The following open source, previously classified US government documents serve as primary evidence for this essay. A deterrence strategy is the main defense to reduce risk. Lampel and Shapira remark “…a rational actor will also practice vigilance”, or the monitoring (intelligence) of others to reduce risk “…to prevent strategic surprises before they happen” (Lampel and Shapira 2001, 599). Intelligence agencies’ strive to maintain objectivity, and knowledge of policymaker’s goals, to effectively, and clearly communicate threat estimation. Among other reasons, Lowenthal emphasizes avoiding strategic surprise is a primary reason intelligence agencies exist (Lowenthal 2012, 2). For good reason, as many modern-day examples typify the close relationship between strategic surprise and war. As Trubowitz (2012) describes war as “…the most lethal or destructive of foreign police tools…” (Trubowitz 2012, 10), and serves as a revisionist actors preferred strategy. The subsequent section examines primary, open source CIA ORE, NSA, and NSC-68 documents.
The first ORE report on 3 January 1947, frames the assumptions and threat perception for later reports. The ORE 5/1 report underscores three major themes. Uppermost, the report remarks, the Korean people desire an independent, single Korean nation (ORE 5/11947, 1). Other major themes include frailty of political and economic structure.
As a backdrop, the ORE report comments on the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) efforts to advance political and economic progress in NK exceeds that of US efforts in SK. However, the report explains a long-term strategy that promotes democracy within SK favors the west. This report also focuses attention USSR's weak internal economy, and lack of overall presence in the Far East. In addition to Soviet reliance on overt propaganda and support of guerrilla attacks in SK as low cost means to shape a defensive strategy, and establish a security buffer zone. Further, with no evidence of an immediate Soviet complicity except to promote unconventional tactics. The October 1947 report notes NK subordination, “…the fact that it has been carefully “packed” with Soviet-trained Koreans holding dual Soviet-Korean citizenship” (ORE 62 1947, 2). Thus, the 18 October 1947 ORE report continues the theme of Soviet control and use of propaganda, subversion, and guerrilla attacks to weaken SK.
The 3 October 1948 report stresses the economic and political weakness of SK, and introduces concern over an early withdraw of US troops. However, the ORE reports only ‘probable Soviet plans’ to intervene and unite the peninsula, while accentuates the Soviets’ primary means of unconventional warfare tactics. The 28 October 1948 ORE 44-48 report states the USSR central control over NK, which the ORE terms as a Soviet ‘puppet’ government. The report continues the theme of a Korean peninsula ripe with political and economic problems; however, it presents an optimistic view of the...