MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of Central Intelligence
Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
Herbert E. Meyer
Vice Chairman, National Intelligence Council
The Importance of Grenada
Last week's coup tn Grenada could well abort one of today's most striking and important trends: the growing number of left-leaning countries whose leaders are, to one degree or another, making overtures to the West. Indeed, the overthrow and murder of Maurice Bishophortly after his very tentative efforts toialogue with the USill certainly send atemporary chill through leaders of those left-leaning governments contemplating or already embarked on this same course.
To be sure, we have no direct evidence of Soviet involvement in the Grenada coup. However, sixty-six years of Soviet history make clear that It Is standard Kremlin procedure to violently replace in allytooge. Two recent examples:
Southresident Sallm Rubay' Al1 halted PDRY support for Dhofarl insurgentsman, expanded relations with the Saudis, andampaign to open up new sources of financial aid from Arab and Western states. S envoy was en route to Aden to discuss matters of mutual concern when the South Yemeni leader was overthrown and executed two days later.
AfghanistanOnoviet troops began their invasion of Afghanistan. Onhh, according to several reliable sources, Soviet troops stormed the palace and executed Hafizullah Amtn. Several days later, once they had the situation under control, they broughtabrak Karmalactional leader In the PDPA and then Ambassador to Czechoslovakiao head the regime.
present there are at least seven left-leaning,whose leaders are making tentative overtures to the West.
In South Yemen, President Ali Nasir Muhammad Al-Hasani has beenore conciliatory policy towards the West over the past year, particularly springing from his desire to lessen the PORY's isolation and to gain greater Western economic support. He has abandoned support for revolutionary movements In Oman and is about to reestablish normal diplomatic relations with Oman. He has reduced support for the PDRY-supported insurgency against North Yemen (YAR) and has halted propaganda broadcasts against his neighbors. He has indicated some Interest in Improving relations with the United States and in reducing somewhat the Soviet presence in the PORY. The Soviets have considerable Influenceariety of Soviet-supported institutions in South Yemen, and also maintain In Moscow AH Nasir's predecessor and pro-Moscow hard-Hner, Abd-al-Fattah Isma'll.
In Surlname, Bouterse, apparently realizing the limits to what assistance Cuba can providearticularly in the economic realm has encouraged the more moderate leftists in his government to pursue Brazilian offers of economic, military, andesult, relations with Cubaolea^nrecen^montns and the Cubans have expressed concern that their influence is decreasing. One month ago, Bouterse and Prime Minister Alibux reportedly turned aside an effort by the radical, pro-Cuban party to gainood relations with Brazil and the United
States were the cornerstone of Suriname's foreign policy.
In Mozambique, President Machel is heavily dependent on the Soviets for military assistancethe key to his relations with Moscowbut clearly has recognized the Soviets will not provide the economic aid he needs. He has been making efforts in recent years to expand economic ties with the West. Moscow is less concerned with Machel's overtures for assistance than his efforts to seek military aid from the West. Moscow registered its disapproval with Machelodest arms agreement concluded with Portugal Within the last several weeks, Machel visited several West European capitalsearch of economic assistance.
In Angola, President Dos Santos' search for Western aid has picked up dramatically In recent years as the UNITA insurgency has gained strength while the price of Angola's mainilas declined. Moscow apparently has not threatened Dos Santos, but does pressure him periodically to stay in line for fear that his overtures could leadajor foreign policy shift away from Moscow. Dos Santos' predecessor, Augusto Neto,
had actively sought Western economic assistance. oscow for minor surgery, Neto died on the operating table.
Ethiopia, Mengistu has not sought aid from the West as actively as his counterparts in Mozambique and Angola. Nevertheless, Moscow has issueo several warnings to Mengistu to stay clear of Western loans or aid offers.
In the Congo. President Sassou-Nyuesso trys toareful balancing act between his search for badly needed Western economic aid and his need to maintain security ties with Moscow that he believes are needed to control potential unrest. All of his predecessors since independence0 have been ousted by coups. Consequently, Sassou-Nguesso approaches the West for aid with great caution. Moscow, however, seems content to allow the West to bear the economic burden In Congo, focusing instead on retaining influence within the military and security apparatus of the Congolese regime.
Benin's leaders, long among the most radical in West Africa, have been showing signs of moderation. President Kerekou, who had helped the Soviets and Libyansootholdhe region, is now attempting to loosen these ties by reviving relations with France andncouraging private enterprise, and softening the regime's rhetoric. Thus far, the French have been the most responsive to kerekou. There has not as yet been any Indication of Soviet displeasure with Kerekou's efforts, even though the Cuban presenceenin has been reduced and several Soviet technicians have been sent hone at the request of the regime. The Soviets may calculate that the Libyan presence In Beninufficiently strong that these moves by Kerekou do nottrong response. (West African leftists still regularly transit Benin to Libya, often on the weekly Aeroflot flight.)
Reports have lately arrived suggesting that this same trendaking
Andropov has cancel lea ms visu u> mat wanvv
Bulgarian attests toore accommodating foreign policy toward the
departments in the Sofu governnent have bten pressiny for improved ties with the West as the only way to meet Bulgarian economic needs and that this policy is supported by Bulgaria's Zhlvkov. And we have had any number of reports, many of them conflicting, that key leaders in Albania have decided that the time has come for their country to rejoin the planet Earth. More precisely, we have reports that the recent bizarre shootings in Albania arc somehow connectedolicy battle in Tirana over the question of whether to establish some ties with the West for the purpose of economic and technical aid.
Under Andropov's rule, Soviet tolerance for dissent has declined markedly both internally and externally. It would not be surprising at all If Hoscow was feeling sufficiently unsettled by the trend outlined here to act In Grenada, in no small measure to scare others back Into line.
All thisontradiction of Soviet policy. Oh the one hand, we know that Moscow has encouraged its Third-World allies to suck whatever economic aid they can from the West. This, of course, would relieve the aid burden on the Soviets. But at the same time, Moscow feels threatened whenever an ally tries to act. Curiously, thereery close parallel to this contradiction within the Soviet Union Itself. Time and again we see the Soviets flirt with domestic economic reformnly to crack down hard on those who try to act In accordance with the Kremlin's directives. It seems that Moscow likes the idea of flexibilityut cannot stomach the loosening of control that inevitably results.
The Soviets' policy of scaring Third-World allies back Into line is likely to succeed, at least in the short run. Thus we shouldlackening of Interest among leaders of these countries in strengthening ties to the Westor at least an apparent slackening of interest.
Several US initiatives would seem prudent. First, we ought to find some way of signaling these leaders that we understand their predicament and won't feel spurned by any sudden downturn in their relations with the West. Second, we should find some channel through which to continue whatever dialogues are underway.
Within the Intelligence community, we should Intensify our analyses of these countries. In particular, we need to answer these questions:
What opposition is there, If any, to those leaders who favor overtures to the West?
What connections are there. If any, between the opposition and the Soviets or their surrogates?
What are the potentials for pro-Soviet coups?
What can be done to shore up the Incumbent leaders?
10. At the sane time, we need to give rapid consideration to how the Soviets might retaliate for what in their probable judgmentery dangerous setback. After all, the Soviets have always believed tn the domino theory and one of theirs Just fell over.Original document.