177. Current Intelligence Weekly Review/1/

Washington, April 6, 1962.

/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency: Job 79-S01060A. Top Secret; [codeword not declassified]; Noforn. Prepared by CIA's Office of Current Intelligence. The source text comprises pp. 1-3 of the Weekly Review section of the issue.

Soviet Foreign Policy Developments

Moscow continues to evince interest in further high-level negotiations with the United States on the Berlin problem and to avoid actions which might lead to a confrontation with the West. The suspension of Soviet flights in the air corridors after 29 March apparently is intended to appear responsive to President Kennedy's press conference remarks that day welcoming the "care" with which the Soviets are proceeding on Berlin./2/ The lull, however, probably does not indicate a decision to terminate these flights but suggests that Moscow's actions will be restrained, at least pending further developments in negotiations. The USSR has shifted its attention to efforts to restrict and erode Western rights in ground travel to and within Berlin and to curtail or terminate the Western Military Liaison Missions in East Germany.

/2/For text of the President's news conference, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, pp. 271-278.

Moscow's treatment of the Rusk-Gromyko talks at Geneva has featured reports from US papers which are said to have emphasized the fact that the two major powers agreed to continue negotiations on the German problem through normal diplomatic channels. Moscow TASS, in its brief coverage of the 29 March news conference, carefully noted President Kennedy's remarks on Berlin concerning the "urgency and importance of this problem" and his assertion that the US "wants to have these talks in order to avoid a dangerous situation."

Although there has been no further elaboration by the bloc on its proposal for the creation of a four-power "arbitration agency" to ensure Western access to West Berlin, East European satellite representatives are reportedly actively seeking neutralist support for the proposal. [3 lines of 2-column source text not declassified] several East European embassies have recently approached the Indian Government in the hopes of obtaining a favorable endorsement of the Communist proposal. The Czech representative even suggested that Indian troops might be stationed in Berlin in place of Soviet and American troops. The bloc has made it clear, however, that any Berlin settlement must also recognize the termination of existing Western occupation rights. A 4 April Pravda attack on the US radio station in West Berlin (RIAS) may signal more direct Soviet propaganda attacks against the West's occupation status in West Berlin.

The pattern of Soviet flights in the air corridors over the past three weeks suggests that Moscow is satisfied with the limited gains achieved thus far and does not contemplate any major new moves on air access in the near future. Soviet tactics in the corridors from the start have been closely linked with Moscow's broader objective of obtaining some sort of new settlement on the status of West Berlin and access to the city which could be interpreted as de facto Western recognition of East German sovereignty. Toward this end Moscow sought to establish its right to use the corridors on a basis of complete equality with the West and consequently to undermine the original purpose of the corridors as channels for unrestricted Western access.

The Soviets apparently believe that if they can extend bloc control in the corridors and bring air access procedures more into line with those involved in ground access, the bloc will be in a stronger bargaining position for demanding new access arrangements which would "respect" East German sovereignty. Soviet activities both in the air corridors and on the ground routes are also aimed at preparing for an eventual transfer to the East Germans of controls over all forms of access.

Recent Soviet moves involving the US and British Military Liaison Missions in East Germany may reflect a desire to terminate the missions altogether, in line with the Soviet contention that they are anachronisms left over from the period of the military occupation of Germany. The Soviets have rescinded their order placing the chief of the US Military Liaison Mission (USMLM) in Potsdam under virtual house arrest and are again allowing USMLM personnel free travel to and from West Berlin. The official East German news agency, however, announced earlier that USMLM personnel will not be allowed to travel in East Germany without the express approval of the Soviet authorities. Soviet Marshal Konev has rejected Allied protests over the treatment of mission personnel by the East German police, and may attempt to impose even sharper restrictions on mission activities. The Soviets apparently hope to force the US to withdraw its missions. Alternatively, the USSR could propose to the three Western powers the termination of all four missions and unilaterally withdraw the Soviet mission from Frankfurt.

In a further effort to test Western reaction to their new customs law prior to its full implementation--reportedly on 30 April--the East Germans have apparently decided to introduce new crossing procedures on the East-West Berlin sector borders. On 2 April, long-term entry passes held by numerous individuals engaged in interzonal trade and by West Berliners working in East Berlin were taken up, and the holders were advised to secure new passes. The East Germans are reliably reported to have assured a West German trade official that the new customs law will not affect interzonal trade or trade between West Berlin and West Germany, but they may be laying the groundwork for separating West Berlin commercial contacts with East Germany from those between East and West Germany.

Disarmament and Test Ban

Since the departure of the foreign ministers from Geneva, the nuclear test ban issue has continued to predominate, and the general disarmament discussions have been marked by procedural wranglings. During the Big Three subcommittee discussions of the test ban issue, Soviet delegates have continued to reiterate the standard argument that a test ban agreement is possible only on the basis of the 28 November Soviet draft proposal,/3/ which amounts to a self-policed test ban.

/3/For text, see Documents on Disarmament, 1961, p. 664.

[3 paragraphs (1 column of 2-column source text) not declassified]

On 3 April Moscow issued another formal pronouncement warning that if Western nuclear testing continues, the USSR "will be compelled to hold tests of new types of nuclear weapons" to strengthen its security and safeguard universal peace. This latest warning--contained in a government note/4/ to the UN disarmament commission--added that the holding of US atmospheric tests will inevitably give a "new impetus" to the perfection of mass destruction weapons.

/4/For text, see Pravda, April 4, 1962.

In a further attempt to justify an eventual Soviet test resumption, the Soviet press has distorted recent statements by President Kennedy--commenting on possible US use of nuclear weapons in a hypothetical situation in which Soviet conventional forces would be overrunning Western Europe--to imply that the President had advocated preventive war. Pravda went beyond Moscow's usual line--which consistently denounces the Pentagon and US "militarists," but generally stops short of implicating the President personally--and remarked that "it seems that the President is himself taking the position of the most belligerent part of the Pentagon brass."

The criticism was diluted somewhat by the interjection of bitter side attacks on US "monopolist" and "militarist" circles. The Soviets were also careful not to imply that the President himself no longer advocated peaceful settlement of outstanding East-West issues, such as Berlin and Germany.

Feedback/comments to 

A private, not for profit organization

Copyright © 1999-2001 USMLMA, Inc. All rights reserved