US embassy cable - 89MOSCOW31607

CAN WARSAW PACT MEMBERS QUIT? / MOSCOW MAY NOT KNOW

Identifier: 89MOSCOW31607
Wikileaks: View 89MOSCOW31607 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Moscow
Created: 1989-11-13 11:37:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL MARR PARM KPRP WPO ZC UR GC HU PL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 131137Z NOV 89
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4640
INFO USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE
MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL LENINGRAD
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 MOSCOW 31607 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR 
TAGS: PREL, MARR, PARM, KPRP, WPO, ZC, UR, GC, HU, PL 
SUBJECT: CAN WARSAW PACT MEMBERS QUIT? 
/        MOSCOW MAY NOT KNOW 
 
REF: A) MOSCOW 31520 
 
1. CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
------------------- 
SUMMARY AND COMMENT 
------------------- 
 
2. AT THE END OF OCTOBER A STIR WAS CREATED AS THREE 
SOVIET SPOKESMEN STATED THAT EAST EUROPEAN STATES 
WERE FREE TO QUIT THE WARSAW PACT IF THEY SO 
DESIRED.  THE SOVIETS REGARD THIS AS A LOGICAL 
OUTCOME OF THEIR POLICY OF "NON-INTERFERENCE IN 
INTERNAL AFFAIRS." THEY INSIST THAT THEIR EAST 
EUROPEAN PARTNERS HAVE FULL "FREEDOM OF CHOICE." 
NEVERTHELESS, TOP PARTY FIGURES HAVE HINTED THAT THIS 
IS NOT A BLANKET FREEDOM.  IN PRIVATE, GORBACHEV AND 
OTHERS HAVE STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF  THE WARSAW 
PACT REMAINING INTACT.  IN ADDITION, THEY HAVE 
UNDERSCORED THE IMPORTANCE OF "GEOPOLITICAL 
REALITIES" IN EASTERN EUROPE. 
 
3. THE SOVIETS STRESS THAT NO WARSAW PACT MEMBERS 
HAVE EXPRESSED ANY INTEREST IN LEAVING THE ALLIANCE. 
IN FACT, SOVIET OFFICIALS ARGUE THAT IT WOULD NOT BE 
IN AN ALLY'S NATIONAL INTEREST TO LEAVE THE PACT. 
HOWEVER, MANY SOVIET SCHOLARS BELIEVE THAT HUNGARY 
COULD EDGE TOWARD NEUTRALITY IN THE NEAR-TERM. 
SOVIET LEADERS HAVE STRESSED THAT THEY WILL NOT APPLY 
MILITARY FORCE IN EASTERN EUROPE, REGARDLESS OF THE 
CIRCUMSTANCES.  IN THE SENSE OF INTERVENING 
MILITARILY TO IMPOSE IDEOLOGICAL CONFORMITY, THE 
BREZHNEV DOCTRINE APPEARS DEAD. 
 
4. IT IS THOUGHT THAT THE COST OF TAKING MILITARY 
ACTION DIRECTED AGAINST A "DEFECTING" ALLY COULD BE 
ENORMOUS, BOTH IN ITS DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY 
IMPLICATIONS.  SHOULD HUNGARY MOVE TOWARD NEUTRALITY, 
THE SOVIETS ARE LIKELY TO EMPLOY ONLY POLITICAL AND 
ECONOMIC MEANS TO DETER THE DECISION.  GEOPOLITICAL 
REALITIES, HOWEVER, SEEM TO IMPOSE A SIGNIFICANTLY 
DIFFERENT SET OF TOLERANCES AS REGARDS POLAND AND THE 
GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.  TRADITIONAL SOVIET 
SECURITY CONCERNS VIS-A-VIS THESE COUNTRIES REMAIN 
HIGH AND THEIR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN THE WARSAW 
PACT IS REGARDED BY MANY AS A FUNDAMENTAL FACTOR FOR 
SOVIET SECURITY AND EUROPEAN STABILITY.  THIS MEANS 
THAT DESPITE SOVIET ASSURANCES THAT FORCE WILL NOT BE 
USED TO PREVENT WITHDRAWAL FROM THE PACT, THERE ARE 
CIRCUMSTANCES -- EXTREME THOUGH THEY MAY BE -- UNDER 
WHICH THE PROSPECT OF SOVIET MILITARY INTERVENTION TO 
PRESERVE THE VIABILITY OF THE WARSAW PACT CANNOT BE 
RULED OUT. 
 
----------------------- 
END SUMMARY AND COMMENT 
----------------------- 
 
5. THIS IS THE SECOND CABLE IN A THREE-PART SERIES 
ADDRESSING CURRENT SOVIET ATTITUDES TOWARD CHANGES IN 
THE WARSAW PACT, WHICH WE HOPE WASHINGTON READERS 
WILL FIND USEFUL IN PREPARING FOR THE PRESIDENT'S 
DECEMBER 2-3 MEETING WITH CHAIRMAN GORBACHEV.  OTHER 
REPORTS FOCUS ON SOVIET AND EAST EUROPEAN EFFORTS TO 
TRANSFORM THE WARSAW PACT FROM A MILITARY-POLITICAL 
TO A POLITICAL-MILITARY ALLIANCE (SEE REFTEL), AS 
WELL AS THE ROLE THE SOVIETS BELIEVE THE WARSAW PACT 
SHOULD PLAY IN MAINTAINING EUROPEAN STABILITY IN THE 
1990'S AND ADVANCING EAST-WEST RELATIONS (SEPTEL TO 
FOLLOW). 
 
6. THE SOVIET UNION INSISTS THAT IT IS NOT PREPARED 
MILITARILY TO IMPOSE ITS WILL ON ITS ALLIES.  THE 
DOCTRINE OF THE DAY IS "NON-INTERFERENCE IN INTERNAL 
AFFAIRS," AND SOLIDARITY'S SUCCESS IN POLAND GIVES IT 
SOME CREDIBILITY.  AT HOME, GORBACHEV CONTINUES TO 
PUSH A BOLD PROGRAM OF REFORM.  ABROAD, HE HAS 
ACTIVELY PROMOTED THE BUILDING OF A "COMMON EUROPEAN 
HOME."  HIS FOREIGN POLICY GOAL IN EASTERN EUROPE IS 
STRAIGHTFORWARD -- STABILITY.  BY THIS HE DOES NOT 
MEAN A HALT TO THE POLITICAL REFORM PROCESS, BUT 
STABILITY IN TERMS OF MILITARY AND ECONOMIC 
COOPERATION, TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND "AMIABLE" 
RELATIONS.  BUT DOES THIS REQUIRE THAT EAST EUROPEAN 
STATES REMAIN MEMBERS OF THE WARSAW TREATY 
ORGANIZATION? 
 
----------------- 
A BARBERSHOP TRIO 
----------------- 
 
7. AT THE END OF OCTOBER, THREE SOVIET OFFICIALS MADE 
STATEMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES THAT EAST EUROPEAN 
NATIONS WERE FREE TO LEAVE THE WARSAW TREATY 
ORGANIZATION (WTO): YEVGENIY PRIMAKOV, CHAIRMAN OF 
THE SUPREME SOVIET COUNCIL OF THE UNION; NIKOLAY 
SHISHLIN, A CENTRAL COMMITTEE AIDE WHO SPECIALIZES IN 
EASTERN EUROPE; AND MFA PRESS SPOKESMAN GENNADIY 
GERASIMOV (WHO LATER SAID HE HAD BEEN MISQUOTED). 
PRIMAKOV SAID THAT WTO MEMBER STATES WERE FREE TO 
LEAVE, BUT EXPRESSED HIS PERSONAL BELIEF THAT THIS 
WOULD NOT BE IN THEIR INTEREST.  SHISHLIN SAID THAT 
HUNGARY WAS FREE TO LEAVE THE WTO, BUT WAS MORE 
GUARDED WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY FOR THE 
GDR.  FINALLY, GERASIMOV, REPEATING AN ANALOGY HE HAD 
MADE IN SEPTEMBER IN ITALY, SAID THAT THE BREZHNEV 
DOCTRINE HAD BEEN REPLACED BY THE "FRANK SINATRA 
DOCTRINE," I.E. COUNTRIES CAN SAY "I DID IT MY WAY." 
(WE NOTE THAT SOVIET DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER IVAN 
ABOIMOV, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE WTO POLITICAL 
CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE, REFUSED TO COMMENT ON ANY OF 
THE ABOVE STATEMENTS -- SEE MOSCOW 30503). 
 
8. WHILE IT IS UNIQUE TO HEAR SUCH A HARMONIOUS 
CHORUS AT ONE TIME, SIMILAR STATEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE 
BY SOVIET SPOKESMEN IN RECENT MONTHS.  SHISHLIN, FOR 
EXAMPLE, MADE THE SAME REMARK ABOUT HUNGARY IN A 
PARIS INTERVIEW IN SEPTEMBER.  FURTHERMORE, 
PRIMAKOV'S REMARKS WERE VERY SIMILAR TO COMMENTS MADE 
BY MARSHAL SERGEY AKHROMEYEV IN JULY.  AKHROMEYEV, IN 
WASHINGTON TO TESTIFY BEFORE THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES 
COMMITTEE, SAID EAST EUROPEAN NATIONS WERE FREE TO 
DECIDE WHETHER TO REMAIN IN THE PACT, BUT ADDED HE 
COULD NOT SEE ANY REASON FOR SOCIALIST COUNTRIES TO 
QUIT AS IT WOULD NOT BE IN THEIR INTEREST.  IN 
ADDITION, AKHROMEYEV'S STATEMENTS ECHOED REMARKS MADE 
EARLIER BY OLEG BOGOMOLOV, THE DIRECTOR OF MOSCOW'S 
INSTITUTE OF THE ECONOMY OF THE WORLD SOCIALIST 
SYSTEM. 
 
------------------- 
"FREEDOM OF CHOICE" 
------------------- 
 
9. GORBACHEV ANNOUNCED IN HIS AUGUST 1 SPEECH TO THE 
SUPREME SOVIET THAT THERE WERE NO UNIVERSAL SQCIALIST 
MODELS AND THAT EACH COUNTRY'S PEOPLE DECIDE THE 
FUTURE OF THEIR COUNTRY THEMSELVES AND SELECT ITS 
SYSTEM ON THEIR OWN.  HE INSISTED THAT NOBODY MAY 
INTERFERE IN THE AFFAIRS OF ANOTHER COUNTRY OR IMPOSE 
ITS VIEWS ABOUT ITS POLICY UNDER ANY PRETEXT.  THE 
SOVIETS HAVE STRESSED THAT A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF 
THEIR NEW POLITICAL THINKING IS FREEDOM OF CHOICE. 
POLITBURO MEMBER ALEKSANDR YAKOVLEV, CHAIRMAN OF THE 
CPSU'S INTERNATIONAL POLICY COMMISSION, SAID THAT 
THIS WAS THE "MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE OF EAST EUROPEAN 
DEVELOPMENTS."  SHISHLIN TOO HAS EMPHASIZED THAT THIS 
POLICY MEANS THAT THERE IS NO LIMIT THAT THE 
SOCIALIST COUNTRIES MUST NOT EXCEED IN THEIR DOMESTIC 
POLICIES. 
 
10. NEVERTHELESS, THE SOVIETS HAVE MADE SOME HINTS 
THAT THIS IS NOT A BLANKET FREEDOM.  IN PRIVATE TOP 
SOVIET LEADERS, GORBACHEV INCLUDED, HAVE STRESSED THE 
IMPORTANCE OF THE WARSAW PACT REMAINING INTACT.  LAST 
WEEK, YAKOVLEV TOLD ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI THAT IT WOULD 
BE DESTABILIZING IF INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES WERE TO PEEL 
OFF FROM THEIR CURRENT ALLIANCES.  IN ADDITION, HE 
PLACED A PROVISO ON "FREEDOM OF CHOICE" -- THAT THERE 
BE NO "INTERFERENCE FROM THE U.S. AND THE WEST IN 
GENERAL.  SHISHLIN HAS ALSO NOTED THAT THERE WERE 
CERTAIN "GEOPOLITICAL REALITIES" WHICH COUNTRIES 
SHOULD NOT IGNORE. 
 
------------------------- 
BUT NO ONE WANTS TO LEAVE 
------------------------- 
 
11. MFA SOCIALIST COUNTRIES ADMINISTRATION CHIEF 
GORAL'D GORINOVICH EMPHASIZED TO POLOFF THAT THE 
HUNGARIAN LEADERSHIP HAD NOT RAISED THE QUESTION OF 
LEAVING THE WTO, NOR HAD ANY OTHER PACT MEMBER STATE 
-- "NOT HUNGARY, NOT POLAND, NOT ROMANIA."  HE SAID 
THE SOVIET LEADERSHIP HAD NOT ADDRESSED THE QUESTION 
OF WARSAW PACT MEMBERS POSSIBLY QUITTING THE 
ALLIANCE, AS NO MEMBER HAD EXPRESSED SUCH A DESIRE. 
IN RECENT MONTHS, THERE HAS BEEN A STEADY LITANY OF 
STATEMENTS OF FIRM AND UNDYING SUPPORT FOR THE WARSAW 
PACT FROM THOSE EAST EUROPEAN STATES WHICH ARE 
UNDERGOING REFORM. 
 
------------------------------------ 
COULD HUNGARY LEAVE THE WARSAW PACT? 
------------------------------------ 
 
12. NEVERTHELESS, MANY SOVIET SCHOLARS WOULD NOT BE 
SURPRISED IF HUNGARY DECIDED TO LEAVE THE WARSAW 
PACT, BECAUSE OF ITS EXPRESSED DESIRE FOR NEUTRALITY 
AND THE EXAMPLE OF NEUTRAL AUSTRIA JUST ACROSS THE 
DANUBE.  HOWEVER, MOST OF THEM ARGUE THAT WERE 
HUNGARY TO DO SO -- ABSENT SUBSTANTIAL ECONOMIC 
ASSISTANCE FROM THE WEST -- IT WOULD FIND ITSELF IN 
VERY DIFFICULT STRAITS.  THEY BELIEVE THAT IF HUNGARY 
SEVERED ALL ITS POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC TIES WITH THE 
SOVIET UNION AND ITS OTHER EASTERN NEIGHBORS, IT 
COULD SIMPLY END UP CRIPPLING ITSELF. 
 
13. HUNGARY'S WTO PARTICIPATION IS REGARDED AS MORE 
SYMBOLIC THAN SUBSTANTIAL.  LIBERAL SCHOLARS HERE 
ARGUE THAT HUNGARY'S MEMBERSHIP IN THE WTO IS NOT 
REALLY SIGNIFICANT AND THAT EVEN IF IT ADOPTED 
NEUTRAL STATUS, THE OVERALL BALANCE OF FORCES IN 
EUROPE WOULD REMAIN BASICALLY INTACT.  IN FACT, USA 
INSTITUTE DEPARTMENT HEAD ANDREY KORTUNOV HAS ARGUED 
THAT IN MILITARY TERMS A GREATER THREAT MIGHT BE 
POSED BY COUNTRIES LIKE HUNGARY REMAINING IN THE 
ALLIANCE, DUE TO THE UNRELIABILITY OF THEIR TROOPS 
SHOULD A CONFLICT EVER ARISE. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
PERHAPS HUNGARY COULD QUIT, BUT IT'S A SMALL FISH 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
14. THE PRINCIPAL CONCERN RAISED ABOUT A HUNGARIAN 
"DEFECTION" WOULD BE THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT OF AN 
ALLIANCE MEMBER QUITTING AND THE CHANCE THAT OTHER 
PACT MEMBERS MIGHT DECIDE TO FOLLOW ITS EXAMPLE.  IF 
HUNGARY DECIDED TO QUIT THE ALLIANCE, THERE IS LITTLE 
DOUBT THAT THE SOVIETS WOULD BE LOATH TO INTERVENE 
MILITARILY.  INSTEAD, THEY WOULD MOST LIKELY SEEK TO 
ENCOURAGE HUNGARY TO REMAIN A MEMBER BY USING 
POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC LEVERS OF INFLUENCE. 
 
15. MANY OF OUR SOVIET CONTACTS BELIEVE THAT THE 
DEFECTION OF A LESS IMPORTANT WTO STATE, SUCH AS 
HUNGARY, WOULD STRENGTHEN THE SOVIET CONSERVATIVES' 
HAND, BY PROVIDING THEM WITH YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF 
HOW GORBACHEV'S PERESTROYKA AND NEW POLITICAL 
THINKING ARE UNDERMINING NATIONAL SECURITY. 
NEVERTHELESS, WE AND OUR SOVIET CONTACTS DOUBT THAT 
THIS COULD APPRECIABLY DIMINISH GORBACHEV'S POLITICAL 
POWER, PARTICULARLY IN COMPARISON WITH THE DRASTIC 
DOMESTIC ECONOMIC AND NATIONALITY PROBLEMS THAT HE 
HAS TO FACE.  THERE ARE BIGGER FISH IN THIS POND, 
HOWEVER, WHOSE POSSIBLE DEFECTION COULD POSE A FAR 
MORE DANGEROUS THREAT. 
 
------------------------------------ 
A SOVIET POLICY OF "DIFFERENTIATION" 
------------------------------------ 
 
16. MFA SOCIALIST COUNTRIES ADMINISTRATION CHIEF 
GORINOVICH INSISTED THAT THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE 
BETWEEN HOW THE SOVIETS VIEWED HUNGARY, POLAND OR THE 
GDR UNDER THE WARSAW PACT.  NIKOLAY SHISHLIN, 
HOWEVER, WAS HESITANT ABOUT PLACING HUNGARY AND THE 
GDR IN THE SAME CATEGORY.  ANDREY KORTUNOV, HEAD OF 
THE INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF 
IUSAC, HAS SAID THAT MANY SOVIET MILITARY MEN STILL 
VIEW EASTERN EUROPE IN TERMS OF BUFFER ZONES AND 
DEPTH OF DEFENSE.  IN THEIR OPINION SOME EAST 
EUROPEAN ALLIES, IN PARTICULAR THE GDR AND POLAND 
WERE CRUCIAL TO SOVIET SECURITY INTERESTS.  YURIY 
DAVYDOV, HEAD OF IUSAC'S "EUROPEAN CENTER" HAS VOICED 
SIMILAR CONCERNS. 
 
---------------------------- 
THE GDR: THE PACT'S KEYSTONE 
---------------------------- 
 
17. SHISHLIN HAS STATED THAT "FREEDOM OF CHOICE" MUST 
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT CERTAIN "GEO-POLITICAL REALITIES." 
IN RECENT MONTHS, WE HAVE FREQUENTLY HEARD THIS 
PHRASE VOICED IN DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE FUTURE OF 
THE GDR.  THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT FOR THE GDR, 
THESE REALITIES COULD INCLUDE THE STATIONING OF 
FOREIGN TROOPS IN THE FRG AND THE CURRENT SIZE OF THE 
WEST GERMAN BUNDESWEHR, IF NOT THE EXISTENCE OF NATO 
ITSELF.  IN LIGHT OF SOVIET SECURITY INTERESTS, IT IS 
DIFFICULT TO ENVISION THE GDR BEING ABLE TO LEAVE THE 
WARSAW PACT IN THE NEAR-TERM WITHOUT POSING A SERIOUS 
THREAT TO SOVIET SECURITY AND OVERALL EUROPEAN 
SECURITY. 
 
18. THE SOVIETS CONTINUE TO ARGUE THAT THE GERMAN 
QUESTION CAN ONLY BE RESOLVED WITHIN AN ALL-EUROPEAN 
CONTEXT.  IN FACT, VALENTIN FALIN, CHIEF OF THE 
CENTRAL COMMITTEE'S INTERNATIONAL DEPARTMENT,  IS 
REPORTED TO HAVE TOLD WEST GERMAN OFFICIALS IN EARLY 
OCTOBER (SEE BONN 32350) THAT THE USSR COULD ACCEPT 
NEITHER GERMAN REUNIFICATION NOR THE GDR'S LEAVING 
THE WARSAW PACT. 
 
------------------------------------------ 
POLAND: LINES OF COMMUNICATION AND HISTORY 
------------------------------------------ 
 
19. A GROUP OF AMERICAN SCHOLARS RECENTLY MET WITH 
RAFAIL FEDOROV, A CENTRAL COMMITTEE AIDE, TO DISCUSS 
DEVELOPMENTS IN EASTERN EUROPE.  FEDOROV ADMITTED 
THAT THE SOVIET UNION HAD STRONG GEOPOLITICAL 
INTERESTS IN POLAND, INSISTING, HOWEVER, THAT THEY 
COINCIDED FULLY WITH POLISH NATIONAL INTERESTS.  HE 
SAID THAT THE SOVIET UNION WOULD NOT INTRUDE IN 
POLISH AFFAIRS, BUT HIGHLIGHTED THE SUBSTANTIAL 
NETWORK OF ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE BETWEEN THE TWO 
STATES, AS WELL AS THE OUTSTANDING "GERMAN 
QUESTION."  IN FACT, FEDOROV POINTED OUT THAT SOVIET 
MILITARY FORCES IN POLAND WERE PRINCIPALLY IN THE 
WESTERN BORDER AREAS, LEAVING UNSAID THE FACT THAT 
THESE WERE FORMER GERMAN LANDS (WHICH WOULD FALL 
INSIDE THE 1937 BORDERS). 
 
20. SOVIET SCHOLARS, AS WELL AS FEDOROV, HAVE NOTED 
THAT POLAND HAS BEEN THE TRADITIONAL PATH OF INVASION 
TO THE SOVIET UNION AND NOW PLAYS A CRUCIAL ROLE IN 
MILITARY LINES OF COMMUNICATION TO THE GDR.  THESE 
FACTORS EVOKE CONSIDERABLE EMOTION ON THE PART OF THE 
SOVIET MILITARY -- AND MANY CIVILIANS -- AND CAST 
INTO DOUBT THE PROPOSITION THAT THE POLES WOULD BE 
TOTALLY FREE TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN LOT.  SIMILARLY, 
KORTUNOV NOTED THAT THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF 
POLAND QUITTING THE ALLIANCE, WHICH BEARS THE NAME OF 
ITS CAPITAL, COULD BE DEVASTATING.  IN FACT, WE WERE 
TOLD BY A CONTACT IN THE MFA ARMS LIMITATION AND 
DISARMAMENT ADMINISTRATION THAT THIS WAS ONE FACTOR 
THAT HAD LED THE SOVIETS TO CONSIDER PROPOSING WARSAW 
AS THE POSSIBLE SEAT FOR A PERMANENT WARSAW PACT 
HEADQUARTERS. 
 
------------------------------------------- 
COST OF STOPPING ANY DEFECTOR WOULD BE HIGH 
------------------------------------------- 
 
21. SOVIET SCHOLARS DRAW A BLANK WHEN ASKED WHAT 
COULD BE DONE TO STOP A POTENTIAL DEFECTOR.  THE 
STANDARD METHOD UNDER "OLD THINKING" -- SENDING IN 
THE TROOPS -- IS REGARDED AS PARTICULARLY OUT OF STEP 
WITH THE TIMES.  YAKOVLEV HAS INSISTED PRIVATELY THAT 
THE SOVIET UNION WOULD NOT APPLY MILITARY FORCE IN 
EASTERN EUROPE, REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES. 
SHISHLIN, TOO, HAS SAID THAT THE USSR IS "OPPOSED TO 
ANY USE OF TROOPS IN THE SOCIALIST COUNTRIES' 
INTERNAL AFFAIRS.  TO DO SO WOULD BE A TOTAL 
REPUDIATION OF THE FOREIGN POLICY LINE THAT THE 
SOVIET UNION HAS ESPOUSED FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS. 
 
22. FURTHERMORE, MANY SOVIET SCHOLARS WE HAVE SPOKEN 
WITH BELIEVE THAT IF THE USSR WERE TO TAKE ANY 
MILITARY ACTION AGAINST A DEPARTING WARSAW TREATY 
MEMBER, IT WOULD RISK DESTROYING MOST OF ITS RECENT 
FOREIGN POLICY ACCOMPLISHMENTS.  RELATIONS WITH THE 
WEST WOULD LIKELY COME TO A STANDSTILL -- PROGRESS IN 
ARMS CONTROL AND EXPANDING ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH 
THE U.S. AND WESTERN EUROPE COULD VANISH. 
 
23. FINALLY, THE DOMESTIC RAMIFICATIONS OF SUCH A 
POLICY COULD BE UNPRECEDENTED.  THERE IS A CHANCE 
THAT A MAJOR MILITARY INTERVENTION IN EASTERN EUROPE 
COULD LEAD TO A CHANGE IN SOVIET LEADERSHIP AND THAT 
THE REFORM MOVEMENT UNDERWAY HERE MIGHT COME TO A 
RAPID HALT.  IT WOULD BE HARD TO IMAGINE THAT A 
MILITARY MOVE AGAINST REFORMERS ABROAD WOULD NOT HAVE 
A CONCOMITANT IMPACT ON REFORMERS AT HOME -- JUST AS 
THE 1968 WTO INVASION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA CHILLED 
REFORM THROUGHOUT EASTERN EUROPE. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
24. THE SOVIETS HAVE WOVEN FOR THEMSELVES A FOREIGN 
POLICY PARADOX.  THEY APPEAR TO BE PERFECTLY PREPARED 
TO LET THE EAST EUROPEAN STATES FOLLOW THEIR OWN 
INDIVIDUAL PATHS TO SOCIALISM -- OR WHEREVER ELSE 
THEY MAY BE HEADED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH "NEW POLITICAL 
THINKING."  NEVERTHELESS, DESPITE THEIR BASIC 
REJECTION OF POWER POLITICS, THEY BELIEVE THAT THESE 
STATES WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THIS NEW FOUND FREEDOM 
TO TAKE STEPS THAT COULD UNDERMINE SOVIET SECURITY 
INTERESTS -- IN THIS CASE, LEAVING THE WARSAW PACT -- 
BECAUSE THE SOVIETS BELIEVE TO DO SO WOULD NOT BE IN 
SUCH A STATE'S NATIONAL INTEREST. 
 
25. IS THE BREZHNEV DOCTRINE THEREFORE A THING OF THE 
PAST?  IN OUR VIEW THE ANSWER IS BOTH YES AND NO.  IN 
THE SENSE THAT THE SOVIETS WOULD INTERVENE TO ENFORCE 
IDEOLOGICAL CONFORMITY -- TO ENSURE THAT A CLIENT 
STATE FOLLOWED THE SOVIET MODEL OR PATH TO SOCIALISM, 
IT APPEARS THAT THE BREZHNEV DOCTRINE IS INDEED 
DEAD.  IN A BROADER, GEO-POLITICAL SENSE, HOWEVER, A 
MORE BASIC FORM OF THE DOCTRINE MAY REMAIN.  THE 
SOVIETS CONTINUE TO HAVE FUNDAMENTAL SECURITY 
CONCERNS IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE AND THESE 
FACTORS CANNOT BE OVERLOOKED WHEN EVALUATING BASIC 
SOVIET NATIONAL INTERESTS.  TO DATE, REFORM IN 
EASTERN EUROPE HAS, REASSSURINGLY FOR THE SOVIETS, 
PROCEEDED WITHOUT EITHER SUBSTANTIAL MANIFESTATIONS 
OF ANTI-SOVIET FEELING OR DOMESTIC TURMOIL WHICH 
THREATENED TO GET OUT OF CONTROL.  GORBACHEV'S 
PERSONAL POPULARITY AMONG EASTERN EUROPEANS SEEKING 
REFORM HAS THUS FAR SERVED ESSENTIAL SOVIET SECURITY 
INTERESTS WELL. 
 
26. THERE IS, NEVERTHELESS, A POINT AT WHICH THE 
SOVIET UNION'S LEADERSHIP COULD FEEL COMPELLED, EVEN 
THOUGH IT WOULD DESTROY MUCH OF THE PROGRESS IT HAS 
RECENTLY ACHIEVED, TO MOVE MILITARILY IN EASTERN 
EUROPE.  AS DETAILED ABOVE, THE MOST LIKELY VENUES 
FOR SUCH ACTION WOULD BE IN EITHER POLAND OR THE 
GDR.  EVEN HERE, WE BELIEVE, HOWEVER, THAT GORBACHEV 
WOULD USE EVERY POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC LEVER HE COULD 
TO PRECLUDE HAVING TO INITIATE SUCH AN ACTION. 
THEREFORE, THE SPECTER OF SOVIET MILITARY 
INTERVENTION, WHICH HAS HUNG OVER EASTERN EUROPE FOR 
THE PAST FORTY YEARS, THOUGH IT HAS NOT BEEN ENTIRELY 
DISPELLED, HAS FADED APPRECIABLY. 
 
27. LENINGRAD MINIMIZE CONSIDERED. 
 
MATLOCK 

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