54. Brief Prepared in the Defense Intelligence Agency0


This National Intelligence Estimate was approved by the United States Intelligence Board on 22 August 1962. Significant judgments of the Estimate are as follows:

The Union Revolutionary Council (URC), headed by General Ne Win, has full control over Burma and it can probably remain in power for a considerable period. It is unlikely that a split in the council will develop which would be serious enough to endanger the stability of the government. Ne Win may decide to relinquish office after a year or so but he can probably turn his power over to an individual or a group chosen from the URC without precipitating a serious political crisis.

The URC has announced that it will try to develop a Burmese type of socialism. Implementation of this program has not gone very far, but [Page 116] present indications are that the council plans a greater degree of state control over the economic and political life of the country than is envisaged in any Western socialist system. There is to be a single political organization, a monolithic labor union federation, and an economic system dominated by the state. While Ne Win would not knowingly allow his country to fall under Communist control, the politico-economic system which he plans may give Communists some opportunities to influence the government and to infiltrate the organizations which the government establishes.

The URC will endeavor to eliminate the insurgency which has plagued the country since independence. Through military operations it can probably improve security conditions in the constituent states. However, a solution of the problem of insurgency will depend on the adoption of both the army and the government of a program which convinces the ethnic minority groups that their claims to a special status will be respected.

The revolutionary government will follow a policy of neutrality and nonalignment, bordering on isolationism. It will seek to balance Western and Soviet influence in the country, but at first will be more concerned to reduce U.S. influence. Ne Win distrusts U.S. motives and actions in Burma and neighboring countries and his relations with the U.S. will be cool and aloof. Ne Win and the URC will continue to accord a special status to Communist China, in the belief that cordial and cooperative relations with Peiping provide the best possible defense against future aggression by their giant neighbor.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 65 A 3501, Burma 123.7–523, 1962. Secret. Sent to Secretary McNamara and Assistant Secretary Nitze under cover of a memorandum from Captain Paul L. Stahl, Acting Assistant Director for Processing, DIA.
  2. Dated August 22. (Department of State, INR/EAP Files: Lot 90 D 165)