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II. THE RANGE OF THE THREATS A. SURVEY OF THREATS If the threat of a general war, i.e., a nuclear war against the homelands, is successfully averted by a deterrent combination of land and sea-based missiles and bombers, then the threat of other types of warfare may be expected to increase. The most serious threat during the next fifteen years is expected to be political- economic (cold) war in which the military services are not directly involved. This judgment is based on intelligence estimates to the effect first, that it is already in progress; second, that it has been announced by the Soviets as their preferred road to "victory" over the non-Communist powers; and third, that its prosecution lies well within their capabilities over the allotted time span. In short, action, announced intention, and capability complement one another. The threat and its dimensions as they affect the merchant marine are detailed below. As the cold war is intensified, the likelihood of limited war situations can be expected to increase rather than to decrease. The wide range of conflicts in which the military services might have to play a part in the next decade and a half may be gauged from the experience of the immediate past. Situations of the magnitude of the Korean War and the crisis in Lebanon bound the extremities of the situations with which the military and its merchant marine auxiliary could be expected to have to cope. Finally, there is also the outside possibility that, perhaps accidentally, perhaps by some serious human miscalculation, perhaps by irrational design, the general war may become a reality. These three situations--political-economic war, limited military action, and general war--are considered; war fought with the same type weapons and methods of World War II is not. The reason given, and there was general acceptance of this argu- ment by the conferees, is that such a war is, and would be, outside the realm of practical possibility. B. THE SOVIET MERCHANT MARINE AND THE THREAT ON THE ECONOMIC FRONT "We declare war upon you -- excuse me for using such an expression --in the peaceful field of trade We are relentless in this, and it will prove the superiority of our system. " Nikita Khrushchev, 1957 Since the death of Stalin, the political elite in the Soviet Union has made it abundantly clear that it is on the economic front that the Communists expect to "bury" the capitalist nations, as Premier Khrushchev has put it. This threat has been repeated to U. S. visitors to the Soviet Union time and time again. Furthermore, given the evident pride of the Soviets in the growth of their economy together with the prestige which recognition in science has brought them, there is every reason to deduce that
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such a struggle might very well have a peculiar fascination for the Soviets. Allen Dulles, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, summed up the threat in these words, 11 they [the Soviets] will buy anything, trade anything, and dump anything if it advances Communism and helps destroy the influences of the West. " Furthermore, despite the smallness of the Soviet effort in terms of relative expenditure, and despite occasional setbacks, the U. S. S. R. has reason to be content with the results of its economic aid program. This, in turn, means that it must be satis- fied with the methods which it has been using to accomplish these ends. From the Soviet point of view there is, moreover, every reason why it should plan to continue to exploit its present approach, so well does it seem to be adapted to its own meager con- sumer economy. This is particularly true since dictatorship can do more with less be- cause it can channel any given segment of its economic strength to achieve a political gain at any given moment. Finally, the U. S. S. R. 's new shipbuilding programs make it self-evident that it understands the gains which might be derived from the possession of a new and proud merchant marine, one which would be a visual tribute to Soviet manufacture in any world port. What the Sino-Soviet Bloc has done, is doing, and plans to do to modernize its merchant marine is indicated in brief below: 1. The Sino-Sovlet Bloc Fleet: Size and Characteristics. The combined Sino-Soviet Bloc fleets in I960 will probably total over six million deadweight tons, of which over four million tons will be under the Soviet flag; over one million tons; under satellite flags, mostly Polish; and approximately 530, 000 tons under Communist China's flag. Available plans indicate that the Bloc fleet will more than double in capacity by 1965 compared with 1958, and the fleet capacity in 1975 may be three and one-half times that of 1958. These sizable increases may result in the Bloc proportion of the world fleet in- creasing from over three percent in 1958 to about eight percent in 1975. Soviet vessels engaged in foreign trade are turning up on almost all major world trade routes except Oceania, South and East Africa, the West Coast of South America, and the United States. | 2. Vessel Acquisitions. The years 1958 and 1959 mark a turning point in the character of Soviet fleet acquisitions. Newly acquired ships have such up-to-date features as mechanical hatch covers and unstayed bipod masts. Both tankers and dry cargo ships have air conditioned one- and two-man rooms for the crews. These same features appear in many of the smaller types of ships which the U. S. S. R. is currently planning to add to its fleet. Other modern features contemplated for some of these smaller types are shipboard cranes and adjustable-pitch propellers. 3. Adequacy of the Sino-Soviet Bloc Merchant Marine. In 1975 the share of the total foreign trade of the Bloc carried in its own vessels will probable be from three- fourths to nine-tenths, indicating virtual independence of Western maritime services. The trend since 1950 has been for greater self-sufficiency and less dependence on foreign (particularly non-Bloc) vessels. Considerable progress has been made toward achieving this objective, and by 1975 the goal should virtually be realized. 4. Potential of the Bloc Maritime Fleet. After World War II, the shipbuilding industry in the U. S. S. R. and its satellites underwent extensive expansion and mod- ernization. During the immediate postwar period, the U. S. S. R. initiated a rapid
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build up of its naval and merchant fleets. Upon the completion of the major part of the naval vessel construction program in about 1955-56, the shipyards of the U. S. S. R. turned to producing merchant tonnage. The shipyards in the U. S. S. R. range in technical development from very advanced to most primitive. The larger yards, such as the Baltic and Admiralty ship- yards in Leningrad and the Nosenko yard in Nikolayev, are in some respects more advanced than those in Western Europe and the U. S. In welding techniques and weld- testing equipment, the shipbuilding industry of the U. S. S. R. is equal to that of the combined Western powers. 5. Means of Bloc Competition with Free World Maritime Fleets. There is always the possibility that the Sino-Soviet Bloc could or would use its fleets as instruments of economic warfare rather than primarily as national services. If such a policy were carried to the extreme, it is conceivable that the Bloc would engage foreign ships to carry its own import-export trade and would use its present foreign trade fleet of approx- imately three million deadweight tons* and its estimated 1975 foreign trade fleet of about 13 million tons* to compete against free world vessels for free world cargoes. The piecemeal disruptive effects could be rather severe, not only by 1975 but at present. The use of rate undercutting could overcome any characteristics of Soviet vessels which are inferior to those of the modern segments of the world fleet. The tactics could be to select a certain trade route or routes and to place enough appropriate shipping into the run to blanket sailings of scheduled lines, and to offer inducement rates. Already some of the considerable fleet of Western ships (about one million tons) under charter to Communist China have been released from Chinese coastal operations and are being used as a rate-cutting instrument in Chinese foreign trade. Many Western conference lines are already finding no Chinese cargo available. The Bloc fleets can be used to service the underdeveloped nations as a form of economic penetration. This in fact is already being done. Scheduled lines are expanding to make regular calls at Near East and Southeast Asian ports as well as South American ports. Technical assistance is also being offered by the Bloc maritime industries to underdeveloped nations which are attempting to build their own fleets. The first large- scale example is Soviet and Polish activities in Indonesia. A joint maritime organization is reportedly being planned under the auspices of the Committee on Transportation of a Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CEMA). Such a central control of Bloc fleets could present a very effective competitive front. Moreover, we may expect that it will be used effectively in close support of Communist international political and economic objectives. Tonnage employed in coastal trade deducted from totals.
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C. TOWARDS A DEFINITION OF THE LIMITED WAR The threat of future limited wars is a very serious one. Exactly where, how, or when they will break out is beyond the capability of man to predict. Perhaps low-yield atomic weapons will be used. Perhaps limited wars will be fought with rifles, artillery, and light bombers. These eventualities no one can delineate with any certainty. Yet there are certain peripheries to a definition of limited war which can be used for plan- ning purposes. These are imposed by limitations on the ability of the United States to respond with like force to a number of military exigencies. For example, for the purposes of this study, military actions larger than the Korean War were deemed impractical to consider. It was felt that the character of the war at a level of expenditure of men and materiel above that of the Korean War would so change the conflict that general war could be anticipated. For all practical intents and purposes the character of the war would also change if the lines of sea communication were violated by mass attack--whether by submarine, mine, missile, or bomber. It is assumed that the Soviets both know and understand that the indispensable condition of limited war is an inviolate base structure plus invi- olate lines of communication. Hence, in this study, attrition rates were not emphasized in the evaluation of our transport capability to meet situations of limited war, an omission of little importance in this study. Since limited war is possible at many places around the periphery of the Sino- Soviet Bloc, particularly in the Near East and Far East, one of the very serious short- ages in future operations may very well be port facilities of any but the crudest types. D. GENERAL WAR Damage estimates for general war situations are extremely difficult to gauge. Probable target systems, the over-kill planned by the Soviet military staffs, the circum- stances of the first strike are all subject to wide ranges of differing opinion. Hence, deriving any hard figures of merchant marine survival in such a situation, except in order of magnitude, verges on the impossible. This threat, therefore, while the least likely, is certainly the most difficult to deal with in any completely rational sense. The role of the merchant marine in such a conflict is simply based on the best estimates, gathered from the various studies on the subject, of the probable outcome of a nuclear exchange. In this connection, the destruction of dock facilities is of particular importance. During the period when a merchant marine might be most useful in rehabilitation and survival work, port facilities might be in most unsatisfactory condition, and "over the beach" transportation facilities would have to be used. E. SUMMARY If the least likely threat is estimated to be that of a nuclear strike on the conti- nental United States, then the most obvious threats are ones which have to be met either on or over the high seas. During the span of the next fifteen years, the great threat will be to the ships and goods which may be moved over the seas. The lesser threat will lie in the ability of the enemy, operating from interior lines of communication, to threaten lesser developed nations with military invasion. Here, too, the response has to be considered in terms of the U. S. ability to move troops rapidly overseas to meet the military exigencies of the situation.