This collection of declassified analytic monographs and reference aids, designated within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Directorate of Intelligence (DI) as the CAESAR, ESAU, and POLO series, highlights the CIA’s efforts from the 1950s through the mid-1970s to pursue in-depth research on Soviet and Chinese internal politics and Sino-Soviet relations.
The documents reflect the views of seasoned analysts who had followed closely their special areas of research and whose views were shaped in often heated debate. Continuing public interest in the series, as reflected in numerous requests through Freedom of Information and Executive Order channels, led CIA’s Office of Information Management Services (IMS) to conduct a search of Directorate of Intelligence record systems for documents in this series and then undertake a declassification review of all the documents we located.
The 147 documents in this collection, amounting to over 11,000 pages of analysis, were written between 1953 and 1973. The collection includes a large number of newly declassified monographs as well as some studies that have been previously declassified and released to individual requesters. The continuing sensitivity of some documents in the series required that they be withheld from declassification.
— The CAESAR Papers
“The Doctors’ Plot” (15-Jul-53) – The attached article, “The Doctors’ Plot, is the first in a series of working papers prepared by the staff of Project CAESAR. Project CAESAR was established by the Director of Central Intelligence to study all available information on yhe members of the Soviet hierarchy.
Death of Stalin (16-Jul-53) – This then was the situation in the Soviet_Union on 4 March, when Radio Moscow announced that Stalin was in critical condition as a result of a stroke on the night of 1-2 March. The continuing medical bulletins were couched in pessimistic terms. They carefully outlined the nature of Stalin’s illness and meticulously described the measures being taken by the doctors who were treating him. These play-by-play accounts revealed concern lest listeners interpret this news; as meaning that either the old “doctor wreckers,” or a group of new ones had succeeded in shortening Stalin’s life. ‘The eight doctors in attendance’were under the supervision of a new Minister of Health, Tretyakov.
Germany (16-Jul-53) – Outside the Soviet_Union, the situation in Germany was to provide the cleareat indication of the problem faced by the new Soviet leaership and the difficulty which it had in handling them.
The Reversal of the Doctors’ Plot and Its Immediate Aftermath (17-Jul-53) – On 4 April, the much publicized dotors’ plot was repudiated in a startling publlc reversal. Pravda reported that an investigation committee especially set up for the purpose by the newly merged USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs (WVD) under L. P. Beria had found that officials of the ex Ministry of State Security (MGB) had used “Illegal methods” to extract false confessions from the accused doctors.
Melinkov’s Removal in the Ukraine (17-Jul-53) – Ukrainian personnel shifts following the death of Stalin culminated in the purge of L. G. Melnikov from his position as First Secretary of the Ukrainian Parts on 12 June of his membership on the USSR Party Presidium and his close relations with other members of that body, he vas the most important Soviet leader to have been removed since the death of Stalin.
The Zhdanov-Malenkov Relationship (29-Jul-53) – The hypothesis is frequently advanced that Zhdanov and Malenkov engaged in a bitter political conflict for Stalin’s favor and for control over the Soviet Communist Party,
The Balance of Power (5-Aug-53) – Following the death of Andrei Zhdanov, Malenkov rapidly reoccupied a prominent position in the Soviet hierarchy and apparently was allowed to re-establish control over the party apparatus by carrying out a purge of important Zhdanov adherents.
Indecision and Stress (21-Aug-53) – Following the failure of the North Korean attack on South Korea and the failure of the Chinese Comminists to drive UN forces from Korea, Soviet leaders grew increasingly concerned about US rearmament and US-inspired integration of Western defense efforts.
Politics and the Soviet Army: Developments Since October 1952 Relating to the Political Status of the Soviet Armed Forces (12-Mar-54) – This paper, the ninth in the CAESAR series, addresses itself primarily to developments within the Soviet armed forces during the period October 1952-December 1953. Its purpose in chronologically summarizing these developments is to place in perspective the position of the military within the context of the new Soviet leadership.
Purge of L.P. Beria (17-Apr-54) – Beria’s star, which had been declining since mid-1951, rose to an extraordinary height following Stalin’s death. At that time he again took over the direct control of the USSR security forces and and carried out a number of moves of the greatest importance. He attempted to purge the Soviet apparatus of those Who had opposed him or had been used by others to appose him. He appointed some trusted followers to positions in the MVD. He apparently initiated and promoted a de-Russification policy, and used this policy to oust some important local officials.
Summarization of Reports Preceding Beria Purge (17-Aug-54) – With the publication of Caesar 10, the Beria purge, it was thought desirable to summarize briefly the preceding reports in the series.
Resignation of Malenkov (12-Sep-55) – A number of differing interpretations have been advanced to explain the demotion of Malenkov in February 1955 from his position as Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. At one end of the spectrum of interpretatrions is the view that Malenkov’s demotion represented his defeat in a struggle for personal power, with little or no conflict over matters of domestic or foreign policy.
Recent Developments in Political Status of Soviet Armed Forces (20-Sep-55) – This study is a working paper prepared by the Soviet Staff, OCL, to assist Soviet Staff analysts in developing a common appreciation of background factors affecting current intelligence trends in the Soviet field.
Soviet Views on Capitalism (30-Jan-56) – This study is a working paper. It attempts to identify major trends in Soviet views on capitalism since World War II.
The Suez Crisis – A Test for the USSR’s Middle Eastern Policy (3-Jan-57) – This study is a working paper. It attempts to identify the major premises, motivations and objectives of Soviet policy toward the Middle East in the spring of 1955.
Factionalism in the Hungarian Workers (Communist) Party (28-Jan-57) – This study is a working paper. It attempts to discover and analyze the major cliques, factions and alignments in the Hungarian Workers (Communist) party since 1945 in terms of changing Soviet policy demands and the resultant conflict of interest with the needs of local leaders and the country as a whole.
Soviet Economic Policy: December 1956 – May 1957 (8-Jul-57) – This study is an attempt to provide a somewhat detailed analysis of intelligence on Soviet economic policy from December 1956 to May 1957.
Differences in Temperament Among Soviet Leaders as Shown by Their Approach to Policy Issues 1945-1957 (30-Oct-57) – This working paper is an attempt to determine the personal predictions and policy leanings of top-level Soviet leaders by analysis of the part they played in various postwar policy disputes.
From the July Plenum (1955) to the 20th Party Congress – Antecedents and Aftermath of Malenkov’s Resignation From the Premiership (12-Mar-58) – It was originally intended to begin this study at the point where Caesar 12,Resignation of Malenkov, left off.
From the July Plenum (1955) to the 20th Party Congress – Antecedents and Aftermath of Malenkov’s Resignation From the Premiership (19-Jun-58) – Part II – With the defeat of Malenkov in January 1955, Khrushchev became unquestionably “number one” in the Soviet “collective leadership” but he did not thereby command full and continuing support from all the other members of the party presidium.
The Tie That Binds – Soviet Intrabloc Relations Feb 1956 to Dec 1957 (29-Jul-58) – On the eve of Stalin’s death in 1953, the Soviet empire extended half way across Europe to the West and included the ”heartland” of Asia to the east.
The Failure of the Soviet-Yugoslav Rapprochement (3-Nov-58) – This study is a working paper circulated to analysts of Soviet affairs as a contribution to current interpretation of Soviet policy.
Party-Military Relations in the USSR and the Fall of Marshal Zhukov (8-Jun-59) – This working paper is another study in the series prepared under Project CAESAR. Project CAESAR is designed to provide detailed analyses from all intelligence sources of developments affecting leading members of the Soviet hierarchy, their political and personal associations, policies with which they have been identified, and political institutional changes which affect the Soviet leadership situation.
The Soviet Writer and Soviet Cultural Policy (15-Sep-59) – As a result of the fluctuations in official policy and the durability of the pressures for liberalization, Soviet literature has been carried beyond the confines of the Stalin era.
The Soviet History of World War II (28-Oct-59) – This paper seeks to answer questions posed by the recent increased attention to the history of the war in the Soviet_Union. Why is the regime now encouraging historical writing on the war? What interpretations are being promoted? What are the political and military implications?
Khrushchev on Nuclear Strategy (19-Jan-60) – The rapid growth of Soviet ICBM capabilities poses critical problems for intelligence.
The Succession to Khrushchev (4-Mar-60) – The issue of the succession to Khrushchev has begun to cast its shadow over the internal Soviet political scene.
Soviet Policy Toward the Underdeveloped Countries (28-Apr-61) – This is a working paper. It traces chronologically the development of aspects of Soviet policy toward colonial areas and the countries regarded by Moscow as having achieved various degrees of independence from “Imperialism.”
Soviet Military Thought on Future War (3-Apr-62) – This is a working paper, a preliminary and uncoordinated examination of the predicament of Soviet military thought on the question of general war, particularly with regard to questions of strategic importance.
Khrushchev and the Anti-Party Group (27-Apr-62) – This is a working paper, a reconstruction of the challenge to Khrushchev by the “anti-party group” led by Malenkov, Molotov and Kaganovich.
Soviet Strategic Doctrine for the Start of War (3-Jul-62) – Both classified and open Soviet military sources indicate that the USSR has added to its strategic concepts the doctrine of pre-emptive attack.
Soviet Military Strategy and the Chinese Problem (26-Apr-63) – It is the thesis of this paper that the Soviets have not neglected the military implications of the rift with Communist China.
Khrushchev’s Role in the Current Controversy Over Soviet Defense Policy (17-Jun-63) – Since the Cuban crisis, which nurtured the cause of the advocates of greater defense spending, Khrushchev’s basic plan has been to keep up the present pace of growth of Soviet armed strength without further impairing the country’s economic growth.
Unorthodox Ideas in the USSR (27-Jun-63) – This survey represents the first systematic attempt to deal with a growing volume of classified reports on attitudes and views expressed by younger Soviet citizens in convers*ations with Western nationals.
Trends in Soviet Thought on Limited Warfare (16-Dec-63) – Primarily on the basis of open Soviet military and political writings, this report attempts to identify new trends in Soviet thinking on limited warfare and to probe their possible consequences for Soviet military policy, or foreign policy as it relates to the management of local crises.