22. Paper Prepared in the Department of State1


The paper with policy guidelines covering various contingencies concerning Soviet intervention did not receive formal SIG approval as an action document. Nevertheless, its recommendations for action have been largely fulfilled as appropriate to the course of developments in Eastern Europe. The recommendations, taken from Section IV of the paper, and corresponding actions are reviewed below.


The paper recommends restraint in official public comment on developments in Eastern Europe. Official comment by the Department has been restricted essentially to little more than “we are watching the situation closely” (but note press report of Clifford’s testimony May 17 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee).3 Appropriate US Missions and foreign governments have been cautioned not to speculate to the press about US reactions or intentions. Selective deep backgrounding by the Department has resulted in at least one column (Marquis Childs, Washington Post, May 17) on the adverse consequences of a Soviet military intervention in Czechoslovakia.


The paper recommends that US Government-controlled media (VOA, RFE) should exercise restraint but continue to carry factual [Page 78] reports. Corresponding instructions have gone to US-controlled broadcast media in Europe, and Embassy Bonn has been instructed to suggest to the FRG Government that broadcast stations under its control exercise equivalent restraint. EUR/P is in daily contact with VOA personnel at the working level who are operating under similar restraint.


Developments in the economic field are covered by separate memorandum to you.4


The paper recommends consultation as appropriate with the FRG, UK, and France regarding the possibility of Soviet military intervention. Informal consultations have been initiated and are continuing with the FRG and UK. For the present we have not considered it appropriate to raise the subject at a high level with the French Government. In any case our periodic assessments of the situation are being made available to all three governments in capitals and are briefed by Cleveland in NAC.

IV.A.5 and 7

The paper recommends confirmation with the FRG Government of the BQD EG–2 general rules of conduct,5 orders to allied troops in West Germany, and arrangements for liaison between West German and US military contingents. Embassy Bonn, together with appropriate US military authorities, has undertaken the necessary consultations with FRG officials.


The paper recommends formal joint State-DOD review of orders issued to US troops along the Czechoslovak and East German borders to assure conformity with the principles of BQD EG–2 and US political-military interests. It also recommends that the review encompass orders to the troops of other nations stationed on the FRG border, along with other arrangements for border security. EUR has met with ISA and JCS for this purpose.

IV.A.8 and 9

The paper recommends a quadripartite review at some point of planning and instructions to troops against the contingency of Soviet military intervention in East Germany. No such review has been initiated because it was not considered desirable at this time.

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The paper recommends continued normal consultation in NATO. This consultation is under way.

IV.B.1 and 2

Against the contingency of a clear threat of Soviet military intervention, the paper recommends that border guards and troops in the FRG should be alerted but that military steps which would suggest a US intention to intervene be avoided. Appropriate JCS instructions have been sent General Burchinal. No military actions that would suggest a US intention to intervene have been undertaken, and the FRG Government has been assured that the US has no intention of taking unilateral military action from the FRG which could exacerbate the situation.

IV.B.3 and 4

The paper discusses possible US diplomatic action at the UN. EUR has given IO a memorandum6 listing the possible forms of military intervention which may occur, and on this basis, IO is developing contingency plans for US action at the UN.


The paragraphs under this section address themselves to action in the event of various forms of Soviet military intervention. In addition to the IO planning mentioned in the paragraph above, contingency press guidance has been developed. Embassy Bonn has briefed FRG authorities on USAREUR contingency planning for increased border surveillance and refugee handling. I understand Mr. Katzenbach has asked Barbara Watson and Graham Martin to prepare additional contingency refugee plans.7

  1. Source: Department of State, SIG Records: Lot 70 D 263, SIG Memo No. 70. Secret. Drafted by Toumanoff on May 21. The paper was an attachment to SIG Memorandum No. 70, circulated on June 3.
  2. The paper is printed as Tab A to Document 21.
  3. For text of Clifford’s testimony, see Foreign Assistance Act of 1968, Hearings, Part 2, Ninetieth Congress, Second Session (Washington, 1968), pp. 428 ff.
  4. Attached to the source text but not printed.
  5. See footnote 4, Document 21.
  6. Not found.
  7. Not further identified.