Foreign Relations of the United States, 1950–1955

Posted: April 9, 2014 in WORLD VIEWER
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The Intelligence Community, 1950–1955, Document 190

190. Papers Prepared by a Working Group of the Operations Coordinating Board Assistants for the Operations Coordinating Board1


During the six-month period beginning July 1, 1954 the departments and agencies plan to take the following specific actions having a relationship to courses of action set forth in NSC 174 and other pertinent NSC documents. Underlining indicates quotations from paragraphs of NSC 174. Where actions are not cited, this indicates that while the department or agency follows in its day-to-day operations the policies set forth, no explicit project in regard to those paragraphs can presently be specified.

The responsibility of the working group is to suggest general courses of action to implement the specific objectives set forth in NSC 174. The development of detailed plans to carry out such courses of action is the function of the several responsible agencies.

1. Take overt and covert measures to discredit Soviet prestige and ideology as effective instruments of Soviet power, and to reduce the strength of Communist parties and other pro-Soviet elements.3 (NSC 162/2, Para. 43a.) (NSC 174, Para. 9)

Actions to be taken:

a. At the General Assembly of the United Nations beginning September 21, 1954, support the following actions which are expected to have the result of discrediting the position of the USSR:

(1) Review of the report of the Disarmament Commission.

(2) Review of the report of the UN Commission for the unification and rehabilitation of Korea.

(3) Review of the report of the Collective Measures Committee on methods which might be used to maintain and strengthen international peace and security.

(4) Review of the question of admission of new members to the UN.

(5) Review of report of ECOSOC on evidence of existence of forced labor.

(6) Review of the Special Committee on the question of defining aggression.

b. Initiate or resume discussion in the UN General Assembly of:

(1) The Austrian Treaty question.

(2) Various items regarding human rights.

(3) Measures for the peaceful solution of the problem of prisoners of war.

c. Anticipate and counteract Soviet moves in the UN General Assembly concerning:

(1) Admission of Communist China.

(2) East-West trade.

(3) Guatemala.

d. Assure effective propaganda support of the U.S. position on the issues set forth in a., b., and c., above. (State, primary—USIA and CIA supporting)

e. The case of the F–84 shot down by Czech fighters in 1953 will be expedited for presentation before the International Court of Justice. If good case is developed for B–29 and RB–50 shot down in Far East by Soviet fighters, these cases should be presented to I.C.J. (State, primary—Defense, supporting)

f. Press representations for return of U.S. citizens held in USSR—if no favorable response appropriate publicity will be considered. Also continue efforts to secure release of U.S. citizens held in jail in Czechoslovakia. (State, primary—USIA and CIA, supporting)

g. Develop and use for overseas distribution three special films designed to demonstrate the Communist technique of takeover and control of sovereign nations. (USIA, primary)

h. Spotlight policies and problems of agriculture in Soviet bloc—exposing failures and playing up ingenious peasant passive resistance. (USIA, primary)

i. Problems of Communism is being published as an attributed bimonthly publication and plans are now well advanced for an unattributed monthly publication which will be devoted to problems of the Soviet orbit. (USIA, primary)

j. Place emphasis upon the fact the satellites are captive countries controlled through various techniques by the Soviet military machine, as supporting materials are developed and opportunities are presented. (USIA, primary—CIA and Defense, supporting)

k. Employ selected persons who have lived under or suffered at the hands of Communist tyranny for speaking tours sponsored by civic organizations in U.S. and selected areas abroad. (State and USIA, primary—FOA and Defense, supporting)

2. Strengthen covert activities in support of the Basic Objectives set forth in paragraphs 10 and 11 of NSC 174.

Actions to be taken:

CIA to report on separately. (CIA, primary)

3. Use appropriate means short of military force to oppose, and to contribute to the eventual elimination of, Soviet domination over the satellites; including, when appropriate, concert with NATO or other friendly powers, resort to UN procedures, and, if possible, negotiation with the USSR. (NSC 174, Para. 12)

Actions to be taken:

a. Take such actions as may be appropriate to exploit the Greek-Turk-Yugoslav Friendship Pact as a factor influencing the satellites. (State, primary—USIA, Defense and CIA, supporting)

4. Encourage and assist the satellite peoples in resistance to their Soviet-dominated regimes, maintaining their hopes of eventual freedom from Soviet domination, while avoiding:

a. Incitement to premature revolt.

b. Commitments on the nature and timing of any U.S. action to bring about liberation.

c. Incitement to action when the probable reprisals or other results would yield a net loss in terms of U.S. objectives.4 (NSC 174, Para. 13)

Actions to be taken:

a. Emphasize in appropriate ways our continued interest in Eastern Europe and our refusal to recognize Soviet domination of the area as permanent. (State, primary—USIA and CIA, supporting)

b. Support and offer guidance where appropriate to the Kersten Committee. (State, primary—USIA, supporting)

c. Exploit the elections in Czechoslovakia. (State, primary—CIA and USIA, supporting)

d. In the event EDC ratification occurs during the period, issue a statement or emphasize the concept of a free European Community open to countries of Eastern Europe upon their liberation from Soviet Communist tyranny. (State, primary—USIA and CIA, supporting)

5. Develop and encourage, as appropriate, increased use of passive resistance by the peoples of the [USSR and] satellites.* (NSC 174, Para. 14)5

6. Be prepared to exploit any future disturbances similar to the East German riots of 1953 by planning courses of action which would best serve U.S. interests in such events. (NSC 174, Para. 15)

Actions to be taken:

a. Keep harvest results for the current year under review and be prepared to exploit significant shortages with offers of food or other appropriate action. (State, primary—CIA and FOA, supporting)

b. On the basis of an analysis of the June 17, 1953 East German uprising develop specific courses of action to be taken in the event of a similar occurrence in the future and report thereon by December 1, 1954. (USIA and CIA, primary)

7. Foster satellite nationalism as a force against Soviet imperialism, while avoiding commitments to national ambitions which would interfere with U.S. post-liberation objectives. (NSC 174, Para. 16)

Actions to be taken:

a. Appropriate statements will be issued and exploited commemorating the following national holidays of the satellite states and other suitable occasions, such as: August 15, Commemoration of Poles stopping Russians on Vistula; August 20, Commemoration of Warsaw Uprising; August 20, St. Stephens Day (Hungarian National Holiday); September 28, Anniversary of Petkov’s Execution (Bulgaria); October 28, Czechoslovakian Independence Day; November 18, Latvian Independence Day; December 25, Christmas (Gregorian calendar). (State, primary—USIA and CIA, support)

8. Cooperate with other forces—such as religious, cultural, social—which are natural allies in the struggle against Soviet imperialism.* (NSC 174, Para. 17)

Actions to be taken:

a. Determine whether a practical program of cultural and technical exchange of persons with the Soviet bloc can be developed. (State, primary—CIA and USIA, supporting)

b. Ensure maximum exploitation in the interest of the U.S. of visits to the U.S. by delegations from countries behind the iron curtain. (State and USIA, primary—Defense and CIA, supporting)

9. Stimulate and exploit conflicts within the communist ruling groups in [the USSR and in] each satellite, among such groups, and between them and the Kremlin.* (NSC 174, Para. 18)

Actions to be taken:

a. Continue to exploit indications of internal conflict within the satellite ruling groups and between them and the Kremlin, such as conflicts growing out of the:

(1) “New economic courses.” (USIA, primary—CIA, supporting)

(2) The satellite government reorganizations undertaken in conformity with the Kremlin’s desire to emphasize a collective leadership. (USIA, primary—CIA, supporting)

(3) Instances of difficulty between a satellite and the USSR as, for example, deliberate snubs of cultural delegations in the USSR or trouble with Soviet occupation (and line of communication) troops in the satellites. (USIA, primary)

10. Foster disaffection in [the USSR and] satellite armed forces and police, to diminish their reliability in suppressing domestic disturbances and their will to fight in the event of war.* (NSC 174, Para. 19)

Actions to be taken:

a. Display military strength of U.S. whenever appropriate, such as the visits of U.S. Fleet units to Baltic, or visits of U.S. Air Force aircraft to significant points where news of the event will reach target nations. (Defense and State jointly)

b. As opportunity offers and material is available, emphasize any conflicts within Soviet and satellite security forces and between them and other elements of the population. (USIA, primary—CIA, supporting)

c. Wherever found, exploit dissatisfaction with Soviet “advisors” and key personnel among officers and men of the satellite armies. (USIA, primary—CIA and State, supporting)

d. Exploit as a propaganda theme the idea that the USSR will use the satellite armed forces as cannon fodder in the event of war. (CIA, primary—USIA, supporting)

11. Encourage defection of [USSR and] key satellite personnel and possible VFC recruits, but not mass defection [in the case of the satellites]; and assist in the resettlement and rehabilitation of refugees who do escape.* (NSC 174, Para. 22)

Actions to be taken:

a. Support implementation of the extensive operational plan for Phase A of Escapee Program approved by OCB, including the expeditious implementation of the Refugee Relief Act of 1953. (FOA and State, primary—CIA, Defense and USIA, supporting)

12. Support or make use of refugees or exile organizations which can contribute to the attainment of U.S. objectives, but do not recognize governments-in-exile.* (NSC 174, Para. 23)

Actions to be taken:

a. Take appropriate action such as messages on national days, speeches by government officials, etc., to bolster the prestige of exile organizations meeting the above criteria. (State, primary—USIA and CIA, supporting)

b. Support relief and rehabilitation projects which are advanced by accredited groups or organizations affecting refugee or exile organizations which can contribute to the attainment of U.S. objectives. (FOA, primary)

13. Maintain flexibility in U.S. economic policies toward the Soviet bloc, and toward individual satellites, in order to gain maximum advantage with the limited economic weapons at hand (both restrictions and incentives). (NSC 174, Para. 25)

Actions to be taken:

a. The Economic Defense Advisory Committee (EDAC) and its member agencies, in line with the decisions of the April and July, 1954 meetings of the Consultative Group in Paris, are carrying out U.S. responsibilities for the following:

(1) Implementing, in coordination with COCOM countries, provisions for the more effective enforcement of strategic trade controls on a more limited list of commodities exported to the Soviet bloc. (FOA, primary)

(2) Implementing plans approved by the Consultative Group for expanded exchange of information among members of COCOM and views on Soviet bloc trade trends and tactics. (FOA, primary)

b. Develop plans for making available surplus agricultural commodities in the U.S. to the peoples of the Soviet bloc, as “targets of opportunity” present themselves in accordance with basic guidelines and criteria approved by the OCB for the disposal of such commodities. (State and FOA, primary—CIA, supporting)

14. Continue U.S. diplomatic missions in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Rumania as long as may be in the U.S. interest, and keep under review the possibility of resuming diplomatic relations with Bulgaria and Albania. (NSC 174, Para. 26)

Actions to be taken:

a. Consider the desirability of consulting further with Congress concerning resumption of diplomatic relations with Bulgaria. (State, primary)

15. Exploit the existence, and encourage the development, of the Yugoslav-Greek-Turkish entente as a means of weakening Soviet power in the Balkan satellites and as an example of free association of independent Balkan nations serving as a potential alternative to Soviet rule. (NSC 174, Para. 27)

Actions to be taken:

a. Continue negotiations for a solution to the Trieste problem in order to clear way for further integration of Yugoslavia into the Western Defense pattern and the strengthening of the Western position. (State, primary)

b. Take such actions as may be appropriate to exploit the Greek-Turk-Yugoslav Friendship Pact as a factor influencing the satellites. (State, primary—USIA, Defense and CIA, supporting)

c. Explore the advisability of encouraging the Greek and Turkish governments to seek the cooperation of the Bulgarian Government in a survey of the upper Meric-Evros River looking to joint development of the river. (State and FOA, primary—CIA, supporting)

16. Keep the situation with respect to Albania under continuing surveillance with a view to the possibility of detachment of that country from the Soviet bloc at such time as its detachment might be judged to serve the overall U.S. interest. (NSC 174, Para. 28)

Actions to be taken:

a. Upon completion of present negotiations for a favorable settlement of the Trieste problem, examine the situation with respect to Albania and the possibility of detachment of that country from the Soviet bloc. (CIA, primary—State and Defense, supporting)

17. Exploit to the fullest extent compatible with the policies regarding Germany as a whole and Berlin, the special opportunities offered by West Berlin and the facilities of the Federal Republic to undermine Soviet power in East Germany. Place the Soviets in East Germany on the defensive by such measures as may be taken to keep alive the hope of German reunification. (NSC 174, Para. 29)

Actions to be taken:

Detailed plans for action against East Germany are set forth in the Progress Report of the Working Group for NSC 5404/1, dated June 8, 1954.6 That Group has primary responsibility for coordinating activities concerning Berlin.

18. Emphasize (a) the right of the peoples of Eastern Europe to independent governments of their own choosing, and (b) the violation of international agreements by the Soviet and satellite governments, whereby they have been deprived of that right, particularly the Yalta Declaration on LiberatedEurope and the Treaties of Peace with Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania. (NSC 174, Para. 30)

Actions to be taken:

a. Develop opportunities for high U.S. officials through speeches and other means to emphasize the right of the peoples of Eastern Europe to independent governments of their own choosing and the violation of international agreements by the Soviet and satellite states. (State, primary)

b. Develop opportunities to exploit the voluminous documentary materials being compiled in the Department of State to demonstrate satellite treaty violations. (State, primary—USIA and CIA, supporting)


There follows a list of additional actions to implement NSC 174 which have not been accepted by the Working Group for the reasons stated therein:

1. Distribute inexpensive commodities by balloon or other similar means to people in the Soviet orbit in such a way that it will be non-attributable to the U.S. Government.

Reason for non-acceptance:

On September 23 and October 21, 1953 the OCB approved purchase and stockpiling of balloons but determined that final decision for use of balloons for this purpose would be made by the Board. Subsequent to that date no agency has recommended a specific project and no target of opportunity has arisen.

2. Implement the plan to detach Albania from the Soviet orbit.

Reason for non-acceptance:

a. State believes no action should be taken to implement this plan while negotiations over Trieste are underway.

b. If Trieste problem is satisfactorily resolved, agreement covering future status of Albania should be obtained from neighboring states (Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy) before any action for liberation is undertaken. (See paragraph 16 of “Operational Plans for Period July 1, 1954 to December 31, 1954” for current Working Group recommendations.)

3. Train leaders and prepare plans for supplying weapons and equipment for use in future riots and disturbances in the satellite areas.

Reason for non-acceptance:

CIA will make separate submission.

4. Develop extensive covert operations to organize resistance groups among the peoples of the satellites which, in the event of war, can offer significant armed resistance to communist forces or, in the event of an upsurge of popular feeling similar to the East German riots of 1953, can stage a coup d’etat.

Reasons for non-acceptance:

CIA will make separate submission.

1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/P–NSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, NSC 174. Top Secret. Circulated to the OCB on August 20 by Staats for discussion at the OCB’s August 25 meeting. A September 7 memorandum by Staats indicates that the OCB approved the two papers at its meeting. (Ibid.)

2 NSC 174, “U.S. Policy Toward the Soviet Satellites,” is dated December 11. (National Archives, RG 59, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 174 Series) Extracts from NSC 174 and NSC discussion of the issue are in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. VIII, pp. 110–128. NSC 174 was referred to the Operations Coordinating Board as the coordinating agency designated by the President.

3 Although NSC 162/2 does not appear to provide specific policy guidelines for the starred courses of action when applied to the USSR, it is understood that NSC 162/2 does not direct the abandonment of current operating policies and programs whether overt or covert along these lines. Furthermore, NSC 174, Para. 9, provides as follows… “feasible political, economic, propaganda and covert measures are required to create and exploit troublesome problems for the USSR…” Accordingly, in the absence of detailed NSC guidance on policy toward the Soviet Union it is assumed that these courses of action are applicable to the USSR. New projects should be carefully considered, however, in terms of the Policy Conclusions set forth in NSC 162/2. Note: Above footnote applies to all asterisks. [Footnote in the original. Underlined text is printed in italics. NSC 162/2, “Basic National Security Policy,” is dated October 30, 1953. (National Archives, RG 59. S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 162 Series)]

4 For example, account should be taken of the undesirability of provoking the liquidation of important resistance movements or creating false hopes of U.S. intervention. [Footnote in the original. Subsequent asterisks apparently refer to this note.]

5 All brackets in the original.

6 For text of the financial appendix to NSC 5404/1, January 25, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. VII, Part 2, pp. 1390–1394. The full text of and the progress reports on NSC 5404/1 are in the National Archives, RG 59, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5404 Series, Box 77.

7 This is the second paper circulated to the OCB.



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