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CIA Evaluation of Soviet Military Goals Causes Controversy Among Observers

By Gideon Gil

The just-completed CIA estimate of long-range Soviet military goals prepared with aid from an outsiders committee headed by a Harvard professor has come under fire from some members of the academic community.

The top-secret National Intelligence Estimate on the Soviet Union reports the Soviets seek military superiority over the United States, several national newspapers reported last week.

In past years, the CIA has reported that the Soviet Union only sought military parity with this country.

The revised estimate is apparently largely the result of inclusion of estimates from non-CIA experts on the Soviet military who hold more pessimistic views of Soviet military intentions than do the CIA experts, who hold the parity thesis.

Richard E. Pipes, professor of History who headed the outsiders' committee, and George Bush, director of the CIA, chose people they believed were knowledgeable about weapons and politics for the committee, Pipes said yesterday.

Critics of the new report say the outsiders committee was one-sided and that the report is therefore biased. Bernard T. Feld, a professor of Physics at MIT who has been involved in arms control studies for many years, said yesterday he tends to "discount" the CIA estimate because it was prepared by "well-known spokesmen for the American Right."

Pipes said the Soviets seek the "triumph of the Communist order in the world," a goal he said they make very clear. It takes "supreme arrogance" on the part of some people to argue that the Soviets do not mean what they say, Pipes added.

The Soviets seek military superiority rather than parity because parity would imply they have rejected Marxism-Leninism, which they are not ready to do, Pipes said.

George B. Kistiakowsky, Lawrence Professor of Chemistry Emeritus who was special assistant for science and technology for President Eisenhower, yesterday cited several predictions made by the government over the last 30 years which have proved to be inaccurate, adding, "This is just another one of these red herring stories."

Kistiakowsky mentioned reports of bomber and missile gaps in the 1950s, the Gaither study, which claimed the Soviets would have military superiority by 1960, and a report during the Kennedy administration that said the Soviets were building air raid shelters across the country.

He also cited a National Security Council memorandum prepared in the late 1940s by Paul H. Nitze '28, then deputy Secretary of Defense, which suggested the Soviet Union is headed for world conquest.

Nitze was a member of the outsiders' committee that prepared the recent CIA report.

The committee also included a number of retired high ranking military officers, a former U.S. SALT delegation member and Foy D. Kohler, U.S. ambassador to Moscow from 1962 to 1966. Thomas W. Wolfe, RAND corporation expert on Soviet military affairs, was also on the committee.

Pipes said the CIA sought criticism from the outsiders the way a business would seek criticism from a consulting firm.

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