Soviet Policy and Africa
Soviet Policy and Africa (u)
National Intelligence Council MrmofandHin
InformationasIused in tbe preparation of this Memorandum
Thu memorandum is based oncMI<ISVn
Utbutionse Offices of Political
Economic Research, and Strategic Research in the
National Foreign Assessment Cenicrand by the
Directorate of Operations, and has been co-
bjthe AnalytK Group of the
NaTcSaTlnielhgence Council under the supervision of
ihe National Intelligence Officer for the L'SSR
and Fastcrn Europe, with the cooperation of the
National Intelligence Officer for Africa.
Soiicl Policy and Africa (ii)
policy toward Africa represents more than the mere exploitation of
opporiunities. It is driven by objectives that have remained reasonably stable over tbc years:
offset and undermine Western political, economic, and military influence.
expand the Soviet presence on the continent.
facilitate the expansion of Soviet influence in North Africa, ihe Arabian Peninsula, and the Indian Ocean littoral.
promote specific Soviet military interests.
enhance Soviet claimslobal superpower role.
To gain political support from African countries for Soviet undertakings in international forums.
stimulate changes advantageous toSSR in African rev |
Soviet success in achieving these aims has been mixed.ariety of reasons, the Sovietsumber of setbacksheof Nkrumah inhe coupro-Soviet regime inecline in Soviet influence in Guinea: the failureommunist coup in. and the expulsion of the USSR fromore recently, the Soviets have been confronted by:
The loss of use of ihe naval and air facilities al Bcrbcra. resulting from the Soviets' decision to pursue whal they viewed as greater opportunities and slakes in Ethiopia, although ihey knew this would put their gams in Somalia at serious risk.
The transfer of power in Zimbabwe0lack majoritycontrolled by Robert Mugabe's ZANU rather than the Soviet-backed JoshuaAPU.
Termination by Guinea7 of the rightaritime reconnaissance flights from Conakry.
availability of awell suiied lo the military and political requirements uf the situations at hand.
Possible heightened Soviet concerns aboul future deploymenthe Indian Ocean of US strategic systems both ballistic missile submarines and carrier-based aireraftJiM
these changed circumstances ihe Soviets managed to achieve major gains and significantly strengthened their position in Africa, although ihcy were nol immune to reverses
The new Soviet activencs* in Africa does not signify lhat the region ashas any higher priority in Soviet eyes relative to other regions thanpreviously. Sub-Sahuran Africa still ranks lower than the UnitedEurope. Western Europe, China. Southwest Asia, Southeast|JMIUJI and the Middle East as an area of Soviet foreign policy concern Theno truly vital security interests at stake in the region that it must defend.
Soviet military objectives in the area are-aside from Indian Ocean and Persian Gulfa regional rather than global strategic character; peacetime designs are probably more important than those keyedeneral East-West war; and desired political gains are just as salient as purelys J
Whether the circumstances thai permitted Soviet gains4 will persist in the years ahead is uncertain. There will clcnrly be continuing opportunities for the USSR and its proxies to fish in troubled waters The potential openings are many:
Theconomic, and social weaknesses that will continue to afflici Africa.
The tendency of African military organizations to acquire as much weaponry as possible regardless of the real level of threat.
Abiding African suspicions of Europe and the United Slates
The presence of apartheid in South Africa and its impact on the domestic and foreign policies of other countries in Africa. Clearly, the Soviets vie*
S.UtMMIYr*. support for the African struggle for majority rule in Namibia and-in all of its political, economic, military, and diplomatic
a key clement in their approach lo Sub-Saharan Africa
over the nextir |
Of the many problems Soviet and Soviet proxy actions in Africa may create for the United Stales in the next several years, the most acute could be:
of ihe USSR's influence in Sub-Saharan Africa by providing militarydirectly or through iheSoviet clients in the event of internal instability in Zaire. Zambia, or Zimbabwe, or by collaborating with the Libyans to exploit instability in Chad or Sudan.
provision of significantly larger numbers of advisers :ind equipment, or more support for the Cubans, in order to prop up Moscow's "own" regimes in Angola. Mozambique, and Ethiopia if they were threatened wiih internal collapse, whether provoked or not by US assistance to dissident elements.
Military conflictoviet client regimehirdor without Sosiet encouragement. For example. Ethiopian encroachment on Somalia, or- -less likely -fighting between Angola and South Africa linked with Namibia.
Soviet acquisitionew foothold in West Africa.
An increased Soviet naval and air presence in the region, if the Soviets were successful in obtaining access to port facilities and airfields in various countries.pj
We do not believe, however, that Soviet behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa is likely torontal challenge to the West in the areas of access to strategic metals or oil. Even under circumstances favorable io the Soviets they would not be able cithereize Sub-Saharan strategic metals forollapse of political order in South Africa -torolonged denial of them to the West; nor does Soviet behavior to date suggest that the Soviets themselves arc currently pursuingeizureenial strategy in the near or middle term. Likewise, Soviet naval activities around the Horn ande coast of Easl Africa do not signal an active intention of interfering with the flow of oil supplies for the West, given the supremely h'gh risk this would entail and Soviet naval inferiority in the region. Rather, these activities are intended to promote essentiallyell as enhance ihe USSR's fulurc strategic capabilities in the*
In the future, as the Soviets encounter new opportunities, they will also face old conslraints:
Foremost among these is the preference of virtually all African regimes, including recipients of Soviet and proxy assistance, to manage their own affairs.
Virtually all African regimes arc suspicious of Soviet motives.
The Soviets and their proxies are not alone in Africa. Most African countries operateestern-oriented international economic order, and receive sizable assistance from ihc major Western powers andorganizations, which the Soviets cannot match.
The difficulty of translating military or economic assistance into lasting politicalroblem the Soviets have always faced in Africa, (s)
But, in addition, there are new factors that could seriously impair (he ability of the USSR ino extend its gains:
African intervention against Ihe MPLA forces in Angola and Somalia violation of the tcrriiorial integrity of Ethiopia made it possible for the USSR and Cuba to introduce their military contingents in those countries while remaining on the "right" side of the Africans. Such fortuitous circumstances might not be repeated in the future.
Africans may be more chary now of superpower involve- .cot than they were in
The Soviets are encountering difficulties in consolidating their influence in Angola. Mozambique, and Ethiopia. Existing frictions may well multiply as Moscow attempts toattern of institutionalization of power favorable to its own interests, while failing lo respond adequately to ihe economic needs of its clients.
The Cubans arc more than Soviet agents; they have their own policy aims.
which have confided wiih Soviet aims in the past and could do so in the
Despite ihe opportunities already mcnlioncd for maneuver in Sub-Saharan Africa which the Soviets may be able to create or exploit, and despite themeans at their disposal to do so. ihe Soviets inill nevertheless be vulnerable to Western counteraciion, particularly with respect to:
Soviet inability lo compete with the West in trade and economic development assistance.
The dissatisfaction of African mililary forces with the quality of Soviet arms, availability of spare parts, level of maintenance provided, and training.
The dependence of the Soviets on Cuban proxy military forces. Il could force difficult and potentially embarrassing choices on the Soviets if. for whatever reason, the Cubans decided to remove or substantially reduce their troops in Angola or Ethiopia when this was not desired by ihe host regime.
The incompleteness so far with which Soviet-style political controls have been institutionalized in Angola. Mozambique, and Ethiopia, and the consequent potential for leadership defection from Soviet tutelage and for divergence of the system from the Soviet-preferred model.
Suspicion among Africans of Soviet intentions, which has been reinforced by Moscow's arm-iwisting attempts to exploit dependency relations for short-term tactical gains, and by African awareness of attempted Soviet subversion.
The perception widely held by Africans that "Russians" harbor racist attitudes,
Soviet lack of leverage to encourage the sort of ncgotiaicd resolutions of the NamibianAfrican problems that many leaders of black African countries would probably prefer lo see.
and the Persian Gulf
Change in African Regimes
To and Conirol Over Strategic Metals
Vulnerabilities in Africa
Role of Proxies
and ihe Reasons for Them
lor ine uniicu ^taics
Soviet Perceptions of the Future
Areas of Current and Potential Easi-West Competition
Horn, of Africa
Zimbabwe, and South Africa
Collapse or Client Regimes
A: Current Soviet Involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa
B: The Soviets and Sub-Saharan Strategic Metals
C: Soviet Capabilities in Africa
the Soviet presence on the continent.
Soviet policy toward Africa is best understood as the outcomeet of fairly specific objectives which complement and promote the USSR's broad global purposes These objectives have remained guitethey arc rooted in Communist doctrine and the entrenched interests of key sejmctiti of the Soviet political elite, and they are carried forward wiih tremendous bureaucratic momentum |
While ihc Soviets probably think thai unseitlcdin Africa urc likely to be especially conducive to achieving their objectives, they also clearly assign theower priority in their scheme of things than the United States. Eastern Europe, Western Europe, China. Southwest Asia. Southeast Am. and ibeEast Apart from the incremental improvement in its capacity to counter US strategic naval forcesby access to ports and airfields (especially inhe Soviet Union has no truly vital security interests at stake in Sub-Saharan Africa ilml it must defend. Moscow is, moreover, subject to certainconcerning Africa. The USSR has im interest in avoiding:
military confrontation in the region wilh the United States or West European powers.
Actions thai wouldigh probability of worsening Soviet relations with Western Europe or wiih valued Third World countries.
economic commitntenlshe region, which have not paid off in the past and for which resources urc unavailabl
Promote various Soviet military interests.
Soviet claimslobal superpower role.
- Gain political support from African countries for Soviet undertakings in international forums.
changes advantageous lo the USSR in African regimes.
1 "he Soviets do not believe that these objectives can be quickly realized, and they are well aware of reverses they have suffered in the past: the overthrow of N'kru-mab inhe coup against Kcita inc the failureommunist coup inhich was blamed on the Soviets
inn lo the loss ofr. and ihc victory of Robert Mugabe's ZANU over the Soviet-backed Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU inevertheless, the Soviets pursued most of these objectives vigorously in; overall, the effort eapendeduickened impulse in Soviet policy lowardhy did the Soviets seek to realize iheir aims more aggressively at ihis juncture'.
First, local opporlumtiesheckoncd: .Somali irredentist ambitions.
objectives in Sub-Saharan Africa arc lo:
Offset and undermine Western political, economic, and military influence.
- Facilitate ihe expansion Of Soviet influence in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Indian Ocean littoral.
* The collapse of Portuguese power in Mozambique and Angola.
' Current Soviet involvement in Africa biummariicd bteoumrv in
The black insurgency in Rhodesia.
The overthrow of Hailc Selassie and radical mm in Ethiopian politics.
Second, there were new stralcgic considerations:
The need to compensate for (he reduction in Soviet influence in the Middle East occasioned by the deterioration of relations with Fgyptnd the USSR's later exclusion fromin the process of settlement of the Israeli-Arab dispute with the Camp David accordsS.
US development in thef new naval and air facilities at Diego Garcia, which may have heightened Soviet concerns about future deployment to the Indian Ocean of US strategicballistic missile submarines and carrier-based aircraft.
Some Specific Aims
Military Interesn. Soviet military objectives in Sub-Saharan Africa serve both defensive and offensive aims. These include:
Gaining access to facilities in Africa (seemap) from which ihe USSR can conductand targetingparticular ihe monitoring of US and Western naval activities in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, especially USand aircraft carriers.
Securing Soviet sea linen of communication between the European USSR und the Soviet Far East.
Denying Western access to military baves or facilities.
Soviet lulling und merchant murine fleets on both sides of Africa.
radical ihifl of world economic power to the Middle Eastern oil-producing states and the vulnerability of the West displayed in3 OPEC oil embargo, which made the Persian (iulf region an even greater object of Soviet interest than it had been previously
Finally, the possibilities of bringing Soviet military power to bear in Africa were improved.
The Soviet* peiceived prospects for diminishedin Africa from the United Slates in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, and reduced resolve lo counter Soviet military initiatives.
Acquisition by the USSR in thef access to Adenaval and air staging point increases! the Capacity of ihe Soviets to deliver military auntancc into the Horn of Africa.
Aavailable through which Soviet interests could he pursued |
Most of the Sovici objectives noted aboveurc clear cut, bul several points require further discussion
Securing access or transit for Soviet military forces being deployed to various locations worldwide
Gaining permission to stockpile limited amonnii of materiel and foe) ia Africa mainly for Sovici use.
Providing militaryarms and advisersprotect revolutionary changes und favored insurgents or client regimes against Western counteractions.
Establishing bases from which subversion orpotentially could be supported cither in ihe Arabian Peninsula (for example. North Yemenlor in adjoining African stales (such us Zaire!|
These Soviet miliiary objectives in Sub-Saharanarc oriented less toward global than towardstrategicthose in theEast and Persian Gulf "Peacetime" designs arc probably more important ihan those keyed loa general Easi* West war. and political gains are jusl us salient as purely military ones.l
and Persian Gulf Oil. Soviet military moves in the Horn and along the cast coast of Africa are partly related tonterest in expanding its influence with respect to Persian Gulf otl. but the connection atlmost certainly more political than military. The Soviets' attempts toresence along tbe east coast of Africa arc not in doubt; but this does not signal an intention to interfere with ibe flow of al supplies to lbc West. They lack the forceso so. and arc aware that to employ even Inadequate forces for this purpose could lead to the most serious possible confrontation with the West. More importantly,it is unclear why the Soviets would opt for this uncertain means if they wanted lo cut off oil to the West (with all that entailed ushe danger of major conflict with the United Suites and Western Europe) when it would be much easier for them either to close down Persian Gulf oil facilities or to interdict passage through the Strait ofo Ihe extent that these moves toilitary presence in the region are related to oil. the aim is probably to parlay their psycholog teal impact into increasing acceptance of the Soviet Union's claimecognitionsecurity guarantor- of Persian Gulf oil. and into greater Soviet influence in tbc Persian Gulf region add along lbc northern littoral of the Indian Ocean jfljj
Stimulating Change in African Regimes. In reaching decisions related lo political action, Moscow divides African regimes into two categories: "capitalist"and regimessocialisthe Soviets are uncertain how rapidly the former can be alteredprogressive" ditcciion, but their strategy for fostering this objective is straightforward:of structural changes in the economy, society, and foreign relationsountry tliat are compatible with "national capitalism" but which undercut the influence of pro-Western and moderate elements in the population, thus laying the groundwork- the Sovietsmore "progressive" changes later or.lj
Tbe Sonet attitude toward the leftist, self-designated "socialist" or even "Marxist Leninist" regimes (including Angola, Mozambique, and Ethiopia) iscautious The Soviets look al these regimes in
' Antoli. MoatnbtqiK.Benin. Cape Verde.Canto. Guinea. Guinea-Dituu. Ma dat jr. Tjnraiui, and Sao Tome anil Principe
the light of whal ihey have learned through bitter experience in Egypt and Somalia, and judge them still highly vulnerable to defectionolidlyorientation. They see the possibility cilher of creeping capitalism or the "Ireason" of new Sadats.l
Moscow's aim which Soviet commentators make no bones about, is to prod and assist the leaders in ihesc countries to institutionalize the revolution: to build disciplined parties, organize reliable internal security systems, purge the armies of politically unreliableand form mass organizations to circumscribe and channel the activity of key social groups in tbe population at large. In ihe economic sphere, Soviet strategy is loradual elimination ofenterprise and an even more gradual shift of trade toward the Soviet bloc, avoiding radical measures that could totallyegime from its own population or confront the USSR with undeflcctable demands for massive continuing Soviet economic support. Progress in achieving these aims has been very si
Access To and Control (her Strategic Metals. The three countries besides South Africa that produce substantial quantities of any of Ihe four strategic mel-als found in Africa (cobalt, chrome, platinum-group metals, and manganese) arc /aireambiand Zimbabwef these metals, the Soviets arell but cobali. We believe that, barring radical changes in South Africa, the Soviets under the meal favorable conditions (including revolutions of the Angolan type) would be unable to achieve moreoderate degree of concessionary" access Ihemselves to strategic African metals (some cobalt from Zaire or Zambia is all lhat ihey need for ibeir own purposes, and only until theimited measure of influence over sales of cobalt to lbc West by these iwo countries or of chrome by Zimbabwe. The Soviets would not be able io corner the international market in these metals, although they might attemptngage in collusive price setting with African producers. They could, however, work todisorder in these three countries thaileast for adown production and prevent exports.urn of events would have painful but
nol disastrous consequences for Ihc West. If /aire or Zambia were the targets, collapse of exports would also damage Soviet economic interests: until thehalf of, when it will become an exporter of cobalt, the USSR will probably depend on imports from these two countries toignificant share of its own cobalt requirement
Jsoviet behavior to date that isfrican strategic metals docs notery active intention to exploit Western vulnerability, although Soviet spokesmen frequently call attention to this vulnerability. Our best judgment is that the metals considerationonger term, background element that combines with other, more immediate aimsSoviet behavior toward Sub-Saharan Africa.|
Exploitable Vulnerabilities in Africa
The capacity of the USSR to realize its objectives in Sub-Saharan Africa depends in the first place on the opportunities that are available. The extent and limits of current Soviet involvement in Sub-Saharanrs and prospects for future Soviet gains, are significantly
conditioned in the first place by African perceptions of the Soviet Urion |
Most Africans are wary about Moscow. They arc sensitive to the international competition between the Soviet Union and the United States, and regard that competition as providing opportunities to further their ownalso risks of entanglement. Even those governments that rely on assistance fromto prop litem uparge degree of independence, and many of those that are strongly anti-Soviet applaud Moscow's support on African problems. ^|
Most Africans welcome the support Moscow has given to national liberation groups in Zimbabwe. Namibia, and South Africa. When possible. Ihey prefer lo have military assistance to those groups funnclcd through the Organization of African UnityMoscow, however, is generally unwilling to do. They
regard such assistance as crucial in allowing liberation groups lo exert the pressure necessary to force their adversaries toeitlement. They draw back, however, from purely militaryof the Angola experienceealisticof African military inadequacies and prefer to work for Zimbabwe-type negotiated settlements)^
Many African slates look to the Soviet Union for arms that ihey cannot obtain from the West, although they do so with mixed feelings. Although the USSRvirtually no armsrant basis (even Ethiopia is required to repay, primarily in hard currency).still pressures clients lo adopt pro-Soviet positions. Some countries, such as Nigeria and Zambia, pay for their arms with hard currency or minerals in anto avoid any question of political indebtedness to Moscow. Even ihose countries lhal do not pay in cash, such as Tanzania, Uganda. Congo, and Guinea, do not slavishly adopt pro-Soviet posit ions j
Moderate states, such as Zambia, fear that Soviet involvement in domestic politics would accompany any large Soviet mililary presence associated with arms agreements, and have tried to limit the number of Soviet technicians and advisers in country or arrange for training to be carried out in the Soviet Union. Other states, fearing an external threat from Western powers or exile opposition elements, are happy tooviet presence. Such was the case with Guinea0 when President Sekou Toure, facing Portuguese retaliation for his support of the insurgents inGuinea, gave the Soviets access lo air and naval facilities in exchange for armsoviet naval presence in the area. Although Guinea now is putting distance between itself and Moscow by curtailing Soviet access and by accepting Western aid. il Still regards Moscow as its key arms supplier.
African political systcmsarc built on single parties and often these parties are poorly organized, are IIIandroad popular base. Weakand discipline arc also often characteristic of African intelligence and security services. Generally, African leaders admire the effectiveness and discipline of Soviet and East European Communis! panics and
behind our poutxoemot in annex B
8lln'iMI"IIYnT',Lljns arcdissatisfied with ihe meageraid Moscow provides. This dissatisfaction is
particularly strong on ibe pan of countries that claim to be "scientifically socialist" oruch as Congo. Benin, and even Angola. Mozambique, and Ethiopia. Such countries will remain dependent on the Soviet Union for military assistance but arc seek-ng economic assistance in the West and from China
The Soviets themselves, while unhappy over certain political development* of the past year or so (such a* Ihe defeat of Joshua Nkomo. whom they supported, by Robcr: Mugabernbabwci. nevertheless foresee ar. intensification of longer icrm processes of social change in Africa thai will provide good opportunities to enhance ihc influence of the USSR And in this assumption lhc> are probably correct. Africa is going through what is likely torotracted period of insubiliiy. and we expectoecade of intensified economicocial dislocation, and civil disorder in this part of lite globe |
n the sphere of economic relations, ihc99 how difficult il would be for them lo compele wiih ihe West for influence in Sub-Saharan Africa through economic aid.0ew Soviet aid overtures groundirtual halt.5oviet economic aid commitments to Ihc region werewhen creditsarge sleel mill project in Nigeria areuring the same period,sales escalated steeply4 billion. Clearly, arms Supply and military assistance have become Ihc primary vehicle by means of which the Soviets have attempted io establish their influence in the region. While their successes in so doing have beentheir dependence on this single instrumentality leaves Soviet relationships wilh client countriesvulnerable to crvsio'ij
Moscowignificanl military power projection capability, which it has twice already brought lo bear on Sub-Saharan Africa. The USSR's MilitaryAviation (VTA)canajor, unopposed airlifthort time and sustain it. And the Soviets have developed airborne and amphibious unitsaddition to their conventional forces can be used for inlcrvcntion in distant areas. Nevertheless, the Soviets would encounter serious difficulties in
Forn more detailed discussion of Soviet capabilities.SteannexC.
delivering substantial numbers of airborne iroops or amphibious forces to many African locations,if such movements were opposed
The Soviets conduct naval and air operations from Ethiopia in ihe Horn of Africa, and from Guinea and Angola in West Africa. The Soviet facility at Dahlak Island. Ethiopia, is being developedupport facility for the USSR's Indian Ocean Squadron. This fleet, which was expandedhips in the latter half ofo as many aships0 (probably in response to the US naval buildup during the hostagelso uses the port of Aden and anchorages of Socotra Island in the Gulf of Aden.
averaged three combatants and severalThese ships spend most of their time in port at Conakry, Guinea, or Luanda, Angola.
The Role of Proxies
Proxies and ih* Reason*vm
short, the proxyJ
In assessing the Soviet use of proxies in Africa, it is important for us to emphasize that "proxies" arc not synon.rrious wnhbe large-scale Cuban military forces and substantial East German political-security training presence in Sub-Saharan Africa serve Soviet objectives But the Cubans and East Germans are there because the Cuban and East German leaders decided thai this would serve the interests of theiregimes. In short, ihe proxy relationship is based on mutual interest
The relationship is fairly described by the Icrmowever, because the Cubans and Eastare performing tasks which the Sovietssomebeen unwilling tofor themselves because of their high political
costs. From the Soviet standpoint, proxy activityreat deal of sense; it has permitted effectiveand perhapssupport of Soviet clients when the only alternative lo theiror severe setback might have been thedirect involvement of Soviet ground forces; il has reduced the chances of US political and military counteraction: il has permitted military actions on the ground in Africa to be presentedhird World/ "national liberation" context rather ihan as aof superpower conflict; and it has effectively exploited the African belief thai other Communisi regimes are less threatening than the USSR)
Cuban military activity in Sub-Saharan Africa did not begin with ihe massive troop buildup in Angolauban military instructors and technicians had already been dispatched previouslyumber of African countries as one manifestation of Cubanin theinterest that preceded9 reconciliation between Castro and the Kremlin. And it is clear thai Cuba was pursuing its ownin intervening in Angola, rather than responding reluctantly to Soviet commands. Whether or nut there were initial Sovictreservationsabou^tu^i^ Cu-
Sovietsmt thai Cuban iroops were desirable, and the operation pro^j cccdcd wiih closeovic!n
In ihe case of Ethiopia, Cuban interest was lessounced than it was toward Angola. Here ihcre may haveuch more clear-cut display of willingness on the Cubans' pari io serve as Sovici Gurkhas. Cuban combal forces were introduced by Ihe Cubansto serve Soviet rather lhan Cuban objectives H
Large numbers of Cuban iroops remain in boihand Angola, and ihcre is little chance lhat many of ihem will be brought home in the'next year or two unless cxicrna) reasons are compelling. The Castro regime maintainsizable Cuban mililaryis required in both countries so long as aexternal threat exists. This is virtually an admis-
(hai Cuban leaders see no Hkelihuod in Ihcthai the Ethiopian or Angolan armed forcesable lo assume full responsibility forCuban ground forces are doingfighting today in either country; apart fromtheir presence serves basically deterrent andiiiii in nv functions. Small Cubanof advisers and technicians areum-
ber of other African countries, and Havana shows no signs of reversing its policy on this type of support activity so long as political benefits can be gained from itjfl
Also significanl is the Cuban civilian presenceparticularly in the fields of publiceducation, and agriculture InCuban personnel arc supplied because ofbenefit that accrues to Havana inand in multilateral forums. In many cases.
Ihowcver'lhcregime js simply exporting surplus
1OO pcopl' ifricaB
labor in exchange for desperately needed hardCuban leaders openly acknowledge the rising trend in their exportation of labor and claim thatn the construction field alone. Cuba will have morepcople working abroad, many of them in Al
Itlear that the Cuban leadership sees its foreign assistance programs as effective means of achieving Toreign policy goals. By aiding actual and prospective alliesangible way, Cuba satisfies its ideological need to promote internationalism, gains prestigeenefactor ostensibly driven by altruistic ideals, and provides sustenance to Fidel Castro's ego by creating the impression that Cubaajor actor on the world
Of key importance, of course, Is Havana's relationship with Moscow and Cuba's need lo guarantee continued massive Soviet support. The Cubans may fear that Moscow will be willing to underwrite the Castroonly as long as Cuba can provide vital services in return. Castro will temper neither his basic antipathy toward ihc United States nor his dctcrminaiton toivotal figure in world politics and he is thus compelled to ally himself wiih ihe only superpower that can give him what he needs io maneuverwithin these self-imposed confines. There arc Circumstances in which he can act relativelyor can fend ofrSoviet pressure to acteriain fashion; but in the final analysis his policy decisions arc conceived with lhc realization thai ihcy must bein Moscow if the flow of Soviet aid (including virtually all of Cuba's oil) so vital to his continuation in power is to be maintained
The possibility of Cuba's becoming involved in yet another major military undertaking in Africa,is very real. If, for example. Mozambique were ro require an infusion of Cuban combat units lo prevent the overthrow of the Machcl government by South African-supported rebels. Havana almost ccriainly would respond favorably if ii were convinced that the United Stales would nol intervene militarily, that Moscow would approve and provide the necessarysupport, and lhai ihe Cuban forces could successfully lurn the tide. But ii is also possible that concern over US intentions toward Cuba mighl induce Havana to return some of its forces to Cuba.
The Easi Europeans
The Easl Europeanin close cooperation wiih ihcseeking to increase theirin Africa. The Easl Europeansreatin selling arms for cash and developing potential sources of key raw materials and. over the pasi several years, have become increasingly involved in providing technical
rs (SIrs IS)
for the United Slates
Soviet Perceptions of Ihe Future
Whether ihe circumstances thai permitted Soviet gains5 will persist in the years aheud is uncertain; cutting constraint*on Sovietpreference virtually all African regime* to manage Iheir own affairs, the general suspicion of Sovietand ihe involvement of African countries in ihe Western international economicbebysuclcsB
The Soviets themselves are prepared for the long haul in Africa. While ihey arc constantly attempting lo position themselves to exploit opportunities lhat may-arise. Ihey basically do not anticipate any qukkand are conscious lhat setbacks will probably occur. Indeed, over the pasi year Soviet comment hasense of frustration over Moscow's loss of initiative in Africa. The Soviets are probably worriedthe possibtlityeaceful Western-sponsored Namibian settlement, their own failure lo back the riehi horse in "
ic protendency even for clients like Angola and Mozambique to pull in the direction of economic ties wiih the VVcsi. The Soviets are also confrontedelicate situation in their relations with France: while Franceey role in Sovici attempts to maintain detente with Western Europe and split Europe from the United Stales, France itself has been on the cutting edge of oppc-Utsoa to developments in Sub-Saharan Africa that would advance Sovicin West Africa. Shaba Province of Zaire, Cape Verde, and now Chad.H
Nevertheless, the Sovicls are upltmislic now that over ihe long term the tide in Africaheir favor from their uandpoint the establishment of pro-Sovici leftist regimes in Mozambique, Angola, and Ethiopiaa big step forward; internal conditions lor revolutionary changes in "capitalist" African countries arc maturing, and in their view the eventual collapse of white power and ridealization of politics in South Africa are not in duuhtBJ
The precise strategy that ihe Sovicls will adopt in theto promote their objectives through political action will, of course, be heavily influenced by ihe opportunities lhat arise Clearly. Ihe Sovicii viewfor ihe African struggle for majority rule inand Southall of its political, economic, military, and diplomaticentral element in Iheir approach to Sub-Saharan Africa over the next decade. Beyond this point,thcic arc probably differences of opinion in Soviet policymaking circles over where Ihe key opportunities are likely io arise and how they can best be exploited.
Key Area* of Current and Potential Fusl-Wcsl Competition
The Horn of Africa. So far. the fighting between Ethiopia and Somalia ha* been contained to Ihe Oga-dcn. although occasional Ethiopian forays intohave taken place. Diplomatically, the Soviets have benefited from being on ihe vide of thewhose argument that they arc fighting lo maintain Ethiopia's territorial integrity commands greaiin Africa. The siiuaiion would change, however, if Ethiopiaajor invasion of Somalia, as some Ethiopian military leaders would like. Logistic weak-ncsses, however, probably preclude any such large-scale military operations. Moreover, ihe Sonet*fear that any such military action could lead ihe USSRonfrontation with ihe United Slates, particularly if it occurs after the US-Somali access agreement has taken hold, and reportedly have sought lo discourage it. Moscow probably is not adverse, however, lo limited Ethiopian-Somali conflict andIt may reason lhat such aelions promote Elhi-
dependence and create uncertainty l> rt_
m-ISllCa,Cd bY 'hc fac'that Moscow has onlv limited leverage wilh Addis Ababa:
He has reeved to eniertai. ihe notionoliticaj settlement with Somalia or Sovlcf suflecstions ihtV
,reatest potential for increasedouthern Africa isrcst TT^ ncans, particularly the Frontline Su.esare enelr
Zimbabwe's independence and .re willing tor setjlemenrNamibia. They rea, re of course, that South Africa is far less vulnerable to the
between the" Uni'ted
Present Siad wil, not give up Somali.', daim to ihe
Sred in has in-
curred in Africa. Moreover, he may try in
ot inconceivable that strains which have emerged between Addis AUi and Moscowwtse
escheduled. Addis Ababa also probably signed a
n" ^'antiallyto us debt. Moreover. Soviet guaraniees to rltmTil needs run only throughT contrast to Ethiopia's desiree-yea^^ce
nruneial concessions or l0 extend oil guarantees will Perhapsengistu's ongoing camrC to find economic support elsewhere
?JT^ lh7!leaders of the Sooth, West Africarganizationprin-opal Namibtan insure, group- -andfrican and foreign supporters (non-Communist as well as Communrstlilemma:
ft'UreL*n early January has prompted the Frontline States and
ot guerrilla operations in Namibia.
Tha, would leadpped-up South Africanagainst SWAPO bases in Angoland perhups against host-country targets as well.
Namtosa J ^
AfriC",ikeep their political
-nterrutsonal pressures whde stipponing ,mtlitary effort on thef SWA PO They may also
seek UN sanctions against South Africa, bul more asof saving facelhan in the belief of the efficacy
The potential for cml unrest is still high in Zimbabwe Frtcttont between the rival former guerrillathere have already led to several bloody-clashes, either of which could have sparked countrywide fighting except for Prime Minister Mugabe's adroit handling of the crises. Moscow has cut formal lies with Mugabe's primary opponent. Joshua Nkomo, as the price for Salisbury's agreement to establish diplomatic relations, but is undoubtedly maintaining clandestine contacts and mighl be able to capitalize on any breakdown in internal stability.PJ
With respect to Soulh Africa itself. East-Westwill be directed toward thell continue to support Mackin South Africa. Frontline leaders realm,that they are vulnerable to military andfrom Pretoria und lhat South Africanmovementsone way from beingto apply sufficient pressure or Pretoriu toyield to black majority rule. Thus, they will not act
llYn rashly. The Soviets will continue to support tbeNational Congress and to train and equip South
African guerrillas; but in self-interest the Frontline States will seek to limit the extent of SovietPretoria will attempt lo keep its black neighbors off balanceombination of economicand preemptive military strikes against guerrilla facilities, pait.eularlv in Mvm-ilitary actions could, of course, compel Frontline Stales lo seek Sovici assistancereater Soviet
Otherumber of countries in central und southern Africa are experiencing domestic political and economic strains that raise tbe potential for serious instability in the future. Steadily dclcrsoratingsituations in Zambia und Tanzania have led lo sporadic popular unrest and unprecedented criticism of Presidents Kaundaand Nyererc. both of whom may be serving their final terms as leaders of their countries. Neither leader has adequately prepared for ain leadership. The changeover periods, when ihey
come, couldolitical situation that Moscow would be able to exploit Moscow is providing arms and equipment io ZambiaH0 agreementsat more0 million. Although Zambia earlier turnedoviet offer to fully reequiparid reorganize the Zambian military. Moscow now hat SOilitary advisers and technicians in lhat country and thusood base on which lo build in the future.
The Soviets hope to be able to work closely wiih the new government of Uganda: they bad good reunions with President Obote during his pre-Amin rule. Obotc has not consolidated his authority and may request Soviet military assisuncc to suppress ant (government insurgents if more aid from Tanzania is not forihcom-ing.^J
In Zaire, economic pressures arc building, although President Mobuiu so far has escaped the organized criticism leveled al Kaunda and Nyercrc. Labor unrest and popular resentmcni against ihe central govern-ment ind the Zairian military could spark another wave of violence in the Shaba region either precipitated or exploited by dissidents of Ihe National Front for the Liberation of ihe Congo, which is based in Angola and Zambia and has receivedarms and some Cuban training. The National Front appear* determined tohird incursion intoperhaps as early as this spring -that would anempt lo capilalize on disillusionment in tbc region.
Moscow's misgivings about some ofctions (such as his proclamation of unity wilhoscow has been pleased by the loss of Frenchand establishmentotentially pro-Soviet regime in Chad.l
no collaboration between Moscow and Tripoli in west-cm and central Africa, there arc important factors thai could be working to Moscow's benefit in the region:ilitary strength: the anti-Western and Islamic zeal of ns unpredictable leader: aad. perhaps most important. Libya's wealth. If Moscow acre ableoothold in Chad, il might consider more actively supporting subversion againsl President Nimciii in Sudan probably collaborating losomc wiih Libya.|
In ihe Indian Ocean island states of Madagascar and Seychelles mutual suspicions and fears of coups by Western mercenaries have led to increased Sovietto exert influence. The conservativeof Mauritius remains staunchly pro-Western, however, because ofSovic: support for it* principal|
Threatening Collapse of Client Regimes. Another type of situation that could lead to LiS-Sovielwouldhreat of collapse of one of Moscow's "own" regimes in Ihe region, with UStaking the form either of assistance toenemies of ihe Soviet clients, or of participation in tbe external playing out of the crisis The scenarios here might include an increasingly successfulby UNITA forces to MPLA power in Angola: serious pressure by (he NRM guerrillas against the current regime in Mozambique; continuing scparatis! activities in Ethiopia, or growing dissidcncc among the military or internal schisms within the polilical eliteegime leadingajor opening toward the West. The context in which US-Soviet conflict might occur would be Sovici supply of larger numbers of advisers and equipment, support-proxy military involvement, but probably not dispatch of Soviet
In the past, the Soviets have tended to move cautiously in settings that could lead to military confrontation with the United States- This paitern of behavior was confirmed by Soviet actions in Angola and Ethiopia. Before Ihey made their final decisions to intervene in
force. Soviet policy makers first convinced themselves that iheof US military counteraction wasProbably the Soviets would, by iheir own lights, be equally cautious in seizing future opportunities in the areas of potential confrontation wilh (he West noted above The point at issue, however, is whether they would correctly assess the risks. Three factors might lead them to miscalculate such risks athai the world "correlation of forces" was moving sufficiently in the USSR's favor to discourage USudgment thai domestic politicalin the United Stales once again would minimize ihe likelihood of an American military reaction: or an assessment that Soviet actions would have sufficient African support as to preclude US
Moscow ha* suffered mayor setbacks in ihe pasi in Africa, and ihis could happen again; there is nothing inexorable about its future prospects in the region. Indeed, the Soviets sufferumber of important vulnerabilities |
The overwhelming reliance by ihe Soviet ton military might whether arms transfers or direct militaryiheir influence in the region reflects their weakness in other dimensions of power. In particular, ihe Soviets arc unable lo compete with ihe West in trade and economic developmentThe Soviet* have not met the economic needs even of preferred client regimes such as those inMozambique, and Ethiopia, and these regimes increasingly see ihe necessity of closer lies with the West in order to survive economically |
Even Sovici military assistance lo African countries is noi wiihout its difficulties. African military forces are often dissatisfied wilh the attitudes and behavior of Soviet advisers, the quality of arms, (he availability of spare parts, and the level of maintenance J
The Cuban* areource of Sovietas well ai strength. If Cuban combat troops were removed from either Angola or Ethiopia, the Soviets would not be left without options. They could increase
logistic support, raise the number of advisers, and introduce their own forces in technically specialized roles. However, given the internal weaknesses in both Angolahiopia, it is possible that removal of the Cubans might helpouth Vicmamcsc-siylc unraveling of one or the otherAngola. In that case, the Soviets would be confronted wiih the unpleasant dilemma of cither allowing an important client logo down to defeat, or of introducing Soviet ground troops to save the day. The latter course of action would entail all the political casts ofmilitary intervention in black Africa thai the Soviets avoided by relying on the Cubans in the first place; would undercut the argument that Sovietin Afghanistan wasteproader design lo spread Soviet domination by military force; and might increase the receptivity of countries in the Persian Gulf region as well asin Africa loan American military presence on their soil, depending on the US rcspor
these countries for leadership defection from the Sovici line and for divergence of the entire social-economic-political system from the Soviet-preferred model. |
Africans distrust Soviet political intentions. They have experienced Moscow's arm-twisting attempts todependency relations (usually in the military field) for short-term tactical gains. And they have also witnessed Sovici subversion. Some African leaders now suspect that Moscow may be encouraging Libya's Qadhafi to destabilize their governments.H
The Soviets lack leveragencourage ihe son of negotiated resolutions of the NamibianAfrican problems thai many lead-black African countries would probably prefer io
Finally, at the personal level ihe "Russians" are widely perceived to harbor raeist attitudes toward Africans.
political controls have not yet been fully institutionalized in Angola. Mozambique, andThere isignificant potential in
Soviet Involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa
The USSR's major current African involvements are with those countries with which it has concludedof Friendship and Cooperation:ndheseserve to delineate the economic-political-military parameters of the bilateral relationship, and tothe concrete nature of that relationship. But they do noi serve as mutual defense pacts, although they commit the concerned parties to abstain from alliances directed at onecall for mutual consultation in ihe eventangerous situation]
Major Relationships Angola
Soviet, Cuban, and East European support has been essenlial io the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angolao ensure its grip on political power and to support Its battle with insurgents of theUnion for Ihe Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA) and its defense against potential Souihincursions.
dependence on Cuban und Soviet military assistance for ihe foreseeable future. The inability of government forces to subdue insurgents or UNITA and adequately counter South African military incursions intoAngola continues to generate insecurity in Luanda and promises to ensure important military roles in Angola for the Cubans and Soviets despite Angolan dissatisfaction with the level of their asslsianccH
Moscow's economic assistance to Angola isAngola has made overtures to the West for eco-
nomic aid and investment. Tbe Angolan economylargely because of tbe lack ofthe cost of mainuining tbc Cubans (who are
6 llcl'll'JiTn paid in hardnd the continued fighting
Pervasive weaknesses hindering the development of the Angolan armed forces will prolong heavy Angolan
issue of economic assisiance has compliciilcd Sovici-Mozambican relations. Moscow is apparently uneasy over Maputo's efforts io attract Western aid and investmcni for revitalizing ibe sea rum ecoaomy. Nevertheless. Mozambique has been unable io win Soviei bloc backing for membership in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistancend Moscow thus far has noi given Maputo Ihe degree of economic Support it is seekina |
The Macbcl regime is almost totally dependent on ihe Soviets for military assistance. Thus far. Mozambique has signed agreements for0 million worth of military equipment from the USSR and other Warsaw Pact stales. Nevertheless ihe conversion of themilitary from an insurgentonventional force is proceeding slowly. Mozambique's faltering economy and nearly universal illiteracy have(II
pered the process, live years after independence ihe combat effectiveness of most units, particularly Air Force fighter squadrons, is marginal at best. J
Despite several muliibrigadc government offensives against ihe NRM insurgent forces, ihe NRM presence and influence appear lo be expanding. The NRM docs not pose an immediate threat io the regime's survival, but countering it compels the government lo divert resources lhat would otherwise be used for upgrading overall military capabilities and economicI-
Moscow was invited into Ethiopia7 byMilitary. Adn: listrativc Council (PMChairman Mengistu because of his need fee arms to combat tbe country's numerous insurgencies. Despite his dependence on the Soviets. Mengistu hasess-than-pliable client. While endorsing the Sovici positions on international Questions, he nonetheless has resisted Soviet pressure lo grant major concessions: he has refused Moscow the major naval base on the mainland it seeks and has moved slowly in responding to Soviet urgings toivilian-based Marxist party. In recent months, elements in the Ethiopian military have called for tbc expulsion of the Soviets and the Cubans. Another scarce of Soviet-Ethiopian
friction is Moscow's minimal amount of economic ,
consolidating government control throughout the country. Addis Ababa's military difficulties stem from the necessity of expanding0eequipping. and modernizing its armed forces in the midstwo-front war. Asa result, the Ethiopians are afflicted with heavy casualties, low morale, poor leadership, insufficient training, and an inadequate logistic system. Although the regime remains indiscontent within the military appears lo beis resentment of the Soviet and Cuban presence. (The Cubans have been relatively inactive militarily sinceeanwhile, because of combai losses, wear and tear of near-constant field operations, and poor equipment maintenance, Soviet military assistance will have to increase simply lo maintain current capabilities. H
Other Relationships Benin
Though mosl military equipment in Benin's armed forces is of Sovici origin and Soviet naval ships make port calls at Coionou, Soviet influence is limited by Benin's tics to neighboring countries, which have been
E0to curb the Sovici presence (for example,
lo provide Beninese personnel wilh military training in Libya and may provide some arms. |
reakthrough for Moscow, Botswanamall military' assistance agreement in0 calling for Soviet provision of ground and air defense weapons. The Soviets have argued lhat the Botswana Defense Force needs lo be prepared to protect the country against possible South African incursions.however, has few other links io the Soviets and will probably be inhibited from extensive dealings wilh Moscow by ihe potential for an adverse reaction by South Africa and the Wcsil
Despite Soviet naval visitsontinued use of Sal Airport for Soviet and Cuban flights to Angola, and offers of greater military assistance (possibly including fighterape Verde has rejected Sovici attempts to increase accessacilities.
Libyan troops, currently estimatedntered Chad in the fallupporting the factions loyalhe Chadian Presidenl and equipped primarily with Soviet weaponry. Libyan motives in callingerger of Chad and Libya appear to be purely of Libyan inspiration.!
car lhat Libyan involvementarger Sovici design on Africa. The condemnation of Libya's role by the Organization of African Unity (OAL) and French unhappiness with ihe Libyan power play are important constraints on Moscow. Butis likely to offer open material supporl lo the new regime if African opposition Io il diminis
Congo hasongstanding political and military aid relationship wiih the USSR. Bui relalions of ihis self-professed "Marxist-Leninisl" stale on most levels with the Sovici Union arc now strained, and President Denis Sasson-Ngucsso's most recenl planned visit to Moscowas pui offal the lasiTensions are due to denial of regular Soviet
I Despite energetic courting with arms and aid offers, Moscow has made little headway with the Doe regime in Liberia but hopes the precarious economic situation and unpredictable nature of the current leadership will open up Soviet possibilities. Masteriae post-
problems plague Ihe country, ant some elements within the ruling military councilhe civilian government arc pressuring Doe forn tics with the Soviets and Soviet allies. BJJJJJJJJJJJ ISI
uuinea relics on; tary equipment, greater access for Soviet aircraft and ships will not readily be available, partly because of frictions over the following issues:
Given the country's major economic woes, Malagasy President Didicr Ratsiraka is vulnerable to pressures rrom the Soviets for use of naval facilities at Diego Suarcz and air facilities at nearby Andrakaka military airfield as repaymenl for lhc large quantities ofequipment deliveredncluding light tanks, armored personnel carriers, antiaircraft guns, radars, and fighier9 maritimewith Madagascar permits Soviet merchant ships to call al island ports, but military access apparently Is still denied. Inight Soviets were reported assisting in the upgrading of the Andrakaka airfield, probably for deployment of thehich arrived earlier that year. There nowoviet military advisers andconomic technicians in Madagascar. In the event of political instability. Moscow will attempt to capitalize on the tics it has with local Marxist groups. J
After7 coup which installed President Rene the Soviets began to establish closer ties withand there wete two hasty Soviet cruiser visitshen the Seychelles Governmentoup attempt was imminent. Soviet ii panded only gradually.!
TvjB'^WWc'HW TRa CT-
resent ihe lackof Uganda inhave continacd f" acquire arms from other
esilitary assistance relationship with
the USSR iv constrained by (be detcrioraiinc Tan-lantait economy and the increasing likelihood that it will be unable to pay for future arms deals or even possibly for arms already ordered or delivered
Major arms deals1
haveorresponding increaselite Soviet presence in Zambia. President Kaunda. however,wary of Soviet intentions. The Zambian military is not entirely happy about Soviet involvement
Moscow was pleased with the victory in Uganda's presidential election of Milton Obote, with whom it enjoyed good lies in the prc-Amin cra.|
rt potential exists lor renewal o: the arms aid relationship that existed under Amin. Bul military assistance lo Uganda from the USSR and Its surrogates has thus far been limited to training of some security personnel in Cuba and delivery of small arms. The overridingpreventing further Sovici military assistance is the prevailing chaos in Uga
US dependence onnstable countries in central and southern Africa for manganese,cobalt, and platinum-groupmiliury and industrialthe United Stale* potentially vulnerable to sudden supplyThis vulnerability is heightened by the USSR's role as the only other tignifrcani exporter of two of these metals and its heavy involvement in the trade in all fourcriltcal metal
The USSR is the worlds largest producer of metalseading source of the four critical metals. Near total self-sufficiency in metals provides Moscowar greater security of supply than that experienced by developed Western countries. This self-sufficiency, combined with its importance as an exporter of critical materials, underlies the frequent speculation by West-em observers as to Soviet motives in metal market dealings In particular, developcd-couniry dependcr.ee on the USSR for over half of its platinum-group metal supplies causes concern. The importance of the USSR as supplier of other critical metals has generallyover the nasi decade as alternative suppliers have emerged and as changing technologies have lessened the metals' importance. These trends arc expected io continue duringC
Obviously, the problem of Western vulncrabiliiy lo Soviet action in the strategic mclals area is one that calls for very concrete analysis We can assume that it would be highly desirable from the point of view of the Soviets to be able to control the allocation of African strategic mclals What is in Question is the price ihey might be prepared io pay in attempting to gain such control, and their possibilities of realizingoal in practiceJjjj
African Strategic Melah
Of Ihe four main producer* of strategic metals inZambia, Zimbabwe, and SouthSouth Africaource of all of the
strategic metals; and South Africa is ihe only producer in this group of manganese (ionic manganese is also produced in Gabon) Zaire and Zambia togethermost of theper cent share of world cobalt output (see Ihc accompanying chartk, with Zaire accounting for by far the largest fraction. Andis the major source, following South Africa, of Africa'serceni of world chromium output. Thus, leaving South Africa aside, the geographical locus of our analysis is highly circumscribed: Zaire andfor coball and Zimbabwe for chrome Jj
Soviet and Central/Southern African Share of World Production of Selected Critical9
present, the strategic mewls markets favor buyers. Barring major political disruptions in southern Africa, we believe thai for the next several years there willlut in the markets wiih downward pressure on prices. Strategic mclals such as chromium, cobalt,vanadium, and platinum currently arc in ovcrsupply with high user inventories and stable or falling prices. Production increases in the future are expected to add to this glut and lessen WesternExpansion is highlighted by these programs:
Zimbabwe plans to expand its fcrrochrome capacity by halft will ihen trail only South Africa in output of this essential ingredient in stainless steel.
South Africa is engaged in the greatest expansion of mining activity in its history. Important new deposits of vanadium, chromium, and platinum are now being developed.
* Both Zaire and Zambia will continue lo expand cobalt production rapidly.S cobalt production is slated to0 metricto lotal cobalt consumption in the non-Communist worldOM
On the demand side, slow economic growth, lessdevelopment (for example, the trend toward smallermproved sicclntaking technology, and increased recycling will hold demand for strategic metals far below past trends. In addition, users are eliminating substantial amounts of strategic metals by substituting more abundant alloying metals such as nickel
Logically, there could be two conceivable motives lyingoviet design on African strategic metals:(I)cquire these metals to meet the USSR's own needs;o deny or control the flow of them to the West for commercial gain or military advantage (or, of course, both motives logct
Soviet Critical Metals Situation Platinum-Croup Metab
The USSR produced about half of the world'smetals during, South Africa nearlyercent, and Canada most of the remainder (see theoviet production9 is estimatedillion cunccs-IH
The USSR obtains virtually all of its plaiinum-group metalsyproduct in the exploitation of copper-nickel Ores. Soviet production consists mainly oftimes as much palladium asSouth African output is mainly platinum. In ihe event of disruption in Souih African supply, major importing countries would have no choice bul to turn to the USSR. Soviet offerings of palladium rather than platinum could be increased marginally but in any case at substantially higher pri>
The USSR exports most of ils ouiput of platinum-group metals. Total exports lomounted8 million ounces, or about two-thirds of lotal estimated output during that period. Some additional, although small, amounts probably were exported lo other Communisi countries. Annual exports reached peak levels, averagingillion ounces, bul declined toillion ounces. During, ihe USSR accounted foroercent of the platinum-group metals annually moving in world
The USSR is assured of substantial increases in production of platinum-group metals ins progress is madeajor project to expandof nickel and copper at Norilsk in northernSoviet production could easily increase toillion ounces by thend-
million ounce*sa mull, the role of the USSRupplier of platinum-group metal* to inter -nptional market* will be greatlyj
The USSR i* the world'* second largeit producer of chromite after South Africa. Soviet output peaked atillion tonseclinedillion tonsul reboundedillion tonsoviet production0 was aboutercent shorl of the original large! in the Tenth Five-Year Plan. The stagnation in Soviet production is the result ol" the depletion of surface deposits in Kazakhstan and lags in commissioning new underground mining capacity. Wc believe that, at present, mine depletion accounts for about one-half of gross annual commissioning* H
ijTfficaovmtswnTr^ilfleito boost output
dramatically at leastB
The LSSR hatajor exporter of chrorniie for manynnual deliveries to non-Communisttries averaged nearlyton*ut fell toons per annum. Deliveries to Communist countries amountedonsown slightly from the peakons reached1
oughlyercent less lhan the amount postedc believe thai the Tall in Soviet exports i* lied directly to declining domestic production and increased Soviet difficulties in fully covering domestic needs H
The outlook for Soviet export* of chromite ins uncertain. Although the quality of the ore hasm recenthe USSR still exportshigh-grade chrome ore However, recentadvances have weakened market preference for high-grade Soviet ore The use of (he AOD process in the manufacture of itainlcs* steel permits greater use of less expensive, high-carbon ferrochrome. which can be produced wiih abundant low-grade chromite ralhcr lhan from expensive, low-carbon ferrochrome utilizing scarce high-grade ores, such as Soviet orc.pj
Another uncertainty is whether ihe USSR, even with adequate product ion. will continue lo export chromite. Tbc Soviets have given strong indications that they may shift to exports of ferrochrome a* other* wilh chrorniie resource* are doing. The Soviet* have shown interest in obtaining Western participation in ventures io produce ferrochrome. but, as yet. no arrangements have'. IJH Yrs (Dl
Soviet cobalt is obtained mainlyyproduct in nickel production. Soviet production ofons0 ranks second only io Zaire. Although it ha* caponed tome cobalt in the past. Soviet production ha* not increased sufficiently to meet domesticand it haset importer for the lastears. Soviet purchases, mainly from /aire, wereons per annum during most of, increasing loons per annum. The increase in purchases probably it associated with serious delays the Soviets have encounteredew nickel/cobalt refinery at Notil'sk. This refinery will account for all of the increase in Soviet production of nkkcl and cobalt during. it* projected capacity is equivalent toercent of world output in
ut the refinery is already several year* behind
Cobalt may remain in light supply for some year* to come but will eventually improve a* Ihe Norilsk project i* completed. We believe lhat. by ihe, ihe USSR probably will be self-sufficient and able to export cobalt to non-Communist as well as Communisi countiia^PJHMWrs
The USSR is the world'* largest producer ofore. Production amounted toabout lOmillion
p almost SO perceni over outputnd roughly double the output of South Africa, the world's second largest producer |
The Soviets have been major exporters of manganese fur many years. Total exports averagedillion tons per annum during. The bulk of these exports go to Other Communist countries. Sovici sales to nan-Communist countries fell fromons0 toonsapan and Sweden account for most of the Soviet exports to non-Communist countries. Sovici sales to the West probably fell because of increasedfrom non-Communist suppliers (most notably South Africa) and possibly because of increased domestic rcquircmcntsJJBll
If past trends continue. Soviet production couldtoillion ions by lhc. This amount should be more than adequate to meet domestic needs and providerowing exporiable surplus. |
To sum up. il is apparent thai the only significant Soviet strategic metals gap that must be covered by imports is cobalt; and this gap will probably be closed by expansion of domestic production capacity wilhin(
etsare. ol course, tuny awareoi western aepenoence on African supply of these metals, and frequently call attention to it tn their propaganda Nor do they ignore the connection between these metals and Westernproduction requirements. Other things being equal, they would undoubtedly like, for militaryto beosition to clamp off this source of supply to tbc West when and if thc> desired to do so. Yet powerful commercial interests have led ihem so far not lo apply the damp even where il has been in their power lodoto their own strategic exports to the West.
The main caseoncconomic sort thai might conceivably throw light on Soviet intentions is provided by the incursions by the Kaiangans from Angola into ihe cobalt-producing Shaba Province of Zaire7
ind about these operationsdid nol try to stop them; it is not unlikely that the> jjW them theirthough one of theeffects of the operations would have been to increase the cost to the USSR of cobalt imporuj
In the sphere of economic behavior, there are three areas of possible Soviet action in strategic metals that could affcci Western interests: joint ventures, bilateral barter agreements, and market operations. In the first area, there has been no measurable upsurge of Sovici or CEMA involvement wiih meial extraction in the less developed countriesurvey of Soviet bloc economic aid loCs reveals no pro/eas nnywherc involving such key strategic metals as cobalt, chrome, manganese, and platinum. Within AfricaSR has only three confirmed cum pen vj lion agreements involving metals- zinc from Algeria, lead concentrates, from the Congo, and bauxite from Guinea in repayment for mineral development(Guinea supplies abouterceni of Soviet bauxite imports.
rs IUI iVOfirfKiV MKOMfACI-
lhc key countries rxoducing strategicZaire. Zambia. Zimbabwe, and SouthUSSR and its East European clients have virtually no influence or investment in the development of cobalt, chrome, platinum,or manga
used their dominantlatinum-group metals trade to help maintain high prices by carefullythe volume of exports. At no time have they attempted toartel or otherwise involvein formal collusive actions. Where they are marginal metals suppliers, and price takers, the Soviets
uickly adjust their prices at or near ihc prevailing loellBJBH
ihe metals markets. Soviet representatives generally have followed the pragmatic, highly businesslikeof their Western counlerparts. They have, for example, scrupulously adhered to commitments and have not reneged on existing contracts IO takeof price changes or to respond to altered political relations with the West Following US imposition of trade sanctions inor example, lhc Soviets continued to make deliveries of strategicunder prior contracts and indeed elicited additional transactions. Similarly, during the Vietnam conflict, the (km of critical metals from the USSR continued unabated and in some cases increased. Nor is there any evidence ihat the Soviets have ever intervened inintending lo deprive the United States or the Wesl of strategic metals. Allegations to lhc contrary during the cobalt "crisis"8 were unsupportable.
The Soviets, nevertheless, have proved to be shrewd traders, highly sensitive to market situations in which they can press for highern. for example, they took advantage of Ihe chrome shortage brought on by UN sanctions against Rhodesia to triple the eaport price of Soviet chromeactionby other exporiers. Similarly, the Soviets have
MR Soviet Option*
Soviet market practices to date cannot be lakenirm indication of Soviet markel actions in lhc event of major shortfalls in supply brought on by cessation in 'ports from tbc principal central and southernproducers That situatioe might tempt Moscow to try to disrupt Western industry by depriving it of critically needed mclals. Platinum provides the USSR lhc most leverage among critical mclnls. The worst case scenario would ptcsupposc advance knowledge on the part of the Soviets of an impending cutoff in supply from South Africa. Under these conditions, the Soviets could:
Attempt to buy dealer inventories of platinum using multiple brokers in European and US markets to hide Sovici involvement.
And. more importantly, cancel orders and stop all exports following the cutoff in Sooth African supplies.
onsequence, the Soviets could theoreticallythe West of roughlyerceni of normal supply of platinum imports. Assuming thai the West had little advance warning of the supply cutoff, it would have no opportunity to build inventories, invoke meaningful substitution, or eipand output in Canada and other small producers Nevertheless, ihe United States'and most of the West's essential industries could maintain productionne-yearidedystem of allocations, recoursevailable substitutes, and drawdowns of strategic reserves. US Mocks arc equivalent to one year of normal demand forgroup metals Similar strategic buildup* ire under way
France and arc being considered in Wesi Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Needless to say, this scenario depends on taking South Africa nut of ihe picture, which, in the near-to-medium term, is highly problematic H
Economic strategics to cut off cobalt or chrometo the West from Zaire. Zambia, or Zimbabwe also raise serious questions. It is very unlikely thai any of these countries, under any leadership,of rational economica bilaicralto sell all or mosf of iheir output io ihe USSR; and. obviously, political considerations wouldreinforce resistance on ihe pan of leadersin power. (However, the possibilityollusive price-setting agreement is noihecosts to the Sovietsilateral purchasein terms of scarce hard currencyand probable economic retaliation from ihebe high. The same costs would bewith attempts at preclusive buying on themetals markets. Moreover,ariety of reasons il is highly improbable that an attempt io corner these markets (which do noi depend on large stockpiles, deal mainly in future output, and involve commiimenis to longstanding customers) couldless be allowed to stand by Western governments^^!
The crux of noncconomic strategies (political orfor gaining access lo African strategic metals or denying (or controlling) their delivery to the West is that, by definition, they entaila greater or lesseropportunity of African slates to get ihe highest price they could on the internalional market in hard currency for whai is ihe lifcblood of iheir economies. Thus any noncconomic strategy would inevitably confront two problems:
The natural reluctance of African leaders of nlmosi any ideological persuasion to sacrifice their ownwealth.
The likely social tensions and ensuing politicalthai would arise from ihe withdrawal of economic resources from Ihe syslcn |
Unless compensated for in some way, both problems would, presumably, lend Io increase roughly inlo ihe economic opportunity cost imposed by Sovici action. The greater ihe sacrifices imposed by Soviet action, ihe more dependent the Africanwould have to be on Soviet political/military support for it to stay in line, and Ihe more coercion would be required to maintain social equilibrium. Depending on Ihe scenario, noncconomic strategics could also email political costs to ihe USSR elsewhere in Africa and the Third World, and possible counterproductive consequences or confrontational encounters wiih Ihe United States and other Western
The following noncconomic options wouldbe open lo ihe USSR:
To inicrdicl the transport of strategic metals out of African counirics io Western consumers against the will of the producing countries. Ii is difficult lo visualize howlockade could avoid rapidly escalating into an Easi- West military con frontal ion.
To cause production of slraicgic metals to beby fomenting civil strife. The model in this instance wouldShabaf the cutoff were indefinite, the effect would be denial of cobalt or chrorniie to the West, wilh possible large windfall monetary gains to the USSR from price increases for Soviet metal exports (if we arc talkingr losses (if wc arc Taking about Zairian or Zambian cobalt before thehis approach would be less risky lhan the first Strategy, although slill fraught with unpredictable contingencies, and might be attractive lo Ihe Sovicls. Sooner or later, as order was restored, an atiempl would be made lo restore production; and ai this juncture (he Soviets would certainly aiicmpi toWestern technical assistance and management with their own, parlaying this aid into concessionary acquisition of metal by the USSR and as much control as possible over allocation of remainingH
To exploit political influence in Order to gain concessionary acquisition of metal by the USSR and/or control over deliveries io ihe West. This
could work, upoint, bul itshinge on how really dependent anpersonal power was on Soviet support.the Sovicls have not found it to translate the large joint.presence into acquisition of. or control over,
_To gain and exercise outright colonial control over
Zaireambia, or Zimbabwe. If theprepared and able to carry out such awould obviously give ihem ihe greatest controlmetals. But this strategy wouldthe Sovietsew Afghanistan deepIt is difficult to imagine the Soviets optinga high-risk strategy, wilh all its obviousin ihe absence of the urgeni need to do sobe providedaof immineni global confrontationUnited
The analysis presented above suggests that:
The keyruly decisive economic warfareby the Soviets on the strategic metals front lies in South Africa, wiih all the problems attendant thereto from the Sovici standpoint. Obtainingover Soulh African supplies can be viewed onlyong-range Soviet objective. Olhcr opportunities arc limitedobalt in Zaire and Zambia, and chromite in Zimbabwe.^
Soviets themselvesartial and temporary need for only one Africanfor which there are no acceptable substiluics.|
Soviet African metals strategy would therefore
propelled far less by insistent internal military-
securily needs, than by the prospects of achieving desirable bul not immediately compelling foreign policy objeciives.pjj
noncconomic behavior in Africa to dale has shown, by even ihe mosl generous interpretation,light interest in the immediate and di'ect attainment of ulterior metals goals. i
In the economic sphere, the Soviets so far have not shown ihesortof interest injoint vcnturcsthai would be dictatedoncern looothold inmetals production.)
_|Soviei behavior in the international metals market lo date has capitalized on opportunitiesby African supply interruptions, but has noi reveled an intention
In ihe future, Soviet attempts at direct marketthrough preclusive buying would probably not succeed and, if interpretedorm of economic warfare (as they probably wouldoulderies of broader, more sustained and much costlier counteractions by the Wcst^
Noncconomic future strategics, politicalreater or lesser degree would give rise lo ihe twin problems of African leadership resistance to loss of hard currency earnings, and enhancedof depressed standards of living for theand heightened political instability |
Probably the strategy thai would best balance risks and gains for the Soviets would be neitherof deliveries to Ihe West nor oulright seizure of power in metal-producing countries. Rather, il might involve an exchange of military support for adependent African leadership group in return for some concessionary metals deliveries io ihe LSSReasure of influence over the allocation Of Ihe remaining oulpul to Western countries. One way this situation could be brought inlo being would be ihrnugh Soviet involvement in local wars or civil disturbances lhat could temporarily interrupt Ihe production and export of strategic metals to ihe
Capabilities in Africa
Economic Aid. Training andmi Anns Supply EcoDumk Aid
5 million intoountries, the early Soviet economic aid program could claim few successes and failed to win tbe sympathies of the new nations on the continent The West continued to provide mote thanerceni of total aid committed to Sub-Saharansofter repayment terms than given by theaccounted for an even greater share of the aid actually deli
In the neat five) new Soviet aidgroundirtual hall, wiih extensions hoveringear. Assistance increased0 millionnd was marked by Moscow's largest and final commit mem of credits and food grants to Somalia. Since then, the Soviets havetheir economic aid program only minimally (tonaitargo irade credit on war-commercial terms to Nigeria fora steel mill0 million committed to Ethiopia for agricultural development, oil and gas exploration, and oil import subsidies. (See
After the initial foray into black Africa, Moscowto draw on its experience elsewhere in the Third World, using training and arms supply as moreinstruments ofereafter. lhc Soviets be-caxevery unwilling to extendeconomic aid; arms and mililury assistance became (he primary vehicle with which ihey attempted io establish their influence in the 1 11
coming home each year have returned wilh Russian language capabilities and acquaintance withnstitutions and people in ibeir fields of expense. whether or not their political persuasions baseltered J
From the beginning, the Soviets have providedadministrative, health, and teaching services to the black African Slates
Sub-Saharaa Africa: Value of Military- Purchase*
Reduced Soviet interest in black Africa aflcr the initial spurt in theeant that the Soviets put retalively little into military assistance before ther the most part. Moscow provided outmoded, rccondilioncd equipment and baste militarySomalia and Sudan were treated as special cases, each receiving substantial quantities of arms0 million worth and0 million)5 largely because of their strategic locations on the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea (See|
The rapid deterioration of the Portuguese posilion in thenvited intensified Soviet efforts. The Soviet decision4 not to lei the MPLA faciion in Angola collapse for lack of military support apparently was only partarger decision to step up military assistance to the regionhole. Mali. Nigeria. Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia all signed
record arms contracts with Moscowhich added together totaled5 million, afigure three times ai great as that of any previous ycarJJt_
The success of Soviet/Cuban-backed guerrilla forces in Angola triggered an even sharper escalation in Soviet military assistance to the region50 (Sec lableoscow campaigned hard throughout the region, signing record arms deals with old and new clients alike thai2 billion worth of military aid to Ethiopia (more than five times the value furnished to Ethiopia over the previousears by the United Sluics>ffl
The turnaround in ihe Soviet arms ambiance program and ihe opporiunities provided in Angola, Ethiopia, and the frontline Slates allowed Moscow toits ability lo move large quantities of military hardware quickly over long distances. In the process,USSR became the largest supplier of arms to the subcontinent, even though its list of major recipients has remained smuDfJ
Moscow's post-Angolan arms aid also has earned il sizable amounts of cash, especally since the increase in arms pricesrices Tor some big-ticket items
laveeen hardened for quicker paybacks When it has perceived political or strategic advantage, however, Moscow still accords1rs
preferential ircaimcnt lhat is generally not obtainable from Western sources|
The influx of more Sovietften of higher technology lhan available Westernlso brought large increase* in the number of Soviet and Cuban military personnel. The Soviet militaryis estimated to have quadrupledith moreechnicians and adviser* assigned to African clientshe number of Cuban iroops and advisers in Sub-Saharan Africa0 has dipped only slightly fromB highn Angola and Ethiopia alone) toSeeJSfl
Once Ihcy haveoothold, Soviet personnel have attempted to:
Extend their aciiviiics and influence as widely as possible wihin ihe host country's mililary organization.
Use Iheir clienis' indebtednessever forto extract concessions such as access to air and naval facilities, or support for Soviet diplomatic initiatives
Employ ihc threat of delays or cutoffs of arms and spare parts shipments, as well as the withdrawal of advisory and maintenance support,eans of exerting political influence m
Moscow's ability to use military assistanceeans to gain influence in Sub-Saharan Africa, however, has its limits Having observed ihc Soviets in action, many African military and political leaders are wary of Soviet mililary aid offers and ihe strings that are invariably attached lo litem. When Ihe Soviet presence becomes onerous and particularly when Moscow has imposed orutoff ofarms or spareumber of African states have moved to acquire arms from other sources. Ultimately, if Moscow's demands become too objectionable, the client may decide to terminate the military assistance relationshipThis drastic course of action becomes more traumatic as the sizeoviet mission grows.the Soviet Ouster from Egypt2 and from Somalia7 demonstrates that, even wherehasedoubtable presence wiihaccess lo client facilities and made the client almosi totally dependent on Soviet assistance, the rela-lionship remains vulnerable toa directive from the host government ordering Soviet personnel to leave. Whether host countries as dependent on Soviet and Cuban propping up as Angola or Ethiopia would ask that Iheir forces be removed, however, is uncertain jj^lj
Military Power Projection
The USSR'S Military Transport Aviation (VTA) has undertaken eight major airlifts to Third Worldincluding two tohese operations have demonstrated that VTA canajor,airlifthort time and sustain it. But ihey have revealed limitaiions as well. The proficiencyhas been uneven, and in some cases evenlow levels of effort have taxed VTA'sObtaining clearance for overflight, landing, and refueling from various countries en route will continue io be crucial to ihc success of VTA airlifts to the Third World, including Africa j
The USSR has developed forces that could be used for intervention in distant areas and has introduced small elements of them into distant-area combat situations as earlyn Egypt. Wc believe that Soviet leaders in the future would be more willing io use force for this purpose. Elements of all Soviet conventionalair, andpotentialfor use in situations that call for intervention. Although Soviet airborne and amphibious forces have generally been louled by Western observers as the most likely components of any Soviet intervention in the Third World, in practice these forces have notole, though Soviet airborne divisions have been placed on alert during several periods oftension. |
The Soviets, nevertheless, would encounter seriousin delivering substantial numbers of airborne troops or amphibious forces to African locations, particularly if such movements were opposed. Air transport lo the region would require acquiescence for overflight and permission for refueling stopsumber of countries that might oppose the Soviet effort. Limitations on the numbers of transport aircraft available and inadcquaic facilities at Third World airfields would make the delivery of an airbornea lengthy and vulnerable process. Similarly, the sea lanes to the Soviet naval bases from which an amphibious operation would have to be mounted are
'These include Sit militarythe Middle East. North Yemenhe Middle Kenngolaihiopu. too Vietnam (FebruaryITOiirli'ts Ice dissWc-rPerulood!
peacetime, the primary mission of the Indianis to exert Soviet influence in thethe Soviets have defensive concernsprotecting their own sea lines ofthe Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Sovietin East African waters focus onmissions and monitoring Western navalThe ships have also been used in directclientexample being the scalift toEthiopia during its war with Somalia. Innaval forces, as currently constituted, wouldal risk because of limited firepower and
1efense, inadequate shore facilities, andlines
The mission of Ihc West African patrol is lo support Soviet diplomatic initiatives, to influence regional developments, and to inhibit Western involvement. In1 the Sovietsaval lask force to the waters off Morocco to protest the seizure of Soviet fishing boats,ore direct use of the USSR's naval presence to exert regional influence. Although this small show of force wasecisive factor in the settlement reached in February, it did serveisible sign of Moscow's displeasure. Beyond these peacetime uses, the West African patrol is of marginal military utility. It is too small to disrupt traffic in the Atlantic Sea lanes and suffers from lengthy supply lines and lack of fircnowcrl
Soviet Union hasermanentin West African watershe numbers
rs ITIOriginal document.