78. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Elbrick) to the Secretary of State1


  • NSC 5608, “US Policy Toward the Soviet Satellites in Eastern Europe”2


On July 12 the NSC will consider NSC 5608, “US Policy Toward The Soviet Satellites in Eastern Europe”, which is an up-dating of NSC 174 on the same subject.3

The revision of this paper was undertaken pursuant to NSC Action No. 1530–b4 with a view to bringing US policy toward the Eastern European satellites into harmony with the evolutionary concept in NSC 5505/1.5 The paper was drafted in the Department and was approved by the NSC Planning Board without serious modifications. The most serious issue in the discussions in the Planning Board concerned the present influence of the Yugoslav example on the satellites, the Department of Defense and Joint Chiefs taking the position that, as a result of Tito’s recent visit to Moscow,6 the position of Yugoslavia was virtually indistinguishable from that of a satellite.

The present paper has somewhat modified the statement of US basic objectives in Eastern Europe and has redefined the general courses of action to bring them into conformity with the present situation in Eastern Europe and with a more realistic assessment of US capabilities to effect developments in that area.

The only bracketed language occurs in paragraph 25, on page 11, where the Treasury Department proposes restrictions with respect to the recommendation to ask authority for greater flexibility in US economic policy towards the satellites. EUR would prefer to have the bracketed section dropped in order to assure that the general courses of action not enter into unnecessary detail, but has no substantive objection to the proposal since it is not contemplated that authority would be sought to take the specific steps which Treasury desires to guard against.

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That you support approval of NSC 5608 in its present form.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5608 series. Top Secret. Drafted by Stevens; concurred by McCardle.
  2. Document 73.
  3. See infra.
  4. See footnote 7, Document 50.
  5. For text of NSC 5505/l, see vol. XXIV, p. 20.
  6. Tito visited Moscow June 1–23, 1956.