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South Yemen-USSR: Outlook for the Relationship
National Intelligence Esifmate
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SOUTHUTLOOK FOR THE RELATIOSftHW*
this estimate is issued by the director of central intelligence.
the national foreign intelligence board concurs.
The following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of the Estimate:
the Centred Intetegenee Agency. Ihe Defeewe IrtfrtrtjofKe Agency, the National Seeurity Agettcy, and iht ttMeltiaertcewtk>n. ot the Doportotwit ol Stale.
tttonitaff fee iMtettgcfKe. Department ol Iho Amy Theol Navoletrtrrtenl of the Navy The Awittant Chief of Sloff, Inlettgcnee, DrporlmeM of the AO Farce The Director ofeadtfuartea, Morirto Corps
Roots of Soviet-South Yemeni 7
Evidence of 8
Soviet-South Yemeni 8
Soviet Assistance and Influence in South 8
Benefits to the 9
Domestic Influences on Hasani's
South Yemen's Economic
Hasani's Coals, Strategy, and
Foroign Influences on Hasani's
Relations With Saudi Arabia and
Relations With Western
Prospects for Soviet-South Yemeni
Likely Soviet Reactions to Hasani's
Implications for the United
This Estimate focuses on frictions in South Yemen-Soviet relations, their probable intensity and significance over the next two to three years, and what the implications might be for US interests.
The reader is cautioned that available sources of reliableon South Yemen are limited. Data on economic subjects is particularly scarce, as well as information dealing with the extent and nature of Soviet assets in South Yemen.
Aden's dependency on ihe Soviets for security will almost certainly prevent drastic changes In the relationship from developing over at least the next two to three years. Recent bilateral exchanges have exhibllcd greater warmth than was theear ago. and there are no reliable indications that South Yemen's leaders areignificant shift away from Moscow. Still, frictions will continue intermittently to mark the relationship between South Yemen and the Soviet Unionesult of Chairman All Nasir Muhammad al-Hasani's quest for expanded economic and development assistance from wealthy neighbors and the West and his resistance to reported Soviet efforts to expand Moscow's access to South Yemeni military facilities.
The USSR's leaders will almost certainly maintain and attempt to expand Soviet access to facilities in South Yemen. Moscow probably finds Southore stable client than Ethiopia, wilh its ongoing civil war and weaker central institutions Increased Soviet access to South Yemeni facilities would probably focus on improving the naval reconnaissancesubstitutingircraft for. However. Aden is unlikely to grant Moscow autonomous use of naval and air facilities orormal access agreement ss the Soviets desire.
The extent to which the US expands its military presence in the Persian Gulf/Indian Ocean area willignificant influence both on the urgency with which the Soviets seek expanded access to South Yemen's military facilities and on Aden's readiness to grant such expanded access.
South Yemen's ties to the Soviets concern the United States for
Aden provides theosition from which to expand their influcnce in the Red Sea/Arabian Sea/Horn of Africa area and to enhance their capacity to monitor US and Allied activities in the Middle East.
The Soviet presenceecurity shield if. however unlikely in the near term, the Aden government resumes efforts to destabilize the governments of Saudi Arabia, North Yemen, Oman, and the smaller Gulf states or renews its support for international terrorist groups.
South Yemen's dependence on the Soviets works against US efforts toiplomatic dialogue with Aden
Soviet policy encourages South Yemen to work together with Ethiopia, Libya. Syria, and other pro-Soviet regimes against US policy interests in the Middle East.
Over the near term, the Soviets arc likely lo tolerate Hasani's improved ties with the moderate Arab states and the West:
Hasaninown quantity and able to manage volatile domestic political factions,table climale for Soviet activity.
Moscow may believetrong reaction to Hasani's poticies would jeopardize opportunities for diplomatic exchanges with the Saudis and tbe Omanis which Moscow has long sought.
Western and Arab financial aid, which constitutes the bulk of economic assistance to South Yemen over the pastends to reduce Aden's dissatisfaction with Moscow's failure tourgently needed economic assistance.
We do not believe that Moscow is likely to attempt tooup against Hasani during the time frame of this Estimate. The chances would be greatest if Moscow concludes that Hasani is moving decisively against key Soviet interests in South Yemen. Any such move, however, would be difficult and costly; Hasani has tightened his control over the security and military apparatus and has purged many of the leading party members who support former Yemeni Socialist Party leader Abd al-Fattahro-Soviet hardliner now resident in Moscow. Some analysts believe that this control is substantial enough to blunt any coup attempt. Others believe lhat Moscow could mobilize sufficient assets in South Yemen to bringuccessful coup.
Hasani has successfully consolidated his domestic position as chief of party and government by controlling volatile fntraparty factionalism, preparing the ground carefully in advance of major political moves, and working toopular base of support
Hasani's present course indicates that he and his supporters accord economicigher priority than tbe export ofa preoccupation of previous regimes. Current evidence suggests that Aden has curtailed ib support for international terrorists. Its ties with Iran arc limited to mutual economic interests. We judge Uiat Hasani will continue these policies if moderation succeeds in attracting the desired aid. and if he can keep his rivals under control.
Hasani's ability to attract additional outside economic aid will depend in part on maintaining good relations with Saudi Arabia, Oman,
and North Yemen as measured by continued restraint fromactivities on the Peninsula. Border disputes wilh all three may flare up occasionally, but all parties will probably work to keep these localized.
Even while attempting to diversify aid patrons. South Yemen will continue to oppose US political and military influence in the region. Nonetheless, the Hasani regime offers decided advantages for US interests compared with previous South Yemeni regimes:
It has played down destabilizing activities on the Arabian Peninsula.
It has reined in the most radical domestic forces and neutralized many pro-Soviet sympathizers.
It has focused government attention and resources on domestic economic developments that require Western technical and financial assistance,
It hastrong domestic power base that gives it leverage against Soviet demands.
The extent of Soviet influence in any successor regime will depend in part on the Soviet role in bringing that regime toif the successor is politically indebted to Moscow, lessuccession takes place without Sovietuccessor regime is likely to conciliate the Sovieis at least initially.
Evenuccessor regime were not politically indebted to the USSR for its accession to power, its new leaders would still be facedesperately poor country and very grim choices:
To suppress rising economic needs and expectations.
To Invite substanlially expanded aid from conservative Arab sources and the West at the risk of provoking Soviet retaliation.
To again try for substantially expanded Soviet and East Bloc economic aid, which, if forthcoming, would only be delivered at the cost of much-increased Soviet influence.
Alternative developments severely affecting cither US or Soviet interests, while not likely, deserve consideration
Wont Case /or the United States.uccessor come to power more determined to promote radical change and less concerned aboul economic priorities, he could refocus South Yemeni goals by:
Undermining moderate Peninsula regimes.
Participating in international terrorism.
Strengthening ties with Libya. Syria, and Iran.
increased access to the Soviets.
Worst Case for the Soviets. Some reporting indicates that Hasani may be considering loosening ties with Moscow. Should sufficient additional non-Communist economic and technical assistance become available, and the South Yemeni leadership determine tolean break with the Soviets, Moscow could:
Lose access to all South Yemeni facilities.
erious reversal in the Arab stale thought to be the Soviets' most devoted client.
Lose an important means of exercising political leverage against Saudi Arabia and other moderate Gulf states.
Given ibe past reputation of South Yemenoviet clientadical stale, All Nailr Muhammad a) Hasani. the current leader of that Impoverished and resource-poor Rale, hai2 demorutratedconsiderable amount of Independence andHe haa replaced key personnel sympathetic to tbe Soviets hit own loyalista; expanded commercial and diplomatic lies with his Arab neighbors, the Wert, and the Japanese; and withdrawn support for innb threatening neighboring Bales.
Hasani's policies, which reflect his commitment to addressing long-repressed popular desires fordevelopment, initially created some frictions In ties between Aden and Moscow. The Soviets resisted hb requests for more economic aid. bargained hard on loan terms, and treated ham coofiv during visits to Moscow Inore recently, however,have improved- Tne late Soviet Chairman Yuri Andropov met wllh Hasani duilng thet* to the USSR
Moscow seems determined to hold on to Its position on the Peninsula, relying on Aden's military and technical assistance dependency and SovietId South Yemen to protect ib interests. Alone with those available in Ethiopia, naval and airIn Soulb Yemen are Important elements Inefforts to compete with US influence in the Middle East and Africa, to expand lis influence and military presence In tbe area, and to protect its own interests there
Politically. Moscow's position in South Yemen allows il to pressure Saudi Arabia, Oman, and tlte Gulf slates.
Militarily. South Yemen enables the Soviets to reconooiter US and Allied naval and maritime activity in the region, and provides limited Iotas-Uc support to the Soviet Indian Ocean Squadron Aden provides transit rights lor Soviet aircraft en route to Ethiopia and other African points. Front South Yemen, the Soviets also support their heavy regional merchant and fishing traffic
South Yemen has value for Moscow as one ot* the few Soviet clients in the Third World withgoverningarty whose institutions ore modeled along Soviet lines. More than once the Soviets have pointed to South Yemenodel for Thud World state*.
outh Yemen's lies to Ihe Soviets concern the United States for four reasons:
provides iheosition fromexpand their Influence in the Redof Africa area and lo enhanceto monitor US and Allied activitiesMiddle
The Soviet presenceecurity shield if, however unlikely in the near term, the Aden government resumes efforU to destabiliic the governments of Saudi Arabia. North Yemen, Oman, and the smaller Gulf states or renews Its support lor international terrorist groups.
South Yemen's dependence on the Soviets works against US efforU loiplomatic dialogue with Aden
Soviet policy encourages South Yemen to work together with Ethiopia, Libya. Syria, and other pro-Soviet regimes against US policy Interests in the Middle East
Roots of Soviet-South Yemeni Tension
South Yemeni-Soviet frictiotuension between Aden's security dependency and longstanding political and ideological ties with Moscow, on the one hand, and Yemeni national priorities for economic development, on the other. This balancing process is ensnared in the competition lor power within the ruling group, some of whose members rely on Soviet support
South Yemeni unhapplness with tbe Soviets stems particularly from:
Dissatisfaction with the negligible amounts of Soviet economic aid. Soviet unwillingness orto meet much of South Yemen's economic assistance remiircroents, delays In delivery, and ineffective project administration constitute the most important reasons for ibe stream between Moscow and Aden,
at io Ihe Soviets' ability at desire lo (ind oil on ciclusive concessions they have worked for overears. An Italian3 discoveryotentially productive well raised the issue, and reportedlyoviet demandonopoly on oil contracts. The South Yemeni ruling patty's central committee reportedlyllie Soviet position on this Issue. IIgranted some promliing concessions to the Soviets.
-Complaints about Soviet stinginess in panting emergency aid. When (he devastating floods of2 destroyed much of South Yemen's agricultural, livestock, and transportationin the most productive westernFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO)estimated the loss at tlSoviets offeicd only minimal aid. while the Saudisillion, and International organizations made substantial contributions.
Concerns that unrestricted Soviet fishing lo South Yemeni waters has dangerously depleted vital fish resources.
Concent about Soviet meddling in Sooth Yemeni teadeithfp struggles. Moscow has given refuge to Hasanl's hardline ManLtt predecessor as party leader and bead of state, Abd al-Fattah Ismail Over the last two roan, two reported coup attempts against Hasanl may have Involved Ismail loyalists still in South Yemen.
Concern about reported Soviet demands toaccess to South Yemeni facilities, and begin oceotnsotloo on autonomous facilities nemr Aden.isit to Aden by Soviet naval chief Adm. Sergei CWtkov In the springasanl reportedly deflected demands for greater bilateral aid relations have been established wilh France, Canada, and otltei Western countries In addition, the two Yemeni appear to be engaging in dose cceuulutions.
South Yemen hu withdrawn support for military activities of tbe National Democratic Front (NDF) In North Yemen and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman (PFLOX Dothare based In Aden aad continue some political activities.
Aden has curtailed Its support for international terrorum.
Domestically, Hasanl has reduced theof the regime,nd allowed, some private investment activity.
Initiatives haverice tag: Libyaopenly against them, and domesticthe NDF and PFLO have had to be dealt with,
Soviet-South Yemeni Relotioftshfp Soviet Assistance and Influence in Soulh Yemen
Soviets use their miliury and otherprograms to bolster their influence in Adentheir political following The targe numbertraining programs has facilitated theSoviei sympathizers In the ranks ofand miliury. Soviets and East Europeansinstructors In schools run by the ruling:Party (YSP> South Yemen's politicaJcomprising members ot tbe YSP Centraland the Presidium, together with loadingfigures and Ministers.umberSoviet supporters. Q
hen efforts failed to gain new economic aid from the radical Arab camp (Libya in particular) and the Sovietsasanl was further convinced to turn to wealthier Arab neighbors. Aden also began looking to Western Europe for more advancedand development autstance- Since that time. South Yemen has largely ended its support for antiregime activities in neighboring nates to Qualify for this critically needed assistance;
In addition to normaliring diplcenatk relations with Saudi Arabia and Oman, diplomatic and
rom the South Yemeni perspective, many aspects of the client relationship with the Soviet Union are troublesome: the Soviets are unpopular, they are seen as not providing enough economic assistance, their offers carry stringent terms, they arc attempting toe South Yemeni education and otherwise Interfere in domestic affairs. Nonetheless, there are no reliable Indications that the possibilityajor shift away from usender cortstcSeration within the political and military leadership. Most Southleaden recognize the value of Soviet security and technical assistance to the nation and the serious
Ihe Origin) ol Ihe Soviet-South Yemeni Itelof ion ship Akhouch the Soviet Union encouraged the Sooth Yemeni* in their niccesif ul fight ajairu* British nilr Inii.own- did not offer significant support to thestatehen tbe immediate rxcapect* (or cipandinc its influence In North Ycoco dimmed.2 Soviet ind, loleaser otent. Chinesehipped South Yemeni leaden lo unify lor the lint lime what hadollection of bthol sbayth-doetn, to audi Internal opposition, and lo begin buiMme modem DolWicil nxi economictrong stale security apparatus war constructed with East German and Soviet help.
The Soviet loss ol access to mililaiy facilities io Somaliahkh heightened tbe value of less-used facilities in South Yemen, together with tbe rise lo nowr cef Abdatershed In Yemeni-Soviet relations. During IsmaH's leadership (enure, South Yemen moved much closer to the Sovicl Union io the tallowing ways:
coruolidited the leading political parties into one cen trail red "vanguard" organisation, the Yemeni Socialist Partyoodcted after and with dose ties to ihe Crjmraurust Party of the
The Sovieu gained expanded access to torn- of Soothmilitary facilities in exchange for major arms sales.
South Yemenreaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the USSR.
A coahTMo of nagjggaaWi from the YSP astd the military deposed Ismsll in mid-IWO: In hiswith North Yemen, lie had allowed the economic flluiUoQ it home lo deteriorate dangereudr. he bad alkrwerTthe Soviets too much visibility and mtlueoce In an liUmic country only recently emerged from colonial status; and he had allowed South Yemen losanah within the Arab world, costing miUiona ef dollars In potential Gulf financial assistance. He was rcplsced bv Ah Nattr Muhammad al-llaaani, former Defense Minister, Prime Minister under the two previous re-limes, who was Identified with the southern, nationalist faction within thebe Soviets acquiesced Inemoval, and allowed bun to take refuge In the Soviet Union.
consequences should It be withdrawn. Any leader whose actions were perceived as seriously jeopardising thai assistance would face strong Internal opposition on those grounds.
n any case, Moscow probably would learn of any such plan in advance and would attempt to head it off by Inter alia threatening to withhold military support and technical assistance, or. In the moat
extreme case, by supporting one oi Hasani's rivals in a
Benefits to the Soviets
USSR's access io South Yemenwith both military and political benefits inof critical importance to ihe United StatesWest Soviet access to facilities In SouthEthiopia supports tbe USSR's efforts topotentially threaten Western sea lino ofthrough the Red Sea's Bab el-Mandcbthe Arabian Sea.
Advantaga. Soviet Interests intheir own lines of shipping and fishingthe broader strategic objective ofinto the Middle East The convictiontraders tlut the United States Intends tomake permanent Its Indian Ocean militaryhas increased their appreciation of theof (he Yemeni, for tbey see Sovietair and naval facilities In South Yemen anda partial political counter lo US use of facilitiesPersian Gulf and Indian Ocean. Althoughof no lormal basing agreement, riseto Yemeni facilities has aided (heir effortreconnaissance and intelligence caiheringio Uie region, and has provided helpfulfor their Indian Ocean Squadron.econnaissance aircraft currentlyin South Yemen may be replaced by
ii Politico!he South Yemenialso supports Soviet foreign policy goats, such as rejection of US-identified proposals to resolve the Arab-Israeli dispute, opposition to the US CENTCOM, and continuation of the Soviet presence in
1 Adennutual defense pact with Libya andTripartite or Aden Pact-engineered by Libyan leader Qadhafl to counter US-sponsored agreements with Kenya, Oman, andLibyan failure to follow through on promised aid to Aden and Ethiopia, and Libyan-Ethiopian rivalry over leadership of the Organization for African Unity have rendered the pact moribund, althoughYemeni ties remain dose
he Soviets welcomed this display of unity among their supporters. Bui Ihey were also concerned that It would aggravate divisions between moderate and radical Arabs, thus complicating Soviet efforts tonited opposition lo Israel
Soviet Military Ute ol South Yemeni Facilities
F3err>eoti ol the Soviet Indian Ocean SquadtonAden foe replenishment, crew rest, mall pkkup, and minor rnainienance. Visiting Soviet ship* nornuDr tne moorinc betihi wu tbe aevej bete et Aden. Tbe Soviet) iba uj* inchonca in inictnational waters off Soocera Island fee virionaintenance tub Toe Soviets bare do lanhaes oa Socotra blend itsdf.
Tbe Soviet philosophy of tuvil lotpillei relies heavily on ail oil wpputt and tninltnim the use of large-tcaie facilities ashore thai can be cipeniive. When refueling in Aden, fee example, Soviet ships tne their own oiler tithei than the available btinkcilnitloating dtydeck, towed to Aden liom Somaliaas moved to Ethiopia's Dahlik Islandhere it it used for minor repait ot Soviet submarines and surface comhatanu Overall Soviet use of Ethiopian potts has increasedhile the number of Soviet combatant visits to Aden has declined
Soviet and South Yemeni vends exeacued together in the Arabian Sea in the sprint3 with an emphasisndsubrannc warfare and maritime tecoftrqtv tance. That -as the first ootnbined exercise0 and was presumably intrudedesponse to US and Allied forces' BrieSt Star and Jade Titer exercise* of recent yean. The South Yemeni Navy routinelywith the USSH in patrolling tbe BabStrait
The Soviets have IwoMay) reconnaissance aircraft stationed at al-Anad alifield. north of Aden.ap showing the radius oflights from Aden and the Ethiopian (veld at Asntera into the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean) In addition, they exercise transit rights for civilian and military cargo planes en route to Ethiopia, MoeambtQue, and die-wheae in tbe region. While the Soviets have not yet deployedo South Yemen, these looser range reconnaissance aircraft could reach the US base at Diego Garcia,utside the range of Soviet tiraxft cuiiee-lly mUUctsod as South Yemen ce Elbtocta
Aden has also servedonduit to radical Third World movements whose activities often serve Soviet purposes. The recent gathering of Arabparties in Adenase in point.
Sootef Militant Auislance.outh Yemen has been dependent on the Soviets and the East Bloc for major military equipment, spare parts, and training Aden hu abo looked to Moscowecurity guarantee against outside throats.
hows current inventories of major Soviet-supplied military equipment. The onlynew weapon system shipped to South Yemen2 consisted of advanced models of theighter-beenber that will upgrade ground3 Ihe Soviets delivered^ew Antonov cargo aircraft, and someissiles.
Soviet Military Assistance Deliveries lo North and South
^ Miibga us S
ao tl tl
2 shows Communist (predominantlydeliveries of military equipment to bothSouth Yemen. The figuie indicates thatof Communist weapons and supportlo Aden dropped by more than half from1
shipments under armssigned in theound down. Large Soviet deliveries to North Yemen8reatly expanded Soviet effort to gain influence there, while much of South Yemen'i modern Soviethad been delivered in previous years not shown In the figure. The surge In Soviet assist an cc to North Yemen9 brings total Soviet aid to both Ycmcns (whose military forces are about ihe same size)ough equivalency. We believe that newfor Soviet arms to North and South Yemen.
During South Yemen's earlyand East Bloc personnel assisted inorgans, the Internal security apparatus,ministries In South Yemen.continue toariety of trainingtasks in military, educational, economic,fields. Sources disagree about theof Soviet personnel In Southome Sovietact as advisers to the regular South Yemeni military in the training, maintenance, and lofpsiic support functions; Soviet technicians help wilhprojects, and still others solely support Soviet activities at facilities such as Aden harbor and Salah al-Din. Cubarainers for Use militia, and East Germany haseople training internal security functionaries. Additional small numbers of Cuban and East Bloc personnel assist In agricultural, construction, and public health protects.
Economic AiriXancc. Because Aden'sIts economicheavily on external aid, Soviet economic assistance has been an important contribution, though not at levels the South Yemenis would prefer. Communist aid totaled aboutercent of all eccwmic assistance) commitments to South Yemen4 to the present. Soviet and East Bloc projects account for much of South Yemen's light manufacturing industry. Although not always well planned or thought out, these peoiccts have helped expand domestic produc-llon capabilities.
Many South Yemeni civilian and militaryreceive education and/or training in the Soviet Union or Bloc countries, or by Soviet or Blocin country. Thousands of South Yemenis have
Communist and Non-Communisl Economic
much-needed skills in these trainingGiven the low level of education of theSouth Yemen benefits greatly from theseAt the same time, the Soviets are ptesumaWv recruiting sympathize is and agents from these groups, both In the civilian and military ranks. In order to enhance Soviet influence In South Yemen.
Domestic Influences on Hasani's Policies South Yemen's Economic Deficiencies
South Yemen's grave economic situationthe driving force behind Hasani's efforts to improve ties to his neighbors. Aden depended on external sources forercent of the funding of the first Five Year; it sought at leastercent0 million) of3 developmenttwo-thirds of itsoutside.
The barren nature of the1 percent fathe absence of significant naturalmake South Yemen one of the world's poorest countries. The annual per capita Income fa now0 for the population ofillion. Much of the wealth fa concentrated In Aden, leaving the rural areas, where overercent of thestill resides, with poor health care, Insufficient means of transportation, inadequate housing, and, in some cases, not enough to eat- Ufa expectancyears.
Nonetheless, CNP grewurprisingly high average annual rateercent6rimarily because of remittances from South Yemenis working abroad and foreign economic assistance.vary, but anywhereoothoercent of the work force) work abroad, mostly in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. The IMF estimates that worker remittances accounted forercent of GNPithout worker remittances and foreign assistance, the balance of payments would have been negative.
iven their own apparent constraints on foreign aid resources, the Soviets have not considered South Yemen's relatively small economic assistance needs of sufficient priority to accommodate them fully.ompares Communist withnly during the regime of Abd al-Fattah Isntail did Communist donorsmore economic assistance than non-Communists;oviet economic assistance to Aden had declined to virtually zero, while non-Communist aid stood9 million The Soviets have offered no significant economic aidon-Communist
South Yemeni Imports From Wesiern Industrialized Countries and Communist
has come largely from mullibleral sources.World Bank. IMF, and Arab multilateral funds, with some bilateral aid corning from OPEC countries. (There Is reason to believe, though we cannot confirm, that the Soviets have provided
some additionalassistance in the form of subsidies for Aden's budget deficits.)
Nor has the Soviet Blocajor trading partner for South Yemen: Imports from Communist countries have remained relatively low,light increase under Ismail. Imports from Westerncountries and Japan, however, have rMmimAxceptecline under Ismail.hows South Yemeni imports from Westerncountries and themports from Western countries had dunbed9 million, while imports from the Communist Bloc amounted4 million.
Hasani has increased imports of consumer goods, subsidized basic necessities, and devoted more of ihe development budget to human services and infrastructure projects. He lias also allowed some limited private investment of capital.
it is difficultetermine theand extent of popular opposition to theor the extent of repression needed to maintain order, we believe that the South Yemen Government faces no significant threat of internal rebellion. In fact. Hasani's popularity is due in part to his efforts to reduce the government repressiveness that prevailed under Ismail. The internal security apparatus isffective, and loyal to Hasani.
he practice In Aden of selecting members of key political bodies with an eye to representing the major tribes probably neutralizes some concerns, as do party efforts to hold public meetings in the provinces and keep tabs on issues that could becomeMoreover. Hasani has responded to another popular concern by showing moreIslam than have previous, more doctrinaire leaders.
lthough jockeying for position within theelite creates chronic problems for continuity at tbe top, Hasani Is gambling tbat his efforts to promote economic growth will shore up his claim to leadership. He believes sustained Arab aid will bolster his popular support, undercut hb opponents, and help him strengthen his grip on tbe party and bureaucracy.
asani's opponents have political reasons for sabotaging hb policies, and have already attempted to do so. The policy of South Yemeni "moderation'" b
thcrefoic tangled in domestic political rivalries whose outcome will determine its eventual continuation or abandonment. Hasanl'f abilities to handle hu rivals in the ongoing powei struggle willritical factor.
Hasorti's Goals. Strategy, ond Style
has been rcferretl toraams list,and an adroit, skilled politician whoto survive domestic political wan. Thedemonstrated an ability to effectively managepolitical rivals and will probably be abletheir challenges to his authority.
b strengthened by his stioog Dathinaofficial ef forts Io "del ri bahsociety, tilbal divisions still retain socialhis ability to avoidthe object of personal animus. In addition, heyears held strategic positions in tbeparly, enabling him to cultivate followers InMinistry, the Supreme People's Council,YSP Central Committee His followers controlservices. He has demonstratedand now holds three key offices ofChairman of tbe Presidium of theCouncil, andf the YSP.
"hero of the
^Qasiin's most important powerhe NDF. He strongly favored the use of regular South Yemen troops to back NDF forays Into Northpolicy rejected by the YSP Centralin the spring2 Qasim is known for his ties to Libyan leader Qadhaii
ut thetar has waned In recent months, and so has Quito's, although as Defense Minister he stillasis of support in the regular military, and he must be comidered Hasanl's most serious rival Oasim, who holds the rank of Brigadier General, was removed from the Politburond is eager lo regain mat
lt Antar.rigadier General, has his own foUowing within the military which he oversaw as Defense Minister for some years before Hasanl re> rnoved himntars support helped Ismail take power, and he himself was preumably afor leadership after Ismail's removaI.r
An Iraportaot Antar ally Is Allldh. currently Minister of Local Government. This position oas enabled both Antar and al-Bidh to build up local support basest
Both Antar and Qasim have aspirations for power; both are known to solicit Soviet support to further their ambitionsP
two main rivals for power.Minister AH (Antar) Bishi and DefenseMuslih
""lhavc well develoiied domestic power bases, carry strong revolutionary credentials dating from the guerrilla struggle against (he BriturjJVom
Muslih Oasim, named tMcnseL Is
Current Power Struggle
he ongoing power struggle among these three was exacerbated Inith Hasanl out of the country. All Antar acted to send regular South Yemen troops to support the NDF In violation of the agreement that had been worked out with North Yemen. Ilasani reportedly determined that suchinsubordination could not be tolerated, and vowed to get rid of both Antar and al-Bidh at the neat Central Committee meeting. Antar's reported backing
ol the Soviet request tn late3 formilitary facilities may reflect an attempt to gain Soviet favor and to translate this into support against Hasani.
rttn.fi rid ot* Antar and al-Bidb was more difficult than anticipated: after postponing the3 meeting for several weeks. Hasani reportedly failed to get enough support to oust
Hasani successfully undercut Antar's support from the northerner faction by releasing two of their number
from prison and giving wide play to the death of another.
rivals can create difficulties foe himamong various factions within the YSP.probably will not be able to sidetrack (hepolicies In the foreseeable futureramatic economic setback orpolitical defeat attributable to Hasani'sBackedoyal and effective securitysupport In the ranks of party, military,and among the population, Altal-Hasani will be very diflkult forrivals, acting alone, to bring down.
Foreign Influences on Hasani's Policies Relations With Saudi Arabia and Oman
willingness to go along withfor financialritical lo theho policies The Saudis harbor profound hostilitybrand of Soviet-dominated radicalism thatespecially during South Yemen's early yeaisand again during the IsmailShould Riyadh decide thai Hasani bor thatursuing policiesto Saudi interests, it could pressure otherlo cut off assistance to Aden. Even if onlylive lots of aid from moderate Arabsammunition for domestic critics ofespecially those who already distrustbecause of old disputes
"^The Saudis also recognize that economic aid can moderate Aden's radical policies, and have pledged assistance for projects that have maximum popular appeal, such as flood relief and housing assistance.autiously Improving relations with South Yemen, but the Saudb remain suspicious that Aden's moderation may beactic lo obtain Saudi financial assistance
Arab aid pledged so far reinforces Hasani's position Saudi Arabia has agreed toillion for housing construction (to replace Libyan aid withdrawn by Oadhafih Algeria isillion andons of oil annually as an Interest free loan over two years; the Kuwait Development Fund hasillion. Inhe Gulf Cooperation Councilommittee report favorable to Aden's appeal for aid from thai body.
South Yemeoi-Omaru relations willitmus lest of Hasani's ability to restore normal ties with neighboring stales. The prospects are good tbat he willable to manage this Issue, although it is likely toong-term effort. The resolution of old borderore likely to create problems between the two countries than any residual South Yemen support for the Popular Front for theof Oman.
oth sides have been scrupulously careful about observing the provisions of the normalizationsigned inuscat has ceased its anti-Aden propaganda; Aden has officially withdrawn support for the remnants of the PFIO in Oman, and toned down its verbal arracks on Muscat In public speeches, Hasani has repeatedly emphasized theto South Yemen in transferring funds frommilitary forces In the eastern province to projects designed to upgrade the country's standard of living. The two announced formal diplomatic relations in
Norlh Yemeni Issues
ustaining amicable relations with North Yemen will be more difficult for Hasani logiven (he lecent history of conflict and the
Iwo Yemeni: Sirdar The revolution* in North tad South Yemen which began2 andapeetivcly, itarted oil wilh iimiUr principle and goal* replacing old regimesonarchical/icligioui. tht other, colonial) with Arab socialist lovernmenti that would revamp traditional society and create modern, secular states As events trtmpired, the (outhern teWwticrrurica tuceeededeipecteiions in achieving their Initial goals. In the north, Saudi support (ot the ttretag Ztldi trtbet who luppceied the Irnarnate. coupled with the Kgyptian pullouttalernated the revolution andompromise solution that allowed both odes toole Inot altogether ideologically tidy outcome.
Sooth Yemen became isolated, rtdlcained. and de-pnndent on Soviet and Chinese support, combative in foreign posture on the premise that enemies surrounded it who could notrue aorjcolocUalist and social revolution The North, after (our yeanepublican government, devolvedilitary oliaarchyultitude of competing lorces had to be carefully balanced by the currenturprising degree of ridicalict thinking pervadea tbe tlietceic of North Yemeni political activists.
Both countries ate desperately poor, with divergent economic interns- the South. ceotraQy planned and controlled, theree-wheeling capitalist lystem thai provides some consumer goods to those who can afford them They have different political stiucturet. theominant Marrist civilian party In tight control of government and military, theoosr amalgamation of lotces. military dominant, with Strong tribal component.
People, Divergent Systems
Soviet Ties. The Soviet Union provides eoeuaderable amounts of military assistance to both North and South Yemen:
North Yemen. The Soviet Union lintriendship ticoiy wilh the Imam of (North) Yemen int offered aidndew treaty of coctjertuooS which Mill goverrtt mutual relations-ver II billion in Soviet arrat have flowed Into the North.
South Yemen. The Soviet Bloc countries have been tlie sole supplier of military assistance to South Yemen South Yemen bat aho received over SI bdlioa in Soviet oaiutary aid.
In order to eapand its Influence on tlie Arabian Peninsula and in the Bed Sea area, Moscow is tepoeled-ly trying; to broaden iu pretence in North Yemen. It has lecentiy upgraded the nullity of personnel involved in the military assistance program, and sent one'of its better Ar (bests to the Erssbesay pout ion. For the short term, Moscow- probably believes it can assist both Yemens without mo lot problems, working to expand its poTitkal ttJhatnce wilh leftist groups in the North, and (hereby Increase Its potential for pins tiring SaudiHowever, conflict between regular military forces of the two Yemeni could create serious problems foe Moscow.
Trade-Ofice lively, the geopolitical value of North Yemen to the Soviets probably exceeds that of South Yemen, and would offer Mono- many benefits should it succeed in consolidating Its posit ton there. However, because of its greater dependency on Use Soviets lor security and longtime Soviet Ires, and Its stronger central government. Aden offers advantages in niirageabtliry on matched In North Yemen where fiercely independent tribel still dominate the political scene.
rivalry between the two for Saudi fuoandal and Soviet military assistance Although tbe two Yemens currentlyeriod of detente, border problems and efforts of emigre groups from both North and South tooothold In their homelands remain live Issues North Yemeni President Ah Abdallah Salih isoalition of South Yemeni emigres in the National Grouping of Patriotic Forces (NCPF)ounter to theaior outbreak of violence along the border, whether due to old tribal land disputes or activities of the NDF or NGPF could revive South Yemen's domestic support for the NDF and also arouse Saudi suspicions.
emeni unityoal to which both Aden and Sanaa claim to aspire Both Yemens use it lo threaten the oilier st the same time as they use it as the framework for discussions of matters of mutualsuch as border demarcation, trade relations, and travel regulations. Despite the ongoing contacts, we believe neither country wants to see unification unless It can dominate.
Relations With Western Slates
Hasanl has already carried hb policy offoreign economic partners beyond the level attained by President Salim Bubayyl All before he was deposed. Although aid tics to Western multilateral organizations have continuedirectaid ties to maior Western slates have not been developed until now. Aden has recently reostablulicd full diplomatic lies with the United Kingdom and France andonresident Canadian ambassador.
Although it is not unusual for certain ofelienu to have good relations with Western countries, several aspects of South Yemen's current
robably concern Moscow in spite of the presumed Soviet willirujncssave other cooniries foot the eeorMrruc aid bill for South Yemen: tome contracts foi development piojecls thai usedo to the Soviets are now going to Western countries;technology upstages (hut of the East Bloc; and the presence of Western personnel in South Yemen brings the danger lhat influence could follow.
(he YSP is likely to support tiesEuropean countries that bring economicdistrust and fear of (he United States willopening of USore difficult IssueSouth Yemeni leader. US military presence InOcean is viewedirect threat to Aden.steps toward norma lira Hon with Washingtonoccur without adequate party consensus orwith Moscow, strong oppositionwilhin Ihe party and would probablyby the Soviets. Hasani can be expectedwith extreme caution in this area, andfot initiatives to (he United States are slim.
Prospects for Soviet-South Yemeni Relations Likely Soviet Reactions to Hasani's Moderation
Over the near term.nlikely to oppose Aden's efforts to obtain new sources ofassistance and improve lies with ArabAt the same time, the Soviets will carefully monitor the expansion of ties with Western and peo-Wcstero slates as well as South Yemeni contacts with European socialists and Iveinng. Hasani appears to have successfully reassured theleast fortimehb approaches to moderate Arab states and the West do not endanger ties with Moscow.
Nevertheless, (hb situation could change iffinds its major Interests threatened, or decides thatn danger of slipping away; ain the region tlial threatens Moscow's access to other points around the Horn of Africa would strengthen Moscow's determination to hold onto South Yemen
asani's openings to Western countries will probablyarticular focus of Moscow's attention. The Soviets' response is likely to depend In part upon Ihe atmospherics of developments; whether they were consulted in advance, and whether events areby significan( anti-Soviet moves such as (he introduction of additional restrictions on their use of Aden's facilities or requests for reduction ol their presence in South Yemen. Moscow would view anv
South Yemeni requests for Western arms as adangerOver Ihe king term, Moscow reportedly plans to indoctrinate more South Yemenis through education and trainingnd em place its supporters in key government and parly positions.
Short of actively seeking Hasani's ouster. Soviet options for countering unfavorable South Yemeniinclude various Strategies for applying domestic pressure fot policy changes more to Moscow's liking, through direct urging as well as working through domestic South Yemeni sympathizers. This sort of pressure might include offers of significant additional military and economic aid. or threats to cut back existing economic aid or slow delivery of spare parts and weapons support If these efforts should fail, Moscow might attempt lo depose Hasani;
We do not believe thatikely lo attempt looup against Hasani during the time frame of this Estimate The chances would be greatest if Moscow concludes thatoving decisively against key Soviet interests in South Yemen. Any such move, however, would be difficult and costly; Hasani has tightened hb control over the security and military apparatus and has purged many of tbe loading party members who support former YSP leader Abd al-Fattahro-Sovietnow resident in Moscow. Some analysts believe lhat Ihbubstantial enoughlunt any coup attempt Others believe lhat Moscow could mo-bulure sufficient assets in South Yemen to beinguccessful coup.
A serious erosion of South Yemeni/Sovietnlikely in ihe foreseeable fulure despite Hasani's pursuit of independent policies. South Yemeni leaders would have to become convinced ihal they no longer require Soviet security and technical assistance.
Implications for the United Slates
continuation of Hasani'seduced subversive threat fromwould substantially benefit US regionalcould he threatened by Southbetter relations with moderateand Western Europe, however, probably willto improved ties with the United States, andwill not respond to US overtures overseveral years. South Yemen's gradualfrom (he USSR, though unlikely at present.
woultl weaken Moscow's posllion on the Arabian Peninsula and in the Middle Fas*.
Alternative developments severely allectingUS or Soviet interests, while not likely, deserve consideration.
Worst Cose fat the Uniieduccessor come to power more determined to promote radical chance and less concerned about economic priorities, he could refocus South Yemeni goals by:
Undermining moderate Peninsula regimes
Participating In international terrorism.
Strengthening ties with Libya, Syria, and Iran
Cranting Increased access lo the Soviets.
orst Cote for the SooteU. Some reporting indicates that Hasani may he considering loosening ties with Moscow. Should sufficient additional non-Communist economic and technical assistance become available, and the South Yemeni leadership determine lolean break with the Soviets, Moscow could:
Lose access to all South Yemeni facilities.
erious reversal In the Arab state thought to be the Soviets' most devoted client
I-ose an important means of eierclslng political leverage against Saudi Arabia and otherGulf
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