Moscow and the Namibia Peace Process
Interagency Intelligence Mcraorandom
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MOSCOW AND THE NAMIBIA PEACE PROCESS
This paper examines (he origins and current status of Moscow's involvement in tbe Namibia questionegional context It focuses on the Soviet response lo the present Contact Croup initiative, as well as circumstances that might prompt new Soviet tactics over the next six toonths. The paper then discusses the USSR's options, its capabilities and constraints, and its probable reactionumber of scenarios that mightettlement
A Cooled of Ibe Namibia
B. Tbc Soviei Record oo
Moscow and SWAPO
II MOSCOW AND THE PRESENT CONTACT CROUP
III INITIAL SOVIET
Tbe Natnlbian Insurgents
TV. CONSTTUINTS AND
A. African Interests and
V. IMPLICATIONS FOB THE UNITED STATES
ANNEX: POSSIBLE SOVIET ACTIONS AFTER NAMIBIAN
Moscow will seek to influence any negotiations on Namibia by pressuring the key African participants with whom it has close ties. If. however, the Frontline Stales, South Africa, and the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) were agreeableettlement, it is unlikely that Moscow could succeed in blocking it
Moscow has become apprehensive about the current Contact Group initiative on Namibia, largely because of the potentialon Soviet geopolitical interests in southern Africa, particularly Angola. Moscow views the US-backed initiative as an iU-disgulsed attempt to reverse the events of the. It would stronglyettlement that ledajor setback inat the handsS administration that it perceives as challenging its position around the globe.
Moscow has to consider Angola and Namibia, however, not only in the perspective of its concerns and objectives in southern Africa but also in the context of its global interests. Thus, in making decisions about how best to preserve its position in Angola or how it can most effectively Influence the outcome in Namibia, Moscow will have to weigh not only the importance of its interests in southern Africa, but also the impact of its moves on the USSR's worldwide concerns and particularly its bilateral relations with the United States.
Recent Soviet efforts to stall the negotiation process were probably prompted by continuing reportspackage settlement"uban troop withdrawal from Angolaettlement in Namibia. From Moscow's viewpoint,ithdrawal would presuppose abetween the opposing Angolan groups, the ruling Popularfor the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the insurgent National Union for the Total Independence of Angolaaken together, these two developments would undermine the leverage and influence Moscow currently enjoys in Angola. We believepackageif accepted by Angola's MPLAbe resisted by the USSR.
TtiUun>inQontrd byMiliooal Security Council andproduced underof Ihe National Intelligence Officer (or Africa- llcoordinated at the worfcinc level whhIncdtieeoee Agency, Defense Incdfeenee -Atenev, and it* Intdliariic
Ofeaniulloai of (he Depjrtaient of Sule, the Armi, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corp*.
The Soviets have already taken steps to impede the Contact Croup initiative. These steps include propaganda and disinformationbilateral discussions, and offers of military and economic assistance designed to push the key African players to oppose the negotiations. Moscow also is encouraging the Cubans to lobby on its behalf. Such moves demonstrate Moscow's potential for influencing the Namibia talks and its willingness to use its influence in defense of Soviet interests in the region.
If,rospective Namibia settlement did notajor threat to their position in Angola, the Soviets would probably bend to African preferences for an accord rather than risk their credibility and equities by trying to destroy one. Even if the Soviets found an evolving settlement tolerable, they would nonetheless seek to fuel tensions and suspicions to ensure that the final accord was reached in an atmosphere of antagonism and distrust. Moscow would hope that, in such an environment, the new Namibian government would turn to the USSB for support.
While Moscow wouldettlement that brings anpro-Soviet regime to power in Namibia, the Soviets would probably accept considerably less in the belief that the basic South African-black African confrontation would continue to ensure the USSRajor role in the region.onstrained SWAPO resjime in Namibia might offer Moscow enhanced prospects for influence, although this .would depend in large part on the broader envirotiment.
In the event tbe Soviets perceivedomprehensive "package settlement" appeared imminent they would probably try to destroy the prospective settlement. Moscow could pursue several courses of action-most of which are mutually exclusive. All entail risks, would antagonize the Frontline States, and might jeopardize Moscow's interests in the region. They include:
Trying to provoke South Africa in hopes that Pretoria would react in ways that subsequently wouldettlement. For example. Moscow might enlarge the Cuban troop presence in Mozambique.
egional crisis, suchhabanew invasion of Zaire by the Angola-based rebels of the Front for the National Liberation of the Congo (FLNC).
Threatening Angolaignificant reduction in military and economic assistance if it agreed to the settlement package
Offering to increase dramatically Moscow's securityand military involvement with the Frontline States in order to encourage the black Africans lo back SWAPOong war and to assuage their fears of South African retaliation
oup attempt by pro-Soviet elements within the MPLA against those Angolan leaders who support theplan.
Other options may develop as the Namibia negotiations proceed. Moscow, for example, might, seek to turn to its own advantage any differences that might emerge between Angola and SWAPO Again, this would depend on the nature of the disagreement and the circumstances under which it arose.
Each of these Soviet options has inherent limitations and varying devrees of risk. To the extent that they require African involvement or iKtitiicsccnce. Moscow does not enjoy unhindered freedom ofimr toarge Cuban combat force to Mozambique, for cample, would require the approval of President Machel. who might iKit view it as serving Maputo's interests; he might well fear thatow wouldignificant military reaction from South Africa tli.it over the long term could transform Mozambique into the "new Aiiifisla."
Similarly, if the MPLA had optedomprehensive Namibia Nitlcment, Luanda would nothaba III effort. While the Soviets could nonetheless attempt to instigate an FLNC invasionuch action would antagonize Luanda and the other Frontline States and would not necessarily derail the prospectivelrment.
A Soviet move to force Luanda toettlement or face areduction in aid would carry serious risk* Apart from revealing Miactm's complete disregard for Angolan sovereignty or priorities, an 'illiinatum might even prompt Luanda to downgrade ties with1R. Indeed. If the Angolans had taken the necessary "leap of faith" toackage settlement, they presumably would have considered "In- ixrtential ramifications it would have for relations with Moscow. Much would depend onof US wjlling-
lo assist Luandaettlement.
The Soviets might offer to increase substantially Moscow's securityto one or more of the Frontline States. Therver, might view such an offer with some hesitation; the burdens of
continuing the SWAPO insurgency and the potential South African reaction to greater Soviet involvement could doter them from accepting such an offer The Frontline States, moreover, might question the Soviet offer in terms of its usefulness, Soviet uiterrtions, and implications for the regional situation. The Soviets might even include an offer of limited air and naval combat forces, but we believe this is unlikely since it wouldajor risk of military conflict with South Africa-
The Soviets might consider the risky option ofoup by pro-Soviet elements within the MPLA.ove, however, would require the existenceroup that Moscow could countwhich was willing toeizure of power. Recent reports ofinfighting within the MPLA may reflect Soviet efforts to offset the moderate policies of President dos Santos on such issues as Namibia and relations with the West Given the murky nature .of MPLA politics, and our limited, uncertain information about MPLA factionalism, it is difficult to assess the probabilityoviet-inspired coup attempt. Should Moscow decide to pursue thisailed attempt could lead to the removal of the Soviets.
Although all of these options carry risks, the USSR may believe that the threat to its regional, geopolitical interests posedackage settlement justifies taking them. The Soviets still see Angola as their major entree into the region andoint for further expansion of their influence.
If the Contact Group initiative succeeds, US and other Western influence would be enhanced as it was in the case of Zimbabwe. In the short term, the settlement would undercut the Soviet goal ofthat influence.
A settlement, however, could also heighten black Africanof the United States and the West generally, particularly in the economic sphere. Washixigton, for example, might come under pressure to push harder for changes in Pretoria's racial practices and to increase its practical commitment to regional economic development.ettlement. Moscow would work to increase Its influence by wooing the new Namibian government and by promoting regional tensions and expiating Frontline security fears.
INTRODUCTION A. Context ol the Nonvbra Problem
i The Narnibian conflict dates back tohen German and British interests clashed In this area In thereat BriUin anneaed the territory around Walvb Bay.art of South Africa's Cape Province. During the. Germany expanded iu portion of the territory to its present boundaries. With the outbreak of World War I. Germany's colonial empire was vulnerable, and British and South African troops invaded the territoryith the end of the war and the creation of the League of Nations, South-WrsJ Africa wasto South Africa0eague of Nationsandate (to be adrninistcred as an integral part of the governing statel TV issue hasontentious one6
outh Africa maintained thai with the demise of the League of Nations it had no obligation to the UN Trusteeship Council although it conlinued to provide "reports" on South-West Africa lo that bodyplrll of "good will" The controversy became more heated when South Africa began to institute the system of apartheid In the territory. The UN Cesseral6 decision to revoke South Africa's mandate over Namibia was decreed legally correct by theCourt of Justicehe UN formallv adopted tlie name Namibia for (he territorybe UNommissioner for Namibia and the Ccneral Assembly rccognlted SWAPOAfrica People's Organization) as tbc sole,representative of the Namlbian people.
3 Subsequent efforts to reach an internationally acceptable settlement have been unsuccessful.he South African Governmenteries of negotiations (the Turnhalleonstitultonal structure for Namibia. These talks led to8 elections which brought tbe Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA)emblance of power. This internal government has not been recognized internationally
ho present series ol negotiations is an extension of those begunmong tbe current players are the Weatern Five (tbe United Slates, ihe UK. the FRO France, and Canada) known as the Contact Croup, the South African Government, ihe internal politicalia Namibia. SWAPO. and the Frontline States (Afatola, Tanzania. Mozambique. Zambia. Botswana, and.he negoiiaiions are extremely cornplex and are divided into three phases, each of which Involves bilateral as well as multilateral appending The first phase ccosists of defining an acceptable group of constitutional principles,ystem for electing clelegaiesonstituent assembly The current Initiative proposes lo model this assembly on the WestiCctman system, wilh one-hall chosen bv proportional representation of parties and the other ball elected directly. The obiectlve of Iheprinciplesree, democratic system in which the rights and properly of all will be prolected. SWAPO has rejected the proposed electoral system on Ihe grounds thatoo complex lo be easily understood by tbe electorate.
elements of Phase II are now being dis-cussed; tho issues may be more complex and more difficult than those ofhief among these arc the role of the UN and the composition andof the UNTAC (UN Transition Assistance CroupX which would include civilian and military personnel, ledN special representative who would supervise preparations for and ihe conduct of elections. The South African Government, whicha UN baas toward SWAPO. has insisted that the military component no! exceedn the groundsreater number would influence tbe electorate In favor of SWAPO. Phase III would be the implementation of the plan, culminating In elections
B. The Soviet Record on Namibia
at least the, tbe Soviets have seen Namlbian Independence as an integral part of the liberation struggle that they hope will eventually lead
(lie establishment of black majority rule andfavorably disposed toward Ibe USSR throughout soulhein Africa. The Soviets have supported SWAPO since Ihend have intensified their efforts since ihe collapse of the Portuguese Empire. Not surprisingly, ihe Soviets supported the adoption of UN Security Counciln4 which gave South Africa sis months lo withdraw from Namibia and relinquish power to the Inhabitants of Namibia under UN supervision Until recently, this has been the basis of the Soviet position toward Namibia, and Moscow has pointed to it to support its
case against Pretoria and, by implication, the Western
outh Africa's refusal to abide bynd Its military operations in Angola during5 and6 led the Security Council toew deadline for withdrawal inhe Soviets supported this, and as the deadline drew nigh the Soviet media castigated Pretoria's efforts to use the, Turnhalle Conference, established tno legitimize South Africa's hold on Namibia.
8 In6 the South Africans announced theli intention to form an interim government around the Turnhalle group that wouldransition to independenceubsequent visit to Moscow, the Soviets apparently promised SWAPO President Nujonia additional military aid In tapes of stiffening his resistance to any negotiations Despiterowing dependence trpoo Soviet military support, Moscow's admonitions had little effect. In the springojoma evidently refected Soviet advice to concentrateilitary solution of the Namibia problem and enteredearlong round ofwith the Western Five which resulted In UN Security Councill'
oscow was openly critical ofnd privately lobbied against passage arguing that It did not transfer power to SWAPO. Moscow did not vote against it, however. Rather, in deference to African backing for the resolution, the USSR and Czechoslovakia abstained In the Security Council vote-Both Ihe Soviets and Czechs made it clear, however, thai they would not help fund UNTAC, established lo
'sliiKurd wttbdrawil of South Afrifan forces, andllihrn*r-Nv*nee preoa'snoni fee NtmtbtSn rlccriam.
supervise ihe transfer of power from South Africa to the new Namlbian government. Instead the Soviets argued thai all costs be borne by those countries that "propose malnlalning South African forces inthat is, the Western Contact Croup
or the neat three years, the Soviet position on Namibia was fairly constant. While arguing that theyeaceful setUerneni and would not stand In lha way of Western efforts to achieve case, the Soviets repeatedly questioned the Western Five's willingness to apply the necessary pressure on Pretoria toettlement At the same time. Moacow was quick to note what it characterized as South African Intransi-genee and drrpliclly. Moscow's goal was to convince the Fronthoe and SWAPO of ibe futility of the Western plan In order to get them la withdraw their cooperation. In the wake of the Rhodes tan settlementoscow redoubled its efforts on Namibia lest ihe West be given another diplomatic victory.
he Soviet position began lo shift after the failure of the1 Geneva conference. In March the Soviets Indicated that they might be willing to support. Several factors probably influenced Moscow's change of heart The Soviets evidently hoped that by supporting the resolution they could embarrass the new US administration, which had lust raised new reservations about. Thus, if tvegctutioos failed, Moscow would be squarely on the side of the Africans aad could lobby for sanctions against Pretoria, which would put the United States In an all-but-untenable position. Second, the Soviets no doubt recogiuxed that the Frontline States and SWAPO were still interestedattJernerit They may have calculated that adoption oft least meant UN and, thus, potential Soviet participation Third, Moscow may have becotne more confident than earlier that SWAPO could win UN-sponsoredFinally, the Soviets may have been betting lhal South Africa would wreck future negotiWicets. The Soviets ofatdenedn1
Moscow and SWAPO
ince the, the USSR has been Ihe main supplier of arms for SWAPO. Soviet deliveries have Included small arms and ammunition, mortars, rocket buracfaere.urface-to-air missiles, and some trucks and armored personnel vehicles. The
cctuipcneiit Ii passed to SWAPO through Angola. In addition, the Sovieti have provided advanced military training to SWAPO cad.es in the USSR, and tome Soviet as weD as Cuban and East German advisers apparently are assigned to SWAPO forces In Angola.
esult of its military assistance, Moscow has gainednotwithin SWAPO. As its attempts lo dissuade SWAPO from participating in negotiations show, the Soviets have had little success in dictating policy to SWAPO. Not surprisingly, the Soviets and their allies have developed close lies to SWAPO's military leaders. Cubans and Soviets advise SWAPO on strategy lor conducting cross-border operations in Namibia They do not, however, appear Involved in actual combat operations.
ver the last two years, (he Soviets may have gained additional influence with SWAPO's political leadership The Soviets have provided ideological and political training for SWAPO cadres
*^ln turn. SWAPO delegations haveihe last two Soviet Communist Party congresses
II. MOSCOW AND THE PRESENT CONTACT GROUP INITIATIVE
IS. The present Contact Croup initiative has heightened Soviei suspicions because of continuing reportssettlementhich Includes the removal of Cuban troops from Angolaeconciliation between the ruling MPLA and the UNITA insurgents there it being seriously considered The onsetS-Angolan dialogue and tbe apparent reluctance of SWAPO and other Frontline States to divulge al! the detalh of ihe negotiations haveMoscow's suspicions. While some of theirmay be exaggerated, tbe Soviets are worried about what they perceive as:
A new veillingness on the part of Angola's MPLA regime lo discuss Angolan issues inamibia settlement
Sustained SWAPO and Frontline interestegotiated settlement
weakened capability to conduct an effective insurgency following the stepped-up South African military activily.
A new US initiativeew US admirust ration thai may be capable of hinging Pretoriaettlement.
oscow's greatest concern at this time is the potential Impactettlement on Soviei interests In Angola. US efforts to Include the Cuban troop issue and an MPLA-UNtTA reconciliationroad package have convinced Moscow that the Contact Group Initiative Is aimed at diminishing Sovietin Angola. Soviet sensitivity on this point has been manifested In both public and private comments condemning attempts toamibia solution to the internal affairs of Angola.amibia settlement not linkeduban"troop withdrawal makesuneasy. Angola's improved security situationa settlement might diminish Luanda'son Soviet aid.
oscow recognizes ihat any settlementto Preloria will probably require guarantees that Namibia not be transformedUlking-liorse for the Soviets, the Cubans, or the African National Congress (AIf such guarantees were implemented and observed, the Soviet objective ofro Soviet regime In Namibia would not berealized. Nonetheless, the Soviets would view the establishmentWAPO-dominated government-even ifthe removal of South African forces from Namibia as steps that would enhance their influence in the region.
C. Broader Concerns
oscow Is aho apprehensiveamibia settlement could provide an opportunity for US and broader Western interests to be advanced in southern Africa at the expense of theestern-brokered settlement could enhance US/WesternAs in the case of Zimbabwe, where Western-sponsored negotiations excluded theettlement would highlight the usefulness of patient negotiations for the resolution of complex regional problems.
1ft Although change in South Africa itself will remain an Important Issue on the regional agenda.
Moscow may believe (hai (be Frontline Stales will shift (heir focusroblems o( domestic economic dcvelop-meot after Namibia is resolved. The Soviets may suspect thai Frontline support of (he South African insureovements will be tempered by the corn-plea, long-term nature of the "final struggle" over apartheid io South Africa and the oeotraliryhe region's overall ecotxaTilc well-being. Such constraints, as well as their serious eer*seenic prcbiems, may male the Frontline Stales less susceptible to Soviet exploitation of "security fears" although much will depend on Pretoria's actions toward its neighbors Civen Motoows poor (jack record ta the area of economic assistance and development, the Soviets may sec an African shift to economic priortticiajor opportunity for Western involremcnl and influenceie region.
The Soviets want lo protect their geopolitical interests In southern Africa.entral to those interests, serving as the main Soviet entree to the region andoint for further espansion ofinfluence. Soviet naval ships call frequently in Luanda, where the Sovietsupport ship andaval communications facility. Access to naval air facilities in Angola also permits the USSR to usearitime reconnaissance aircraft to monitor US naval traffic to and from the Indian Ocean
Angola, moreover, isseful symbol of Moscow's superpower status and of its capability to project power and influence to distant shores. The Soviets view the US-backed initiative on Namibia as an ill-disguised attempt to reverse the events of the mld-lSTOs in Areola. In view of the heightenrd US-Soviet com petition. Moscow would strongly resist a
In the broader, global context of Soviet foreign policy interests, southern Africaower priority than areas of more direct security ccevcern, such as southwest Asia. Europe, or China. While Moscow would no doubt like totaunchly pro-Soviet regime in Namibia, ft probably Is willing to settle for considerably less on the grounds that Namibia isart of the larger southern African struggle and that the basic black African-South African confrontation will continue The problem lor Moscow is maintaining its influence in Angola and with tlse rest of Ihe
Frontline States, whaievcr happens in Namibia, so as to beositionursue its long-term regional objective of toppling the minority regime in Pretoria. Fromperspective, thiselatively low-risk proportion In (he near term, since East-West military confrontation over aouthern Africa, let alone Namibia, is unlikely.
UL INITIAL SOVIET COUNTERMOVES
oscow was Initially buoyed by the Reagan admirristralion's enuncUtioosolAcy ofengagement" wiih South Africa, Black African criticism of that policy and the subsequent US effort toamibia settlement to major change In Angola apparently convinced the Soviets that the present Contact Group initiative had liltle chance of suceeed-isg. Byowever, Soviet of finals were saying that US policy in Namibia had become "more effective."
W. Soviet anxiety over Ihe progress in ihe Namibia talks hasariety of moves aimedelina African suspicions of the Contactparticularly Ibe Unitedreinforcing Moscow's position in southern Africa. More specifically, (hese moves Include stepped-up propaganda, disinformation, strengthening bilateral ties In the region, and lobbying key actors to back out of then addition, the Sovietsand In recent Cuban diplomatic activities designed to buttress (he Cuban and Soviet position In southein Africa.
A. Propogando and Disinformation
he noticeable increase In Soviet propaganda alleging US-Soutli African "collusion'* and "shared objectives" is aimed at diminishing Washington's credibility In Africa and as an rabroctive broker in Namibia. Soviet propaganda linking the United Stales to tlie abortive coup in Seychelles, as well ashe South African-backed National Resistance Movement (NRM) in Mozambique serves lo reinforce the theme of US South African collaboration
oscow has made its most serious dtsinfotma-tefforts on Issues that directly Impinge cm key actors in tho Namibia talks. For example, the disinfor-matlon opera lion alleging US training oforces in Zaire was clearly intended to raise doubts In
Uianda about US tnutwortbiness and lo reemphanzcependence upon Sew* military asustanceimpliedo may have confrib-uted lo Ihe deciirie in US-ZambUn relations. Moscow probably hopes thaiears of US subversion atlcmpU will translate into grcaler skepticism of US negotiation efforts In Namibia.
emfcwcing Moscow's Position
ore direct approach to counter theCroup Initiative. Moscow has reasserted iuIn the region by buttressing Hi bilateral reUllon-shipa and by pressing its dieoU to back away from the Western-backed talks on Namibia. Moscow hasAngola additional military and economic assist anee in hopes of inducing Luanda to resist Western pressure to accept the current Namibia proposal In Zambia, and Botswana as weD. the Soviets areto strengthen new military assistancein hopes of gaming further support for their position within tbe MPLA, but would undermine those leaders who have criticized Moscow's perennially poor record in providing economic support. The Soviet offer may aboarrot; complete fulfillment may depend on Angolan puisuit of foreign and domestic policiesto Moscow.
n another effort to strengthen their hand, the Soviets used the Angolan visit to play up the detention bead. Lucioepuled haidliner and number-two man in the MPLA. The publicity accorded Lara underscored the Importance of tbe visit and seemed designed to signal Moscow's dissatisfaction withelements within tbe MPLAT"
"Hmay reflect additionalefforts to offset the pSnoes of President dot Santos.
oscow also Is attempting lo enlist Maputo in moves to scullle the Contact Croup
ince Angolaey actor in any Namibiaone over which the SovieU have somehas focused iU efforu onLuanda from serious consideration of the Contact Croup initiative. In an apparent effort to influence Angola's position on issues related toIhe diplomatic dialogue with the UnitedSovietsigh-level Angolanto Moscow in mid-January^"
uring the Angolan delcsalion's
Jjthe signing of an unprecedented ecooomic package, which stipulates projects worth as much asillion over the neatean The accord, as announced, does not specify how much, if any, new Soviet aid is involved. The timing and size of the offer strongly suggest that Moscow Is trying to preempt any possible move to theajor economic commitment at this time would not only strengthen the position of pro-Soviet dements
These Soviet overtures were precededumber of high-level visits to Maputo: Soviet Politburo candidate Puuttdovnd Yev-geniy Sarnoteykin. President Brezhnev's personal aide for Thsrd World issuesuring this time period, tbc Soviets abo boated Moxambican Dderrse Minister Chipande and organised ship visit* to Mozambique
The Soviets probably believe that Mozam. blque's need for military support against the South African-backed NRM Insurgency will strengthen their hand wilh the Machel regime. While President Ma-chel thus far hasisruptive role Indiscussions on Namibia, he may be compelled to rxomote Moscow's position on this Issue if NRM activities force him to increase his dependence on Soviet military aid.
Ihe Nonvfc-on (nsurpents (SWAPO)
bo trying to eaploit iu position as SWAPO's main arms supplirr in iu eflorts to under
mine the Contact Group ulki.
uch urging* may be designed lo strengthen ihose SWAPO leaden who question the efficacyiplomatic solution. T
^The Soviet* may believe thatonaligned posture thai would limit Soviet influence in an Independent Namibia.
oscowi uncertainty overxact pem-tion in the Namibia talks stems in pari from the diversity of opinion that crisis within the SWAPO leadership itself While Moscow has considerablewithinwith ihea significant element in SWAPO that is not pro-Soviet and most likely sees relations with the USSRecessary evil Nuroma himself enjoys friendly relations with ihe Soviets and has leaned increasingly to the left in recent years, but he is probably more an opportunistommitted Marxist
or is the USSR the only foreign influence on SWAPO. Most of SWAPO's ftruuicial andsupport comes from inter national organizations like the UN, World Council of Churches. Lutheran World Federation, the OAU liberation Committee,umber of European countries, esrseciauy Sweden.
uba regards Angola as an Importantof its Africa policy and therefore would oppose any Namibia settlement that would reduce Itsin Angola and elsewhere in theigh-level Cuban delegation toured the Frontline Stales in January and2 after an unpublicized stopover in Moscow, where both sides presumably workedoint posit km on Namibia The Cubans sought lo strengthenamong the Frontline Slates, apparently through new offers of assistance. Given Moscow's apparent desire for greater access to Frontline thinking on Namibia, the Cubans probably proffered support forgathering, in hopes of gaining such access.
Public stalemculs Issued througlrout the Cuban trip indicate that Namibia was the main topic of discussion. In addition. Cuban Foreign Minister Mal-rnierca visited Luanda An Angolan-Cuban Jointwas subsequently released outlining their position on ihe question of Cuban troops in Angola. TASS immediately published the statement with ekbeeaboo by Soviet analysts.
The communique stressed Ihe lack of linkage between the Cuban troops In Angolaamibia settlement It did, however, acknowledge that removal of the Cubans would Iconsidered In the event that Namibia were independent. South African forces were south of the Orange River, and that threats/military aggression against Angola were ended.
Soviet comment on live communique stressed that the Cuban presence was necessary to protect Angolan internal as well as eilemalpoint not highlighted in the communique itself. Thism emphasis is indicative of Moscow's concernuban withdrawal wouldNPLA reconciliation and would weaken the Soviet position. The difference in emphasis may also portend Soviet-Angolan friction on tins issue.
IV. CONSTRAINTS AND OPTIONS A. African Interests and Priorities
as Moscow's posilton in southernrests on Its ties to the Frontline Stales, futureon the Namibia Issue will be shaped, in part,priorities of the black Africans, as well as thoseAfrica, the predominant economic andin the region The Frontline Stales have ato resolve ihe various pressures associatedNamibtan insurgency stemming fromwillingness lo use military raids,propaganda, and covert operationsThe burdens arc probably roost severe forto Namibia, particularly Angola, and to aZambia, which have suffered from Southcross-border military Incursions againstcamps.
retoria Is motivatedesire lo preserve its rxeeminent position In ihe region and lo counter
Soviei influence. In pursuing those interests, itstactics have Iottered an unwillingness on the part of Frontline Slates to engage in activity likely totrong South African reaction; the Soviets, for example, have had Little success in persuading Frontline leaders to provide greater and more visible support to the ANC
ome Frontline leaden are also reluctant to alienate the West. Aside from the need for Western economic assistance, they rot lite the necessity of retaining Western, especially American, cooperation il the current Namiblan negotiations are to succeed. This belief Is reinforced by their perception that the United States exercises such leverage over South Africa that it
caneliver" Pretoria on the Namlbian
oscow will carefully consider the rtsfc to its current interests and equities before taking anysteps to endorse orrospective Namibia settlement. We believe that future Soviet moves on tbe Namibia question will depend in large part on any Angola-related provisionsroposed settlement plan.
aving cleariy expressed their reservations about the Contact Croup initiative aad tbeir position on the Cuban troop Issue, the Soviets will closely monllor how the Frontline States, particularly Angola, and SWAPO proceed from here If the Namibia talks move onosition which Moscow views asis,Namibia settlement not linked to Angola and which is acceptable to the Frontline States, the Soviets would probably bend lo African preferences rather than jeopardize theirandthe region. Some Soviet writers have argued that South African intransigence willderail the settlement efforts, that Soviet moves to that end are, therefore, unnecessary, and thatinterests would be best served byow profile
ven If the Soviets find the evolving settlement tolerable, they will nevertheless seek to fuel tensions and suspicions to ensure that the finaleached In an atmosphere of antagonism and dalius! rather lhan reconciliation. The Soviets would hope that in such an environment, the Namibian govern-men! would be likely to turn lo the USSR for support.
n the other hand, we believe thai asettlement package Ihat leadsuban troop vriusdzawal and an MPLA-UNITAIf accepted by thebe resisted by the USSR and Cuba. The Soviet effort over the past few months to impede the Namibia peace process was probably, prompted by discussionuban withdrawal frommove which the Soviets believe would not be undertaken unless lliere was an Impending MPLA-UNITAuban troop withdrawal and an MPLA-UNITA rapprochement would underminethe leverage and influence Moscow and Havana nowin Luanda.
n the event that the Sovietsackage settlement" to be imminent, the Soviets would probably try to destroy the prospective settlement Moscow could pursue several courses ofof which are not mutually exclusive. All of these entail risks, would antagonize the Frontline States, and might reopardizc Moscow's interests in theregion. They include;
Trying to provoke South Africa in hopes that Pretoria would react in ways that subsequentlyettlement For example. Moscow ought enlarge the Cuban troop presence in Mozambique
egional crisis suchhabanew invasion of the Shaba region of Zaire by the Angrabus-batsed Front for the National Ubagldoai of the Congo (FLNC) rebeb.
Threatening Angola'ignificant reduction in military and economic assistance if it agreed to tbe settlement paeJcage
Offering ta increase dramatically Moscow'scommitment and military Involvement with Ihe Frontline States in order to ericourage the black Africans to back SWAPOong war and io assuage their fears of South African retaliation
oup attempt by pro-Sovietwithin live MPLA against those leaders who supported ihe settlement plan.
options may develop as the Namibia negotia-lioui proceed Moscow, for eiample. could certainly eaploil any differences that might emerge between Angola and SWAPO.
SO. Some specific indicators could be expected if Moscow proceeded to implement any of these options. The most difficult to recognize or anticipateoup attemptar.daQ
"iTbe movementarge Cuban force to Mozambique would be more easily detected, as would FLNC prestationsajor invasion of
SI. Each of (lie Soviei options has Inherentand varying degrees of risk. To the extent that they require African involvement or acQuiescence. Moscow doer- not enjoy unhindered fieedom ofove toaige Cuban combat force to Mozambique, for example, presumes the approval of President Macbel. who might not view it as serving Mapulo's interests; he might well fear thatove wouldignificant military reaction from South Africa that over tbe lone term could transform Mozambique into the "new Angola "
imilarly, If the MPLA has opted for aNamibia settlement. Luanda would nothaba III effort In addition to undermining the settlement, Angolan supporthaba III could jeopardizexpanding ties lo the West and could prompt Zairian President Mobutu and hissupporters to respond by aiding UNITAAlthouKh the Soviets could try to Inst urate an invasion of Zaire by the FLNC despite Angolan Opposition, such action would antagonize Loanda and the other Frontline State* and would not necessarilyetuement
oviet move to force Luanda toettlement orignificant reduction of aid and assistance would carry serious risks. Apart fromMoscow's complete disregard fo* Angolan stiver -eignty or priorities, an ultimatum mixta even prompt Luanda to downgrade ties vrtih the LSSH Inclrrd.he Angolans had taken the necessary "leaplaiih" toackage settlement, they prrummhh would have considered the potential ramifications it would have for reliiwus with Moscow. Much would depend onof USto assist Luandaettlement
he Soviets ought offer to increase substantially Moscow's security commitments to one or more of the Frondine States. The Africans, however, might view such an offer with some reticence; the burdens of continuing the SWAPO insurgency and the potential South African reaction to greater Soviet Involvement could deter them from accepting such an offer The Frontlineoreover, might have differingabout the Soviet offer, for example, its usefulness. Soviet inlentioos. and implications for the regional situation; such differences would diminish ibe impact of Moscow's move. The Soviets might even include an offer of limited sir and naval combat forces, but we believe this is unlikely since il wouldisk of military conflict wilh South Africa.
he Soviets might consider the option ofa coup by pio-Sovict elements within the MPLA.ove, however, would require the exbtenceroup that Moscow could count on and thai was willing toeizure of powei. Given tbe murky nature of MPLAour limited, uncertain information about MPLAb difficult to assess the probabililvoviet-inspired coup attempt Should Moscow decide to pursue this option, an unsuccessful effort could lead to the removal of the Soviets.
pucations for the united states
f the present Initiative colbpscs. or adragged out by Pretoria, the Soviets will be quick to remind the black Africans that their warnings and suspicions were correct and Justified. USand "collusion" with South Africa will bein major propaganda campaign* aimed at further discrediting US intentions in the Third World Moscow may abo decide to renew the push for sanctions in the United Nations, thereby forcing the United States into the difficult position of defending Pretoria's intransigence or supposing sanctions against South Africa.
57 If the tjuntaetsettlement isUw"ould enhanced at It was ii (he rawimlulm.- Ini .
would undercut the Sovki lonc-tenm coal of supplanting thai influence In ihe nirion-
uccessful settlement could lit?igliten black African cancelations of (he United Stales and the West; Washington, for example, nu* conte under pceaiure to push harder for changes In I'retorta'a racial practices and to Increase Itscommitment to regional economic eleveloptnent. Tltr failure byto meet thesekxu.failurerocess of peaceful settlement to Lad to regional economic and political development, would provide the Sovietsew opportunity to reassert their influence.
n any event, the Soviets would move toclose tiesWAPO regime in Namibia, recognizing that such ties will contribute to new tensions with Pretoria. In sum, the Soviets would continue their practice of exploiting the regionalwhicheed for Soviet arms assistance, presence, and therefore Irdluence.
POSSIBLE SOVIET ACTIONS AFTER NAMIBIAN INDEPENDENCE
Inasmuch as we cannot know how long the nesuHaiioro will go on, the compromises that may develop, and the condition! underinalarnrneredatof post sell lenient developments Is by definition highly speculative. Assumingettlement has been achieved and that SWAPO dominates the government
of an Inderseradent Namibia, the following scenarios
Soviet RelationsWAPO-Ruied rJcnrirbia
hould the Contact Group initiative succeed. Soviet policyceUettlement Nam>Ua wouldon the specific termsettlement, theunder which It is achieved, and the outcome of the elections Moscow's options wuT dependn the disposition of the SWAPO government. SWAPO's outlook, in turn, will be influencedumber of important considerations
Namibia's economic dependence on SouthPretoria will retain Walvis Bay. theport In Namibia and the transit point for most of Narrjibia's exports and imports, until such time as itsegotiated with an indepervdent Namibia. South Africaignificant amount of skilled labor, Investment capital, and consumer goods, and It manages most of the country's essential mining economy. Namibia is also dependent upon South Africa's transportation and communication rtet works.
South Africa as the region's predominantpower. The ever-present military threat posed by proximity to South Africa could be used to support divergent policiesWAPOModerates may caution restraint lo avoid provoking military responses while ethers might argue for a military buildup^which would presumably mean asking the Soviet Bloc for military advisers and assistance
The Namibian population. SWAPO would beopulationonservativedexacadcal terms and thai has developedpolitical sophistication. Theercent of the population lo which SWAPO looks for its mainconservative and is Influenced by the Lutheran Church. To run the country effectively SWAPO must also enjoy theat least thethe small, powerful whitewhites who choose tothat drives the key sectors of the economy, ai well as the other black tribal groups which fear Ovambo acmiinallon
Divisions within SWaFO. SWAPO's externalurrently dominaledmall clique of self-professed Marxists who must contendentra] committeeank and file (hat does not necessarily share the more radical views ol the orsjantaMtioni leadership. SWAPO, In fact, is composedariety of competing factions that break down along tribal and idecJogical lines Inner party (cottons, which have flared upIn the past, could do so again under condlliorxs of Independence, something the SWAPO leadership will seek to avoid. SWAPO also has an apparently moribund internal winglearly leas radical than the dominant external wing; revived, it could prove looderating forceWAPO government.
South African and Western reeeplivenessWAPO gosernmrnt.utlook will be influenced by tlte rmponse It receives In Pretoria and the West In general. If Pretoria opts lo maintain Its economic relationship and various Western stales giant economic
did inmight decide to balance lu tie* to Moscow in order to avoid jeopardizing other essential economic tie* to tbe Wealellicose Pretoria minimized oreconomic linb and if only negligibleaid were forthxxniiag from the West. Namibia might have touch closer relationship with the Soviets.
Moscowrog malic SWAPO
iven these considerations, we believe that SWAPO, at least initially, wouldragmatic course of moderation, for example, balancing lu ties to the major powers while seeking comminratnts ofand economic assistance. While Moscow would have few Immediate returns to show for iu long-term investment In SWAPO. the Soviets and their East European allies would certainly have bilateral ties with Windhoek and would presumably cultivate tbe pro-Soviet elements within the government and in theof whose officers have had Soviet training Moscow probably believesamibia-South Africa "detente" would be short lived, and that SWAPO would subsequently turn to the USSR for arms and military assistance.everedecline, coupledoss of investment and white emigration mightove towardparticularly If SWAPO became preoccupied with internal and external security threats
hould SWAPO eschew the pragmatic approach and seek to implement radical domestic policies lo-gdhci with close affiliation to Moscow, the Soviets would quickly exploit the opportunity for Influence with the new regime. Moscow would offer arms and military assistance; including advisers, to meet* security needs. Such moves would undoubtedlytrong military response Irom Pretoria.close relationship with Moscow, moreover, might rJsscrjuraay' Western investment and economic assistance, aad thereby add to Namibia's economiche security thrcaU posed by South Africa, as well as potential domestic discontent over thowould probably make the SWAPO radicals even more dependent upon the USSR for their position and military survival
might iiiittaily find itself compelledmoderately either because it was forcedore conservative political partyof agreetnenti made before independencethat Namibia follow7 in effect, ain foreign and domestic policy. In eithercircumstances wouldetbackpolicy. If SWAPO chose to acquiesce toMoscow would likelyowNamibia and quietly encourage the
however. SWAPO quickly sought topranctependeoce agrcernenu or sought topolitical power sharingprobably wouldostilemight soon turn toBloc for assistance in order lo sustain iuAlthough Moscow would probably prefersteps to attain power, the Soviets wouldto support SWAPOn such aSoviet* would argue that ibe UN hadSWAPO as the sole, legitimateof the Namibian people, ard that thea sham. Moscow wouldWAPO callwarfareton-SWAPO groupettlement ,