43. Paper Prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff1

JOINT STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES PLAN FOR FY 1970–1974 (JSOP-70) (U)

Part I—Purpose

1.
Time Period. This Plan covers the mid-range period beginning on 1 July 1969 (M-Day) and extends for five years thereafter.
2.
Purpose. The purpose of the Joint Strategic Objectives Plan for FY 1970–1974 (JSOP-70) is to translate national objectives and policies into military objectives, to prescribe strategic concepts for the employment of forces, to define basic undertakings to achieve these objectives and concepts, and to provide:
a.
Information to commanders of unified and specified commands, and planning and program guidance to the military services, for the mid-range period under conditions of cold, limited, and general war.
b.
The Secretary of Defense with military advice for the development of the FY 1967 budget, justification for departmental FY 1967 program [Page 113]objectives as they pertain to major combatant forces, and a reassessment of military aspects of the previously approved annual increment of the Department of Defense Five-Year Force Structure and Financial Program.
c.
Intelligence estimates of potential enemy capabilities, including capabilities of communist satellite countries, and estimates of future force levels of selected Free World countries, for use in the development of military strategy for the attainment of national objectives during the mid-range period; and planning guidance which will provide a basis for the development and accomplishment of intelligence support commensurate with planning, operational, and strategic concepts.
d.
Logistic planning guidance as a basis for the development of Service logistic plans and programs to support JSOP objective force levels.
e.
General nuclear weapon planning guidance and nuclear weapons damage considerations.
f.
Planning guidance for the conduct of counter-insurgency, unconventional, and psychological warfare.
g.
Planning guidance for the development, control, and use of chemical, biological, and radiological materials.
h.
Planning guidance for the development of requirements for appropriate maps, charts, and geodetic analyses.
i.
Communications and electronics planning guidance to support the strategy and basic undertakings of the plan.
j.
An estimate of strategically desirable and reasonably attainable force objectives for Free World allied countries as the military basis for the establishment of a US position with respect to military assistance, and for the development and review of NATO and other allied mid-range plans; and a military estimate of the minimum country forces (Force Guidelines) to achieve US objectives in nonaligned Free World countries.
k.
Advice and assistance on research and development matters by preparing statements of:
(1)
Broad strategic guidance to be used in the preparation of an integrated Department of Defense program;
(2)
Broad military capabilities desired; and
(3)
The military importance of these development activities which are essential to support the strategic concept, the military objectives, and the needs of the commanders of unified and specified commands.
l.
Planning guidance for command and control systems in support of military operations and administration.
m.
Planning guidance for development and employment of space systems in support of military objectives, strategy, and basic undertakings.

Part II—Strategic Appraisal

1.
General. This appraisal summarizes the world situation likely to affect warfare, military strategies, and the global balance of military power from the present through FY 1974. It contains a brief analysis of the communist threat and probable trends in the world situation which affect the security, objectives, and stability of the United States and other Free World nations. More detailed information is contained in the Intelligence Annex (Annex A).2 While advances in science and technology will continue to affect the development of weapons and conduct of warfare during the period, the major powers and other technologically advanced nations will continue efforts to reduce their vulnerability to attack, to protect and improve their military forces, and to improve their relative technological, political, and economic postures. For factors influencing specific technological developments during the period of the plan, see appropriate annexes.
2.
Development of the World Situation.
a.
The world situation will continue to be influenced by (1) the struggle between communist nations on the one hand and the free societies and other nations who share similar interests on the other; (2) the struggle of newly emergent and underdeveloped nations for self-determination, increased international status and influence, and a greater share of the world’s material wealth; (3) the conflicts of interests and traditional rivalries between nations and ethnic groups; (4) the internal struggles within Free World nations which tend to move them away from Free World orientation; and (5) varying degrees of discord.
b.
The Soviet Bloc will increase pressures on the Free World as opportunities present themselves, and will relax pressures when it is to its advantage to do so. Any signs of US or Allied weakness in critical situations will intensify Soviet tactics aimed at achieving advantages; the employment of communist military power will remain a constant threat. The Asian communists will seize every opportunity to undermine US standing; when they judge that circumstances permit, and attendant risks are acceptable, they will supplement political warfare with organized and externally directed and supported guerrilla action by indigenous forces, as well as by higher intensity military action. Communist China and the Soviet Union, individually and possibly in [Page 115]concert, will continue to instigate and support what they term “wars of liberation,” with the aim of weakening the position of the West and establishing communist-oriented governments. Means used to support dissidents will probably range from political and economic assistance to providing military equipment, training, and advisors. Other communist nations and communist parties in the Free World nations, with the support and encouragement of the Soviet Union and/or Communist China, will attempt increasingly to embarrass and harass the United States and nations of the Western Alliance. The Soviet and ChiCom estimates of relative US-Soviet-Communist Chinese strength and their evaluation of Western reactions to Sino or Soviet probes will be equally important to their decision as to the courses of action to pursue.
c.
Both the Soviet Union and the United States can be expected to continue their advocacy of general and complete disarmament, but basic differences continue to block any substantive agreement. Disarmament conferences, along the lines of the current Eighteen Nation Disarmament Conference, will in all probability continue. Recognizing that agreement on a comprehensive general and complete disarmament treaty cannot be achieved in the foreseeable future, both East and West are expected to continue to seek agreement on separable, more limited measures following the precedent established by the Limited Test Ban Treaty, the “Hot Line” Agreement, and the UN resolution prohibiting the orbiting of weapons of mass destruction in space. A major bar to the adoption of substantive proposals has been the unwillingness of the USSR to agree to adequate verification measures necessitating inspection on or over Soviet territory. There is little possibility that the USSR’s position on verification will make possible major disarmament agreements during the period of this plan. A basic objective of Soviet disarmament policy has been, and is expected to continue to be, elimination of the nuclear threat at the outset of disarmament without materially reducing the preponderant conventional capability of the USSR. As long as the Soviets hold to this position, any substantive disarmament agreement would be possible only at the expense of United States nuclear superiority. Unilateral measures coincident with fulfillment of military requirements or budgetary considerations are expected to be announced by both sides from time to time for their political impact as steps toward peace, and in the hope that the announcement will stimulate a similar response by the other side. Such measures might include shut-down of fissionable material production, destruction of obsolescent equipment, and total or selected cessation of weapon system production. Each side may seek propaganda advantages by selecting measures which the other side will find politically difficult or undesirable to implement. The pace, nature, and scope of arms control and disarmament measures during the period will be dependent largely [Page 116]upon the economic burden of armaments, concern over stability of the world balance of power, emergence of nuclear capable third powers, and the mutual desire to reduce the risk of nuclear war by accident, miscalculation, or surprise attack. In any case, it is possible that—in order both to achieve stabilization and to meet world pressures for reducing the danger of war—the two sides will undertake tacit agreements resulting in some degree of arms limitation.
d.
During the period of this plan the neutralists will fall into different degrees of neutrality and on many issues will tend to have conflicting positions among themselves. Nevertheless, the aggregate effect of neutralism favors the communists because the latent fear of the aggressive policies of the communist nations leads neutralists to condone communist actions which they would condemn in the West. It is probable that the period will be marked by an intense East-West struggle to attain degrees of influence over the neutralists. Thus neutralism frequently will prolong existing tensions or create new ones. If the present trend toward neutralism of some nations which are currently Western oriented is not reversed, it will become so strong that during the period of this plan it may draw nations away from the West. This development might come about through revolutions in countries such as Iran or South Vietnam with seizure of power by neutralist forces, through decisions by existing regimes in quest of the supposed benefits of neutralism, or through loss of confidence in the ability and/or willingness of the United States to support them and safeguard their sovereignties. The neutralist posture of some of these countries may produce serious security problems for the United States. Aside from the possibility of their withdrawing from Western alliances and of their efforts to balance Western with Soviet or Chinese influence, there will be continual pressures imposed on the United States for economic aid and political support; denunciations of colonialism; concessions on disarmament; and withdrawal from positions of predominance or influence. Pure neutralism, as a principle, is fundamentally incompatible with the Soviet objective of complete world domination. Nevertheless, neutralism will provide the communists with greater opportunities for penetration and subversion. Particularly in the new states, the communists will energetically foster neutralist leanings and seize upon rivalries among nations and tribes, upon the need for economic and technical aid, and upon the naivete and weaknesses of inexperienced leaders. They will thus increasingly attempt to capitalize on the fact that when a previously pro-West nation becomes neutralist, it symbolizes a defeat for the West. This provides the communists with more direct opportunities to subject these neutralist nations to new pressures and inducements.
e.
Khrushchev, Mao Tse-Tung, De Gaulle, Chiang-kai-Shek, Ho Chi Minh, Franco, Salazar, and Tito are all in their 70’s. The personality of [Page 117]each one plays an exceedingly important role in the policy formulation of the government which he leads. It can be conservatively assumed that by 1976 at least half of these leaders will have disappeared from the world scene, and others may no longer be involved in the effective control of the government in their nation. In each country there are elements desirous of changing the patterns of governmental authority. Thus, the departure or fall from power of these leaders may be marked by internal struggles for power, adjustments in national objectives and tactics, and changes in international relations.
f.
Newly emergent nations will continue to be characterized by extreme nationalism, internal dissension, instability in political and economic institutions, and a tendency to concentrate disproportionately on external affairs to assert their independence and bid for world status. Political, military, social, and economic vulnerabilities will offer the communists opportunities, at relatively minor risk, for supporting subversive insurgency, for political, psychological and economic exploitation, including restrictive trade agreements, and for the supply of arms and technicians. It is expected that many new nations will identify themselves with revolutionary and “anti-imperialistic” causes. However, Free World assistance, disenchantment with Soviet and ChiCom forms of assistance, and the political, economic, military and cultural ties between former colonial powers and their former colonies will tend to counter communist efforts. Success of Western efforts to prevent a communist alignment among these new nations will depend largely upon the methods, resoluteness, and initiative displayed by Free World nations in combating communist subversion and persuasion. Full communist control of a nation, once established, is unlikely to end except through introduction of outside military assistance or forces. The communists will continue to employ threats and alternating belligerency and tractability in the attempt to gain advantage. They will continue to use to their advantage the United Nations Organization and impede peacekeeping arrangements, unless it serves their purposes to do otherwise.
g.
The Sino-Soviet dispute will probably continue to have its ups and downs, and in certain circumstances relations between the two states might improve considerably. However, the rift is so deep and the national interest of each party so heavily engaged that there is now virtually no chance of reconciliation under the present leaders. The international movement may now be on the eve of a formal split, but whether or not this step is taken, the bitter struggle for control and influence over the Communist parties will continue. Further tension in state relations between China and the USSR also seems likely, especially on the common frontier. The demise of either or both of the present leaders would offer some prospect of temporary amelioration of the [Page 118]dispute, but it is believed that the fundamental differences between the two powers would remain.
h.
The international communist movement as a whole is likely to be characterized by increased dispersion of authority and by more independent conduct by various parties. Although Soviet power remains a major factor in Eastern Europe, further manifestations of autonomous and nationalist behavior will probably occur. Among world-wide communist parties a trend toward regionalism is foreseen in the Far East, and perhaps in Western Europe and Latin America. The Sino-Soviet competition for influence will in some cases lead to further splits within individual parties. At the same time the USSR and Communist China will remain powerful sources of material support for their respective followers, and will retain considerable operational influence. For the noncommunist world this situation offers important advantages and some dangers. The assertion of divergent national interests by communist powers offers an opportunity for the West to deal profitably with some of them individually. The Sino-Soviet conflict increasingly is absorbing the energies of the USSR and Communist China and diverting them from sharp contentions with the major Western powers. Among the non-governing communist parties, a few have already suffered severe setbacks as a result of the conflict. On the other hand, some communist parties will become more effective and will gain greater freedom of action and respectability because of their more independent status. While in some countries the parties will tend to lose their rationale and elan, in others they will probably emerge as more formidable revolutionary organizations, though more national than international in character. Regardless of internal quarrels, Communists will retain an underlying enmity toward the West if only because their convictions are in so many respects incompatible with traditional Western concepts of political and economic life.
i.
Technological and scientific advancement is expected to continue at a rapid pace within the Soviet Union. Soviet propaganda will capitalize on any success such as those in space and will cite any significant advance as proof of the superiority of the communist system.
j.
In economic strength, the United States is presently well ahead of other countries. The Common Market area and Japan will continue to show impressive economic gains although some slowing of the rate of economic growth is expected. The quality, diversity and technological level of production in Communist China, although improving, will remain considerably below that of Japan, the USSR and the industrial nations of the West. Soviet Bloc policy will continue to emphasize growth and expansion of the bases of national power. Bloc economic planning will include continued maintenance of great military strength, continued efforts to enlarge its penetration of world markets, and [Page 119]expansion of trade and aid programs to selected underdeveloped countries and prospective satellites.
k.
The socio-politico-economic bases of the USSR and Communist China will continue to contain inherent though slow-acting weaknesses potentially vulnerable to exploitation by the United States and its allies.
l.
The period under review may witness various changes directly influencing the future of NATO. Critics of NATO will be increasingly active, seeking and examining alternatives to the present concepts, organization, and power relationships in the Alliance. New national leaders will undoubtedly emerge, perhaps bringing new policies and proposals. Future developments within the Common Market (EEC) will have implications for NATO. Such questions as independent nuclear capability and nuclear sharing are issues which will present complex problems within the Alliance. France can be expected to continue to press forward her concepts of regional groupings of “independent national forces,” while nevertheless continuing assurances of wartime support of the Alliance. West Germany is likely to continue her efforts to establish bilateral, logistical and other arrangements with various nations, and may seek to reduce remaining treaty restrictions on armaments imposed by the Western European Union (WEU). Problems of defense arising out of member-nations’ military commitments outside of the NATO area may place a strain on NATO’s force levels. Individual nations will no doubt exercise an increased freedom of action and there may be changes in the present NATO Treaty arrangements. Within the NATO area, current trends suggest the development of European policies less responsive to US leadership. Similarly, there may be criticisms or agitation for changes in other Alliances of which the United States is a member. The continuing strength and cohesion of US military alliances will depend to a large degree upon the ability of the United States to recognize and cope with the divisive forces threatening our mutual security arrangements.
m.
Yugoslavia will continue to take positions on many matters which coincide with those of the USSR and which give considerable support to the Bloc; it will not abandon its basic policy of nonalignment. Yugoslavia is unlikely to become a member of the Warsaw Pact and would probably seek to remain nonbelligerent in any East-West confrontation.
n.
Sweden and Finland are expected to maintain their present nonalignment. Spain, while continuing to desire closer ties with NATO, will be preoccupied with internal problems, particularly with regard to raising the level of its economy.
o.
Trends. There are certain discernible world trends affecting the development of strategy. Although the evolution of these trends cannot [Page 120]be predicted with precision, the United States must be aware of them and give them appropriate consideration. Among these trends are the following:
(1)
Many independent actions by current allies and newly emerging nations may induce modifications to policies and posture. Changes in the communist policies and power alignments may have equal and probably greater impact on the world situation. The Soviet and Chinese Communist split will probably continue, and the European satellites will continue to have a greater measure of latitude in their own management. The Mao Tse-Tung-Ho Chi Minh-Che Guevara concepts of the “wars of national liberation” will continue to be exploited in rural peasant societies all over the world. In Cuba, in North Vietnam, in Algeria, this concept has been successful. In many countries in Latin America, Africa, and in Southeast Asia, the communists can be expected to continue their efforts.
(2)
There will be continuing pressure towards neutralization in Southeast Asia, which, should it occur, would present an inevitable opportunity for communist acquisition of power in that part of the world.
(3)
Control of world events probably will become more diffused with a proliferation of centers of influence, with possible unexpected turns. Cuba will continue to be a Latin American political influence, even though militarily confined and economically weak. France, Communist China, and Egypt will continue to exert influence in their respective spheres. Africans are groping toward some kind of cohesiveness, and, if successful, may exert some common influence on world issues.
(4)
The rate of development during the period of this plan of the latent power potential of India and Communist China and their relationships with Japan will be critical factors in the future of Asia. If these states grow in influence in relation to their potential, and, although unlikely, if either or both achieve an economic and political accommodation with Japan, Asia may develop an international political system that is less dependent on the West. The relative influence of the United States and the USSR may thus decrease correspondingly.
(5)
The shift to polycentrism will be at the tolerance of the United States and the USSR. The world power structure may contain several centers of political power, but at the same time will remain largely bipolar in terms of military power. Many of these new, and militarily weak, centers of influence will be vulnerable to internal communist subversion or internal instability.
(6)
The nature of the communist threat has altered; it is now becoming more diffused and world-wide. Continued failure of some Allies to [Page 121]meet force goals, the inability to reach agreement on new strategic concepts, and the trend toward national control of forces, are significant indications that the current NATO military concept will continue to have diminished acceptability. US military concepts should take into account:
(a)
the increased European potential to defend itself conventionally and to support European interests world-wide when these are threatened;
(b)
the continued European reliance on the US nuclear arsenal along with the lesser capabilities of Great Britain and France; and
(c)
the continued reliance on the cohesive common link of maritime communications.
(7)
The emergence of new nations and the rehabilitation of old ones, all with a high emotional content of nationalism, probably will mean a continuation rather than a diminishment of US overseas base problems. Exceptions to this would include such places where the continued presence of US forces is needed to serve the national interests of the countries concerned or of the governments now in power in those countries. An overseas base will be tolerable to the host country only to the extent that the interests of the host and tenant coincide.
(8)
As the power structure of the world moves from bipolarity to polycentrism, the interests of the many nations around the world may diverge. The basic problems will be political and ideological and often overlain with national ego and emotion. In this environment, it would appear that the US military apparatus should be able to meet the full spectrum of possibilities with a strategy of flexible response.
3.
Regional Appraisal.
a.
General. It can be expected that communist policies and actions will be marked by subversion and opportunism. Soviet and Chinese Communist leaders undoubtedly will continue to seek, instigate and support new developments favorable to their interests, particularly in Africa, Latin America, SE Asia, and the Middle East. Both Communist China and the Soviet Union will continue to compete in establishing a strong influence in Africa, in stimulating and exploiting leftist and revolutionary movements in Latin America, and in encouraging the growth of a radical anti-American mass movement in Japan and elsewhere as expediency dictates. The USSR and Communist China will use forms of enticement and pressure which they consider advantageous and appropriate to a particular time and circumstance. These pressures will include political, diplomatic, cultural and economic initiatives as well as propaganda and the threat of military action. Both the Soviets and the Chinese Communists will continue to drive aggressively for the control of peoples and areas through subversion and infiltration to capture and exploit local movements and issues. Above all, the Soviets [Page 122]intend to build up their national base of power and their “great nation” image in the belief that they can improve their over-all position.
b.
European Area. The Soviet Bloc is expected to continue to take actions designed to improve their over-all military posture, intimidate and divide the West. They will seek to:
(1)
confirm the division of Germany;
(2)
consolidate communist rule in Eastern Europe;
(3)
gain Western acceptance of the permanence and legitimacy of communist regimes;
(4)
limit the resurgence of West Germany as a potent military power;
(5)
bring about the withdrawal of US military power;
(6)
discourage increases in Allied military capability;
(7)
frustrate NATO nuclear arrangements and prevent the further proliferation of Allied nuclear capability;
(8)
reduce the credibility of the Allied response in critical situations;
(9)
weaken and bring about the dissolution of NATO; and
(10)
increase the political participation of communist parties in the national political life of some Western European countries.
c.

Middle East. The prime objective of the USSR is to expand Soviet Bloc influence in the Middle East in order to exercise control of the area. To achieve this objective attempts will be made to:

(1)
Eliminate important Western positions and influence in the area; and, deny the Middle East and its resources to the West;
(2)
Dissolve CENTO;
(3)
Exploit the Arab nationalist movement to their advantage;
(4)
Obtain access to Africa through the Middle East; and
(5)
Control strategically important communications routes in the area.

The Soviet Union will continue to face setbacks in attempting to achieve their objectives in the area and will remain alert for diplomatic moves or local communist action arising from the intricate political rivalries in the area. The Soviets will be willing to assist the UAR to achieve those objectives common to both countries including resistance to presence of US and UK in the Middle East. The UAR can be expected to continue its drive for Arab unity under its leadership. It is believed that Communist China will not achieve a significant position in the area within the mid-range period.

d.
Africa. The Soviet Union and Communist China will continue to develop economic, cultural, and diplomatic relations with African nations, seeking to penetrate and subvert their political structure and influence their alignment.
(1)
Frustration of the communist objectives of developing socialist states aligned with the Soviet Union or Communist China, and the creation of democratic political institutions supported by a viable, free [Page 123]enterprise economy will be a most difficult struggle. If this goal is to be attained, it will be due to a program of helpful guidance and material support from various Western powers extending some of the traditional influence of the former colonial regimes which have engendered a loyalty to the West and an aversion to communist dictatorial schemes.
(2)
Most of the independent states of Africa have to a degree been penetrated by communist movements or agents. In those countries disrupted by internal strife such as the two Congos and Sudan, and in those states disrupted by hostilities with their neighbors such as Somalia and Algeria, communist inroads have been substantial. In newly emerging states and those dominated by over-eager dictators such as those in Guinea and Ghana, communists have been invited into positions of authority or influence.
(3)
The blandishments of the Soviets and Chinese Communists will undoubtedly be effective in many African states in the future, particularly as independence is observed to carry more responsibilities and fewer benefits than anticipated. Communist cadres and agents now exist in North, West, Central and East Africa and their influence and success in individual countries will continue during the mid-range period. Communist penetration within the area will be enhanced through the training of revolutionary leaders in Communist China and the Soviet Union.
e.
Asia and the Far East
(1)
Despite Sino-Soviet rivalry, the USSR and Communist China are expected to continue their efforts to supplant Western influence in Asia and undermine the governments and politico-economic institutions of non-communist or neutral Asian nations. Efforts of the communists to denigrate the effectiveness and to bring about the dissolution of SEATO will continue. Communist China will continue efforts to achieve recognition as a major world power and the dominant power in Asia. In contrast, Asian national leaders probably will be more reluctant to assume a strong stand in opposition to Communist China unless they have guarantees of swift, successful and unequivocal Western protection. Even with such guarantees, however, the countries of SE Asia will be strongly influenced by their appraisal of the actual circumstances in which the loss of any territory in SE Asia to the communists might occur, particularly with respect to the attitude and actions of the United States.
(2)
Indonesia probably will attempt to maintain a neutralist position and seek a balance in relations with major communist and non-communist nations. Indonesia will continue to use available means to achieve hegemony over additional island territory in the area, particularly Portuguese Timor and Malaysian Borneo, while simultaneously [Page 124]attempting to spread her influence in SE Asia. Indonesia will continue to rely on the USSR for substantial military assistance and aid and on opportune arrangements with Western or with other communist nations. In view of growing Indonesian economic difficulties, it cannot be ruled out that Sukarno may elect to precipitate an external involvement to avoid internal crises which might topple his regime and upset the Indonesian communist and non-communist political groupings.
(3)
The Soviets desire to build up good will and enhance Soviet prestige in India against the time when prospects for communist acquisition of power are considerably improved. While India appears determined to check Chinese expansion in the Northern border areas, she remains more preoccupied with Pakistan. The Indians, while accepting US and British assistance, are unlikely to invite direct US or UK military presence in the area unless there is a renewal of hostilities in the Sino-Indian border region.
(4)
Prospects for settlement of the India/Pakistan Kashmir dispute, while increasing slightly since Nehru’s death, remain dim. A by-product of this dispute and of the general Indo-Pakistani hostility could have far-reaching effects in spheres of immediate US interests. The prospect of continuing US/UK military aid to India has caused strong resentment in Pakistan. To counter both the presumed threat from India and the perennial danger of pressure from the USSR, Pakistan probably will continue to improve her relations with Communist China. It is doubtful, however, that Pakistan will go so far as to withdraw from SEATO or CENTO despite her threats to do so.
(5)
The USSR’s political relations with Japan are likely to remain at an impasse. The USSR will continue to reject Japanese claims to the southern Kuriles and to insist upon abrogation of the defense treaty with the United States as a precondition for normalizing Soviet/Japanese relations with a peace treaty. The USSR would probably relax somewhat its present unyielding position, however, if it detected in Tokyo signs of a willingness to loosen ties with the United States.
(6)
The communists desire to establish control in Laos and South Vietnam at an early date. The USSR is not disposed to make heavy sacrifice or to jeopardize other objectives vis-à-vis the West in order to make immediate advances in an area which is of more direct concern to North Vietnam and Communist China. The USSR is likely, therefore, to refrain from military actions and seek to avoid a US/USSR confrontation rather than accept the risks involved in a substantial effort to sustain the Pathet Lao and Viet Cong. The threat of large-scale intervention by ChiCom military forces will continue behind the communists’ activities in this area as well as in Korea. Communist infiltration, [Page 125]subversion, support and control of so-called “wars of national liberation” in SE Asia could increase. The ChiComs are not likely, however, to resort to direct intervention as long as they calculate that their ends can be achieved through means short of overt war. They will not hesitate, as illustrated by their actions in Tibet and on the Sino-Indian border, to resort to overt military action when they believe it is necessary and when in their opinion the risk of military confrontation with the United States is low. Effective action to halt infiltration, insurgency and subversion will continue to be an urgent requirement. While military limitations and concern over retaliation by the United States will deter Communist China from attempting a military conquest of Taiwan, they could undertake certain limited military action in the Taiwan Straits area to test Nationalist Chinese defenses and to probe US determination.
f.
Latin America
(1)
Latin America will continue to be a primary target for Soviet and ChiCom penetration. Their efforts will almost certainly intensify during the period, and they will continue to push their campaign to:
(a)
Isolate the United States from its traditional allies;
(b)
Nullify hemispheric unity;
(c)
Infiltrate and subvert vulnerable countries;
(d)
Strengthen and exploit their present foothold in Latin America.
(2)
The Soviets and ChiComs will continue to use Cuba as a base from which to expand communist influence further into the Western Hemisphere and as a significant factor in world-wide negotiations. Cuba will be closely watched by Latin American and other nations as a measure of the relative strength and resolution of the United States and the Soviet Union. Periodic crises will almost certainly continue to occur in Latin America throughout the period. For the most part, based on the assumption of continued US support, the area will almost certainly remain US-oriented, although in the face of internal and external communist pressures, some nations can be expected to adopt an increasingly independent position. In addition to the already established Cuban communist government, the coming to power of a communist government by one or more of the Latin American republics during this time frame is possible. In this precarious political situation, the communists will seek advantage in whatever promising revolutionary developments occur.
4.
The Soviet Bloc Threat
a.
General. While striving to improve Soviet Bloc security, especially that of the USSR, the Soviet rulers will attempt to advance toward their over-all objective of achieving a communist world under Soviet leadership.
b.
Soviet Economic Problems and Outlook
(1)
A number of serious long-run problems in the Soviet economy have recently reached an acute stage. Over-all growth is lagging, various sectors of the economy are intensifying competition for scarce resources, agricultural production is falling far short of needs, large wheat purchases in 1963 have greatly aggravated the hard-currency deficit, and gold stocks are nearing a critically low level. This situation is due in part to chronic Soviet mismanagement, but mainly to the burdens imposed on the economy by a series of programs too ambitious for available resources. The demands of defense and space have greatly encumbered economic growth since 1958. Recently, industry has been adversely affected, as well as agriculture and the production of consumer goods.
(2)
Soviet leaders have now launched a new effort to cope with their most intractable economic problem—the stagnation of agriculture—through a large expansion of the chemical industry, especially for the production of fertilizer. They apparently expect to finance this program from the expansion they anticipate in the economy, from cutbacks in some non-defense programs, and from large and long-term Western credits. But it is also thought that the Soviets will make every effort to hold down defense and space expenditures so as to release scarce resources for investment in the civilian economy.
(3)
While defense expenditures could decline, it is thought more likely that they will continue to grow, though at a slower pace than in the recent past. In the short term, the Soviet leaders have the option of reducing force levels, but in the long term they must consider the advisability of curtailing or stretching out one or more programs for advanced weapons.
(4)
The Soviets will make sustained efforts to expand trade with the West, and particularly to obtain large and long-term Western credits. This will help foster continued restraint in the tone of Soviet foreign policy, though not major concessions of substance.
c.
Attitude Toward War
(1)
Soviet thinking about military policy is influenced by a general outlook which asserts that historical forces are moving inexorably in the direction of communism. Soviet leaders see military power as serving two basic purposes: defense of their system and support for its expansion. Thus, one of the most important objectives of Soviet military policy is to deter general war while the USSR prosecutes its foreign policies by means short of actual hostilities involving Soviet forces. Military power is constantly brought into play in direct support of these policies, through the threats which give force to Soviet political demands, through the stress on its growing power which is intended to gain [Page 127]respect for the Soviet state and its communist system, and through the military aid and support rendered to allies, friendly but neutral regimes, and anti-Western movements. As long as the relative strategic balance of forces is in favor of the West, it is highly unlikely except through miscalculation or misadventure, that the Soviets would initiate general war. There is, however, good evidence that the Soviets, in recognition of this imbalance, are striving to enhance their capabilities relative to the West.
(2)
The Soviets wish to have the forces to fight wars effectively should they occur. Except for so-called “wars of national liberation,” their political outlook, their military programs of recent years, and intelligence on their current intentions all suggest that the Soviet leaders do not regard war as desirable. They realize their deterrent must be credible in the sense that it rests upon powerful military forces. Moreover, they recognize that deterrence may fail in some key confrontation in which, despite their best efforts to retain control over risks, either they or their opponents come to feel that vital interests are under challenge. Against this contingency they wish to have a combination of offensive and defensive capabilities which will enable them to seize the initiative if possible, to survive enemy nuclear attack, and to go on to prosecute the war successfully. Although logically they must think that a deliberate Western attack on them is improbable, they appear to have genuine apprehensions.
(3)
Devoted as they are to the need for implacable struggle against the “capitalist” world until communist domination is assured, and to the view that power—in its broadest economic, military and political sense—is the key ingredient in this struggle, the Soviets see their priority objective as constantly trying to change the East-West balance of power and the world conception of that balance in their favor. To this end they persistently endeavor to enhance the components of their economic, military, and scientific strength and no less important, their political position in the world arena. Soviet boasts of military prowess and superiority over the West are designed to back up their political initiatives by exploiting present and future Soviet power potential. At the same time, the Soviets do what they can to undermine and denigrate the power of the West in these respects.
(4)
Fundamental hostility toward the non-communist world defines one limit of Soviet foreign policy; so long as it persists, the USSR will regard international issues as opportunities progressively to weaken and undermine its opponents, and not as occasions for conciliation which would protect the interests of all parties. The other limit, which puts a check upon this aggressiveness, is the Soviet leaders’ awareness that their own nation and system would face destruction in a general [Page 128]nuclear war. Both their statements and their actions in recent years have demonstrated their unwillingness to run any considerable risks of this eventuality. This does not mean, however, that they would always estimate the risks correctly, nor does it mean that they would abandon interests they considered vital in order to avoid grave risk of nuclear war. Barring the development of a decisive weapon system, the Soviets almost certainly consider that neither side will deliberately initiate a general war or react to any crisis in a manner which would gravely risk such a war, unless vital interests were considered to be in jeopardy.
(5)
It is believed that the Soviets are unlikely as a matter of general policy, to assume the military and political risks involved in using their own forces in overt military operations to achieve local gains. They would probably employ Soviet forces, as necessary, if some Western military action in areas adjacent to a communist country threatened the integrity of the Soviet Bloc itself. Even in the latter case, however, they would attempt to use their forces in a way calculated to achieve their local objectives, to end hostilities rapidly and to control risks of escalation. At a much lower level, they will almost certainly encourage and support the use of force by pro-communist forces when they believe that a local situation is ripe for forceful exploitation and that the challenge to Western interests is not direct enough to involve uncontrollable risks of a direct encounter between United States and Soviet forces.
(6)
This estimate of Soviet views on general and local war is generally consistent with their officially announced positions. They also distinguish a category of “Wars of national liberation, or popular uprisings.” They are carefully vague, however, in discussing the forms their support would take, and in particular, have neither promised nor hinted that Soviet forces would join in the fighting. Soviet actions, however, indicate that it is not their intent to usher in a new phase of vigorous Soviet incitement of such conflicts everywhere or of maximum military assistance to “national liberation” forces.
(7)
It seems likely that Soviet emphasis on “national liberation” warfare is intended in part to meet Chinese criticisms of the USSR. Despite Chinese pressures, it does not appear that the USSR will give full political and material support nor commit its prestige to all armed anti-Western movements in the under-developed areas. It is believed that the Soviets will continue to follow an opportunistic policy in this regard.
d.
Future Trends in Soviet Military Programs
(1)
Strategic Attack Forces. In the buildup of strategic strike forces, the Soviets have recently been placing major emphasis upon weapons for inter-continental attack, particularly ICBMs. It is believed that the Soviet ICBM force will grow in numbers and improve in quality, as will [Page 129]their missile submarine force, and they will continue to possess a significant though reduced force of bombers. In the ICBM force, qualitative improvement will be emphasized; it is believed that the Soviets will introduce follow-on systems characterized by better accuracy, larger payloads, better reliability, and easier handling and maintenance. It is believed that they will also attempt to improve survivability by deploying a greater proportion of their ICBMs in hard sites, by providing their submarines with the recently developed submerged launch ballistic missiles which have longer range than their present surface launched missiles and by increasing the readiness of their strategic forces. If current estimates are correct, it would appear that the Soviets would not be able during the period of this plan to pursue successfully a strategy of attacking US nuclear striking forces prior to launch to such an extent that damage inflicted by US retaliatory strikes could be considered acceptable, but they will have a force capable of attacking major US cities and a portion of US nuclear delivery forces or, alternatively, of varying the relative weight of effort on these two target systems. Similarly, the Soviet Union probably would have a significant capability for retaliation even after an initial US attack. It is believed that Soviet strategic attack forces intended for Eurasian operations are nearing planned levels. The large missile forces deployed primarily against Europe will probably remain at about their present size, but survivability will be enhanced through hardening and possibly by the introduction of ground mobile systems. The medium bomber force will probably decline in size over the next several years, but capabilities will probably improve with the continued introduction of supersonic aircraft. Thus, the Soviets will maintain massive forces for strategic attack in Eurasia and will improve these forces.
(2)
Strategic Defense Forces. Although the Soviets are aware of planned reductions in US bomber forces, this threat will remain a matter of great concern for the period of this estimate. The massive defenses deployed over the past several years provide a measure of the Soviets’ concern with this problem, and evidence indicates that the Soviets are continuing to strengthen these defenses. The total number of interceptor aircraft will probably decline, but a larger percentage of the remaining force will be all-weather types. Deployment of the SA–3 for low-altitude defense probably will continue in order to supplement the existing medium and high altitude defenses around the more important targets and astride what the Soviets consider to be the more likely peripheral penetration routes. It is possible that more attention will be given to sheltering the civil population from fallout, but in view of construction needs in the economy, it is doubted that a large-scale shelter program will be undertaken. The Soviets might hope through development and deployment of an antimissile system to offset US strategic [Page 130]superiority to some extent. The available evidence leads to the conclusion that the Soviets have not yet been successful in developing effective and reliable systems for defense against strategic missiles. It is believed that the Soviets would not regard as acceptable for wide-scale deployment any ABM system that does not have continuous readiness and an almost instantaneous reaction time together with a very high level of accuracy, reliability, and discrimination. Considering the effort devoted to ABM development, it is possible, though by no means certain, that the Soviets will achieve such a system within the period of this appraisal. When and if a satisfactory system is developed, the Soviet leaders will have to consider the great cost of large-scale deployment. They would almost certainly wish to defend key urban-industrial areas and they may seek to defend some portion of their ICBM force in order to strengthen their deterrent. Beyond these generalizations, the extent to which they would commit resources to ABM defenses cannot be estimated.
(3)
Soviet Ground Forces. The Soviet ground forces are formidable and modern, with a large number of combat strength divisions backed up by a large mobilization potential. All presently existing divisions have been at least nominally converted to one of three types: tank, motorized rifle, or airborne. The modernization program has made heavy demands on resources in short supply in the USSR, and it is believed that Soviet ground force capabilities are still adversely affected by quantitative and qualitative deficiencies in equipment. During the past several years, the Soviets have reduced the total number of their divisions and have also reduced the proportion maintained at high levels of combat readiness. It is estimated that the total number of Soviet divisions lies in the range 110–140 and that 60–75 of these are now maintained at combat strength, i.e., at 85 percent or more of total authorized wartime personnel strength. The remainder are at either reduced strength (60–70 percent of authorized personnel) or at cadre strength (25 percent or less). The modernization of Soviet ground forces will continue. The extent of improvement, however, will be closely related to trends in total size; the larger the forces which the USSR, elects to retain, the more it will have to contend with obsolescence and shortages. The Soviets may, therefore, choose to maintain a smaller number of ground divisions which could be kept at a higher state of readiness. If the Soviets decide that they must seriously respond to the contingency of non-nuclear warfare, they will probably provide increased combat support as well as increased service support. Present trends in the ground weapons development program point to a continuing emphasis on firepower and mobility. The Soviets could probably have the numbers of tactical nuclear weapons which they would consider requisite for theater forces within two or three years, unless priority [Page 131]is given to air and missile defense warheads. Soviet procedures for the control and use of such weapons are likely to improve significantly. More and better general purpose vehicles and increased reliance on pipelines will reduce somewhat the Soviet dependence on rail lines for logistic support. In recent years, Soviet theater forces have acquired important tactical missile capabilities, including unguided rockets and ballistic and cruise missiles. Nuclear and toxic chemical bombs and warheads have been provided for tactical use; it is believed that their release is kept under strict political control. During the past year, the Soviets appear to have modified somewhat their expectation that any major conflict in Europe would either be nuclear from the start or would inevitably escalate. Their recent writings indicate that some thought has been given to the possibility of non-nuclear war in Europe. While Soviet capabilities to conduct non-nuclear warfare remain formidable, efforts to gear their theater forces for nuclear operations have had some adverse effects on conventional capabilities.
(4)
Strategic Deployment Capability. In recent years, the USSR has increased its concern with areas remote from its borders, and the Cuban venture shows that it can deploy small ground and air contingents to distant areas and maintain them once deployed. However, there is no evidence that the USSR has established any special military component trained and equipped specifically for independent small scale operations, and it is severely limited in airlift, sealift, and naval support suitable for distant, limited military operations. It is possible that over the next few years the Soviets will seek to improve their capabilities for such operations through the designation and training of appropriate forces, and the development of equipment specifically for their use and logistic support. They may attempt to overcome their geographic disadvantages for applying such forces by negotiations with neutralist countries to utilize available facilities for refueling and maintenance of Soviet military aircraft or naval ships.
(5)
Naval Forces. Much of the impetus for change in the Soviet Navy has come from the USSR’s concern over the threat posed by US carrier task forces and missile submarines. The Soviets now have operational about 45 ballistic missile submarines—nine of them nuclear-powered—which carry a combined total of about 125 short-range (350 nm) missiles designed for surfaced launching. The USSR is developing longer range missiles for launching from submerged submarines. In addition, the Soviets have developed submarine-launched cruise missiles, which are probably designed primarily for use against ships but could be employed against land targets. In mid-1967, the Soviets will probably have more than two dozen nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, and about 20 nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines. By that time, they will probably have initiated routine submarine patrols [Page 132]within missile range of the United States. The USSR’s capabilities to conduct naval warfare in the open seas rest primarily upon the submarine force, which is capable of mounting a large scale torpedo attack and mining campaign against Allied naval targets and sea communications in the eastern North Atlantic and northwestern Pacific. Its capabilities for operations near the continental United States are more limited, but are growing. Capabilities against carrier task forces have been improved by the conversion of jet bombers to employ anti-ship missiles, by the introduction of submarines equipped with cruise-type missiles, and by increased air reconnaissance of open ocean areas by Long Range and Naval Aviation. The Soviets have also placed increasing emphasis on improvement of ASW forces in coastal areas and in the open seas. It is believed the Soviet Navy is capable of carrying out fairly effective ASW operations in coastal areas, but that it has a negligible ASW capability in the open seas. Despite the effort which they almost certainly are devoting to this problem, it is believed that over the next five years, the USSR will be able to achieve only a limited capability to detect, identify, localize, and maintain surveillance on submarines operating in the open seas.
(6)
Tactical Aviation and Missiles. It is believed that the Soviets will continue to modernize Tactical Aviation, improving its ground attack capabilities in particular. It is expected that the rate of modernization will increase over the next few years, and that tactical aircraft with much improved range and payload characteristics will be introduced. It is expected that there will be a gradual decline in total numbers of tactical aircraft. The numbers of guided missiles in Soviet theater forces will probably remain about constant, but new and improved systems will probably be introduced. It appears likely that additional free rocket launchers will be assigned to divisions. Field force air defense capabilities will improve over the next few years through the modernization of Tactical Aviation and probably through the introductions of the SA–3 or follow-on SAM systems into ground formations. It is believed that a transportable ABM system for field force defense against ballistic missiles having ranges of several hundred nm could probably achieve operational status during 1964. There is no basis for determining the extent to which such a system may be deployed, but it seems likely that considerable improvement of defenses against aircraft would be a prerequisite to deploying an ABM vulnerable to aircraft attack.
(7)
Nuclear Weapons. In the extensive 1961–1962 nuclear test series, the Soviets probably satisfied their most pressing weapons test requirements. Research and development in this field over the next few years will probably continue to focus upon the exploitation of these test results, and their translation into weapons. The Soviet weapons stockpile still consists largely of weapons developed from tests conducted [Page 133]before the moratorium of 1958. It is estimated that, in general, a minimum of about two years is required after testing before a new nuclear weapon begins to enter stockpile. Thus, some weapons developed in the 1961–1962 test series are probably now entering inventory, with priority probably given to strategic weapons, particularly ICBM warheads. Probable trends in stockpile weapons include higher yields for strategic weapons and a broader spectrum of weapons for tactical use. As the stockpile of fissionable materials grows, restrictions on the availability of weapons for tactical use and for strategic defense will ease.
(8)
Chemical Warfare. It is believed that the USSR now possesses a substantial chemical warfare capability based on extensive stocks of CW agents, a variety of chemical munitions, including warheads for tactical rockets and missiles, and a wide range of defensive equipment. The Soviet CW research and development program continues to be active on a scale generally comparable with that in the US. Current efforts are focused on developing new toxic agents and munitions for their delivery. The lack of a satisfactory method for timely nerve agent detection remains a major weakness. Many studies potentially applicable to discovery and development of nonlethal incapacitating agents are in process, and a new agent of this type could appear at any time.
(9)
Space Weapons. On the basis of evidence presently available, it is not possible to determine the existence of Soviet plans or programs for the military use of space, apart from the Cosmos photographic satellites, which probably perform military support functions. However, it is believed the USSR almost certainly is investigating the feasibility of space systems for offensive and defensive weapon systems. Soviet decisions to develop military space systems will depend on their expected costs and effectiveness as compared with alternative systems, possible political advantages or disadvantages, and the Soviet estimate of US intentions and capabilities in comparable fields. For accomplishing military missions it is believed that within this decade, orbital weapons will not compare favorably with ICBMs in terms of reaction time, targeting flexibility, vulnerability, average life, and positive control. In view of these considerations, the much greater cost of orbital weapon systems, and Soviet endorsement of the UN resolution against nuclear weapons in space, it is believed that the Soviets are unlikely to develop and deploy an orbital weapon system of military significance within the period of this estimate. If they should nevertheless do so, developmental testing should be observable at least a year or two prior to their attainment of an accurate, reliable system. In the defensive weapons field, it is believed that the Soviets intend to develop a capability to counter US military satellites. By modification of existing equipment, including air defense early warning radars and ballistic missiles, the Soviets probably could develop a limited anti-satellite capability within [Page 134]a few months after a decision had been made to do so. Evidence indicating that the Soviets have made such a decision is not available. The Soviets could also be working toward a system designed specifically for satellite interception, but it is almost certain that no such system is operational at present. The use of co-orbiting satellites or other advanced techniques during the period of this estimate seems much less likely.
(10)
Soviet Bloc leaders probably continue to view their combined military power as adequate to meet military situations in Eurasia in which the nuclear capabilities of the Western Powers are not involved. They probably also conclude that they possess sufficient military power to deter the West from launching general war except under extreme threat to vital national or common interests. They almost certainly conclude that in the event of general war their military power would be unable to prevent unacceptable damage to the Soviet Union.
e.
Deterrence. The Soviets see the present situation as one in which both sides are deterred from deliberately initiating general war or from knowingly initiating courses of action which would involve grave risk of such a war. They undoubtedly recognize the superiority of the United States in strategic power, but they are confident that they possess a credible deterrent based on both their massive capabilities against Eurasia and their growing intercontinental striking forces. Thus, the Soviet leaders do not regard the deliberate initiation of general war as a feasible course of action either for themselves or for the West. Moreover, despite increased Soviet attention to the possibility of limited wars with the West, it is believed that they will remain very reluctant to commit their own forces to such wars. In this situation the Soviets would take the opportunity to conduct aggressive maneuvers of many sorts and to undertake a comprehensive effort aimed at attaining a military technological breakthrough.
(1)
In strategic terms, this line of policy suggests that presently, and for some time to come, the Soviet strategic forces will be numerically inferior to those of the US and more vulnerable to attack. The Soviet leaders must recognize, therefore, that the US would enjoy a considerable advantage should it strike first, and that the relative invulnerability, the fast reaction time, and the mobility of US strategic power make a Soviet first strike completely irrational. Nevertheless, in assessing the military balance, the Soviets are confident that they possess a credible deterrent based on both their massive capabilities to devastate Eurasia and their growing intercontinental striking power. Thus, the Soviets see the present situation as one in which both sides are deterred from deliberately initiating general war or from knowingly initiating courses of action which would involve grave risk of such a war. The increasing nuclear capability of the US and USSR will continue to have a restraining influence on both sides and will influence the type of conflict and tend to reduce the level and intensity of conflict which might occur.
(2)
Soviet decisions as to force structure and military programs over the next several years are likely to be made in the context of a situation in which, although the US enjoys a clear strategic advantage, a condition of rough mutual deterrence exists. The Soviets will seek to improve their strategic capabilities vis-à-vis the US; however, policy decisions will be influenced by the continuing strain on economic resources, and the pressure arising from competition with the US in scientific and technological developments with military applications. Such decisions will be greatly influenced also by the Soviet estimate of the political situation, the opportunities which it affords, and the contribution which military power can make to the realization of these opportunities.
(3)
It is believed that in these circumstances the primary concern of Soviet policy will be to continue to strengthen their deterrent against US attack primarily through a gradual buildup of ICBMs, hardening of sites, and increased mobility through missile submarines. At one time the Soviets may have considered an attempt to achieve capabilities sufficient to neutralize US strategic forces in a first strike, and they almost certainly have also considered the lesser goal of achieving rough parity with the US in intercontinental weapon systems. In the aftermath of Cuba they may have considered a substantial increase in their military effort. Evidence does not indicate, however, that the Soviets are presently attempting to match the US in numbers of intercontinental delivery vehicles. Recognition that the US would detect and match or overmatch such an effort, together with economic constraints, appears to have ruled out this option. On the other hand, available evidence on the development of large nuclear warheads and compatible delivery vehicles strongly suggests that the Soviets may be seeking to improve their position relative to the West by increasing the destructive power of their numerically inferior intercontinental strategic attack forces.
(4)
Continuation of present lines of policy will ensure the Soviets of a growing credibility for their deterrent. However, the dynamism of Soviet policy depends to a great extent on the proposition that the balance of forces in the world is shifting in favor of the communist world. The Sino-Soviet rupture has already badly damaged this thesis, as has the inability of the Soviets to match the West in military power. It is conceivable that at some point a Soviet leadership would come to believe that they had to forego their expansionist aims, unless they could greatly improve their relative military strength, or at least refurbish the world’s image of this strength. They might even be willing to make new economic sacrifices or assume some risks in order to accomplish this. What precise programs they might undertake in pursuit of such an aim cannot now be stated, but it cannot be ruled out that changes in the scale or character of Soviet programs could come about in this way.
(5)
On the question of how a general war might begin, most Soviet military writings assume deliberate, surprise attack by the US, although some consider escalation from limited war and a few allow for the possibility that general war would begin accidentally. The criticality of the initial period of a nuclear war and the importance of surprise have led some military writers to advocate a form of pre-emptive action by the USSR: i.e., a “spoiling” or “blunting” action launched coincident with or slightly before an enemy attack. However, known doctrinal discussions do not consider a Soviet first strike. In the standard scenario, the USSR survives a nuclear attack, regains the initiative, and goes on to prosecute the war.
(6)
Current Soviet doctrine holds that a general war will inevitably involve the large-scale use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, beginning with a strategic exchange which may decide the course and outcome of the war in its initial phase, a relatively brief but not clearly defined period of time. To the Soviets, the importance of this phase implies the necessity to use all available forces at the outset of a general war; the doctrinal writings which are available have noted and rejected such US concepts as controlled response and damage limiting strategies. Moreover, no restraint is evident in targeting concepts for the initial phase of a general war; while enemy nuclear striking forces are evidently to be the primary targets of Soviet nuclear strikes, powerful nuclear blows are also to be directed against communication and control centers, industrial and population centers, and groupings of enemy armed forces.
(7)
Despite the primary role attributed to nuclear and missile forces, current Soviet doctrine envisions the commitment of large theater forces virtually at the outset of a general war. It is argued that, even if the war is relatively short, large forces of all types would be required to defeat comparable enemy forces, to overrun base areas, and to occupy territory in Eurasia. Moreover, it is also held that the conflict may be protracted rather than brief and that, in this case, extensive theater campaigns would be required. Thus, current Soviet doctrine supports a military policy emphasizing strategic attack and defense capabilities, but supports as well the maintenance of large general purpose forces for use in all phases of general war.
(8)
It is believed that debate continues, not only over subsidiary propositions, but over central tenets of doctrine as well. Certain key issues, such as the decisiveness of the initial phase, evidently remain unresolved. Moreover, certain vital questions seem to have been ignored. For example, while purporting to deal with a global war in which all types of weapons are employed, the current military writings to which there is access, concern themselves almost exclusively with [Page 137]theater forces in Europe. Adequate consideration is not given to the effects of a strategic nuclear exchange on subsequent operations. Virtually no attention is given to the way in which a general war might be brought to a successful conclusion; it seems to be assumed either that US society would collapse as the result of the initial nuclear attack, or that in a long war the Soviet system would prove the more durable.
f.
Miscalculation. Soviet strategy recognizes that, while general war is unlikely, it cannot be excluded as the result of miscalculation by either side or as the outcome of a crisis in which both sides become progressively committed. The Soviets are unable to be certain in advance what the circumstances surrounding the beginning of a general war would be. A miscalculation could occur if the Soviets misjudged either the importance to the West of an issue and the actions which the West might take in support of its position, or even the consequences of the policies being pursued by a third party associated with the Soviet Union. On the other hand, such a crisis might arise should the West miscalculate in a similar way.
g.
Pre-emptive attack. If the Soviet leaders were ever absolutely certain that the West was irrevocably committed to an imminent strategic nuclear attack against them, there is little question that they would themselves strike pre-emptively. Such certainty, however, on the part of any country about the intentions of another is extremely unlikely. The Soviet leaders probably conclude that it would be impossible to count upon incontrovertible advance evidence that the enemy was irrevocably committed to an imminent attack. Moreover, for the Soviet Union, the compulsion to strike first, when the threat of hostile attack is still ambiguous, declines as US missile systems become more important and less vulnerable and the advantage to be derived from a first strike consequently decreases. This trend of Soviet thinking is suggested by assertions that an aggressor cannot neutralize the retaliatory capability of a powerful opponent. Nevertheless, a surprise attack—that is to say, one delivered in a period of no particular tension and after entirely secret military preparations—is the only one which would give the Soviet Union a chance of destroying any significant part of the Western nuclear strike capability before it could be launched. Therefore, in spite of its unlikelihood, it remains a possible, though improbable course of action for the Soviet Union.
h.
Escalation. A number of Soviet statements in recent years have expressed the view that limited war involving the major nuclear powers would inevitably escalate into general war. While such statements are intended in part to deter the West from local use of force, this official view also reflects a genuine Soviet fear of the consequences of becoming directly engaged in limited war involving Soviet and US [Page 138]forces. This probably also extends to involvement of Soviet forces with certain Allied forces in highly critical areas, notably Western forces in the European area. Nevertheless, they might employ their own forces to achieve local gains in some area adjacent to Bloc territory if they judged that the West, either because it was deterred by Soviet nuclear power or for some other reason, would not make an effective military response. They would probably employ Soviet forces as necessary if some Western military action on the periphery of the Soviet Bloc threatened the integrity of the Bloc itself. Should the USSR become directly involved in a limited war with the US or Allied forces, it is believed that the Soviets would not necessarily expand it immediately into general war, but that they would probably employ only that force which they thought necessary to achieve their local objectives. They would also seek to prevent escalation both by restraints in the employment of their own forces and by political means. In view of the increasingly grave consequences of escalation, it is believed that over the next few years the Soviets will remain very reluctant to commit their own forces to limited warfare against Western forces. Despite recent Soviet references to the possibility of limited war involving tactical nuclear weapons, it is considered highly unlikely that the USSR would introduce such weapons into a limited conflict. The Soviet doctrinal debate, as far as it is known, has not dealt with limited war; it is therefore possible that discussion has been limited by official attitudes. Public Soviet statements have usually insisted that a limited war which involved the major nuclear powers would inevitably escalate into general war. Official pronouncements to this effect have almost certainly been designed in large part to deter the West from the local use of force, but they probably also reflected Soviet fears of becoming involved in limited war. The Soviets now appear to be modifying their position to allow for the possibility that even a limited war involving the major nuclear powers would not necessarily escalate to general war. They may now be persuaded that in the present strategic situation, the initial military reactions to a local crisis would be limited, and that it is therefore, not in the Soviet national interest to be doctrinally committed to inevitable escalation.
5.
Chinese Communist Threat
a.
General. Communist China’s foreign policy will probably continue generally along current lines. Peiping will remain strongly anti-American and will strive to weaken the US position, especially in Asia, but is unlikely, knowingly, to assume great risks. Communist China’s military force will probably not be used overtly except in defense of its own borders or to assert territorial claims against India. However, in the event that military operations against Communist Asian allies constitute, in the ChiCom view, a threat against ChiCom territory, their military forces may be employed overtly. Subversion and covert support of [Page 139]local revolutions will continue to be Communist China’s primary mode of operation in Southeast Asia and, to a necessarily more limited degree, elsewhere in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
b.
Modernization of Armed Forces. The modernization of the armed forces, which was progressing steadily until about 1960, has practically ended, except for the continued introduction of radar and certain other electronic equipment. Domestic fabrication of fighter aircraft and submarines has ceased and inventories are being reduced by deterioration and cannibalization. In general, the Army has been less affected than the other Services.
c.
Advanced Weapons
(1)
The intelligence data available do not permit a high degree of confidence in estimating the future development of the Chinese nuclear weapons program, and this appraisal is made in light of this general caution.
(2)
The Chinese Communists have given high priority to the development of nuclear weapons and missiles. If the normal number of difficulties are encountered a plutonium device might be tested in late 1964 or 1965, or even later depending upon the extent of difficulties. Beginning the year after a first detonation, the single reactor thus far identified could produce enough material for only one or two crude weapons a year. The Chinese have a few bombers which could carry bulky weapons of early design.
(3)
Communist China is probably concentrating on a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) system of basically Soviet design, either the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. The earliest date either missile would be ready for deployment is believed to be 1967. It is unlikely that a compatible nuclear warhead would be available until 3 or 4 years after a first detonation.
(4)
The detonation of a nuclear device would boost domestic morale. Although it is possible that the ChiCom leaders would experience a dangerous degree of over-confidence, it is more likely that they will concentrate on furthering their established policies to:
(a)
Utilize their nuclear capability to enhance their political position as a world power, particularly with respect to the developing nations,
(b)
Force their way into world disarmament discussions and other world councils,
(c)
Overawe their neighbors and soften them for Chinese-directed communist subversion, and
(d)
Tout Chinese-style communism as the best route for an underdeveloped nation to achieve industrial and scientific modernity. In pursuing these policies, increased confidence of ChiCom leaders would doubtless be reflected in their approach to conflicts on the periphery of Communist China.
d.
Domestic Production. Communist China almost certainly intends to achieve domestic production of all necessary weapons and materiel for its armed forces. It has a long way to go before reaching this goal, however. The Chinese at present are probably unable to produce even MIG–17s entirely by themselves, and it will be a number of years before they can design and produce more advanced types of military aircraft. Indeed they may have chosen instead to concentrate their limited resources on missiles. Their wholly domestic naval shipbuilding capacity is likely to be restricted to surface ships of the smaller types during the next few years.
e.
Military Policy. The decline in the relative effectiveness of Communist China’s military equipment and weapons is likely to temper its policy, especially in circumstances where it might confront US armed power or sizable US-equipped Asian forces. However, the Chinese Communist Army will continue to be the strongest in Asia and will provide a powerful backing for Chinese Communist foreign policy. The Sino-Soviet dispute will probably place additional demands on Chinese military dispositions and capabilities, since one of the consequences of China’s new “independence” from the USSR will be the need to keep a closer watch than previously on the long China-Russian border which the Chinese still consider a “difficult” and “unsettled” question. Her slowly developing nuclear weapon and missile capability will increase an already considerable military advantage over Asian neighbors. However, for the foreseeable future she will not approach the advanced weapons might of the United States or USSR, particularly in the field of long-range striking power. For this reason, among others, the ChiComs would be unlikely to attribute a decisive importance to modern weaponry. They would probably continue to rely primarily on a huge ground force and, unless confident of Soviet support, would try to avoid hostilities which might escalate into nuclear war. Considering the chances of retaliation, it is difficult to conceive of any situation in which Communist China would be likely to initiate the use of nuclear weapons in the next decade or so.
f.
Foreign Policy
(1)
Communist China’s foreign policy objectives are the preservation of the regime and the protection of its existing boundaries. For these purposes the ChiComs are willing to go to war, almost regardless of the odds. If US or Allied troops approached its borders through Laos, North Vietnam, or North Korea they would almost certainly be ready to commit their forces openly, unless in the particular circumstances they saw greater advantage in more covert military operations. The acquisition of Taiwan falls in the second rank of objectives—those for which they are fully prepared to use overt military force, but only when the prospects of success are judged to be high. To achieve this goal, they are [Page 141]prepared to run fewer risks and are particularly anxious to avoid direct conflict with the United States. They almost certainly will not attempt to seize by military force either Taiwan or any of the major offshore islands which they believe the United States would help defend. It is not believed that the explosion of a nuclear device, or even the acquisition of a limited nuclear weapons capability, would produce major changes in ChiCom foreign policy in the sense that they would adopt a general policy of open military aggression, or even become willing to take significantly greater military risks.
(2)
China’s leaders would recognize that their limited capabilities had not altered the real power balance among the major states and could not do so in the foreseeable future. In particular, they would recognize that they remained unable either to remove or neutralize the US presence in Asia. Nevertheless, the Chinese would feel very much stronger and this mood would doubtless be reflected in their approach to conflicts on their periphery. They would probably feel that the United States would be more reluctant to intervene on the Asian mainland and thus the tone of Chinese policy will probably become more assertive. Further, their possession of nuclear weapons and missiles would reinforce their efforts to achieve Asian hegemony through political pressures and the indirect support of local “wars of liberation.” Such tactics would probably acquire greater effectiveness, since the Chinese feat would have a profound impact on neighboring governments and peoples. It would alter the latter’s sense of the relations of power, even if it made little immediate change in the realities of power, and to a greater or lesser degree would probably result in increased pressures to accommodate to Chinese demands.
g.
Spread of Communism. For the broader and longer range goal of spreading communism throughout the underdeveloped world, Communist China is probably not prepared to accept any substantial risk, although it must be noted that it tends to estimate the risks involved in supporting “wars of national liberation” much lower than does Moscow. It apparently does not intend to undertake overt conquests of foreign lands in the name of communism, but intends to let indigenous revolutionaries do the fighting and “liberating”. The Chinese Communists are actively training at home and abroad foreign nationals in guerrilla and political warfare, and are actively engendering revolutionary movements to the extent of its limited capabilities with equipment, funds, propaganda and support in international affairs.

[Here follow Part III. Military Objectives, Part IV. Strategic Concept, and Part V. Basic Undertakings.]

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Files, 3130 (15 July 64) Sec 1. Top Secret. Although the paper is undated, the bottoms of several pages are marked “Revised” followed by one of the following dates: July 21, July 22, and August 5, 1964. The paper is attached to a covering report by the J–5 to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This report is dated July 15, but contains revised and corrected pages, dated August 5 and 11, that reflect the decisions of the JCS at their August 5 meeting. Also attached are a distribution list and table of contents.
  2. A footnote to a list of Annexes A–N in the table of contents indicates that the annexes would be published and forwarded separately. They have not been found.