regional interests. Communist China will continue to pursue policies emphasizing political rather than military action as long as its objectives are acceptably served by this means. The Chinese Communists probably do not intend to attack Taiwan so long as the U.S. maintains its commitments to the Nationalists, but they may expect to induce a gradual erosion of the Nationalist position. Communist China will use the threat of force and continue to build up its armed forces in the Taiwan area; it may employ its armed forces against some of the off-shore islands at any time. If it avoids the use of force, Communist China will seek such potential advantages as a greater likelihood of relaxation of East-West trade controls and of achieving UN membership.
- Prospects of Communist Aggression.
- Provided that the United States and the free world have at all times an adequate military posture and the necessary determination, it appears unlikely that, within the next several years, the USSR or Communist China will deliberately initiate general war, or engage in overt military aggression which in their judgment would involve appreciable risk of large-scale hostilities with the United States. They will try to avoid courses of action which they believe would clearly involve such risk. However, they may come to estimate that offensive action limited to the off-shore islands would not involve them in large-scale hostilities with the United States. Further possibilities of Communist aggression are present in Indochina, e.g., renewed fighting in Laos or a Communist attack or large-scale insurrection against South Vietnam if the 1956 elections do not take place. Even where Communist use of force is estimated as unlikely, the threat of force greatly assists Communist subversion in peripheral area. The USSR and Communist China would, furthermore, probably not be deterred by the risk of general war from taking military counteraction against Western actions considered by them to be an imminent threat to the security of their regimes.
- Attainment of the capability to inflict crippling damage on the United States may cause the Communist powers to increase the pace of their attempts at progressive local expansion, supported by force or threat of force. They will do this, however, only if they judge that their action could succeed and would not provoke a U.S. or allied counteraction involving appreciable risk of general war. Such increased attempts at local expansion will, therefore, depend in large measure on the Bloc’s estimate of free world will and deterrent strength. An important element in this estimate would be the degree to which the Communist powers had in the meantime isolated the United States from its allies or made gains elsewhere in the free world.
- Current Soviet Policy.
- While these Soviet objectives stated above will remain unchanged, the flexibility with which they are being pursued is increasing markedly. In 1955 Communist tactics against the free nations shifted in emphasis from reliance on violence and the threat of violence to reliance on division, enticement and duplicity. While the USSR apparently desires a less tense relationship with the Western powers, it seems clear that it will not, in order to achieve this, concede territories now under its control, notably East Germany, or make any agreements which would impair the relative Soviet power position. Nor is it likely to forgo any ready opportunities for expanding its influence in other areas, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, by non-military means. The Soviets have made significant gains in technology and in the industrialization of their country and are thus in an increasingly favorable position to foster and develop trade relations with underdeveloped raw resource countries. They are seeking to use to their advantage the greater prestige and acceptance among the family of nations which resulted from the Summit Conference and thus overcome the stigma of Godless barbarism which they have borne in varying degree ever since the Russian revolution. While depicting the United States as preoccupied with military alliances and preparations, the Soviets are devoting more attention and resources than before to the elimination, by diplomatic and economic means, of U.S. influence, alliances, and bases in Asia and Africa.
- The Communist powers will maintain, and even increase, efforts to weaken and disrupt free world strength and unity and to expand the area of Communist influence or control. Particularly if the USSR succeeds in improving its reputation for peaceful intentions, such efforts will present the united States with a serious threat difficult to deal with because less likely to manifest itself through readily identifiable crises, but more likely to lead to gradual erosion of free world positions. Specifically, the Soviets will play upon changing European attitudes toward NATO, seeking to undermine confidence in the United States and to bring about an eventual withdrawal of U.S. [Page 268]forces from Europe, and will seek to pursue “popular front” tactics in such countries as France and Italy. In the Middle and Far East, the Communists will step up their campaign against Western efforts to build up defensive strength and alliances, exploiting nationalist and anti-colonialist sentiments, encouraging divisive conflicts, and employing further offers of trade and of economic and military assistance. Their aims will be to promote neutralism, undermine and replace Western influence, and create subversive assets. They may be expected to exploit the horror of nuclear warfare resulting from USSR and U.S. capabilities as suits their political purposes. In very vulnerable areas the Communists may employ more aggressive subversive tactics where it will serve their purposes to seize power or disrupt the local government.
- Free World Reaction. Wherever an ostensibly “soft” Bloc line is dominant, our allies will be prone to explore it seriously, and some will probably, in seeking a basis of “coexistence”, tend toward trusting accommodation. Even if the Bloc offers no real concession, this tendency will probably persist, supported by large segments of public opinion. The unity and resolution of the free world coalition will, therefore, be substantially affected by the U.S. ability (a) to convince its allies that the United States is making serious efforts to resolve outstanding issues by agreements compatible with free world security, and (b) meanwhile to maintain its strength while the threat persists.
- Source: Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5602 Series. Top Secret.↩
- Document 6.↩
- NIE 11–3–55 was not declassified.NIE 11–7–55, “Soviet Gross Capabilities for Attacks on the US and Key Overseas Installations and Forces Through Mid-1958,” June 23, 1955, is not printed. (Both in Department of State, INR–NIE Files) NIE 11–13–55, “Soviet Foreign Policy in the Light of the Summit Conference,” October 4, 1955, is not printed. (Ibid.) NEE 11–13/1–55, “Review of Soviet Foreign Policy in the Light of the Geneva Foreign Ministers’ Conference,” December 6, 1955, is not printed. (Ibid.) NIE 100–7–55 is Document 39. SNIE 100–8–55, “Probable Trends in the Military Programs of Selected Free World Governments,” December 13, 1955, is not printed. (Department of State, INR–NIE Files)↩
- See footnotes 2–4, Document 61.↩
- See footnote 10, Document 62.↩
- Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.↩
- As used in this paper, the term “nuclear” refers to any military device of any size or purpose which utilizes energy released in the course of nuclear fission or fusion. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- For the purposes of this estimate, “decisive” means damage such that either (1) the ability to strike back is essentially eliminated, or (2) civil, political, and cultural life is reduced to a condition of chaos. “Strike” means an action carried to completion within hours or days, as compared to an “offensive” which is of longer duration. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- “Crippling” is used to indicate a degree of destruction, disruption and loss of life that, while not decisive, would raise serious question as to the ability of the United States to recover and regain its status as a great industrial nation for a considerable period of years. [Footnote in the source text.]↩